Here’s another result of having fun with markers and coloured pencils. Halloween is still far away, but sooner or later pumpkin time will be here, and why not create a pumpkin man?
By the way, this is the last post in August, and here in Berlin summer is slowly changing into fall. It has been quite a creative summer for me. I even managed to doodle and draw when I had returned to work after a 3 weeks vacation! Well, I have to admit that my acrylic piece is still waiting to be finished. It is so much easier to grab pencils and markers and a piece of paper than to paint with acrylics. But I haven’t given up the hope that I will finish it in the near future.
I bought a stencil yesterday with circles in various sizes. I had to try it out and this is the result. I used all the blue markers I had. Then I grabbed my darker blue coloured pencil and did the shading. After that I went over the shading with the same marker I had used to colour the circle with. It was so much fun doing it that I forgot the time completely and went to bed much later than I intended. Well…
Now it is finished. Did you know the various colours of water lilies? I just had a look at Google images search, and the number of colours is amazing: pink, purple, yellow, even blue. This makes me think whether I should create a small series.
By the way I had the usual skype chat with my friend Karen today, and we talked about the various ways of tracing and transfering the outlines to watercolour paper and other surfaces. There’s the quite traditional method of putting graphite on the back of the drawing, put the paper with the drawing then on the top of let’s say watercolour paper and trace the lines with a pointed pencil. But what to do if you want the outline done in colour? When we had finished the skype chat Karen had put together a very nice light table, using a lamp, a plastic container and a window pane and I now knew that I could easily transfer drawings to the paper using the window in my studio. So I might do the waterlily again with acrylics or watercolour…
I love horses, and I love to draw them. However I traced this one. I know that a lot of people think that one should not do that, that it is cheating, and that it does not help with learning to draw. Well, I must admit that I learnt a lot tracing this horse. The horse on the photo I used is a rather chunky appaloosa stallion, with a short back. If I had done a free hand drawing of him I’d definitely drawn a longer back. When I traced the horse I first didn’t believe that I did it right. Obviously the eye sees things as it expects them to be.
Second thing I learnt was to see the shades on the photo and to reproduce them with another colour. You can’t trace the shading, can you. I did the shading with the markers only – no coloured pencils this time.
I worked on some of the petals of the water lily. I would have liked to have it finished sooner, but I can only work on it after work, and so I have to be patient (as well as you, my dear reader!)
I must admit that I traced that waterlily. The photo is from the Reference Image Library over at Wet Canvas. I had two things in mind when I traced it:
- Tracing helps getting better at drawing. Sometimes your eyes tell you different things than what your tracing pen tells you, regarding the size of objects. Some people say that tracing is cheating – I don’t believe that. For me, tracing is a means to learn drawing.
- With that water lily I am focusing on colour, and on the use of markers and coloured pencils. You can see how different it looks when coloured pencils are applied on top of the markers – look at the petals on the right side of the flower. I first applied a rather light pink hue with a marker as a kind of underpainting. Then I went over with a cadmium red coloured pencil, and then I added a layer with the rather light pink marker. The marker served as a kind of solvent for the pigments of the coloured pencil.
I’ve got quite a lot of markers in the meantime; not only copics, but also some made by a German company. They are called “Delta Markers”. I had put up a colour chart, but I’d put in the colours as they came which made it difficult to find the reds, blues, and such like easily.
Yesterday I decided to make a “real” chart, having the reds in one row, the blues in one and so on. The time I investigated was worth it. Now it is easy to see with one glance what kind of blues and greens I have.
I didn’t have a reference for the flowers and the leaves. I had something a bit ornamental in mind, which I eventually might be able to use as a design for my zazzle products.
I was inspired by a video on YouTube about how to draw a rose. I watched the video and did a quick pencil sketch. Then I took a sheet of transparent paper and refined the sketch with pen and ink. I wanted to experiment with various marker colours, so I made some copies of the drawing.
I didn’t use any coloured pencils on that drawing. Instead of this I tried to produce shades by adding grey. I first made the mistake of taking a grey which was too dark, as you can see on the right side of the rose. I also found out that you can mix colours on the paper in some way – by applying a terra cotta first and then the green which leads to a kind of brownish green.
I thought a lot about showing these faces. I chose the wrong colour for the upper one – no human face is as pink as this one. It is a downright ugly, blotchy face. But then I thought of it as the face of a gnome. Gnomes can have colours of all sorts, can’t they? Or maybe the chap normally lives somewhere in a cave without any sun light, and had to leave the cave and got this terrible sunburn? Or he just had something very unhealthy for dinner and is now in a state of shock?
The second face is the absolute opposite to it. He looks like he’s never getting any sun rays at all. But he’s got some nice hair, hasn’t he…
I coloured these faces with Delta Markers. These Delta Markers are a good alternative to copics markers. They are less than half the price. They cannot be refilled, however, and the range of colours is limited (80 colours instead of 360). They are made by a German company, so I do not know if you can get them outside Germany.