Sunday, September 23, 2018

Sketching from Photos Provided by Mickey Phelps

There is a Facebook group I follow called Legacy Nature Trails.  It is located on the other side of Leesburg and this group is made up of those folks who live in the gated community called Legacy.  Within this area are ponds and a nature trail the residents love to walk and take photos of the flora and fauna they encounter.

Often I see photos shared that I absolutely love and I'll write the person asking permission to sketch from their photos.  One such person is Mickey Phelps.  Yesterday he shared a group of photos taken of these ducks I've never seen before.

With kind permission, here are two of my sketches of Black Bellied Whistling Ducks.  I've never seen them before and found them quite intriguing.

After I shared these with Mr. Phelps, he sent me another photo of one of their resident Bald Eagles.  A beautiful shot of this magnificent bird in flight.

This one was way more complicated due to all the detail in the wing.  My mind has trouble with a lot of detail because I want to include it all......having trouble seeing past all the detail for general shapes.  Being the case, this next one I thought best to use the grid method.  Even with that I found myself getting lost with wing detail and what went in which one inch  BUT, I stuck with it taking four hours to complete.

Using grid and 6B for line work and "color" 

Adding a background on separate layer should I decide to print off just the eagle to glue in one of my journal books and print of my digital work I keep in an Itoya presentation book.

The process:

Working with Hands

One of my dearest friends mentioned hating to draw hands and it got me to thinking about the fact I tend to hesitate in wanting to draw them too.  Not as much as she does and that's only because I've practiced in the past and not as intimidated by them.  Thought it was time to practice some more with various hand poses.

I first sketched these on the Ipad......

Then I decided to make a little pamphlet using newsprint paper and will dedicate it to 24 pages (front and back with more hands).  May also do this for feet which I've not had much practice with.

I'm using the Wolff's Carbon pencil B grade.

Thursday, September 20, 2018

Gift - Set of Wolff's Carbon Pencils

This week we had a sketch outing and one of the gals gifted me with a set of carbon pencils - B, 2B, 4B, and 6B

I've been playing with them and find I really like the wash ability they provide as they are water soluble although I don't recall seeing any reference to that.  I always test so that no surprises if wanting to take watercolor to my pencil sketches.

Initial findings as I compare each grade of pencil.........they all can go very dark in value to include the B.  What makes each different (at least to me at this point) is that it takes less pressure to obtain those darker values the softer the grade.

The darker, of course, smears more easily and I'm one who doesn't think to lay a piece of paper down or tissue to keep my hand/fingers from hitting areas already drawn and making smudge marks.  Example of that is evident below.

The bottom of the above example was my taking the 6B pencil and scribbling a dark block on a piece of cardboard.  Then took a damp to wet brush mixing that block and then to paper.

This next example is using the 6B and working a line sketch first and taking damp brush to create the wash on paper.  Some areas were still damp when I penciled back over and other areas had already dried providing a nice textured look.

When posting in a Facebook group I'm in, someone asked if the carbon still smudged after taking water to of course I had to give that a test run as well.  Here are my results:

Exploring that further, I wanted to see how it would work taking water to the carbon and then applying watercolor over it.  Although colors are muted due to the under lying wash tones, they still remained what I would consider clean.  Best area to show that is the yellow flower on the hat. 

For this example I only used the B pencil.  I worked the line drawing to include some hatching and then took the wet brush "painting" with water.  I allowed it to completely dry.  Then without fiddling, I brushed over with watercolor. 

Not sure I'd want to use the softer grades but I may later test that out as well.  I normally don't like going too dark with pencil lines anyway if I'm going to ink and/or add color.  And even with regular graphite I have found I need to take care on how dark because even graphite can dirty colors like yellow when applied.

All examples were worked on Bee Aquabee Super Deluxe paper.

Monday, September 17, 2018

This Past Week's Sketches

Although I've been trying to sketch every day, I was also glued to the TV watching weather news on Florence since I have family in the areas that were hit.  Talk about a long weekend and I wasn't even the one going through what all those folks faced and still facing with all the flood waters. 

Sketch to the left was worked in the Fabriano Venezia sketchbook.  One on the right is using Procreate using a bit of imagination.  Source is from a photo my middle son took when at Universal April 2017.

This one is from a figurine our neighbor gifted us last week.

Using a photo a member in one of my Facebook groups shared with me, I worked this next one using a Kuretake Brush Pen.  I find using brush pens very awkward.

Because I hadn't used the pen, it was dried up and I had to take it apart and clean it.......first soaking the brush end in warm water and then flushing.  It took me near 40 minutes to finally get the dried up ink to "give" and start flowing with the water flush.  I never did get a clear stream of water through the brush end though.  Maybe I should have just let the tip soak for a day or so before attempting the pen cleaning.

This next is where I'm impatiently waiting for some cooler weather.  I miss four seasons living in Florida and definitely miss seeing snow once in awhile.  I'm not one who really likes the hot weather......although I do love and appreciate the sun shine nearly year round.  

This was worked last night......bringing out my autumn favorite figurines/shelf sitters.

September Challenge Between Friends

For September, the challenge between my friend in the UK and I is working with darks only.   To make it even more of a challenge, we were to do so with hatching rather than solid areas.

To practice, I first worked with solid inking with the buildings.  I found working these took even longer than if I were to just sketch what I saw lights and darks alike.

For the actual challenge, I chose to work this portrait.  To help with placement of facial features, I also used the grid method so this was a dual challenge.  And in hatching, I decided I wanted to use a single directional stroke.  I had no idea if it would work out or not but I'm actually pleased with the results.

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