Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Looking Through the Window: Layers of Time

I have finally finished this piece that has been on my drawing table for months now.  I started writing about it in a previous blog post last December 2013. The drawing is approximately 20x30" and worked on UArt 800 grit sanded paper. As I mentioned in the previous blog, I started the first layer of color with Caran d'Arche Supracolor and Derwent Intense watercolor pencils over which I added Faber-Castell Polychromos and Prismacolor colored pencils. The watercolor pencils allowed me to achieve an even tone of color, covering the ridges in the paper before I added layers of wax and oil based colored pencil.

I worked from a photograph I took in the medieval town Koszeg, Hungary. I was attracted to the patina like finish on the window frame including the rusty hinges. I was also intrigued by the layers of space showing through the window and the open window behind as well as the cracked window panes and colors and shadows of reflections in the glass. I expanded upon my photo by exaggerating the colors as well as tints and reflections in the glass panes. When I first saw this broken window in Koszeg, I knew immediately it would be a drawing. I titled this piece Layers of Time.

Sunday, April 6, 2014

Pet Portraits

I've started a small (8x8") pet portrait of my Yorkie, Bandit's, face close up. I'm working on a Fabriano paper in which I love. It has a textured surface with faintly impressed vertical lines that add a nice texture and pattern to the drawing. Unfortunately, I can't recall or find the name of this paper and I'm not sure if Fabriano even makes it any more. Someone gave me a few sheets more than ten years ago and I just happened to have a small sheet left. I always start with the eyes and nose because those are the most important features to capture the pet's likeness and personality.

Here are two finished dog portraits of this black lab, Ike. Sadly, Ike was hit by a car at a very young age and isn't with us any more. His owner misses him very much. But here is a nice story: the coworkers of his owner got together and commissioned me to create these 8x8" portraits of Ike as a remembrance for Ike's owner. I will be curious to find out how Ike's owner likes these two pieces when he receives them.

I worked the two drawings on white Stonehenge drawing paper and Prismacolor pencils, I cut the paper to 8 1/2 x 8 1/2". When the drawings were complete I sprayed them with two coats of Krylon UV Resistant Clear fixative. Then I attached them to two 8x8" Ampersand Cradled Claybord panels with Grafix archival double stick mounting film and then carefully trim the edges with a mat knife. I always create the drawing a little larger than the board I am mounting it to in case it moves a little. Next I spray the entire piece and edges with three coats of Krylon Kamar Varnish to seal it (or any permanent non-yellowing varnish will work). The final step is to brush on Golden UVLS polymer varnish (water based) and thinned three parts varnish to one part water. Brush carefully in order to not get bubbles and keep it consistent. I will layer on three or four more coats of the Golden varnish letting each dry at least an hour or more in between. I also put two coats on the wood edges. Or you can paint the edges.