I haven’t felt much like sketching or painting until the past few days. We discovered a new park, and I snapped a photo of what I think is an American Tree Sparrow. My photo was a little blurry, but I had enough detail to finish this drawing.
This is in colored pencil—Pablo and Derwent drawing—on a background of Neocolor II. I used Pastelmat in a yellow orange color.
I switched from acrylic paint for my backgrounds to Ampersand ink and I love the change. I can water down the ink without any issues, and they’re lightfast and archival. With this 6″x8″ piece, however, I went overboard with green and then spent most of my time either toning it down with colored pencil or sanding it off with a fiberglass brush. The beauty of Claybord is that I can use scratchboard techniques for detail and highlights, but using steel wool or a fiberglass brush can erase any mistake nearly down to the white surface. And here are some pictures of Pete having a good roll and then hightailing it back to me.
I followed the same process as my other Claybords by using an acrylic background, colored pencils for all the drawing, and scratchboard techniques for highlights and details for these two 6″x6″ pieces.
I’ve become fascinated with sketching birds, so I’m making an effort to learn more about them. Artist and naturalist John Muir Laws has numerous lectures on nature journaling, and I’d recommend them to anyone who wants to improve drawing animals, trees, insects, etc.
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.