Some time ago I did a digital painting with the same theme – a dragon in the forest. You can see it here: Now I decided to have a go with coloured pencils. As you can see I changed the drawing a bit.
I used baby oil as a solvent almost all over the drawing with the exception of the left hand side of the darker tree. Here I wanted the bark to look lighter – almost white-ish.
The drawing has the size of 17×24 cm (6,7 x 9,4 inches), and I worked about 6 hours on it (from the pencil sketch to the last finish). Coloured pencils are definitely not a fast medium! But it is easy to store the drawing and the pencils away and to get them on the table again the next day.
I consider the following tutorial a very helpful one: it is relatively short (about 8 minutes), it lists the single steps and it lists the colours of the pencils.
There was a time when I hated doing backgrounds. In fact I didn’t do them. But now I really enjoy doing them after getting the pencil sketch down on the drawing cardboard. In this case here I particularly enjoyed using all my shades of blue and even some greens. This drawing is not meant as a realistic drawing of a whale shark swimming in the sea. I had the movement of water in my mind and the multitude of shades it can have, and in contrast to that I painted the big, rather static form of the whale shark.
I did this for the February challenge over at the Botanicals Forum at Wetcanvas. I had already started a digital version of a lily, but then it became clear to me that it would take me a very long time in order to get a satisfying result – and with “very long time” I don’t mean a few days – it would take me months.
So I decided to change horses and to return to my coloured pencils – here’s the result.
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…