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Claybord Ponies

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Like the bunnies I drew last week, I spent all my art time this week working on another Ampersand Claybord. This time, ponies!

I’m fascinated with Claybord and how both the Golden High Flow Acrylics and the Derwent Drawing Pencils work on the surface. What seems far too vivid and strong with the acrylic paint at first, mellows into a rich and earthy palette once I add the Derwent pencils. Adding the scratching gives it an old-fashioned look, something I didn’t even know I wanted.

I start with a rough sketch on paper, sample it again on mineral paper and add in some scratching to see how it works, create a background in the Claybord panel (6″x6″) with acrylics, and then lightly draw in the subject, swapping back and forth between pencils and scratching until it feels done. I didn’t plan any background with this one but let it develop from the colors, lights and darks. I had no idea these two little ones would be in a meadow when I started out.

Curious Squirrel

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This cutie was studying my neighbors when I snapped its picture. I used a second reference photo of a field of weeds for the background.

Golden High Flow Acrylics can be used much like watercolor, so there’s a comfortable familiarity for me. They’re great for glazing. I love the glow that appears when a layer of Nickel Azo Gold is brushed over pretty much any other color. I’m struggling with detail, though. I either overdo it with a bold color or wash everything out with too much white. For this one, I ended up using some colored pencil for the finer lines.

I used a watercolor canvas board for this tiny 5″x7″ painting. Next, I’ll try these acrylics on paper.

Colored Pencil Sketches

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Some fruit, heavily burnished.

The photo shows a handsome crow. My sketch makes it look a bit heavy.

Most of the animal photos I’ve been using come from Paint My Photo.

Many of my quick sketches are in a Strathmore gray toned sketchbook using a set of Prismacolor pencils bought twenty years ago. They’re no longer made by Berol, so once I use up this set of twelve, they’re gone. And that white is very nearly gone. I have Caran D’Ache Luminance and Pablo sets, so I’m in no way suffering for lack of fine pencils, but it will be sad all the same.