Sep 30, 2014

Can you Draw Upside Down???


I mean work away with everything
Paper, reference photo reversed!

Necessity forced me to give it a go!!

Western Hawk Owl (We think)

My Owl is one of my projects for the Mount Revelstoke Show from my Residency this summer. I really wanted to emphasis my owl up in the tree; hence the long, thin format.  However, it was far to uncomfortable when working on the top, to lean over the whole picture so I decided to turn things around.

What a difference it made!

When you work on a drawing it is so easy to fall into a pattern of drawing 'what you think is there' rather than 'what is there'.  That old left brain, right brain thing comes into play.  The left brain sees a branch and says, yeah, that's a branch and it looks like this.  But the right brain says well no, it kind of bends here, moves there, gets lighter and darker, it seems to have a life of its own.  Unfortunately, the left brain usually win these discussions and the drawing ends up looking very boring with everything looking very nondescript.

Working upside down I found that I worked with shapes and values more, my poor left brain had no idea what I was drawing and kind of left me alone.  It made it so much easier to create tangled branches with interesting shapes and lots of volume.

I turned the picture around so you could see how things were going!

We spotted this owl when hiking on the trails on Mount Revelstoke. We were really very fortunate to see him as he totally blended into the dead branches of the tree in a very dark and shady spot. I tried several settings on my camera to get some shots and was really pleased that some of my pictures turned out.  We are not quite sure what kind of owl he is but we think he is a Western Hawk Owl.  We are just waiting for confirmation.  I should know by the time I am finished.
Note: Just confirmed it is a Northern Hawk Owl.  Oct. 6, 2014

Well I have to get my peddle to the metal and get this guy finished, he has to be ready to head off to Revelstoke by Thanksgiving Weekend!!

Capturing animals in graphite is one of my passion and one of my specialties.  If you would like to commission a drawing of one of your pets Contact Wendy .  I would be pleased to work with you to bring your project to life.  See more of my Pet Commission Work on my Commission Page.  

Special Note: To learn more about the Residency see my first three August 2014 Posts beginning with this One

Sep 23, 2014

Can you draw White with a Gray Pencil???


What does white look like?

Is White really White?

How do you do that with a gray pencil?

Arctic Travelers - 9 x 12 , Graphite - Available

When it came time to draw my snow geese, this was my problem!! 

I studied the drawing and determined what was pure white.  Highlights mostly.   They became my guide:  The Zero Value.  Everything else had some value of gray. I then worked up the scale, carefully creating shades of gray till the final dark was reached.

Of course I didn't stop there!!  I like to blend my graphite which gives that lovely soft tone to the light areas.   But it does require many layers to get the darks. For me it is worth the effort, I love the soft feathery look it gives my geese.

My Arctic Travelers are Lesser Snow Geese visiting the marshlands at Riefel Bird Sanctuary.  They come each fall from Wrangel Island, Russia, in the Arctic Ocean, north of Siberia.  Hard to believe they travel 5,000 km each October to winter on the farmers' fields and marshlands here in the Fraser Valley.  They can travel at pretty good speeds; some of  them have been tracked flying non-stop from Alaska to here (2500 km) in less than 36 hours!

The younger geese stay with their parents for quite awhile.  They have a light gray colour rather than the bright white. This threesome is the parents with one of their kids!

Capturing animals in graphite is one of my specialties, if you would like to commission a drawing of one of your pets Contact Me.  I would be pleased to work with you to bring your project to life.  See more of my Animal Commission work on my Commission Page.. 

Sep 11, 2014

What does Pink really look like??


Blush, Brillant, Coral, Classic,  Fluorescent, Deep or Dark?

Oh, don't forget Hot and Cold!

How do you know you have Pink?

AFTERNOON TEA - Watercolour, 16 x 20, matted, unframed $450

Working on Afternoon Tea I found myself deep in the Pink !
Fuchsias have four lovely long, slender, pink sepals spreading out to cover shorter broader, purple petals below.  Seems easy enough but when it came time to paint "the pink", things became a challenge. 

 In artist's language we use the term "local colour", pink was the local colour but what really does that mean.  There is: pink in the sunlight; pink in the shade; and pink in the reflected light. The sunlight and the shade also have soft parts and harsh bright or dark parts.  Then consider that the reflected light comes from the other petals, both pink and purple, the leaves and the sky.  Of course the sky and the leaves have their own "colour thing" going on as well but let's not get into that!  

I tried to work with a bit of a formula for each flower, but quickly gave that up. No formula worked! Each petal had its own story! I worked each petal with light wet glazes often changing the colour 3 or 4 times within a petal.  Sometimes leaning to a warm colour and sometimes to the cold, trying to respond to each of the "colour" demands.  I must admit sometimes I didn't know whether I was coming or going! 

So like my little hummingbird, I invite you to flutter amongst the blossoms and enjoy their lovely pinks and mauves and greens and blues!!  Enjoy!  It is fun to look at but a challenge to paint!!

Happy to Join my picture The Fire Dance in Salmon Arm!!

Special Note: I was up to Salmon Arm last week for the reception of the 46th Open National Juried Exhibition of the Society of Canadian Artists.  As many of you know my painting "The Fire Dance" was a successful entry in the show.  Sad to say it did not win an awards but it was picked as the Cover Picture for the Show Cateloge!!  The show runs until the Sept 27, at the Salmon Arm Art Gallery.  Stop by if you are in the area. 

Have a great day,