A Match Made in Heaven?
Last week, I caught a glimpse of some artwork done by Kate Sikorski using acrylics over her Copic marker sketches and it really inspired me to give it a whirl, so after some practicing with the technique I ventured out into the neighborhood to do some sketching! On these projects, Im using 14 x 17" smooth bristol board, which I then cut in half giving me two 8.5 x 14" pieces of board to work with, easy!
Walking through the neighborhood, I found this old datsun that I practically fell in love with. I think it's a 1971 510, don't quote me!
Anyway, in this sketch, I started with my Cool Grays, CG02, CG04, CG07 & CG09 which gives me a pretty good range and allows me to block in the large value scale of the image. Later, I went in with a little acrylic and added some opaque tones and a little more kick where I felt the drawing lacked it.
Typically when I paint with acrylic, I like to start my palette with a mix of Burnt Sienna and Ultramarine Blue (red shade), mixing these two tones will give you a really nice grey that is easy to push into the warmer tones or the cooler depending on if you mix more brown or blue, and with the addition of white, you can really get a lot of economy out of just 2 paints! Mixing equal amounts of these two colors will give you a really rich black that is deeper and richer than a mars black out of the tube.
Looking out the window of my apartment, I look down an alley that opens up just before this backyard that is seriously overgrown, but it makes for good sketching, alright! If I decide to start a Copic Sketch in graphite pencil, usually I will take a kneaded eraser and just lightly erase the drawing- not so much that I lose the image, but just enough so that the loose graphite won't clog my marker tip later on. As a general rule, using Copic on top of loose graphite is not a good idea, as the tip will pick up the graphite and eventually clog it, not the end of the world because you can always replace the tip of course, but something to keep in mind, nonetheless.
After I started sketching with markers over the graphite lines, I decided to draw some cars that had parked at the end of the alley and gave it a nice bit or information in that bottom corner that was a little lacking. At this point, I've used my Cool Grays, (CG02, CG04, CG07 & CG09) and some Warm Grays (WG02, WG04 & WG07) to set up the values of the drawing, but Ive also worked in some greens, yellows and browns (G82, G99, Y02, Y26, E55, and E33). Often I will want a color that is just slightly less bright, or slightly cooler, and so I will take a light gray (CG02 or WG02) and run a pass over the color to dull it out or "knock it back". I used this technique a lot in the wooden fence and the roofs of the buildings. I've also used my multiliners and a straight edge to make some indentations in the cinder-block wall and the roof shingles of the buildings.
I decided to take a short break, and after coming back to the window I decided to add some more texture and color, and draw in this palm tree that I had been ignoring. When I come in with the acrylic, I will be painting opaque layers above the markers, so I want to really push value now with the markers so that I don't have to do a lot of layering later on with the paint. It's hard to explain, but one of my favorite things about this technique is the way that opaque layers look on top of transparent layers, so I try and draw the objects in this image slightly darker than I actually see them, once you try it for yourself, you'll know what I mean!
Starting as I did with the sketch of the car above, on two opposite sides of my palette I squirt equal amounts of burnt sienna and ultramarine blue (red shade) and on the other side, a squirt of titanium white and a squirt of Sap Green. Using only these 4 colors, I mixed plenty of tones that I used on areas where I wanted more of a "painterly" feel or areas that seemed to need a little more kick! Later on, I will make a tutorial about how I mix acrylics but for now, just keep it in mind :).
Originally I wanted to tackle the shubbery of that backyard beyond the fence, but alas I got caught up with painting a picture of the jeep, go figure! If you've read this far, you must be interested in the technique I've used here, so I encourage you to bust out those dusty acrylics, a small round brush and a small flat brush and explore your neighborhood and your artistic interests!