Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Revisiting my little sheepish lambkin!

Check this out!  Here is the latest progress on my newest little painting.  I still haven’t decided exactly what title to give this little painting…  any suggestions? 

Now it’s easy see how important clear guidelines are to the progress of the painting.

I have not forgotten my promise to tell you about some of the other ways I have used to transfer my original drawing to my final art surface.  Today, we are going to look at three other ways to transfer that original sketch.

A Pantograph is a useful tool to transfer your original image to your final art surface.  There is a pointer that traces the image, and a pencil lead that draws it on the paper.  The numbers that you see on the Pantograph bars indicate how much larger your transferred image will be.  I have enlarged the photograph of Bailey to twice its original size. 

To use the Pantograph, keep pressure on the drawing intersection (above the paper) and lightly move the tracer intersection (above the photograph) around your image.  When you are finished, you will have something like this:

Using the grid method of transferring your original sketch to your final art surface has many advantages.

·         Your original sketch can be enlarged or reduced easily.

·         Neither your original sketch nor your final art surface needs to be transparent.  This method will work to transfer from or to canvas and wood as well as paper surfaces.

·         You don’t need any special equipment to use this transfer method.

Make sure that your original sketch has good clear details.  If you want to keep your original sketch, then trace the image on to another piece of paper.   To create your grid, draw evenly spaced horizontal and vertical lines over the surface of your drawing.  The number of squares and space between the lines will be determined by both the complexity of your drawing and the size. 

Now, take your paper, canvas, masonite board or whatever, and create a corresponding grid with the same number of squares both horizontally and vertically.  Make sure that your lines are clear, but not too dark.  If you are working with a transparent medium, you will want to be able to completely erase these lines later.

When you are finished, your original drawing and your final art surface should look something like this:

Pick a square on your original sketch and copy the lines to the corresponding square on your final art surface.  You can see the squares I have copied in the photograph.  Keep on copying until all the squares are filled.  Voila!  Commence to begin to paint!

Hey, look – the grid sketch is of a pounce bag and a pounce wheel.  What a lead in to our last transfer method, huh!

To transfer an original sketch with a pounce bag, you will first need a pounce bag.  You can make one, but it is messy.  Of course, a premade pounce bag is also messy – so have at it!  It’s a little bag with chalk or charcoal inside a coarse material.  The material allows a small amount of the powder to escape when you bounce it.  A pounce wheel can be used to punch small holes in the original sketch or you can use a small sharp object.  As with the grid method, if you want to keep your original sketch, then trace your original sketch onto another piece of paper which you can proceed to destroy.   Once your holes are in your original sketch, place that sketch on top of your final art surface, and gently bounce the pounce bag over the holes.  You will want to use caution with this method, as the powder will be everywhere.  Protect your lungs with a mask and your art with paper over everywhere you don’t want dust.  When you lift the original sketch, you will see a series of small dots marking all of your lines.  A pounce bag was, and still is, used by many fresco artists to transfer their drawings to wet plaster.

No matter what method you use to transfer your sketch to your final art surface, check your transferred drawing before you begin to paint (or whatever!) to make everything has transferred well.

Well, there you go!  Now you have lots of ways to transfer your original sketch – time to get started on your next creation!  Which transfer method are you going to use?


Monday, August 29, 2011

Extreme Sheepherding Too

Okay, you may not have seen the Extreme Sheepherding in action, but now you can get a glimpse of the same kind of excitement right here.

The Sheep.

The Destination.
Oh, my... that is a loooonnnggg way away...
we need them to be where that barn is...
the tiny little yellow one that you can hardly see...

The Plan.
No problem.
We only have to move these sheep through 3 gates
and three fields...
Piece of cake.

Lunch break...
Little chaotic here...
moving to...
Plan B.

and apparently the four amigos approve
of their new neighbors, too...

Well, if you want to take a look at the real Extreme Shepherding, check it out *here*
...and, no, we did not make any glowing pictures, but we might.  And we won't need any LEDs to do it, because our sheep glow in the dark all by themselves...


Happy Monday!

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Poof! Make my drawing appear!

I’m happy with the drawing for my new painting, and I have already transferred it to my watercolor paper.  I did have someone ask me a question about exactly how I transferred my sketch to my watercolor paper so I thought that I would show you how I did it and tell you about some other methods I have used.

image traced onto watercolor paper with a tracing light box

Of course, I could have just sketched my drawing directly on my final art surface, or sketchrd it a second time on whatever I planned to use.  I know me, though.  Once I have spent all that time getting my drawing just right, I won’t want to draw it a second time on my watercolor paper.  Also, if I do start my drawing directly on the watercolor paper, I have to be very cautious because erasing pencil lines can disturb the sizing on the paper which makes it difficult to have smooth washes when I am painting.

I like to trace my drawing using a tracing light box.  You can see an *almost* free light box I made *here*.  I do my original sketch or drawing on tracing paper, shine the light through the tracing paper and the watercolor paper, and trace the image.  If I made my original drawing on a thicker paper and the light won’t shine through it very well, I just trace the drawing on to tracing paper first and then transfer it to the watercolor paper.

