The frame I used for the aspen drawing is made from aspen trees. I posted this picture to demonstrate the size of the completed illustration and to show how beautiful paintings are when they are matted and framed.
Dark Umber is the last color to be added to the branches for now. At this point, the branches look complete; however, later I will add Black to the areas that I feel need to be darkened, in order to add depth and balance to the drawing. Are you drawing these branches in your sleep?
There are many drawing mediums available to artists, each medium having its own specific advantages and drawbacks. Although an artist may find pleasure in working with various types, individual artists usually have a favorite form of expression, based on many factors, not the least of which is simply personal preference. My favorite is colored pencils.
The primary reason I prefer to illustrate with colored pencils is that I have total control over where the color is placed and how it is blended; however, there are also several technical reasons I prefer colored pencils over other mediums such as oils, acrylics, pastels and watercolor.
The process of achieving the desired colors on an illustration, using colored pencils, is similar to watercolor in that each colored area is created by using translucent layers of various shades, slowly building to produce the desired effect; however, watercolor tends to bleed and blend where it wants to and not necessarily where I want it to.
Acrylics dry rapidly, which can make it difficult to blend colors and which adds a sense of urgency to complete the drawing.
On the other side of the spectrum, Oils take so long to dry, that if you're not careful, working the paint too much can cause the colors to blend together more than you want them to, and you wind up painting mud.
Pastels blend nicely together; however, because of their softness, they smear easily and can become messy. They blend on anything and everything they come in contact with.
Colored pencils are wax based and do not smudge or smear. They are not a liquid base, so there is no drying time required. You can stop drawing whenever you want, take a break for any length of time, and resume later, with no concern about anything drying out. And, as an added advantage, there is no messy clean up of paint brushes and pallets.
The one major drawback to colored pencils is the time involved in completing the illustration. If you want a painting that you can complete quickly, then colored pencils is not the medium for you.
Shown above is the reference photo I have selected for my illustration. Over the next few weeks, I will post the various steps used to create the drawing.
For me, Illustrating technical drawings, such as buildings, is more time consuming than people or animals. They require precision and care. Not that care is not involved with people or animals, but buildings have parallel lines and every line must be proportionally correct with each other line. The advantage of doing buildings however, is that they do not have a personality that I must capture. They do each have their own uniqueness, but if I were to make slight changes or variations, the building would still resemble the original building. If I were to make any changes with a person's face, they would not look like that particular person. So, when I illustrate an inanimate object, a building, a car, a boat, etc., there is less pressure for me to capture the soul and essence of that subject.
This illustration is of the home that I grew up in, in Denton, Texas. It's a Victorian built in the late 1800's. My favorite time of the year is Fall, so I added fall leaves to the trees and made the bushes red, gold and green. It was winter when the picture was taken. We moved into the house when I was five. My parents sold the house when I was in my mid 30's. I have such fond memories inside this house. It was so large and beautiful. My brother's and I would spend hours playing hide and seek all through the house. There were so many nook and crannies to hide. When I was young, my friends would be frightened at night, when I had sleep overs. I was used to all the creaks and groans that the house would make.
Creating illustrations that mean something special to someone is a joy that's indescribable.
Starving artist trying to get noticed...(and not starve)