Thursday, July 21, 2011

The postcard exchange - memories of winter, first snow, mixed media

First Snow, mixed media on card

This was my postcard done for the postcard exchange this month.

It started life as a demo to students of oil paint used with a palette (painting) knife on card. 

(My tutors at uni were insistent that painting knives had cranked handles and palette knives, for mixing paint, not painting with, were straight but habit makes us all just say 'palette knife' I think, even if not strictly correct?)

It languished unfinished until I found it and decided to finish it in coloured pencil - it's about 6/6.5 inches wide as far as I remember - it was posted a while back.

Oil paint, used on paper or card, takes oil based coloured pencil brilliantly.  (Polychromos, Lyra pencils)

It was done from memories of the first snow fall, which came very early last year.

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

work in progress: still life in coloured pencil stage 2

Still life, stage 2, moleskine folio sketchbook - playing with patterns and composition

I've worked a bit more on this one but there is still more to be resolved.   It's done in a mix of the Lyra pencils that I won and the Polychromos that I had.  There is a lot of layering of different colours to get subtle transitions happening.

details:



and potential crops for the finished piece:


I like the squarer format of the second crop.  What do you think?

Now time for decisions, what to change, what to lose entirely, what to darken, where to draw back into it with my Jakar eraser to regain light lines,  whether to erase the area outside the crop lines and leave an edge showing if I decided to put it in a mat  .......  push, pull, edit and change :>)

Photographing it in dull natural light has made the colours much truer and shows the rosiness of the coppry/rosy leaves and vase better than in the stage one photos.

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Work in progress: still life abstracted

Work in progress

This one is a development in a series I was working on - the original arrangement was very traditional, set up by a friend.   The colours appealed to me but not the arrangement, so I decided to play with the shapes and invent some patterns.

The colours are terribly difficult to show as the coppery rose colours don't come out well - the vase and some of the leaf patterns are a really coppery rose colour and not as brown as they appear here.  There is also a lot more variation in the blues as they slide from greeny to puplish.  The coppery/rosy colours play beautifully against the turquoises and blues but it isn't picked up well by the camera :>(

I moved objects around, played with pattern - leaf patterns on vases or material blurring into real leaves, the difference between reality and pattern blurred.

It's one I can work on in quiet moments in the evening, when the TV isn't exactly absorbing.  It's in an A4 moleskine, which means I can draw back into the coloured pencil easily with an electric eraser, creating pale lines back into colours.

As I have no idea of the final version, it's a matter of pushing/pulling the lights and darks and colours as I go, balancing, bringing out, making colours sing against each other - until I can't push it any more.

'Some, a little and a lot'  - basic thoughts on colours in a painting by I-forget-who - so a lot of blue, a little of the coppery rose and  some yellow is what I have going on and am balancing.

There isn't a huge contrast in tone at the moment and to an extent won't be in the finished work - I think - and so I have to decide where to push darks, where to have edges lost even more, where to echo a tiny flash more yellow, where to crop the final piece ..........

The original objects were blues but earlier I'd played with complementary colours as well  see here:


Click on the image above to see another in the series that plays with complementary colours - the original vase was a vivid turquoise.

Click here to see other still life stuff and more in this series of experiments - I'm doing a show with friends based around still life and wanted to take my own angle on the subject.

Saturday, July 09, 2011

First snow, inktense blocks, update


First Snow, finished and cropped
I decided to add a few more marks, a little white gouache to add more direction to the snow and  to create a rising moon.   Then I cropped it.

One of the advantages of the inktense is that no colour at all lifted to contaminate the white of the gouache.

 I miss the ability to crop when I work on canvas.

Better?   That's it anyway.  

Friday, July 08, 2011

First Snow: Inktense blocks

First Snow - detail

I've had a play with inktense blocks on A3 watercolour paper, working loosely from a previous sketch in coloured pencil in a sketchbook.

First Snow, A3, inktense





detail


detail


I really enjoyed drawing with them then swishing water over, leaving some of the lines to show through washes, then work on in glazes of colour, some dry marks left dry, some splattering, drawing on wet paper as well as dry.   So many potential marks :>)

I had some of the holders but ended up working too fast to use them - so have multicoloured hands :>)


A friend tells me she uses them on material in quilts and fixes them with a Delta medium - I need to look this medium up :>)   her quilts are gorgeous and well worth looking up

Thursday, July 07, 2011

people in a waiting room: sketches of people from life

Sketches in a waiting room

The elderly Sikh gentleman was fated never to be finished - first my brush pen ran out of ink, then they moved him before I finished the carbon pencil sketch.   He remains wheel-less in his wheelchair.




 All in a little 6 x4 inch sketchbook.  Smaller than I like, but unobtrusive in this situation.

The top right hand sketch is the only one I was anything like pleased with.

Monday, July 04, 2011

cat scratching, coloured pencil sketch

Sketch to test out those Rembrandt pencils, done on A4 paper

A fairly quick sketch done from a photograph of the resident tiger.   I wanted to test out those Rembrandt pencils in a scribbly sketch of fur.

The fluidity of cats - the way their bodies change shape from sleek and long legged to a plump little cushion of fur is fascinating - not to mention the intent face, closed eye and foreward curling whiskers of a good scratch :>)