donderdag 21 maart 2013

Catch of the Day!

Wow! It's been a long interlude between the last blog and this one. Life seems to get in the way sometimes. Yesterday evening I made the firm decision that today would be the day to finally finish off the drawing. It's been lying there waiting for the last pencil strokes for quite a while now and really it's just a matter of about half an hour and some discipline. The half hour is easy since I'm recovering from a cold and don't feel like doing much else. The discipline is the tough bit, but I'm determined - today is the day. So I retire to my little studio, turn on the heater (spring is sooooo late this year) and the radio, clear my desk of all my jewelry-making paraphernalia, lay out my pencils and the almost complete drawing and get started, at last! Really the only thing that needs doing is to darken a few small areas, deepen some shadows around the fish and highlight a few ripples in the water. Using indigo, prussian blue and ivory black I do just that. What was the problem? It really did only take about 30 minutes and I'm fairly satisfied with the result.

Just two small things left to do... take the eraser and clean up around the by now fairly grubby margin and, finally, add my signature and the date in my customary manner in the lower lefthand corner...

There might be 22 colours in the woods, but there are 25 (and maybe even a few more... I may have lost count along the way!) in the Koi pond.

And this is it....after a total of 40 hours and 5 minutes from beginning to end....finished!

Now I have bigger fish to fry... what will I draw next?...

Darker and Deeper

At this point everything is pretty much finished, except I have to make the background much darker, giving the water more depth.

 As you can see in this photo, I'm aiming for something close to the darker shades of the photo I'm working from, visible at the right. Using prussian blue and indigo I apply a few layers to the entire background. You can see how light everything is to the right of the drawing.

There's still lots to be done.... but by applying a slightly darker blue on each layer and then introducing some jade green things start to look right.

It's important to have all the pencil strokes go in the same direction. This whole exercise takes ages - a sitting of 1 hour and 20 minutes, another of 2 hours and 35 minutes. Still not finished but I'm getting there....
Using the Chinese white at a different angle I carefully blend everything together. The stumper is useful here too, helping to get the surface as smooth as possible.

Now it's time to add some Delft blue, remembering to keep leaning on a clean sheet of paper to keep the drawing from being smudged.
This takes another 45 minutes.

 More blending and shading at the next session and 2 hours later this is the result.

40 hours and 5 minutes in total so far. Not bad, but still a bit more to be done.