donderdag 8 november 2012

Water at Last!

It was a lovely bright day with no demands on my time so I took the opportunity to spend the day drawing. Having filled in all the fish during the last sitting it was finally time to tackle the water, starting in the top lefthand corner and leaning on some clean paper to prevent the drawing from getting smudged in the process. Using a blend of spruce green, prussian blue, blue grey, and burnishing with Chinese white I made the water much darker, deepening the ripples and heightening the shine where needed.

Here you can see the already drawn in ripples, but these need deepening, refining and smoothing as does the surrounding water. I'll attempt to eliminate the pencil strokes as much as possible to make the final picture more realistic. This takes a lot of time, lots of layers, plenty of pressure on the pencils, a lot of burnishing and minute attention to detail. We'll see how close I can get to the picture in my head...

The roughly penciled in shapes and details of the water are clearly visible here. These will need to be a lot darker in tone and very much smoother.
In this photo I've done a fair amount of work on the movement in the water by adding lots of colour and smoothing things out with the help of the stumper. An eraser is very useful to help highlight the top "ridges" of the ripples. For very small white areas, particularly along the finer rings it can be helpful to cut tiny pieces of eraser with a paper knife for better accuracy. You can emphasize the light by adding dark colour in between the rings, but always blend and soften the edges so that the lines don't appear to be drawn.

Time for a break! I've had to turn on my daylight lamp so I can continue drawing. That's the trouble in the autumn and winter - the light fades quickly and it's not as easy to see the subtle differences between the various shades of colour. (That might of course be something to do with my gradually deteriorating eyesight, but shushsssss, we're not talking about that! I'm delaying the wearing of glasses for as long as possible! Well, I only need them for everything that's off in the distance. Trouble is, the distance is getting closer!). Anyway, I'm having a break now, looking out my window at the lovely trees. And no, that's not my halo you see reflected in the window, or a UFO hovering over the little park out the back, it's just that very useful magnifying daylight lamp which is allowing me to carry on drawing despite the clouds and fading light.

One cup of tea and a lot more drawing later and I've made some real progress. But more work needs to be done on the lower corner...
... and that's exactly what I do next, not forgetting the blurs of orange deeper in the water.
This photo shows how much darker the water on the left of the drawing has become. It's much darker in the room now so the flash from the camera shows up to the extreme left but you can see a clear difference in the depth of blue around the blue/white fish to the right. I'm working my way across to the right side.
Well, I've been busy now for 6 hours and 20 minutes - a very satisfying day of drawing - bringing the total time spent to 33 hours and 25 minutes so far. I'm guessing it'll be another 8-10 hours before the drawing is properly finished, but we'll see. It's going to be a challenge to get the water looking just as dark as in the photograph - but that's the fun of the exercise!

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