Wednesday, 31 August 2011

Day 16

My final pear drawings and I hate to think what's been keeping them going for so long. My collection of papers from newspapers and magazines included a range of thicknesses and finishes from matt to shiny. I've enjoyed doing this and am pleased with the results, especially the right-hand pear where the gradations of colour are quite subtle.

Monday, 29 August 2011

Day 15

A delay in progress, the result of a very lovely long weekend with our son and his new wife.

Amazingly the pears linger on though the lushness of the last drawings has gone and now they're over-ripe like my drawings which seem to have lost some of the reflective quality built up through the routine of daily practise, though I'm sure it'll come again. Possibly it's the result of a certain staleness with the subject matter. Anyway, here are the felt tip pen scribbles, rather over-coloured and unsubtle. Interesting textured surfaces and a different angle for the smaller pear.

Monday, 22 August 2011

Day 14

Today I've experienced the highs and lows of drawing. compared with the oil pastel pear this is a dismal failure. It's been difficult with a more a limited choice of Stabilo colours to achieve the same richness. It may in part be the flat-looking background and maybe I need to work into this. There's a slight suggestion of depth in the Ligularia, but no more than that, and few of the lovely directional markings. This attempt serves only to show up the weak composition (the Modigliani Pear is still causing trouble). Oh dear.

I really enjoyed doing this and the result is pretty successful. My set of oil pastels (24 Rowney and Daler bought ages ago with 25% off) have a really good range enabling me to build the right colours. They also are perfect for making individual marks to show the roundness of the fruit. More work needed on the highlighted areas.

Sunday, 21 August 2011

Day 13

It's taken me quite a time to complete this task as I've been experimenting with watercolour and inks on the photocopied sheets. I've been happiest with Koh-i-Noor with which it's possible to create strong colour but also let it down on the page. I know that's possible with watercolour too and maybe it's down to mixing colours more accurately. I wanted to add strong coloured fine detail to the centre of the flowers but was unable to achieve that; the very quality of mixing the paint on the page, which I like about Koh-i-Noor, made any small marks disappear. As for the highlights, I found the video to be essential and even so it's taken some practice to achieve them. Thicker than 100gram photocopy paper would have been better for painting. Finally after advice from Sian, I intend buying a few more better quality brushes.

Wednesday, 17 August 2011

Day 12

I've selected, in addition to the everlasting pears, the stem of ligularia in bold gold with a brown centre and the beautiful variegated nasturtium in vivid oranges with gold and crimson markings (tomorrow's task will be a tall order).

I seem to be forever complaining about the way the colour reproduces -- both on the blog and when printed out -- even though I'm lucky enough to have good quality kit. There must be a reason -- must investigate. It's such a pity as the rich burnt orange is a wonderful colour deepened with purple Koh-i-Noor for the shadows, though you need to work with it quickly as it dries leaving patches in unhelpful places.

Tuesday, 16 August 2011

Day 11

I've used Koh-i-Noor and my Stabilo pencils as suggested mixing the layers with a wet brush. The pears seem to change colour before my eyes, the palest colour an over-ripe gold which I achieved with the addition of purple a clever hint on my colour wheel, though the blog lacks the subtlety I though I'd managed to achieve. I've enhanced this with seeding to suggest the freckling on the pear's skin, but maybe French knots, my first instinct, would have been better. The darkest shade is an almost crimson blush so hard to achieve and even when I set the pear alongside it looked unreal. I've used Cretan stitch in space-dyed thread, echoing the shadows cast by the flower stems.

Why, oh why these reds and golds. I used them on my first Summer School and again recently? They don't really reflect the colours to which I feel naturally drawn.

Here are my objects -- alongside the pears, a terracotta plant pot, a ligularia flower, three nasturtiums and some fennel laid on some dyed fabric from Module One. In the background a kelim cushion. All glow with colours reminiscent of Harvest Festival, though the plant pot is a bit disappointing, modern and the same tone throughout.

Sunday, 14 August 2011

Day 9

Another drawing challenge and one than nearly made me cross-eyed. The colouring in was great fun using Stabilo Woody, the shadows with Graphitint and the waterbrush mentioned by Sian which I picked up on our latest wedding trip to Derbyshire -- a super art shop in Matlock.

The crumpled check shirt I had to go over several times before the grey tones showed up sufficiently. The drawings hint at movement and finally after a week back at home my mind's settled enough to concentrate fully.

Wednesday, 10 August 2011

Day 8

Again the cockle shell. This drawing is a combination of paint on a dry brush with pencil for the horizontal lines. There's no doubt about it drawing really develops observational skills. I found myself scribbling lists of things like the quality of the edge, the ridges, highlights and shadows and most obvious of all the shell's fan-shape - a little store of inspirations for future projects.

I've been away for a number of days (yet another wedding) and found this task a real challenge. First the area around the pear stalk. Really the area only consists of a series of curved and straight lines of varying depth and distance apart. I chose 8B pencil as I did for the basket, which I drew under a strong light to emphasise the shadow. This was very frustrating and took several false starts. The shading again needs to be stronger and though I made the sketch bigger than the original hoping to make it easier, I don't feel I've managed to convey an impression of the curved main struts with the cross-pieces weaving over and under them. For the cockle shell I tried paint on a dry brush as Sian has done, but again the result has limitations.

Tuesday, 2 August 2011

Day 7

There's nothing like looking at a drawing on the blog - spake the convert - to give you a perspective on your work. I took this charcoal pear back for a second go to strengthen some of the shading and still feel I could do more. Following Sian's tip about using a strong light to show the undulations on the fruit I think the shading is more honest, though as ever there's work still to do. I realise, too late perhaps, that the lit side needs a much more delicate touch, the barest trace of a line. This "very quick" task is a slow burn with me.

I wasn't looking forward to the unforgiving nature of charcoal, especially as the only one in my cupboard was Size 4 -- whoever bought that? However it's produced a much more muscular drawing and quite surprised me though it does seem a little elongated.

Monday, 1 August 2011

Day 6

The pears are still looking good and I've tried drawing them together using artificial light, then this morning a single pear out in the sunshine. Judging by the scan I'm still not putting enough dark tones into my sketch. I also feel I need some guidance about where the shading goes -- there's an element of fabrication in what I'm doing making the sketch look less than realistic.