Sunday, June 10, 2007
This is a Savannah Iris from my garden. This is the bud that I had sketched so long ago. I took someone's suggestion of using matboard to do colored pencils on and I did like it. I loved the way to pencils took to the matboard, very smooth and mixing on it was easy. The only problem I had was, and I thought I had a piece that was pretty smooth, there were horizontal ridges running through the matboard. And in some places the colored pencil really built up on a ridge and then it was really difficult to smooth it out. You can see where that happened in the drawing. The little swatches of color were my attempt to find the perfect color for the very center of the iris. I worked from both sketches and photos that I had taken. Sketches for the overall drawing and photos for the color. I loved that luminous color of red and was having trouble finding the right colors to capture it. Turned out all I had to do was put hot pink under pale and red vermillion and crimson lake and there it was. I also applied the old standby of using complimentary colors for my darks and shadows. I'm very happy with how this turned out and will continue to experiment with papers and media. This piece is a housewarming gift for friends of ours that just bought their first house. Savannah Iris, 4 X 4 inches Prismacolor and Verithin pencils on matboard.
The drawing on the right side is the updated one after my friend J from art school critiqued it for me. She is so wonderful with color and really understands it. She worked hard at learning so I am very grateful for her thoughts and advice on this piece. Below is her critique if you'd like to read what she wrote to me.
I'm pretty impressed with the Savannah Iris! I think that your choice of colors was right on. The detail that you always achieve is remarkable. These are my suggestions:
When I squint, the values or tones are pretty similar. Shadowed areas don't recede like they could. This would really POP the highlights more. Get more of that background depth and color into the foreground shadows. Not everywhere mind you, but just a bit more. Here and there. I like that you are using the tertiary group green, orangeyyellow and violet. One of the more interesting groups and easiest to work with! One other thing, get more interest into your background. I like the colors that you used to create the overall background color, but suggest a little more rawness in the process. Let me see a little more of the individaul colors used. Think of an unfocused photogragh background. Suggestive imagery; shadowy, blurry . You've done it with some of your other pencil drawings. Photographers call it bokeh.
Fear not! I'm glad that you are working with no expectations of great masterpieces. You'll learn and grow soooo much more. It always took the burden off my shoulders. I think working as a designer for so many years got me used to doing things over and over and over again. I was given ALOT of criticism and I learned a great deal from it all.