Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Line Drawing done for newest Oil Painting

Line Drawing for newest Oil Painting:

Well, 12 hours later, 4 inches of pencil shorter, and with crossed eyes, I can finally say I've finished the drawing for my painting. I don't know if I mentioned that the size of this is 16 inches x 20 inches. Not very big on a gallery wall but pretty big for a line drawing. The combination of my gesso coat and the cotton weave of the canvas just wore my pencil to a stub.

This is the most ambitious perspective drawing I have ever attempted. The castle is a wee wonky to begin with, mostly in the roof lines, am thinking that the braces for the spires may have warped a bit over the centuries :D And I never saw so many different vanishing points in my life...I thought my brain would vanish before I was done! I did my best, checking and rechecking angles and I'm pretty satisfied with it, overall.

It's times like this that I wish I wasn't such a purist in wanting to do my own drawings...I could have cut the time to an hour if I used a photo enlarger. I try to tell myself that it's just a tool and it's not that I can't draw but I just can't get past the thought that it would be 'cheating'. Sigh.

I've decided to cover the drawing with a very translucent wash of gesso. Because of the rough texture I had to go back over and strengthen the lines and I don't want the graphite to migrate into the oils, and the retouch varnish I had planned to use may not quite do the trick. I took the photo now, because that will really lighten the lines.

I'm afraid that's all I'll get done tomorrow as I have company coming in the afternoon. But it's good to take a little breather so I can step back and think about my color palette and work out my plan of attack :D A line drawing doesn't catch any of the nuances of light and depth, so that's all got to be worked out in my head ahead of time.

I also think I'm going to approach the painting aspect a bit differently than normal. Usually on portraits I do the background first but I think I'll start with the focal point of the bike, then do the castle and bring in the background last. I have three reasons for this...first, I won't lose the edges I need for my perspective; secondly, when I put the background behind it I will be able to lose some of those hard edges and give it a sense of soft distance and last but not least, landscape is not my forte' and a little procrastination will warm up my courage and technique. 

Thanks for following along, am not sure when I'll be updating this...depends on how ugly the beginning stages are :D



  1. Very Interesting, and yes, a lot of work, but when it comes time to put the paint on the canvas, you may have a better idea of where you want to go with it.

    Nicely done (I think the subject is interesting, too)


  2. Thanks, Joni, I appreciate the comments and glad you like the subject. I loved the seascape that you just posted on your blog too!


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