Month: August 2015
Charcoal and charcoal pencils are not quite the same medium. It’s a lot harder to get a gradient happening with the pencil form, especially on sketch pad scale. Here, I am drawing in the shape of striped trees while creating a gradient towards the bottom of the image. Some of this is created by erasing and redrawing, which leaves a residue of charcoal for value. I tried using my white charcoal pencil to bring out some more branches, but unfortunately it picked up charcoal and made darker lines instead. Can’t always win!
Ah, I hope this image makes up for the last photo – so much nicer!
Sky: I have darkened certain colours by adding more pigment. I really want the pink of the sunset to stand out. The deep shadow of the distant landscape didn’t quite feel dark enough for this kind of lighting either.
Buildings: Starting to separate them out by their distance from the viewer. Some glow brightly in the left-over sunlight. I’m having some difficulty integrating the purple with the foreground colours.
Trees: Building more layers of red, orange, green. Trying to give them texture by using salt and tonnes of water — too much water for this weight of paper. I should’ve thought that through better.
It’s generally easier to work from top to bottom, so that I don’t need to be cautious of smudging the artwork below. Also, the shape of the branches on the top dictates what the shape of the trees and shrubs will be at the bottom.
It takes a while, even with charcoal, to build up an intense black while keeping certain details white. It was fun isolating the white of the paper to make branches come out.
Sorry for the crappy image here. I’ve had issues with my new smartphone’s camera. I have a Samsung S4, and I thought I was upgrading for better picture quality, but apparently – this phone has a really crappy low-light camera. This isn’t even really low light – it’s a bright lamp pointed right at the picture, it should look perfect. I just don’t know.
Anyway, the sky is more or less finished. I made a huge effort to preserve the white of the paper in one spot there, which I’m not very good at. I’m happy with how it looks. Have to use the purple as a shadow colour for the background city elements to create a transition between the cool and warm colours.
I had to stop painting to draw in more of my buildings as well, as I am in a different mode of thought when I paint versus when I pencil. I can’t be objective and keep to strict shapes while painting – I have to take the time to pencil in the forms I need to adhere to.
On the bottom, I’ve added some green to the increasing layers of red. If it is entirely read, it’s just not going to be as believable and it won’t separate out as a different plane.
At this stage, this image is half-finished. The carriage is done (I think). I sprayed it down with hairspray to keep it from smudging while I rub charcoal into the paper and begin sketching in trees.
I strongly prefer to use high-quality hair spray for sealing my dry medium artwork over the supposedly “professional” stuff you can buy at the art store. Unlike that stuff, the hair spray doesn’t go yellow and is actually significantly more effective. It also smells nice. I did my tests a while ago when I was more into conté. In my artwork that has been sealed with hairspray for years, I haven’t noticed any deterioration or discolouring either.
I work from top to bottom with watercolour, because that way I can get the most done based on my arm position. Layered in some clouds with salt effects. Unfortunately, I’m also kind of pushy and base layer of yellow for the buildings starts bleeding into the sky. Unlike the photo, I’m choosing the paint in a tree line from autumn, so that is why I use red at the bottom of the image as opposed to green. It will push the orange and yellow even further out in the complete image.
At this point, it will be 2 days after my surgery and I am still hospitalized. Spooky post.