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Drawing faces in contour.

I am itching to move outdoors and go paint, sketch, draw. Why? Simple. Because I feel inspired. I can only be on the couch in front of the fireplace for so long and then I tire of having it good. I need some difficulty, like going out and sticking it out in the cold, feeling my fingers go numb, but persevering in finishing a painting or sketch. When surroundings and circumstances are too easy, life becomes difficult too. Luxuries and comfort numbs us – we don’t feel the pulse of life and we don’t hear opportunities knock on our doors.

So. No, not any cold outdoor sketches yet, only some faces done in the comfort of a heated indoor living room! contour drawing is one of my favourite styles of drawing…there are artists out there doing amazing work in contour drawing. I cheated a bit on mine…I lifted my hand now and then and added some more lines, which I probably shouldn’t…the charm of a contour drawing is actually the scarcity in line work. I’m looking forward to so some life drawings in contour.

…drawing faces in contour..

..pen on Canson drawing paper, 13.5 x21 cm..


Sketching chickens and cows

W are living a whole saga of chickens, running for a few months now, but that is a story for some other day. For now, here are Tartelette and Omelette, the latest addition to the chicken chronicles. They are two Bantam de Pèkin, porcelain chickens, and SOOO cute! Now being fully adapted and taken ino the Van Wyk household, they reign alongside the cats. In our home, the humans take second spot in the limelight. Here they are just lazing in the barn by my feet. It was raining outside. They don’t like to get wet. And the barn is comfortable.

Th cows roaming the hills have a beauty all of their own. With their velvety brown eyes and long lashes, they love attention and eagerly respond to “vient, vient!” hoping for a delicacy, which is quite often the case…a branch of poplars held out to them, or soft green grass.

The bottom sketch is done on a different day, in a different sketchbook where the paper has more texture. Some of the cows look rather like dogs…or bulls…or even rabbits? Let’s just say I’m out of practice(sic)…

All sketches done with rotring pen and watercolor in CP watercolour sketchbooks(400g/m²), 26x18cm and 25×15.3cm.

until next time..!

Ronelle.

Shadows

A recent conversation:

“…I live in the shadows. Or so it feels. A few years back I was blooming in the sun. So it felt. Now I’m living my life in the shadows. Of my computer. Emails. SMS. MSN. Facebook. Twitter. Blogs. Websites. I am now recognized through the style of my writing and not by my voice. Sadness is felt  by the stucture of my phrases and not seen in my tears. Happiness is seen in my exclamation marks and not heard in my laugh. The truth is guessed by my vocabulary and not heard in the seriousness of my voice.  I have become deletable. I am speaking less and writing more. I am hearing less and wondering more. My voice is growing softer and the shadows wider…”

Sketch in moleskine with rotring pen and watercolour.

…deep talk...

tea

Contour lines

When one’s mood is a bit off centre, contouring may help. It doesn’t help the mood, but it helps the drawing.

Stalking the cats with a pilot pen, just doing lines, not trying to achieve likeness, keeping the pen on the paper and the eyes on the subject. It helps a lot to loosen up.

Pilot pen, waterbrush in sketchbook.

…contouring the unwilling…

catscontour1

catscontour2

Bill on a bicycle

I’m doing a portrait exchange with Bill. He’s been waiting very patiently for me. Thank you Bill! See how great he did my portraits here!! Not fair that he does so well and I am struggling!

As I say, I’ve been struggling. I started off today with just a contour drawing, which got filled up a bit more than just a simple contour. Then I did another one and another…and then jumped on my bicycle and went for a ride.

contour drawing, rotring pen on paper, 29,5×42 cm

I have new bike, a very cute one. Based on the old “Hollandais city” style. Up until now I’ve used an old bicycle which had me running just as I thought I was pedalling well away. Or I was on Liandri’s mountain bike, with my behind way up in the air and my head almost down between my knees. I sort of feel at this age, I would prefer my “derriere” closer to earth and my face “lifted”. So now I look very elegant, with my back straight and my hair in the wind.

…wizard of oz…

rotring pen and watercolour in Artistico sketchbook, CP, 18x26cm(7″x10″)

When I came back, my head felt clear enough to give Bill another go.  Put in some shadows this time. It doesn’t really look like him. And before I attempt a painting, I have to get the drawing right first. He has very intense eyes and I make him glare from the page. So, I have more work to do. More cycling to do.

inkdrawing, rotring pen on paper, 29.7x42cm(11.7×16.5″)

Cat sketches

I cancelled my art class with Casey this afternoon. Having so little sleep these last few day finally caught up with me and I slept…for a whole 3 hours. On Casey’s recommendation, I took a hot bath and fell into bed with a cat on each side. She wanted me to do some yoga first…I pretended the line broke up: “hallo hallooo..” Thank you for being patient Casey.

I woke up, to find myself feeling out of touch with reality and no energy. The best I could come up for the rest of what’s left of the afternoon, is some sketches of the cats and their foodcorner.

I used micropen 05, sprayed some water and scraped a black watercolour pencil onto rough sandpaper, holding it over the wet areas, which gives the splotched effect. On the dry parts, you can blow the scraped pencil  off easily. I didn’t want watery shadows, so I put down some ink and with a wet finger I blotted into the ink to shape the shadows. I first used some cottonwool and toweling paper, but it took off too much of the ink.

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