I bought some flowers about a week ago with the intent to draw them, but was too nervous to do so until I realized that they might die before I got to them. Indeed, I thinned and trimmed these blossoms after having drawn several, and most of them fell apart! (not to mention the pollen falling everywhere…)
The sketches I did are in graphite, only because I was a bit intimidated of trying color (I’d thought of using watercolor pencil, but then decided to go easy on myself). Baby steps…
I also got up the nerve last night to try and do some drawing in my gray sketchbook. Looking back at it now, I can see an image that I started while in the audience of a graduation. It’s of an (imaginary) fish.
Having said that, there is something to be said about the fact that I started drawing the flowers with the intent of simplifying them into shapes which I could then tweak and use as motifs. However, after I started drawing them, I realized that the drawings were (a lot) more interesting when the flower was not directly facing me. I hadn’t quite expected this, but it’s something I learned.
I mention this because this little fish I did was in one of those poses that I am more likely to draw when I don’t have a model. Kind of an idealized pose, I guess, like the way I imagined the flower I’d draw as facing me. Really, what happened is that I drew an eyeball and the fish evolved around that. 🙂
One of the things that really strikes me about this image is that I was able to compress it way down without losing much of the image quality. It’s black on grey, with no other colors, really — the tone of the paper itself started to break up before the line quality did. I need to remember that.
I used to keep fish as a kid, which is probably why I remembered where the fins were located. (I would keep them again, except that I’ve learned that keeping an aquarium is managing a biome, and it takes time and money…it’s also a little heartbreaking when you lose a little fishy, because you know they’re totally dependent on you.) I wanted to do another version of this with opaque fins and including the tail fin…(the drawing went off of the edge of the paper).
While I was drawing this, I realized that I hadn’t planned the locations of the fins out well, so the overlapping pectoral fin in the front doesn’t hide the one behind it. I’m going to try and hide a moment of frustration and say that it adds something to the image. 😉
Also, last night…I was screwing around in this journal and realized that if I use dry media in it (as versus pen), it’s best to stick to something close to black and white. I was attempting to use Faber-Castell greyscale colored pencils, but the ones I tried really didn’t show up very well. Using black and white next to each other, though, provides a high contrast, which the grey ground works with as a neutral midtone.
I can see the white Faber-Castell better in the daylight (as versus by my lamp last night), but it really looks like this ground is more suited to something like charcoal or graphite or carbon pencil, plus white pastel pencil for highlights. (now I’m remembering that I have a really opaque white Neocolor I that I could try out…) I still haven’t tried my Derwent Drawing pencils, except for Chinese (Zinc) White…but at this point I’m not assuming that the others are going to be very opaque.
Out of all the media I tried, the extra soft charcoal pencil (6B) was the deepest black, and also the only pencil which would accept “white charcoal” pencil on top of it. All of the others (Sanford DESIGN and General’s Layout pencils being the only two pencils of unknown composition; I consider them carbon black pencils) had at least the hint of a graphite-like sheen to them, and were slick like graphite and unreceptive when I tried to rub the white charcoal over them. I’m thinking that this is because there’s graphite in the lead mixture (graphite is slippery by nature), but the paper itself (Strathmore 400 Series) is also relatively smooth.
I think I’m going to go play around some more, and/or put my beads away. I found, last night, that there is a lot more freedom in drawing an image than in constructing something out of beads…there are hard design restrictions in the latter, which don’t exist in the former. Something for me to think on, anyway…
Note to myself: try the greyscale Copics on future fishies…