Saturday, August 23, 2008

Last working man

I´ve been drawing these working men now for a week, as I set out to do, so this is the last one. At least for now.

The gray in this image is mixed from Permanent Carmine and Winsor Green (blue shade). I like this mix, both of the colours will come out here and there as themselves, refusing to be gray together - a great little effect, impossible to control.

10 x 15 cm, pencil and watercolours on Canson Montval watercolour paper, rough grain.

Friday, August 22, 2008

Working man #7

Today´s worker. Feels good to work in a series like this, I seldom do. I discover little things every day; other ways of doing the folds in the clothes, how to work with the shadows in the faces... I should probably do this more often, with other subjects.

10 x 15 cm, pencil and watercolours on Canson Montval watercolour paper, rough grain.

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Working man #6, step by step

For once I thought of taking some photos while I was painting, so here it is - a little step by step of how I paint these guys. Click the images to see them in a larger size.

1. I start with the first light washes, very diluted, making sure to leave white areas white. Everything that´s not supposed to be white in the end gets this first wash.

2. After the first wash dries, I go on with slightly darker washes. In cases like this, when I´m working at home, I help the washes to dry with a hair dryer. I´m too impatient to wait for them to dry...

3. I keep adding darker washes, trying to keep in mind that the light in the image comes from above, so the man´s shoulders and the top of his hat should be slightly lighter than the rest. I found some of the darker marks got a bit too dark here, so I softened them with a brush with clean water after I took this photo. The spattering happens sometimes when I lift a very wet brush a little too hastily so the tip kind of throws some colour off. It´s easy to avoid by taking it a bit slower, but I kind of like those little accidents.

4. In the end I add some more darks and details, trying to find some kind of balance in the picture. This is pretty much the finished state.

5. I don´t like working with tiny brushes, it´s so easy to get caught up in details if you do. Here are the two brushes I use for these working men series, the smaller one is a Winsor & Newton Sceptre Gold II no.9, the larger one is an all time favourite, an old Kolinsky sable brush. I´ve had it for at least ten years and all the writing on it is gone, so I don´t know what size it is. I only use the smaller one towards the end, for tweaking details, I try to do as much as I can with the bigger brush.
The image is 10 x 15 cm (3.9 x 5.9 inch) wide, for comparison.

10 x 15 cm, pencil and watercolours on Canson Montval watercolour paper, rough grain.

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Working man #5

A new colour scheme today - isn´t it fun? You never know what colour they´re going to be! ;)

10 x 15 cm, pencil and watercolours on Canson Montval watercolour paper.

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Working man #4

I avoided drawing in ink today, thought I´d try to get a softer feel in the painting. I think I was too harsh with the values, though, so it´s still a bit too much contrast in the face.
Oh, well, I´ll try again tomorrow...

10 x 15 cm, pencil and watercolours on Canson Montval watercolour paper.

Monday, August 18, 2008

Working man #3

Another working man from Skäret (see previous post).

10 x 15 cm, Lamy Safari with Noodler´s Polar Black ink and watercolours on Canson Montval watercolour paper.

Sunday, August 17, 2008

Working men

There used to be a saw mill on the island where we have our summer house. It started around 1900 and closed in 1952. There are a lot of old photos from that era, and I love looking at them, seeing how the island looked in those days, what people were wearing, the interiors of their homes and how life was organized around the saw mill.

There are, among others, some group photos of the workers. I can´t help but noticing how proud they all look, from the thirteen year-old boys to the oldest men. Their lives must have been quite tough, the work was hard, but they were still considered lucky to be working in a place with good housing for the workers and a lot of advantages that workers in those days usually didn´t have, such as free fire wood and electricity.

These drawings are from one of those group photos. They aren´t portraits, the faces in the photo are too small to see each one clearly, but I tried to capture those proud expressions on their faces and their clothes. I´ll be doing some more of these in the next few days, since I think they´re so interesting. Plus, it gets me drawing again. I´ve been kind of lazy lately.

20 x 15 cm, Lamy Safari with Noodler´s Polar Black ink on Canson Montval watercolour paper.

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Boat love

I am not a motor boat person, I´m a sailor. But as it is, I don´t have a sailing boat, I have part of a motor boat. It can´t beat sailing, but I have to confess that it´s still quite lovely to be able to go wherever you want on the water.

This boat of ours comes with a new feature compared to our old one - you can actually maneuver it to exactly where you want to go. That sounds stupid, I know - how hard can it be to steer a motor boat with a propeller in the back?! - but I assure you that with the wrong boat and narrow circumstances it is perfectly possible to make a complete ass of yourself EVERY TIME you´re trying to fit your boat into your assigned spot by the dock. Ask me, I know...

It may not be a beauty in the boat world, but it´s safe and I don´t feel worried driving it by myself, so I love it.

12.5 x 15 cm, Lamy Safaris with Lexington grey and Noodler´s Black ink on Fabriano Artistico hot press paper.