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Artwork Post – Long Overdue

I’m so sorry, guys.  I didn’t mean to wait this long!  Initially, I had very little artwork to post; then I got busy; then I got sick.  But when sick, I always get the urge to draw (putting the down time to good use, I guess), so behold an avalanche of artwork!

A couple of weeks ago, I picked up a colored pencil tutorial book at Hobby Lobby and studied it thoroughly.  One technique looked interesting: laying down the values of the drawing with a black (or brown) pencil before adding color.  So I gave it a try…

The black-and-white values as the first layer…

…and here’s the finished product!  I like this technique!  Though it’s not the only one in the book; I’ll try some of the others later.

Another pencil drawing with the same technique (called “grisaille”), except this time, I used a black pencil to draw the values of the trees and a brown pencil for the values everywhere else, since the rest of the picture wasn’t supposed to be as dark.

The book also explained how to get rid of that white-ish waxy buildup that happens after several layers of color: rub the picture, lightest parts first, with a cloth or paper towel until the colors are uniformly smooth.  It’s one way to get rid of the sketchy pencil look that I complained about in my New Year’s artwork post.

Sloppy doodle of Charles Darnay on computer paper, done while listening to A Tale of Two Cities musical soundtrack.

Sketch of James Barbour as Sydney Carton, done while watching A Tale of Two Cities concert (and simultaneously dying inside of feels).

Slightly crooked drawing of Lennox, my character from Empty Clockwork, laughing at something.  He’s a generally cheerful fellow.  🙂

Drawing that I intended to be Mary, from my western story, but it didn’t turn out quite the way I wanted.  So it’s just a random girl putting her hair up.

It’s a head canon of mine that Susan Pevensie reads her mother’s old Good Housekeeping magazines, so here Susan is, curled up and studying household economy.  Also, I drew that pose entirely from my head with no reference!

Although I chickened out at drawing feet and so covered them with the blanket.  🙂

Once the children grew up in Narnia, Lewis describes Susan as “a tall and gracious woman”, so here she is, welcoming visiting dignitaries or ambassadors, or people like that (and hey, at least I tried to draw hands!).  I don’t see Susan being a flashy dresser or weighed down with elegance and jewelry; she’s sensible and practical, and would probably favor a sensible and practical style, though also one that befits her rank.  The place she would splurge with ornaments, however, would be her hair; you have all that gorgeous hair, and you’re going to want to do something special with it.

The Pevensies and Caspian discover fanfiction of their stories.  From left to right: Caspian, Edmund (standing), Peter, Susan (also standing), and Lucy.  Behold also my awesome back-of-the-computer-screen drawing skills (haha), though I am inordinately proud of that mouse and mouse pad, for some reason.

Drawing may or may not have been inspired from a real life pet peeve.  🙂

That’s all for now!

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Weekly Artwork Round-Up

No point in calling it Artwork Wednesday, because this post is (a) not featured on Wednesday, and (b) ridiculously late.

One art problem I’ve faced recently is how to deal with reference photos. Printing every photo I want to draw from uses a lot of paper and ink. Sketching with my laptop precariously balanced on my knees is not only bad for the laptop and my arms and legs, but eraser crumbs get between the computer keys. So…why don’t I just rest the laptop on a table? Because I hate, hate, hate people seeing the reference photo on the screen or seeing my drawing when I’m first sketching. It’s not so bad if the drawing looks like a human with clothes on, but before I get the sketch to that stage…

Anyway, I have  five pictures to show this week!

First up is Sanchia, a character from my semi-western story with a working title of Gentle Fire.  I picture Sanchia so vividly that it was great to capture that on paper more or less easily!  Also notice that the wool skeins drape over her wrists so that I don’t have to bother drawing hands like yarn skeins do in real life.  Especially since she’s paused her work to listen to someone talk.

This is the cabin that Durant and his family live when they first move to the western colonies.  The table is just slabs of wood set on sawn logs, and there are no proper shelves, cupboards, or even beds yet.  But it’s their own house on their own property, and that’s enough for them once they survive the journey.

