Acrylics

Acrylics are my favourite media for most subjects.

They are bold, vibrant. They are fluid. You can use them thickly and create a texture on the paper, or dilute them with water until they look like watercolours. They are so versatile…

These are some of my drawings:

acrylics

acrylics with brush

This was a clay figurine I made many years ago. I guess I must have been in secondary school, perhaps? No idea when. I quite like it, it feels solid, vibrant, expressive despite not having much of a face.

And acrylics, as I said, are my favourite medium for general use.

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fruit

For this painting I used a few plastic painting knives I bought cheaply. I know painting knives can give fantastic effects used with oil paints, but my oil paints were too old and too delicate to take chances. Besides, I didn’t fancy painting something that could take weeks to dry.

Anyhow, I found it extremely difficult to wait for paint to dry. I had to put these aside -to dry- and start painting something else. I felt frustrated that the daylight was changing as the paint was still too wet to paint over.

I also felt unable to guide the knives to the right spots. I kept getting paint in the wrong places. I felt clumsy applying paint with flimsy flat sticks.

But I’m glad I tried.

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figurine

I decided not to give up on painting knives yet. I had another go with this figurine. This time I took two sessions. I was more relaxed that the first time because I knew what to expect. I also applied the paint more thinly, with more thought.

For some reason I didn’t get to use the acrylics much. Our tutors had advised us to use a variety of media for our sketches, and I decided to take up things that would challenge me. But I’m quite pleased with these nevertheless.

Thanks for reading this.

More drawings coming up soon.

colour mixing tests

Hi again.

I am enjoying my term in class, and I already feel I’m going to be challenged. There are so many things I want to explore, and the topics we’ll be discussing are compelling: identity, anonymity, politics, internet, social media, business, Capitalism… Well, all of them rather pedestrian for anyone studying anything. But the twist of studying these concepts as related to art, how they interact and correlate to individual artists and art movements…

I can’t wait.

In the meantime I thought it would be good to share these. They are simply colour tests I did inspired by some of my summer readings: Lapices de colores by John Barber and Color by Betty Edwards (I read them in Spanish).

I won’t go into details, just one tip I learned from both of them: when using new media it is advisable to test the colours and see how they mix between them. In the examples below there are some of my tests. These samples helped me realise that I needed to get additional colours to achieve the particular tones I wanted. Some inspired me to make drawings using those tones or those techniques.

 

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mixing black and white acrylics

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mixing green and red between them and with white and black acrylic

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yellow and violet watercolour pencils

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Orange acrylic mixed with increasing amounts of blue

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mixing primary red and blue with yellow (crayons)

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mixing oil pastels with torchon

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mixing food colouring

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watercolour pencils (primary colours and their complementary ones)

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mixing crayons by scratching top layer

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primary soft pastels and wash mixed with white

It was useful to be reminded in class that editing is good: there’s no point sharing everything and overloading our visitors/readers with information. I have left out quite a few other samples. You are welcome.

Thanks for reading this, I hope you enjoyed it.

There are still some more scheduled posts with my summer drawings, and probably some more new ones will be inspired by my course. See you again soon!

PVA glue

Hello again.

This time I decide to experiment with things I had handy. I hadn’t used some old eye shadows in years. I’d planned to throw them away one day. I hadn’t got around to it yet. They came handy to experiment with.

I had a limited selection of colours. Nevertheless, I decided to crush them and mix them with pva glue. See what I could get.

I got these:

pva-glue-and-eye-shadows

perfume bottle

A tiny bottle containing perfume of violets. The label is French. One of those bottles that gets passed on through generations, maybe?

I didn’t get much detail with the runny consistency of the pva mixture. But it was fun to try something different.

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light on curtains

Some different subject. The colours don’t match exactly here (or on the image above). But being creative is about using your imagination. And about enjoying yourself. I got to do both things with these paintings.

Thanks for reading this.

See you with more drawings soon

PS: Yes, this is still a set of scheduled posts. Funny how a spell of stiffness (all the bending and crouching taking pics of these many drawings) can help your blogging schedule.

Watercolour pencils 2

Hi again.

I have to confess I hadn’t paid much attention to my watercolour pencils before my  holiday. They were lying about in the drawer. I felt more inclined to use acrylics or other media I had at home in London. I didn’t feel they were colourful enough.

But they proved me wrong.

I found them really handy to carry when out and about. Easy to use. Light. Clean. No mess.

And I started to use them more and move.

For all sorts of subjects.

 

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Balcony and houses

This was one of my first sketches with watercolour pencils. I didn’t have much time on the day, so I simply used the pencils at the time and put the wash later on.

I simplified the drawing leaving out some details, such as the left side of the wall and window.

 

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still life table and napkin

Nothing fancy, just an ordinary moment in the day, with a humble table. And the light was lovely.

My pencils came out, no need to wait for the perfect subject.

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houses on a hill

This was another quick sketch, done on a morning walk. I sat on a bench and looked around. I didn’t want to draw a scenic view, so I picked a picturesque set of houses.

No need to fill the page, as the buildings I left out were modern and didn’t match these little houses.

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Carino view

On the day I climbed to this viewing spot I also took some pics with my mobile. I prefer the drawing, even if the horizon turned out a bit wonky and I made up half the architecture. The drawing has simplified the scene and kept the intensity of the colours.

