Petals


So I was bored one day, wanting to draw anything. I just wanted a challenge. I downloaded some random colorful images and gave them to my 2-year-old to choose. He insisted on the petals. Why oh why... I wanted a challenge? Fine. Accepted. 💪🏻

I did learn a lot in this process. 

1. My black ‘useless’ paper folio is perfect to store my sketchbook and tools while I work on a piece safe from the sticky hands of a very wild toddler.

2. Making sure pictures match the actual paper color is hard as f. Hence the difference in tones on the Instagram progress.

3. I do not exactly like working with grid lines...


Now, to actual technique points learned.

1. backgrounds need softer but more layers. Not few and hard... that was hard to get to look decent but I managed.

2. Hot neon pink and bright red actually get me the tone I have always been looking for and yet is impossible to find in coloring pencils (neon coral pink).

3. working on an element at a time is as important as the whole picture.


In fact, that last point was the most interesting thing about this piece. I would usually get frustrated and want to rush things. I want to see the final piece done. So I usually settle for simple pieces with 1 to 3 elements. This time I had to take it slower. Petal by petal. 🧘🏻‍♀️ Every time I finished one I would feel accomplished. 🥇 Just to find out the next day I still need to work on it. So each petal took me a day or 2 (keep in mind that my day or 2 in art time = 2 hours or less). 


I tried using grid lines to get the distribution correct. Bigger objects are easier for me to align aven with grids, the smaller petals are not as small as they should have been. 🤷🏻‍♀️


The progress

I started with the grid lines (not a fan), thinking it will help with making sure I got the sizes and spaces correct. It did help... but I did not like how they looked through the petals unless I worked intensively on making sure they disappeared. I prefer doing hand measurements. with a ruler, old fashion. 


Before setting to work on the whole thing, I needed to understand how to combine the colors correctly as some with cover others and others would blend. It was tricky. I used all oil-based pencils except for the blender, for which I used the Carand'ache white pastel pencil. It works beautifully for blending oil-based pencils. The last layer was blended with the actual white pencil of the same brand. After deciding the pencils and color combination I proceeded to paint the first petal and hope I did not mess it up. Once I was happy with it, which I wasn't, I  painted the whole background's first 2 layers. It took a WHILE. Then I completed a few more petals before going back to the first to add layers.


It is actually interesting, just because it is a 'dry' medium, does not mean you should not give it time. The results of the pencil blending are actually different when you let the layers rest enough and get dry/absorbed by the paper. I find it easier to add layers days after doing the first few.


The rest was rinsing and repeat until 💣💣💣 I decided to add shadows and extra colors because it looked BORING. And even though it does not look a lot like the original, I am very happy with the result.

My year goal was to finish 5 full A2 pieces, of which I only accomplished 2 by the time Covid-19 stroked. So now, I will just work on a piece a month in my A4 sketchbook. Hopefully next year I can work on bigger pieces again :) 

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