Sunday, March 22, 2009

Two Cats in colored pencil - finished at last!

I have finally finished the portrait of the two cats. Whew! It was a long process, but I am very pleased with the result. The final image is about 8.5" high X 15" wide, so I had to scan each cat in separately and combine them in Photoshop to get them all in one image here.

I added some shading in blue underneath each cat to give them some grounding within the drawing. I chose blue because it contrasts nicely with the orange color of the cats, and in one of the photos I worked from, the cat was sitting on a blue blanket.

Comments are welcome!

Second cat - colored pencil progress

The second cat is coming along. I've done additional layering, further defining the dark stripes, which help to give shape to the body. I've layered the orange on top of that so my next step will be to continue to fill in shade/form with some of the more muted colors to tone down the orange. Getting closer to the finish!

Saturday, March 21, 2009

Cats - colored pencil - second cat

I am continuing my work on the cats portrait. I've tweaked the first cat enough that I think it is mostly finished. I've switched my focus to the second cat at the moment. Starting to fill in the markings and initial layers of color.

Friday, March 20, 2009

Happy 1st Day of Spring!

It's officially springtime! You wouldn't know it here in Michigan as it was only near 20 degrees this morning. But the sun was shining brightly all day long and that made up for it.

I did a quick sketch, with pen and ink and some colored pencil, of a tiny, yellow crocus from my front yard. We have a nice little patch of them next to the driveway. Lovely harbingers of spring!

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Cats - colored pencil - first cat nearly done

I did a good bit of layering last night and was able to get the first cat's fur color toned down and deepened. I also added a darker gray around the white areas to bring those out and add some shading. I still have some tweaking to do, but I really like where this is so far.

For the second cat, I started with the beginning layer of color, so I'm looking forward to getting that to a more finished point. In the end, I will need to add some color underneath both cats so they don't look like they are floating on air. :)

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Cats - progress!

Slowly, but surely, I am making progress on the cat portrait. I've done a lot of work on the first cat and it is coming together well, I think. I will have to tone down the orange a bit, but that can be accomplished with additional layering of a medium ochre. Then, I'll get to do it all over again with cat #2! :)

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Cats - colored pencil continued

The colored pencil is progressing. I'm starting to fill in the fur and markings. I will continue to do the layering, using 4-5 different colors to reflect the shading in the fur. This will hopefully give some depth and form to each cat, making them look more lively on the page.

Monday, March 16, 2009

Cats - 2nd try! Colored pencil...

I haven't posted an update on my colored pencil cats portrait for awhile...I had made good progress, but then realized some of the proportions were off and I messed up the markings on the face. Big no-no if I want the owner of the cats to enjoy the artwork!

So, I decided to redraw the base drawing, fixing my proportions and markings. Lesson for all - one I have learned before, but apparently forgotten - make sure your original, base drawing is 100% correct before you begin with color or paint! If it isn't, it will never look quite right, no matter how nicely you render your colored pencil strokes or watercolor washes.

I finally came up with a base drawing that I feel is accurate (as compared to the photos, which is what I am working from...) What you see below is where I have begun to replace my base, graphite drawing with colored pencil (using light gray to mark in the outlines of various areas.) I did render the eyes first and was happy with the way that turned out, so I proceeded with the fur, beginning to add color to the first colored pencil layer.

Stay tuned for further updates!
P.S. My scanner isn't large enough to capture the whole drawing in one scan, so I will just post pieces of it for now to demonstrate my progress.

Friday, March 13, 2009

Digging through old sketchbooks - travel sketches

I was digging through some old sketchbooks and found a couple of travel sketches that I thought would be fun to post. Nothing fancy, but they definitely take me back to exactly when and where I drew them. It's something I would like to do more of - keeping a sketch journal either when I travel or just here at home.

This first one is from a trip to France that we took - we were in the city of Caen for a few days and I could see, from our hotel room, this beautiful window on the building next door.

The one below is a view from Fisherman's Wharf in Monterey, California. I tagged along with my husband who was attending a conference there, so I had some leisurely time to just sit and draw, people watch, etc. It was even more fun when people would stop by to chat and see what I was doing! Great way to pass some time.

Sunday, March 8, 2009

Rainy day tree branches sketch

Here is a little sketch I did this morning. It was a very rainy day, and I rather liked the big tree outside, with bare branches intertwining at all angles. Sort of reminded me of the noodle doodles I used to do in school in the margins of my notebooks. I only sat there for about 15 or 20 minutes, but it was a fun, meditative exercise to just start looking closely at the branches, seeing where a section went, what shape it took, etc. I hope to do more quick sketches like this one, just observing the nature around me.

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Hoping for spring! Daffodils

In the spirit of anticipating spring, I wanted to post this sketch I did last April. I can't wait for my tulips and daffodils out front to start blooming this year. I hope to do a lot more sketches like this to capture the variety of shapes and colors that we have in our little flower bed.

For this drawing, I especially like trying to render the papery, brownish-gray membrane that covers the bud. The colored pencil on the stem seems a bit dull to me, but I think it was a combination of the paper I used and layering it on top of graphite. I think I'd like to play around with pen and ink and colored pencil like I did with the seed pods I posted a few months ago.

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