Monday, June 25, 2018

Asymmetrical Addition (and F-C Pitt Artist Pen Annoyances)

6/20/18 Maple Leaf neighborhood (Cold Gray III applied to side of house)

It’s obvious from the unusual, asymmetrical shape that the dormer was added onto this house probably several decades after it was built. Although it’s an unconventional design, I’ve seen far worse, and this house gets a bonus point for being bright yellow.

I’ve been experimenting with various tones of gray Faber-Castell Pitt Artist Big Brush Pens using my shorthand grisaille method. I had been using Warm Gray IV for a while, but it was so dark that the color often wouldn’t show through, so with this sketch I switched to Cold Gray III for the shadows under the eaves and porch cover. When it was time to put the shading on the right side of the house, I thought Cold Gray III might still be too dark, so I used Warm Gray III instead (see image below). It turned out to be quite a bit lighter than its cool counterpart. (Although I think Pitt pens are still the best markers I’ve used for this technique, it annoys me that the warm and cool grayscales do not step up at the same rate. See comments at end of post.)
6/20/18 (Warm Gray III applied to side of house)
After scanning the sketch, I realized it didn’t make sense for the shading on the side of the house to be lighter than it is under the eaves, so I went back in with Cold Gray III to darken it (top of page). I’ve also been trying to remember to use Don Colley’s favorite tool – his finger – to smear the marker ink while it’s still wet to reduce the streaky marker look. I don’t quite have Don’s touch yet, but I’m working on it.

Below are the grayscale Pitt pens I own. I have not deliberately omitted Warm II and Cold II; they don’t seem to exist (So that’s annoyance No. 1)! Why not? Warm I and Cold I are so pale that I rarely have need for them, and III is sometimes too dark, so I think II could be useful. (Cold V and Warm VI also seem not to exist, at least at Blick, but I don’t miss them much.)

And look at the big gap between Warm III and IV, while the difference between Warm IV and V is negligible (annoyance No. 2). Cold III and IV almost seem reversed, and there’s not enough difference between them (annoyance No. 3), especially compared to Warm III and IV.

Who’s going to do something about this first-world problem of mine? (Maybe I should talk to Don about it . . . )

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