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Tag Archives: german shepherd

Reno is a black shepherd of a friend of my daughter.  I was asked to see what I could do with graphite and Reno’s image. I have to say that the photos I received drew me right in to wanting to try this project.  The above image was my first attempt. I used Stonehenge 250 GSM vellum finish paper and 2B thru 6B graphite pencils. I began the drawing with contour line and some light cross contours trying to build up his form. For the intial line I used the 2B pencil pressing down a little on those lines I wanted to be evident in the final drawing. Next I built up his coat with textured strokes trying to mimic his coat. I built the darker areas up with cross hatching and some cross contours across the bridge of his nose. I used 3,4 and 6 B pencils to do this. I next used a kneaded eraser to smudge out some of the detail in his coat in the bottom right hand corner. I built the background by scratching in loose abstract marks with the side of a dull 3B pencil. I then took my 4B pencil and scraped over a piece of rough sandpaper allowing the pwdered graphite to collect on a sheet of note paper. I took a non-lotioned kleenex and picked up the graphite powder I made and began to rub it into the background. I left the background light around his nose and head and darkened the remainder with several layers of the 3B powder. This process also took the edge off the random marks I’d made earlier but still allowed them to show through.I did not smudge the portrait and had to be careful to not rest my hand on his head throughout laying in the background.

I had always admired drawings I had seen on gessoed paper, so I decided to try one with Reno, above.  I used a bristle brush to apply acrylic white gesso to a piece of Aquarius II watercolor paper, making sure I applied the gesso in abstract strokes running different directions. This leaves the artist with a textured surface to work on. I then drew Reno again using contour and cross contour line. The graphite looked darker on this surface right away so I began with a 2H. I then began crosshatching the forms of the darks in gradually working up to a B pencil and finishing with a 3B. The texture of the gesso supplied the textural qualities you see in this drawing. I had to be careful to not rest any portion of my drawing hand on the work as it immediately smudged. I did no rubbing to produce this image. I thoroughly enjoyed working on a gessoed surface and will use this as a support for drawing again in the future.

I sprayed both drawings with Matte Fixative to prevent smudging with handling.

Thank-you, Chrissie, for introducing me to Reno!

Daisy is a friend of mine’s German Shepherd. I have been wanting to draw or paint her for awhile, now, so I did both. I have explained that I sometimes do both blind and looking continuous line drawings because they help me study the contours better. I took the time to do that with this project so you could see several different approaches.

daisybl    blind continuous line

daisylooking     continuous line looking

I attempt to include more when I look at my paper using continuous line. If I get tangled up in an area, I try to find a new contour to track back along. Remember to pretend you are feeling the object . Daisy is not flat like the side of a building so the strokes across her body will appear to be rounded if I felt her contours correctly.

daisy2   colored pencil

Here I tried a new paper, Stonehenge 250GSM. I’ve finally found a paper that I like for colored pencil. It takes many layers that lay on smooth and doesn’t leave those little white bumps. I found it on  Dissengallery Blog  blogroll’s art supply link.

I have been searching for a more free way to use my colored pencils than what I’ve been doing. I started this drawing with gesture to create the form. Over the top of  the gesture I drew the lines that I had practiced in the previous drawings. As the drawing began to take shape, I changed colors to correspond with my photo reference and started layering them in loosely.  This was a much more pleasing approach to colored pencil than what I have been doing . I’ll try some more of these and see where it takes me.

daisy3   watercolor

I then challenged myself  to create a watercolor of her using only the primary colors (red,yellow,blue). The above was the finished result. I used Lanaquerelle cold pressed 140lb watercolor paper. I like this paper for the soft wet look I seem to get with it.

The following blogs have tried a blind line and posted it!

Beth Parker

Tom at Crittur Art