Friday, June 3, 2011

Two Takes on one Photo


Above is my latest drawing done with colored pencils. I use Derwents, Studio, Artists and Signature. I don't use the Colorsoft as I find them too soft for my tastes. I really prefer the Studio pencils, but there are more colors in the Artists line, and the Signature colors are more fade proof so I end up using a bit of all three when I draw.

For a few years now I have been making photographs partially with the intent of using them as reference sources for my drawings. Last fall I made the top photo in the grouping below at the North River Audubon Sanctuary in Marshfield, MA. I really liked this photo and decided to use it for an experiment.


The first step was to draw the design the size I wanted to make the finished work. The lower image on the left above is the sketchbook drawing done to fit within a 4 inch square. A good size for the Hot Press Watercolor paper I have already cut into pieces. The next step was to trace the design on tracing paper, the image to the right above is my tracing paper pattern. I then used the tracing paper to transfer the design to two different pieces of watercolor paper. I intended to use colored pencils to create one of the drawings and pen and ink with a watercolor wash for the second.

The top image is the finished colored pencil drawing. Obviously I used the photograph as a reference while drawing the berries and background. I didn't put the background details into my original drawing because I felt it would be too confusing and I didn't want any unnecessary pencil lines. I am rather pleased with how it came out, not exactly the photograph but I think it works.

Below is the finished pen and ink watercolor version. Note that when I was transferring the image I created a mirror image of the original design. I decided that it might be fun to do the finish drawing that way so left the error instead of erasing and starting over.


A different look, as the background was done only with watercolor while the leaves and berries in the foreground of the photograph have hard edges defined by the ink. I think I prefer the colored pencil drawing, but would love to hear others opinions. Also the red of the berries isn't quite the right color, I might have been able to do better if I had don't some pretesting of my reds, I will have to remember that for my next painting.

The photo below requires some explaining.


The photograph was made at the Blue Hills Wildlife center where they have on display animals that live in and around the  Blue Hills. All of the animals have been injured in some manner that would be a death sentence for them if they were released. I don't know what the injury was to the Great Horned Owl that lives in the above cage. I think he is a bit on the small size for one thing but whatever it is he is inside the cage and can't get out. Do you see that bit of orange in the upper right, that is a Baltimore Oriole. When I was at the center yesterday afternoon a pair of orioles was flying in and out of the owls cage harassing him. If they weren't flying at him they were perched on the cage or nearby tree branches making what I assume would be alarm calls at him. I must admit to feeling sorry for the owl, after all there is no way he could really get away from them. I have to assume that they have a nest somewhere in the area and are becoming concerned for the safety of their young so want to drive him away.  I can only hope that eventually they gave up the cause and left him alone. Poor guy usually spends his days in his enclosure, avoiding the light and direct view, but I am sure with Orioles dive bombing him it was better to be out in the open where he could somewhat escape their attentions.

Thats it for today, per usual comments or questions are welcome.