10 February 2015

Three-object painting

I scrounged around the house looking at stuff and eventually came up with these three objects--an English teapot, a tea strainer my mom gave me, and a jar of marmalade. I drew it with a sepia-colored Tombow (water-soluble) marker, per Brenda's instructions, and then watercolored.

You really do lose the line (and also run the risk of muddiness) with the water-soluble pen, but you can also fudge or complete eliminate lines you don't like with a bit of water, which is nice. When I put in the shadow below the teapot, the top half of the letter "T" went away, and I had to wait until things dried and go back in with the Tombow to redraw it. I didn't put in the "Bonne Maman" until after everything was dry.

I had fun with this, both drawing it and painting it. I used a new brush, though, that is super-flexible--more so than I'm used to, and I think I'll go back to my stiffer brushes. Capturing the feel of tarnished silver for the tea strainer was challenging, and it was surprisingly the addition of a fairly bright yellow that gave it the feel of silver. Something about the light and the reflections.

Here's a photo of the "models" and the picture I made from them. The tea strainer is a little big in scale. And uh-oh, now you can see that it wasn't really marmalade, it was Apricot Preserves! Oh well…

08 February 2015

Continuous line

This week's teacher for Sketchbook Skool is Brenda Swenson, with whom I have studied before, so I'm revisiting territory I have covered in the past; but it's always good to go back and get a refresher on techniques, and I love her work, so it's a pleasure. This week's assignments are to do continuous-line drawings in pen--one object, two objects, and three. The three-object one is supposed to be done in a water-soluble pen and then painted, and I haven't gotten to that yet, but here are a few contour drawings:

I had an empty soda bottle sitting on the desk, but the shape wasn't very challenging, so I went for some shadows and reflections and lettering to make it more interesting.

Then I did this candlestick, which was a much more complex object. I badly misjudged the scale and wound up running out of room at the bottom, so it's foreshortened and truncated. Also, all that trim meant multiple line crossings, and I'm not fond of that. I'll try this one again sometime, just for the challenge.

And for my two-object picture, a French press coffee pot and a mug. This one was a good lesson in running your eyes over the objects before committing to running your pen over them, so to speak. When doing continuous-line contour, it's really easy to draw  yourself into a corner and realize--there's no way to get there from here, without lifting the point of my pen! Which you are not allowed to do. So a bit of the coffee pot ended up missing! Sometimes the suggestion is enough, though...

More later.


We were supposed to do seven selfies this week for Sketchbook Skool. I already posted one below (with earmuffs); here are two more. Not sure I'll make it to seven, the next week's lesson has already started!

Did this one in the mirror--it's a little round ceramic-framed one I hung by the door to check myself before I leave in the morning. We were supposed to do one with a strong light source, with the face divided into light and shadow. It's hard to draw yourself in the mirror, because you get that pursed-up, concentrating look on your face and it's not very attractive! Also, somehow the horizon line of the eyes got out of whack. Oh well, fun and colorful if not accurate. Micron pen #5 and watercolor.

Took a photo in the mirror to get the back of my head, and then did this as a continuous-line contour drawing. I did the entire braid, top to bottom, in one continuous line, except for two lines that I went back and added later, because the head looked too narrow. Then I put in the neck and sweater with three more strokes. Micron pen #5.