Saturday, June 21, 2014

A Portrait, a Watercolor and Stipple Update


A fairly quick graphite drawing of a young girl wearing a hat from a photo reference posted to the WetCanvas Photo Library. Isn't she cute. I think it took me as long to get the hat the right size as it did to draw everything else. It started way to small to fit not only her head but anyone human. Thankfully I realized it and was able to correct it.

Next time I need to draw a hat on someone I will try to remember to draw the whole head first then add the hat over it. If I had done that the drawing would have been finished much faster.

Drawn in one of my sketchbooks with mostly a B lead.


Managed to get out to one of the parks this week with my newly finished watercolor sketchbook. There was a pair of mallards sitting in the grass, I started with the female then added the male. Unfortunately they moved before I finished painting the male and I decided to not try to do much more with him. He is starting his summer molt, so while his head is still green some brown feathers are starting to replace the white ones on his belly besides the some of the grey ones on his back. Mallard males in eclipse (brown feathers) can't fly so they need to find a home where they can find food and will be safe from predators.

The next challenge was to paint the background. Not sure how successfully I managed that. Ah well no one has said that painting outdoors is easy. Just have to keep at it. I did add a few pen lines to the finished dry painting to help define the male ducks bill, and the texture of the tree trunks.

I have always known but am still rediscovering that painting tree trunks that don't look like a total mess is hard, esp. when the tree is fairly close. Still haven't quite figured out how to handle them, but I think these aren't quite as bad as my previous attempts.


The above is a stem with some leaves and flowers of a Saint Johns Wort plant. This is another of those medicinal plants that early European settlers brought with them to the new world. It escaped from those early gardens and now can be found growing wild in meadows and waste areas. It is toxic to grazing animals so needs to be kept out of pastures. It is still used in herbal medicine.

Since traditionally the herb would be picked for celebrations around this time of year I thought it an appropriate image for today's Solstice.

My drawing was done first with pencil then inked with some brown ink and finally I added some colored pencil. The plants can be very bushy which I haven't totally managed to convey, but otherwise I am fairly pleased with this.


An update on how my stipple piece is coming along. Mainly more work in the upper right hand corner though I also started more work in other areas.


The reddish seed pods above are growing on a Redbud tree. Since it is still early days with these pods they are still quite flat with only hints of the seeds that will be developing inside. I find it interesting that the seed pods on the white blooming Redbud trees are just green with no hit of red.

I just like this photograph with hints of green against a blue sky.

That it is for today per usual comments are welcome.