It’s funny how a scan reveals what I truly can’t see after looking at a drawing for so long. The background just may be a tad too busy given all of the stuff going on in the flower head; overall background darkening might be in order. Not sure.
Also not entirely certain that the unopened buds might also need some darkening. I was being tremendously careful not to go too far with them and lose the contrast they do have. Working from a color photo has definite challenges!
I do think that overall, darkening the background immediately around the flower first (see previous posts) helped me stay very aware of the values. A few days away will give my eyes a rest (!) and give me a fresh perspective.
I know the buds are pretty dark, and even though they were interesting to draw, there’s not much contrast so far. The original photo shows the buds to be pink, which makes for a lovely color photo, but hides a lack of contrast value-wise when translating to black and white. So, I’m hoping the very light flowers across the front of the flower head will give the drawing not only a focal point, but also much-needed contrast. The remainder of the background has some subtle variations in tone, and a few indications of leaves, stems, etc.
I’m enjoying the challenge of capturing the very delicate shading. I’m probably going stupid nutso with it… but I’m having fun making extremely fine lines thanks to a size .03 Copic multiliner pen. Next post, I’ll add some close-ups of detail.
When I saw this image of a wild azalea on pixabay, (or was it pinterest? Sorry I’m not sure.) I couldn’t resist trying to translate it into a pen and ink drawing:
I haven’t gotten too far yet, but I wanted to share the process… As per usual, I’m drawn to images with dark backgrounds: lots of contrast. In the case of this one, the long, delicate sepals give the flowers an un-real fantasy-like look. The flower head also looks like it’s floating, so I added a stem to balance it compositionally. But what made me choose this image over other azalea images was the unopened buds.
When I started the drawing, I decided to give myself a back ground of black first. Because I tend to go to dark too soon when drawing light flowers (I see too much detail!!), comparing the flowers to the black *should* help keep me on track. Also, I enjoy the abstract look of the negative spaces around the individual flowers.
Still not finished, but getting close. Pretty obvious where there needs to be (aside from finishing the ruff feathers) additional contrast. The lighter areas of the background compete with the bird, so I’ll be darkening them. The ruff feathers are not reading as light as I would like, so more darkening will need to happen above and below them. Hopefully, only a few hours of work left to do.
I just noticed that it’s been a year already since my last raptor post. Oh my.
In my defense, I did restart it a couple of times and trashed those attempts. (Stupid perfectionism anyhow!)
In a rare departure from my usual cross-hatched-to-the-max style, I wanted to do a couple of less intense drawings tinted with watercolor wash as gifts for friends. I found them very enjoyable, and very challenging at the same time!
Drawn on 140 lb. hot press Fabriano watercolor paper using .03 and .05 black Copic Multiliners, tinted with Faber-Castell watercolor pencils
Thanks for stopping by! And Happy New Year!
PS. The raptor study is still on the drawing board: hoping for a finish by the beginning of next month.
More accomplished on the endless feathers. I’m finding them very challenging because while the photo is fairly clear, my ink work seems much more textural than the reference image. While I don’t mind the effect overall so far, I’m probably going to need to tame the contrasts (between the individual feathers) down a bit so the focus stays more on the head and all-important eye area.
Another challenge: the excessive humidity has caused the paper I’m using to take on moisture. Even though I’ve taped down the edges, it’s buckled in places… and it seems to have affected the paper’s surface: making it “softer”, so the lines aren’t as crisp as before. And on this altered surface, my pens are skipping, blobbing and otherwise behaving badly. So, progress has slowed even more.
This is going to take awhile… the feathers above are several hours’ work. When I need to focus away from them, working a bit on the background hatching is helpful. Since I work with magnification, I’m almost always less than a foot away from the drawing surface. Remembering to pull back and look at my work from a normal viewing distance has always been a challenge, but is sooooo necessary!
The image from which this drawing grew appears on my Pinterest feed quite a bit. (Do a search for peonies, and trust me, it will pop up.)
There have been numerous individual replications of the image on that platform in various art media: all in color. (The original photo is lovely dark greens and pale pink flowers.) As far as I know, there have been no monochrome iterations, and none in pen and ink.
The subject was challenging because the photo, while being quite lovely, was very high contrast between the dark greens of the background and the high chroma light pink flowers… there was little in the line of mid-tones. And it was a low-resolution image; I faked a lot of the petal details in places. But, it was fun! 🙂
I’ve never been able to track down the owner of the original. If anyone out there knows to whom I should attribute the photo’s copyright, please let me know!
Finished size is @ 7″ x 8.75″. Drawn on 300 lb. hot press watercolor paper using Copic multiliner pens of various sizes.