…because who can resist a ladybug? Like damselflies, they also have very complicated heads. Fun to draw though, even with so much detail. Drawing shiny stuff with ink does light my fire, and there was a remarkable amount of shadows and subtle highlights to consider. I’d intended to draw the entire ladybug, and (as I do) started it way too big, which meant it would have been running over the Kestrel just a half-inch above. Oops. Proportion seems to be an ongoing challenge for me.
Apparently this is a European damselfly, Enallagma cyathigerum
. I would have seen Familiar Bluets, Enallagma civile. They’re all gorgeous, and always a treat when one lands nearby. This sketch began plein aire, since a Bluet landed while I was sketching the Bird of Paradise a few days ago. Of course it flew off a few seconds later! I found a photo taken from a similar angle and finished it up for Day 7. Not sure I love the Jadeite on the plant stem, but pretty happy with the rest of it.
TIL: Damselfly heads are really complicated! After finishing I realized that it actually has five pieces: two eyes of course, and three apparent sections between the eyes. In the ref, the left eye is nearly hidden. In the drawing, I sort of mixed up the left eye and the sections of the upper head. Might have to draw a damselfly head study to make up for my carelessness.
Learned a couple things with this drawing. One, watch proportions! The head shape and eye size is a little different than the reference. It’s fine for practice, but not entirely *right*. Second, never use paint to do what you should have done with ink. I tried to get lazy and beef up one of the black neck stripes with Sodalite, and it just looked weird. Better to have just scratched away at it a little longer.
Third, perhaps, plan ahead. I was going to draw the entire bird and could see after a while that maybe 60% of him would fit on the page by the time I got done. Oops. Head portrait it is! This was about all I had time to draw anyway. Might do a full-bird drawing and stretch it over two days.
Reference is this Wikipedia photo.
It was getting late last night, so I decided to draw a tiny thing. Here’s the copper clip off of the keys from Oct. 3. It’s a little larger than life size, whole thing is about 1″ x 2″. Still ended up being some good unwinding time. Strathmore 140lb CP Windpower paper, Platinum EF pen, Platinum Carbon ink.
This Bird of Paradise was drawn, and mostly painted, on location at lunchtime. There’s loads of these in the corporate landscaping; I was able to grab a chair from the cafe patio and get into some detail. The backlit sepals looked like stained glass! Approx. 4″ x 7″, same paper/ink as the others.
The pen was running out of ink toward the end of this sketch, but held out until the finish. Painted the flower itself on location and laid in the background (and a couple of touchups) at home. I didn’t plan to go all Halloween with the purple and orange, but kind of glad I did. PV23 is so deep, it helps set off the glow from the fiery sepals. Think I got the backlighting right – that doesn’t always turn out as intended for me.
Think this sketch got a little dark! I put some keys on the drafting table and drew them, so it’s like a mini-still-life. They were reflecting a lot more light on the upper parts, which I darkened trying to get contrast between one and the next. Not the best choice, but oh well. That’s what this is about, practicing and improving.
PV23 and PB29 for the background, Raw Sienna PBr7 on the keys, with a judicious dash of PV23 in the shadows. PR101 on the key ring. About 3″ x 3.5″ with the same ink, paper, pen as the wren.
It’s Inktober, and I am participating for the first time. To start, here’s my tools of choice! Not saying I won’t turn to another inking device at some point, but let’s start with these. I drew each item with the other, which turned out to be a good decision. The Kuretake #40 ink brush laid down some intense solid coverage to reveal the hard reflections on the shiny Platinum EF fountain pen. And, the EF pen brought on incredibly fine lines to capture the matte finish of the ink brush barrel. Real winners, both of them. Read more