71.1 Old Shack

I went out to lunch, so that is why interrupted the first part of this post.  And, there were a lot of pictures to look at.  Now, back from lunch, and awake from a 2-hour nap, here I am.

The next step was to put in the grasses on the lower and the left of the picture, and the trees in the background.  Shape and contrast were the goal.  The grasses, again, were straight lines with a bit of curve.  In the background, I used 3 different colored pencils, and drew small, tight circles to convey the thick foliage of the trees in the distance; this was repeated in front of the shack.  Longitudinal lines were used to create the direction of the fields.

Once the grasses, field, and foliage were put in, I used water.  Short straight strokes for the grass were done vertically, some blending into other grasses, too.  The trees in the distance on the left and right were next, being careful to work around the straight lines of the building.  The sloping fields to the left and right were worked with short brush strokes, to keep the colors isolated in some areas, and blended in another.  If you look on the right, you will see the fields are yellow, blends of yellow and browns, and finally, below the trees, varying shades of green.  Lastly, I worked the grasses in the foreground, top to bottom left to right.

 

Next?  The sky!

71. Old Shack

Pictures made with only watercolor pencils seem insipid to me.  The contrast is not strong enough to be interesting to my eye.

So, I decided to set out to make this a lie!  But, I started out by acknowledging that I would be using whatever means it took – pen, ink, watercolor paint, white pigment – to make the contrast I desire.

What I like about watercolor pencils is the fact you can draw with them, and they create lovely textures.  Working in conjunction with other media, I hope to create a picture I like.  I am using a 60-pencil set of Faber-Castell Albrecht Durer pencils.

I put down a pencil drawing, and then sketched in basic colors, and then wet them to blend.

The next step was a bit of a gamble – putting down darker values and colors as texture.  Some colors were overlaid with one another, such as the blue shadows on the shack.  This is what it looks like before the water is added to blend the colors.

When wetting the picture, I decided to do two things.  First, work light to dark – that is, wet the lighter areas and then the darker.  The second was to follow the direction of the pencil lines.  Between colors I tried to be sure to rinse off my brush, and to blot as necessary to keep the paper from getting too wet.  I am also trying my best to preserve my white areas.

Next, establishing the pattern of the grasses in the foreground.  Here, I worked in the light colors to the lower right side, where there are white areas.  I drew the lines in the direction of the grasses, including white pencil to lighten the overall colors of the yellows used.  The lines are seen below, followed by the application of the water.  I laid the lines of the grasses down with some pressure, the idea to make them more distinctive and for the color not to dissolve into a blur.

Here, as before, I used water in the lightest areas and then in the darker areas, following the pencil strokes.  The lighter areas I did horizontally, and the darker areas more vertically.

To be continued!

 

 

 

53. Watercolor Pencil Studies

Even though I am trying to be a good patient and wear my splints all the time, it just isn’t possible.  I am still limping around, too, so I am not doing much hiking as my knee still hurts from the fall.  Rather, I am on the patio in the warm afternoon sun, away from those dangerous dogs!  I had a few pictures, a bit of imagination, and some watercolor pencils.  I decided to try them out in some rather different ways to learn how to better use them.

Above is a Black Phoebe.  They live in the trees around here.  Their feathers are darker om the head, and their faces are not quite so fat.  I tried to get in line detail and then used a fine  brush.  Darkest blacks were from an ink brush.

Next, just a simple Japanese maple leaf, no lines, only pencil and water.  I laid it on pretty thick, but it is still paler than what I would like to see.

Finally, Queen Anne’s Lace.  Here I wanted to draw into negative space, so what better subject than white flowers?  I used ink, and for the paler flowers in the background, I dipped my brush in water and took color off the pencil tips before painting onto the paper.

24.3 Village Windows (I’m Done!)

This is the third layer of Village Windows, and the last.  It couldn’t go much further from here.  The big surprise came when I added water to the sky.  Soooooo much purple!

And after that, I added more color pencil and more water, and finally more iron gall ink with my dip pen.  I kept to my two things – the ink, the layers of pencils.  I added colors as I went, just exploring.  I felt that it was a good thing to do as this is really the first picture I have ever done with watercolor pencils.  I have the Faber-Castell Albrecht Durer ones, with 60 colors.

Dimension is not something I am really good at – perspective.  Things get cattywumpus.  In fact, per my eye doctor, I have no depth perception at all, and may have never had it in the normal sense that most people have.  Even when I was 18 I was told that.  Good?  Bad?  I manage – I don’t wander around banging off the wall!

And here is the final picture.  Parts work, parts don’t.  Watercolor pencils are really interesting, just as is the iron gall ink.  As an experiment in a new media altogether, I rather enjoyed the experience.  I did learn a bit in the process, which was the point – how and what to do with watercolor pencils?  I couldn’t write a dissertation on it.  I can tell you it was a lot of fun, and I know I will revisit them in the future.

24.1 and 24.2 Village Windows

Here is yesterday’s first layer of watercolor pencil, now “watercolored”.  I tried to follow the lines of the pencil.

Here is the second layer of watercolor pencil, with a little bit more detail.  The sky was done with about 4 or 5 colors, layered down with a blue, some white, some grey.  The roofs are an orange and a brown and a black.

As you can see, I also colored in the windows and am trying to add texture to the tiled roofs.  Some green, too, for the foliage in front.  After this, I then added water.  Once more, I followed the lines, such in the roofs.  The space on the lower right is a bit of a problem.  I think it needs something, but have no idea at this point.  Maybe a cafe awning so we can a shot of espresso?

As I have never used watercolor pencils for any complete picture, my cunningly brilliant plan is to simply layer color, then use water.  As you can see, there is some bleeding.  Most interesting to me is the sky – in the center the little bleeds are rather interesting.  In the windows, I also did some lifting of color with a dry brush to lighten the glass, as a reflection or to enhance a shadow.  The iron gall ink is beginning to blur into the colors.

I have no idea how many layers I will end up with, but I am going to try to do glazes / layers to represent shadow and form.  No idea how successful this will be!

24.1. Village Windows

Well, I don’t live in an interesting old village, but I think I could quite happily.  Suburbia just doesn’t make it when it comes to interesting lines, stones, and such.  Macadam and stucco and neatly cropped lawns are my daily world, so I always have to run off someplace else!  Not that suburbia doesn’t have its good points, like modern plumbing and electricity, but it’s not that visually exciting.

Okay, so I got our my Faber-Castell watercolor pencils.  I have a tin of 60 that I have been meaning to try on a serious level.  So, here is the first layer.  I used iron gall ink on a dip pen for the lines, and then just a quick scribble of pencils to lay down the basic colors.  Next, I will wet the pencils and let it dry.  Then, off to work. Bye!