Major distraction technique, this. Of course I can’t start drawing because I need this, that and the other. Of course this is not true, but despite this I frittered away several happy weeks sourcing all the (supposed necessities) of my new activity.
First of all the coloured pencils, I used a book by Ann Swan called ‘Botanical Painting with Coloured Pencils‘ as my guide to colour choices and then spent many happy hours making colour swatches. Now, this looks like a really nit picky thing to do, but I have to say I enjoyed every minute of it. It was lovely to make little squares of paper and to colour them in, to see how different the colour was no the paper than in the pencil: then sorting the coloured squares into groups of like colours: then making paper strips and colouring squares again: then using sticky backed plastic to protect them: and finally to lay them all out and look at all the pretty colours. I should get out more, I hear you say…..
Coloured pencil swatches
Well it may have been a labour of love, but I use the swatches for every drawing I do, so there! They help me establish the palette for the plant I am drawing. I have even found a stash of Derwent artist’s pencils from way back in the 70’s when I was at art school, so they have been sharpened and added to my kit. So now I had 100+ pencils and I must have a way to store them and find them – so with the advice from Janie Gildow & Barbara Benedetti Newton’s book ‘Colored Pencil Solution Book‘ I requested my DH to make some stands.
Blocks for holding pencils
And here they are in all their glory. Most are made of Cedar wood so they are lightweight and fragrant too. Each colour has its allocated place and the blocks have hinges so they open wide and stand alone. Then using both books as guides I collected together or purchased the remaining ‘essentials’.
Best things in kit – 1) battery pencil sharpener, what fun and what sharp sharp points it makes & 2) battery eraser, it’s like holding an angry bee in your hand but it really works. Also in kit – makeup brush for brushing away debris, blender, burnisher, embossing tools, kneadable eraser, eraser shield, fixative, masking fluid (not used yet), Zest It solvent (not used yet), value finders, magnifying glass, protractor, ruler, masking tape and on and on and on. But all was finally collected together and finally a spare tool caddy was found and all the equipment found a home.
No more excuses time to get started.
My drawing space
Here is my space all set up, the plant I am working on here is an Iris Foetidus and the picture was taken in December 2013. Below is the finished drawing.
Iris Foetidus by Sue Hagley