spqrblues: (arch scribe)
At this rate I'll actually fill a sketchbook. It's been a while since I've done that.

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spqrblues: (SPQR olc.net)
Felix swears, he really did have help in that battle that time.

(click to see larger...)


 
spqrblues: (White Rose)
I'm making my way through the pages of that Stillman & Birn Alpha sketchbook and, y'know, I don't hate it. It's ok. One good thing about it has been that, because it's been such a challenge to see whether it can live up to its hype, I've been filling the pages with test pieces, instead of being too timid to "ruin" the book by doing art wrong.

This sketch took me a while to figure out, and the pencils were erased many times before the page was inked then the light wash was put on. The paper held up extremely well to all the erasing, and although it seemed to buckle a lot with the water, it's flattening out. Not completely flat, but no worse than the previous pages.

I was going to watercolour the whole thing, add in more Felix-y details, and include Venus in the drawing, but started liking it as is. Of course, he might see Venus anyway. It's hard to tell with him.

Alternatively, he might be describing a fish that got away....

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Hmm. This just dredged up a memory. Once when I drew something and didn't completely define each finger, the editor said it looked like the character's fingers had been "fused together in a horrible industrial accident." I'm not bothered.
 
spqrblues: (arch scribe)
Today's warmup sketch is based on the "Antikythera youth" statue that was found in the same shipwreck site as the Antikythera mechanism. On Fluid cold-press paper; pencil, ancient palette watercolours, no subligaculum.

I'm sure I'll find all sorts of things to nitpick about the drawing in the morning, as I always do :)

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spqrblues: (Ave Sweetums)
Lapis Lazuli swatches on the right, modern Ultramarine swatch on the left.(pic #1: Lapis Lazuli swatches on the right, modern Ultramarine swatch on the left.)

I've been playing with Lapis Lazuli blue in my ancient palette since I acquired a small amount of powdered pigment, supposedly from the same source the Romans (and later painters) used. It's not the super-expensive super-high quality called Fra Angelico Blue, but even a medium-nice grade can be 40 times the cost of, say, red ochre (which, to be fair, is basically dirt).


unsuccessful Egyptian Blue paint (over black ink). It's basically just sand barely adhered to the page.(pic #2: unsuccessful Egyptian Blue paint (over black ink). It's basically just sand barely adhered to the page.)

Maybe because of this, I was very careful when mixing my ten bucks worth of pigment into paint, and my first attempt turned out very well. Much more highly pigmented than, say, the Daniel Smith brand Lapis Lazuli Genuine watercolour. The picture (pic #1) doesn't fully do it justice. There's something about it that sets it apart from the modern synthetic version of Ultramarine (Lapis Lazuli was also originally called Ultramarine, "from across the sea," since the stones for it were imported). My Lapis Lazuli paint was much more successful than my attempts at getting Egyptian Frit Blue (considered the first synthetic pigment) to work in watercolour.


The darkest blue here is one layer of the concentrated version of the paint.(pic #3: The darkest blue here is one layer of the concentrated version of the paint.)

Over the weekend I took a few hours break from work to experiment with the Lapis Lazuli paint left in the mixing cup when I made the first small batch of paint. Waste not, want not--my initial intention was just to get the paint out of the cup to use. It's not quite the Fra Angelico extraction method, and I'm starting with a lower grade of pigment, but I was able to precipitate out different grades of pigment particles and get a more concentrated version in the paint binder.

I'm a novice at making paint, whether watercolour, tempera, or encaustic. Who knows whether I'm filtering out the impurities or just making a mess. But I like the result.
spqrblues: (arch scribe)
This was just a warmup doodle, then I ended up in over my eyebrows on a freelance project that was larger than I thought it would be and it ate the rest of the day/weekend. Eh, it's not perfect, but it made a good stretching exercise for the fingers.

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