Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Bell peppers with spumoni gelato

No, that's not a photo-realistic colored pencil drawing. It's a photo of the spumoni gelato that I just served myself as consolation for messing up a drawing that I've been working on yesterday and today. I suppose it's important to share failures as well as successes, so here's my sordid little tale:

It all started out well enough. Not finding inspiration around the house, I headed over to my neighborhood Safeway to peruse the produce aisle. It never disappoints. Here are my purchases/models-to-be:

The beautiful bright orange bell pepper (not as red as it looks in these photos) was calling my name, so I set it up on my desk,

and chose my pencils (using my indispensable swatch cards).

My plan was to draw the outside and then, next to it, a cross-section showing the inside. I even remembered to take some work-in-progress scans:

I was really happy with how the top and left side of the pepper were shaping up. Instead of going for the blended, burnished look, I was trying to keep that softer colored-pencil texture while conveying a smooth shiny surface. (Does that make sense?) Working on the shaded right side, I was trying to layer the colors without reaching that saturation point where the paper won't take any more of the wax-based Prismacolor pencils. Now, this scan is being kind, but if you click and look closely, you'll see that, all of a sudden, the darker colors shading the right side were coming out all blotchy and overworked looking. (Trust me, the original is far worse than this scan.). I tried burnishing, smoothing, and in desperation, used my blender pen which caught a stray crumb of pencil from somewhere and made a dark streak on the upper right of the pepper. Soooo, I tried to hide that "scar"...the whole thing was like trying to fix your bangs when you cut them crookedly. Ugh.

Now, maybe I could fix it digitally, but do I really want to spend any more time on a drawing that will never be the way I want it to be? No. I'll chalk it up to a lesson learned...and enjoy my ice cream while I ponder doing some "looser" drawings instead of these time-consuming ones. Food for thought...literally!

What do you do when a piece goes awry? Do you live with it? Toss it? Eat gelato?

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Two Valentines

I pulled out this oldie for Valentine's Day—a little drawing that I did a couple of years ago for Illustration Friday. (You can read the original post here.) And, for those of you who prefer the sweet and traditional, here's my little sketch of conversation hearts from last year. (It was also for Illustration Friday; the original post is here.)

I also do a little series of "botanical hearts"
—you can see what I have done so far here.

Have a wonderful Valentine's Day!