Sunday, March 5, 2017

Back to the Drawing Board (literally)

Sunday (today) it’s again cold and I don’t want to go outside (except I put up bird feeders this morning and took a couple photos from the deck). Instead, I spent time in the studio at the easels after finishing my weekly editing work.

I continue working on the three drawings. I haven’t had time since … oh, I don’t know when the last time was. Yeah, I know, I’m a little crazy to work on three at a time, but this way I can bounce from one to the other without getting frustrated with the process. The minute I start feeling like it’s not quite working the way I want, I move over to one of the others. 

This also allows me time to reflect on the process. Sometimes I have to look at the drawing over a couple of days before I’m inspired to take the next step. Other times I need to wait until the drawing calls me (and it eventually does if I’ve not paid attention to it in a few days). There are those times when I just grab the pastel or charcoal stick and dive right in without even thinking about what I’m doing. Then there are those instances when I see something in the photo I hadn’t noticed before and I have to decide if it’s relevant for the drawing. 

Today I added more green to the mountains, mid-range trees, and teal to the waters. I used charcoal to add definition to shadows and a charcoal pencil for the illusion of tree trunks. Layer upon layer I build the scenes. 

I’ve done charcoal landscape drawings for years. Now I want more color in my life and I thought pastels would work well with the charcoal. I’ve never taken a class in pastel. As a matter of fact, the pastels I have are an accumulation of collected art supplies gathered throughout the years. It’s fun working with pastels and charcoal and learning how one medium works with the other. 

I was surprised to discover they don’t work the same way at all. Charcoal vine sticks are not the same as pastel sticks and charcoal colored pencils won’t work at all with soft or oil pastels. Oil pastels won’t smudge nicely like soft pastels and charcoal. As a matter of fact, the oil pastel just pushes the two softer ones aside. 

Still, I am finding a way to blend them all and make them work and I love what I’ve accomplished. I am filled with excitement and joy and I want all my drawings to find happy, new homes!

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