|Current Work In Progress|
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Pen & Ink
on Canson Cold Pressed
15"x20" Illustration Board
with Kohinoor's technical pen
I was anxious to see
how Staedtler's and Prismacolor's
brand of fineline markers
would compare to Kohinoor.
With Kohinoor, I use 0.25mm, 0.18mm, & 0.13mm nibs.
The Prismacolor pen has a 0.13mm nib but only has 8 colors.
The Staedtler pen has only a 0.30mm nib but has 20 colors.
The subject I've chosen will challenge the ability of the markers
to convey the range of green I'll require.
SPECIAL NOTE: Even after mounting my digital camera on a tripod and taking the pictures with marginally controlled lighting, I could not capture the small pen lines. This is an unfortunate limitation but, although disappointing, the results achieved should be sufficient.
• Although not evident at this point, the central inked plant is actually climbing a tilted and weathered cedar fence post. Another is at far right with a split cedar board spanning the two.
• At this point I have nearly completed the tightly drafted underdrawing. I must still define the open patches of cedar branch clusters and define the long grassy weeds for the left center area behind the barbed wire.
• The next areas to be inked will be the long slendor grasses and weeds in the forground including the full development of the foxtails and grass seed heads. This will help assure the fragile nature of the foxtails' and seed heads' pen strokes can be preserved when I begin inking the leaf growth behind them.
• Then, to take a break from the dense foliage, I will ink the cedar trees' exposed branches using redish browns, umbers, and dark and light greys.
• The dense leafy foliage of the foreground and the sinuous cedar masses of the background will be the greatest challenge and will require the greatest concentration.
• I will eventually ink a sky blue background in the upper and mid left and warm yellow and light green grasses below it.
• Once the entire pencil underdrawing is complete, the task is to ink all of the outlines in the appropriate local color using the Prismacolor pens: green or blue for the foliage, sepia for the tree trunks, and light grey for the posts. All traces of graphite are completely erased during this part of the process.
• Next, I inked all of the grasses, seedheads, and foxtails, and all branches and trunks.
• At this point I changed my strategy and decided that, by completely defining the "ground" from the horizon just above midline to the ground beneath the foliage, I would have a more precise feel of space and perspective when inking the foreground and cedar foliage. I used a combination of Prismacolor's green, blue, and sepia with Staedtler's yellow.
• Once I have finished the "ground" behind the foreground foliage and grasses, I will begin inking the foreground foliage
• Just as a test, I put un undercoat of Staedtler's light green on two of the cedar branches at left. I think this will work fine once it is finished off with one our two other more-saturated blues, greens, and yellow pens.
• The "ground" is now "complete" with the exception of "sculpting" the grass into random sweeping patterns. This I will do in the final detailing stage.
• Next, I will "complete" the cedar posts that hold up the barbed wire. I think I can also safely complete the barbed wire itself at this point.
• Once this is done, I can begin the cedar foliage. Since it is a very large area and represents a much more distant mass, it can be more impressionistic than detailed. By completing the cedar foliage first and pushing the drawing near completion, I can spend more focused time detailing the foreground leafy masses to assure that they have the proper value range for all the greens I can achieve.
• The fence posts, the lower cross beam (between the two posts), and the anchor beam (anchoring the post at right) are now complete, as is the angled ground shadow of the upper anchor beam.
• I have treated about a third of the background cedar foliage with a "foundation" layer of light green. Once all the foliage has this foundation layer, I can detail the darker, shadowed foliage in the next layer of green to increase perspective and deepen the space.
• I was on a roll when I began inking the cedar foliage and decided, therefore, to postpone drawing the barbed wire until later.
• The cedar foliage is nearly complete. The mass needs to be sculpted further to yield a greater depth of field with the light airy feel of swaying branches, especially in the area in the upper right.
• An important part of defining the cedar foliage is defining the blue sky around and in the foliage. This blue sky and the suggestion of clouds will be layered again more deeply and the clouds more precisely rendered.
• The three blank areas in the middle will be almost exactly like that of the cedar mass above except that it will be slightly lighter and more sharply detailed in the hopes that the will be perceived as closer to the viewer.
• After that I will completely detail the central climbing plant to clearly define it as the focal point of the drawing. I will discuss the inking of the leafy masses in the foreground in the next panel when it is presented.
• All of the cedar foliage is now "complete". Adjustments of the shadows to increase depth will be made during the final detailing phase.
• The shadow on the grass from the nearby cedar foliage is also expanded (located in the picture just below the fence post's anchor beam on the right).
• Next, I will detail the form and shadows of the central plant to render it more precisely and to help make it stand out against the cedar foliage.
• At this point it was important to finalize the design of the central plant and push it to completion in order to establish it as the focal point. Individual leaf detailing and hard edges along with careful adjustments of their value ranges should, hopefully, offer pattern contrast and counterpoint against the background cedar and midground grass.
• Also, completing the central plant will serve as a map while I ink the foreground leaf masses.
• The challenge for the remaining leaf masses is to give the foreground space depth and visual appeal. I am hoping to establishing a sweeping 'S' shaped eye-path that originates lower-left, sweeps upward and then right through the central plant, and across the cedars.
• I employ a rigorous detailing phase in my drawings, so, indicating an area as 'completed' does not include this detailing phase.
• The drawing is now complete. The remaining foliage in the foreground is completely developed, the grass beneath the foliage and behind the fence has been sculpted and shadowed, the blue sky has been deepened, and the cedar foliage has been detailed.
• This piece took an extraordinary amount of time to complete but the results made the effort worth the time. I just purchased a complete set of Prismacolor Double-ended markers and am looking forward to exploring the full color range and ease of use. Of course, I will need to adopt a looser style since the thiness of the line width of these markers is much greater than I am used to.