Sunday, September 30, 2012

graphite and colored pencils

thank you to everyone who left a comment in the last post...  it's a little weird to pick just one name, because truly,  i'd love to send everyone a sketchbook.

 terry, you're the winner...  it sounds like you will use it well.  : )

this little book lives in the bag that i take out walking.  it's made by sennelier and was brought back to me from paris by kathy, who is a present giver extraordinaire...
  it has the smoothest, creamiest paper in it imaginable, but until last week i hadn't used an 8B pencil  in it. 

then i saw a face in  a rock and  decided to use the 8B pencil so i could smudge the shadows in;  and, the face in the rock also had this kind of nose, which i've never really drawn before.  that  face is the one on the top right, and believe me, the rock one was much cooler, but wow!  did i ever get hooked on 8B smudgy faces with this kind of nose!!

when i got home i experimented on different kinds of paper from my scrap drawer.  the faces above are on a piece of paper cut from an old moleskine sketchbook...

smooth bristol...

and an unknown paper in a book with a japanese price tag on it.   i think someone gave this to me but i can't remember!

also in the japanese book...

i wanted to share these because they're super easy to draw...

here are the basics of what i use...  a mechanical pencil to draw the face initially (and you could do away with this and just start with the 8B), an 8B pencil to go over everything with (and make some lines heavier than others), a tortillon/blending stump to smudge with, and colored pencils.  i'm showing cream, sand, and light umber prismacolor pencils - they're the main colors i use for shading.  for cheeks and lips i use salmon, pink, red, orange, etc...

as you can see, i'm drawing the eyes about halfway down the face.  for the eyes, it's basically a line for the upper eyelid and a black spot for the iris/pupil.  the eyebrows go down and become the nose, and the mouth sits about halfway between the bottom of the face and the nose.  after you draw over everything with the 8B (or any dark lead) pencil, smudge away!  if you don't like it, erase!   add some light color with colored pencils - smudge some more - whatever!   it truly is fun and easy...

otherwise i've been out walking a lot;  seeing so much...   nature is endlessly impressive to me.   i can't imagine a human-drawn mandala more beautiful than this.

at the green shrine tree today, setting the cans back up, adding new stuff.  the sawdust in the foreground was created this summer by ants living in the tree.   it's a lot of sawdust.   i'm impressed...

* * *

"To keep your process flowing, to feel the enjoyment of creation, you  first need to go where it is easy.  Easy means ripe.  Go where you are attracted, whether it be toward a detail or a large shape.    While you work on the part that is easy, other parts will mature in you, and they will be ready and waiting.  You move step by step, from the easiest to the easiest.  It is never tedious or tiring because there is no need to force anything.  Depth resides more in surrendering to spontaneity than in hardworking struggle.

~ Michele Cassou and Stewart Cubley, 'Life, Paint and Passion'


  1. i just wanted to say hello and that i enjoyed the post. i don't have anything intelligent to say. Sometimes it's just nice to get a comment so i try to leave them more often.

    i love when you post.


  2. I am smitten by this quote! I love that it is so light and airy and simple in it's message.

    And I love all your creature people.

    And like Amy, I feel I don't really have any thing intelligent to say, but that is probably the basis for most authentic communication, just hello, lovely to visit with you and your soul-full offerings.

  3. Yay for Terri!

    Something about graphite and colored pencil...or any color media for that matter. Love it and especially on creamy papers. Your wonderful characters here are such friendly-looking folks...even the ones with animal ears...but especially the one with the little daisy standing on top of her hat! The daisy looks like it's waving hello.

    So happy to see your post tonight Lynne! And about Life, Paint and Passion...WHACK! :)

  4. hello lynne,

    wonderful to see all your faces
    i love their spirit and characters

    i have been enjoying that lesson of yours i blogged about recently and have now done five pieces by following your instructions

    so fun to see my own style with your instructions... i guess that is how it would be with each person who gives it a try. thank you for sharing how you do things.

    lovely Monday and beyond to you ~

  5. you're too right.
    that is a beautiful, natural mandala!

