Happy Friday! Woo hoo! The weekend is nearly here! And the weather has cooled just a few degrees here, not much, but enough that l am not swollen like a balloon and l can bend my knees again! The evenings cool off beautifully now and to sit out in the garden and watch the hummingbirds and lizards whilst we eat dinner makes every day special. I took delivery recently of a huge heritage seed parcel and l am so looking forward to growing stuff again. I have big plans for the vegetable garden and can't wait to get going. At the minute though it is too hot (and the wrong time of year) to be starting seeds off so l have to content myself with my artwork instead! And l am only too happy to do that.
l so enjoyed drawing the last fish that l decided that l needed to make it a pair. The only problem is that the picture l have chosen for my reference photo is of a totally different colored fish! And it won't make a good pair with the first. This will only give me an excuse to draw a third sometime soon, which will make the pair.
This second fish is much softer in color, on the body anyway and l am enjoying trying to achieve the pearlescent effect that l see in the photo.
One of the things that really appeals to me about drawing these fish is the wonderful shapes they make. I love the way that their fins swirl and twirl. They are like little color explosions on the page. In the picture below you can see that l have begun working on the tail fin, it still needs more contrast and finer detail but you get a glimpse of the gorgeous colors in this fish.
It might seem silly but l really feel like l get to know the individual creature that l am drawing. To some extent l do l suppose, if you gave me hundreds of pictures of these fish, l could almost certainly pick out the one that l drew. It always feels important to me that when l draw l am not drawng a Siamese Fighting Fish, but l am drawing this particular Siamese Fighting Fish, unique, with its own individual personality and character. More than anything else, l want to express this personality in everything that l draw. I hope that whoever owns this fish could look at my work and say, 'that is my fish', not, 'that looks like my fish'. My aim is to get a little closer to the goal with every drawing.
Happy weekend! I am soooo excited, after a bit of a creative block where no photo inspired me, l finally found one that made my heart leap and made me desperate for the 4am alarm to ring so l could jump out of bed and start drawing! Seriously, l am so happy to get up at that time because it means l have lots of time to draw.
Now l have wanted to draw one of these for quite some time, but l just couldn't find quite the right reference photo, and to be honest l wasn't one hundred percent sure when l first saw this one, because l didn't think it was very clear, and l HATE working from blurry photographs, but having looked through hundreds of photos of these fish, l went ahead and downloaded and l got such a surprise because the photo was actually crystal clear. One look at that photo and yes, my heart jumped! There was an intake of breath and my stomach muscles tightened..., a sure sign that l love a photo. I just couldn't wait to start work on it.
So the first photo you see is my first full day of work, l have nearly completed the eye, still finer details to work, but enough there for me to use as a guide with the rest of the piece, some of the scales are roughly marked in and a little of the tail fin is begun.
l can't tell you how fiddly this piece is, but because the photo is of such high quality l can see everything l need to see which makes drawng such a pleasure. The second day's work saw more tail fin and scales worked, although nothing is ever complete until the end, each new bit worked means that adjustments are needed on the previous bit. I have already reworked the eye and mouth and will do so many more times before l am finally happy. But l am really loving this piece. Fish have always fascinated me since l use to watch them swimming in a tank in the dentist's waiting room as a child! They are so beautiful and l really hope that l am able to capture a little of that ethreal beauty in this piece.
l am actually dying to show you how it looks at this minute, but l have not taken a photo of today's work yet, so it will have to wait. I have to tell you that l feel so very lucky to be able to draw every day. I really do. And l really hope through this blog to encourage anyone who wants to draw to believe that they can do it. I hope that those who have followed me from the start are able to see the progress that l have made. It is only practise. Anyone can do it if they put in the time and effort to practise. And the great thing is that if we keep practising, we keep getting better. One day l will be able to produce the sort of work that l aspire to if l just keep practising. Everyone can. Just pick up your pencils and give it a go!
Happy weekend to everyone. It is a gorgeous sunny day, l have had a beautiful early morning walk and the oatmeal and raisin ice cream is churning as l type!
I had another color craving, you will not be surprised to hear that! So when l spotted the photo of this beautiful and very vibrant Malachite Kingfisher, well......you know l can't resist! And because it was sooo very bright l thought l would give my Luminance pencils a real test. I know you can see Polychromos and Supracolor in the photo, and l did use those, but for the most part l used Luminance for this piece. I think mainly because they seem to be a bit brighter than the other two brands.
It was interesting working with them, they do not hold such a fine point as the other two brands and so for really fine detail l did switch. The color lay down with these was really smooth and the little white bits in the paper covered over very quickly, they also layered very well on top of each other and l was able to apply several layers before l needed to blend.
l found the depth of the color built more quickly than the other brands too, which is also sometimes why l shy away from them, if l want to build the color slowly, as l often do. The truth is that l love all three brands that l use and all for different reasons. I think anyone wanting to switch from Prismacolor would love these as they also have the wax base and of course that smooth wax feel.
They have excellent light fast ratings, another good reason for choosing them, but they are expensive. If you love working in color pencils as l do, l would recommend trying a few for certain.
Whatever you are doing this weekend, have lots of fun and if you experiment with any new brands or have any favourite brands you think l should try, do let me know. I always love to hear what others are using.
Happy drawing to you all!
Happy, happy Sunday, friends, fellow artists and random Google surfers. If it is your first visit welcome and if you have been following my ramblings from the beginning thank you! I am not a pretty sight as l write this. I have had a very bad reaction to the mosquito bites l got the other day whilst picking blackberries and l am covered in huge red, swollen patches, but we got 16lbs of the most beautiful blackberries (blackberry sorbet here we come!) and 120lbs of almonds! Of course, that will be about 5lbs of shelled ones, but who cares, it was fun!
So, l set myself several challenges with this picture, the first being to draw a puppy, a first for me and actually only my third ever dog, the second being strawberries. (Why have l never drawn a strawberry, they are so pretty?) and the third and for me the biggest, drawing a pale animal on a white background.
This was an interesting picture for me because of the unusual angle of the eyes, they are completely odd, different shapes, different sizes. The temptation of course is to try and match them, to make them look the same. This is where l have learned it is really, really important to analyse your reference photo. If for example l had looked at the photo and the eyes had jumped out at me as looking a bit odd, l would never have used the photo. I have said it before l know, but it is worth repeating, if something looks odd in a photo, it will look even more odd when you draw it. If you find yourself asking 'why is that eye bigger than the other?'Or 'what is that supposed to be?' Just don't go there. Find another photo. In this case, nothing confused my eye at all so l was happy to go ahead and draw it.
ln the picture above l have begun work on the lower part of the face and you can see that as l work it the oddness in the eyes begins to go and the expression starts to make sense. Sometimes it requires a little faith to draw what you actually see and not what you think you should see! I am learning all the time that the right reference photo is one of the most important things you can do to improve your drawing. It is always, always worth spending a little longer looking for it, than to try and correct a poor one.
Prints of this piece will be available in my shop very soon, along with phone cases, tote bags and all kinds of lovely things, or check out more of my tips for using colored pencils by clicking on the link below.
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