Thursday, February 19, 2015

#26: How Gouache

My fifth online lesson with Val Webb incorporated brush and ink with the black and white charcoal pencils I used last week. However, Val prefers the use of black gouache, thinned with water, to that of ink, as the texture of the dry gouache has more "tooth".



I used black and white pictures that Val provided through her online class.

What I like about the drawings:
I especially like the cat. I liked the way the white charcoal makes the flecked fur look very realistic. I liked the nose and the eyes of the Pug. In her instruction Val mentions that she likes to complete the eyes fairly soon in making a picture as they immediately bring character to the piece. I love how the cat's eyes looks very surprised, and the Pug's eyes are so very sad.

What I might do differently:
The Pug reminds me of a poster I had years ago that said, "Plan Ahea", with no room for the "d". I sketched my Pug with pencil, only to discover his foot ended up right on the edge of the paper. The cat didn't have as much light reflecting off of its coat, and that was so much easier to draw than the Pug.

What I learned:
I really liked working with the gouache. I love the way it flows, using just a small, round brush. It was also satisfying to have a basic image of the animal so quickly. 

Wednesday, February 11, 2015

#25: Dog Gone It!

As I continue with my class on drawing dogs and cats, we switch from pencil to work with charcoal pencils, both black and white.

Inspiration: After working with grey paper and some subjects provided by the instructor, Val Webb, I decided to try my hand at drawing my two dogs.

What I like about the painting: I was pleased with the second drawing. I like the texture of Tucker's mane, and the lines of the face appear softer.

What I might do differently: I didn't take enough time with the first drawing. I did my lines, dusted off my hands, and sprayed the painting to fix the charcoal. The next morning I took another look at the drawing and realized how unfinished it really was.

What I learned: I MUST step back from my work and take that 6' look. I think it may also be really important to give myself a break from the work, and readdress it later, with a fresh eye. This should have become a habit a long time ago! I also found that the charcoal pencils are very frustrating for me. The point, especially that of the black charcoal pencil, breaks in the pencil sharpener far too often. (I just Googled how to sharpen charcoal pencils and the article suggests that you use an Exacto knife blade. Complete instructions are provided. So, hey... I learned something else!)