Thursday, November 12, 2015

Journal drawings, Shoes and Thumbnails


I actually had the above penciled in for a few days prior to adding ink. I used the .03 Copic Multiliner for this one. Lots and lots of fine lines, almost as good as stipple without the dots or the huge amount of time that stipple takes even on small drawings like this one. Done in my new Strathmore Multimedia Journal (5 x 8 inches) from a personal reference photograph.


A real still life was the reference for this, a bowl full of 3 lemons and 2 limes. I used Paynes Grey acrylic ink and a dip pen for all of the line work and added watercolor for the fruit and bowl. I was mostly trying to see how well the multimedia paper in the new Journal will take watercolor. Not bad, not as good as using the real thing, but not as tricky as using the thinner sketchbook paper. I tried to avoid outlining anything, though there are a few in the areas where there are dark shadows. Semi happy with the results. I really do need to do more watercolor work though.


I have a habit of photographing what I call "Found Objects". They are usually physical objects found out of place, often on a sidewalk, but as in the case of the sneakers some on grass. Over the years I have made a collection of shoe photographs as you can see in the above scan. All of these shoes were dropped, lost or left by their owners who were not around when I made the photos.

Last week I printed out all my shoe images on one sheet and started a group of of thumbnails to come up with a good layout. A funny thing, when I was taking classes a few years ago I got so sick of drawing shoes that I think I swore I would never draw another, oops, well they do make interesting subjects, and these probably have interesting stories to tell about how they got left.


Above are the six thumbnail drawings I did using my "found" shoes. I know thumbnails can be a pia to do and for many seem like a waste of time. But note the first drawing I did above, The four shoes are centered on sheet, not only centered design wise but all shoes are about the same relative size. Not a very inspired drawing. I don't know about you but such is my initial tendency when starting a drawing, my comfort zone so to speak. In the next drawings I tried different things working the shoes larger and smaller, pulling them toward the edges  I probably should have done more drawings, but some of these I actually did some erasing and redrawing on just to change things up.

One of the first things that happens if you spend any time in Collage level art classes (other than beginning drawing) is that you will find that instructors push you to create thumbnail drawings to play with various layouts. Since I have realized that my initial layout drawings are usually pretty trite I have to admit that I am trying to stop plunging into a major drawing without at least some thought if not spending the time to do the thumbnails. Once I start with colored pencil I am going to put significant time into this piece, so the overall design should be as good as I can make it up front.

I decided that the one I liked best was the middle drawing on the right side, but rotated so that the sneaker was on the bottom.


Above is my working drawing, still just pencil right now and I am trying to decide if I like it or not. I intend to ink outlines on this and then color it using colored pencil. The drawing is being done on Strathmore's new Colored Pencil paper and I am curious as to how well it will take colored pencil.

The sneaker ended up a bit smaller than the one in my thumbnail, and I am trying to decide if this smaller version works. Drawing is approx. 8 x 8 inches in size.


 Only one photograph today, as fall slips into winter there is less and less plant material and insects to photograph. Since we haven't yet had a hard freeze I do still see an occasional butterfly (a yellow sulfur or cabbage white) but I haven't actually photographed one for a while. Above is a milk weed pod letting loose its seeds. Love how the light lights up the seed heads. Photographed over the weekend in my local park.

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