The vast majority of the background vegetation has now been completed,there is a small area to the right hand side of the background area yet to be rendered but i couldn't wait to start adding tone to the foreground.Over the last two days i've added two layers of H grade pencil over the foreground area which will become the frozen surface of the pond,it will require several more layers yet.Its painstaking work as its achieved by using the circulism technique with a constant pressure on the pencil to achieve a smooth finish and because of the size of this piece it takes several hours per layer!.I've never been able to find a quicker but equally effective and convincing way of accomplishing this.
Saturday, 28 March 2009
Most of the background vegetation has now been completed and so now i am very carefully working up the clumps of snow which cling to that vegetation.I am using hard grades such as H grade here along with blenders of various sizes to realize the snow effect and the picture is starting to 'hang' together.Apologies for the picture quality.
Thursday, 26 March 2009
This is the progress shot for yesterday's work.I'm starting to develope the background,it is quite complex trying to portray the snow-covered vegetation.As yet it's a little disjointed but within a day or two it should all come together and hopefully look convincing.
Tuesday, 24 March 2009
This is going to be a depiction of a moorhen crossing a frozen pond with a background of vegetation covered in fresh snow.The idea for the picture came after my period as artist in residence at Nature in Art in early february this year.The week of my residence there was marked by heavy snowfall and in quiet moments i took my camera out to photograph in the vicinity of the museum.It was whilst on one of my outings i came across tracks in the snow leading to a frozen pond and immediately i loved the way the snow had clumped on the dead reeds and other vegetation and so took many reference photo's here.Nearby i came across the moorhen and so the idea of depicting it crossing the frozen pond was born.
I'm not big on too much forward planning with my drawings,i have an idea and i like to get it down on paper as soon as possible,preferring to let the picture grow organically as i go.I have started here to develope the vegetation in the background leaving the snow covered areas to be completed later.I intend to have the moorhen near the left hand side of the picture ,walking towards the right with its movement echoed in the background direction of reed growth etc (if you look carefully you may be able to make out the very light outline of the moorhen) giving an overall impression of movement to the piece.
Friday, 20 March 2009
After working on this picture all day yesterday it is now complete.I left it on the board last night so that i could 'tweak' it this morning if necessary,but i'm happy overall with this one,even if it did take a little longer than anticipated.My next project is at the sketch stage at moment and as soon as ive finished roughing out my ideas i'll post it here.
Wednesday, 18 March 2009
The little head portrait of a red fox is progressing slowly but surely and should be complete tomorrow.Drawing has been held up slightly over the last couple of days due to domestic incidents requiring my attention.One of the perils of having my studio at home is the ease at which you can get distracted from work.note to self:must get a studio outside the home
Monday, 16 March 2009
This is my latest pencil work,it is another simple head portrait,this time of a red fox.The background has once again been created by layering grades of pencil from H grade upto and including 3B.I'm keeping things simple once again as i have an idea formulating in my mind for a larger more complicated piece,although i havn't completely roughed out the idea yet,it still needs a little refining and so i'm working on this smaller piece whilst mulling over designs for the new piece.
Friday, 13 March 2009
Thursday, 12 March 2009
Now having layered the body of the hare with grades upto B grade i have loosely laid in the fur with a 2B pencil to establish the direction of the fur.This will be over-layered with a harder grade of pencil just to 'knock' it back a bit so that the fur is not so heavily portrayed and then the finishing touches will be added tomorrow.The layering process is the most time-consuming part of all of my drawings but it is vital to the success of the image and cannot be effectively 'speeded' up.The layering itself is completed using the 'circulism' technique(i dont know if thats a real word or not but i saw this technique described thus on an artists website and thought it an appropriate term),this basically means building up the graphite by means of a series of overlapping small cicles which can if care is taken give a very smooth wash of graphite.
At this point i have worked up the second ear of the hare to completion and have started layering graphite on the body using grades from H to B grade.i have started to build up some of the shape and form of the hares body by layering more heavily in some areas giving darker tones which help form the shape.
Tuesday, 10 March 2009
The background is now complete,nice and simple in keeping with the drawing as a whole,much overlayering with B grade pencils was required to get to this tone,but there is still scope to darken further should it be required for the final balance of the piece.
The head of the hare is more or less complete except for a little tinkering later on.The second ear has had the base coat of H grade pencil applied and i am just building up the darker areas of the ear with a second layer of HB grade pencil.i used all grades from H to 3B on the complete ear to acheive that depth of tone,in stark contrast to the watercolour paper i used for my owl drawing this paper is very smooth and so will take much softer grades of pencil to build up tone.
Saturday, 7 March 2009
Can you guess what it is yet?.Appropriately bearing in mind the month ive decided to stick with the native animals for a while and started a simple portrait of a Hare.So far ive blended a layer of 8b graphite in the background followed by a layer of H grade pencil on top to smooth it out nicely.It will take a couple more layers of progressively softer graphite to get the blurry effect i want.
Wednesday, 4 March 2009
The finished drawing entitled 'Winter Barn Owl'.I'm very pleased with the finished image,it's the first time i've portrayed snow in a drawing and i think it's been successful.I shall leave it on the drawing board for a day or two just so that i can revisit it now and again with fresh eyes to make sure that i'm entirely happy with it before it goes off to be mounted and framed.
Tuesday, 3 March 2009
Well the Barn Owl itself is finally finished and now i can really get stuck into the foreground.I absolutely loved drawing the textures in the fencepost,it's been some time since i drew so much in a picture,thankfully it's like riding a bike and you dont forget!.One of the great thrills with using graphite is attempting to re-create all the wonderful textures in nature and no greater thrill can be had than getting it 'right'.It's been a long day in the studio today and the hours have flown by but ive managed to accomplish quite a lot and hopefully another day or two's work should see this image complete.
Sunday, 1 March 2009
After another couple of days work in the studio the owl itself is almost complete and i am happy with the results so far despite the struggle i'm having with my paper.Working on this surface has been like a kind of magical mystery tour,with me never quite sure what the result of applying pencil to paper will be!.It just means that every step has been painfully slow with constant re-adjustments and having to re-evaluate which grade of pencil to use in situations where it would normally be second nature for me.Needless to say i wont be using this particular paper for this kind of work again,only sheer bloody mindedness keeps me going with this image,i hate giving up on a piece!.