Thursday, February 20, 2014

Double Dare Challenge

One of the subjects I tend to struggle with are mass groupings of flowers.  When I see a bouquet of flowers, I feel overwhelmed with the tangle of leaves and flowers.  It's really quite challenging for my eyes and brain to focus on one spot at a time.

In one of my groups, I posted this picture as a possible challenge using medium of choice for anyone interested and also as a call for help asking how others might approach it.  Several jumped on the challenge.

Of course I still sat back very skeptic I could get past the visual chaos until last night.

In another thread there was a discussion about folks using pencil guidelines before pen and ink.  I'm one of those folks.  Although I have worked several pen and ink quick sketches with no pencil guidelines, I still feel that hesitation jumping right in with ink.  Even to the point my hand can become shaky making it difficult to sketch.  I know it's just a mental thing and something I need to work on.

A few of us admitted we use pencil first and a lady dared us to try a serious sketch with pen and ink only.   Then she double-dared us :-)

Here I had the challenge of the sunflowers still to do and now the double dare on using only pen and ink for a serious sketch.  So I thought OK............I'll take care of both challenges at the same time.  And to add to the challenge (not intentionally), I chose a journal with paper that is not the easiest to work.  You can't linger with nib on paper as the paper is like a sponge and soaks the ink right in.  But for the subject, I wanted to use the brown paper that's in this journal.

Am I a glutten for punishment?  Yeah......I must be!!!!

I started this sketch like around 9 pm last last night beginning with the upper middle flower.  Next came the one opening up next to the one I just worked.  And if it weren't challenging enough, I just had to try and visually change things from how they were in the photo for better composition. It was slow going but so far so good.

Next I worked the the bottom right flower and there I got stuck.  I hit a brick wall not knowing what to do next or where.  I felt lost and confused..........truthfully ready to give up.  But determination kicked in and I moved on.................good or bad with my decision, I added a few of those little flowers at bottom mid area.

The left flower came next and then I had to figure out how to fill in all the rest.

I had to keep putting it down and studying what was there already.  I had to try and visualize how this or that might look before taking pen to paper.

I used two pens............the Platinum Carbon pen with Lexington Gray ink and my dry feeding Pilot Prera with the same ink.  I was able to get light values with the Prera.

Finally I worked through and finished the page and I looked up to see it was 5 am in the morning.  :-)

Here are the results and I'm honestly blown away that I actually did this and I actually like it and feel great I succeeded in the double whammy challenge.  Am I ready to take on another similar challenge like this???  NO WAY!!!!  Not anytime soon, that is ;-)


Karla said...

Beautiful drawing of the flowers, love the paper! Thanks for sharing!

lee kline said...

Lovely solution to your challenge.

Debbie Nolan said...

Susan - I am blown away with this pen and ink of your flowers...just gorgeous. You are so talented. Thanks for sharing.

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