Saturday, May 10, 2014

SKETCHBOOK: "More Dino Bones"

Today, I went to one of my favorite places to sketch again...Kansas University's Natural History Museum.  The forecast for the day was rain, so I figured it would be a great hangout in nasty weather.  But it turned out to be sunny for most of the day.  Oh well...rain or's always a good day to draw dinosaur bones!

The sketch above was one of the skulls in a display of saber-tooth cats...a BARBOUROFELIS, the largest of the breed.  I spent way too much time fiddling with this.  I had a pretty good pencil drawing that I liked. But once I started adding color, the pencil lines were covered up.  So this became an exercise in layering opaque washes...definitely a mixed media approach.  I came back in and added more pencil at the end.

I was so excited to try a new PILOT cartridge pen I had recently ordered from Japan!  But turns out, the ink was NOT waterproof.  ARRRrrrrggggg!!!  I found this out when I tried laying in a wash on the MOSASAUR sketch below. When I got home, I did a quick makeover in Photoshop, just to show you what the color was supposed to look like, had the black line not bled everywhere.  I used a white Sharpie pen to try to cover up the smeary black ink...didn't care for the final results.
Next up...the trusty TRICERATOPS.  I used a brown brush pen for the line work...not sure I like how it came out...too thick.  A bit overworked, too.  I think I can say that about all my drawings today.  But I still enjoy the process.  In fact...historically, that has been a real problem for me...I like the process of drawing and painting so much, I don't know when to stop.
As I was leaving for the afternoon, I had been admiring the Museum building.  The sun was still shining, but some rain clouds were looking threatening.  Consequently, I was drawing faster and looser than usual.  I was sketching with a 6B pencil...then added watercolor.  There are things about this one that I'm pleased with.  Just as I was getting close to finishing...the darker gray clouds started moving in. Time to head home!
As I was walking to my car...the sun was still shining.  I heard the chimes ring from the campus bell tower...the historic Campanile, where all graduating students walk through to end their journey as a KU student.  I decided to try the PILOT pen again.  I made a very quick sketch, and just wet the line work with a water-brush to create the ink washes.
It still had not rained when I got home, so I mowed the yard. Looking out the window now...the sky is all gray like my sketch above.  Let it rain.  :)


Anonymous said...

Sorry about the ink...but I like the effect anyway....Good day for you, I should have gotten out on the deck. Think I will try tomorrow if it doesn't rain. The ink ....don't know where you might find brown permanent ink...but I imagine it is somewhere. Mom

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gloriadelia said...

How long did it take you to finish these sketches on location? Curious. Thinking I need to learn to sketch quicker, but these don't look like typical quick sketches.

Warren Ludwig said...

Gloriadelia...I was at the museum for about 5 hours. So, relatively speaking, they are not "quick" sketches. I think the large saber tooth skull took me an hour and a half. The joy I have in taking a whole day to sketch is, I don't have to rush. i tend to get lost in time, when I's almost like meditation for me. The drawing of the museum building outside took me about an hour, I think...maybe a bit less.

My advice...who says you have to do a quick sketch? Find the "speed" that feels right and enjoy the process!

Kathleen Jayhawk said...

Happened upon your blog while searching for images of the Campanile at KU. You are very talented, and I enjoyed spending a few minutes perusing your beautiful sketches and paintings, and maybe getting to know the artist a wee bit by virtue of his work. As one who can scarcely draw stick men, I truly admire visual artists! Keep feeding your soul!