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These Items have been copied forward from the old blog and forums that  no longer exist.

Bear in mind that the entries were successive postings to a live

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They have been edited from their original form.

The running order has been reversed so that they now read logically from oldest entry first.

and Images have been copied across

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Gondolas 1 - Daryl

Image Discussion Posted by Daryl Sat, July 12, 2014 15:00:10


Hi all


I started working on a new picture yesterday, intending it to be ink line and watercolour but now that I have the background in I am considering changing to coloured pencils and making it a mixed media work.


This is the reference, taken by a friend of mine in Venice





I have decided to leave out the line of moored gondolas in the middle distance as they make the image very confusing visually. I might decide later to put something in there if it needs it. So here is my initial pen drawing with the background in and a soft watercolour underlayer for the water.


I think I should probably do an underlayer for the dark hulls of the boats too so that I don't have to spend hours filling in the tooth of the paper to get a good dark colour with the pencils.


If anybody would like to comment on the plan so far, I would be very grateful. It is always so useful to hear other people's viewpoints. So don't be shy, chip in and say what you think ;-)



Gondolas 2

Image DiscussionPosted by Daryl Sun, July 13, 2014 18:03:39


Had a free Sunday afternoon today so I managed to get on with this picture. I painted in the hulls then added CP colour to the boats and the water.


It is so much quicker to get colour down with the pencils if you have already filled the tooth of the paper




at this stage I decided that these two and a half boats looked very lonely, especially as this is a very well known scene possibly best known for how busy it usually looks. So I decided to put the background jetty in after all but keep it soft and receded.







Now I just need to darken the foreground water and steady my hand to draw in the 'ropes' looped round the mooring poles. Does anyone know what they are made off? They don't appear to hang the way rope would - they look more like pieces of hose pipe.




Gondolas 2 comment

Media DiscussionPosted by Peter Weatherill Mon, July 14, 2014 12:05:32

This is a detail, Daryl, from a 2007 photo taken at ( nearly ) the same spot and shows the way the ropes are protected

Peter








Gondolas 3

Image DiscussionPosted by Daryl Mon, July 14, 2014 12:15:41


I added the ropes using some white gesso and a very small brush which seems to have worked OK. The gesso surface took the coloured pencil very well in the areas where I wanted to tidy it up a bit.












And then the final decision was how to crop it. I wanted to move the horizon up as it is currently almost in the middle so I have cropped more at the top than the bottom and brought the sides in to get rid of the ragged edges.












The finished image is now about 11" x 7"

















Welsh Water Step by Step - Daryl




I thought I would post the picture that I started with Peter at Knuston Hall last weekend as a Work in Progress (WIP) for others to see and comment on. I am very happy to hear both positive and negative comments - it's always useful to see things through other people's eyes. 


This is a photo that I took many years ago somewhere in Wales but I really can't remember wherei it was. I used Peter's trace down method to transfer it to my paper (Cotman Cold Pressed watercolour paper 190gsm). Then I used a few Caran d'Ache water soluble pencils to lightly map out the tree areas, making up some 'paint' by scraping the colour from the pencil and mixing with water to make a light wash


































Next I changed over to Prismacolours to start putting in some of the darkest areas. I find this works well for me, to get the darkest areas in first, as I tend to be a bit cautious with colour otherwise and end up having to go over everything again because it lacks depth and contrast. By putting in the very dark areas first I can then see where I can have my mid tones and my lightest areas. 


















At this point I was keen to start working on the water as this was the area that I felt least confident about and wanted Peter's guidance on how to tackle it. The weekend was ticking away but Peter insisted that I should get more of the background and surrounding rocks and foliage in before I started on the water. So I did as you can see (he was quite right really  )





















MT Lisa said :  Daryl, it's beautiful! Looks like you have made an excellent start on it, and I will be interested to see how you tackle the water.

Daryl :  Thank you, Lisa. 
I'm going to be interested to see how I tackle the water too!  But luckily Peter will be here hopefully to help me along  When I look carefully at the reference all I can see is a mind boggling swirl of colours and my brain has not yet worked out how to translate that into marks on paper. I know that I need to keep it random and not try to replicate every precise little shape but I'm finding it very hard at the moment. 

Peter said : The approach I usually take with water - especially fast moving or tumbling water like this - is to look loosely at the colours and patterns in the reference photo. In this case, perhaps you might enlarge the tumbling water area of the reference photo to the point where the image starts to pixillate ( break up into little boxes of colour ). At that stage, come back a step or two and look at the colours closely as they swirl. This may give you the break you need to find the method that suits you. My own approach is to take a set of very sharp pencils in closely matched colours and apply small curving marks that 'squirm' on the paper. I think it might be easier to demonstrate than explain, so give me a little time and I will see if I can post an example here.

Peter again : This quick sketch may get you going in the right direction..... I have taken a group of warm greys from the Polychromos box and added the universal cure for all ills - Polychromos Green Gold - to the set with Ivory. The choice for you will need to be matched to the colours available in the brand you are using. See the sample below and tell me if this gets you started. 
No Guarantees - of course !!!!!!!!!!!
 
