Thursday, July 21, 2016

Pencil Accents

Here's a sketch of a barn in upstate New York. 



After a quick lay-in where I carefully measure all the perspective and spacing, I lay down some big washes on thin watercolor, very slightly warm and cool, with a few orange color accents.


The pencil then describes textures and details, from the fine wires on top of the ventilators to the rough texture of the shingles. I like to use two pencils, such as an HB and a 2B pencil, one for the light lines and the other for the darker accents.

16 comments:

Fabio Porta said...

Reminds me of those black and white photos where only one color accent is left :) nice!
I just got a used copy of your Artist's guide to sketching, and incidentally was reading the chapter on accuracy a while ago (on a barn as well, what a coincidence!)
By the way, I am totally fond of the sketching paper you use since I love creamy colors. I know I asked you already, but could you remind me the sketchbook you use for these? I couldn't get it last year, but I am moving to Canada soon so I should have access to decent shops.
Well done again James!

James Gurney said...

Fabio, This was a big drawing sketchbook, not suited to watercolor, really. I don't know the name of it, as I bought it from a guy in a warehouse. Congratulations on moving to Canada. What part? The pencil and pen store we visited in Montreal called "Nota Bene" was full of products that we couldn't find in the States.

Fabio Porta said...

James, thanks for your reply!
Ah, I see, so it's not the same one you used for that pencil rendering of the tree log, some months back (I kind of noticed the texture was different, but I was not sure if it was because of the scan).
I will be staying in Toronto for a while, an opportunity to paint plenty of new landscapes I guess :)

Jim Douglas said...

Jim, this drawing is just the sort of limited palette drawing I've been working on lately, and so I'm eager to know a little more. Would you mind elaborating on the "very slightly warm and cool" watercolor washes you prepared? I can see a subtle orange (maybe yellow) in your warm wash describing the grass around the barn. Maybe raw sienna? In addition to watering it down, did you also add a complement to desaturate it? Your cool wash looks more neutral. Is it just a light black? Maybe a gray wash becomes cool in relation to the warm wash and a "blue" pigment is not really required.

Thanks again for demonstrating how a sophisticated, sensitive drawing can be achieved with a simple approach. There's something wonderfully accessible about the fact that almost anyone can afford the drawing materials and tools you used to produce this drawing. Those who want to be artists are only limited by what they can see, understand, and represent.

James Gurney said...

Hey, Jim. I usually try to have a subtle warm/cool combination when I set up my watercolor box. So I have Payne's Grey across from Sepia. I also like having two brush pens, one slightly brownish and one slightly bluish. Payne's Grey can be made various different ways, so check on the ingredients, but basically it's blue + black.

Anyway, I can still use them monochromatically but the warm/cool combination is fun to play with even when it's quite subtle.

Luke said...

pssst, James the weed painting challenge is stil showing on the left side of your blog, it also says results tomorrow. Maybe it is time to switch it to the food truck challenge?
I do not want to offend your blog writing skills, I just wanted to point it out.
A happy but nagging reader, Luke

James Gurney said...

Thanks, Luke. I forget to check what's in the margin. I appreciate you pointing that out. I put a reminder on there too in today's post.

http://gurneyjourney.blogspot.com/2016/07/reminder-food-truck-challenge.html

Global Artwork said...

With perfect spacing and sketching you make a good drawing and looks very warm & cool. This is pencil artwork but your creativity fill all colors in it.
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http://www.global-artwork.com/

Micah Clegg said...

Jim, do your water brushes ever clog? I have a few brushes that are doing that lately. The only thing that seems to work is soaking the tip in hot soapy water overnight. Do you think there could be any preventative measures to take?

James Gurney said...

Micah, that has only happened when I have left them for a long time, like more than six months. When it does, I take them apart and soak the brush ends in warm water and then blow through them to see if there's any openings in the blockage. As long as you use fountain pen ink, they should clear up.

Micah Clegg said...

What if I am only using water in the water brush? I guess that's why I'm a little confused.This brush is used exclusively for watercolor (laying in washes,introducing color, etc.). 😕

James Gurney said...

Micah, just to be clear, I didn't use a water brush at all on this sketch. Just a regular brush and watercolor. If you want to use a water brush, of course you can use plain water in it.

Micah Clegg said...

I guess I need to clarify. I am just talking about using water brushes in general. I have become a big fan of using them whenever I travel and this problem I have had has been the only drawback in using them that I have found.

Someday I will begin using the brushed in the way you have instructed but not yet.

P.s. Very,very grateful for your responses.you have been an incredible wellspring of information for us aspiring artists and your unselfishness only solidifies your "rock stardom" in our eyes. Thank you. 😁

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