February 3, 2011

What it Takes to do This ?

I get many comments and questions when I post a drawing. I thought it might be helpful to give a short tutorial on my materials and how I do it.
     I prefer smooth Bristol for my style which is very detailed, a full range of Derwent  and/or  Staedlter drawing pencils usually starting with a B or 2B.  To achieve the darks going  right on up to a 7B..  Tortillon stump for blending or my finger, and of course my trusty kneaded eraser. I can form that eraser to make extremely fine lines..  I prefer it although  I have a small electric eraser. Theres a lot of negative drawing. Taking away 'the lights' as well as putting  in the dark strokes.   The most important aspect of drawing realistic pencil art is  lights and darks.. You cannot show light without darks.. Very much like painting.. My strokes can be anything that suits the area, crosshatch, diagonals, anything that works in that particular space. Pencil is a real challenge, you have nothing more than pencil and paper. There is no color to fall back on., not a whole lot of tricks or techniques as in watercolor .  When I'm sure its all finished , nothing else can happen to it,  I'm then just beginning ..I take it to yet another level and will do that again and again.  I'm not sketching here,  I'm trying to do a realistic detailed piece . The challenge stays on and on. What  does it take?  Patience , .  and then more patience. It never ends !
  So thats what I use,  how I go about it and hope that answers some of your questions.  Above of course is Gracie, whose  grandfather Stephen is an excellent photograhper and I had his permission to do it a few years ago.  

9 comments:

  1. This is absolutely stunning! I love the flowers too - they look so touchable! I found your advice very helpful as I am about to embark on a pencil drawing of my Dad - I am expecting to take a month or so to complete at least! Thank you for sharing :0)

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  2. Gah! Patience? Patience??? Something I so sorely lack it isn't funny. And yet I've long ago deduced that this is the whole core of my problems. It explains why I once in awhile achieve a successful piece; I've taken my time and did what I need to do to fix it. Most of the time I just want to get on with it and that truly is a disservice to the art and to myself. This drawing of Gracie is exquisite, Barbra. What a wonderful post!

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  3. Just amazing, Barbra, and thanks for the lesson. I couldn't draw my way out of a papper bag but certainly appreciate those talents. This is an art form I would have to learn in prison, I am afraid!

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  4. Stunning work, as always. I have a long way to go with my pencil work but you've hit one nail on the head for me today. I often look at one of my pieces some time after it's finished and see things I wish I'd done. I like how you describe "taking it to another level". Thanks for sharing.

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  5. Thanks for all the info. Your drawing is absolutely beautiful and so realistic.

    xoxo

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  6. hi Barbra Joan, thank you for your wonderful lesson in pencils, I wish I could see the photo but I know it's amazing. For some reason I'm having trouble with everyone's blogs sometimes I see the photo and sometimes I don't. Anyone else having trouble with this?? Keep up your gorgeous work, love,Diana

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  7. Joan, your patience is very evident in all your beautiful drawings.

    You mentioned possibly doing abstracts. I just saw a lovely approach that I think would fit your personality beautifully. Joyce Leopardo Barron is in my critique group. She does beautiful work and is a gifted art instructor. She showed us an abstract floral created for her class at Filoli. The background was abstract, but the flowers were quite recognizable though the shape has been altered or exaggerated. The result was very lovely. Wish I could find some pictures on the Web. Anyhow, I can picture you doing abstracts with florals.

    Hugs - Mary

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  8. you are very very good at this, Barbra Joan! I learned a lot with this post, thanks! Have a nice week end. I'll spend mine drawing.xx

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  9. Stunning work.
    You possess a massive amount of patience! xx

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