Tag: bokeh

Snack Time for Mrs. Giraffe

I have a habit of giving things, especially animals, honorifics. Mr. Frog. Mrs. Giraffe. Mr. Happy Pants. Mr. Grumpy Britches. Lady Dilly Dally.

Yesterday was the last of the colored pencil classes, and I signed up for more. I have totally enjoyed this class because we are not taught “how” but, instead, explore. Different techniques, tools, paper, colors, and so on. That is what has made this class particularly fun, besides the fact that the teacher is very nice, positive, and comfortable to be around.

This is a giraffe (obvious?) done on Pastelmat sanded paper by Clairfontaine. The surface has a bit of grit on it, but it is really, really fine grit. If you have used Uart 800 paper, this is finer. We drew our giraffes, then used Gamsol (odorless mineral spirits) to refine the giraffe by blurring the colored pencil and softening the edges. From there, a bokeh background with squiggles of color and more Gamsol. Finally, I decided to add some leaves and branches straight to the image, no Gamsol.

This image is a straight Epson V600 scan without color adjustment. Unlike Mr. Frog, this one is not layers and layers of colors, paint, and who knows what else. Fun and easy to do, and to scan.

Cherry Blossom Bokeh

Sometimes I have too much fun making up titles for my posts!

This is a colored pencil exercise I did, just because. I used the more highly textured side of a piece of Mi Teintes pastel paper, choosing a rather grey paper with threads of darker grey running through it. I drew the cherry blossoms on with a graphite pencil and then laid down a rather heavy layer of whites, greens and brown for the blossoms, leaves, and branch. From there, more colors, burnishing and blending. Finally, I scribbled in a turquoise background, followed by layers of blues and lighter colors as well.

Initially, I decided to use a tortillon to blend the background colors, attempting to emulate the bokeh one sees in photographs. Bokeh is a wonderful bit of photography at times, achieved either via the lens itself, or distance between the object in focus and the next object behind the primary one. To blur colored pencil requires a lot of pencil color and a bit of elbow grease. Not quite what you would get when blending pastels.

Never having done it, but interested in the effect, I took a small amount of odorless mineral spirits, a soft brush, and began to blend the colors in the background. Where there were heavier layers, the colors blurred and blended more readily. I waited for the mineral spirits to evaporate and then added more color. More blending, this time painting around the cherry blossoms and branch with the loosened pigment. More drying. Finally, a bit of blending – very little, with a very light touch – of the leaves and blossoms. To complete the drawing, sharp colored pencils were used to enhance the branches and yellow pollen in the center of the blossoms.

I decided to try bokeh in colored pencil as I think that is what my teacher said we will be doing in our class Thursday morning, as well as drawing on black paper. This was a fun exercise and like everything, doing equates learning and understanding. Let’s see what Thursday class will bring . . .