Sunday, 20 May 2018

watercolour paper, alcohol blender and Polychromos...


Sketchbooks aren't the cheapest when you're going for decent quality paper. And I'd recently purchased The Langton (10x7ins) by Daler Rowney which cost just under a tenner. I'd gone for the rough version instead of the smoother and that turned out to be a mistake. 



I really didn't like the texture although I could see how it would be good for watercolour paints. Tried drawing a bumblebee but just had to give up. It was more than my simply not persevering, it was that the paper didn't suit my use of colour pencils. Back to the art shop! This paper won't go to waste though as I can dig out my watercolours.

The alcohol blender marker worked a treat. It created a smoother blending of the Polychromos pencils than water does with the Albrecht Durer pencils. Both pencils are by Faber-Castell. 


At this stage I stopped working on the Langton paper and went back to my sketchbook (Winsor & Newton Heavyweight) and instead began working on a swimming turtle. During the eye drawings I posted on Instagram last month I acquired a lot of turtle-loving followers - it was in my head (the power of social media). I used the blender after the first couple layers of Polychromos pencil and applied more pencil.


I had thought about making the background more abstract but instead went with an impression of sea. I had sourced a photographic image to work from online and I think the photographer may have used a flash which lit up the underside of the turtle...cross looking turtle



Copyright © 2016 by Roisin O'Hagan/bloowabbit

All rights reserved. The artworks/illustrations or any portion thereof may not be reproduced or used in any manner whatsoever without the express written permission of the artist except for specific permission granted with a free downloadable.



Wednesday, 9 May 2018

UNIQUE


There's an art&design shop situated in the University of Ulster's Belfast campus called UNIQUE, a means of connecting the public with the Belfast School of Art student body, recent graduates and alumni. Works of art and fine craft can be viewed and purchased there plus the space is also used for events. 



As an alumni member I was included in an email shot for an upcoming event called Secret Card Exhibition. I was posted a card, heavy watercolour paper, understanding that if it were sold the proceeds would go to support UNIQUE. Everyone's cards are exhibited together, the signatures unseen on the card back...so if you took a chance to purchase something you liked you might well end up with a card drawn or painted by an established or upcoming NI artist.

I've no problem donating a little artwork to help support current art students. Putting something back (I hope it sells).

at the rear of the art college building, with St.Anne's on the LHS

So, because it''s a secret exhibition, I can't post an image of what I submitted. However, if you do call in to have a look and you follow what I doodle then you'll probably spot it...

'Ulster University’s Secret Postcard exhibition will be open to the public from 5.30pm on Thursday 17th May at the Belfast campus on York Street.'




Copyright © 2016 by Roisin O'Hagan/bloowabbit

All rights reserved. The artworks/illustrations or any portion thereof may not be reproduced or used in any manner whatsoever without the express written permission of the artist except for specific permission granted with a free downloadable.

Wednesday, 2 May 2018

Days 22-30 Eye Doodle Challenge / Sea Lemon


By day 26 I was beginning to slow down - sometimes completing a challenge reaches a peak and it can be difficult to finish. I posted the squirrel drawing late in the day to Instagram and pushed myself to start the cheetah eye.



After watching a few Youtube videos by artists who use coloured pencil I picked up some tips:
  • The Strathmore artist pad is a good choice for coping with layers of pencil. My local art shop didn't stock it but I had a chat with an artist who works there and who uses pencil as her medium - she recommended using watercolour paper. I chose The Langton by Daler Rowney - the rough version over the light.

  • I also picked up a Winsor & Newton Brushmarker blender normally used with alcohol markers but I noticed that some coloured pencil artists use it to help blend layers together before adding more layers of pencil.

I'm sticking with my sketchbook to finish this challenge but am keen to try out the Langton and brushmarker on a future drawing.

Final 9 drawings: 


octopus

lemur

turtle

mouse

squirrel

cheetah

giraffe

baboon

llama


Plus a robin's eye promised to a friend:



It was important to get that surprised look that lemurs have and I liked working from the photograph of the mouse which shows the reflection of a barn in its eye. That's it for this month!



May is around the corner and I'll be having a break from art challenges. Looking forward to trying out more coloured pencil techniques.



Copyright © 2016 by Roisin O'Hagan/bloowabbit



All rights reserved. The artworks/illustrations or any portion thereof may not be reproduced or used in any manner whatsoever without the express written permission of the artist except for specific permission granted with a free downloadable.

