On the bike again
Step by step
I wrote last week about hoping for time this week to play in my sketchbook and by gum I got time! So I’m sharing, step by step, how I leisurely did this sketchbook page over an hour or so one morning. So you know where these steps are going here's what I ended with:
In the photo below you can see all of the art supplies I used to make this sketch. In my 3 x 5 inch bound watercolor sketchbook I used the portable watercolor pencils from my zippered NIL-TECH set, a water brush pen, a portable watercolor set, a small gouache portable palette and my fine point fountain pen. I also used clips to hold my book open, a sheet of paper towel for cleaning my water brush between colors, a scrap of paper to clean my fountain pen.
Several cups of a good French roast coffee (and breakfast) were had while I played in my sketchbook, off and on, during the hour. Note: typically I only get out the art supplies needed at the moment so the art-making footprint on the breakfast table is small. I’m spreading it out and showing you everything, supplies and all, within the photos here.
I began my sketchbook time by thinking of the cliche “a pig in a poke” which typically refers to buying something without examining it carefully first. I thought about that a while and also about how sometimes we take careful examination to an opposite extreme and examine so carefully that we freeze and begin to avoid things because of all the uncertainty and worry that pops up from our examinations.
Sometimes I have worried too much about things so I used my fountain pen and wrote “don’t waste time avoiding things - just do it and move on”.
Then for a drawing: from the cliche itself I have the suggestion of a pig character so for an object or action to accompany my pig character I thought of words that rhyme with “poke”. Bicycle wheel spokes came to mind. So I used a very sharp dark blue watercolor pencil to do a rough outline sketch. I didn't fuss much about being exact. I did however use my fine point fountain pen to firm up the bicycle tire shape that might get lost as I painted over the watercolor pencil. Then I began loosely scribbling colors, like the pink, with watercolor pencil on the pig character and other elements.
Next I use the water brush pen to smooth out the watercolor pencil marks. I do several layers of this, as you can see in the photos below, without worrying about staying within the lines.
Then I alternated between watercolors and gouache to paint shapes and details. The watercolor paints are more bold in color and easily cover an area like the pig’s pants (pedal pushers? 😆) while leaving the color pencil tone visible as highlights on the pig’s pants. The gouache is more opaque so I use it when I need something solidly covered. More about the gouache in a sec…
Gradually, between sips of coffee, I’m building up colors with the watercolor paints. Please note that what I had done with the color pencils still shows.
In the photo below I’m doing more building with the watercolor paints primarily but beginning using the gouache, in selected spots, to do the icing on the muffin, a highlight on the cherry, stripes on the shirt (after the green watercolor had dried) and ruddyness on the pig’s cheeks.
Now, in the photo below, I’m using more color pencil lines for shading and details. These pencils are not watercolor pencils but are in the same NIL-TECH set.
Last of all I use my fountain pen to sharpen and bolden some edges to emphasize certain areas. After I use my fountain pen over my color work I make sure to clean it by scribbling with the pen on a scrap of paper.
And that's how I did this sketchbook page! I hope you enjoyed seeing it unfold. If you have any questions just ask in the comments.
I hope your weekend is pleasant.
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