Friday, 26 December 2008

Puppy in pastels - finished

A quiet boxing day has meant time for me to complete my first attempt in pastels, working from an online demonstration by Colin Bradley. I like the softness of the result though it wouldn't suit all subjects - I still prefer the precision of coloured pencils but I can still see that I will use pastels again for some pieces. The colours haven't come out that well in thus scan but good enough to get the idea. The finished picture is approx 11" x 8".

Thursday, 25 December 2008

Puppy in pastels

More on my first pastel attempt, it is progressing quite fast. I like the blendability of pastels but it does mean I have to be very careful where I put my hand! I would certainly get in a dreadful mess with pastel sticks, though they would be useful for backgrounds - I might get a few just for that. The demonstration I am following (by Colin Bradley) is very useful, I wouldn't have been as successful had I just been starting from scratch without any help. Not that the puppy is going to be perfect, far from it but not bad for my first attempt. Here is the update scan.

Wednesday, 24 December 2008

Playing with pastels

I have taken the plunge and begun a practice piece with my new pastel pencils; this picture is from an online demo by Colin Bradley. I'm liking the pastels so far, very different to coloured pencil and I won't use them all the time but nice for a change. This little dog is in the very early stages but I'm happy with how it's going, also I'm pleased that I did the initial line drawing freehand!

Sunday, 14 December 2008

Drakkar - finis!

A couple more hours today did it and I'm happy (well reasonably) with the final result. After erasing yet again I remembered the first exercise in my drawing book (yes, the one I'm meant to be working through) and turned both the reference photo and my drawing upside down, vbg. Ok, it isn't perfect but is better than I expected yesterday when I was almost ready to give up. Amazingly it helped quite a bit, at least I think so! Feedback is appreciated as always. It will probably be after Christmas before I get started on my next piece - if I can stay away from drawing that long - after so long not doing anything I'm now wanting to draw all the time! I'm just about to order some pastel pencils so it is just possible that I will be brave and post my first attempt, then again, maybe not. Here is Drakkar, as good as I can get him. Edit, after some feedback in my UKCPS group I have darkened the shadowy area under his chin, I think it is an improvement.

Saturday, 13 December 2008

A difficult kitten!

Today I erased, redid, erased, redid again - and I've still not got it right! I am really struggling to get the fur just above his nose correct. I'm almost tempted to leave it as it is but I think I will try just once more, then if it is still wrong it will just have to be one to put down to experience.

Friday, 12 December 2008

Here we are again

I sneaked in an hour or so this afternoon when I really should have been writing Xmas cards. It was such a dull afternoon that I drew under artificial light - never a good idea. I'm not happy with how this drawing is going, I have a feeling that when I look at it again tomorrow a large part of today's work will be erased and redone. Posting it always helps, I can be more objective when I see the picture on screen. I ask myself what would I think if it was someone elses work? Now I can already see there is a lot wrong but I will leave it for tonight - but expect changes tomorrow!

Wednesday, 10 December 2008

Drakkar's progress

There is not much to show since the last upload but I'm posting anyway! I don't want anyone that checks to think I've given up, lol. This scan is with black paper behind the drafting film instead of the pink, at least now you can see the beginnings of his pale fur and it will also be easier for me, being able to see where I'm drawing is always helpful! It is only the very beginnings - lots more time and work needed. With Christmas looming ever closer I may not get too much done over the next few days, lots of cards to write and present wrapping to be done. Today I did my last ever dog club Christmas party, I am giving up my class after 16 years. It will seem strange to have my Wednesdays free after so long but more time for art and photography, I hope. Time to cook dinner, so here is Drakkar.

Sunday, 7 December 2008

birman kitten update

A lot more work on my kitten today - his name is Drakkar and I must thank Alice again for letting me use her beautiful photo as a reference. Hopefully it will look like him when finished though as I've said before, I am a long way from being able to achieve photo realism! I have spent a long time on his eyes today and I think they are a vast improvement on yesterday's wip post. I worked on the reverse of the film as well as the front and have smoothed out the colour and deepened it, using both Prismacolors and Derwent Coloursoft pencils and lots of blending with a Lyra Splenda Blender. The initial colour that I used for the fur around his eyes didn't look right so that all had to be erased and redone - with Derwent Studio, Artist & Drawing pencils - so to date he is a real mixture of different pencils. His dear little nose was also done by working on the front and back of the film, it's one way of getting around the lack of layering that I can do on film, though hard to work out what colours to use where! I can see that the scan hasn't picked up the pale fur around his eyes very well but it is there! Maybe when there is a little contrast with adjoining fur it will show up more. Today's work has taken about three hours. Here he is - I think he's coming on quite well, hope you think so too!

Saturday, 6 December 2008

eye eye!

It has taken a while but today I found some time to make a proper start on my little birman kitten. He is soooo cute. I decided to work on the eyes first as I expected them to be difficult - as indeed they were - so I'm quite pleased with the result. I also experimented with using a masque pen for the whiskers & eyebrows. Not very successful as every time I brushed away pencil debris it caught on the lines of masking fluid and made a mess and if I brushed harder it took away the masking fluid as well! I will try again though and just be more careful of the direction I brush as I think it should be easier than putting in the whiskers first and having to work around them. The scan isn't brilliant, the eye colour is darker in reality, it may look better with black paper behind rather than the pink but I chose pink as the little kitten is resting on a pink cushion and there is a lot of relected pink in his white fur.