I didn’t work on the MS bicycle ride for a while. I started to add the background, and put in a weeping willow. It made the whole thing look kitschy and awful. I tried to erase it, but it was too firmly drawn, that I couldn’t do it. I got very discouraged.
But then, the other day I peeked outside, just as it was beginning to rain. One thing I love about summer is the rain. It changes the atmosphere, puts a green cast over everything, makes everything moody, and enhances colors. So, I decided to go for it, and make the bike ride a rainy day. It also casts a serious note on a serious subject without being dismal.
So, here it stands. The bike riders will end up standing out more because of this change, which is a good thing. I’m going to have to darken the road a bit to play down the shadows. They’re too distinct for a cloudy sky.
So, back on track…but a different direction.
Started the redo of the MS bike ride, and I’m pleased with it. To get the asphalt right, it took long tedious work. Thank God for the invention of the iPod, otherwise, sitting, making miniscule pencil strokes over and over would have made me start raving….well, raving.
For those of you who are artists, just a note. Asphalt is very complex in color. It’s actually layers of color, so caution as to just making it gray, and that’s it. Of course, the local color is gray, but it reflects the light, making it have a cast of yellow to it, which makes it a gray-green…or on cloudy days, a purplish tone. And it’s got texture. Boy, does it have texture. Maddening texture. I accomplished my asphalt with small strokes of blue violet, grayed green, and yellowish orange, avoiding, of course, the dreaded Prismacolor orange.
I also moved the bikers over to make more room for the landscape, which I’m salivating to get started on.
So, here’s where it stands.
I tend to include diversity of people in my work. I guess that’s because I live in the most diverse county in the country, Queens, NY. That’s my world. So I was a little surprised when looking for copy for this drawing…all the bike riders I found were white!
I discussed this with my contact, and he said, originally, MS was thought only to affect people of European descent, although now it is known it affects other groups, too. So, I guess that’s the reason there are so many whites in these pix.
Well, here’s the first WIP, and I’m making everyone white….except I screwed up the fellow on the far left. I may make him another ethic group to cover up. So, I’ve shared a dirty little creative secret of mine.
I’m doing work on the MS bike ride drawing. I’ve done a very, very, rough sketch. I’ve sent it to my contact for his opinion. Here it is, remember, it’s very rough.
When I decided to look for charity work, my first thought was to contact my friend’s husband. This man is very involved in all sorts of causes, but he is also a person living with MS. Our lives were also touched, when another man living with MS, took his own life to avoid the progression of the disease.
Well, the bike tour….when you draw anything as complicated as bicycles and figures, you really should have a photographic reference. Since there is a copyright issue in using photos, I intend to change the figures I’ve taken from the photo as much as possible. So, here’s the first sketch.
As I was going to work yesterday, our landlord came bursting out the back door. He wanted to show us that there were berries falling all over our car, and to be careful. Then he pointed out a tree I hadn’t noticed before. A mulberry.
Mulberries are found in Connecticut. There were two in my childhood yard. Like magnets, they attracted birds and squirrels looking for a good meal. I wouldn’t be surprised, if at night, they were scavenged by raccoons, too. That is, when the raccoons were finished knocking over the garbage cans.
So, on the left side of the drawing, I included a mulberry tree. It gave me a chance to put in some red and pink colored dots to break up the green. I softened the tree on the right, put in some finishing touches, and Voila! Connecticut Fantasy is finished.
Been working on the piece. Thinking about it, brings back many memories. I spent most of my life in Connecticut. My mentor once remarked, “Connecticut should be called the green tree and stone wall state”. Which is true.
The landscape there is beautiful, many moods, variety of textures. I’ve decided to add some animals, squirrels and birds…it wouldn’t be authentic without them. So here’s where it stands now.
As I mentioned before, I’m going to be working on a piece for a silent auction for the cure of MS. However, I was lost for an idea (how do you make an appealing, saleable picture out of a dread disease?). I consulted with the man I proposed the idea to, with some ideas. His outlook was totally different. I’m good friends with his wife, who had other ideas. So, I’ve got an appointment to call the man tonight, and hash this all out.
In the meantime, Connecticut Fantasy is coming along. I found I had a bit of a challenge. How was I to make the grass look long and scruffy, along with shadows cast from the trees, without loosing the wildflowers. Here’s the result, and I’m pretty pleased.
Back at work again…nearly trashed the beginning of Connecticut Fantasy, but glancing at it again, I decided it was worth the try. So, saved from the garbage.
And for colored pencil artists out there….Beware Prismacolor Orange. It’s very fugitive. Unfortunately, I used it on one of my favorites “Cloud Over Greenwich/Jessica’s Home”. Now the original is unrecognizable. I’ve posted the jpeg many times, it’s the cloud with flowers in it. Now the original looks like a slightly baby aspirin colored blob in a brilliant blue sky. Fortunately, I have reproductions to remember it in it’s splendor…..but please, if you have Prismacolor Orange in your pencil box, throw it out.
Also, I am going to be working on a drawing for a silent auction to support the cure of Multiple Sclerosis. The event it will be shown at is in November, so I have time. I’m going over in my mind relevant ideas, but something upbeat.
But enough words, you want to see pictures. Here’s a detail of Connecticut Fantasy work in progress.