"Five Marbles". 11" x 14.5", Derwent Coloursoft Pencils on Sennelier La Carte Pastel Card (Dark Grey).
Well here's the completed picture I did for the Derwent Pencils Company. It is a larger piece than I normally do but, strangely, it didn't really take a great deal longer to do than a smaller piece. The detailing is the same whatever the size, in fact, I think it's easier because it's not so fiddly and you've got the freedom to do bold, broad strokes. I had wondered how on earth pencil artists do their large pieces, much bigger than this, without going totally bonkers! Now, I'm thinking working big is maybe not so onerous as it seems.
One might think that the logical surface to draw marbles on would be smooth white paper. However, I chose to use a dark grey 'La Carte' pastel card for two main reasons. Firstly, coverage is quicker and the Coloursoft seemed to lay down very softly and smoothly. Secondly, it's harder to work precisely or get bogged down in detail on this rougher paper - you are kind of forced to work more loosely which, I think, yields a less 'photographic'-looking result. I used the pencils dry, with no solvents, and used cotton buds and a hardish bristle brush in circular strokes to smooth out the pigment on the marbles.
I'm really not into slavishly copying my photos. I'm not that good a photographer that I get brilliant photos worthy of exact copying anyway! Nor am I keen on jiggery pokery with photo software, I'd rather be drawing. What I do is choose a photo and then interpret it in my own way, exaggerate colours, leave extraneous bits out, bring out the colours in shadows and so on. Whilst this drawing could be regarded as photorealistic, especially as you see it on the screen here, it is most definitely a drawing in actuality.
I took many, many photos of marbles in different lighting, positioning and group combinations before I came up with a composition I thought would make a good drawn image. Derwent wanted a portrait format, rather than landscape, of 'close-up' marbles, which was more of a challenge, I think.
Hmm, all in all, I'm quite pleased with this one. It looks especially good when viewed from a distance, something which is hard to achieve with a smaller drawing, I think.
Ooh, I nearly forgot to say, I had the thumbs up from Derwent today (Phew!) so the drawing is now winging its way up north to them.