Thursday, September 22, 2011

Digital Eraser

I'm working on a new piece and having some problems with composition.  After several hours of sketching in an element and then erasing it, the thought hit me that I could be drawing on my computer and erasing by "un-do"ing. Much easier than constantly erasing.    Here is what I came up with:

I used which is an excellent free drawing and graphics program from the University of Washington.   You can see where I've put in limbs and leaves.  (It's kind hard to draw those leaves with a mouse!)  However, this method was much quicker than drawing by hand.

Now I'm adding in the limbs and leaves on my drawing.  I will need to do gray-scale of the main images to work out the lights and darks.  Everything but the background will be done this way.  

I like to think of this technique as the digital equivalent of doing thumbnail sketches. 

Thursday, July 28, 2011

More Lilies

This is  a Munson seedling.  Another one without a proper name.  It definitely should have one as it is quite unusual with it's pink eye and red petals.  It definitely stands out in a crowd.   I had some troubles with this getting the shading right under the front petal.  The bottom of the petal has some green on it and it almost fades into the stem.

Sunday, June 26, 2011

Daylily Project

I'm working on documenting my lily garden.  I have around 25 different varieties of day lilies.  That's what happens when you live 3 miles from a day lily farm!  The one on the left is a red spider lily, somewhat different in appearance than the usual day lily form.  It always reminds me of a sunset. 

This is Alabama Jubilee.  It's one of a new breed of day lily that has exceptional strong stems.  It stands up through wind and rain.

I'm also experimenting with the new SoHo colored pencils sold by Jerry's Artarama.  They are somewhat harder than Prismacolors.  They have a nice range of colors, especially in the blues and greens.  These pieces were done completely in the SoHo's. 

This doesn't work well on the gray paper, so it will probably get drawn again on a lighter shade of paper.

And these are seedlings that don't have a name.  I got them at the day lily farm.  The owner told me that they were seedlings from some crosses he had made and as such, didn't have a name.  But I like them, especially with the white edges.  They are quick to multiple.  After about 4 years, I have an entire section of them in my lily bed.  I think that they might have to be some dividing going on in the fall.

Here are a few other day lily drawings that I did last year when I started this project.

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Clematis Blooms

I am growing a clematis vine in a very large pot.  It's just covered with blooms.  At last count, there were over 45 blooms, each about 6 inches wide.  It's just beautiful.  I just had to try my hand at a few blooms:

These are done in a Canson MultiMedia sketchbook with Derwent inktense watercolor pencils.   I experimented with colored pencil over the top.  The center blossom has the flower center done in graphite.

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Hedychium with Sphinx Moth

This piece is for a colored pencil botanical show at the NC Botanical Gardens in Chapel Hill.

It's a ginger lily (hedychium) with a hummingbird or sphinx month.  Last summer I had several sphinx moths show up and they were really attracted to my ginger lilies.  I'd never had any of these moths in my garden before.  So I "googled" them and came to find out that they are the moth of the common horned tomato worm.

Now I know why I've not seen them around my garden before.  I have (or maybe had might be more appropriate) a colony of parastic wasps.  These are very beneficial insects if you are trying to garden organically.  They lay their eggs on caterpillars, especially tomato worms.  Their larvae then use the tomato worm as an incubator and food source until hatching as wasp.  So I'm not sure how any tomato worms escaped the wasps.  It could have possibly came from someone else's vegetable garden.

This piece is on Magnani pastel paper that's a light blue in color.  This paper is great to work on.  It holds many layers of color.  It has a slight texture, but it was easy to cover.  It's tough too - I used a Vanish eraser to completely remove the leaf on the left.  (Still not happy with it!)   After finishing the piece, I sprayed it with the new Krylon spray for pencil, pastels, and acrylics.  It's clearly labeled that way on the can.  It left a white residue on the piece.  I was able to use my fingers to remove most of it.  It doesn't show on the background.  The spray caused some areas in the piece to separate.  I don't think it dissolved.  It just looked like it moved aside from it, much like oil moves from soap.  I have fixed those areas.  The whole piece is rather flat looking now.

Needless to say, I won't be using the Krylon anymore.  I've never had any problems with the Blair spray for digital photos that I normally use.  It's archival and dries completely clear.  And as it usually the case, I don't have time to redo it.  So it will have to go as is.

Friday, February 18, 2011

Downy Woodpecker

My chapter of the CPSA, DC114 has been asked to provide an art show for the NC Aquariums.  This is our third year and we're pleased that this venture has gone so well.  The Aquarium provides the theme and for this year's show, they have chosen "The Maritime Forest". 

This is a downy woodpecker.  These birds are fairly small, about 7 or 8 inches long.  I took the photo of this bird last winter and he was hanging upside down.

This is a small piece, only 7 by 5 inches.

On a side note, I can't believe that I haven't posted anything since November of last year.  Where does the time go!  Sometimes, I just don't think folks are really interested in the everyday mundane stuff.