Friday, March 28, 2014

Yellow Tulips and Nature Journal pages


The past couple of weeks I have been spending a lot of time working on projects I started at least last year and for one reason or another put aside. Course I have also been working on newer works (the primulas) just to mix it up a bit.

Above is a colored pencil drawing (painting) of some yellow tulips. I made the photograph I used as reference last spring and knew when I transferred it to the computer that I wanted to draw it. So I printed out the photograph and eventually worked up a drawing in my sketchbook. I copied the outline of the flowers from it onto tracing paper and then transferred it to a piece of Stonehenge paper. That was about as far as I managed to get. The drawing was posted to the blog.

At some point in the following months I picked it up and started working the background and one of the tulips in colored pencil. Then it sat for another few months until a few weeks ago.

I decided at that point that I really needed to get this done so have been spending time on it over these past few weeks. I could only work on it during daylight hours, I need sunlight to get the colors even close to correct. Yesterday after several intense hours I finished it. Well it is as finished as it is going to get. I am not a fan of Hyper-realism even with colored pencil. The background on this is a bit grainy but I rather like the look

Now I need to check through my flower photographs to see if I have anything else that would be a good subject for colored pencil. These drawings (paintings) take hours of work laying in one color and over laying another to build up various colors and achieve the final look but I like to have one to work on when I am feeling in the mood.

Like most colored pencil works it isn't very large, only about 7 inches square.


From May 2011 until Oct. of 2012 I spent a lot of time walking and observing nature in various State Parks and MA Audubon Sanctuaries, making notes and photographs. After the walks I would use at least a couple of the photographs to make drawings of observed subjects in a Nature Journal. When I finished one book I started another but by October of 2012 I was running out of steam, not so much for the walking but for making the drawings. Winter of 2013 was snowy with not good walking conditions, and by the time spring arrived I had gotten out the habit. I did manage spring walks, but summer was just too hot and muggy so I stopped long walks while still photographing butterflies. I did manage one last visit in Sept. then the book falls silent. I hope to pick back up again this spring.

Anyway, even though I wasn't getting the drawings done in a timely fashion I was still making photographs and selecting ones I wanted to use for the journal. As part of my catch up effort I have been working in the journal, both to get the preliminary pencil drawings for visits finished but to also finish the pen and ink drawings.

So above is the finally finished Journal drawings for a visit to Danial Webster, MA Audubon Sanctuary in Marshfield, MA made October 27, 2012. A Great Blue Heron was standing on the support for the Wood Duck nest box, a late blooming buttercup and the tree stump in the panne that I use to note how high or low the water level is. Done with a dip pen and India Ink.


This page is from a visit made to Daniel Webster on November 5, 2012. There was a Red Bellied woodpecker feeding at the suet hanger in the bird feeder area. I don't usually try to photograph there but I only occasionally see these woodpeckers so couldn't pass on the opportunity. This is a male with the red front cap besides the rear hood. Other than the red on the heads these are black and white birds.

Also did the tree stump again, we had had a hurricane move through a few days prior (Sandy which did so much damage down in NYC) and the water level in the panne was quite high.



As a close a photograph from last week showing clouds, blue sky, birds in still empty tree branches, but also showing in the tree on the left signs of swelling buds. Spring will hopefully be showing more signs of arriving soon. I have to say that our predicted snow storm stayed mostly out to sea, I saw a few flakes but they didn't last much beyond the day. Wind was an entirely different matter, the storm brought very windy weather which has thankfully died down.

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