Thursday, May 23, 2013

Drawing in Stages

 Here's a drawing of Swiss Chard that I did using colored pencils on watercolor paper.
 I started with a piece of paper that I spritzed and sprayed with ink over a stencil. This gave an interesting background... messy, colorful and most of all -- not plain.
 Using pencil, I sketched the leaf shapes and veins on the page.  It was hard to see the pencil lines on the painted background, so I had to draw them darker than I usually like.
 Once I was fine with the overall sketch, I traced the silhouette of the leaves with permanent marker.  I lightly erased the veins -- but left enough pencil marks to see them for the next steps.
 I started with the darkest leaf - adding the darkest color along the edges.  Because swiss chard is bumpily -I wanted to try and depict texture, wrinkly leaves.  I left some highlights.  This part was hard for me, because I wanted to color everything green, knowing that the leaf isn't white...
 I worked on the next closest leaf - this one was much lighter and yellow veined. Again, I left white highlights.
 Instead of starting on the next leaf, I went back to the first leaf and added the red veins. I wanted to have a lot of contrast with the leaves.
 The last leaf was still another shade of green and the vein was a new pink.  When the leaves were done, I wanted to add something else.  I still wanted the background to play a role, but thought it needed something to tie it together.
I added a label, a frame and a block of color. The page is 8.5 x 11 inches.

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