Bitter Grounds - espresso fueled ramblings

Friday, March 23, 2018

Still sulking but here's another pencil sketch anyway

Maybe losing my Wacom might have been a good thing (for the short term). I sat down yesterday and looked over some old drawings of cat eyes which were basic and ok but somehow not quite "there" as far as realism. I pulled up all sorts closeup photos cat's eyes and realised how detailed and complex they really are. Veins and shades of colour, splashes of light reflecting - far more than I'd realised. So I sat and started drawing them... just eyes, nothing else. I'm actually a bit staggered at the sheer complexity of the eye. Guess it's a case of seeing something but not really paying attention. 

Here's the one that I really like:

Sketch of a cat's eye done in pencil

The fur around the eye came out better than I'd hoped.  I can see where I should have used a bit more shading around the rim of the iris though, it's a bit too sharp. But overall, I'm happy with it.

I took a stab at a human eye, but I got a bit too heavy handed:

Start of a sketch of a human eye

I need to sit and rethink my approach to the eye and how to get the shading right. It's too uniform and dark. I'll sit and mull over different photos and try again tonight.  

Hope you enjoy the sketches. It's been a long time since I picked up pencils. Discovered something else I'd lost during the move - my beloved pencil sharpeners. Yes, I have a passion for my little metal sharpeners and can't find any of them. Can't find my Winston inks either.  Bugger damn. Then again, it looks like I have an excuse to make a trip to the art store!

If I can't use my Wacom, I'll show you pencil drawings instead

I'm still moaning and complaining about losing my Wacom tablet during the move this month. Hopefully I've simply placed it somewhere and I'll stumble over it eventually. I've set up my desk and when I get up in the morning, I can't wait to settle in to work. A bit irritating and yes I'm sulking a little.  So, instead of more work on the door arch, I'll show some older pencil drawings I've done. 

Pencil drawing of prothonotary warbler drawn 2009

Drew this back in 2009. Long time ago now. I've pulled out my pencils again and started sketching. I keep gravitating towards little song birds for some reason.  They're fun to draw. The fine little fellow above is a prothonotary warbler. He came out quite well. I haven't drawn much lately, got tied up with the digital aspect too much and have neglected hand sketching.  I'm trying to expand into other areas, but my sense of perspective is a bit wobbly. I'm fine drawing on the right side of the paper, in great detail, but when I move to the left of the page my sense of space and perspective goes a bit array. No idea why so I'm trying to figure out a way of compensating for the brain glitch. I'm trying to expand into sketching buildings. So far, "oh the embarassment"! I don't think I'll share any of them.

Photoshop digital art - working on shadows and effects

Back banging away with my Wacom tablet again. I've been working on trying to even out my water colour wash effect. To date, it's been pretty much hit and miss so I've been working on some new ideas. I was looking over shots I took yesterday and spotted a photo that would be excellent to try out some of these ideas. I was wandering around in the Bloor/St. George area, by Varsity stadium photographing some of my favourite buildings. One in particular has a beautiful arched door - Munk Centre for International Affairs:

 Digital art - ink and water colour effect on Monk Centre doorway

Read more: Photoshop digital art - working on shadows and effects

Photoshop digital art - more work on the arch

Still working on the doorway arch. Hard to believe I haven't flitted off to another project already, but this one has turned into an excellent challenge with all the shadows and highlights. After doing a line trace of the original photo, I've been using a simple round, black brush tip with varying flow to get the deep, dark shadows and sense of depth. Here's the next stage:

 Digital art - Munk Centre doorway

I've turned the water colour wash off for awhile so I can concentrate on just the ink effect.  I'm saving each stage, so far 15 shots, so I can pull them together on an animated gif to show the work as it progresses. When I finish the art, I'll post it for you.

St Clair/Yonge St fire aftermath – nothing but the wreckage

I went out yesterday to take a look at the aftermath of Tues' 6 alarm fire. The phrase “nothing but the wreckage” comes to mind when I look at the Club. But amazingly, there's not even a hint of smoke left in the area and it's pretty much back to business in the neigbourhood.

Some of the stores/restaurants along the north/west side of Yonge were closed. No damage was visible but according to some of the workers, the water damage was extensive. To put this into perspective, the Fire Department poured water from 7 aerial hoses, plus hoses strung along condo balconies for over 12 hours. Even after the fire was contained, the water kept coming for about another 12 hours. All through the night, we could hear the pumper trucks on the streets. View from balcony of fire fighters working into night @ Yonge St Clair fire

Read more: St Clair/Yonge St fire aftermath – nothing but the wreckage

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Catpaw with a pint & a typical bad haircutTime for a new look - the venerable cat on a postage stamp is now retired. As much as I loved him, it was time for a face lift - bad haircut & all. 

"The purpose of a writer is to keep civilization from destroying itself."

- Albert Camus

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