Sunday, June 05, 2005

Tree in Spring- Elephant in the Yard



This is a combination of entries I made on 4-6-05 and 5-4-05- The tree was sketched as I waited for a bus home ( I have a 35 minute commute home). After making the pen sketch I watercolored the sketch on the bus on the way home- sketch took 35 minutes total.

The "elephant" is really a large boondoggle of a machine piece that we found at our office while we excavating during our remodel. This thing is about 4 feet tall and weighs several ton. It now sits as a sculpture in our yard gathering rust and decay. It is a great subject. I made a series of sketches. The first two sketches are on 140# HP watercolor paper using watercolors and ink on the first sketch and a 314 berol graphite pencil on the other. The second two were made on 140# CP watercolor paper using charcoal pencil on the top sketch and watercolor on the bottom. (Each sketch took about 10-20 minutes each- fully rendered.

I like doing these sketches in series - one, I can improve on mistakes of earlier sketches and I also find different strengths of different media combined with the paper used. For example, charcoal pencil seemed hard to control on cold press water color paper- it wouldn't work too well for detail but probably better for strong gestural strokes. I like how watercolor works on cold press paper but using mixed media works better for me on hot press paper. Watercolor on hot press can backfire on you as it sits more on top of the paper rather being absorbed by the paper as on cold press; it takes a little work to make the watercolor work well on hot press but right now I like it better.

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