barns, Canson XL multi-media paper, graphitone, Kathleen Renninger, outbuildings, Pages from a Nature-Lover's Diary, titmice, wagon shed, water-soluble graphite
The Story Behind the Sketch:
Artist friends George & Charlie & I were set up out in a field sketching this old combination stable and wagon shed ( & corn crib, I believe) . It was an attractive scene, with interesting large rock formations in the foreground. We had stood up to get ready to go for lunch when a big wind came along & took everything—I mean, everything–the chairs, umbrellas, tables; our supplies were scattered everywhere. It so happened that I had just drawn a dark area in the opening at the left of the building and added water to it to intensify it—a litlle too much water, letting quite a pool in that area. I figured the air would dry it while I was gone, but the wind had other plans. As you can see in the first photo, it simply blew the blackened water down into the lower part of the drawing, letting a streak. )
- The Technical Stuff:
Paper: Canson XLMulti-media spiral bound sketchbook. Pencils: Graphitone water-soluble graphite (light, medium and very dark). Brushes: Niji Waterbrushes, flat, and small ( pointed)
My Experience in Doing this Sketch:
I used the light grade of Graphitone to sketch in the main shapes, then started toning & adding contrast with the darker grades , spreading, blending, & intensifying with water. While the grass in the foreground was actually one of the lightest values in the scene, this was in incidence where discretion was the better part of valor. It would have almost required masking fluid to cover that area, especially the stems of plants growing tall against the rocks. Choosing to make this area darker than the rocks seemed prudent, and still made for an effective rendering. I also had to decide to limit the detail on the rocks, or they’d have become too dark. The tree foliage was done by “scribbling” & then extending the edges with a damp brush. I ended up using a kneaded eraser to remove some of the detail from the roof to gain a little more of a sunlit look, & better contrast. I got lucky while stroking vertical lines into the siding on the front of the structure; at one point my pencil was just damp enough to let a very textured stroke or two—which I feel added to the overall effect quite nicely.
As far as that nasty streak left by the wind, it wasnt’ hard to turn it into a plant stem. (When you can’t get rid of your mistakes, camouflage ’em!)
Today’s Excerpt from ‘Pages’:
All images and text in this post are Copyright K. A. Renninger 2014. I am more than happy to have you share them through your own blog, and hope you will do so—but you must give me credit. Anyone who uses them to make money will be prosecuted.