I've been quite busy with my pencils during the past few weeks. Firstly, I was very pleased to complete this African elephant drawing mid February, to replace 'We Three Kings', another elephant piece that recently sold. I called this one 'Titanic Embrace'. It's approximately 15.5 x 11 inches in size and for this I used my new Hahnemühle Nostalgie paper, which I really enjoyed. It's slightly smoother than my usual Stonehenge paper, but has enough tooth to enable plenty of texture and to get very deep rich tones with the softer pencils where needed. A perfect surface for drawing elephants.
My only criticism of the paper if I am being picky, is that it's a creamy off white, similar again to Stonehenge, rather than a bright white which I would prefer, but it's not a problem. I left the background bare for this drawing as it tends to highlight the subject better in a composition such as this.
I framed it within a one and a quarter inch, lightweight, distressed silver gilt frame to a total size of about 21.5 x 17 inches, ready to hang. Click on this link Titanic Embrace for further details and purchasing info.
Next I decided to tackle another wolf drawing, again because of recent sales leaving my portfolio short on wolves. This one I finished in early March, and entitled it 'Crying Out Loud'. That title immediately makes me think of my father, a tough northerner who took no prisoners. Despite his hard persona, backed up with his fists, I never heard him swear. The nearest he came was 'For Crying Out Loud!' If he was still around I could certainly give him a few lessons on that score now. (the swearing I mean, not the fisticuffs. I'm far too laid back for all that)
I've used the Hahnemühle paper again, this time shading in a fairly simple background wash for the sky, which enabled me to draw out the breath of the wolves using a combination of erasers, (a kneadable 'putty' rubber and my fine Tombow eraser pen)
The foreground rocky surface is created using a technique I've developed over time. It's quite a 'heart in mouth' experience doing this having spent so many hours drawing the subjects, it could easily go so horribly wrong. It involves a light spray of water, then a splattering of graphite dust applied with my fingers. While it's still wet I sometimes blow the water around a bit too, to get the stuff where I want it in natural looking runs. Once completely dry I use a soft pencil, in this case a 10B, to pick out various shapes and textures. Where the water has soaked into the paper, the surface nap will have risen and this gives further opportunity for more textures. In this case I achieved a relatively realistic effect but often go for something much more abstract.
'Crying Out Loud' is approximately 14 x 17 inches in size and is presented within a brushed pewter effect frame to a total size of about 20 x 23 inches, ready to hang. For more details and purchasing info click on this link 'Crying Out Loud'