Last year I did six series of 5 drawings on a given theme or technique and I really liked it, but this year I compiled a list of prompts, and chose any medium or technique I liked:
All my drawings in one place
I loved it! I discovered in the process that I don’t really like coloured pencils, but that I absolutely love gouache painting!
I think I have improved over the years. Notably, for “sullen” I redid a drawing of “Woman Sitting on Edge of Veranda” by Utamaro Kitagawa. Four years apart, and this time the lines were crisper and there was simply more details.
This year for Drawvember, I compiled my own list of prompts, to ensure that I wasn’t going to use “not inspired” as an excuse for skipping days. Drawing actually brings me joy and satisfaction, and as it’s in rather short supply at this time of year for me, I have much at stake.
This series concludes this year’s Drawvember! I really really enjoyed myself. I was looking forward to it every day.
I also discovered that gouache is a favourite. I used to be terrified of it and of paint in general, but not too much anymore.
Day 26: “Lipstick”
My friend Amy made me discover René Gruau last week. I had seen some of his fashion illustrations and advertising work without knowing they were his. I love his style! His work reminds me of that which Toulouse Lautrec and Alfons Mucha did in their own time.
I used the reverse side of my Copic Drawing Pen fountain pen for extra thin lines, Geranium Red ink Brush Writer from Kuretake, black ink Pentel Brushpen, and I smudged very little amounts of Light Grey ink for shading.
Day 27: “Cliff”
White cliffs by the sea.
Gouache paint from the Holbein Artists tubes I got in a Sketchbox: I mixed Prussian blue, leaf green, yellow ochre and used some titanium white watercolor.
I like it well enough but recognise it’s pretty awkward and not striking enough. Perhaps the tones aren’t pastel enough. And I am certain that the artbook paper isn’t thick enough (96g/m2 – 65 lb) for the watered down colours I used.
Day 28: “Pure”
For “pure”, I wanted to draw a Maiko (apprentice geisha). This is from the 2005 movie with Zhang Ziyi “Memoirs of a Geisha” which tells the story of a 9 year-old girl sold by her poor family to a Kyoto geisha house, who in time becomes Sayuri, the beautiful and talented geisha, whose successful career is cut short by the outbreak of World War II.
For this drawing I wasn’t too sure which medium to use. After doing the pencil outline in my artbook, I drew it again on a scrap of paper using a Derwent sepia line maker with a bit of black and the geranium red and light grey Brush Writers from Kuretake. It didn’t work.
I chose gouache paint instead: yellow ochre, burnt sienna, ivory black from Holbein Artists, and some titanium white opaque watercolor. It took me 75 minutes (for a drawing that is only the size of my palm!)
Day 29: “Elf”
This is a pencil drawing of Cate Blanchett as Galadriel, the Elven Queen from the movie Lord of the Rings.
It took me over 2 hours (the drawing isn’t bigger than my palm).
Portrait are really hard. Getting someone’s features is difficult for me. It just barely looks like her but I couldn’t find what to change to make it better.
Day 30: “Tower”
This is an alcohol markers drawing on tracing paper of Carl’s house from the movie “Up”, surrounded by towering buildings.
I went way out of my comfort zone for this last day of Drawvember! This medium requires specific paper as alcohol ink bleeds a lot, and my artbook is of regular paper. I follow someone named Mutoni on Instagram and he uses tracing paper. It looks way easier when he does it!
Today I learned that the ink does not penetrate in the paper. Therefore when I wanted to darken the tones or blend colours by adding layers, I discovered that the new layer somewhat overwrites the existing colour. So the tones aren’t at all like they are supposed to be because I didn’t have the specific colours I needed.
One thing turned out well however: I thought the ink might not dry very well and I didn’t want my fingers to smudge it once I was going to glue the sheet to my artbook page, so I was clever enough to draw on the back side of the paper and then flip it to apply think black lines and white. I spent a lot more time on this little piece than I anticipated.