Saturday, 29 November 2008

Birman kitten line drawing

Not much to show for this week, every day I have been stopped by more pressing things from getting on with a new picture. Today, despite an awful dull day I have just managed to get the line drawing of a birman kitten on to the drafting film. One of my Flickr contacts has kindly given me permission to use her beautiful photos as a reference, thanks Alice.
This picture will be a close up of the kitten's face. I've worked out how to get the line drawing on the reverse of the drafting film so it's the right way when I turn it over. This means it will be much easier to erase the lines as I go along and is one of the good things about drafting film! Looking at it on screen, I can already see that the whiskers need repositioning.

Thursday, 20 November 2008

Christmas Robin

A success story this is not! I was reasonably happy until I started the background and then things started to go wrong. My plan was to use a Derwent studio pencil and smooth out the colour with a tissue - it is a technique I've use before with good results but this time it wasn't working. I resorted to using a watercolour pencil and blending the colour with damp cotton wool, scary getting the drawing damp! At least it has rescued it from going in the bin.

Tuesday, 18 November 2008

Back to my robin

As some of you will remember, back in January I began a drawing of a robin, which I've dug out, dusted off and restarted work on. I actually got on quite well yesterday afternoon and the robin is complete. However I'm now going to attempt to add a tree stump from a different reference photo and a soft background. I hope it works and that I don't ruin the whole thing, I want this for one of my Christmas cards this year and I also hope to put it in my cp group's Christmas theme. If you want to see the other works in progress for this piece look in January.

Friday, 14 November 2008

Honey - finished take two!

After some feedback in the UKCPS group I've made some minor adjustments, I think she looks better now.

Thursday, 13 November 2008

Honey ~ finished!

Yes, she's finished. The fur on her neck isn't right but it's as good as I can get it. I'm still not sure why I have so much trouble with it and what it is I do wrong. If anyone who reads my blog has any suggestions I'm happy to hear them - I need all the help I can get!
Next I shall try and finish the little robin I started back in January, maybe in time to print off a few Christmas cards. After that, maybe something a little different; I'm thinking of trying pastel pencils. Just a possible at the moment - I will have to buy some - but I've seen some demos recently that are quite inspiring and I'm quite keen to have a go.

Tuesday, 11 November 2008

Honey's progress

I had hoped that I would be posting my completed picture today but as you can see that hasn't happened. Not too much progress in fact which is a shame, the light today was perfect but I had to catch up with paid work - I have to do something to pay for all my art materials! I'm comingto the bit I like least, the soft and fluffy looking fur down her neck. I always have difficulty making it look realistic; more so than anywhere else - at least I think so. I am going to try and do my pencil strokes really carefully, studying the way the fur curls and the darkness of the shadows. Fingers crossed that it will at least be a little better than previous pictures!

Sunday, 9 November 2008

Foxy lady

Another update on Honey, I did an hour or so on her this morning. Then as you can see I revamped my blog, I hope you like the new colour scheme. I had planned to draw again this afternoon but that idea came to nothing! I had a deadline to meet for getting my response to our National Park Authority's plan for the beautiful New Forest that I live on the edge of. As their plan includes restricting dog walkers, amongst many other undesirable things it was important that I laid my art aside for a few hours! Enough of that and back to Honey. I feel she is really beginning to take shape and even though I can see there are areas I should have done differently I am quite pleased. The colour on the lower half of her face is much more realistic but I can't remember exactly which colours I used - I really must write these things down in a little black book, vbg. So here is Honey - stage four.

Saturday, 8 November 2008

More on Honey

A beautiful bright November morning gave me a couple of hours to do some more work on Honey. The sun streams through the windows in the morning so it's pleasant to sit and draw. Here's the latest scan, I'm still struggling with her fur!

Thursday, 6 November 2008

Slow progress

I have spent quite a bit of time on Honey today, without much progress. First I made slight adjustment to the fur to the right of her left ear (as you look at her). I knew from Tuesday's scan that it wasn't right, it's funny how scanning it and looking at the picture on the pc can show up the mistakes that I can't see when it's right in front of me. I really struggled with her eye, I started off with much too pale a colour, then of course because it's drafting film I couldn't get the layers to darken it. But I persevered and used the blending pencil and the result is just about ok. I'm still having problems with the fur colours and the fur direction, when I look closely at my reference pic I can see there are so many different colours and the hairs are changing direction here there and everywhere! - I need to be much more patient and precise to get it right - not something I'm good at, bg. Having said all that, I'm still fairly happy with my little vixen - here is stage two.

Tuesday, 4 November 2008

Foxy beginnings

Today I had a couple of free hours without a hovering husband, lol - that makes it sound as though he wanders around in mid air - but I'm sure you know what I mean. So I have begun my next cp project, one of the delightful foxes from the British Wildlife Centre - I think this one is Honey, the vixen. This piece is another on drafting film and once again I'm finding the colours very difficult to get right but other than that it's going quite well - though there's plenty of time for that to change! Here she is so far.

Monday, 3 November 2008

A polar bear in graphite

Another 'upside down' effort - this one copied from a coloured pencil book I have by Lee Hammond. I quite like how he's turned out, bearing in mind it only took about 30 -40 minutes to complete. I really want to get on with my fox in cp but the light has been dreadful the past couple of days so he will just have to wait.

Sunday, 2 November 2008

More upside down drawing

I have been practicing some more of the 'upside down' technique. These drawings aren't from the book but the author does encourage students to do extra pieces. I'm finding it so fascinating I shall try and do one a day until I feel really ready to move on to the next chapter. Obviously these drawings are again copies of someone elses work and by no means perfect, however I'm still astounded by the results and the difference that is made by doing the drawing upside down.