Archive | 19:40

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.

Drawvember 2020 days 16-20

20 Nov

Day 16: “Cougar”

My favourite so far! I was really pleased with the pencil sketch and found myself in a double-bind: it was perfect to me and therefore was finished, but, I wanted to add texture using grey scales, or colour but was afraid to mess it up entirely. I am glad I returned to it, because the final result turned out way better than I anticipated! Grey scales were only appealing at first because this is my comfort zone. After doing only black and grey ink in October, it was like a force of habit I wanted to break. Colours, it was going to be. I love watercolours but I really like gouache too and am more comfortable with it, so that’s what I opted for. I used only four of the five tubes of Holbein Artists’s gouache I received in a Sketchbox: yellow ochre, burnt sienna, leaf green and Prussian blue (the fifth one is ivory black, which I chose not to use, using blue instead, given that blue is ideal when there is snow.)

Day 17: “Boat”

A stylised oversized cruise ship sailing at night. I used gouache again, honouring my desire to experiment out of the black and grey ink brush pens that I love so much. I used the tubes of Holbein Artists’s gouache I received in a Sketchbox: Prussian blue, burnt sienna, and ivory black. I used some titanium white watercolor from a tube to get the shades of blue and the grey. I wasn’t happy with the blue background. This has to do with the paper of my artbook which isn’t does not play well when too wet (96g/m2, 65 lb per sq. m.)

Day 18: “Planet”

This is an ink brush pens drawing of a man mounting an oversized pelican flying over a forest in a canyon, under a giant Jupiter. This is inspired from work by Moebius. I used some of the November 2020 Sketchbox materials that I received just today: sepia ink Brush Writer from Kuretake, blue and green Twin Brushes from Monami. I also used a light grey ink and geranium red ink Brush Writer from Kuretake (the latter I found way too dark), and a pale rose water colour marker from Winsor and Newton.

Day 19: “Sullen”

This is “Woman Sitting on Edge of Veranda”, a work of Kitagawa Utamaro from 1798. I used a black ink 0.05 mm line maker from Derwent and a light grey Brush Writer by Kuretake. Interestingly, I drew it before, four years ago and I looked up that page in my artbook at the time: wow, unbelievable how much I have progressed since then! Everything is so much better in this version: proportions, line work, hues.

Day 20: “Jellyfish”

I went into Drawvember thinking I should experiment with new techniques or medium I don’t use often. Today’s prompt lended itself well to that. There is a shiny quality to jellyfish that I wanted to try to render using metallic paint. Because the only such paint I have is blue I also used black sumi ink in a rectangle background so that it would bring out the blue. It does achieve that, although I am not enamoured with the result. Perhaps had I used a bit of white paint for highlights and a bit of non metallic blue to bring out the shine I might have liked it more. But I could only spare that much time for it.

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