A very happy Monday to you all. It is still my weekend and l am hoping for more rain! Yes, we actually had a little! And the smell of the previously dry ground after the downfall was just heavenly.
Those of you who have been following my blog will know that l have already drawn two hummingbirds, but l wanted to draw another as firstly l just adore them. How could anyone not love a hummingbird? But secondly l really want to try and get the feathers and iridescence right. I tried new things here. I am as some readers will know, totally self taught and really just learning. I am sure trained artists probably readily know methods that l just stumble on through trial and error! Well, a little logical thought goes into the mix as well.
ln the past l have tried to draw each feather in the lightest color and then go between with the dark colour. This is really difficult to do unless you want to work really, really big. The point of the pencil is bigger than the gaps in the feathers and the dark color covers over the fine light lines.
An alternative would be to block in the whole area with the lightest color, but l don't like that method because l like to work all the feathers individually. Worked individually each feather has pencil strokes of the right size and shape.
So, l took a dark shade that l would eventually be using for the shadows and very lightly sketched out each individual feather. I then totally blocked in each feather with the lightest color, being really careful to keep the strokes the right size and going in the right directions.
When l had done this l added other subtle colours that l wanted to use to the feathers and then l worked over the top with my dark pencils. Because all the feather was blocked in with light colours using quite a heavy pressure, the darker colours resisted slightly making it easier to get finer lines. Also the feathers were slightly embossed onto the paper which helped as well.
l think that this method resulted in finer looking feathers than the Violet Tailed Sylph l drew last time. I also found that a side effect of this method was that the iridescence improved because the dark color did not cover the light so much. In fact l didn't use any white at all to try and achieve iridescence on this bird, whereas l have had to in the past to lighten where the dark has covered too much.
It is still not as iridescent as l would like and l would still like to refine the feathers, but l do think it is an improvement over the last piece. The finished piece will be available in my shop to purchase as prints, phone cases and tote bags etc, sometime this week. There will be a new post next week when l hope to talk about fur. In the meantime have a wonderful week and have lots of fun drawing.
Well good morning. Happy Monday, and yes, l am still way behind with everything (except my actual artwork, l am way in front! How did that happen?!). I am really excited to be sharing this piece with you, simply because it was such a challenge for me. Anyone who has been reading my ramblings for a while will know that l am new to this coloured pencil drawing thing and l am totally self taught. I hate using that expression for myself because it sounds like l have been teaching myself in some sort of methodical and progressive way. The truth is that l just pick up my pencils and mess about until a thing looks right! And now people are starting to ask me questions about color theory and my views on this or that technique! Which is really funny, because l have none! I just draw. If it doesn't look right l keep messing around until it does. And this piece required a lot of experimentation for me. All new textures, all new patterns and shapes.
To be honest after the first day l began to wonder if l could actually do this thing. I am not a precise person and my brain doesn't order patterns in that neat way that some people have. And l was working scale by tiny scale. I knew l had to do this for his head as l would never be happy to put a base colour down and try working the scales over. I wanted all the colors in the right places, and there were so many colors this would never have worked for me.
When l began it was the scales and patterns on the head that l foresaw as my biggest challenge, but in actual fact l had the hardest time with the body. Try as l would the scales would just not come out pointing the right way. I kept looking and l could see they were just a simple shape, but when l came to draw the simple shape it refused to look anything like the simple shape l saw on the photo. You would laugh if you could see how many times l got it wrong! Eventually l came up with a method that worked for me. Firstly, l laid down a few base colors and some light shading, then l actually drew faint lines in the directions that l could see the scales going, both horizontal and vertical, so l created a sort of grid, (l need to do a tips page on this to explain it properly) but then l could work the individual scales to shape around each 'square' of the grid. Some more shading, colors and highlights and the end result was much better than l expected it to be considering the crazy way l went about it.
Now l am sure there are easier ways to do the same thing if l had some proper art training, but you know what, l really don't mind. I like the challenge of working it out for myself, l don't like theory, l don't like someone saying that you should do something one way or another or use or not use certain colours. I do love colour, l love just trying things out and seeing what happens. And sometimes l think we are made to feel as artists that things have to be complicated, that we have to know certain things, and the sheer fun of drawing and coloring gets lost along the way. Just get stuck in and draw and have fun and you will make progress with or without special training. Anyone can do it, and that is really what l have wanted to get across ever since l began writing this blog. Just draw.
Prints and all kinds of goodies with this design are available now in my shop.
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