After my attempts at a portrait of a person, the realization was that my shading skills are not really good. Also, my Pencil Portraits class recommences on 2/17, so I thought it might be a worthwhile endeavor to work with a pencil, and work on value with the pencil. This certainly will benefit any studies I do in the Pencil Portraits class, and perhaps get it into my thick skull to think a lot more about gradation and value than I do! (Magpie Brain loves bright colors.)
I am very fond of the books by Alphonso Dunn on ink drawing. His work is phenomenal, and I have learned a lot through his exercises. Given this, I decided to apply some of his studies to pencil work rather than ink. All of these exercises come from his Pen and Ink Drawing Workbook.
Above, is the first one I attempted. If you look closely, you can see the page numbers in the sketches (enlarge the images by clicking on them). These studies were outlines with a choice of light direction. You have to use your imagination!
Shapes and shadows – reflected light, cast shadows, highlights. Simple forms and then a rather pathetic toucan.
I particularly enjoyed employing the pen-into-pencil of these drawings in Mr. Dunn’s book. His are obviously rendered in black and white, with shades of grey determined by pen strokes. Here, I took his studies and applied pencil – graphite – to them. They include a cabbage (I know, it looks like a brain), mushroom, hammer, and bow tie. Each has a different set of textures. I started to visualize where the light source was, and that really helped me start thinking more about what I was doing.
For all of these, I used a 2B pencil and a sketchbook, along with referring to Penn and Ink Drawing Workbook examples.
Today, an ink study of orange slices on a bit of peel.
I am / was trying to do a bit of watercolor painting every day, but I find that such commitments, while good, can be stifling. Drawing is integral to painting, and it is a pleasure to do in and of itself.
I’ve been working on the exercises in Alphonso Dunn’s Book Pen & Ink Drawing Workbook, so an ink drawing after exercises seems like a good thing to do! I know I certainly enjoy drawing after the practice. It’s also relaxing and, I find, a good way to loosen up for a painting session.
In addition to using Dunn’s book, I am also working through Tom Hoffmann’s Watercolor Painting: A Comprehensive Approach to Mastering the Medium. Right now I am working on simplifying forms and determining the 5 shades of grey – the lights and the darks – in pictures. I am not very good at that, so combining his exercises along with ink drawing, I think it may sink in. Then, let’s see if it can be applied to paint.
Thus, a dose of vitamin C for painting health!
Painting flowers well is a lot more difficult than it seems. Part of it is just getting the colors correct, and the shadows. A sense of depth and shape is not quickly achieved for me at present – I am still trying to get that. Still, doing a quick morning watercolor before work is a good exercise as I think about various things. This daffodil is from this morning – I spent about 20 minutes on it from beginning to end before getting ready for work.
Tonight, I plan to do another daffodil, preparing for it by making a value study in pencil. This morning’s painting, and yesterday’s, were done directly onto the paper, preceded by a pencil sketch on the paper. Let’s see if a value sketch proves to lead to a more successful sense of contrast and depth.