Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Confronting the Demon of Blurriness

This post is about the process of deciding how to compose a drawing, particularly in reference to backgrounds.

Last night I managed to squeeze in some sketching time. First, I did the outline drawing and value sketch for what I hope is my next CP piece. Then, as I was disgusted with that, I did a quick sketch from a WetCanvas! reference library image (thanks to terence_p).

Now about those flowers...

As I said, I created a line drawing from a photo I took on break. I quite liked the line drawing (although I will have to be careful about going too close to the edges.) Then I slapped on another layer of tracing paper and went for the value study. I liked the values for the flower petals (although I do wonder about being able to render them in CPs.)

Next I moved on to the background. (Yes, one ought to do it the other way, but this is just preliminary stuff, on the final version, I'll begin with the background.) In the reference photo there are dark leaves behind the flowers and small bright buds in front. I think I'm going to eliminate the tiny buds altogether because they will be a distraction. But the dark, slightly-out-of-focus leaves...how to render those?

Gut Reaction #1: Do the blurry leaves. However, I have tried to do that "slightly-out-of-focus" bit before and it is always a bit of a disaster.

Gut Reaction #2: Dark Background, nearly uniform, no suggestion of leaves. This is a good solution, but the trouble is that this is becoming my only solution! It's getting a little repetitive.

This Morning's Considered Reaction: Learn how to do a blurry background, even if I never use it. Maybe set this aside and just work on the background idea for a day or so.

If anyone has hints, tips, expertise, etc I'd love to hear it! Share it in the comments and we can all learn.


Elflling said...

Rose, maybe you can try to use the circulism technique in colored pencil to do the blurred background. Relevant informations:





Rose Welty said...

Thanks for the links Elflling, I'll have a look. :D

Leslie said...

Hi Rose,
I am fond of working on a middle tone or darker paper to start with.
It takes some of the work out of having to cover the background.