Friday, January 18, 2013

Wise ~ And A Study In Colored Pencils

Can you tell by the disarray of my drafting table that I decided to do a little impromptu study in colored pencil?  ;)   Last night, I sat down to contemplate my next study in graphite, which must begin by popping a movie into my DVD player. Somehow, I messed up the loading of "The Pagemaster" (Just felt like I needed a little artist rendered imagination in my life. :) ), and it took me through the making of the film.  The hand illustrated animation captivated me, and the process of colorization was as always... inspiring.   

It was then that I began to look through my colored pencil technique books and pulled out "Colored Pencils" by Morrell Wise.  This particular book seemed to be colored pencil drawing in its most broken down form.  Plus, a fellow artist had recommended this book to me a year ago for the blending lessons.  Without delay, I dug out my Prismacolors pencils and began sharpening.

**Note** Please do not think ill thoughts of me, but you can see by the photo below that my next step was to pull apart the book.  It is so much easier to see the pages flat on a surface.  I do this with all of the art books that I study drawing techniques from.  The pages of the book will get three hole punched, and the book will get placed in its own individual binder.  On the thrifty side, damaged books can be saved and bought cheaply with this in mind. :) 

 Charcoal paper was chosen for the support... extremely toothy.  My inner need to have perfect lines and control kicked in and stopped all progress. It almost made me put the color adventure on hold.  Then, I thought of how smooth Bristol had such an astounding effect on my graphite technique, so I decided to move on to a smoother surface.   

**Note**   While looking back at this unfinished piece this morning, I am drawn to the loose pastel feel.  It definitely deserves to be revisited and finished. 

The colored pencil technique works from defining the depths of the shadows and working out to the highlights.  This greatly appeals to me, since I have always seen my subjects as being made up of shadows.  So... I pushed on.  Grabbing a scratch piece of transfer paper, I started again.   It was a little iffy for a while, until I began to blend the red of the cherries.  I could feel myself being drawn into the process.  Then, I worked on the stems.  The final highlight was Cream, and the second the color grabbed onto the Apple Green-- I was hooked.  At that moment of blending, it became evident to me why colored pencil is referenced to as painting.  The process is amazingly similar and reminds me of painting with colored wax.  

"Colored Pencils" by Morrell Wise is proving to be a great jumping off point on my exploration of colored pencils.  I am anxious to experiment on a few more surfaces and will be enlarging the subject to get better control of the thick waxy pencil points.  (Graphite has me trained on such a thin lead.)  The book also contains the "how to" of rendering an apple, strawberry, and a bunch of grapes in a similar step-by-step process.  Wise's book was published in 1985; so, as far as I know, it is no longer being produced and that is a great shame.  Lucky for us, places like Amazon and EBay can be a great help in purchasing a copy. :)

Monday, January 7, 2013

Baby Otter Finished

While finishing up this drawing, I remembered why I fell in love with the photo of this little guy so much.  Not only is he small and fuzzy, but he is in the process of being hand fed.  It represents humans interacting with nature in one fine moment.  Is there anything better than lending a helping hand to someone in need? 

My pencils were put away about an hour ago, and the photograph below represents the finish to a much neglected drawing...  There may still be some final touches over the next few days, but he is complete enough to be introduced to my blogging friends. ;)

I decided to start the 2013 year with this finish, instead of my usual New Year's post.  (That post will have its turn next.)  I believe that this little guy has waited long enough!  ;)    

Happy New Year! :)