Archive | November, 2020

Drawvember 2020 days 26-30

30 Nov

This series concludes this year’s Drawvember! I really really enjoyed myself. I was looking forward to it every day.

I also discovered that gouache is a favourite. I used to be terrified of it and of paint in general, but not too much anymore.

Day 26: “Lipstick”

My friend Amy made me discover René Gruau last week. I had seen some of his fashion illustrations and advertising work without knowing they were his. I love his style! His work reminds me of that which Toulouse Lautrec and Alfons Mucha did in their own time. I used the reverse side of my Copic Drawing Pen fountain pen for extra thin lines, Geranium Red ink Brush Writer from Kuretake, black ink Pentel Brushpen, and I smudged very little amounts of Light Grey ink for shading.

Day 27: “Cliff”

White cliffs by the sea. Gouache paint from the Holbein Artists tubes I got in a Sketchbox: I mixed Prussian blue, leaf green, yellow ochre and used some titanium white watercolor. I like it well enough but recognise it’s pretty awkward and not striking enough. Perhaps the tones aren’t pastel enough. And I am certain that the artbook paper isn’t thick enough (96g/m2 – 65 lb) for the watered down colours I used.

Day 28: “Pure”

Another favourite! For “pure”, I wanted to draw a Maiko (apprentice geisha). This is from the 2005 movie with Zhang Ziyi “Memoirs of a Geisha” which tells the story of a 9 year-old girl sold by her poor family to a Kyoto geisha house, who in time becomes Sayuri, the beautiful and talented geisha, whose successful career is cut short by the outbreak of World War II. For this drawing I wasn’t too sure which medium to use. After doing the pencil outline in my artbook, I drew it again on a scrap of paper using a Derwent sepia line maker with a bit of black and the geranium red and light grey Brush Writers from Kuretake. It didn’t work. I chose gouache paint instead: yellow ochre, burnt sienna, ivory black from Holbein Artists, and some titanium white opaque watercolor. It took me 75 minutes (for a drawing that is only the size of my palm!) I love it!

Day 29: “Elf”

This is a pencil drawing of Cate Blanchett as Galadriel, the Elven Queen from the movie Lord of the Rings. It took me over 2 hours (the drawing isn’t bigger than my palm). Portrait are really hard. Getting someone’s features is difficult for me. It barely looks like her but I couldn’t find what to change to make it so.

Day 30: “Tower”

This is an alcohol markers drawing on tracing paper of Carl’s house from the movie “Up”, surrounded by towering buildings. I went way out of my comfort zone for this last day of Drawvember! I have 30 or so Winsor & Newton coloured Promarkers (a few of which I used here) and a dozen Brushmarkers of the same brand in various tones of warm and cold greys. I haven’t used them a lot because they require specific paper as alcohol ink bleeds a lot, and my artbook is of regular paper. I follow someone named Mutoni on Instagram and he uses them on tracing paper. It looks way easier when he does it! Today I learned that the ink does not penetrate in the paper. Therefore when I wanted to darken the tones or blend colours by adding layers, I discovered that the new layer somewhat overwrites the existing colour. So the tones aren’t at all like they are supposed to be because I didn’t have the specific colours I needed. The roof is supposed to be a mix of blue and dark emerald, for example. One thing turned out well however: I thought the ink might not dry very well and I didn’t want my fingers to smudge it once I was going to glue the sheet to my artbook page, so I was clever enough to draw on the back side of the paper and then flip it to apply think black lines and white. I spent a lot more time on this little piece than I anticipated. I don’t dislike the result, but I’m not enamoured with it.

Drawvember 2020 days 21-25

25 Nov

Day 21: “Monkey”

My friend Amy shared with me a collage she created in Photoshop in her wonderful Wallpaper series, featuring a monkey silhouette. I found it beautiful and set out to reproduce it. I used exclusively gouache paint, from the few Holbein Artists tubes that I received in one of the Sketchboxes. I mixed Prussian blue, leaf green and titanium white to get the green background, darkened with more blue for the flower stems, titanium white for the flowers, and burnt sienna for the flowers centre, the tree and the monkey silhouette.

