Thursday, January 26, 2012

Portrait "Sabreen"

Portrait of "Sabreen" daughter of my friend Pabhjeet.

Portrait is 30" x 22" Watercolour
Paper: Arches 300lb Rough
Started: Tuesday January 24, 2012
Completed: Saturday January 28, 2012
Client lives in: Karnal, Haryana, India

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Monday, January 23, 2012

Sketchcrawl # 34 - Sketches #3 & #4

Sketchcrawl # 34 - Sketch/painting #3
I really did not have my heart in doing this sketch/painting, it just was not going where I wanted it to go. I tried to fix it, but IMHO it really became a splotchy mess. Hopefully the colours helps redeem what really turned into a mini-painting. This was my decoy while doing the portrait sketches (Sketch #2). Much of the sketching and colour was already done at the Bloedel on Saturday, but fixes and completion done Sunday at home.

11" x 15" Watercolour
Paper: Arches 300lb Rough
"Blue and Gold Macaw"
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Sketchcrawl # 34 - Sketch #4
My 4th and final for Sketchcrawl #34 is a quick sepia sketch worked as negative space. The sketch was done using Sakura Pigma Sepia pens. As I did this at the very end of the day, I was rushed. After scribbling in the darks with the Pigma Brush pen, I realized it would have been better and easier on the pens to use lines and cross-hatching. Oh well! something for another day to try. These pens do work really well on Arches Rough paper.

4" x 6" Sepia Pen Sketch
Paper: Arches 300lb Rough
"Plant Sketch in Sepia"
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Sketchcrawl # 34 - Sketch #2

This sketch will be a surprise for the Vancouver Bloedel Sketch Group as I did not tell them I was doing this. Before going to the crawl site I had decided I wanted to do a series of sketches of the sketching group at work. It did not turn out so easy as we were scattered around the Bloedell Conservatory dome on the winding paths. I had taken two pre-taped foam boards with Arches 300lb Rough watercolour paper of 22" x 15" with me to the site and was determined to "sneak in" sketches of the others. While the others in the group were off sketching elsewhere I did the rough under-sketch. It was not easy as I had to sketch partly from memory and partly from various images from the viewer on the back of my tiny camera. I wish I had at least brought my iPad to view the photos bigger. I did manage to get most of the under-sketch done during the day without the others being aware. I had staked out a bench with all my stuff and this "sneaky" activity was the main reason for staying in one spot most of the day. Well maybe also because it was comfy there and I was too lazy to lug around all my sketch kit.

I also had another sketch/painting going on the second board that I had sub-divided into 3 sketch areas. This was my "decoy" sketch that came out whenever any of the others came back. I am nothing if not sneaky. LOL ... This second board sketch was of a Blue_and_Gold Macaw (Ara ararauna) sitting under an umbrella. Alternating between sketches meant that this second sketch did not show as much progress as it should. Towards the end I was getting tired of the Blue and Gold Macaw sketch/painting and started a sepia sketch in marker of some plants on another part of the board. I will post the two sketches from this second board separately.

When I returned home on Saturday afternoon, I did some clean up of the group portrait and roughed in the skin-tones and supporting dark colours. I was totally wiped out by 7:00pm. On Sunday, in between a number of other personal jobs, posting the sketchcrawl photos and moderating on the Sketchcrawl forum, I was able to do more painting-in with the watercolours. I probably need to stand back before trying to clean up the facial features but I could probably work this to death. So for now here is the group portrait as it stands.

I hope none of the group are offended from the portrait, it was meant to be a bit of fun. I could not resist using a photo of Ben when he pulled a "funny" face. I did find it tough getting the features and characters down as this was the first time I had met any of them.

"Sketchcrawl#34 - Vancouver"
The Bloedel Sketch Group
22" x 15" watercolour on Arches 300lb Rough
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Sunday, January 22, 2012

Sketchcrawl # 34 - Sketch #1

Sketches done while at the Bloedel Conservatory on Saturday Jan 21, 2012

"Maria.. a macaw"
First of a few sketches done at the Bloedel
Conservatory. This first one was a warm up 
exercise when I first arrived. 10 minutes.
Done entirely with watercolour pencil
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Sketchcrawl_34 [Photos]

On Saturday Jan 21, 2012 - World-wide Sketchcrawl was on. Artists from around the globe did a marathon sketching/painting activity in their respective cities and countries.
For resulting sketches and photos for Sketchcrawl #34 from around the world see Sketchcrawl #34.

In Vancouver their were two groups participating. One group did a "walk-about" around Gas Town and China Town while the second group went to the Bloedel Conservatory at Queen Elizabeth Park. The group at Bloedel were inside toasty and warm with the tropical plants, exotic birds and tropical fish. You can guess which group I was with :-)
For posted sketches and photos from both the Vancouver groups see Vancouver, BC Canada [Results].

The photo's below are from the Bloedel group of sketchers (6 people). I believe others in the group took more photos but these are from my camera.

