Friday, October 24, 2008
My Beloved Pencil Crayons
My pencil crayons are back, or I came back to the pencil crayon. They never went away, they waited faithfully, everyday, perched upright in their glass jars at my table, never fading, always perky while I took side-trips and forays into painting and inking. Well I'm back, and they welcomed me back without the slightest signs of resentment, their colours as creamy, glowing and vibrant as ever. Why did I ever stay away.
So, today, I'll present my very first work in progress WIP. Since I'm using a photo reference, I thought it only fair to present that. I took it on the very last day of my holiday. I'd seen them the day before, but stupid me didn't have my camera that day, so I had to go scrambling back and hope for the best. The lighting had changed, and the fungi dried a bit, but not to worry, I just needed a reference.
So this is my WIP. It's 11x14 Strathmore Bristol, nice hard shiny paper. I love this stuff--it's crispy and holds the line well. This time around, I actually bothered to sketch in lightly with pencil first. You need to be careful, as pencils inscribe the paper in a way that is impossible to cover with a coloured pencil. Secondly, I got my magenta (very vibrant hot magenta) and sketched some lines. This step is important, as those brilliant edges need to be laid down first. You can't just add them in later. After that, start scribbling in the darks. I don't do photo-realism, so I'm deliberately heavy handed at the beginning. I want sketch lines that last right through to the end. Of course, with all that white paper, it's a scary proposition. You just never know what will end up plopped down on the page.
And lastly, the space where it all happens. This is my studio. It is also my living room window. I work on the dining room table and make a big mess, but since we never entertain, that's okay. I can't stand the thought of holing myself up in the basement (where we have a decent sized spare bedroom) or even in the upstairs spare bedroom. I want the big wide view to the west, the birds at the feeder (and pesky squirrels) and I want to watch the world go by when I can't think of what to do next.