This time I used a thicker paper with medium texture. I used biro first to draw the main lines. I finished the drawing later on as it was getting too hot for sitting in the sun. I think I will return again in the future, hopefully the weather will come along next time too.

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Torre de Hercules

For this last image I made a mistake: I used the flat side of the paper, instead of the textured one. In hindsight I think it worked out better, as I had little time to draw and the light was changing quickly.

Again I drew the main lines with biro (leaving out some details) before using watercolour pencils and a wash in quick strokes.

Thanks for reading this. See you soon with some more of my summer drawings.

Oil pastels

Hi again.

So, oil pastels. I had used them once or twice.

The main thing I learned was to wait until everything was finished, the whole drawing and tones and anything else. Leave the use of the turpentine for the very last minute. Or else it would soak the paper and the flipping thing would take forever and a day to dry enough to carry home.

Also, the turpentine’s smell is nauseating. Revolting. Like sticking your head in the petrol tank of a car.

Not pleasant.

I tried different techniques and different subjects. These are the results:

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fish family

I had some figurines handy. They were colourful enough and would make an interesting subject.

I used the oil pastels and a torchon (difumino in Spanish) to blend some colours with each other and into the texture of the paper.

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fish figurine

It was a challenge to get the right tones. I confess I bought a cheap box of oil pastels with a strange selection of tones (not showing on the box). Never mind, I didn’t get the exact colours. Still, quite pleased with the results I got.

This time I used turpentine and the colours blended beautifully. The thing stank for a few days hanging by the front door.

 

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rubbish

I wanted to have another go with pastels. I liked the way the light hit the side of this carrier bag (actually containing rubbish).

I learned that oil pastels don’t allow for much detail. I also learned to leave the black bar alone next time and find other colours to add shadow effects.

I decided not to use turpentine for the last one, and leave it looking ragged and a bit unfinished.

Thanks for reading this.

See you soon with some more drawings.

Watercolour pencils drawings

Hi again;

No, I’m not going through a phase of inspiration. I think I am scared of the beginning of the course.

I’m worried I will be again too busy and I’ll neglect writing on my blog.

I’m also worried that everybody in my class will be fantastic and I’ll feel a bit rubbish in comparison (just for a little while) and my holiday drawings will look disappointing.

So I decided to write these whilst the course hasn’t started yet, whilst I feel ecstatic on my return, happy to share my doodles with the world… I decided to schedule several posts and see how it goes.

See? Technology has some good uses too.

(It’s not just for getting spammed with trivia and marketing messages)

Time is getting on and I feel we need to add colour to these posts urgently. Enough with biro pen drawings.

I’m giving you watercolour pencils

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Biro and watercolour pencil

I liked how the light fell on the washing line. I started this drawing on colour pen and decided later that it needed to show the yellow of the wall. I used watercolour pencils and wash. I think the shadows could have been darker, but … sometimes it’s best not to fiddle with a drawing when it’s nearly finished. We can always do a fresh new version later on.

 

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sea and mountains

This is a simple scene. I sat in the shade for a while, trying to take it all in: the view, the warmth, the feeling of summer.

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beach and boats

Another warm day as you can tell from the children splashing in the water. I used watercolour pencils and wash.

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bedroom

For this image I wanted to use watercolour pencils (over biro pen lines) but in a monochromatic style, using different shades of red and brown, to capture a particular light on the  wall. I didn’t quite get it as planned. Maybe I should have used different colours, or different media.

Still, I enjoyed drawing all of these and capturing the memories in my head.

I hope you enjoyed them too.

Till next time. Thanks for reading this.

Colour pen drawings

Hello again.

In my last blog post I showed you some of my pen sketches.

This time, I will share some of my colour sketches. Colour pen this time.

I love those 4 colour Bic pens.

I carry one with me all the time. Attached to my sketchbook.

It comes quite handy when I want to make some details stand out.

As a sample, see these pics.

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Boats

A simple scene with colour to add some interest.

still life mussels

still life mussels

A set up with mussel shells and a newspaper. I wanted to add some colour to the shells and plate so it wouldn’t look too muddy. I also wanted to remember ordinary things of a time when I was away. Like a meal.

 

Street scene in Coruna

Street view and Forum

For this quick sketch I placed myself on some stairs. If you are familiar with Corunna you may recognise the building in the distance.

I didn’t capture the right proportions of the street and missed a few other details. But I know I could revisit the location at a later date and do a better drawing. So this quick sketch has done its job: it’s helped plant an idea for future work.

On a side note: the place in the distance is a library that I visited quite often (thanks to my course homework). That makes this image a bit more special for me.

 

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Europa park sculpture

This drawing of a dragon captures the same sculpture from my previous blog post in its setting. The colourful mosaic tiles that cover it are conveyed from few colours. I tried to give some depth to the trees using different colours and lines too.

Panoramic of Carino

Panoramic of Carino

Of course, I could have taken a quick snap of any of these images with my camera.

However, I took photos of some of these in the past already. They didn’t turn out very good: the light was wrong, there were people -or modern buildings- getting in the way, or the boats were too far and looked tiny.

Thanks for reading this.

Until next time, with some more drawings.