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.