Actually, the green gold has come out a bit bright in the photo - must be down to the bright sunshine outside the window ( or the glare off the snow !! )
 


Daryl said : Oh, thank you for taking the time to do that Peter, it looks like just the kind of recipe that I need. I don't have time to have a go now as I have a sackful of school work to do but roll on next weekend and I'll give it a go.

Lynn said : This is looking fabulous so far, Daryl. Fascinating as well.

MT Lisa said : Thank you for the tips, Peter, it's very helpful!

Nancy said : Hey Daryl!! 
Love this picture and your progress! I can see I will learn a lot here just by watching. It's looking wonderful so far, keep up the good work!
 

Daryl said : Thanks Nancy. School finished yesterday for a two week break so I managed to get a bit more done today. I'll get another picture on tomorrow when it's daylight. Next Wednesday we have an appraisal evening at my art group when Jean Canter is coming to give a critique on our work. I'd like to get this finished to hear what she says about it. She's a past president of the SGFA and a member of the UKCPS. A Google image search will show the kind of work she does. She does some amazing miniatures amongst other things, often of scenes in the Surrey countryside near where I live.

Nancy said :   You're right Daryl, Jean has done fabulous work!! I especially love her piece called, "The Thames at Remenham". The way she renders skies and water is just incredible! 

Daryl said : I made a bit of progress yesterday but I am still finding it hard, working out what colours to put where, and I can only manage short sessions at a time. It is getting a bit easier though  

Here's yesterday's photo
 

  












and a closer shot


Daryl : I'm 'done' as far as covering all the paper but now it needs tweaking so I'd really appreciate any comments, particularly about anything that jumps out as not quite right.

As usual my photo looks a bit blue. Bear in mind that the paper is actually white  I don't know if I need a better camera or just better skills



Peter said : Hi Daryl, Looking good ! A lovely picture. 
Firstly, I think that you need to decide what sort of an image you are looking for in the completed work. The picture 'as is' is a super version of the original photo in a light, fantasy way. As I said originally when you were working an early stage, I can imagine a Unicorn coming out from behind that tree to drink from the stream.
 
Now for the weasel word ....'However' ....
 
If we compare the original photo side by side with the image to date, we can see that it lacks something.
 

      






think that to get more light into that foam on the water, we need to get more dark into the shadowy deeper water, certainly the water in the foreground, as that will give us the essential thresh hold to step over and into your world. I know that there are a lot of very dark shadows in the photo, and we don't need to go anywhere near as dark as they are. 
We do need to punch up the lights in the focal area of the picture ( the line of the stream ) so I suggest that you consider darkening that foreground water with warm greys, punch in some darker areas to the rocks and foliage around the edges, BUT leave the lovely light in the background for now ... I think that may not need touching, but you can re-consider that once the contrasts to the focal area have been attended to. Shame I know, when you had thought you were nearly finished !!!!!!
 

If you like that airy feel the picture has at the moment, then I wouldn't argue with signing it off as done. If you feel - as I do - that it could do with a little more punch, then take the shadows slowly and reconsider at regular intervals.
 

I hope that helps, Daryl.
 
As I said at the beginning, It is a lovely picture
 
Cheers
  Peter 




Daryl said : Thanks Peter, that is very useful to see them side by side like that. I have spent a bit of time darkening and strengthening a few areas, particularly the foreground water, the mossy rock on the bottom left corner and some of the other rocks. Photo coming later.


Later  I'm happier with the water but still not happy with the dark speckled tree leaves top right. Jean Canter also focussed on that tree not being right but said the water was OK. I'm planning to take a lot of bluetack and an electric eraser to it when I get a minute. I think it's too solid (needs some specks of light on the leaves) and also is maybe the wrong green compared to everything else.
I did some serious erasing on the tree then used some different greens to darken it but leaving more light patches than before. I think it looks better now.
 

This scan was done on the school photocopier so it is much better colour than my camera photos

Peter said : I like it a lot, Daryl. Jean Canter was right about the tree and the leaves, and I think your efforts at introducing a more random effect to the leaf cover have worked. For myself, I would have gone for more areas of dark in the leaves overhead, where the overlap is more dense, but you ( and I ) can always find excuses to fiddle. 
I suggest that you put the picture up to one side and glance at it from time to time as you walk through the room. After a day or so you will either stop worrying and sign it off, or make a firm decision to make a change. The important thing is not to be too hasty.
 

Daryl said : I think it still looks a bit 'yellow' overall so I might just glaze it over with some bluer greens in places. 

My husband tracked down the original photo of this on his computer and remembered that it was taken in Ireland near Glendalogh (not Wales). I put it in the browser at the our art group exhibition last week and it was sold.    - so much for ‘Welsh Water’  - it was actually Irish !




Photo Reference

Here we have two step by step exercises worked by Daryl Cogavin, a regular visitor to the CP courses at Knuston Hall.  They are edited versions of the original Blog posts with comments

TOPICS TALK

There has been other content in the Forum in the past - notably the series of tests on lightfastness and also a series of examples of paper and pencil tests using the still life pottery  figurine of a welsh slate miner.  These and other useful threads have been incorporated into the appropriate sections of the site, so the information is still here,

just not in the form it was originally posted.

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