Archive | March 2012

Quick sketch: Eastern Spinebill

Eastern spinebill, done after a reference photo of Jacquip. Pen and ink drawing, coloured with coloured pencils. Ulla Hennig, March 2012

Over at the Art Journal forum at WetCanvas we have a weekly thread with inspiring photos, and one of the photos, contributed by Jacquip, was showing the Eastern Spinebill. I could not resist doing a quick sketch with pencil and then pen (Staedtler permaliner), colouring it then with my coloured pencils.

Tree Man

Tree man. Coloured pencils on watercolour paper. Ulla Hennig March 2012

There is a challenge on the Fantasy and Sci-Forum on WetCanvas, and it is called “Dryad” (tree nymphe). I don’t know whether Dryads are only female – in my imagination however the image of a male tree nymphe arose…

And together with it a dream began to form itself – the dream of illustrating stories with my coloured pencils, either writing stories around them and getting both on paper and uploading it to my website or to scribd, or having a story in mind, writing it down and illustrating it. Maybe I should not call it a dream but a goal, a very distant, thousands of miles away goal, but a goal nevertheless. Defining it as a goal however means thinking about the way the goal can be reached one time. Two things are necessary: to get more confident with drawing figures/objects/nature/animals and to get more confident with colour. Which means: PRACTISE, PRACTISE, PRACTISE!

Shades of Brown

Colour swatch based on burnt siena.

When you ask people “which colour has the trunk of a tree?” most of them would answer “brown”. Actually it is not brown. It is grey with a bit of brown in it. It may be greenish brown because of the moss growing on one side of the tree. The colour would depend on the light, on the daytime, on the season.

Noticing the proper colours of a tree is one thing; re-creating it with colour pencils is the other. I created that swatch on the same paper which I use for my coloured pencils’ drawings. Whenever I want to produce a certain colour I now can look at this swatch – it tells me which pencils to use. Of course it can be – and should be – more detailed than the one you see. I will work on it.

The blue elf

The Blue elf. Coloured pencils on watercolour paper. Ulla Hennig, March 2012

I really went slow with this one and tried to keep my pencils sharp. And I did some test swatches with various mixtures of red and blue for the background.

You can do realistic paintings with coloured pencils. I’m more into the world of fantasy at the moment – fantasy landscapes, fantasy beings. And – needless to say – I am learning and experimenting.

Red Snake

Red Snake. Coloured pencils on watercolour paper, Ulla Hennig, March 2012

The thing with coloured pencils is that you have to be patient. You have to work very slowly, adding layers on layers, because you haven’t got a palette to mix the colours on. You mix them on the paper. The second important thing I learnt in the meantime is: Keep your pencils always pointed! Only then you can put layers on the paper in a light manner which makes it possible to add one layer after the other.

I definitely have to work on my patience. With pen and pencil I could throw a quick sketch on the paper, and it looked not too bad. With coloured pencils it looks sloppy and bad. So let March be the month of patience!

Blue flowers

Blue flowers. Coloured pencils, Ulla Hennig February 2012

Another piece out of my imagination. Here is what Wikipedia says about the blue flower:

“The Blue Flower (German: Blaue Blume) is a central symbol of Inspiration. It stands for desire, love, and the metaphysical striving for the infinite and unreachable.” Well…