Nonetheless, Wilson promised to build proper shelves and beds as soon as possible.

I drew this with charcoal–and there’s a funny story to go along with it.  Ever since I began drawing, Dad tried to get me interested in charcoal drawing, because we had a kit and tutorial series somewhere in our detached office.  I was too busy learning to use pencils, however, to turn my attention to charcoal.  Fast forward a couple of years to when I bought an art set only for the little art mannequin to use for drawing poses.  But charcoal pencils were included in the set–and out of random curiosity, I used them to draw this.  And–

I. Love. Charcoal.

I promptly informed Dad about this and thanked him for mentioning that medium and the art set out in the office.  And for the record, my parents are right 99% of the time.  🙂

My brother Chris suggested I draw concept art for my story to get an idea of the atmosphere and aesthetic–so I took his advice and started watercolor sketches in my leather sketchbook.  This is the rancho of another character: Barros (father of Maria, whom I mentioned here, and Teresita, whom I haven’t mentioned yet. 🙂 )

Another watercolor sketch, this one of the books Durant brought to the west.  The bottom one is a book of natural science; the next one up is a biography; the third is a small volume of poetry; the fourth is a novel of some sort; the fifth is  a brief history of the nation; the sixth (the long, grey one) is a primer; and the topmost book is Durant’s personal record book where he jots down financial information, a brief description of the day’s events, and sometimes his nephew’s antics.

Speaking of nephews, here’s Alex, Durant’s eldest nephew.  With his uncle’s hat on his head–Durant has a habit of dropping his hat on the head of whichever nephew is nearest!

Part of me wants to draw Lennox again, and get back to A Tale of Two Cities fanart–but I can’t stop drawing my Gentle Fire characters!  So who knows what artwork I’ll have to showcase next week!

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Overcoming Perfectionism While Drawing

This ties in to my first “Writing Tips for Perfectionist” post, though I’m applying the principle to artwork, not writing.  (But I’ll post about applying the principle to writing later!)  This particular post is a cross between a colored pencil walk through and an anti-perfectionism tutorial.  🙂

While reading about the triumph of the Witch in The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe, I got such a vivid mental picture of the scene–with such dynamic perspective and atmosphere– that I had to capture it.  The first sketch…

…only the angle didn’t match my mental image (from the perspective of a viewer looking up the hill at the crowd). After a few more attempts, I realized the drawing needed to be taller than wider.  Sketch #2:

Only that still didn’t match my mental image, which was as sharp as a photograph and as dramatic as any Romantic painting.

So then I considered what I ultimately wanted to capture. Definitely the contrast between the torchlight/smoke and the moonlight.  Also the colors of cool night clashing with red torches; and the grotesque, undefined shapes of the crowd; and the upward perspective (to emphasize the seeming triumph); and the Witch with her crown on.

With that in mind, I refined the sketch, primarily the landscape and the key figures.

I fiddled with the composition to make sure the Witch and the stone table stood out…

The background crowd is just scribbles, because detailed depictions of each creature are not the point.  The sheer mass/numbers of them are.

I also held the sketch up to a mirror to reflect the image backward and check that nothing was abnormally crooked.  (The Witch was a little crooked, but it wasn’t noticeable unless you were looking for it, so I left the pose alone.)

I added the base colors and colored and rendered the stone table.  The color palette will be cool and dark with most of the detail on the Witch and the stone table.  (The dark green lines are there to remind me of the steepness of the hill so that I can shade it properly.)

The main light source is the moon, but I scribbled red over the crowd in places to show reflected torchlight.

Once the base colors were in place, I started darkening the sky (you can see the shadows in the upper left-hand corner).  The mass of creatures remained loose scribbles.  Later, I picked out highlights here and add shadows there to suggest creatures all grouped together, but only a few figures in the foreground were detailed.

An added bonus of knowing what I ultimately want for this drawing is that I’m not second-guessing my colors and composition.  Or pausing to assess how “good” it is–all I focused on are the colors and values and general composition.

