Saturday, 25 September 2010

Challenge Gillian - August experiments

I'm very late posting my challenge efforts this month. It has been so busy that I kept forgetting. But while my challenge has been about producing a finished piece of work every week for a year (with the exception of the mid summer bust) this month has been about experimenting with new techniques I have read about. Each is a finished piece but to mind hideously ugly. But as they are experiments I'm not going to beat myself up about it - they are entitled to be ugly as a first time effort.

The first piece, of the robin, was to try and mix coloured pencil to produce realistic colours for birds. Birds often have multi tone feathers, e.g. those which look greenish or brownish. The British robin is one such bird so it was an idea subject.

The next piece is of a dog rose rosehip and was done using markers and coloured pencils. I read about a technique where you lay down a coating of solvent based marker (in my case, Promarkers) then shade over the top of it with the coloured pencil. While the colours are fantastic and vibrant the coloured pencil can lead to rubbing through the surface of the paper and spoiling the image. I think the paper I used might have something to do with it though. The article I read mentioned that it was done on smooth watercolour paper and I was using heavy drawing paper. There is also the problem of the markers bleeding outside the drawn outline. While you have the option to not draw right up to the outline with the marker it is still a bit hit and miss. Which is a pity as I LOVE the vibrancy of the technique. The brown outline was added at the end to disguise the bleeding of the edges.

The final piece is of a sprig of olive and began as a detailed pencil drawing. I wanted to see if I could add a watercolour wash to a detailed drawing and still have it look like I wanted it to. It didn't work too good so I added some black ink to the outline. Unfortunately it didn't improve things too much either. It seems that the watercolour just washes out the pencil even though the pencil was quite dark in places. However, I won't give up on that technique yet. I will try again with an animal drawing. The problem I have is that I love drawing in graphite and feel that it is a stronger point of mine that watercolour. Unfortunately, graphite drawings do not sell as well as watercolour so I am looking for a compromise.

However, I am one piece short. With all the buzz around the house finding time was not easy. Hopefully I will have the full four pieces to show next month.


Lori said...

Well, I'm not educated in drawings and sketches, but to me, these are stunning, and look like gallery pieces! Love your work, Gillian!

Seth said...

I love all your drawings Gillian. there is always something so special about them!

Gillian McMurray said...

Thanks guys. I've always been a perfectionist where my art is concerned so I'm never happy with what I produce - LOL.