I’ve been working on this study for the last week. Following the shading principle of parallel lines, as described in the 1917 classic “The Practice and Science of Drawing” by Harold Speed (Free version here). I chose this famous painting by Bouguereau because the original has a very delicate shading, which the parallel lines help to achieve in pencil, not making shapes too bold or strong)
Having joined the “Paint a Graveyard on Location” challenge at Gurney Journey, I went to a small english cemetery located at about 20 minutes from my town. It was the graveyard of an old castle that belonged to the Nelson family (the one of Admiral Nelson).
It was the first test run of my new lightweight sketch easel (on which I will write a blog post soon), and gouache as well, having only used it a couple of times at home.
The result is… well. I am not happy with it. The dapples light caused by the tree canopy above me encouraged me to try some warm/cool contrast between the lit and shaded areas, but I took it excessively far and got a terrible effect.
The challenge requiring to use only 3 colors, I chose Raw Sienna, Burt Sienna and Ultramarine Light, all by Winsor&Netwon, with the addition of white of course.
I have really struggled to get smooth edges, as Gouache is so opaque that it dried the very second after I put it down on paper. Need more practice on this.
I painted this rooster using 3 gouache colors: Cad Yellow Deep, Ivory Black, Burnt Sienna. I came back with a few water soluble colored pencils as soon as I blocked in the main shapes.
Image courtesy of James Gurney
Since I am taking part to the Graveyard Challenge on James Gurney’s blog, I went to my town’s graveyard to start thinking of my entry. I am still undecided on the subject, the quantity and variety of grave stones presenting a real challenge in summarizing them, and still preserve their identity, in the composition. I found a nice statue on one of the graves, so I stopped by to paint it.
The drawing is not excessively accurate, and I suffered from having to use a single brush, a 1/2 inch Princeton Neptune flat (with the help of a waterbrush)
I used Ultramarine, Burnt Sienna and Yellow Ochre, which would have been fine to enter the challenge, but then I really wanted to experiment some of the new Supracolor pencils I got, so I guess I will give it another try next week
I finally got enough time to complete this painting. After having done all those preparatory studies, I really had to reward the photo with a complete piece.
I can’t say I am totally satisfied, but it’s a step forward. It’s still lacking variety in the brush shapes, as well as enough detail (I worked basically wet on wet). The middle distance cliff has been a pain much like in the studies, and I couldn’t get it the way I wanted. I also failed in capturing enough darkness and depth in the nearer water, as it looks a bit fake, but I guess it will be for next one.
My palette was: Titanium White, Nickel Azo Yellow (I still hadn’t got my cadmium yellow light), Venetian Red, Burnt Umber, Ultramarine, Primary Cyan, Yellow Ochre. I used a big #12 bristle Filtbert, a couple of smaller #4 ones, and a tiny synthetic #2 for the smaller strokes.