Wednesday, 25 September 2013

Acorns and Envelopes

Wednesday is often seen to be 'Peak Efficiency Day', the day of the week when we all seem to get the most work done before we slide towards the weekend. Well, it's no different here at Squirrel HQ, as today I am planning to really get a lot done on that bramble study. Now that I am feeling quite a bit better, I want to get as much as I can done and meet that November deadline. It sounds like quite a long time but once you get to the last bits, it takes longer than you think to finish.
Working back from when I should submit work for the SBA in March, I will have four months to get a couple of pieces finished. That's just two months on each, including any sketches and preparation studies I may need to make. it's not long when you think about it, so I had better get cracking. Thinking about it all as far ahead as possible makes decisions easier, so in the evenings I am often found doodling away on any of the numerous envelopes, or scraps of paper that come my way. The trick is not to lose them.
Just now, I am also thinking perhaps of a logo for Squirrel. Being a graphic designer in a past life, I can't help myself, but it's not easy being your own client, how would someone else approach it, is always the question there in the back of your mind. At the moment, I am working on something intertwined, with oak leaves and acorns, (of course). More envelopes please.

Doodle noodle
Whilst watching telly, the creative juices are
still working away on ideas.
This time, a logo for Squirrel 
Elsewhere, I have been asked a couple of times how I went about painting them, so here's a quick recap on building those brambles. For the leaves on this project, I used the following colours. Indanthrene and Cerulean Blue, Lemon Yellow, Aureolin and Transparent Yellow. Finally, Perylene Maroon used for fine detail. The brushes used were size 0, 1 and 2.
Step 3 / 4
The finished set of leaves.
After using wet on dry techniques to build up the fine detail, shading and tone,
a final watery wash of Transparent Yellow to the warmer greens,
warms and brightens.

In contrast, a watery mix of Cerulean and Lemon Yellow
over the cooler greens keeps the tonal values balanced.
The top leaf will be given the same treatment.

Step 2 / 3
The top leaves show a building up of mid tones.
The lower leaves are worked and defined with deeper greens
and touches of perylene maroon around the holes and serrations.
Again, the highlights are only lightly treated.
These layers are built up several times, but I try to keep to just
two or three wet-in-wet washes

Step 1 / 2
The lighter leaves show the first, loose wash of lemon and cerulean
where the cooler and warmer greens are going to go.
Highlights are left light or clear of paint.
Lifting our wet paint with a clean, damp brush helps create highlights.
Mid tones and the veining are beginning to be picked out
and defined on the lower leaves.   


Starr White said...

trying to teach myself a little watercolor painting - this post is so helpful! thank you for sharing your process - I'm learning a lot just from reading your blog. Thank you :)))

Sketchbook Squirrel said...

Good for you Starr, stick with it. Glad you find my posts helpful, if you use Facebook, you can also find my info on my Sketchbook Squirrel page.