Air Dancing Gulls, graphite drawing


When we lived in Maine there were probably more “atmospheric” days than not – with gray skies and heavy fog out at sea.  This scene reminded me of those times, the air cold with a moist dense fog and seagulls air dancing at the shoreline for food ~ a typical great day at the beach.

Air Dancing Gulls, a graphite drawing (9×12) was done on Strathmore Bristol Vellum (the smooth side) paper using 4H, 2H, HB, 2B, 6B and loose graphite powder.  To manage the foggy atmosphere a tortilium was mainly used (in application and blending), rather than a sharp-pointed pencil – the tortilium keeps things a little fuzzy which gives a misty appearance.  Pencils were used for the foreground and the gulls.

The challenge was to keep the background dressed in a heavy fog, but light enough to show-off the middle-ground waves with thick foam, and then to work the values light and dark enough allowing the seagulls to take center stage.  If you look into the distance both left and right you just might see a couple of gulls off on their own – they were used to draw the viewer’s eyes into the fog.

Between the gulls dancing and squawking, and the rushing waves – well it’s a scene to get lost in, thanks for stopping by ~ click onto the image for a larger view.

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The Sea, graphite drawing


This particular scene wasn’t exactly what I had in mind for my next drawing – a beautiful floral was picked out.  But then I saw an amazing photograph that my friend, John Warren, had on pmp and I couldn’t resist.  So here is a little summertime tease ~

The Sea, is a graphite drawing (4.5 x 12) done on Strathmore Bristol Vellum using 4H, 2H, HB, B and 2B and loose graphite powder.  A tortilium was used to blend and spread the graphite, then it was partly erased and then back to laying down more graphite until it reach enough coverage as well as the correct value ranges for each area within the scene.  These layers help build the water and foamy spray to a sufficient level allowing several value levels to develop (deep and shallow water), as well as making the spray and foam highlights pop.  Once done I went back in with very sharp pencils 4H and 2H to develop a richness with the background water.

The reference shot was in color and the original scene larger, so I cropped it for a close-up of the wave and drew it in graphite – both changed the look totally.

At some point I may draw this scene in a larger size, but until then I hope you enjoy my little reminder of what awaits you at the shore – click onto the image for a larger size.

The Sea

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Gloria Ester, Artist – 10-minute Paintings in Her 30-Day Challenge


Last year at this time I introduced you to an amazing Artist, Gloria Ester, who inspires me with both her dedication toward developing her talents and body of work.

Gloria is in the process of doing 30 paintings in 30-days – here is the kicker she does these paintings in 10 minutes! These paintings aren’t slapped together haphazardly, take a look and you’ll understand why I am amazed and blown away by her brilliance and artistic talent.  She is on day 26, if you go onto the highlighted link in this paragraph it will take you to the front page of her blog and all 26 days of her paintings (located on the left-hand side as you scroll down).

Hope you enjoy Gloria’s work as much as I do – looks like she is having a good time with this years’ 30-day challenge!

 

 

 

 

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Sunlight in a Bottle, graphite drawing


Continuing to work in graphite, but I’m starting to miss both charcoal and color.  This may be the last drawing with graphite for a while as I turn my attention to another medium ~

Sunlight in a Bottle, a graphite drawing (12×9) was done on Stonehedge watercolor paper w/a slight texture.  This exercise was great practice for managing values and contrasts in a still life that is about reflections. Pencils used ranged from 4H straight through 8B, including a tortilum, kneaded eraser and a Staedtler Mars plastic eraser.

Some of what I learned during this drawing, for bottle-smooth reflections and contrasting lines it is best to use smooth paper (what I had was slightly textured that gave a sort of grainy look) and very sharp pencils.  And oh wouldn’t you know it, I’m usually very careful about having a piece of paper under my hands to protect from any finger prints.  Well look at the top of the image, a set of real nice fingerprints have shown up – the oil in my fingers have permanently stained the drawing!  That’s a lesson learned.

Thanks for checking in.  Hope you are having a great weekend ~ click onto the image for a larger view.

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Tulips in Light, graphite drawing


Bet you thought I got lost!  We had a few house projects to work on, plus I’ve been reading and studying drawing techniques for specific types of subjects and spending what time I had for drawing on this still life.

Tulips in Light, a graphite drawing (12×9) was done on Blick Drawing Paper using graphite pencils 4H, 2H, HB, B, 2B (in a few places) and a spot of carbon pencil for the darkest value in the top left flower bud.  My intention for this drawing was to keep the values more in the light-to-mid ranges (for a soft effect), and using contrast with the darkest and lightest values to give the scene some life (so to speak).  There is one area that I might build in another tulip (far right), but I’m thinking the piece became balanced by bringing in the dark thin leaf strand.  We’ll see if the drawing talks some more.

