Archive | February 2013

Whale Shark

Whale Shark

Whale Shark. Coloured pencils on drawing cardboard. Ulla Hennig February 2013

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.



Lily. Coloured Pencils on drawing cardboard. Ulla Hennig February 2013

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.

Orange yellow Creature

Orange yellow creature

Orange yellow creature. Coloured pencils. Ulla Hennig February 2013

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?

Back to coloured pencils again

Red Squirrel. Coloured pencils. Ulla Hennig February 2013

Here it is – my first coloured pencils piece after returning from the world of digital art. I really enjoyed drawing the cute critter!


Cat #2


Cat. Quick digital sketch. Ulla Hennig February 2013

As you can see I used the sketch from the former blogpost as a starting point and worked on it.

Having recovered from my surgery I’ve got into thinking about how to combine digital activities and “real” art, or, to say it in a more detailed way: how to make my digital activities enhance my coloured pencils art. Why this? I came to the conclusion that it would take me years to become anything near “good” on the digital fields. On the other hand I made some steps forward with my coloured pencils, and so I decided to focus on them.

But how would it be if I use the digital medium as a way of getting ideas, playing around with compositions, colours, concepts? And then start from there and flesh it out with coloured pencils? I’ll try that.

Digital drawing practise

Cat. Drawing practise with the graphic tablet

One of my goals is to practise using the graphic tablet and practise drawing from references. So I selected one of my cat postcards (got quite a number of them) and began to draw.

I deeply enjoyed having the eraser tool, because with it you can easily change the drawing. This is just a sketch, and I don’t know yet whether I will continue to work on it.

White Lily – Work in Progress

White lily. Work in progress. Photoshop 7, Ulla Hennig February 2013

This time I ventured into the world of flowers. I had a reference photo for that, and I must say that I find it far more challenging to paint after a real reference compared with painting a fantasy-like image without any reference. I have to look very closely at the original, always comparing it with my painting. Where do the petals get darker? What kind of green is that stem really?

And here I think there is no big difference between painting with wet paints or drawing with coloured pencils and painting digitally, maybe with the exception that you can erase very easily digitally.

I am still working on this one. There are several parts which are not “right”, and I also have to think of some background. I will post the following steps in my next blogposts.

Pink Creature – Final Version

Pink Creature - final version

Pink Creature. Photoshop 7. Ulla Hennig February 2013

I am back from the hospital, and I am feeling better every day. However, it is still a bit painful to sit at the computer, so I have to limit my online time, and due to that, my blogposts are rather short.


Pink Creature #2

Pink Creature - WIP

Pink Creature #2. Digital painting done with photoshop. Ulla Hennig February 2013

This painting is still far from being finished, and unfortunately I will not be able to finish before my stay in the hospital.

I will have an appendix operation on Tuesday, and I very much hope that I will be back from hospital on Friday, but I don’t know when I will be able to work at my laptop again. So there will be no blogposts following this one for some days.

I hope to you see all again soon!

Playing around: The Pink Creature

pink-creature Pink creature. Work in progress. Ulla Hennig February 2013

Sometimes I open photoshop, begin with a drawing or painting and everything does down the drain. Nothing works. The idea I have in my mind strictly refuses to be put into reality. This is the moment when I think about calling it a day, close photoshop and leave the computer alone.

But then, suddenly something emerges. The brush strokes I make form themselves into something which can be taken as the starting point to something else. This was the case with this pink creature. It is far from being finished, but I suddenly know where I can go.

And it is the first time that I worked with a self-made palette: I opened a new photoshop file, much smaller than the one with the creature but with the same green background, and then I added a number of pink shades in order to have a base colour, a lighter one, a darker one , just like you have when you are painting with wet paint.