Saturday, July 7, 2012

Adding color to your drawings

Today's drawing was a handful of fresh Bing cherries on a paper towel. So beautiful and so delicious it was hard not to eat as I was drawing them.

So this drawing was just crying out for some color. You can hardly tell they are cherries without it. Here is an idea that I came up with awhile back for experimenting with color, without ruining your original drawing. Use your scanner or copy machine to make a couple of copies of your black ink drawing. This won't work if your printer ink is the kind that is water soluble. My Epson printer uses Durabright ink that is permanent. If you have a laser printer it works too. Use drawing paper in your printer. You may have to trim it to size. I made a couple of copies of the cherries.

For one I used watercolor pencils. I have a smaller box, that I use for travel, but I really like my Derwent Inktense pencils better. I used them to color the drawing, mixing and blending the pencil colors as you would with any colored pencil drawing. I left a lot of white areas showing on the cherries that represent the reflections of light on the shiny skin of the cherries. For any kind of watercolor work, white is paper, not white paint.

Using these pencils is a little bit of a guessing game, because you add water after you have colored the work and the colors "bloom" to more intense and complex hues. You can use a small cup of water and a watercolor brush, but I am hooked on my water brush that holds water in the barrel handle. It is perfect for drawing and painting on the go. Use a paper towel to clean the brush fibers between colors.

Here it is after I have "painted" it with the water brush.

I also have a little travel-sized pan watercolor set for painting on the go. I used them for my second copy.

I use the water brush with them as well. Here is the finished painting.

You can see the results are quite similar.

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