Saturday, March 19, 2016

Graphite Drawings and some Pen Exercises

I think I have too many projects in the works at one time. LOL, the 3 main drawings for this update are from a challenge that I have taken up from the WetCanvas Drawing forum. Draw something every day from life with pencil for 30 days. So far I am managing, mostly by doing relatively simple drawings.

Why you may wonder am I doing this, well for my 6 x 6 inch ink and colored pencil works I decided I wanted to do a squirrel, I have a great reference photo and I have drawn squirrels before, some better than others so I thought this would be relatively easy, wrong, I have struggled with this drawing, which is finally I think good enough to ink. But my struggles just made me aware that I haven't been drawing enough, drawing from observation is a skill that needs to be maintained and to maintain it I have to draw so... a daily challenge is a good thing.

For day one, three whole green beans. I like having fresh green beans with my dinner so it wasn't hard to select 3 to save to draw. In my smaller sketch book with a couple of pencils, 2H and 2B, I believe.

These are seed pods that I brought home from a visit to Boston. The tree grows on the Northeastern University campus and isn't a native tree, but right now I can't recall what species it is. Again in my sketchbook with 2H, and I think the B or HB leads.

Another dried seed pod, this one from a Milk Weed plant that I picked last fall and brought home, my sketchbook again, with 2H and I think the HB and B pencils.

I don't spend very long on any of these drawings, somewhere between 15 minutes and a half hour, I think. How long I spend isn't relevant, the point is to make a drawing as accurately as I can from observation, not just shape but shading and shadows to make the drawing come alive.

And now for something completely different. These are  3 exercises that I drew in pen as part of my reading and study of Bert Dodson's book Keys to Drawing with Imagination. This very simple starting exercise called for drawing a line that meandered around ending with a closed shape and then filling the resulting shape with various fills. I have done so much of this type of work that I only drew 3 samples. I am currently working on exercise #2 and finding that one a bit trickier to do so will do the full number, 6 to 12. Starting in the upper left, a, to the right is b and the bottom is c. As you can see they got more complex as I relaxed into the project.

The purpose of this study is to see if I can pull myself a bit more away from realistic drawing so stay tuned, Right now that is something that I am not very comfortable doing so I am not sure how long this experiment will last.

I realized after I posted the colored pencil version of this Iris to the blog that I never posted the just the inked version, so here it is. Pretty simplistic after the ducklings, but just as I like the colored pencil version I also like this plain inked version.

We had rain showers on St. Patrick's day, and the rain showers brought a rainbow. The sun was starting to set so the photo looks pinker than I recall it seeming (you just don't know what a camera will pick up color wise) I didn't go looking for the gold at the end of the rainbow, but it was fun to see. The maple tree in the photo is starting to bud. Wish it luck as we are supposed to get some snow in the next couple of days.

That is it for today, hopefully for my next update I will have the inked squirrel to show off, in the meantime comments are welcome.

Saturday, March 5, 2016

An Iris and some Pen and Ink

Well it has been a bit longer since my last post than I intended, but colored pencil work just can't be rushed and to be honest I just wasn't spending the amount time on it that I should have. Anyway it is done.

Above is my latest of the 6 x 6 inch images done with colored pencil and pen and ink outlines. The pen and ink version of this I posted a few weeks ago. Done basically the same way the other two pieces were done, under layers of Derwent wax colored pencils (various lines) and top layers of Polychromos oil colored pencils.

I have to say that the colors in the scanned image aren't quite right, my scanner doesn't pick up color intensity well so I have made some adjustments in Photoshop, the end result is the orange is a bit too bright, but the blues are about right so I left it as close enough.

I used a reference photograph that I had made the summer of 2014, though the background is somewhat from my imagination. Still I am rather pleased with how this one came out. Blue flowers can be a challenge when it comes to getting the right color on paper.

In my past couple of visits to Dick Blicks large Boston store I have been picking up some additional watercolor tubes. Wanting to play a bit with my new colors and practice laying down a wash I took a square sheet (6 x 6 inches) of cold press paper and went at it. The colors used were M. Graham Turquoise and Daniel Smith Quinacridone Gold.  After the washes had dried I added the ink work with a dip pen and Sepia Acrylic ink. The image is one of the reference photos for February in the WetCanvas Pen and Ink forum. I took some liberties with the reference as the original photo wasn't square.

Not sure how I feel about this, it was more or less an experiment. I do know that I need to work on my watercolor wash techniques a lot more, but even so it was sort of fun to do. I did do a preliminary pencil sketch, but I didn't spend much time on either the sketch or the ink work, and I think it shows.

I also drew and inked another of my 6 x 6 coloring book type images on Stonehenge paper. A couple of Lilies based on a reference photograph I made the summer of 2014. The colors in this one are going to be fun, the Lilies are sort of orange while the background flowers were pink, and I intend to keep the color combination.

I have another photograph selected for my next drawing, just have to get my act together and get it drawn. Can you tell I am having fun with these. So far I am quite pleased with how they are coming out. The smallish size means that they don't take me too long to finish even though Colored Pencil isn't fast.

I am hoping that winter is almost over, though in New England you really can't consider winter over until April, March can be a tricky month. Anyway the signs are in place that Spring is coming sooner or later.

Above are a couple of Skunk Cabbage flowers, and yes those strange shapes are flowers, in fact our earliest spring wild flower. I found these last week by the side of a stream near Houghton's Pond in the Blue Hill Reservation. As Spring progresses the plants will put forth their large bright green leaves, making the soggy ground around some streams a carpet of bright green.

The tree in the above photo is a Sugar Maple and the attached buckets are to collect Maple sap that will be boiled down to make Maple Syrup or Maple Sugar. This tree is at Moose Hill, MA Audubon Sanctuary in Sharon, MA. I visited there last Sunday for a walk. The sap will be collected (as long as it remains sweet) and then processed at the center for the entertainment of visitors.

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