60 hours of drawing later...

I have been very forcused on drawing for the past few weeks. I almost finished Ludwig's nose and eye, and just kept going. I've pushed the drawing further than I have with any artwork so far, and it has payed off I think.

I've had the help of a couple of great audiobooks to keep me sitting in front of the easel. "IT" by Stephen King was particularly helpful. (Almost 45 hours of listening!)

The lower left corner is starting to look more like a painting now, while the rest of the piece still looks like a drawing. I like it when you can't tell at once that it is a drawing. I've almost used up my Caran d'Ache Luminance white pencil. It gives such a soft and smooth look when I put it over other colors. When I bought my Luminance colored pencil set this summer, you could only buy them in sets. Luckily things have changed in the past 6 months, and now tegne.no does sell them open stock. They have a shop in Oslo, and I'll have to make a trip before the year is over if I am to finish this piece before the new year starts.

I already have plans for my next drawing. It will be smaller, since I seem uncapable of leaving any part of the paper unworked, and I want to finish a piece a bit faster this time. And it will not be as detailed as this piece, I want to practice making backgrounds that are out of focus.

The first day of drawing. It took me 30 minutes to trace the image, and 1,5 hours to do the rest.

The first day of drawing. It took me 30 minutes to trace the image, and 1,5 hours to do the rest.

About ten days and 20 hours later, I've almost done what I set out to do. The nose and eyes look quite realistic, but still more layers are needed.

About ten days and 20 hours later, I've almost done what I set out to do. The nose and eyes look quite realistic, but still more layers are needed.

This is where I'm at right now. I've learned so much about using colored pencil to create photorealistic images. I'm guessing I have about 20 hours of drawing left. And that probably means it will be closer to 40!

This is where I'm at right now. I've learned so much about using colored pencil to create photorealistic images. I'm guessing I have about 20 hours of drawing left. And that probably means it will be closer to 40!

My own reference photos

I've started a new drawing. I'm really excited about this one, because it's the first time I use a reference photo I have taken myself. It makes such a huge difference for some reason, it feels better to have made everything myself from the beginning. I took a photo of one of my cats, Ludwig and I'm drawing from that. I just want to practice drawing the nose and the eye, I don't plan on finishing the whole piece now. I'll just keep going until I'm tired of it. I focus on one area and I go a couple of rounds with layers of colored pencil and odorless paint thinner. Then I move on to the next area. I think that way it's easy to get the contrasts right. Then I'll go over all the areas again until I have reached the amount of color saturation I'm after.

I finished the pink flower and put it up on the bedroom wall. I could probably have gone for longer, it's hard to decide when I can't get any more out of it. I guess that comes with practice. This time I haven't had to stop because I've damaged the paper by pushing too hard. It's a bit fuzzy round the edges, I need to pay more attention to having sharp lines where needed.

I'm in a really good place when it comes to drawing habits. For the past two weeks I have drawn for about two hours a day. I wasn't going to draw more than one hour a day until November, but I got so excited when I had a few days off work and I realised that it's not the length of time in front of the easel that's the challenge, but the size of my project. I need to keep telling myself that I'm just going to practice drawing small things. That way, I often do more than what I intended because my motivation lasts longer than when I think I have this huge task in front of me. It's amusing how our minds work...

A new enjoyable routine

It's been an inspiring week. I found an image on Pixabay and started a drawing of a soap bubble, it's got a nice, summer feeling to it. It's a chance to test out some of the things I learned at Sharpened Artist Academy this week, a few time saving tricks that are very welcome. :) Color pencil drawings take a lot of time, but that is part of the appeal for me. I like the control I have over both shape and color when I use pencils. But of course, if I can learn to save some time here and there, I will. 

I have quite a nice routine going now. I usually watch the weekly class from SAA on Sunday afternoon, and on Monday at work I listen to the Color Pencil Podcast. My week gets off to a really nice start this way.

My summer bubble

My summer bubble

You need my help, don't you see?

You need my help, don't you see?

Happy Birthday Me!

I just celebrated my birthday and I decided to give myself a gift I've been wanting for a while: the complete set of Caran D'Ache Luminance colored pencils!

This is one of the more expensive colored pencil sets, but they're great to work with, and there are so many wonderful colors. They are of the more lightfast quality too, so the pencil art I make will actually last.

I am still working on a strawberry made with Faber Castell Polychromos pencils, and enjoying myself immensely, but I look forward to my next drawing, it will definitely be made with the Caran D'Ache pencils. Maybe I'll draw some wildlife or one of my cats. I also want to do a self portrait, oh, the choices!!

So many things to draw, so little time!

Lack of motivation

I was looking forward to starting a new drawing this week, but I think I bit off more than I can chew at the moment. I got a photo from Pixabay, a snailshell on some green leaves. But I started out filling in the entire sheet of paper, and it just became overwhelming!

I need my experience with art to be fun and without pressure or expectations right now. If I get into the mindset of: "I have to do this, this is work", I will get completely stuck as I have done before.

I think I will save this one for later and start on something smaller, like a fruit or something...