This graphite portrait of a Great Horned Owl is done on 8″x10″ Clay Bord. The surface of this panel allows for the application of dark tones which can then be scratched into, leaving very fine details of light against dark. (Notice the fine lines of the edge of the light feathers against the dark area of the owl’s bill.)
This is a study of an old willow tree done on a 5″x 8″ Moleskin watercolor journal. The thinest branches are added with water saluable colored pencil. Notice the atmospheric perspective created by the lighter values of the branches which extend out behind the tree trunk.
This is one of the palettes I use for plain air painting. The colors shown are all Daniel Smith Extra Fine. The round plastic water cup in the upper left of the image is attached to the metal palette with velcro. I don’t usually clean the mixing wells after finishing a painting in the field since the leftover colors make wonderful grays for the next go around. This image is of the palette after finishing the previously posted “Bristlecone Border”
This is the graphite drawing of the Bristlecone Border at the Denver Botanic Gardens done on Canson Montval watercolor block, 9″ x 12″, cold press. The dark gray areas are the Pebeo drawing gum resist applied to save the lights.
A “ghost wash” is applied over the resist and graphite, with warm tones in the foreground fading to cooler tones in the background.
The main dark and light tones are now established –
and the resist is rubbed off revealing the saved lights.
The final details are added with the small blossoms in the foreground done with white gouache and watercolor.
This is another watercolor plain air painting done at The Denver Botanic Gardens. It is on a Moleskin watercolor journal about 5″ x 7″. Some of the highlights were added at the end with white gauche, and some details in the branches were added with Caran d”Ache water soluble colored pencils.
What the camera saw.
This is a portrait of my grand daughter Maggie done in carbon dust on paper, 6″ x 10″. The technique is used extensively in scientific illustration but I find it works equally well for rendering the subtle value changes in portraiture. Wolff’s carbon pencils were used to make a fine powder of carbon that was applied by brush to Strathmore 500 series velum surface bristol.
This is the initial graphite drawing on 140# Arches cold press watercolor block, 9″ x 12″, with a resist (the greenish areas, which is a liquid frisquet called drawing gum made by Pebeo ) applied to save the whites and the “ghost wash” applied over that. The resist must be allowed to dry completely before adding the wash.
The resist has been rubbed off only after the wash has completely dried.
and the painting is brought to completion, about three hours start to finish.
What the camera saw.
Another watercolor done at the Denver Botanic Gardens, this one is 4″ x 8″ on Fluid watercolor paper Easy-Block 140# cold press. The light toned lilac blooms were all done with white gauche mixed with watercolor, and the dark ones with just watercolor. Being smaller this took a little over one hour to complete.
This is an example of a scientific botanical illustration done in pen and ink on drafting film. It represents the complete life cycle of Yucca glauca developed from several months of study. Sketches from direct observation and photo references were used to depict the different stages of growth and individual parts of the plant. I was fortunate to accidentally obtain some yucca moths which were in several of the blossoms I collected. This species of moth has evolved along with the yucca to be the only pollinator of this plant. It is one of only a few pollinators in the plant world to accomplish the fertilization process on purpose instead of as a result of collecting pollen or nectar for it’s own use.