After my monkey adventure yesterday I wanted to stay with the theme of animals. This time I chose a Red-Eared Terrapin. (I think they’re called ‘turtles’ or ‘sliders’ in the US.) They are beautiful animals with green and very light green stripes. At first I tried to paint this little guy exactly as he is but once i started on the shell I got caught up with the lovely patterns.
Here is my reference image from my big animal book:
And here is the painting:
So today I managed to fit a quick watercolour painting in. I chose to draw a monkey. I looked up some likely looking primates in my big animal book and chose this little chap:
I wanted to do a head and shoulders portrait so I changed around the way he is sitting. I had inteded to take photos as I went along but I got so immersed in painting him that I completely forgot until it was done. So here he is:
Later on that year, at Christmas I got a commercial charcoal drawing set which was fab.
The charcoal in this came as a charcoal pencil, thin charcoal sticks (which I really like) and some charcoal pastel type things. The best thing of all though was the putty eraser which is so useful.
So I had another go at charcoals with this set:
I really enjoyed making charcoal drawings from the charcoal I got from the burnt chair. After working on some portraits of people (see yesterday’s blog) I did some animal pictures:
I have always loved elephants and I really enjoyed the way the charcoal spread out easily and made lovely shapes with a smooth change in density of the pigment. Looking back more critically I can see that
- The offside tusk should stick out more for proper perpective.
- I also think I would darken the dark areas a little more to give the image a better tonal range (which I think just means having really dark areas to really light areas and all of those inbetween.)
- I would also change the amount of the elephant which I drew to include the whole of the trunk as I think this would make a better picture.
This is a picture of a bird of prey which I drew for a friend (and gave to her). My friend is really into bird watching and showed me a buzzard which lived in the woods near out houses. I can’t remember which species this bird is.
I like this picture, but looking back I would look more closely at my reference to check I had good propertions for the birds head and body. In this drawing it looks to me like the head is a little big but since I can’t find the reference image I used I can’t tell for sure.
Finally I drew a picture of a frog:
The only thing I would change here is to look more carefully at the frog’s mouth – it just looks a bit too smiley!
Sometimes, in the places I walk my dog, people abandon things. I find it hard to understand why people would leave there rubbish in such beautiful places – but they do. Usually it’s just litter but once there was an old wooden chair. Some children had set fire to it and it had burned quite badly. Below is my dog Bonnie in the meadow where I found the chair.
Anyway, I went to look at it and found that a bit of the leg was easy to break off and left dark charcoal marks on my hands. So I put it in a dog waste bag and brought it home. I broke it into pieces and began to draw with it. It worked really well and was completely free.
Here are a few of pictures I drew with it:
This is a picture of an asian woman from a book.
And this is a picture of a young Tibetan boy.
And this is a picture of an older man meditating:
All of these were done with the charcoal from the chair.
Below is an attempt I made to draw with pastels as if I were painting. I found it quite hard and, as you can see, the results were fairly mixed.
I was drawing from an image on the TV which I really liked. The things I liked about it most was the quality of the light but I wasn’t able to capture that in this drawing.
For Christmas a couple of years ago I got some new pastels:
I really enjoyed using them. I sometimes think that more messy something is to use, the more fun it is. 😀 Previously I’d used oil pastels but never soft pastels like this. So to begin by playing around with them, and ended up making an abstract picture: