Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Woodland Peony - opened seed pod

I'm liking this Woodland Peony seed pod, so I've done another sketch. This time, the pod has burst open and spilled out most of the seeds. As before, I used pen and ink and colored pencil. It's shape is so distorted from the original star-like pod that it is hard to recognize. When I first saw it I was surprised. I think I assumed the pods would crack open and the seeds fall out quickly (especially since they look so plump and heavy.) Instead it sort of inverts and the seeds appear to ooze away slowly.

Saturday, December 20, 2008

Woodland Peony - seed pod

This is a sketch of a woodland peony seed pod. It has such an interesting-looking star shape and the pods are beginning to burst open with bright red and dark blue seeds. I used pen and ink (mostly for outlining) and colored pencil.

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Impatien flower - monochromatic watercolor study

This is an interesting little watercolor study of an impatien flower that I did for a botanical illustration course. It was our introduction to watercolor and we were learning how to do a variety of washes, get the feel of the brush(es), and learn lifting techniques for the leaf veins.

We were allowed to pick any color to work in, and I just loved this shade of blue. I think this was Windsor-Newton blue-green shade. Obviously, it doesn't reflect the actual color of the plant, but it turned out so beautifully. I really enjoy the purity of just using one color. Probably why I like pen and ink and graphite so much. :)

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Japanese Crane - Colored pencil

I was going through some old notebooks and found this rendering of a Japanese Crane (or Red-Crowned Crane) that I did in colored pencil several years ago. I drew it from a photo I took at the Amersfoort Zoo in the Netherlands. I remember originally not liking my rendering very much - I think I wasn't pleased with the gray pencil I used in the middle of the body since the bird is very white. But looking at it on it's own, not compared to the photo, it's not too bad! :) I thought it might be a fun thing to put up since I have been posting a lot of black and white lately.

Sunday, December 7, 2008

House portrait - pen and ink

This is a house portrait that I completed recently. It was a birthday gift for the owner. I love doing house portraits in addition to the pet portraits and other artwork. They have to be precise in the perspective and proportion, but they don't have to be dull. For example, all of the landscaping that is around this house softened up the look of the portrait and gave it a bit of liveliness. And getting the details just right really helps the portrait come together and become a unique piece of artwork for the owner.

Friday, December 5, 2008

Final graphite - long-haired dog

Well, I think I've finished the final graphite rendering of this lovely dog. I like how the shading turned out. I will still experiment with pen and ink to see if I can create a nice version that way. I think it may look better in graphite, though. We shall see...

Thursday, December 4, 2008

Still working on graphite - long-haired dog portrait

Another phase of the graphite drawing. This is definitely taking longer than usual, but I think some of the shaping is coming together. I will continue to work on this and then begin an ink version to see if that will translate. Hoping to use this as sort of a map to the pen work.

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Continued graphite drawing - long-haired dog

I decided to proceed with graphite in order to really get a handle on the fur, shading, etc. Once this is done, then I will have a clear idea of the pen strokes to use with pen and ink to do that version. I often find with my house portraits that I really have to have a solid pencil sketch, if not a more detailed pencil rendering, before I proceed with pen and ink. It helps to cut down on errors when I am inking. Certainly, with the longer fur here I want to make sure I have the shading and form mapped out before I go near any ink!

I think the shape of the face and the fluff of the fur is coming together nicely. As you can tell, I'm working very lightly with the graphite. Once I get the shaping and form in there more clearly, then I will continue to darken where needed and it will begin to pop more.

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Graphite or pen and ink? New dog portrait

I'm working on a new dog portrait. This one is of a beautiful, fluffy dog with long, white hair. I've done a rough sketch in graphite, but am unsure if the final will be in graphite or pen and ink. I am planning to do some work in both mediums to see what looks best. Because the dog is all white, I don't want to overwork it, either way. So, this will be an interesting challenge. I'm looking forward to seeing how it progresses.

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