Today I explored the branches and twigs of yesterday a bit further. Also I played with my drawing tool to find out what kind of lines the Pentel Gel-pen might produce.
I took a break between two sessions of 20-30 minutes and returned about an hour later to the same place. As the sun moved the shadows in the drawing are not consistent or strictly “true” representing one particular situation or moment.
There are two main methods to represent volumes and/or shadows in a drawing. Hatching which is a kind of abstract method that neglects the material properties of the subject. The other method, that I admire so much in the works of Piranesi, is to use thicker and thinner lines in the representation. Piranesi never uses hatches or even cross hatches to establish dark shadows. You can study his technique with the magnifier device in the incredible KAMEI-collection.
While establishing the outline of the branches I also noticed that the Pentel Gel-Pen can produce a vivid line if not much pressure is applied.To imitate the fine structure of the bark I applied no pressure other than the light weight of the plastic pen, moving it around to create a hubbub of lines or parallel lines.
I always liked my Ink pen because of the lack to give a uniform,dead line that many of the ink pens produce. (see also “How to draw with a pen“) A similar effect can be achieved with the Gel-Pen, but a very gentle treatment is necessary.
Temperatures are getting more comfortable this week and daylight stays longer. The season for afternoon and evening excursions is near. In coming days I want to do a couple of drawing studies on twigs and branches. The beginning is made with a stack of apple tree timber on a meadow. I started with a slow, controlled hand to draw the outline of some cut twigs. The dark shape was good to see against a bright background. Also the sun helped to see the volume of the twigs too.
After twenty minutes the sun was gone. Tommorrow I want to take this study a little bit further.
Woody debris has become a subject of interest for me during lasts years forest studies (Waldtagebuch=Forest diary). It is a fascinating microcosmos of immmense importance for biologic diversity and thus for the stability of forests. Last weekend I had the opportunity to start a small sketch of an impressive old dead oak trunk at one of my favorite places in our woods. During the week heavy snow came back and I finished the sketch in complete white silence while big snow flakes were falling on my sketchbook pages. The Pentel Energel writer has become a favorite alternative to my usual ink pen and it did fine, even though the paper was moist (The refill I use is Pentel Energel LR7-A. 0.7 mm black). This pen writes a deep black to the very end of the refill and the tip glides very smoothly over the paper.
This blog is in transition to WordPress…which has proven not to be that easy import transaction I thought it might be. But it seems that I am making some progress this evening.