Today was just too nice of a day to stay home, so I headed out to the local botanical garden, cameras in hand, pen, and paper. Bulbs are up and beginning to blossom; the ones in the shade are getting there – more for later visits! Birds, butterflies, bees, cool breezes.
Since I have been playing around with the exercises in Alphonso Dunn’s fine book today, I decided to continue the adventure and draw some daffodils with pen and ink, but follow through using watercolor pencil.
I laid down the major lines in pencil, and followed through with a fine pointed Namiki pen with waterproof ink.
Next, direct application of Faber-Castell’s Albrecht Durer watercolor pencils.
And finally, using a water brush, I wet the colors, taking time to use a light touch. A few lines of extra ink, and it was done. Below is a gallery if you wish to cruise through the sequence from pen, pencil, and water.
Ink drawing with watercolor pencil
Ink drawing with wetted watercolor pencil
Another flower from my ramblings in the botanical garden last weekend. I may go back tomorrow.
The Bush Anemone – carpenteria californica – is a rather pretty little flower. Not gaudy, just soft, subtle, and short-bloomed. I penciled this in first, then used a brush to dab paint off of the tips of my Albrecht Durer watercolor pencils to see how that worked. Not bad for a small touch here and there! I then used a light touch with a very fine pointed pen.
Today I have a lot to do, so I thought the best way to start the day would be to do another watercolor pencil drawing. As I have little to no experience using them, the only way to learn is to use them. I am making a pencil sketch in a sketch book, and then filling in layers of color before beginning to wet the colors laid down. The idea is to replicate glazing to a degree. When I reach a point I like, then I wet a brush, and move from light to dark, maybe moving the brush in a given direction, or not. Then, more colors, more wetting, and so on. Below is the final result.
I am not sure that by themselves watercolor pencils are capable of strong contrast. It seems lines – ink lines – may be helpful. Or, the pencils themselves can be used in conjunction with other water media, such as watercolors or acrylics or gouache.
Here is the series I scanned in as I moved along. Click on the pencil drawing to start the series, beginning to end.
I decided to do a quick watercolor pencil sketch before I got ready for work.
First the shape, then the laying down of colors. The point of this was to be quick! I just chose colors I thought would work – about 5 or 6 pencils.
Final result. I used a small round, and worked the lightest areas and moved into darker. Where I needed more contrast or detail, I used the pencil in the watery areas.
Total time: about 20 minutes from beginning to end. Below is each step.
Layered watercolor pencils