Future sketch for practice painting

So around the end of October/beginning of November, I started working on a sketch for a future project.

I had a little alone time, when my husband was out for a while, so I grabbed my sketchbook and did some very light, scrawled/loose sketching in blue pencil. One in particular stood out to me and I considered using that. My husband was immediately drawn to it as well without my pointing it out, so I decided to run with it.

The sketch was about 3.5″ x 3.5″ and as I said, very light and loosely scrawled. A lot of my thumbnails and artistic notes are things only I could make out or understand. So I not only needed to enlarge (and lengthen from a square to a portrait-sized rectangle), but also work in the detail better.

I scanned the image and did my usual trick of playing with the color/hue and contrast, then enlarged it to fit on an 8.5″ x 11″ sheet of paper. It was a cluttered and “noisy” image with paper shadows everywhere, making it hard to see the sketchlines or create more in regular pencil, so I grabbed a thin and thick Sharpie marker and scrawled more definite lines. I then scanned that, and printed it out to my usual 11″ x 14″ size.

It was still cluttered and also had many errors, so I used my lightbox and transferred it to a clean sheet of paper and fixed the lines and cleaned up the mess better using a blue pencil, then went over those lines with 4B and F pencils.

Not only transferring lines in blue pencil to a fresh sheet of paper, but turning the lightbox off and completely redrawing parts to fix them.

This is what I ended up with here.

That seems like a lot of work, and I admit it was a little extra than I would have normally done.

I’ve been feeling a lot more out of sorts lately — I have things on my mind, and after finishing my last drawing I started getting a bit hard on myself. Too much pressure. So I tried loosening up, not allowing myself to get bent out of shape over errors or sloppy work. There was a bit of fighting (after the Sharpie sketching stage, I was really starting to hate the image), but then I finally settled in, relaxed, and enjoyed the process.

I kept the lines very basic and simple. I haven’t painted (acrylic) regularly in a very long time, and I’d like to get back to painting again (I would also work in watercolor and gouache and miss those too). I was curious to see if I could get my printer to work with some watercolor paper I had, and was shocked it fed it through without jamming.

The scanned pencil sketch printed out on artists watercolor paper (not normally meant for printers). It’s been so long since I last painted in acrylics, I wanted to practice technique without wasting time transferring to a scrap sheet, or skipping ahead and potentially risking a canvas when I’m not feeling up to it yet for various reasons.

So now I have something to play with and practice technique again, and figure out colors. I hope to eventually transfer to an actual canvas for the “real” thing when I’m ready. I’m just not sure when that will be. I need to figure out what paints and brushes I have and can use (and what needs to be thrown away), and restock more stuff. That’s why I’ve stuck mostly to ink and black and white art — a lot of the old supplies aren’t in working condition anymore.

My drawing table is starting to get covered in projects at various stages — one needing to be framed, another needs to be continued, and the last one has just been started. I need to stay focused better, I think. πŸ˜‰

So I still need to get a portfolio and some frames for finished art, and start tackling the ever-growing pile of in-progress art.

About Cynthia Griffith

I have way too many interests and hobbies, and continually cycle through them — paying attention to some, while others wait for when I can get around to them again.

My main interests are sewing and costuming (I enjoy historical clothing, such as 18th and 19th century, as well as fantasy costumes like elves and hopefully someday even dwarves), as well as getting back to art by drawing fan art of Thorin Oakenshield and Company.

My husband Christopher and I spend a lot of time together, enjoying the outdoors and shared hobbies such as juggling. This blog and website is my way to share what I’m up to with friends and family.

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4 Responses to Future sketch for practice painting

  1. Had you bet me, I would have bet that the printer wouldn’t have taken the watercolor paper. It’s not thin watercolor paper, but man…it worked! Which means the opportunity for other kinds of paper without a sheet-feed system. I was really happy to see the paper work because I know that means there will be cool paintings done in the [not-too-distant] future.

  2. Yes, you were standing there telling me softly over and over, “sweetie, I really don’t think it’ll work…” “it probably won’t like that….” LOL! Two tries (and the first was only because the tray itself is picky about how you put paper in and “adjust that or I won’t grab it!”) and we were both sighing in relief. Ha!

    I definitely won’t do that often, but very nice to know if I really need it to do that, there is a chance it will accept more than the usual photo and regular “printer paper” types. Whew!

  3. Saralee says:

    I think it looks great! I’m amazed that the paper went through the printer, though. πŸ™‚

  4. Thanks, Saralee! Yeah, I probably shouldn’t have attempted it (but when I get an idea, I have to see if it’ll work). LOL!

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