Saturday, May 10, 2014

SKETCHBOOK: "More Dino Bones"

Today, I went to one of my favorite places to sketch again...Kansas University's Natural History Museum.  The forecast for the day was rain, so I figured it would be a great hangout in nasty weather.  But it turned out to be sunny for most of the day.  Oh well...rain or shine...it's always a good day to draw dinosaur bones!

The sketch above was one of the skulls in a display of saber-tooth cats...a BARBOUROFELIS, the largest of the breed.  I spent way too much time fiddling with this.  I had a pretty good pencil drawing that I liked. But once I started adding color, the pencil lines were covered up.  So this became an exercise in layering opaque washes...definitely a mixed media approach.  I came back in and added more pencil at the end.

I was so excited to try a new PILOT cartridge pen I had recently ordered from Japan!  But turns out, the ink was NOT waterproof.  ARRRrrrrggggg!!!  I found this out when I tried laying in a wash on the MOSASAUR sketch below. When I got home, I did a quick makeover in Photoshop, just to show you what the color was supposed to look like, had the black line not bled everywhere.  I used a white Sharpie pen to try to cover up the smeary black ink...didn't care for the final results.
Next up...the trusty TRICERATOPS.  I used a brown brush pen for the line work...not sure I like how it came out...too thick.  A bit overworked, too.  I think I can say that about all my drawings today.  But I still enjoy the process.  In fact...historically, that has been a real problem for me...I like the process of drawing and painting so much, I don't know when to stop.
As I was leaving for the afternoon, I had been admiring the Museum building.  The sun was still shining, but some rain clouds were looking threatening.  Consequently, I was drawing faster and looser than usual.  I was sketching with a 6B pencil...then added watercolor.  There are things about this one that I'm pleased with.  Just as I was getting close to finishing...the darker gray clouds started moving in. Time to head home!
As I was walking to my car...the sun was still shining.  I heard the chimes ring from the campus bell tower...the historic Campanile, where all graduating students walk through to end their journey as a KU student.  I decided to try the PILOT pen again.  I made a very quick sketch, and just wet the line work with a water-brush to create the ink washes.
It still had not rained when I got home, so I mowed the yard. Looking out the window now...the sky is all gray like my sketch above.  Let it rain.  :)

4 comments:

Anonymous said...

Sorry about the ink...but I like the effect anyway....Good day for you, I should have gotten out on the deck. Think I will try tomorrow if it doesn't rain. The ink ....don't know where you might find brown permanent ink...but I imagine it is somewhere. Mom

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gloriadelia said...

How long did it take you to finish these sketches on location? Curious. Thinking I need to learn to sketch quicker, but these don't look like typical quick sketches.

Warren Ludwig said...

Gloriadelia...I was at the museum for about 5 hours. So, relatively speaking, they are not "quick" sketches. I think the large saber tooth skull took me an hour and a half. The joy I have in taking a whole day to sketch is, I don't have to rush. i tend to get lost in time, when I draw...it's almost like meditation for me. The drawing of the museum building outside took me about an hour, I think...maybe a bit less.

My advice...who says you have to do a quick sketch? Find the "speed" that feels right and enjoy the process!