The sky and torches are finished; the crowd got a little more rendering–though they’re still just varied scribbles at this point, except for the giant to the far left–and the stone table and the Witch have gotten a little more detailed.  I also started adding shadows under the stone table.

I somehow got green pencil shavings under my fingernails.  It’s both funny and perplexing–it’s never happened before!

Here, I added more darkness and shadows to the crowd, darkened some of the reflected red light, and began to pick out very general shapes near the front of the crowd.  You should be able to tell that it’s a mass of people grouped together, and that they aren’t ordinary people due to the giant on the left and the spider-shaped thing on the far right.  But you can’t see any detail when you look closely, and that’s okay.  I’m still going for a general atmosphere rather than photograph-sharp clarity.

I darkened and rendered the slope of the hill and added details to the Witch’s hair and robes.  The crowd got a few more shadows and a few highlights–I realized that the creatures under the moon were  darker than the ones on the left, further away from the moon.  Oops.  So I erased the right-hand crowed a bit, added the red highlights and deeper shadows to indicate contrast.  Still no detail, just general light and shadow.

And this drawing actually doesn’t have the dramatic angle perspective that my mental picture does.  But that’s okay, because I’m pleased with the colors and atmosphere!

After this stage, I set the drawing aside for the night and looked at it again the next morning.  The crowd needed a bit more rending to further suggest a group of creatures, and the atmosphere could use a few more torches.  The Witch also needed more detail–but not too much, since she’s so far away from the viewer.

I scribbled carefully in the crowd to suggest more shadows, and I added some torches and smoke in the background (they turned out very dark red/black, as I had to draw over the indigo sky).  Then I tried to render the Witch a bit more–but  detail was actually impossible, because she’s so far away.

I managed to erase the details I’d tried to draw, and I added a few red highlights on her hair and dress.  I also added a faint red mouth–but that’s all the detail that figure needed.

I then darkened some of the red highlights on the crowd.  After that, it seemed that the picture could use a little more tweaking…but since I didn’t know specifically where, and since the drawing had the atmosphere I imagined–I decided it was done!

 

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Artwork Wednesday — Finally Back!

Finally!  Yes!  It’s been way too long!

This week, I went back to pencil-and-paper artwork, and it was so good to draw again.  🙂  Before picking my pencils up again, I spent a good deal of time crocheting….

In my last Artwork Wednesday post, I showed the start of a new stitch I was learning.  Here’s what I made with that new stitch: another potholder!  It was good practice for my next project…

…a baby blanket!  This is for a friend at church, a mother that my sisters regularly babysit for.

Then I made another blanket…

…for my brother Emmet.  It’s a Lego blanket–can you tell?  🙂  I had so much fun making this!

Then I started another blanket…

…this time for myself.  🙂 It will be a Christmas afghan.  I actually made one years ago, but that was before  knew what I was doing!  So it was high time to re-do it!

Then I picked up my pencils again and embarked on a fun frenzy of drawing characters from one of my works-in-progress!  Not the steampunk story, but my semi-western.

Okay, I’m tired of calling it that.  The working title of this semi-western is Gentle Fire.  Working title, mind; I’ll probably change it later.  (I’m terrible at titles.)

This is Wilson and Mary, Durant’s brother-in-law and sister.  (More about Durant and his family here and here.)

And here’s Durant!  He’s doing secretarial work of some kind.  Or maybe writing a letter; he handles most of the family’s correspondence because neither Mary nor Wilson care much about that.  Nor do they have much literary talent (Mary is educated and articulate, but can’t be bothered to write anything down).

Have I mentioned desert sunsets are my new favorite subject to draw?

That’s all for now!

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Artwork Wednesday

Artwork Wednesday is back!–after a hiatus in which I spent more time writing than drawing.  Funnily enough, last week was just the reverse: more drawing than writing.

