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Sketching and taking notes

Doing some sketches and taking notes.

This is the first page of my sketch “book”. It is not a book, but a collection of sheets of paper with sketches and notes. As you can see in the scan above, I did some sketches of flowers and leaves and added the colour of the pencils I used.

Throughout these sketches I used the technique of putting pigment off my pencils with a wet brush. I am still learning how to do it – how much water to put on the brush, how to take off some water off the brush by dipping it on a paper towel.

Bee Eater

Bee eater. Watercolour pencils on drawing cardboard. September 2014

I use to go through my tv journals, old wall calendars and materials like this in order to look for references or sources of inspiration. When I saw photos of this bird in an old journal (unfortunately the name of the photographer was not given), I felt attracted by the beautiful colours and by the pose of the bird.

I didn’t use watercolour paper this time. I have a stack of rather heavy drawing¬†cardboard sheets left, and hoped that it would not buckle up too much. It did, but only a bit.

For the background I took pigment from the tops of my pencils with a very small wet brush.

Blue flowers

Blue flowers. Watercolour pencils on drawing cardboard. September 2014

I decided to re-activate my watercolour pencils and play around with them. I enjoyed doing this painting although it showed me how much I still have to learn regarding mixing colours – as you can see in the smaller flower. However you can only learn by practice, and practise I will.

Cock of the Wood – finished

Cock of the wood. Markers on watercolour paper

I finally managed to finish the painting. Here’s the list of marker brands used in this piece:

  • Delta Markers from Rotbart, a German company
  • Copic Ciaos
  • Shin Han Touch marker (the one with the brush)
  • Promarkers from Letraset

When I began to draw with markers I did that with some copic ciaos. I loved their almost unlimited colour range, but they are expensive (even the ciaos). so I looked for a more affordable alternative – and discovered the Delta markers. They have a limited colour range, have only bullet tips, and some of the pens lost the labels with the colour numbers on them because they were glued and not printed. I found out that one of the art stores in Berlin sells Shin Han Touch Markers which are quite similar to copic sketch markers but are sold at a reasonable price and carried home one of them. The last ones in my collection are the promarkers from letraset. I get them at an online store for an extraordinary low price, and bought four of them, two greens and two blues. The greens have been used here in this painting.

 

Cock of the wood – work in progress

Cock of the wood. Markers on watercolour paper.

This really is a challenge – I got the reference photo from an old calendar from 2011, and up to this date never dared to do anything with it. I found out that you can use watercolour paper with markers – this time I took the smoother side of the paper (some people say that that’s the wrong side!) , and as you can see the texture of the watercolour paper is not showing very strongly.

There’s still a lot of work to do, and I am very carefully adding my strokes. It is a stylized version of the cock of the wood (Auerhahn is the German word for this big bird)

Aquamarkers and other Markers

Flowing. Aquamarkers and other Markers on watercolour paper. September 2014

Last week I heard about Aquamarkers from Letraset for the first time. You cannot get them in one of the big art shops here in Berlin, but they are sold in a German online art shop.

Fortunately YouTube is a wonderful resource, and so I searched for some videos about them. They are markers with watersoluble ink – which means that you can treat them like watercolours. You apply the ink on the paper (watercolour paper is best), and then move the colour around with a brush.

I ordered three Aquamarkers in pink shades, got them last week and had to try them out. I combined them with my “normal” markers (some copics, some of a German brand). The result you can see above. You can mix colours by adding more than one marker mark on one spot, and then going over the paints with a brush.

 

Mermaid with Markers – finished

The Mermaid with the green hair. Markers on special marker paper, September 2014

There are hundreds of Mermaid drawings on the web, and most of them are copies of the Walt Disney mermaid. The mermaids look cute and girley. When I did the mermaid in Acrylics I was pretty sure that my version of the mermaid would not look cute and girley, and I didn’t want her to look that way also when I did the painting with markers. So I took my lightest green markers for her upper body, painted her hair also in green and made her eyes look quite strange by using red and green.

I still am fascinated by the kind of strokes the markers leave on that very special paper. The disadvantage of the paper is that it tends to stick when the ink hasn’t totally dried. So you have to be careful not to touch it.

 

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