Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Own Art challenge: Part One!

Hi all!
Clara put up a great challenge inspiring us to use our own drawing, words and images. Right up my alley! I am dividing my my contribution into two parts to show how I decided to explore this challenge... here goes!

Selecting a subject
Sometimes I find this the hardest part. I find if I look too hard I get overwhelmed with the options. Inspiration is as close as your front door, kitchen, library, family... close your eyes and see what comes to mind and don't second guess!

Here in New Zealand it is Spring and I am always inspired by the Wisteria vines that come out into bloom. It astounds me how their beauty is here for such a short time. To me they represent the onset of Spring and the hope of Summer, elegance in their drapey shapes, life in bees and perfume, and vibrancy and sheer surprise of their purple colour. While away recently I took some photos of these beautiful flowers and they became the source of this project.

Wisteria photos taken October 2008

Starting the sketch
The first thing I wanted to capture is the elegant flow of the flower shape. Wisteria has a very distinctive curve so using a grey fine tip pen I drew the main lines in first.

Grey lines showing the curve and direction of the image

Next step in my sketch was to start adding detail. This is a working sketch where my main focus is to explore the shapes and patterns within the flower that can later be interpreted into a textural piece. I also added some colour.

My focus was to capture form while paying careful attention to maintaining the flow of the flower.

To emphasise form, highlights and shape try observing the negitive space - that is, defining the space around the subject.

Rather than overworking the flower, here I define the form by adding grey and black shadows.

Further exploring the subject
As this is a study piece rather than a finished composition I picked out pieces of the flower that I felt were characteristic shape and detailed them to assist me when I come to do my textural piece.
Detail showing the flower shapes.

Testing colour balance
Finally for this sketch I added more colour using Derwent Watercolor Pencils. Here I was experimenting with where I wanted to add the most depth of colour without losing detail. Note the tiny colour swatches on the left side are colour tests and also to use as a colour dip rather than applying pencil to areas I wanted to be kept very light.

Subject study sketch complete with watercolour addition

So that was my process for working with my chosen subject. Stay tuned for Part Two where I will share how my sketch was then interpretted into a dimensional piece.

I would love to see your sketches, or if you have any questions - feel free to post in the comments!