Landscapes – sketchbook assignment 6

This assignment was simply to find four different landscapes and sketch them, one of which will be developed into a final landscape drawing. I’m leaning toward the last one, which is of a beach in Newport, OR (I lived in Oregon for two years before moving to NC), and that in my photo of it has some cool shadows on the sand that I kind of really want to draw.

Anyway, here are the four: the Traunsee in Austria, a bridge in Newport, a view of the Great Salt Lake from Antelope Island, and the Newport beach.

And just for fun, the photo of the beach that I will ultimately be working from is at the top.


Complex shapes drawing assignment

For this drawing assignment, we were to create a composition of complex shapes (i.e., not simply rectangular objects, or circular, etc.) that exhibits attention to unity, balance, and focal point. I immediately began to think in terms of color, but knew that I wouldn’t want to create a large drawing with colored pencils (all that teeny-tiny finger work!), so I went to oil pastels. (Confession: I totally used colored pencils on the spoon. I have no idea how to work oil pastels in such a tiny and detailed space.)

My oil pastel skills were a bit rusty to begin with, and I messed up in my first go at the underpainting for the background, but I am pretty happy with the results. I have to admit, I really dig the shine on the mug. Plus I proved to myself that I still (sorta) know my way around oil pastels. Yay!

As required, first the sketch page that has a couple different angles and close-ups. As you can see, it also includes some color mix tests.

complex shapes sketches

And the end result is in the top photo. I say end result, but there are a few things I’d like to tweak at a later date, when I’ve replenished some of my oil pastel stock. But I like this for now.

Schloss Ort – midterm drawing assignment and WIP sketch

The midterm assignment was to draw something that illustrated form, volume, and shape. Originally I started working off a photo of two red-crowned cranes dancing, but then realized we were supposed to use a photo we’d taken ourselves. So I restarted with a photo of Schloss Ort in Gmunden, Austria, where I visited in 2005 and took this picture from the bridge between the castle, which is on an island in a lake, and the converted hotel.

Here is the picture I worked from:

Schloss Ort, Gmunden, Austria



And the finished product, done in charcoal only (well, with some kneaded eraser here and there), is in the top photo.

Contour, mass, & volume – sketchbook assignment 4

These sketchbook pages explore three different ways of creating the illusion of volume and mass with 2D media. Four sketches demonstrate creating volume and depth by using cross-contour lines to reveal not just outlines of a form, but the various shapes that make up its surface. Another four sketches show volume with dramatic light and dark contrasts, gotten by first toning the paper to a medium gray with charcoal, then pulling out lights with an eraser, and finishing by developing the shadows. The last four show form and suggest volume by developing only the negative space around an object, in my case a dining chair positioned at different angles.

contour linesnegative space

You can see in the third set of sketches where I messed up pretty dramatically on one chair area and had to erase the best I could. Result: ghost chair!

Paper bag drawing assignment

The goal of this assignment was, I think, similar to the texture panels and the soda can, in that we were to capture the unique texture of a paper bag that had been crumpled up, pulled partially back into shape, and arranged in some interesting way. Back to charcoal for this, mostly just vine with a little compressed here and there for added depth. Also some pretty heavy use of tortillons “dirtied” with charcoal, to make the lighter and subtler shading.


Soda can drawing assignment

This assignment was to find a soda can, crush it, and then stretch it back out a bit, so that an interesting pattern of wrinkles and shapes would be formed on the surface of the can (rather than drawing a plain ol’ cylinder). We were able to choose our media for this, so after refamiliarizing myself with colored pencils in the sketchbook assignment, I used them for this can also.

One note: the can, which my husband found for me since I don’t drink sodas, was a normal red Coke can. But my supply of red Prismacolors was too used-up to complete the drawing. I did have plenty of blues, though, so I used those and “translated” the colors and values.

Texture panels – sketchbook assignment 3

This assignment was about exploring a wide variety of textures and practicing rendering them. I chose both graphite and colored pencil for this, for a couple reasons, namely that I wanted to make sure I remembered how to use colored pencils at all. And a sketchbook is a lower-stakes proving ground. Though there is something to be said for working only in a medium like graphite or charcoal, because you don’t have to think about color so much.

The captions got cut off on the bottom two, but what you’re seeing there are the bristles of a watercolor wash brush and a segment of a linen curtain panel.

Still life drawing assignment

Aaaand here is the final drawing of the still life with squares and circles, from the sketches in the last post. This is just charcoal, which I used primarily because I find it quick to work with (quicker than graphite or colored pencil, at any rate), but also because I was a little scared of it and wanted to get better acquainted. Way back when I took my last art class (high school?), charcoal gave me anxiety because of how permanent that black is on the paper. But I wanted to get over that, so I went with it here and just incorporated the mistakes into the drawing.