Red rose in Derwent Graphitint on paper
Yesterday, my beautiful granddaughter Sascha came home from a walk with a lovely large red rose that was blown off a neighbor's bush with about half an inch of stem. It's still sitting in its saucer on my desk. I had to sketch it, so decided to use strong, soft Derwent Graphitint watersoluble graphite pencils. Dry, they're like 8B graphite pencils with a hint of color. Washed, that hint of color becomes a lot stronger but still has a subtle graphite sheen.
When I use pencil I love the softest graphite pencils, so these have been favorites for a long time. I'm not the sort of artist who shades by five or six or more delicate layers with a hard pencil. Scribble and smudge, give me sweeping motions and strong contrast right from the start! So these are a lot of fun and I've got quite a few of them - by accident at the moment I've got maybe 3 sets of 12 but can't find one of the sets of 24 that I acquired, so I need to replace that. But having an extra won't hurt!
How I wound up with small sets was their inclusion in trades and gift sets. One of the small sets is in an awesome zipper case with watercolor palette, hardcover sketchbook, other sketch and wash pencils and a waterbrush all in an easily carried case. Can't find its native waterbrush but have so many Niji ones it'll be easy to replace.
Iris Hill and Oak pastel plein air
This is something I started day before yesterday, when the rain stopped and I hung outside with my farrier daughter while she fixed her truck. It was sunny and beautiful, the foreground in shade with this sunlit patch beyond the trees blazing behind the iris hill. The iris patch extends far to the right too and into the distance. I might be able to finish just from what I have done already... or I might go outside again to finish, which would be truer to the scene.
I used a complementary water underpainting, scribbled masses in pastels and then washed with a waterbrush. Paper is a tan Canson Mi-Tientes Touch piece, drawing board a battered aluminum clipboard with a box underneath that exactly holds my 60 Rembrandt half stick pastels. Might hold 60 Great American half sticks even though that box is slightly larger too, have to try that. Obviously not at the same time, but pretty handy for going outside!
In fifteen minutes I have Johannes Vloothuis class online so going out won't be till later. I'll see how I feel, if he gets me all wound up to paint I might amble out, but if the chronic fatigue or arthritis bites I might not. Pretty tempting though, it's sunny and lovely out there again!