Sunday, August 23, 2015

A Paper Bag Family?

18" x 24"
Prismacolor colored pencils on Stonehenge Kraft

As I explained in this recent post about my drawing of two envelopes, I have a habit of imagining inanimate objects as people. Well, I was sifting through a stash of paper bags, looking for my next subject (after drawing this one back in April), when a little grouping caught my eye: it looked just like a couple with a baby to me. Go ahead and laugh, but just look at them!

Interestingly, this week's topic on Illustration Friday is people. I'm guessing that no one else drew paper bags for this one!

I feel a paper bag series coming on, but I think I need to lay off the Stonehenge Kraft for a while; it's addictive stuff.

Oh, and apologies for the less-than-perfect photo quality. This was too big for my scanner, so I just shot it with my iPhone.)

Sunday, August 16, 2015

Hillbillies, squirrels, and the drought

"Hillbilly" heirloom tomato
Prismacolor colored pencils on Stonehenge paper

Between the drought and a pair of brazen black squirrels, it's been a tough summer for my vegetable garden. Everyone's tomatoes are late this year, and I think the vines are finally producing more tomatoes than the squirrels want. This is an heirloom variety called "Hillbilly". They are deeply lobed, and are gorgeous colors. This first one that I picked—before the squirrels got it—weighed in at around a pound:


The one I used for the model for my drawing seemed to ripen and change colors before my eyes:


There are loads of green tomatoes out there, just waiting to ripen; the fact that it's supposed to be 100 degrees here today should hasten that process!

Tuesday, July 28, 2015

When in doubt, draw a pear.


We have been having some work done in our house (this is week 7, I think) and my little drawing nook and our office were both off-limits for a while, which is why there's been such a dry spell between posts. Oh, I know, I should be able to draw anywhere, and I could blog from my laptop pretty much anywhere, but I find it hard to get into the right state of mind when there's so much noise and dust and chaos, and my house is overrun with strangers.

Now that my little nook is back together, I can think about drawing again, but I feel rusty and out of shape. (It didn't help matters that my weekly life-drawing meet-up was on a 3-week hiatus as well.)

So, last night, I drew a pear.

Feeling rusty? Draw a pear. Uninspired? Draw a pear. Maybe it's their elegant proportions, but pears have been an artist's favorite subject for centuries. My little Bosc pear won't win any prizes, but it loosened things up in both my brain and my drawing hand.

So, check back soon; I should be posting regularly now. And if you have a few minutes, go draw a pear.

Sunday, June 14, 2015

Flag Day


7" x 7", Prismacolor colored pencils 
on Canson Mi-Teintes pastel paper, Light Blue
(click to enlarge)

It's Flag Day today, so I'm re-posting this piece from last summer.  When I was growing up, everyone put their flags out on Flag Day but it doesn't seem to be widely celebrated today. I hang my flag out from Memorial Day until Labor Day—it just looks like Summer to me. 

(You can read last summer's post about this piece here.)

Thursday, June 4, 2015

Flavor-of-the-Month: Stonehenge "Kraft"


I'm infatuated with Stonehenge "Kraft" paper at the moment. You've seen it in my paper bag drawing, and this portobello mushroom.Yesterday I drew some plain ol' white button mushrooms to go with the portobello. (I love them, but did I overdo the outline?) Stonehenge paper is nice and heavy, and "Kraft" is a perfect tone for drawing light-colored things. Like all of the Stonehenge paper, its surface takes colored pencil beautifully—it almost felt like I was painting on it.

One challenge with using any toned paper is getting an accurate scan. Drawings on white-ish paper are easier to color correct using the paper as the whitest point. You'll notice that it looks slightly different in my three drawings; I'm going to have to play around to see if I can find a good group of Photoshop/scanner settings for it. (If anyone has any tips, please share!)