Friday, March 15, 2019

California Gnatcatcher in colored pencil

California Gnatcatcher in colored pencil
California Gnatcatcher on California buckwheat in colored pencil. Greg Gillson. March 3, 2019.
In February I signed up for an online colored pencil tutorial by Amie Howard Art. It was a single tutorial lesson, following along as Amie drew a robin. Amie is in the UK, so that's a European Robin. And the price equated to less than $20.

The robin tutorial turned out quite well. It is inserted below. So I decided to use the same technique using my own photograph, but include an out-of-focus background. The gnatcatcher above is the result. What you see above may not be the final result. I may keep working on it, pushing the shadows to add shape and contrast.

I chose the gnatcatcher because I had trouble with the white belly on the robin and wanted lots of "white" to work on. The white breast and belly on the gnatcatcher is various grays, cinnamon, blues, and violets. Actually, before I added the background it was a striking piece. I wanted the background to make it as realistic as I could. Yes, I still have a ways to go in that regard.

Robin tutorial. Greg Gillson. February 2019.
I have been working in colored pencil for over two years now. But I probably haven't even created one piece per month. I was drawing in graphite and started ballpoint pen art, as well. Still, only about 70 total "art" pieces in over two years, so not near enough practice. Two years ago my values were poor (very little shadow, so not very 3-dimensional) and I was outlining my drawings like cartoons. Recently my art improved, but Amie's technique created colorful and detailed (if a bit too fluffy for my taste) art that my attempts had been lacking. [See a recent piece: Yellow-rumped Warbler on succulent that I did a week or two before the robin tutorial. It has good shading, but lacks fine detail.]

Switching from Prismacolor Premier to the harder Faber-Castell Polychromos allows sharpening to a finer point. The Polychromos have better light resistance so they should keep their color 100+ years, not fade away in 5 to 15.

I'm still working on it, but Amie's technique has made me excited that I may be able to achieve very realistic-looking work... maybe in another couple years.

Amie Howard Art webpage is here.
Find more of Ms. Howard's work on Instagram @amiehowardart

No comments:

Post a Comment

I really want to hear from you! I've changed settings (again) in order to try to make commenting easier without opening it up to spammers. Please note, however, that comments to posts older than 14 days will be moderated. Thank you.