Lately, I have been working hard at producing more effortless pictures (now that’s an oxymoron!), trying to make what appears on my pages look more like the images in my head.
Completing value sketches before starting in color defined the darks and lights, made it easier to get proportions right, and provided more time to study the subject.
I had been obsessing over the shapes and colors of Dragon and Star fruits since I saw two piles of them in the grocery store and had to purchase them.
For my first attempt in color, I paid attention to the negative shapes between the shadows and the two Star fruit, and was pleased with the variation in the thickness of the ink lines and colors.
For the next drawing, I put my previous sketch on my light box and painted with watercolors first, then added the ink lines. The strong shadow contrasts and the way the colors blended together gave this image more oomph!
My latest journal is a 7 x 10 inch “Canson Mix Media”, which has been fine for some ink (not dip pen) but not watercolor. After experiencing many wrinkled watercolor pages, I now avoid using too much watercolor on an image when using it.
When the morning sun streamed across the table, it created a very dragon like shadow around the fruit . I used my new Noodler fountain pen (never did find the old one, lost somewhere in my house) to draw it and to fill in the shadows.
A variety of pink, green and yellow watercolor pencil crayons built up the colors of the Dragon fruit. Later, to my surprise, when I washed the ink over with water, I realized I had put brown ink, not black, in my pen.
The colors of both were so wonderful and intense and demanded admiration but finally the time had come to TASTE the fruit. After cutting them in half, I had to draw them one more time. Results below..
Normally I love all things fruit and vegetable but there was something about the Dragon fruit that made it difficult to swallow! Perhaps if I pick a ripe one from a tree in Thailand, I will experience the mild, fresh taste I was expecting.
After spending a week drawing dragon fruit, dragon illustrations were very much on my mind.
Two of my favorite…
William Pene du Bois (Castles and Dragons) and Pauline Bayne (The Voyage of the Dawn Treader)