Sunday 20 December 2009

Bottle finished, Stille Nacht and Bah Humbug!

Here's the final rendition of my moody green bottle.  I know, it doesn't look a lot different from the last post but I've darkened the background and generally tweaked it a bit.  I rather like it, it has some weird reflections!  I might frame it and hang it in the garage or something!  Hehe.

As this will be my last post, possibly until the new year, I wanted to end on a Christmassy note.  I heard the Christmas Carol "Silent Night", on the radio the other day and it reminded me of when I used to sing it at school in German many moons ago.  I can't remember all the German lyrics now and that bothers me so I unearthed a version of it on YouTube, complete with the German words so I can learn them again. So for those who value a few moments of calm, listen to this - it's lovely!

Now I'm not going to complain about the 6 inches of snow we've had here that won't shift and it's cccold, or the fact that they won't grit the side roads causing my car to slip and slide all over the place, or the fact that my six cats refuse point blank to go outside to do their business......oh no, I wouldn't do that, after all, it is Christmas and we are likely to have a white one (groan!).  Instead of Bah Humbug!, I'll try and take my cue from the reformed character of Ebenezer Scrooge when he said this:

"I am as light as a feather, I am as happy as an angel, I am as merry as a school-boy.  I am as giddy as a drunken man.  A merry Christmas to every-body!  A happy New Year to all the world!"

(from A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens).

Tuesday 15 December 2009

One Green Bottle WIP 2

Well, this is turning out dark and moody, isn't it?  I worked on the background with Pale Brown, Moss Green and Light Umber for the lighter area and darker greens and browns for the dark area and shadow.  These colours have been juxtaposed with each other rather than layered on separately - I do not have the patience for layering one colour over another, I'd get bored!  I've also refined the reflections, adding colour here and there and generally trying to make sure that the wide array of hues I've used on the bottle actually 'hang together' properly - if that makes sense. 

I'm liking it better now that the purply tinge of the paper colour has all but disappeared.  It's a bit weird looking I must say, quirky ?, and I'm not sure whether to take it further ...... you know, bump up the highlights, give it more contrast, stronger colour.  My instinct at the moment is to leave it alone - I quite like it understated like this.  I'll have another look at it in a couple of days, then decide.  

Sunday 13 December 2009

One Green Bottle WIP 1

7" 9" ish Coloured Pencil on Burnt Umber (I think!) Colourfix paper

I was recently given this quirky bottle by someone who knows I like to draw them so here's my version of it.  It looks rather oddly shaped, as if I've drawn it wrongly, but it really does look like this honest!  I could have altered it, I suppose, to make it look more symmetrical, but that would bother me - I'd know it was wrong.

I'm using Derwents and Prismacolours again and this is about 6 hours work so far.  I have covered the paper with a single light layer of many colours to map out the image and establish where the lights and darks are.  Much concentrated observation goes into this stage and my strokes are loose and light but carefully placed.  This is going to be a moody, muted kind of picture and I'm using a wide range of colours.  I won't list them all but the greens include Limepeel, Moss, Artichoke, True Green, Grass Green, Dark Green, Aquamarine, Light Aqua (Prismas) and... (deep breath)... Light Green, Lichen Green, Lincoln Green, Green, Dark Green (Derwent Coloursoft)!  Well, some people want to know these things!

I'm really enjoying this one.  This paper is an unusual colour, a sort of purply brown, which means that familiar pencil colours look totally different on it....keeps me on my toes!

NB.  There's only 12 days to go until you know when and I haven't mentioned Christmas once!  Doh....I just did!


Wednesday 9 December 2009

Another Cat Portrait

8" x 10" Derwent Coloursoft and Prismacolor Pencils on Dark Grey Pastelmat

Yes I know, it's been a fortnight since I posted anything on here.  The truth is have been faffing around with still life set ups which didn't work out.......again.  I then did a cat portrait on La Carte sanded paper which was....mmm....ok, but just not good enough to show.   So I've now done this one which isn't too bad I suppose.  This is Barley, my daughter's cat, who is brother to Keith whom I've drawn previously.....can you see the likeness?! 

This is the first time I've used Pastelmat paper and I found it softer and more robust than most other pastel papers I've tried and I like the colours in the range.  It's great for blending colours and getting a 'painterly' look but not so good if you want fine lines or an illustrative type of picture.  I've used Derwents and Prismas again here - I prefer the Derwents because they seem chalkier to me whereas the Prismas seem to lay down very waxy, especially the lighter colours, like white, light greys and cream.  However, you can get a much finer point with the Prismas for delicate areas, like eyes, so I guess it's swings and roundabouts with pencils.  The actual drawing has more subtle colouring, eg. more pinks in the fur, than is showing up here for some reason. 

Barley is a good looking kitty, about 18 months old, with a lovely laid back, easy-going kind of nature.  He does have a penchant for Blu Tack (sticky putty) though.  I use blobs of this stuff for lifting colour as well as dust and bits from the paper as I'm working.  If I'm not paying attention, Barley will jump up and grab the blob from my table and run away with it.  I told him today that this was getting beyond a joke - I'm finding chewed up blobs of Blu Tack all over the place!  I'm wondering what the attraction is, why is it so tasty to cats?!

While I'm on the subject of Barley, here's something quite least I think it is.  Lauren, my daughter, who has got better things to do, decided she would submit this picture of Barley


onto a quirky website called .  As you can see, it is a website where people can upload pictures of their cats if they think they bear a resemblance to Hitler!  It is clearly meant to be just a bit of harmless fun.  The site was started by some mad Englishman (of course!), based on an idea by an equally mad Dutchman - haven't these people got anything better to do with their time?!  Anyway, Lauren was a little disappointed because Barley didn't get accepted.  She thinks he does have a Hitler-esque look about him and seeing this rather menacing looking photo, I'm inclined to agree with her!  I did tell her she was mean putting Barley up for that - he is the sweetest, gentlest cat you could ever meet.   Tut, tut.... enough of this frivolity!


Related Posts with Thumbnails