Saturday, 12 June 2010

Akebia and a fuzzy practice

My Akebia quinata drawing is still not finished but I'll give you a nice scan of how it looks now. Here it is:

It's so nice to work with graphite again. Now I'll tell you a little about my technique because some people think it is only a very light touch. It is a bit maybe but most important is to use many different kinds of pencils. I use very hard ones (4H) and very soft ones(6B) and some in between of course. One of the most important things is to keep a sharp pencil at all times. So when I draw I have the pencil in my right hand and my manual sharpener in my left. I'm sharpening all the time.
Like in my coloured pencil drawings I layer a lot. In this way I can controle the lights and darks. To make a very smooth looking finish I use a hard pencil or I use a blending stump depending on what effect is needed. Most used tool to get a perfect drawing is my kneadable eraser. I use it all the time, to lift graphite, to add texture, to clean the paper....
Ah, and if you want to make a drawing like this too, be sure to use very smooth paper. I used Bristol for this one but there are other papers that are a bit more creamy and also very smooth.

Now, enough about that... Yesterday I had a bit of time to make a fuzzy Stachys leaf.

It's not a great botanical but I wanted to try out a fuzzy looking texture with my coloured pencils. Last year, when I tried it, I totally failed. I think now it's looking better. Not as good as I had in mind, but it's progress.

This afternoon I want to try out a technique I have in my head to make white flowers with coloured pencils. I never tried this technique so I don't know if it will work at all. In my mind it works very well... now let's see if it works in reality ;)


anika said...

I love hearing about how you work. Whenever I work with pencils, I get lazy and don't always keep them as sharp as they should be. I love the idea of holding the sharpener in one hand and pencils in the other. I'm sure that would make it a lot easier to keep things sharp!

Lisa B. said...


I just love all of your work. Your art is inspiring. I've been drawing on Arches watercolor paper, but while it looks nice in person, it doesn't scan well, I think I might move to Bristol paper to see what happens. I've never tried using a blending stump before, maybe that will help also, thanks for all of your wonderful tips!

Lisa B.

Sigrid said...

Thanks, Anika, I really need four hands. Because I also love to hold my kneadable erasor when I work. The more you knead it, the better it works. It also works a bit like therapy, to get rid of the stress, LOL :)
You might want to try a mechanical pencil (size 0.3) with a hard lead, like 2H. You don't have to sharpen it. I actually do a lot of drawing with my mechanical pencil.

Hi Lisa,
Bristol work fine for graphite. It doesn't work for coloured pencils though, it's too smooth. You can also try Schoellershammer Durex paper (if you can find it) or Hahnemühle Nostalgie. It's creamy and a bit more friendly looking than the white bristol and I like it a lot. These papers are not as heavy as the Arches though but for graphite it works well enough.

Scanning is always a problem because the graphite reflexts the light of the scanner. I always have to play with the settings of my scanner to get an acceptable result.

AtelierBrigitte said...

Prachtig werk!
En leuk om te lezen hoe je werkt. Ik herken dat wel: beide handen gebruiken tijdens het tekenen (vaak heb ik tig psatelpotloden in mijn linkerhand en één in de rechterhand waar ik op dat moment mee bezig ben).

ParisBreakfasts said...

If only...
I am so limited with pencil. still I love it and do value sketches before painting or I'm in trouble.
But I really should be more thoughtful about the process...

Kathleen Rietz said...

I am a HUGE fan of graphite drawings, but I love both of these. Very nice technique.

Anonymous said...

awesome blog, do you have twitter or facebook? i will bookmark this page thanks. jasmin holzbauer

Sigrid said...

Sure Jasmine. You can find me on Facebook.