|5/15/21 ArtGraf water-soluble carbon on Lenox Cotton|
You saw the monochrome one recently in my review of Stonehenge papers. It was the easiest to execute because I could focus on the values, and the ArtGraf carbon pencil was a speedy way to achieve super-rich darks. Of the three studies shown here, I think it’s the best rendering of the tree’s volume in that I managed to capture the forward-facing branches.
On another bright day at around the same time of the afternoon, I tried it in color (below). I think I captured the fringe of light that I like so much, but I lost the tree’s volume. Choosing Stonehenge Hotpress for a tree study was frustrating. Although the soft Caran d’Ache Luminance pencils enjoyed the smooth surface, I had to work harder than I wanted to for the tree’s texture, and I think I lost most of that, too.
|5/22/21 Luminance on Stonehenge Hotpress|
|5/23/21 Museum Aquarelle on Stillman & Birn Beta|
The next day was overcast, so I took on the challenge of trying to see values in the diffused light (at left). Once in a while the sun peeked out briefly. I used those moments to define the values, but it was still difficult. A strong wind was blowing, making the deck uncomfortable, so I used my tried-and-true Caran d’Ache Museum Aquarelles, which are so much faster than traditional colored pencils. Stillman & Birn Beta’s cold press surface was a good choice; it has just enough tooth to give foliage texture easily. Without textured paper, it’s hard to retain the sparkle of light that comes through this tree. Volume, however, is so-so.
Even when (or maybe because) I sketch the same tree multiple times, every study teaches me something. Now that I’ve been sketching for nearly a decade, it doesn’t mean I necessarily draw everything better or avoid mistakes more often. I think experience just makes it easier to analyze what I could do better next time.