Sunday, December 27, 2009

Holly Branch 3

It's been a mild and rainy day, leaving only few remaining patches of snow. I thought I'd take advantage of the clear ground for an acorn harvest. Alas, my little squirrel friends have chewed up every seed in sight! And speaking of squirrels, my torn ear little scrapper was not to be seen today and there were at least four simultaneous visitors. I do hope it's doing okay.

A spent a couple of hours last night and a couple more this morning. I'll be back at it this evening. It's nearly time to start the cleanup--pulling out my smears, sharpening edges, and pointing up the tips. I learned a bit about working in stages. I want to think more about the overall drawing before starting, that is spending time on planning layout and overall lighting direction. Also need to think about covering up sections of the drawing or perhaps using one of those bridge-like affairs for keeping my hand above the drawing. Oh, and lastly, I want to experiment with the darks by applying crosshatch layers and then smoothing with a 2H. It sounds promising as I've already had good results smoothing and spreading 2B with a 2H. This technique is supposed to reduce if not eliminate that glossy look that seems to come from pushing too hard.

Even though I might sound critical, there is an awfully big grin on my face with this piece already. I am having a huge amount of fun but I really do want to improve. There's a real sense of excitement in working out a bigger piece rather than just one leaf. Next post should be presenting a close to complete piece, if I can remember when to stop. ;-)

And looking ahead, perhaps a beech branch, or maybe white pine...


  1. To keep from smudging your work, take a piece of thin tracing paper, cut a large X in the middle, and pull back each point at the middle of the X and fold into a triangle, so you have formed a window over the subject. Lean on the tissue paper.

    Keep going, but draw a blueberry branch next to be in the Flower Show after you join NESBA! - J

  2. Thanks for the great tip, Joyce! I knew I should be using something under my hand but, well, got a bit lazy about it.

    Blueberry, eh? :-) I do have some photos for ideas but it will still be a few months before we see leaves and blossoms. Can I wait until then? :-)

  3. Flower Show is before leaves and blossoms, so do a bare branch or two, in pencil. Lovely! - J

  4. Okie doke, I've got it now! :-) I'll have to see what's available around here...