Wednesday, 25 April 2018

Days 15-21 Eye Doodle Challenge / Sea Lemon


Past the halfway mark of this challenge and there are some eyes I'm enjoying drawing more than others. It all depends upon the photograph I source. If it's clear with good definition then drawing it is easier. I found it difficult to find a good Yellow Tang photograph and I think my drawing reflects that

Here's the next 7 eyes:


pig

rabbit

jaguar

rooster

yellow tang

crocodile


orangtutan

The orang-utan is my fav drawing to date...

From the prompts to come I'm really looking forward to drawing the octopus eye and the giraffe eye. As the ring-tailed lemur is my all-time fav animal I'll enjoy that prompt too. 

The quality of my photographs isn't great - my iphone battery blew inside my mobile corrupting it so it's unusable. I'm now using a back-up iphone. A neat little photography/video camera is on the shopping list.

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Copyright © 2016 by Roisin O'Hagan/bloowabbit


All rights reserved. The artworks/illustrations or any portion thereof may not be reproduced or used in any manner whatsoever without the express written permission of the artist except for specific permission granted with a free downloadable.

Tuesday, 17 April 2018

Days 8-14 Eye Doodle Challenge / Sea Lemon


Wow, this is such an interesting challenge! I have gazed into the depths of eyes (via photographs) of creatures I would never have thought to draw. What I'm feeling is similar to having watched re-runs of David Attenborough's Blue Planet, and awe at our world's diversity. Some eyes belong to predators, some to prey, and some to those whose only predator is human (read that last sentence again with Sir David's voice). 

Next 7 eyes from my sketchbook:
snake

elephant


whale

fly

crow

dog

 
hornbill



The prompt for day 12 turns out to be COW instead of CROW which is quite funny.

I'm finding the paper in my sketchbook (Winsor & Newton 170gsm/80lb) not up to my layering of pencil - towards the end of each drawing the paper seems to become fragile, though I may be over-burnishing. Have been looking into alternatives and the Strathmore range seems good.



Copyright © 2016 by Roisin O'Hagan/bloowabbit

All rights reserved. The artworks/illustrations or any portion thereof may not be reproduced or used in any manner whatsoever without the express written permission of the artist except for specific permission granted with a free downloadable.


Wednesday, 11 April 2018

Drawing process for Doodle Eye Challenge - 'dog'


Week 2 of the Eye challenge and I'm enjoying every moment. It's been a while since I drew with any degree of realism - I'm finding the practice good. My drawings are not photo-realistic as there's a softness about them and the eye's fade out to a hint of feathers, skin or fur. Will I be following on from this challenge to include this style in my art? Possibly, I have a few ideas.

My process of drawing - a light pencil sketch...


followed by base colours...


dark grey shadows and build-up of colours...


dark blue to deepen shadows, overlay more colour...



and then adding black pencil to indicate darkest areas. Occasionally I'll add white gel pen (only thing I find that works well over the waxiness of coloured pencil layers) as in the previous 'horse' eyelashes. 




So now I'm wondering if I can translate this process into watercolour...one for the to-do list.


Copyright © 2016 by Roisin O'Hagan/bloowabbit

All rights reserved. The artworks/illustrations or any portion thereof may not be reproduced or used in any manner whatsoever without the express written permission of the artist except for specific permission granted with a free downloadable.

Tuesday, 3 April 2018

Days 1-7 Eye Doodle Challenge / Sea Lemon


YouTuber Sea Lemon runs a channel where she makes videos about ' DIY decor, bookbinding, art tutorials, supply hauls, doodle challenges, bullet journal ideas and more'. I particularly like her videos on stitching notebooks and journals. For the month of April (or whenever it suits you) she's hosting an art challenge. There's a downloadable sheet and prompts - and if you do decide to join in then post your images to Instagram adding the hashtag #sealemon. Check out bloowabbit Instagram hashtag as well!

So here's my first 7 eye drawings. Yes, I've skipped ahead a little - sometimes with art challenges it's wise to complete a few days extra just in case you're not able to draw on a designated day. As long as the art is uploaded on the specific date all is okay. These drawings are made with coloured pencil in a sketchbook - Faber-Castell Polychromos. I wanted to go for realism and the print out sheet didn't give me enough space for that. Apart from the first image (that's my bleary eye) I sourced images online.










The chameleon and the fish eyes were the most difficult as they were the most alien to anything I've drawn. This challenge is not only good practice for my quality of work, it's really interesting seeing the differences in eyes of various creatures. I don't find the challenge tedious and look forward to the next eye prompt.


Other challenges I've blogged:

#inktober challenge... - Oct'16




Copyright © 2016 by Roisin O'Hagan/bloowabbit

All rights reserved. The artworks/illustrations or any portion thereof may not be reproduced or used in any manner whatsoever without the express written permission of the artist except for specific permission granted with a free downloadable.