Been Drawing

tabletop of drawings

A long time has passed between this post and the one before it. Too much time to know how many things filled the time.  But I’ve been drawing.

Drawing is always the touchstone for everything else in my art. It’s where I find ideas. And it’s the most direct way of figuring the ideas out, or sorting them out.

duck hunting

duck drawing 1

I am hunting for ducks — duck motifs.  I love looking at ducks and sometimes, as the drawing above hints, they seem to love looking at me too.  So it’s reciprocal.

Every so often a duck mood strikes me and I’ve got to draw ducks.  Don’t know what it is about these guys that’s so mesmerizing.

duck drawing 2

seashell in pastel

seashell pastel updated aug 27 (3)

I made an earlier version of this motif using oil pastel (Neopastel by Caran d’Ache) but this one above uses traditional dry pastel.  It’s on a dark sanded paper.

What can I say, seashells are my favorite landscape subject with their beautiful rolling hills formed deep in the sea.

Lucy *best*dog*ever*

Lucy stage 3

I’ve been drawing the dog.  I’ve been drawing lots of stuff.  And I’m behind in my postings.  But I’ve been having so much fun.  Hope you’re doing the same.  The drawing above is one of what I hope will be a series of Lucy drawings.  My big painting has been on hold because of some household painting going on (painting the walls kind of painting rather than painting of pictures!).   I’ve learned to use the spaces between spaces. Hence when I cannot do one kind of art, I do another kind.

Here’s some details.

Lucy stage 3 detail

Lucy’s face is wonderful to draw.

Lucy stage 3 detail 4 (2)

What I love about a motif like this one is the opportunities it offers for putting all kinds of color patches into the surroundings — even surprising colors like bright red or pale blue in small portions where the patches can enliven the whole color sensibility.  There’s lots of chances to make little marks.

Lucy stage 3 detail 3

I work on the passages around the dog as much as I work on the dog — perhaps more so since there’s more not-dog here than dog.

The drawing is fairly largish — 24 x 18 inches drawn using Neopastel.  It’s got a bit of tweaking still to go, but I have been photographing it regularly since the photographs help me see it better as a whole.  Had to post it here because I’m so eager to share it!

 

 

the big sheet of paper

Where Fishes Swim in Clouds 42 x 51

Here’s the big drawing of kois swimming in a basin of blue Neocolor crayon.  It measures 42 x 51 inches and it’s on watercolor paper.  I mentioned in the previous post that I tested using acrylic varnish as a coating to seal the Neocolor, using a little test drawing.

Soon I have to apply that procedure to this drawing.  It’s going to be a bit of a nail biter.  Wish me luck!

crazy stuff

abstract vertical garden

Well, the embossing at the bottom gives you an idea how small this drawing is.  It’s a wild and wacky landscape, drawn quickly using Neocolors on stiff watercolor paper.  The materials are identical to what I used for a large koi drawing.  I made this drawing because I wanted to test rolling out a layer of acrylic varnish over it to seal the Neocolor.  I needed a fast trial picture.  A successful test means that I next apply the varnish to a large koi drawing, one that measures a whopping 42 x 51 inches.

It seems to have worked.

abstract vertical garden detail small

The varnish makes it harder to photograph (and I have suboptimal conditions as I write), but it seems to have created a sturdy acrylic coat and the dense pigment hasn’t prevented the acrylic from grabbing the surface.  I rubbed as much crayon as I could into the paper, leaving bits of impasto and texture deliberately so as to give the procedure a proper test.

Now I have my work cut out for me, to apply the same varnish to a humongous sheet of paper.  I’ll post that drawing next.

seashell as landscape

seashell study for 18 x 24 ptg

The craggy, complex surfaces of the seashell are so mesmerizing and beautiful.  It’s like a landscape of beautiful mountains.  I never tire of drawing the seashells, studying their intricate forms.  Master artists the little fellows who build these shell homes.

I decided to turn one of the seashell, ginger jar and honey pot drawings into a painting.  And the first elements of the painting are blocked in.

seashell ginger jar and honey pot painting start

But I have been unsure about aspects of the seashell, and since any excuse will do, I made the drawing at the top of the post as a study.  It’s on Canson pastel paper, 16 x 12 inches and is drawn using Neopastels.

The drawing that forms the basis for the new painting is this one:

ginger jar honey jar and seashell

But I’ve also started drawing another version on the same size sheet (24 x 18 inches) in which the objects slightly smaller.

seashell ginger jar and honey pot 2nd drawing further work

I work on the second version sometimes late at night.  It gradually comes along.  But though I felt this desire to do the second version, I knew I still wanted the objects to follow the size of the first drawing.  So there are many versions.  There’s also the drawing inside my brain, the one that is the neurological composite of the variations!

seashell ginger jar and honey pot 3 pictures together

Many versions.

Another earlier version —

seashell ginger jar honey pot sennelier finished (4)

The pictures multiply ….

first stages of version number three

seashell ginger jar and honey pot new version in progress 2

I am working on a third version of the seashell, ginger jar and honey pot picture.  This one’s on 24 x 18 inch Strathmore pastel paper.  I have been striving to get the relationships of the objects more accurate in this version.  The objects are also slightly smaller than they are in the first version I made of this same size.

I think I like the larger objects better, and it’s probably the version I’ll use when I do the painting.  But the relationships in this one are more careful.  And it’s still in the works, of course ….

It’s hard for me to break out of a motif.  I fall in love with the objects.  Like Miles, I fall in love too easily ….

History of the motif below:

Version one: 24 x 18 Neopastel on Strathmore Pastel paper; version two: 16 x 12 Sennelier on Arches Oil paper.

into the small passages with color ideas

two oranges (2)

Drawing two oranges on the still life table this morning using oil pastel, looking for color changes and for ideas about how to complicate the passage of the Big Painting that has the two oranges in the foreground.

I had it on my “to do” list to make a study and I think I’ll make some more.  I am just looking at color passages, exaggerating some of them, thinking about my pal Bonnard.