Today I did another drawing with a charcoal pencil. This drawing of Scarlett was done from a photo. What stands out for me about the drawing process of this is I stayed aware of trying to draw from the middle of a line as opposed to an obvious beginning or end.
For example, I might have started the inside line of the left leg at the shoulder, but I put a mark where the middle of the line would be, located approximately where the beginning of the line to be and drew the line down to the mark. To complete the line I located approximately where the line would end and drew it up to the mark.
To draw in this connect the dots kind of way it makes it almost impossible to hold the pencil the way you would hold it if you were writing. I had to hold the pencil loosely from the end instead of “choking up” on it and also held the point sideways to do some of the shading. We all have a comfort zone for how we hold a pencil or pen, or brush but in order to achieve a more fluid or expressive line, it’s helpful to keep a loose grip and allow the tool to find the intuitive direction.
The holidays I always find some unexpected pocket of time to get to some artwork. This doll struck me as amusing. Found in a country store in upstate NY. I haven’t entirely done her justice but I enjoyed having a go at it and hope to do more drawings of it and/or make it an element in a larger piece.
I’ve rendered it in charcoal, but it is quite colorful. She has wonderful blue eyes and a red skirt and a lovely pink flower pattern on her knee socks.
As my Halloween friends watch, I soldier on with my portrait of the dearly departed Diesel. I had only done a small throwaway sketch of Diesel (which I literally threw away) before I headed to canvas with acrylics then oils. This is a good example of what NOT to do. I can tell you as I worked along I knew deep in my heart, I hadn’t investigated nearly enough before I dived in.
It would have served me well to have developed a drawing first as I had to re-work the drawing over and over and it would have served me to have done some color pencils studies as well. Compared to earlier versions of this you can see significant changes in the drawing itself as well as changes in color.
The drawing edits had to do with the placement of the eyes and ears as well as the form of the paws which I am still struggling with. There have also been significant color changes as well. In one version, a curtain was placed partially obscuring the left side of the window and painted purple (that version didn’t make it to this site 😦 but if I come across a photo I will post it at a later date) which was too dark and overwhelmed the other colors and became the focus of he painting.
The curtains were gathered to break up the straight up and down which I felt distracted from the curvier forms of the chair and dog and the color was changed (coincidentally!) to fall/Halloween colors – soft oranges and dry leaf browns.
I had to force myself to step back from the piece from time to time. Surprisingly, some things I thought were going well weren’t so hot and and the face which I was beginning to lose hope for actually was looking pretty good. It reminded me of some words of wisdom I heard in art school when I asked “What should I do next?” The answer? “Keep working on it!”