“The reward of art is not fame or success but intoxication.” -Cyril Connolly
I rarely post my sketchbook drawings on my blog. What I do in my sketchbook is totally different than what I do on birch panels. In my sketchbook, I usually work with charcoal and graphite pencils. Just recently, I posted a couple of faces I’ve drawn in my sketchbook to my Flickr account and was encouraged to share more of them. Here are two I did just recently (I also posted these on Facebook, so you might have already seen them.):
from the sketchbook
from the sketchbook
I enjoy the process of using charcoal — making marks, smudging, erasing, making more marks, smudging, erasing — until finally you have your drawing. When I work on birch panels I mainly use acrylics, but after I lay down the acrylic background, I draw my images using graphite pencils – that allows me to work out what I want to say before painting it. The pencil lines can be erased, so I have the freedom to change things.
But recently I did a piece that was a little different for me. I gessoed the individual panels and then used charcoal to draw the rabbits like I would in my sketchbook – same process of making marks, smudging and erasing. When I finished the drawing, I used a fixative to seal the charcoal so it wouldn’t smudge anymore. Next I used my acrylics to paint inside the lines – sorta. I thinned the acrylics quite a bit so they would work more like watercolor to get the effect I wanted. Then I finished them with some line work using the pencils and sealed them again with a fixative.
9.5×22 birch panel (sold)
My husband does all my framing for me and he created this one. Each rabbit is 4 inches square. My photo cropping has removed some of the outside edges of the frame – the edges aren’t that thin, but this is the only photo I have and I wanted you to see this different technique and the fabulous frame. Thankfully a dear friend bought this, so I’ll get to visit it. I didn’t want to sell it, because I made it for me.
I love to peek into other artist’s studios, so I took a couple of photos of mine to show you my sketchbook working area and my painting area.
“Stay loose. Learn to watch snails. Plant impossible gardens. Make little signs that say ‘yes’ and post them all over your house. Make friends with uncertainty.” -Henry Miller