I thought the drawing was done early last evening, but the setting sunlight hit the drawing  just right through a window and I was like, WOW why didn’t I see that effect on my own.  Oh yeah, the light from the sun hit the drawing perfectly on the far right giving the piece this look of background thin fabric falling.  It was really cool, so I had to go back in and re-create the effect – it was like the icing on a cake!

I plan to visit your blogs this afternoon and I’m looking forward to catching up.  Thanks for checking in ~ click onto the image for a larger view.

Tulips in Light

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Jug at the Window, graphite drawing


This was a fun still life, a basic scene that offered a few challenges to keep me interested from a stone shelf, brick wall, a sturdy/thick jug, to a covered window – everything I could have wanted for a drawing ~

Jug at the Window, a graphite drawing (12×9) was done on Strathmore Bristol Vellum paper using pretty much every value range in my General’s supply of graphite pencils.  Many layers were put down, blended and layered again until the subjects were covered adequately in the correct tones.  A variety of erasers were used depending on what I was removing and the effect I was looking for:  kneaded, Tombow, or a Staedtler Mars plastic eraser.  Each had a special purpose in removing the graphite from highlights, to the suns rays, etc.  I even used Frisket on certain aspects of the curtains – the results exactly what I had hoped for.

Thanks for stopping by.  Hope you have a wonderful weekend ~ click onto the image for a larger view.

Jug at the Window

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Resting Comfortably, graphite and charcoal


Continuing to challenge myself with still life drawings using graphite and charcoal ~ in this piece it was all about the double tablecloths, in particular the white one.

Resting Comfortably, a graphite and charcoal drawing (9×12) was done on Strathmore Bristol Vellum paper.  Lots of challenges – the biggest I had to tackle was the stark white tablecloth from its design to the way it was laying on top of another tablecloth, working the light and shadow values right was the key here.  I’m not convinced that the cloth reflects my best work, it was tough draw.  The fruit worked out okay, but my favorite part of the drawing were the leaves and their edges – it was my drawing relief within the piece and I loved working the hard/soft edging against the charcoal background.

Staying true to my growth as an artist – thanks for checking in.

Resting Comfortably

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The Pears, graphite and charcoal


Can you spell fun?  Lately I have been able to do that with drawing and this next one was a perfect test for fabric details ~

The Pears, a graphite and charcoal drawing (5.5 x 5.5) on Strathmore Bristol Vellum paper.  Why so small?  I had a left over piece of paper and thought it would be perfect for this still life.  There were a lot of challenges in this one, with the wood table and fabric mostly, but once I figured out how I was going to achieve some of the small details the drawing was all about having fun.

Charcoal was used as the background, its flat qualities allowed the darkness to stay in the background nicely and let the still life arrangement take front and center from any view point.  For the pears, wood and fabric, graphite from 4H to 3B was applied in many layers, taken away and re-applied until a nice rich quality was achieved.  Cross-hatching strokes and blending were the two techniques mostly used for the pears, wood and fabric.  See the fringe?  They were too fine for my kneaded eraser or Tom-bow, so I was able to use Frisket to pull off the graphite (interesting, right?).

Graphite is a cool medium (at least for me), I like being able to create a painterly look from a pencil.  Thank you for checking in.  Hope you have a wonderful weekend – click onto the image for a larger view.

The Pears

No Thursday’s drawing this week – I’m working up a composition and nearly complete, just considering some details and then it should be ready for next week.

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Dark Vase and Fruit, graphite drawing


Continuing with my drawing series of still life’s ~

Dark Vase and Fruit, a graphite drawing (9×12).  This piece was drawn on Blick Drawing Paper (smooth side), trying out a new supply I just received.  It wasn’t as thick as the Strathmore I usually draw with, but the smoothness allowed me to utilize that aspect nicely for the tablecloth and background.  There are still some issues with the symmetry of the vase that I’ll go back and address at a later date, but for now the drawing is taking a rest.

I love working up light/dark contrasts in drawings and in this case the light against the dark vase was perfect for what I was trying to accomplish.

Thanks for checking in, means a lot ~ click onto the image for a larger view.

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The Book, graphite and charcoal drawing


Happy New Years!  It’s amazing how fast time goes by ~ before you know we are right at it again.  It’s that time of year when I concentrate on drawings, both graphite and charcoal, as a way to get back to fundamentals.  For graphite it’s more for focus/perspective and details, and with charcoal well I’m able to get a little more loose with my strokes.  But with both mediums for me it’s all about the contrasts of lights/darks – I love this.

Hope you don’t mind, but we’ll be without color for a while.  Here is my latest ~ click onto the image for a larger view.

The Book, Strathmore Bristol Vellum (8×8) – both graphite and charcoal.  I wanted the main focal point to come forward a bit, so the book and fabric was done with graphite (reflective qualities) and the background to stay back there was done with charcoal (a flat, but decorative appearance).  This was a great still life for working the light and fabric.

The BookBest wishes for a wonderful 2016!

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