Anyway, one project I finished a couple of weeks ago isn’t pencil-and-paper art, but a second attempt at colcha embroidery.  The the result was much better than the first:

Colcha is fun, and the texture of short and long stitches is unique.  But synthetic yarn was really hard to use, so I looked up the price of 100% wool yarn and whether art stores in my area carried it.  And blinked at the screen in disbelief when the results were (a) ridiculously expensive and (b) largely unavailable to boot.  Synthetic wool is apparently cheaper to produce, and therefore more abundant in stores.  So I may just keep using the yarn I have for colcha, however inaccurate that might be.

Quick drawing of theatre curtains and a stage, artwork for my 10 Favorite Musicals link-up.  It only now occurs to me that I could have used stock pictures.  But I guess it’s good that I was willing to do the artwork myself.  🙂

Doodle of a gingerbread house.

I love drawing oranges.  Layering the colors is fun, and oranges are just so bright and perky.  Plus, they’re more interesting to draw than a plain sphere to practice light and shadow and so on.

For Christmas, I got the Alamo 2004 film guide (my preccioussssss!!!) and after reading almost the whole thing that same day, I decided to draw the characters using the photographs inside as reference.  This is Jason Patric as James Bowie.  As I finished up the sketch, Chris sent me a text from across the living room: “Dat drawing, tho.”  🙂

I made an interesting discovery with this project: I sketched this with a 2B pencil instead of H or HB–and not only did the 2B contribute to the rough appearance of the character, it helped me lay down really dark shadows.  With 2B as one of the lightest values, I used much darker leads to get the shadows to contrast properly.  Which was a nice discovery; previously, my drawings were pale, as if I was afraid of putting down bold shadows.  I wasn’t–and couldn’t figure out why my shadows weren’t dark enough.  It was because thelight values were too light and therefore didn’t require enough contrast to make the picture stand out.  *files information away for later*

Patrick Wilson as Travis.  I drew this using the same technique as with Bowie’s portrait: sketching with a 2B pencil.

The funny thing about these two characters is that a rough, dark, sketchy look works for Bowie because of his personality (and the actor’s face structure).  But that style doesn’t work for  Travis for those exact same reasons (personality/actor’s appearance) and I had to shade lightly and blend the graphite carefully to get this to look like Travis.

A new item on my list of Favorite Things to Draw is cacti silhouettes against a desert sunset.  (Oranges are also on that list, as well as Sydney Carton.  🙂 )

You know those drawings that are basically three blades of grass on a white background, yet the artist sells half a million prints of that on Etsy?  Well, I decided to draw my equivalent; it’s supposed to be a cherry blossom, but the petals don’t look quite right.  Cherry blossoms are beautiful, though, and so I’ll probably try this subject again later.

I also started weaving a little bag to carry around my art supplies so that they won’t end up piled on the bookshelf every night.  I’m using rug yarn (a thick, tough kind of yarn, if you don’t know) so that the bag will be durable enough to be carried around everywhere.  Once I’ve woven all the pieces, I’ll stitch them together and see how it works!

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Artwork Wednesday

Not a lot of artwork to show this week, but it’s because the pieces I worked on were difficult–and I even redid some.  Hopefully, there will be more artwork next week!

Sydney Carton?  Who’s that?  Not someone I mention often, is it?  🙂  Actually, I’m playing around with outfit ideas for  him.  I’ve always pictured him in green, for some reason, and decided to use symbolism in the color: green represents life, renewal, rebirth–but I put him in a muddy shade of green to represent his decayed hopes and ambition.  Brown is often associated with down-to-earth, wholesomeness, dependability–and that’s the color of his waistcoat, the hidden layer of both his personality and outfit.

The line art for this had been sitting in a folder for months, but I finally finished it.  And also discovered that my watercolor penmanship is sloppy.  🙂

Another pastel paper painting, this time blue paper with indigo watercolor and white gouache.  The scene is one I’ve had in my mind for a long time, though I don’t know where it came from.  Maybe I’ll work it into a story someday, like C. S. Lewis did with his image of a faun walking through a snowy wood.

