A sketch here, encaustic there, painting, drawing, waxing….a chaotic week with no discipline! No excuses for any of that other than I guess I haven’t dedicated the “time” to work on finished material. The Art Shed did get electric this week! That took me out of the studio and left me with the dining room table (which is fine). I am on my 4th Derwent Art Academy lesson–drawing a rooster with colored pencil. This seems like it will be a challenge, so I started with a warm up drawing of the rooster and then decided that I should do a warm up using colored pencil only. I should be warmed up by now, and now I am just procrastinating! I am not going to do one more drawing until I finish the rooster!
colored pencil warm up
Because I got electric, I felt obligated to do a little encaustic. I am happy with the two dandelions. The photo was printed on tissue paper and then adhered to a found wood block, encaustic paint and medium over the image. I also did a piece on stone–round shell in casine, colored pencil and encaustic. Not as pleased with this one. I think that the stone needs to be smoother–and the color ran, which I would prefer didn’t happen.
On to the rooster!
Most successful piece of the day was just a quick sketch of my one and only Lupine! We planted these years ago, and finally one has surfaced. It’s a beautiful fuchsia color. I sat down to do a warm up sketch mid day….I like it! Maybe I will turn in into a casein painting on stone next.
I am really enjoying taking the Derwent Art Academy free class. Not only am I super excited to get through the lessons in order to get my choice of 18 pencils, I am actually learning from each lesson! They seem so basic in some ways, but unless you go through a course you forget some of the basics that are really the backbone of successful work. The stippling course was not my favorite though. The lesson is good, its the production that is was difficult for me. I have done stippling with ink and I think that with paint i would like it. Pencil stippling is a long and tedious process! Even with such a tiny little drawing I found myself wishing that it was all over! It was all I could do to stick with it. But, it did teach me to slow down and the slowing down helped me really look very carefully at my subject.
Onto something a little more fun. Lobster claw study in color. Maybe I will add some controlled stippling as a tribute to my lesson!
Lobster claw study
This morning I decided that rather than start something new I should finish something I have already started. So, back to the mussel drawing. This piece was really the inspiration for the encaustic I did yesterday, and now that has inspired me to return to the original piece. I am really happy with the strength of the colors and the composition. I like the way the water soluble crayon handles–which is interesting because when I first tried these I really struggled. I am making a kind of light colored wash to do the outline of the composition/drawing and then laying down washes over top. I have discovered that this medium mixes perfectly right on the paper you are using–so you need to have the same type of paper available for mixing. No graphite for this, just colored pencil over top for the details. I think this is working out alright.
I am taking the free art class at the Derwent Art Academy website. It is super fun and the way it is set up keeps you looking forward to the next lesson and project. Here are my sketches from the perspective lesson.
Stone is the substrate winner for encaustic! It really loves the wax. I think that the over the winter drawing has really helped me loosen up. I feel so much more at ease laying in work with paint. I am going to try and stick with the shell idea for as long as I can. Now that the shed is up and running I can pick and choose what subject matter is good for encaustic when the inspiration hits me. This shell just fit right onto this stone. I would like to do some with several shells, deeper shadows and really vibrant colors. The encaustic on stone really enhances the colored pencil against the casein–I need to learn to plan for this and take advantage of it.
This is approximately 3″ x 5″, casein underpainting with colored pencil, graphite and encaustic.
Dandelion in the mist
Sigh. It feels so good to get back to the wax again! I took this photo last week and knew right away it was destined for encaustic. And, then I found the perfect substrate on the beach–a nice wood block. So, I let that dry out, and gave it a casein white ground, painted some white encaustic in the center before doing a nice encaustic medium ground. The photo was printed on tissue paper and cut carefully with an x-acto knife. I burnished that down onto the warm ground and added a couple of coats of encaustic medium. Final touch was just a little white encaustic around the dandelion and then fused with some extra attention in the center. I was really pleased with the substrate and the tissue paper.
On to try some stone. Doing a casein underpainting and then I will add the details with colored pencil—the plan is to do encaustic medium over the finished work to seal it up. Today is our hottest day so far, and we are all really enjoying the warmth and sunshine!
I am stuck on shells. I love the shapes and I have collected so many that I have immediate resources for life drawing. I have discovered that I really like the water soluble crayons and colored pencils together. I am going to try, try, try to stick with just these two mediums for a little while…I will still do some graphite sketches every day.
I ran out of time today and couldn’t finish the one below, but I am having fun with it!