9:40am - Early arrival at the Bloedel Conservatory
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Maria a Macaw... Carmen 
her sister in the background
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Alle - sketching the Maria
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Alle - The MacCaws say 
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Asuka and Jimmy
(Asuka visiting from Australia)
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Nina, Ben, Asuka, Jimmy, Alle
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Asuka, Ben, Jimmy, Dave, Alle
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Asuka, Ben, Jimmy, Dave, Nina
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4:00pm - Everyone else gone - Outside the Bloedel
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Friday, January 20, 2012

Sketchcrawl #34

Saturday January 21, 2012 is World-Wide Sketchcrawl day where artists around the globe do a marathon sketch session. See the general sketchcrawl site and the Sketchcrawl Forum containing current and past sketches from around the world.

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Friday, January 13, 2012

Project RS.52-2B

Today after receiving another encouraging email from Tatie, I decided to have another try at doing this weeks exercise for Project RS.52 but really wanted to do two things:
a) Really push myself with both accuracy and speed  b) experiment further with watercolour pencils. After making my breakfast of English crumpets, English cucumber slices and a tomatoe, I pulled out my tin of Watercolour pencils, my sketchbook and my waterbrush and got to it. Needless to say my crumpets were very cold when I finished sketching and I had to nuke 'em in the microwave to make them somewhat edible :-(

My tin of Derwent watercolour pencils
After 20 minutes
Even pushing real hard with only the watercolour pencils
I still only got this far but had the rudimentary breakfast
items sketched in. Did not get to the can of Nestea ice tea
though, only the outline. These watercolour pencils are
exceptional. The trick is to sharpen them well. I know 
that some pencil sharpeners have a bigger hole for
sharpening colour pencils, but I find with these it is
better to use the regular hole as per regular pencils.
When I start the sketch, I draw shapes negatively with
the outside colour then I rough in the shadows. Super
detail is not needed, this can be handled when the
sketch is wetted using the water brush with only
clear water. 
After another 10 minutes
I was having so much fun I decided to wet the sketch and
attempt to finish it. I was able to get the food, placemat
and plate done, but still not the drink. Again these
watercolour pencils are awesome and quick.
Final 10 minutes
Well at this point I just had to sketch in and wet in the
ice tea drink. I had prior experience drawing these
ice tea cans, but last time I did the sketch all with
blue fountain pen ink. I believe the sketch is shown
somewhere on this blog :-)

I am reasonably happy with the results of 40 minutes total and learned a lot today. I will record these new ideas in my journal under lessons learned.

Did I say "These watercolour pencils are awesome!"

All photo's above can be seen as larger images by clicking on each photo above.

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Portrait: "Sahasra"

The painting below is a portrait of Harish Rayaprolu's daughter. Harish is a friend of mine that still works at Open Solutions in the New Delhi office in India. His daughter is 11 months old and her name is Sahasra.

Portrait is a 14" x 18" Watercolour
Paper: Arches 300lb Rough.
Started: Sunday January 8, 2012
Completed: Wednesday January 11, 2012

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Project RS-52 #2

18 minute sketch of breakfast [Pancakes, blueberries, raspberries, banana and a glass of skim milk - since I did the cooking, it didn't taste as good as it looked]. Just in case you are wondering, the plate is supposed to be frosted glass.

Sketch was done entirely with watercolour pencils and waterbrush to speed up sketching. No pencil used.
The watercolour pencils worked great for sketching and are very quick and interesting when wet. I drew the basic shapes with watercolour pencils dry then used waterbrush with clean water to just smudge-in the colour. Don't be afraid to mix dry watercolour pencil, it blends well when wet. You can see the blue blended a bit too well with the yellow banana and now it looks a little greener than it was in real life. :-)

"RS.52 - Week #2"
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Saturday, January 7, 2012

Big Lesson Learned

Today I learned the hard way that you should ALWAYS use clean water and clean brushes when applying the first light wash to faces when doing portraits. Grr.. had a touch of indigo in my brush and water when applying the base flesh tones. Result a green face. AND Indigo pigment stains... so you can't scrub it out!

I now have to redraw the portrait...  @#%$#%$#%!

Project RS-52

My friend Tatie from France invited me to participate in the "Rural Sketchers" Project RS.52. Each member does a quick sketch each week that is to be completed in 10/15 minutes. Sketch must be done from real.. no photos. Each week there is a posted subject to be sketched. This week the subject is: "Your favourite drawing tools: pen, pencil, watercolour, etc".

As you can see my favourites are watercolour, my fancy ceramic palette and my drawing boards. I keep two boards with the one shown remaining upright and the second flat. My paintings  are done with the paper stretched and taped to foam board (Incredible Art Board) either 24" x 32" or 16" x 24". This makes it easier to handle multiple paintings at the same time. When I go out, (other than with my sketchbooks) I take a 16" x 24" foam board with paper pre-stretched.

My first a very humbling 15 minutes :-(

"RS-52 Week #1"
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Monday, January 2, 2012

Happy New Year 2012

Wishing all friends and visitors a very Happy New Year for 2012