Creative chaos, and a preview of another work-in-progress.  🙂

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Picture Wednesday

Temporarily changing these posts to Wednesday; not sure it will stay that way, but the middle of the week seems like a good time to show what I’ve already accomplished and to prompt me to continue drawing through the rest of the week.

The first piece of artwork is brought to you by New Year’s Day itself.  The name of the piece is *drumroll*–“Mankind’s Greatest Achievement: Seedless Strawberries.”

Also known as “My attempt to make it seem like leaving seeds off the strawberries was a thought-out choice, not an aspect I simply forgot to add.”  And I’m just kidding about those titles.  The title of the drawing is actually “Strawberry sketch”.  Because titles pour from ‘neath my typing fingers with the eloquence of the ages.

Along with sarcasm.  🙂

 

I’m proud of this painting because I sketched the line art and painted the scenery entirely from memory.  I wanted to capture the fresh, green color of tree leaves against grey clouds.  And on the paper, the trees are a cool green, and the clouds are a warm grey, but for some reason, the digital screen scrambled the colors.  Oh, well.

 

Now this was a mixed media experiment.  I used Sepia watercolor and white gouache on toned pastel paper.  To my surprise and delight, the pastel paper held the paint quite well, well enough to handle several washes before the paper started peeling.  Also to my surprise, though the paper wrinkled when wet, it dried completely flat.  (What looks like buckled paper in the scan is actually how the paint pooled and dried.)  This may become my new favorite technique–it has the look of my graphite/toned paper drawings, but the fluid smoothness of watercolor.  And Enkie says this painting looks rather like one of those old-time sepia photographs.

 

Now that autumn is over, it makes sense to paint an autumn picture, right?  Actually, I stumbled across the line art for this in one of my sketchbooks; I had scribbled this landscape months ago and then forgotten about it.  It’s a pleasant surprise to find good artwork while spring cleaning your supplies.

 

Originally did this in colored pencil; finally rendered it in watercolor.  And once again, the watercolor version is my favorite.  Maybe I’d better figure out what subjects or landscapes I prefer in colored pencil…

I used a technique called “glazing,” which is painting over one color with another.  In this case, glazing pink over yellow and then indigo over pink created more vibrant bands of color than using pre-mixed colors of orange and blue-violet.  I’d used the glazing technique before, but not for a whole painting, and not with such brilliant results.  *adds technique to art knowledge arsenal*

 

Another free hand, New Mexican landscape, and a painting that I like much better than my last attempt.

That’s all for now!

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Picture Saturday: Year-End Art Meme!

First off, a schedule change: I might move my Picture Saturday posts to another day of the week, as I often have a lot of time to draw on Saturday and Sunday.  It makes no sense to post before I have the most time to draw, but I haven’t yet decided which day to show the week’s artwork.

On a totally different note, I went through my folder and sketchbooks the other day and found a shamefully large number of unfinished sketches.  So I’m going to make an effort to finish those before taking on too many new drawings.

And leaving “too many” unspecified creates a handy loophole to exploit.  🙂

Until I get the old stuff finished, all I have to show this week are two paintings.  The first is a freehand…

…meaning, remember, that there’s no line art.  I adapted the landscape from a photograph on my “West, Pioneer!” Pinterest board, and I think the painting turned out pretty well.

The other painting is this…

…one that I rendered in colored pencil, but thought would also look good in watercolor.  And I like the watercolor version better than the pencil version.  Not bad for my first time painting a Mexican character!

But since that’s not much art, I decided to create a year-end art meme.  Feel free to fill it out yourself if you want, but I officially tag Julia, Bella, and Treskie!

Rules:

1.) Insert a picture of your artwork (or quote, if you’re a creative writer) from this year to answer each question.  If, however, you don’t have a picture or scan, or don’t have one of good quality, you can describe the piece.

2.) Drawings and paintings aren’t the only artwork to showcase–you can include pictures of sculptures, jewelry, sewing, knitting, set design, dance, quotes from your writing, anything that requires creative energy.

3.) Tag someone else!

First piece of artwork/writing/performance done in 2016

A colored pencil sketch of the yellow and green rings from The Magician’s Nephew.  I like the way the lighting on the green ring turned out.

