I mentioned in one of my last posts that I thought about using my digital images as reference for my coloured pencil paintings. This painting here is the first result of putting that thought into practice.
The painting is not a copy of the digital image. I kept the pose of the creature and most of its colours, but I dealt with the background rather freely. But that’s what a reference is made for, isn’t it?
This drawing is based on the one of the famous fairy tales written down by the Grimm brothers: The Frog King.
In the fairytale the frog meets with the young princess at the well, and asks her to throw her golden balls into the well so he could catch them. She is not very interested in playing with an ugly frog and leaves the place. However the frog manages to enter her room in the castle and asks the princess to be admitted to her bed – which – of course – she denies. She not only says “no” but takes the frog and throws him onto the wall. The result of this is the “birth” of a wonderful prince…
As you can see on the drawing I imagined a rather proud frog with two piles of golden balls. He is not the one who begs to be a member of the game, but plays the game himself. Wait till a young maiden comes his way – and then – whoosh – there goes the ball!
Unfortunately I got ill over the holidays. Pains in the right hip and fever, and due to the latter I didn’t feel like posting. I am much better now – back to the creative world so to speak.
I posted this piece without the backround here. I am more and more convinced of the importance of the background, and of the fact that it is not simply something to be filled in in whatever colour might be appropriate, but an entitity with its own structure.
Here the challenge consisted in the fact that the reference tutorial was for watercolour painters, and I somehow had to transfer this tutorial to the world of coloured pencils. So it actually looks a bit different than the watercolour piece. However it was not my intention to produce a copy. I was interested in the colour combination of orange and brown, and I wanted to create grass in various shades of green.
In November 2012 the monthly challenge for the acrylic forum was “sunsets” and there were some wonderful reference photos of sunsets. I downloaded two of them with the intention of doing them with acrylics. However, the month of November passed, and the reference photo still waited to be painted.
In December I switched to coloured pencils again. I’d never thought of doing a sunset with them, but I had to look at the photo again and again. Then I thought “Why not?” and began to draw… It sure was a challenge, but the result encourages me to try other subjects which are also not often done with coloured pencils…
The reference I had for this drawing was an acrylic tutorial. I wanted to explore how it would be to do a coloured pencil piece with it, and I quite like the result. Of course there’s a big difference regarding the application of lighter colours. With acrylics you can put white on a dark blue, whereas with coloured pencils and markers you cannot. You have to work from light to dark.
I had a reference photo from the Reference Images Library at WetCanvas, and for the first time I used the grid method to get the proportions right, instead of simply tracing the image. It takes a lot more time doing it this way, but it makes one look very closely at the reference image and the image one is drawing.
Regarding the background I took big liberties with the photo. I wanted it to be bright and cheerful.
Polychromos Coloured pencils and Albrecht Dürer watercolour pencils, used dry. Markers: Delta Markers from Rotbart, copic ciaos.
Watercolour paper from Hahnemühle Fine Art, 17×24 cms.
Yes, I’ve returned to my coloured pencils and my markers. This time however my intention is not to try things out, but to try to create paintings or drawings which could hang on someone’s wall – and that someone might not be only me.
I spent last weekend together with some dear friends who have been artists for a much longer time than I have been doing art. They decided to participate in an event called “the day of the open studios” which means that they plan to do an art show in their house and garden. I’d brought some of my pieces with me, and they favoured one done with pencils and markers (you can see it here). And they – gulp – invited me to participate in their show! An art show – that was something I had been dreaming of but never thought that it could become reality some day.
On the other hand, I must admit I am terrified. It is not only that I have to produce the necessary drawings or paintings, they also have to be good enough to be shown to the public, good enough to be shown side by side with my friends’ art.
The event will be in May next year. Time enough, one might think. But we all know that time flies. So I am off to my drawing table, because I want to be able to show you something soon!
This is a contribution to the September challenge of the “Florals and Botanical” Forum over at WetCanvas. I’d already participated in May and June, but missed July and August.
I like those challenges, not only because I have to stick to a certain subject or theme, but also because you learn so much by looking at the other people’s contributions, seeing different styles and different mediums. In addition to that the people are so friendly and supportive!