Monday, April 30, 2007

Drawing grass in coloured pencil

I have been asked today for some advice on drawing grass from someone who saw my Pet Portrait of Strath. It was really nice to be singled out specifically for advice and made me feel all pleased with myself lol! In response I added some of my photos i'd taken of the work in progress and did a demo on the pet portrait forum i'm an administrator of. I thought i'd add it here too, in case it might be of interest to anyone else.

First of all I did about 4 layers of 'underpainting' alternating between layers of 'green' and 'light green' to get the depth of colour.

Even though it was underpainting I still did my strokes in the correct direction and kept them short. By using the different colours it started to create the illusion of light and shadow on the blades of grass:

I then used 'Indigo' over all the grass except for the very light areas. At this stage i'm drawing individual blades of grass. Because grass doesn't all point in the same direction, I drew the 'blades' quite randomly, overlapping each other and different lengths. I also dotted the blades around so I didn't end up drawing blades of grass in rows, I sort of drew clumps. After the indigo I went over the whole lot quite lightly, like a wash, with 'blue' which sort of created a burnishing effect and dulled down the really bright green:

Lastly I used 'black' for the shadow areas. I did the black like I did the indigo - random clumps of individual strokes of grass. In the shadow areas like underneath the front legs in this pic I drew my strokes downwards, leaving gaps, which created the illusion of highlighted blades in the shadows. Beacuse it's in coloured pencil I had to plan ahead and leave gaps for where the grass would overlap the body:

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