  6. Love the tree mandala, nature is astounding and if everyone considered what she gives us day in day out maybe more would understand that we are visitors; guests, we don't own the earth, even tho a great many believe that to be true, nature shows us her beauty, her strength, her weaknesses which she has many...we'd all do well to care for her and visit it her as you document here for this post so much and always love when you share your tools with us, where you've visited and all the simplicity that goes with it. You are the sweetest trail guide I've ever known.
    PS, all those faces are wonderous as well.

  7. Big Congrats to Terry woo hoo you...

    hey Lynne love the post and the second to last dame from the bottom on the japanese paper lol shes my kinda gal hehe , agree on the mandala, nature is the perfect artist we can only aspire, think it was u who mentioned the Tina Berning book anyway i finally got it ...
    hugz bev

  8. 2B, 4B, 6B ... I've used them...but not 8B. You've done it again, now I will *need* to try one of those (thank you. I love it when you tell us about new paints, brushes, pencils etc. and how you use them).

    I bought three new paint brushes this week (so exciting) David Taylor. Beautiful to use. Another art friend put me onto those!!!!

    Wonderful little folk you've drawn Lynne and I swooned when I saw that beautiful.

    Jacky xox

  9. Oh I love the green shrine!

  10. such a perfect quote, and the shrine tree looks in balance--love and attention harmonics rising, shifting the earth into magnificent vibes.

    the mandala is perfect too, nature is such the perfect reminder! and your faces are all dressed to go to the city today--very formal. :)

    glad you are having great weather. and that Kathy is indeed a great gift giver! Blessings

  11. The perfect mandala! I've written the quote up in my quote book.... as a comforting reminder. My favourite face is at the top of the post. She's quite prim in a quirky way.

  12. Your 8B faces really turned out well! I love the new noses, and that you also see faces in rocks and things. I'm always seeing faces in the oddest places, too. :0)

    And that quote! Today I'm carrying these words with me: "Depth resides more in surrendering to spontaneity than in hardworking struggle."

    Wonderful stuff!

  13. Lynne, I use 8B's too and 9B's, and I use my finger to smudge, messy, but effective :-). I love that tree stump and your shrine and that quote is wonderful. It looks like you are having great fun, yay. Love. xoxo

  14. me too i found a beautiful mandala here and a green shrine tree,' play and come to rest and get inspired' it whispers to me, x

  15. fun faces. love those broad noses.
    heading out at the end of the week to take a class with Pam Carriker using liquid lead for blending. looking forward to that !
    Happy discovery walking ,Beautiful !

  16. Lynne - these faces remind me of illustrations in a children's book I used to have - I can't remember the title - but it was a wonderful story full of whimsy and delight.

    Your faces - so full of ancient wisdom - xxoo

    And that mandala! WOW

  17. Lynne, firstly its a wonderful post, and the drawing with cats ears seems very suitable as the nose you were inspired by in the rock seems to be very similar to a cat's nose~ I just looked at my drawing pencil and its a Derwent, and very big and smudgy , it might be an 8 but I squinted quite hard and can't read it. Ha~
    When I woke up I went outside and it smelled wonderful, pine and fresh and a little bit of ocean brine. I felt inspired as if someone had slapped me on the back!

  18. Just wanted to stop by and say hello because I've been away for so long. It's wonderful to see your beautiful drawings and share a little of your world again. Hope you're well. Sending love x

  19. I love all these faces, but especially the jester and the one with kitty ears! The tree-ring mandala- pure beauty! xxxxxooooooo

  20. Yup! Graphite is the best! I see faces everywhere when I am quiet. A throw rug is usually a cotillion dance of faces that emerge with just the brush of a bare foot or doggie paw. Like clouds, the faces change as I gaze at them. I like to think of them as my alternate selves stopping by for a visit.
    Love the way you have captured a fairy essence in these faces. Thank you again for sharing your technique. And, boy would I like to be standing to the side while a hiker comes upon one of your beautiful shrines. What must they think? That fairies and elves populate the forest and for once we can see the evidence?

  21. Beautiful...your words, your art, your love.


  22. Congrats Terry. Hi Lynne, your latest pictures absolutely floor me! They are gorgeous. The tree ring, oh how beautiful. I always feel so good when I'm reading your blog. Thanks Lynne, you are a treasure. Marg. oxox

  23. You make a compelling case for sketching and your materials are sexy. Love the results.


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