Saturday, June 21, 2008

Virtual Sketch Date 3 - In the Shadows

In the Shadows
5 in x 7 in graphite on Claybord

Above you see my effort for the Virtual Sketch Date. This post reviews some experimenting I did on this piece.

Cropping Experiments
First, I cropped the photo down to the flower in the shadows of the original reference. Secondly, I cloned a few petals of the original focal point and put them on the right side of my focal point, just for better composition. Originally, I planned to do this on a dull yellow tinted paper with red and violet for midtones and darks (and possibly white ink for highlights). In the end I didn't think the paper would hold the ink well so I moved onto a different experiment. Also, I played around quite a bit, in the end this was "reference option 6" - it was good fun to try out several ideas. That was one of my goals with the VSDs, being forced to use a particular photo I then have to be creative to make it a reference that speaks to me.

Broadside Pencil Painting
Having read so much about broadside pencil painting recently, I just had to try it out. Watson used to recommend Cameo paper, a clay-coated paper to make this technique really work. Cameo is no longer made, but I thought I might try out the Ampersand Claybord to see how it would work. I also shaped my pencil into a bevel tip, as Watson recommends.

Here's what I found:
  • Claybord is smooth...smooth and lovely.
  • Using a pencil broadside on such a smooth surface really did feel like I was using a brush to push pigment onto a canvas. It really did feel more like painting than an annoying hard-to-use pencil technique.
  • Watson cautioned that it would take the artist a while to master this technique. That is clearly true. It is difficult to be consistent with how you hold and "brush" with the pencil. And, of course, once you use the point at the wrong angle you create an inconsistent line and mess up your bevel point. (As I worked left to right, I think you can tell in the photo above that I was more patient on the left than the right.)
And I take from that:
  • With practice, I do think that I could get this consistent enough to create the smooth tones found in good examples of this technique.
  • I'd really like to try colored pencil on Claybord, both in a traditional manner and in a broadside manner - indeed it would be interesting to compare the results.


Stacy said...

Rose, I love your drawing. Great form on the flower. I chose to draw the same one. Your experiments with broadside pencil painting really seem to be informative.
Thanks again for setting up the VSD!

Teresa said...

Beautiful sketch, Rose! I love your composition - the shadowed leaves pointing toward the light flower. Also like the smoothness of graphite on Claybord.

"JeanneG" said...

Rose it is very pretty. And you even got your dark background in.

Kasie @ ~The Art of Life~ said...

Very nice Rose!

Jennifer Rose said...

Lovely sketch :) nice job using the broadside of the pencil. I really want to try the Clayboard too, but I don't think I can get it here :/

Rose Welty said...

Thanks everyone! I have such fun with the sketch dates...I just love to see what people come up. And I did enjoy the broadside pencil techniques...and today on my rounds at the half-price book stores I found a treasure trove in the clearance section. The best of which is a memorial book of Ted Kautzky's work made after his untimely death. There are several watercolors and pencil drawings! (Apart from the art I now get to study, the best part was that it was $1 - sells online for $20!)

kay susan said...

Rose, that is striking. I like the way you moved the image bits around - I'll have to get more adventurous!

Michael said...

I am a huge fan of contrast in artwork. I love how you have used the rich dark tones of the graphite to showcase the softness of the lighter colored petals.

I have not used clayboard yet, but I keep hearing about it recently. I think I might have to pick some up this week and experiment with it.

Leslie said...

A million kisses and hugs for doing the Virtual Sketch Date.


Jo Castillo said...

Rose, great work and strokes on this. Good results from your experiments and changes. More later...

Paulette said...

Hi Rose,
You've done a great job on the flower. I just love seeing how each of us has tackled the reference image!