Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Gourds, more gourds and a flower


Back a couple of weeks ago I made a pen and ink sketch of 3 gourds from various reference photographs. That drawing reminded me how fun it can be to draw gourds and their odd shapes and bright colors. So I visited the WetCanvas photo reference library and downloaded several more photographs of gourds. Using one of those references I created the above colored pencil drawing.

I first drew the gourds in pencil, then outlined them in ink and finally added color using multiple brands of colored pencils. I didn't spend a huge amount of time on it. I am still working on my Chipmunk drawing, so am saving time spent working in detail for that. Still I am not displeased with how this came out. The bowl is a bit wonky but I think I managed to give some feeling of depth and roundness to both it and some of the gourds. Drawing was done in my sketchbook.


While I was drawing the gourds in the bowl I thought it might be fun to make a bookmark using various gourd shapes so drew the above image. The three gourds were taken from different reference images so their position is my composition.

Bookmarks can be tricky to design as the are long and narrow, and I find I prefer the image to be vertical, after all that is how the bookmark will be viewed when in use. Gourds which can be long and narrow seem to be a perfect subject.

Done first with pen and ink I then added colored pencil to the image. Of course it still needs a bit of work before it is a finished bookmark, but so far I rather like it. To be honest I like this one better than the last couple I drew with the heart motif.


The above image is slightly misleading as this is actually a small watercolor ATC (Artist Trading Card). Pretty simple, and fairly quick to draw and paint. I used my watercolor pencils for color on this one, just applying enough water to active the color.

I am currently reading a book on Watercolor painting, Painting in Watercolor by Kate Gwynn. It is part of the Artists Handbook series and was published in 1982 so it is old. Still watercolor techniques and methods haven't changed much from then to now. I think there are now more watercolor pencils than there were back then, but otherwise paints, papers and brushes are pretty much the same. Book is from the library, and the only one I saw on that particular visit.

I have also been spending a lot of time in the WetCanvas watercolor forums, reading threads that have to do with selecting colors for a pallet, various papers to use, and other technical aspects of watercolor painting. The end result is I have watercolor painting a bit on the brain, didn't feel like working on the other piece I have in the works so did this little guy.

It is in a way killing two birds with one stone as the Sketchbook Challenge blog theme for February is Windows. So here is a little watercolor of a plant sitting in a window. loosely based on one of my cyclamens (I have 2, one red, one pink) that are sitting in my northern exposure bedroom window.

I am thinking about painting some more Watercolor ATC's, they are small so quick to paint, but also allow some practice with watercolor.


I made this photograph last week prior to our latest snow storm, and on a day when we had some sun. These are just grasses in an open lot, but I rather like the color/value contrasts, with the browns of the grasses against the white of the snow and then there are the shadows, a cool/warm color pallet if I ever saw one.

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