Watercolour experiments

Today I wanted to test some exercises suggested by “The magic of drawing”, and I’m quite happy of the result:

 

The process was free, the shapes came out from a first random brush stroke, that suggested the subject of the small painting; a linear stroke invited more linear strokes to represent tall grass or slender trees, while curved strokes reminded me of oak trees, like the green one.

My first steps of watercolour are about learning to control the brush, so they are not anything close to reality; nevertheless, I had much fun just practising these basics.They reminded me the free canvas use by children, who are additionally learning to control their hand. It was for me a happy jump in the past, in the times where I could draw and paint without thinking about the time or the use of paper.

I hope this encourages you to try too: you only need paper (any kind is OK for the start, it only has to be a bit thick, otherwise it bends with water) and a watercolour set! Hint: shopping for these supplies is a feast on its own 🙂

Drawing updates: coloring book and animal sketching

Today I dedicated some time to drawing. First, as a relaxing activity, I picked a set of brightly-coloured pencils and started filling this drawing of a dragon:

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The book is called Mein zauberhaftes Muster-Malbuch (my magic colouring book of patterns), but I am equally inclined to recommend any book with subjects of your liking!

Then I wanted to do some animal drawings, after having seen this video of one of John Muir Law’s lessons (it’s 1h30 long but totally worth seeing until the end!):

I was chatting with friends about alpine ibex and Wikimedia offered me a very cute picture of a Spanish ibex kid:

Capra pyrenaica victoriae, juvenile -- 2013 -- Laguna Grande, Sierra de Gredos, España.jpg
By J.Ligero & I.BarriosOwn work, CC BY-SA 3.0, Link

… that I sketched, trying to understand a bit of his inner structure (of the legs, essentially):

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I plan to make further drawings of this little one, the fur texture is very interesting. I’ll keep you posted 🙂

Drawing with felt pens

Last week I entered the stationery with the intention to buy a folder. I ended up buying two A4 folders, an A5 folder and 7 STABILO Pen 68 felt pens of unusual colors. Here are the first two sketches with the blue/green pens:

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Source: my Flickr
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Source: my Flickr

I like the vivid colours, and the flexibility of the pen tip. It makes it behave a bit like a round brush. The paper I have drawn on is too raw, so it’s easy to make darker spots unintentionally. I’ll try on a smoother paper and let you know! Anyway I am already happy with these first sketches.

Drawing streak – eleventh week

Here is the result of one more drawing week:

Day 71 I was feeling tired, but overall good, so I opted for a relaxed, somewhat tired sun.

Day 73 I used watercolours to paint a Protoceratops skull. I still have to learn how to apply more layers of watercolour without diluting the underlying layers, but first, I have to learn to let them dry completely 🙂

Day 74 was hatching day and I drew a horse, with the direction of hatches following muscles and overall body shapes. The right part of the drawing is not so accurate, but  I lost patience at some point.

Day 75 I scribbled with a ballpoint pen, using my coat as subject. The result is not so impressive still.

Day 76 is a simple horse coloured with felt pens. To make it a bit challenging I tried an unusual perspective, and I am quite happy for it!

Day 77 is a sole fish. We ate a lot of fish that day, including very delicate and tasty soles.

Merry Christmas to you all!

Landscape and color pencils

landscapes with color pencils
Landscapes with color pencils

Yesterday we went to a large natural area near Berlin, Grünewald. I brought paper and pencils and made a few experiments with color pencils. The first subject I drew is the shrub in the middle, and I realised I didn’t observe it quite well before starting, so most proportions are wrong. Moreover I didn’t decide how much detail to draw, and the colors are not so right, but yes, it was my starting point 🙂

Then I tried to draw the whole landscape. There was a line of needle trees in the background, then broadleaf trees of various species (therefore shapes and colors) and a dry grassland, up to where I was sitting. I think that the third drawing, the one on the left, gives an impression of distance. I suppose that the colors are too bright (the needle trees were much darker but not black) and that the texture is uncertain, but I will keep experimenting 🙂

I hope I have given inspiration to start (again) with color pencils, and am open to suggestions to good books and links about coloring techniques!

More exercises

In past few days I drew a bit, using pencils, pens and markers. I am quite unexperienced with tools other than the classic graphite pencil, so the results are not exactly art 🙂 Have fun!

The lion head is drawn with a small graphite pencil (a bit too small to be held in my hand), and I lost patience quickly, so I just drafted shapes and shadows. I should have taken more time to examine the lion before drawing.

The second drawing is a copy of the photography of Fan Ho, a famous Chinese photograph. “Sun Rays, 1959” impressed me for the balance of shades and lines, and the three people who blend perfectly with the abstract composition made by the staircase. (I didn’t finish my drawing, but I plan to.)

The third drawing contains dinosaurs reading very small books. The idea came to me from the many labels “Keine Werbung” (no advertisement, in German) that I see on postboxes. Adding one letter it becomes “Kleine Werbung”, small advertisement. A T-Rex is the right recipient of small ads, that fit its small arms perfectly 🙂

First exercise with colour pencils

Yesterday I was looking for a recipe in a cookbook about fish, and my drawer’s eye went to some of the many good pictures that show various fish species, and of course the prepared dishes. One seemed quite easy to be reproduced with colour pencils, and so I picked up my very heterogenous set of pencils (some from my childhood!) and started drawing.

I was once more surprised at how slowly, but surely, the whole shape of the fish emerged from the small colour patches I kept filling, one next to the other. The mental process is definitely twofold: first, I observe the full image or live subject, decide which part I will draw, then I start drawing the first shape (of medium size: from that one, all the proportions of the drawing are set) and by a sort of triangulation method, I get all the neighbouring shapes and colours one after the other.

In the case of this colour drawing, I first made a small palette on a corner of the paper, to select the few pencils I needed for the drawing (not in the picture).

Fish with color pencils