Sunday, August 28, 2011

Venetian Merlin

Hello all. I am happy to say that I have FINALLY finished a drawing that I have been working on for a little more than 6 weeks . Though there were problems along the way, I am pretty happy with the final result. I will be entering this in several contests, so keep your fingers crossed for me.

For those of you who may be interested, I am also going to post a bit about my process, to give you a bit of an idea of how I approach my pieces.

First, came the idea (obviously). After drawing it all out I realized that I didn't really like it, so I did a quick sketch that was much more to my liking. Next I did a mostly complete drawing. I wasn't happy with the hands, but I figured that I would just work that out at a later date, (BIG mistake, but more on that later) and finally a color rough done in Painter.

Next, I transferred the image to Rives BFK paper with an opaque projector (I wish I had owned this projector while I was in school. Instead I transferred 20x23 drawings with a 9x12 light box!!), toned the paper and sprayed with fixative.

Next came a "wash" of pastel (NuPastels rubbed on, then rubbed into the paper with a paper towel). I knew trying to do the detail work in pastel without losing it was going to be trouble, so I laid it in with colored pencil. This took about 2 hours total. As soon as I laid in the heavy duty pastels (Rembrandts and the ultra buttery Senneliers), the colored pencil was covered, never to be seen again. Of course.
Undaunted, I continued on, and discovered that the detail work on the mask survived the pastel lay in which was done with a combination of Nupastels and Conte Pastel pencils.. 

From there, I continued laying in color working mostly top to bottom and back to front.Everything was running pretty smoothly... until I came to the hands. As soon as I laid them in, I knew I was going to have to change them. From that point, I didn't touch this piece for 3 solid weeks. I just couldn't deal with the work I knew was going to go into removing all of that pastel, redrawing the hands (which is no easy feat on rives paper that already has several layers of pastel in the tooth), and then laying in the color all over again.

Finally, this past weekend, I plucked up my courage, and went back to it. Mercifully, it wasn't as bad as I thought it would be. Things progressed pretty quickly, and now I think it is ready for submission. Keep your fingers crossed!!

Friday, August 12, 2011

New Technique

After spending yesterday being thoroughly miserable about my art career (or lack there-of), I awoke this morning with a strong desire to draw. I also was inspired by an amazing artist ( to try a new technique. This is watercolor pencil on Rives BFK paper. I use this paper all the time for my pastel work, but never realized you could put water on it without seriously damaging it.
Basically, I drew a few little drawings, laid down some watercolor pencil, then lifted the color as necessary. I did this several times until I was satisfied. I also added pastels wherever I needed stronger color. This technique took about 25 minutes.  I did a pastel version of the clown for comparisons sake. It took about 10 minutes.

I had more control with the watercolor pencils and that was greatly appreciated. I also can work much smaller than when I do pastels. Currently, most of my pieces exceed 18x24, and take up a lot of space when stored away.. So being able to do something smaller makes me a very happy girl!
Overall, I really like this technique and will continue to work with it until I feel I have a real grasp on it before I try a full illustration. As always, any and all comments are welcomed.