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Showing posts from August, 2009

Indiana Barn

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Wip 8: Added a bit more shadow to the left and shaping of the foreground bush....



Wip 7: Shaded the face of the barn even darker, especially behind the bush and putting some detail back into the barn boards.Starting to define some of the grass in the foreground. The bush to the left if starting to be defined as well.

Drawing Stats:
the paper is mellotex
size: 7" x 8"
pencils: 2B and 4B 2mm clutch pencils
approx. 30 hr...so far

Wip 6: Really working on the deepest shadows to the right of the barn. Darkening that corner has really pushed the barn right out the page!

Wip 5: The background trees are adding depth to the scene...little spaces of sky peak through to keep the trees 'airy'.


Wip 4: Starting to take shape. I really like the splash of highlights on the left upper tree. And I'm starting to shape the trees in the background. I'm slowly texturing in the ivy and the barn face is deepening in shadow as well.

Wip 3: Again, I am really trying to force myself into crea…

Pushing into the Shadow

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UPDATE: Sept 5, 2009

Diane: Using the 2H to burnish the dark areas, creates a nice rich and solid dark. What a great finish!!

Rick: I've enclosed the latest touch up effort using a 2H pencil and dropping the water into the wheel. Although I can still see area's that require additional touch-up I realize the for now the time has come for me to leave well enough alone and apply everything that I've learned from this drawing to my next effort.

Once again, thanks to you this drawing has been pure pleasure for me and I look forward to starting my next one.



Rick: I finally found the nerve to pick up the 4B pencil and give your "push the blacks" a go and I will be danged! "Henrietta began emerging right off the paper." Thank you much young lady! I may be an old dog but I see that even I can learn new tricks by paying attention. I still have a log way to go (I'm shooting for the moon) but as Neil Armstrong might say "That's one small step for man, one …

Drawing Old Weathered Wood

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Close observation of old barn boards can help you see and identify common characteristics of old weathered wood. Adding these "clues" as you draw can help create a realistic rendition.

- knots in wood

- grain of wood

- weathering (lighter areas)

- small cracks between the boards

- the bottom edges of the boards are more worn and uneven

- nails and old hinges, etc.

While it is tempting to use blending to create tone on old wood, there is a better way. I use a 3 layer approach to drawing weathered wood.
Layer 1 - Using a B or 2B .5mm mechanical pencil , sketch linear lines to match the direction of the grain. These are the areas of the wood where moisture has darkened the wood the most. Also add in knots, grain patterns and "flaws" in the wood. Add all the dark cracks or dark spaces between the boards using a 2B or softer lead. (rich blacks are recommended in these areas)Layer 2 - Using a 2H chisel point on a 2mm clutch pencil, burnish a layer of graphite over the board. Use…

Fire Sky

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Les and I were dining at one of our favorite restaurants downtown, Hessen Haus. It was a beautiful evening so we were on the patio and the sun was setting. Les told me to look over my shoulder and this is what I saw....the Des Moines skyline was on fire! Actually the clouds were reflecting the sunset....these are the real thing, no alterations in photoshop! It lasted for only a few minutes and then it was gone. I just so happen to carry a Nikon Coolpix camera with me all the time.

Sibley Workshop Exercise

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This is the final exercise Mike presented to us during his recent workshop.

Well, I'm coming to an end here. I've spent the afternoon experimenting with the weeds. I keep pushing them into the shadows and playing with some of the light highlights. (it's really such a cool technique!)



After two weeks, I am almost done. I've darken the facial features on Amy and pushing the rusty wheel under the cart and into the shadows. The plants are taking an unbelievable amount of time. I am focusing on the negative space between the leaves...working dark to light.

Louie, the cat, is peaking out amongst the weeds and Amy is starting to take shape.




Adding the wheel and weeds behind the dog, Amy.




Adding in the wood:



Mike tailored his instruction to each student's artistic skill levels. Since he is familiar with my artwork, I think he knew exactly what he wanted to emphasize to me. He really worked with me to understand the importance of pushing the darks...and I mean really push the…

Sibley Workshop - Indiana

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August 7-9 - Sibley Drawing Workshop - Indiana

It seems that anytime I converse with someone regarding my drawing journey, the name Mike Sibley always seems to be spoken. If there has been one individual who has influenced my development as an artist, it has to be Mike. He is not only a fantastic graphite artist, but he is also my web designer, my mentor and has become a very dear friend over the years.
I had the distinct pleasure of attending a drawing workshop presented by Mike in Goshen, Indiana. I finally got to meet Mike and his wonderful wife, Jenny.
The workshop was held in a unique venue. An old bag factory has been turned into a collection of specialty shops, galleries and artist's studios. We had the 3rd floor of this old warehouse as our gathering.

We had 12 artists participating in the workshop. So we received a lot of one-on-one attention from Mike. Here is a group shot of us all. There were several folks that I have conversed with on-line that attended so I felt as thou…