Wednesday, April 05, 2017

It's April

The calendar is turned once more and I found myself rushing to color in the last bit on April's design in my pocket calendar. At first glance, I thought this would be pretty straightforward and decided to limit my colors to red and blue where there weren't leaves. Again, I set down a few guidelines: circles would be red, the outer loops and petals a dark value of blue, the others a light value of blue. But it wasn't long until I realized there was a great big ladybug a little below and to the right of center. And the big circles across from that weren't circles at all but cherries. It took me even longer to figure out what was going on with those very small oblongs - rain? Oh my no - they must be the seeds on the outside of strawberries, one next to the ladybug and spotted later, a cluster at the top and just the hint of one at the bottom. The more I colored, the more I studied, the more I figured out, and my red and blue color scheme went out the window. There are still a few areas that I have no idea what they are supposed to be. Maybe that's a melon under the leaf by the ladybug, and so I played with blending brown and yellow to make it look like one. I also blended brown with the bluish green, a very light touch with both, for a different look on the larger leaves. I'm ready to move on. May's design looks very simple in comparison.

I've also played a little more with the Diva Dance marks, this time taking a page in my "just add red" sketchbook to see what would happen if I inserted leaves rather than a darkened "bump" to change the direction of the  lines. Thinking about my "Adrift" quilt where I plan to "float" leaves on the water, only that piece is already quilted, leaves to be added after the fact. Perhaps another piece could have the water quilted after 3-dimensional leaves are secured, ensuring that the rippling lines go on either side and not under the leaf. In the top drawing, the leaves were put down first, then the parallel lines added from the top down. I occasionally added a swirl or spiral to see what that did. It was tricky getting the line to go around the leaf working this way and the lines seemed too close together to me. So I tried a different tact below, making the leaves a little bigger and drawing the line that would go on either side of each leaf first, then going back in to add more lines. Neither look like what my mind's eye had in mind. I read an article not long ago that suggested if you want to paint or draw realistic moving water, you need to spend a lot of time observing moving water. Maybe I need to do some more on-site observations.

Because I was adding red, I drew in some vertical lines to mimic the red-stemmed bushes that grow along the water in this area. I used the same gel pen as on the leaves but for some reason my scanner picked them up more orange than dark red.


Chris said...

I like your dance marks. I would imagine drawing or painting moving water is one of the most difficult things to do. Water will flow fairly straight until it hits an obstacle like a rock and the flow gets very complicated. (Eddies) Changes in elevation and depth also change things. Lots to observe. Air flow is just as complicated.

The density of the red in your leaves appears to be more dense and more covering of the white paper. The grasses have less coverage allowing the white to show through somewhat. That might have something to do with their different appearance. Or how the light was reflected off of the page when the image was photographed.

The Idaho Beauty said...

Thanks, Chris, and you are exactly right about the movement of water. That author pointed out all those things and was spending his own time sitting in a restaurant by a river right where it flowed over a drop, so kind of a small waterfall or at least a rapids. The more you look, he said, the more variation you see... I don't even want to get into air flow!

As for my red pen, I think you are right about that too. I really inked in those leaves whereas the reeds were drawn with a lighter touch. Plus, outlining the red in black affects how it looks too. When I looked at the actual page again, I decided the scan wasn't as far off as I thought.