I have several pieces of those inky drawings I did last week that just didn't work and that I decided to cut into pieces. When I started painting again last year, it was really thanks to the work of Flora Bowley. She is one of my favorite artists and I just love her style...vibrant colors, organic imagery, they are so lovely (and so is she...I had the pleasure of meeting her twice since she also lives in Portland!). Having fallen in love with her work, I of course just had to learn how to make art like hers. I bought her book and made a very lovely painting (that actually looks nothing like her work, the second image below). Then I took her online course and made another lovely painting (again nothing like hers, the third image below). I just really struggled with the imagery part. Her process is amazing and there are definitely many aspects that I continue to employ but I have come to realize (and have posted about before) that her style is simply not mine and I can't force myself into that hole. But I decided to try again with imposing imagery on top of the abstract work but not worrying about laying color over color...just focus on the images and making them stand out.
I picked out one of the leftover drawing pieces and just started drawing in flower shapes on top of the dried ink/paint with pencil. Then I added in the stems and vase. With a brush, I painted white acrylic ink around the pencil marks. I used the ink because I wanted to keep it fairly transparent so you can still see something of the abstract patterns underneath it. Once the shapes took form, I used green acrylic ink for the vines and to outline and shade the stems, and pink acrylic ink to give the petals more definition. I also used some diluted acrylic inks in a couple of colors to make the vase form more cohesive. Finally, I added in the white details/highlights on the flowers and vase. I'm pretty pleased with how this turned out. Like most of my projects, I had to employ a lot of trust, perseverance and persistence. It's so easy to let that critical voice win and to just stop/give up but once again, I prevailed and the result is pretty much how I imagined after I had drawn in the objects. I think I'll have to make more of these...maybe with different colors to cover the background..
I really thought I'd get this one done today and I guess if I kept working on it tonight, I'd probably get it done but I have to prep for a Zentangle lesson tomorrow so I need to shift gears. I spent much of the day working on the little details in the cityscape I'm calling Angel Kagero's Eye View. I drew in all the small details first with pencil and once I was satisfied with their placement, I inked them. Once the ink had set I had to erase the pencil lines beneath the ink. I really wish I could could get a better sense of how long these things will really take as I spent most of the day working on this...many hours. I will have it done tomorrow, though, and I just can't wait to see it finished. It was hard for me to keep plugging away on this one because it just seemed so boring, especially compared to my last cityscape that had such dramatic perspective. But I had in my mind's eye how I wanted this one to look and it's really starting to emerge, so I'm happy I stuck with it. But I will be happy when it's done!
I decided to play a little more with my inktense pencils today. I used mixed media paper for my color wheel but it buckled a bit with the water so I opted to see how it worked on Bristol paper (the little drawing). I love those pencils but the Bristol didn't quite hold up, either. I probably just need to use less water. I'll have to keep playing to see how I can make them work the way I want. The second drawing is my most recent cityscape. I finished the line work...finally! I'm planning to finish it tomorrow. I need to color in windows (not all of them but some), add details and shading. Can't wait to be done with this one...I'm ready to move on to a new one :)!
Ok, it was a long haul to the finish but this piece is done! I think this is the latest post I've done yet. I'm happy it's complete and overall, I'm happy with it. I will however, make some different choices on the next one. One thing I'll change is that I used silver colored pencil on some of the buildings and it just didn't work well. I had to erase a lot when I was drawing the buildings and then drawing the windows that the pencil embossed the paper in a way that isn't obvious then the paper is unshaded but once the colored pencil and pencil shading was added the lines stood out much more. I also am not fond of how the shading came out and the sky reflection on the buildings seems kinda wonky. I think there are other issues I have with it but I do think the effect is very dramatic and I love that about this piece. I will definitely use this perspective again. I'm even thinking of doing a series using this perspective with different skies, different sizes and different paper.
I don't usually take my art making out into public. I think I'm still not super confident in my work and don't want to be embarrassed. But today, I had a couple of hours to kill before an appointment so I went to a coffee shop and took this drawing to work on. While I've received a lot of positive feedback from my Facebook friends and fans, it was such a boost to have strangers compliment my work. I heard several "that's amazing!" and "such talent" while I was there. I know I really shouldn't care what others think but it's so great to have strangers like my work!
YAY! A new drawing today for my daily art project. I'll still be working on the flowers but I just had to do something new. I also did something different today and I think I need to keep doing this. I started working on this drawing around 8am, finishing around 10:15. Typically, I goof around on the computer until at least 10am and maybe get started working on something then but likely later than that. I didn't even open the laptop today until just a little bit ago (10:35 or so) to download the photo and start this post. It feels so good to have a finished drawing already done! I'm going to have to keep doing that...starting earlier in the day. I still have time to start another project and to work on the flowers, too. Awesome!
I did work from life on this drawing. Cherries are my favorite fruit but cherry season is super short, and they are really pricey! I purchased a bag a couple of weeks ago and was horribly disappointed with them. They were either flavorless or kinda sour. I stopped in Albertson's this morning to get some turkey breast and they had cherries on sale so I figured it was worth another shot. These are delicious! As I thought about what I was going to draw today, I realized the cherries would present an interesting challenge. So, I put some in a bowl and set to work. I still find drawing from observation/life to be challenging. It's sometimes difficult to gauge proportion and perspective but the only way to get better is to practice! I had two light sources so there were lots of higlights on the cherries and double shadow under the bowl. I opted to just color the cherries and leave the rest in graphite. As with many prior projects, this was an exercise in persistence and trust. I started with the stems and those were pretty easy. Then I moved on to the cherries. I first outlined each cherry lightly with purple and then started coloring in with red. I was disappointed at this point because it was hard to differentiate between each of them and I wasn't entirely sure how to proceed. I stopped for a minute or two and seriously considered cutting my losses and moving on to a different drawing. But part of me told me I really had nothing to lose by continuing so, I grabbed a different shade of red and added that on. I was thinking about where the cherries overlapped and how that area would be darker and focused coloring those areas darker. They started taking shape. I moved on to a third shade of red and this is when I saw each cherry start to emerge. I was so happy to have stuck with it. Once I felt they were done, I moved on to the bowl and shadow. I thought about coloring the background, table and bowl but I really wanted the cherries to stand out so I opted to just shade with graphite.. The bowl shape is kinda wonky but I like how this turned out. I've mentioned before that I'm not into photorealism so I wasn't going for a realistic representation of the cherries but I did want them to be recognizable and I think I accomplished that. I'm happy with this drawing and pleased with myself for sticking with it!