Day 22: “Angel”

This is a bronze sculpture of an life-size angel guarding the grave of Francis Haserot at Lake View Cemetery, Cleveland, Ohio in the USA. Sculptor Herman Matzen created it in 1924. Known as the Haserot Angel, the sculpture is in fact called “The Angel of Death Victorious”. Most striking are the black tears which pour out of his eyes and drain down his neck, which appeared over time as an effect of aging bronze. Definitely not the common angel! At first I was afraid by the pictures of it, then I was fascinated. I chose to paint it using black Sumi ink, with a flat brush. The bristles are unfortunately worn out and the lines aren’t so sharp and thin anymore.

Day 23: “Vanquish”

I chose the prompts somewhat arbitrarily and I had no idea how to illustrate today’s prompt, so I am very glad Aston Martin created a model called Vanquish — did they name it this way to encourage James Bond to use it? It’s a beautiful car. I never drew a car before, let alone painted one! Gouache paint is clearly becoming a favourite medium! I used Prussian blue and green leaf with a cheap medium soft flat brush with synthetic bristles that I once got at a Flying Tiger Copenhagen shop, and a bit of titanium white watercolor in tube for the highlights.

Day 24: “Depth”

Perhaps I chose “depth” as a counterpart for the earlier prompt “altitude”? I struggled a bit for inspiration. Since I am not very good with perspectives, I thought it would be challenging to draw a rooftopping point of view (it was). I used for the first time a black Copic Drawing Pen that I received in a Sketchbox. The ink doesn’t flow very well. That’s why I haven’t used it before. I don’t know if it’s on purpose. The ink turns to some dark sepia as it dries, it’s interesting. Another interesting aspect is that the line is thick when the nib is used the right way, but it is extra thin when used upside down. I don’t really like this drawing but I don’t detest it either.

Day 25: “Villain”

Black grey and blue ink and gouache painting of the joker holding the Batman playing card in front of his face. I got so carried away layering grey ink mixed with blue gouache that I misplaced the eye! Oh well, I still like it very much. It’s very bold compared to much of the stuff I usually draw. I learned that the grey ink in the Brush Writer from Kuretake does not mix too well with the Holbein Artists gouache. And the black ink from the Pentel Brushpen does weird things with the grey ink when that brushpen is too wet.


Video: Time lapse of Drawvember day 22 “Angel”

22 Nov
When I set out to draw and paint, I didn’t anticipate the camera app to crash 💥 or stop. Whatever happened I checked at some point and found the Home Screen instead of the camera running. I ended up with two videos and nothing in between. Oh well.

Step by step: Toothless gulping fish

20 Nov

I made a habit these last few years to hand make my son’s birthday cards. This year I did something new: asking HIM what theme he wanted me to explore. Toothless, from the movies “How to train your dragon”. Ok! I love this character: he’s in fact a cat. With scales and wings.

I started with a pencil outline on toned thick paper, the size of a postcard.

Then I mixed my Holbein Artists gouache paint: Prussian blue and ivory black and added titanium white (just a teeny bit), which I laid on the paper. I made sure to be as precise as I could

I mixed further my blue mix: more blue and black for the areas of the dragon that were in the shadow, and more white for the parts of the dragon that were illuminated.

Then I used leaf green mixed with with to paint the grass underneath and his eyes.

Here, I had a very precise idea of what I wanted to achieve and it turned out I just could not! I wanted rays of golden light falling in the background. I mixed some yellow watercolor paint (I don’t have yellow gouache) and white. And there was no way I was able to get the yellow to play well with the blue background. I had thought that once the background was dry the new layer was never going to be change by it: big mistake.

So I ignored the yellow rays mess, mixed a bit of black and white and painted the dark parts of the rocks. Then added more white to the mix and painted the light areas of the rocks. I used some of those mixed on the ears. I added details using black for the pupils, white to accentuate the illuminated areas.

At this point, I had wasted both time and yellow paint :) None of the strokes would produce the gradient I wanted because either the moisture of the paint turned the layers to green, or the new layer was unblended and it was going to look bad.

So, I returned to my early mix of blue, black and white and covered as much of the yellow rays as I could. It gave some texture to the background. I painted the bit of the fish that sticks out of the dragon’s mouth.

Final result with lettering done with a white Posca pen. I hope he likes it! His birthday is next Monday.

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