Monday, May 26, 2008

Opera singers, Liyuan Theatre, Beijing

Just outside the auditorium, the opera singers were putting on their make-up for everyone to see and, presumably, take photos. There were crowds around the tables so it was only looking at the photos afterwards that I managed to get a good look at the details. I especially liked the arm of the singer on the right - obviously that of an acrobat with bruises and red knuckles to show there is more to Chinese opera than singing. He is the singer I've drawn twice before. I used mainly Cretacolor Aquamonolith pencils. My two favourites, English Red and Ochre Light are perfect for skin and I used them as a base but tried out other colours like purple, mauve and blue/grey shades for the shadows. The Albrecht Durer 'mauve' and 'magenta' seemed to work especially well.

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Beijing Opera

One of the traditional characters, a male lead known as a 'Sheng', from the Beijing Opera. More details are on my other blog here. I started this drawing with the intention of it being looser, more of a sketch, but increasingly the facial expression and the costume seemed to need more care. I finished the face and part of the costume and left it as I wasn't happy with how it was turning out but returned to it and tried to tidy it up a bit and it seemed to work better. I played around with something new for me - leaving out the lines around the trousers and I shaded the background using only the colour to mark the edges. Hard edges don't offend me so I don't worry about them, but I do like the effect on the trousers, especially on the right side. In contrast I tried to make the edges more noticeable against the blank background for the top half of the body. I used a combination of Cretacolor Aquamonoliths (as I still prefer their hardness to others and they have the two colours, English Red and Ochre Light, that I like most and can't replace), Faber Castell Polychromos (pretty good, still not as hard as I like but I want to get away from watercolour pencils) and Albrecht Durer (OK, a bit soft for my liking but good colours). It would be great to have one brand, one set of pencils that have all the qualities and colours I'm looking for, but I haven't found it yet!

Saturday, May 10, 2008

Life drawing

From a couple of weeks ago. Drawing with coloured pencils is quite different to using pencil and each time I learn something about how much can be achieved in the time. I'd like to do a lot more layering and blending of the colours and by the time the session is up I'm just getting into the swing of things! This is nowhere near finished but I'm quite happy with it as it was going quite well and there were many areas like the ribs and face that I would have enjoyed working on.