Last piece of artwork/writing/performance done in 2016

This one.

Unless I sketch something else right before midnight.

A new medium/style/technique you tried this year

White pencil on toned paper!  I love this mixed media combination because it creates easy shadows and highlights, and it’s easy to sketch on because the colored paper hides accidental dark marks better than white paper would.

For those of you just joining us, those characters are Sydney Carton and little Lucie from A Tale of Two Cities.

A pose you’d never drawn before (or just something in your creative field you’ve never done before)

Actually, I drew several new poses this year:

This is Charles Darnay from A Tale of Two Cities.  I drew a lot of TTC fanart this year.

I discovered with this picture that colored pencil also works on toned paper.

The piece of artwork that others liked the most

Probably this one of Micheal Maguire that I drew for Gingersnap.

Your personal favorite piece from 2016! (Explain why!)

This one, hands down.  It’s my personal favorite because, come on, it’s cute!  (Can I say that even though I drew it?)  Also because I managed to draw a baby that actually looks like a smiling baby and not some weird, more-horrifiying-than-cute humanoid face.  And thirdly, because I drew two of my characters in a pose I’d never tried before, and it turned out “surprisingly okay,” in the words of Sherlock.  🙂

3 things to improve in your artwork in 2017

1.)  Well, I want to improve my colored pencil technique.  It often ends up sketchy when I wanted it smooth, and I often can’t get smoothly blended colors or really dark shadows.  Maybe I need to learn better control?  I dunno.

2.)  Learn sketch more quickly.  The jury’s still out on whether I can but just get caught up in drawing/perfecting details, or whether I truly need to learn this.

3.)  Further polish my watercolor technique.  Specifically, learn to layer color better and to paint a little more loosely without refining details into oblivion.

I’m a perfectionist, in case you couldn’t tell.

Other things to improve: more complex poses, more varied facial expressions on fanart and my character drawings, more figures in one drawing, and more complicated backgrounds.

3 new things to try in 2017 (such as styles, mediums, poses, backgrounds, character to draw, contests to enter)

1.)  More fluid and watery watercolor technique (without obsessing over depicting perfect details).

2.)  Draw and refine my characters’ appearances, facial expressions, and activities.

3.)  Drawing and painting bokah (out-of-focus backgrounds) with an in-focus foreground object.

What do you enjoy most about creating?

The moment when the messy sketch begins to look like the image or character I want!  And of course, the finished product!

 

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Picture Saturday

For the second week in a row!  Hooray for consistency!  (How long that will last is another matter entirely.  🙂 )  This week’s art collection is an interesting mish-mash of fanart and drawings of my own characters.

68-melencholy-thoughts-sydney

I got a sudden urge to draw Sydney again, so here he is.  Not sure if this is a scene from the book (didn’t have any particular scene in mind) or just one that could have happened, given his character.  However, I think I’m overdue for a happy Sydney picture now, perhaps one with little Lucie too.

These drawings with a candle as a light source look dramatic, but wow, it takes a long time to cover the page with graphite.  🙂

69-scrooge-michael-caine

Slightly crooked drawing of Michael Caine as Scrooge from Muppet Christmas Carol.  Funny that a Muppet adaptation of Dickens’ classic should be the closest to the book, but the studio pulled it off.  Also, Caine’s portrayal of Scrooge is my favorite.  He gives a believable performance of a greedy and bitter man, but with some humanity in him and capable of changing for the better.

Drawn while watching, naturally, Muppet Christmas Carol last night.

70-luke-helping-his-mama

Remember that drawing I posted a while back of my character Durant, holding his baby nephew, Luke?  Well, here’s toddler Luke “helping” his mama with the laundry.  (The story has a semi-western setting, which is why the laundry equipment is old-fashioned and sitting outside.)  Luke is not the only child; he has an older brother named Alex, but I haven’t drawn him yet.

