Hello at last my friends! I have been getting far too behind with everything and now l am attempting to catch up. It feels like ages since l posted anything on here and l have completely missed a couple of drawings! To see my tree frog and my ladybird you will have to take a look at my gallery. We have spent a couple of weekends camping and kayaking and just enjoying the mountains which has been amazing but l am definitely behind with everything else in life!
Now l had never even heard of a Mandarin fish until a few weeks ago. Wow! What an amazingly coloured fish! I just couldn't resist drawing it. Such a trippy looking fish! I used a lot of Luminance pencils for this piece as l always do if l want really vibrant colors.
I had to layer and layer with the piece to get the strength of color that l wanted.
lt seems that with every piece there is something new to learn and that is why l love using coloured pencils so much. For me the challenge with the piece was those near fluorescent colors which l confess that l struggled with and am not entirely happy with the results still. If anyone has any tips for getting fluorescence without resorting to paint or markers l would love to hear them.
So my quick catch up is done, and l promise to try to keep up a little better from now on! Do enjoy the rest of your week. Happy drawing!
Wow! Saturday comes around so quickly! Happy weekend! I hope you are having a wonderful one. I shall be spending some time in the mountains, camping and kayaking which will be just fantastic. And also hopefully away from the heat for a while which will also be a treat!
I thought l would share my finished Jewel Beetle picture, but l also wanted to talk a bit about pencil sharpeners! I know it sounds so dull to anyone who doesn't draw, but it is such an important subject to anyone that does! And l get asked over and over how l get those lovely sharp points on my pencils, so l thought l would share with you just how.
When l started with colored pencils l used an ordinary little handheld sharpener, no problem. That was for about four weeks, when the blade dulled and l couldn't get a decent point anymore. So l went and bought a couple more, both the same brand, one was useless on opening and went straight in the bin, the other was great.....for about four weeks, when it went dull. So l read some reviews, did a little research and went for another branded sharpener. It was excellent, the best sharpener l had used, for about six weeks......when the blade went dull. I bought another, same thing, great to start with, a few weeks later, totally useless. I was going through a lot of sharpeners!
So more research was needed. This time l read a lot, l mean a lot of reviews. Electric ones l didn't want. I didn't want to be bothered with recharging or replacing batteries and most reviews mentioned how they ate through pencils. When some of your pencils are $5 each, you don't really want most of them going straight into the bin as pretty shavings. In the end, l plumped for the Carl Angel 5 (which if you ignore comments on the silly little clamp - which is absolutely not needed anyway) had great reviews. (Apart from the odd strange person you always seem to get who can't work out how to use something!). At around $25 (with a replacement blade costing almost as much as just replacing the whole unit), a little pricey for a sharpener, but l figured that my handheld ones were $8 each, so as long as it lasted more than three and a half months l would still be better off.
It arrived and it took me immediately back to my early school days, as l recall we used something similar in the classroom. It is a sturdy little unit, you clamp the pencil and turn the handle. Sidetracking slightly, a number of reviews marked it down because the clamp leaves little dinks in your pencils. This made me laugh, my pencils are tools, what is the point of having them if you just want them to look pretty in the tin? I am amazed that anyone who feels that way can bring themselves to sharpen a pencil at all....after all then it will be shorter than the rest and look really unsightly!
lt does leave little dinks in my pencils. Do l care? Not one iota. It sharpens pencils to the most amazingly sharp point, and l can't tell you how nice it is to use. All the shavings fall into the removable tray and it holds a lot before you need to empty it. And l love it! I do! I love it. It has been going strong now for fifteen months (l bought a spare for when it does fail as l never want to be without be again!), l would have gone through around eight of my other sharpeners in that time, so l am already around $40 better off, but best of all my pencils have beautiful points, time after time, after time.
l use this sharpener on both my Polychromos and Supracolors. I do not use it for my Luminance pencils, simply because the softer, waxier lead would not hold that sharp a point. For the Luminance, for those who are riveted by talk of sharpeners, l use an Alvin brass bullet, a small, very well made handheld sharpener. I am on my second one. The first lasted a year before it didn't sharpen quite as nicely as it did at first, it still isn't bad but l am obsessed with a sharp point!
So there you have it my friends, the lowdown on my pencil sharpeners. If you are still awake all that remains is for me to wish a great rest of the weekend and happy drawing!
Haaaaappy Friday! Woo hoo! Weekend is here! And l have had so much fun this week drawing a Jewel Beetle. Quite a challenge for me as it is quite different to anything l have done before. But what l really want to talk about this week is something l knew, but which l have seen demonstrated so clearly this week that l wanted to share it with you. That is, the importance of layering.
The first photo that you see here is the result of a full day of work on this amazing beetle. The colors were so beautiful, l had no intention of drawing a beetle, l wasn't even looking at beetle photographs, but l stumbled upon it. My heart jumped, my stomach lurched and so l knew l had to draw it. Now that first photo shows many, many layers of color and blending. The head in particular l thought was finished, or near enough. So l took my photo and sat and compared it to the reference photo and to be honest it was pretty disappointing. Yes, it looks quite shiney and it could have been left like that. The paper was well covered, no annoying little white bits showing. But it wasn't making me smile. I thought that l had bitten off more than l could chew at this point.
But the next day, l took a deep breath and decided to add more layers, a lot more layers! And to be much bolder with my color. There is no fancy photo editing to alter the color here, this is simply the result of more layers. Often when we don't feel happy with a picture that is all it needs and it can take a fairly boring picture to a great one. In all honesty, it still isn't finished in the photo below, l added more after that shot, but it is nearly there and l think that the difference between the two photos clearly shows the difference more layers can make.
So the lesson that l want to share is this one, if you feel that your picture isn't looking quite as you would like it to, don't scrap it, try adding more layers. Anyway, this pretty little beetle is completed now and will be available to purchase from my shop tomorrow. Have a wonderful weekend and happy drawing!