Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Botancial update

Working in Colored Pencil

We are making progress on our botanical drawings. Everyone is now working in colored pencil, so there are new techniques to learn, as well as becoming familiar with colored pencils themselves.

composition on tracing paper
Several of my students have not work with them at all before. They are learning that colored pencils are a different animal! Several of my students have sets of colored pencils themselves, but for others it is a new medium. At the Renaissance Art Gallery I have samples of just about every brand of colored pencils there are, including some I detest. But what better way for them to learn than to try out before investing in materials they will not use. Then when they do buy pencils, they not only know the best brands to buy, but just how they will work.


I demonstrated how to start the drawings, selecting reference materials, both from live plants and photos. How to edit and use these materials.

We started by drawing our concepts on tracing paper. Then using colored pencil, transferring our compositions to our boards.

A long discussion of materials to draw on, and a day of trying out different papers and supports gave the students a lot to think about. Most of us are working on mat board. Our local art supply store cut mat board into the sizes we needed. Mat board is one of the supports that is durable enough and has enough tooth for colored pencil. For those working on paper, we are using at least 120 lb. And one student has 140 lb paper.


For this project we are working larger than normal, on boards that are 16 x 20. Not all of them are white! Several are working on tinted papers and boards, which I think makes the art very interesting!


Once the drawings were transferred, we were ready to start.

Sketched in Watercolor pencil Then wet


Again I demonstrated technique and materials. For this project I started my work with watercolor pencils. This is more to set the basic shapes and values. I did use lighter colors than I want the finished drawings, but as each work has a range of values, using a lighter color to establish basic shapes seems like a good idea.


Now, you can draw with watercolor pencils without the transfer technique. Neither is right or wrong, I simply wanted by student to know both ways and make their own choices. The same is true of art materials. Try everything so you can make intelligent and informed choices.


Which brings me to today blog, photos of how we are doing.
Mary Ann's Pears
Julia Adds Green
Hosta on Tinted Mat Board
Next week I should have more updates of these detailed drawings!
Detail of leaf

Detail of flower


Detail of Day Lily
Day Lily

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