If you don’t have a tracing light box and you don’t want to make one, try taping your sketch to a window and then tape your art paper on top of it.  You will probably have enough light to trace your image to your final art surface unless you are working with something that is really thick.  Or unless it is night…

Another way to transfer a drawing on paper to another surface is to turn the paper over and, using a dark-ish graphite pencil (HB or 2B works well) cover the back of the paper wherever you have lines you want to transfer.  Then simply place your paper right side up on your art surface and redraw all of your lines.  You will transfer the pencil from the back of the paper to your final surface.

transfer drawing with pencil

Using a graphite transfer paper is a simple way to transfer lines on to paper as well as some other surfaces.  Transfer paper can be purchased at most art or hobby stores and it usually comes in both black and white.  Place the transfer paper on your final art surface making sure that the transfer side is down (guess how I know to check that…).  Place your drawing on top of the transfer paper and carefully go over all of the lines you want to transfer.  Use caution and don’t press too hard because some transfer papers will transfer a bit of wax residue if you aren't careful.  It’s not so bad if you are painting with acrylic or using colored pencil, but transparent watercolors won’t always cover waxy transferred lines.

graphite transfer paper

Are there more ways to transfer your original drawing to your final art surface?  You bet!  You can use a pounce method, a pantograph, or a grid – and there are other methods, too, depending on what surface you are using to create your artwork.

No matter what method you use to transfer your drawing, you need to stop and take a good look at your drawing to see if you need to make any changes before you begin to paint.  The nice thing about all of these transfer methods is that you can erase your transferred lines easily.

Have a creative day and let me know what your favorite transfer method is! or do you draw directly on your final art surface?


PS  This post is looooong enough so next week I will show you how to transfer drawings with a pantograph, the grid method and by using a pounce bag – just in case you are curious about those methods, too!

Sunday, August 21, 2011

Foundations are so important...

When I start a new painting, I want to grab my brushes and sling some exciting colors all over the place. But, if I do that without a good foundation, all I will have is a lot of puddles of wasted paint.
Foundation sketch on tracing paper
For me, a good painting begins with a solid preliminary sketch where lines define the boundaries of color, light, and shadow.  The creation of this detailed sketch is time consuming, but skipping this step is not an option because the entire painting will be built upon this drawing. 

using a light frame to transfer
the drawing to the paper

When the sketch is completed, this foundation must be transferred to my watercolor paper or I will still be guessing where my brush needs to go.  Form and substance are built on this foundation, so I must be equally diligent when I transfer my sketch to my paper.  
ready to begin painting

Ah, at last!  The watercolor paper has the foundation sketch transferred to it and painting can begin!  Now is the time to carefully follow the foundation sketch with my brush strokes and let the painting come to life.  Using the right colors in the right areas will bring form and substance to the image.  Otherwise, despite all of my preparation, this will just be paper and a puddle of paint. 

The Lord brings substance to my life in the same way.  His foundation, the Bible, gives me boundaries that shape and form me.  His foundation frees me to become more than a blank piece of paper and a puddle of paint – it frees me to be the me He sees. 

Doing a little painting today?  Remember to have a good foundation, first! 

Blessings, Kathy 

“Everyone who comes to Me, and hears My words, and acts upon them,
I will show you whom he is like:  he is like a man building a house, who dug deep
and laid a foundation upon the rock; and when a flood rose, the torrent burst
against that house and could not shake it, because it had been well built.” 
Luke 6: 47-8

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Feeling ***sheepish***?

Okay, I am feeling a little sheepish, and...

****WAIT.  STOP.****

Forrest, I am writing a blog post here.  Shhhhh!  What do you want?

***I want to know... what is going on out there...***

What?  Where?  You realize you are messing with my blogging here, Cat!

***Blogging*schmogging*...  what's up here?***

New neighbors.  Why don't you go get social and say "hi".

****merowerzzz****people.  pftzzz****

****Hey.  You out there.  You with the funny faces and the weird hair.  Yeah, you.****

****What are you?  Sheep?  huh.  what's a sheep?  Okay... nevermind...  Well, as long as you aren't dogs.  Or cats.  I guess you can stay.  Grass?  yeah - go ahead and eat the grass.  Just stay out of my cat food.****

****Yo!  It's okay.  They said they're sheep.  They aren't dogs (or cats) and they don't like catfood so I said they could stay.****

*ahem*  Thank you, Forrest.  Glad you approve... I think.  *rolls eyes*  Ummmm - and you're sure that you don't mind if they stay?  Even the baby?

****baby?  baby?  Well...  huh!  I had better go take a nap so I'll be all rested up for whatever happens next.****

*whispers*  Gee, do you all think that I should tell her that the sheep are just visiting?  Or should I let her find out for herself?  hehe!

Wool, I hope you have a lammie pie day!  Remember to count sheep if you take a nap *winks*

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