This is a water-soluble graphite sketch of Squeak. So it’s like sketching with regular pencils, but with these special ones (from Derwent), somehow the graphite will move around with water. This is the first sort of finished sketch I’ve done with these, so I’m not sure of the technique. I did discover that I could use one of them as sort of an ink stick, dabbing it with my wet brush and then painting with it. I used “charcoal white” for the whiskers and eye spot.
This is the second exercise in the book Drawing a Likeness, and I got better at adding the white before putting down the graphite, because doing it the other way around doesn’t work – the graphite is too slick.
Again, the point here is to see and accurately put down the anomalies of his face. Yes, his eyes are different sizes – I think most people’s are. Mine are. I think most people’s mouths draw to one side or the other as well, and eyebrows do weird things, too.
The first part of the book draws your attention to different types of faces, making broad generalizations of course. Come to think of it, they were all white folks. But calling my attention to what makes people’s faces look different has me looking at people I meet differently, analyzing them a bit.
I decided to return to human portraits for a while (I started there). I started with a photo in the book Drawing a Likeness by Douglas Graves. He did his on white paper but I like to draw with white, so I used a grey sketchpad, 6B and 3B pencils, and a “white charcoal” pencil, whatever that means. I discovered that unfortunately the white charcoal will not draw on top of graphite no matter what, so if I wanted to add a highlight to a dark area, I had to erase first. I used an erasing shield a lot.
Doing these exercises from the book was helpful because he pointed out the anomalies in the woman’s face, such as the draw of the lips and the mismatched size and shape of the eyes. I did my drawing at the same size as his so I was able to make sure I was on the right track as I went along.
I finished this commission today. It’s in a different style than I have done in the past, but I really like it. I dotted it all on, dry brush, starting with the light blues in the whites, then the purples and greens, then the blue-blacks. Pointilism let all those colors in the black areas show through vibrantly. It seems to be moving.
Benny 2, 8 x 10 sketch for watercolor
I named this Benny 3 because I had begun Benny 2 but decided to do another pose. Ben’s mom was particularly fond of his floppy feet, and this composition put them front and center.