Wednesday, May 30, 2012

More Pastel, Nature Journal and Figure

I tackled another pastel drawing the other day. This time the image is a couple of apple blossoms that I photographed earlier this spring. The paper is a darker blue Crason pastel paper.

I don't recall that the drawing was as dark as it appears above prior to my spraying it with fixative and, actually, the real drawing doesn't look as dark as the scan appears. Pastels do have to sprayed with fixative or you end up with just a smear instead of an image (I recall that from my previous experiences with pastel), but I suppose I could use Photoshop to lighten the scan. I don't like doing that but, in this case it may be necessary.  

I think I know what part of the problem is. I don't have either a good dark green or dark brown pastel and have been using black to darken those colors. I try to not use very much, but black is tricky and appears to scan darker, so I may have to manipulate the scan until I can purchased some darker greens and browns for my collection.

Above is my Nature Journal spread from Monday's visit to Daniel Webster. It was a beautiful spring day, and I enjoyed my walk. I was surprised at how few others were there at the same time I was, after all Monday was a holiday for many people here in the US. But then a lot of the retail stores were open so I supposed more people had to work than would have in years past and others were probably at family gatherings.

No new bird sightings, but I did startle a couple of deer, and saw evidence that Wildlife Sanctuaries are not peaceful places for all the inhabitants. The bottom image above is one of those pieces of evidence. I saw an empty eggshell on the path, by size I would guess it was a goose egg. The shell didn't look like it had been cracked open by an emerging chick, but opened from the outside by a hungry animal. I know there are foxes at Daniel Webster, so that is probably the most likely culprit. At another path location I saw a scattering of feathers. It looked like a Phoebe's, but I can't be totally sure. Probably the culprit there was one of the birds of prey that live around or in the sanctuary, hawk is most likely but it might have been an owl.

The top drawing is of another turkey, I know I drew one for my last visit, but I saw this one out on the paths which I don't normally do so wanted to document it. I have been seeing a lot of the Turkeys so far this year, not entirely sure why, perhaps there are just more of them.

Above is Monday nights figure drawing, and yes despite the holiday we still drew. She was wearing a sweater and a short skirt, so we had another semi clothed model. Not sure about that one foot and leg but other areas I am fairly pleased with.

Another butterfly photo for you today, above is an American Copper. I have photographed one of these before as they are fairly common in my area. But they are also quite small (about 1 1/2 inches) so it can be hard to get a good photograph, when I manage I like to show them off.

My treat Monday was to capture this photograph of a tree swallow. I normally see them catching bugs on the fly at the pond or over the fields. There they are impossible for me to photograph with my camera. Monday they seemed to be in mating mode, which makes them a bit distracted, and not so noticing of humans. I actually saw one pair mating on top of one of the bird houses they have scattered around the sanctuary. That was amazing to watch, though with birds there isn't a lot to see.

This bird had landed on the bridge just prior to my crossing over. I slowly approached making lots of photographs and finally managed to make this one. I was probably only 5 or 6 feet away, which is much closer than I can normally get to wild birds, unless I am on the other side of a glass window. Isn't he a hansom fellow, and I am quite sure it is a he, the females tend to be a bit duller on the back. But he wasn't really watching me or my approach so I have to wonder what he was paying attention to.

That is it for today, per usual comments are always welcome.