Wednesday, October 29, 2014
Tuesday, October 28, 2014
I was trying for a less yellow background color. The pencil I began with was even yellower than this, but I layered a medium brown over it, and then even the purple towards the bottom to try to dull it a bit more.
By the way, I should say that something I really like about Polychromos watercolor pencil is that the colors, once dampened and dried, don't more around under the next wet layer. The exception I've found to this is black. Black, even when dry, readily re-wets and moves around. Little things that one gets to know...
Sunday, October 26, 2014
As always with pencil, I find it so useful to impress lines into the paper with a stylus - the lines, that is, that I want to remain white, like the whiskers. Inevitably, they get darker as I work, most often from any water media that I add. But still, it's a good way to begin with them.
I've had a bit of trouble with her expression. Fanny is a very serious character, but she may look a bit too glum here!
Thursday, October 23, 2014
This phase of the drawing comprises all my work with HB lead. I'm establishing the basic drawing as well as the beginnings of the values and textures. I'm working on Strathmore Mixed Media paper which I like very much. Not only does it take graphite pencil well, but it's wonderful with all wet media - which come later.
Wednesday, October 22, 2014
The bottom of the bowl is glazed a rich dark blue and there are raised white stars - the night sky. And it seems that it's the summer night sky because of the full rich green leaves.
I can't tell you why I have totally ignored scale in this piece. Clearly the leaves are way too big for the bears, or vice versa. But I just didn't care. For me, it's not bothersome. The bears are clearly in the woods. This is a decorative piece and the rules of reality are banished!
Tuesday, October 21, 2014
Also, that tail is so fragile that I didn't want to mess with it much. So, here it is, ready to dry and go into the kiln. I'm hoping that the glaze will make the design a bit clearer.
Thursday, October 16, 2014
It doesn't show so well in this picture, but when I formed the basic cone for the body, I got the idea of cutting a leaf shape from the bottom corner on the left. It turned out pretty cool, and when it's glazed I'll take a photo where that part shows better.
I'm taking more time and care on the construction of these pieces now. I used to leave the bottom open and you could look up inside and see where the head pokes in, etc. On this one, I added a piece to cover the bottom. That's where I put my signature stamp, instead of up inside, and it looks better and more polished. Of course I had to poke a hole in it so the air can escape when it's fired.
Wednesday, October 15, 2014
I'm back to clay for a while, and here's my first effort in this new batch. Obviously, it's a vase. It's about 8" tall with two polar bears at the top. The pattern on the front is snowflakes from a variety of rubber stamps. The bear on the right is boosting himself upwards by stepping on a snowflake that sticks out somewhat from the vase.
I pressed the stamps into the clay after I formed the vase, and this was a mistake. Even though I had my other hand on the inside of the vase behind the stamp, I wasn't able to get a nice clear impression. At that point, though, I really didn't want to start over as it had been quite an effort to build this vase - which I did with clay slabs. So I just decided to go with it and lesson learned for the future!
I'm still thinking about what glazes I'll use. I have a pretty celadon crackle which might be nice for the body of the vase. But that decision is in the future - after drying and bisque firing.
Whenn I began this project I realized that it didn't quite make "sense." Why would you use a vase in the winter time? What would you put in it? Would the contents obscure the bears? Well, we'll just have to see. I think bare winter branches might be one nice possibility. Or perhaps those fake branches that have little lights on them...
Friday, October 10, 2014
It was gratifying to get back to painting for a while.
Monday, October 6, 2014
Then I worked on the field. I was itching to get to the fox, but had to finish what would be behind him first. The field is mostly Raw Sienna, Taupe, and Yellow Ochre with washes of Dioxazine Purple for the shadow under the fox and the darker area at the bottom of the painting.
Finally, it was on to the fox. I usually paint animals by blocking in color and then deepening the color and building form and texture with a liner brush. But this time I substituted a small, beat up round bristle brush for the liner brush and liked the results it gave. In some areas I dabbed with it, and in others, I stroked. I guess it was sort of like painting with dry brush. Of course, for the small details in the face I did use my liner brush as well as small round and flat Golden Taklon brushes.
This would be a good time to put in a plug for my favorite brushes - they're Scharff brushes from http://www.artbrush.com. Check them out if you have a chance!