71-mary-first-sketch

And here’s Luke and Alex’s mama and Durant’s older sister.  This sketch was really just to capture her face and features; I picture her vividly, but actually getting that on paper is another matter.  I mostly like how this turned out; the forehead looks weird, but everything else looks okay.  Her gaze is lowered because she’s knitting or sewing or something like that.

Also, Mary likes red gingham.  She uses it for everything, curtains, tablecloths, throws, and her apron.

72-josefinas-treasures

This is the picture I didn’t finish last week that really belongs with the other Josefina pictures.  The objects are Josefina’s treasures: in the back, her memory box, where she keeps things that remind her of her Mama.  From left to right of the back row: lavender-scented soap, a silver thimble, a dried primrose, a chunk of turquoise, and the doll, Nina.  Then the front row: a blue hair ribbon, the necklace Tia Dolores brought, a swallow’s feather, a silver heart, and a toy pig.

I tried to go for realistic shadows/lighting, but didn’t quite make it; I’m still learning how to use colored pencils.  🙂

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Picture Saturday: At Long Last!

Picture Saturday is back after a shamefully long hiatus!  (Yes, I was sick, but still.  I could be dying in the hospital, and I’d fuss about abandoning my blog or not helping out around the house.)

While re-reading the American Girl Josefina series, I suddenly wanted to draw Josefina holding a candle and wearing a mantilla.

62-josefina

And the girl actually resembles Josefina, so yay! I love the Josefina stories.  Yes, they’re for kids, and the writing could definitely be better; the other day, I was enjoying Meet Josefina and mentally editing it at the same time.  But Josefina is adorable: so sweet and caring and earnest and gentle, yet quietly lively.  She’s close to her three sisters even though all four of them have different personalities (I should have referenced that in the sibling relationships discussion of the Writer’s Camp.  Oh well).

Initially, I drew detailed clothing and sleeve folds, a necklace, a braid with ribbon, and other nice touches.  And then had to obscure almost all those details with the shadows.  Buh.  Speaking of shadows, I was going to smooth the pencil strokes so the light and shade looked smoother, like a sepia photograph.  But I changed my mind at the last second because the sketchy strokes contribute to the atmosphere, somehow.  Not sure how, exactly.  Art critics, feel free to chime in.  🙂

 

63-rosebud-freehand

I drew this with no line art, though I did look at a reference photo for a guide.  Drawing without line art was a tricky exercise, but a good one because it forced me to study the shapes in the photo carefully before sketching with the colored pencils.  And colored pencil is not easy to erase.  So I had to be really sure of the shape I wanted and how the light and shadow would fall on it.

 

64-desert-sunset

Another no-line-art-drawing, this time on toned paper.  I think I will re-do this one in watercolor at some point; fluid color rather than sketchy color should look good for this landscape.

 

65-primrose-sketch

Sketch of a primrose, and still with no line art.  That technique really teaches more spontaneity and resourcefulness–I often had to figure out how to disguise the wonky angle of a shape or how to cover a smudge of green that ended up in the wrong place.

But for the next couple of pictures, however, I did draw line art.  Drew it rather quickly: sketches for three different pictures in one night while watching Jurassic Park with Chris.

66-josefina-with-hollyhocks

This is Josefina picking flowers at the edge of the desert. I wish the books had a few more illustrations of her house and daily life: the 1820s Mexican setting is unique and fascinating to me.  To fill the visual void, started drawing fanart like this.  🙂  I also created a Pinterest board called Josefina’s World for pictures of the New Mexico landscape and rancho life.

On a random note, I am inordinately proud of the rabbit brush (the yellow flowers) on the far right-hand side of the picture.

 

67-by-the-stream

Josefina again, sitting on the bank of the stream.  Considering that the stories mention her enjoyment of going down there, she would surely have a favorite spot somewhere by the water.  Her skirt is actually a darker blue/indigo on the paper, but the scanner didn’t pick up the hues correctly.  No idea why; I drew the tones pretty darkly.

I have a third Josefina fanart drawing in the works, but I didn’t finish coloring it this week.  So stay tuned for next week!

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