Step-by-Step Tutorial

A couple of years ago, I was honoured to be asked to develop a step-by-step tutorial for two floral drawings on drafting film. It was a daunting prospect as I haven’t done anything like that before, and I wondered if I would be able to adequately describe all the processes that go into creating an artwork. I decided to give it a try and I chose close up views of a red poppy (see previous post) and a pink dahlia, using Faber-Castell Polychromos pencils.

Dahliawatermarkedresized

“Pink Perfection”  Faber-Castell Polychromos on drafting film, 8″ x 7.5″

Having two jobs, it took me a long time to do, but it was finally released last week on Ann Kullberg’s website. The project kit includes information on drafting film, tips and techniques, lists of supplies and colours used, the reference photos, thirty scanned steps in total, and line art to trace for both drawings. It is available for sale as a PDF download or in print form for $12.99 (US) here.

Project Kit Cover Design

Project Kit Cover Design © Ann Kullberg

Be sure to check out Ann’s website for some great resources for coloured pencil lovers!

Remembrance

Poppies are one of my favourite flowers. They come in bright beautiful colours and I love seeing a large bed of poppies swaying in a gentle breeze. I have just completed a red poppy on drafting film and took a lot of reference photos at a local park.

Bed of poppies at a local park
It certainly was a challenge drawing the blurred background and rendering all the detail in the centre of the flower but overall I’m happy with the result.

The poppy has long been associated as a symbol of many things, including eternal sleep. The red poppy is known to signify wartime remembrance so it seemed timely to title this drawing ‘Remembrance’ with the Anzac Day Centenary this coming weekend.

7.5" x 7.5" Faber Castell Polychromos on Drafting Film

7.5″ x 7.5″
Faber Castell Polychromos on Drafting Film

A small way of honouring those who have served Australia and New Zealand in wartime since that historic landing at Gallipoli, Turkey on 25th April, 1915. “Lest We Forget.”

 

It’s not a bowl of cherries

I have always wanted to draw a bowl of cherries. I had pictured in my mind a monochromatic still life with the cherries as the main focus, resting in a white bowl. One day I walked into a supermarket to purchase some…..couldn’t find them anywhere…..and instead walked out with a collection of round, baby chillies.

My work in progress is pictured below:

8.5" x 7.5" Luminance on grey Stonehenge

8.5″ x 7.5″
Luminance on grey Stonehenge

There are a few firsts for me in this drawing…..the first time I have used my lovely Caran d’Ache Luminance pencils, first time using Stonehenge paper as a support, and first time trying a complementary tonal underpainting (green under red).

The Luminance pencils are a soft, wax-based medium, and even though they are more expensive than other brands, I chose to try them out because of their excellent lightfastness. The leads are encased in California cedar and I find them light and comfortable to hold. It has taken a while to adjust to the paper, it seems soft and ‘spongy’ but appears to be quite durable and capable of taking lots of layers.

I think the paper doily that the bowl is resting on is going to prove to be a challenge and a test of patience!

Red Glow

A slow start to the new year with work commitments but here is the last drawing I completed in October, 2013, titled “Red Glow”, my second piece on drafting film. I took the reference photo of this beautiful red ranunculus and bud in a local park in the early morning light during spring.

8" x 8" Faber Castell Polychromos on Drafting Film

8″ x 8″
Faber Castell Polychromos on Drafting Film

A lot of long hours went into this piece, it certainly was a challenge trying to achieve a soft focus effect in the background! The resulting drawing was submitted for possible inclusion in Ann Kullberg’s CP Treasures Vol II, a book to feature coloured pencil works from around the world. I was so happy to hear a couple of weeks later that it was accepted for publication – there were 600 entries and 81 were selected for the book which arrived in the mail from the United States just after Christmas. There is a wonderful representation of styles and subject matter and I am very honoured to be included alongside such talented artists. Ann wanted to feature a few of the faces behind the art in the January 2014 issue of her CP Magazine and she kindly invited me to be one of them.

CP Treasures Vol II book (left) CP Magazine article (right)

CP Treasures Vol II book (left) CP Magazine article (right)

I also submitted “Red Glow” in CP Magazine subscriber’s 14th Annual Theme Show “Complementary Colors” which went online in November last year. You can browse through a wonderful array of coloured pencil works here.

I am so blessed and grateful to have had these opportunities. Back to the drawing board!

A Drawing Session

A friend from high school visited recently from Sydney and we spent a lovely day drawing together and catching up on our art adventures. Alissa has been sketching nearly every day over the past five years and has filled over 35 watercolour Moleskine sketchbooks. What an impressive collection! She works primarily with her favourite L’Amy Joy pen and Faber Castell and Derwent watercolour pencils. You can visit her blog site here

We have completely different styles but I so admire the looseness, immediacy and freshness in her drawings, whereas it takes me so long to complete something! Her motivation inspires me. It was wonderful to share art ideas and to just talk to someone about “papers and pencils”. The day brought back fond memories of our drawing sessions after school and on weekends.

The drawing table
Alissa drew one of my Eiffel Tower souvenirs and a box of my Prismacolor pencils…

Alissa's sketch
I was working on a still life piece, a bowl of red chillies…still a long way to go…

My work in progress
There’s probably no better way to pass the day than drawing with a friend and also eating, drinking coffee and sipping wine…

 

 

 

Drafting Film

I had seen some pencil works online done on drafting film and was intrigued to learn more and try my hand at it. Drafting film is a smooth, semi-transparent, polyester support which allows for the appearance of rich, luminous colour. It is not without its challenges though – the film only accepts a few layers of colour and it is more difficult to blend. Oil based pencils tend to adhere best to the surface so I purchased a set of Faber-Castell Polychromos. One of my workmates brought some beautiful dahlias to work one day – they were a lovely lemon colour tinged with pink on the edges. I knew I had to photograph and draw one!

Below are works in progress of “Dahlia Delight” – my first attempt on drafting film. I have a tendency to work from left to right to avoid smudging the colours.


                                                    

10.5" x 7" Faber-Castell Polychromos on Drafting Film

10.5″ x 7″
Faber-Castell Polychromos on Drafting Film

I was thrilled to have this piece published in the showcase section of Ann Kullberg’s CP Magazine (November 2013 issue). Ann has a great website packed full of information on all things coloured pencil – tips, techniques, a monthly magazine, tutorial kits, books, and she features some amazing artwork.

I also entered this drawing into a local flowers and gardens exhibition in September. It didn’t sell but I can enjoy having it around just a little bit longer!

five

Light and Shade

I normally like to take reference photographs for my artwork in the early morning or late afternoon sun. The light seems softer, the contrasts between light and shadow seem to take on a luminous quality. I love to try to capture the effect of light on a subject and hopefully achieve a dramatic impact.

This is a small study of a lily that I completed last year. The reference photo was actually taken inside on my iPhone and the flower set against a dark timber door with the light streaming in from above through a glass panel. It is titled “Towards the Light”.

4" x 4" Prismacolor

4″ x 4″
Prismacolor