Wednesday, 16 September 2009

Blue Marble WIP 1

7" x 5.5" Prismacolor and Derwent Coloursoft Pencils on Canson Mi-Teintes pastel paper.

Back to basics with this new drawing - the humble marble. It looks like I've just plonked this marble down and started to draw it but that would be a gross oversimplification! The first thing you have to do is ensure that the surface you place it on is flat and level - the darned thing would not sit still! Of course, you could resort to the 'Blu Tack' remedy which is very effective if you want to position an object in a precise way in order to draw it (I've done this many times!). However, this won't work with a marble because it's see-through and so a blob of sticky tack would ruin the look!

Joking aside though, this simple little still-life set up involved much preparation and many mini decisions. Having chosen the marble, I then had to decide on the type and colour of surface to place it on. Next, I needed to decide about the lighting - natural or artificial. I used my daylight lamp for this one as it was a dull, overcast day. Then, I took about 45 shots of the marble from all sorts of angles and lighting conditions. And no, drawing it from life wouldn't have worked because I wanted to draw it large and would never have got all the detail.

The next stage is sifting through the shots and selecting the best ones. I find this pretty time-consuming because I go back and forth trying to decide which one(s) to use for my planned drawing. I will then crop the photo(s) every which way until I settle upon the one(s) I want to use. Then, I get to choose my pencils and start drawing. I regard all this preparation, prior to putting pencils to paper, as an integral part of the creative process and every bit as challenging as the drawing itself.

For this drawing, I'm using Canson Mi-Teintes paper, a pale orange, on the reverse side where it's not so textured. I've used Prismacolor Orange and Yellowed Orange on the background; Ultramarine, Powder Blue, Lilac, Parma Violet, Blush Pink, Light Aqua and White (Prisma) and Pale Blue (Derwent) on the marble; and....Crimson Red, Crimson Lake, Limepeel, Orange, Yellowed Orange on the shadow. The reds aren't showing up too well on this scan. Sharp pencils and careful attention to detail are the order of the day on this one!

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