Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Rembrandt Tulips in Colored Pencil... another work in progress ...

Sacha here, turning this particular post over to "mom" ... she's a lot more boring than I am! Prepare to be bored ... *cat giggling*

A work in progress - colored pencil piece.

The subject(s) of this work in colored pencil is one sort of the heirloom tulip bulbs that I grow in my garden - the Rembrandt "Insulinde".

© Judith Nijholt-Strong
"Looking up at the Rembrandts" work in progress
14.5"h x 8"w
colored pencil on paper

In April & May of this year, I was more often than not outside sketching and drawing the heirloom tulips that I grow in my garden here in the Netherlands.

These are Rembrandt tulips, "Insulinde" - known for the broken color pattern in the petals. The broken color pattern is caused by a virus in the bulb and I have to say that last year, they did look a bit different, so I guess the virus continues to change over winter while the bulbs lie dormant ... but what a lovely virus! , imo.

These tulips were initially sketched from life and then from several of my sketches - from that point on, I drew directly onto my paper to begin a finished work. I really do not like tracing my sketches or tracing from a photo and then having to transfer it all to another piece of paper. I find all that tracing and retracing just a big pain (besides being painfully boring) and honestly, I think it makes an already sometimes tedious medium (colored pencil) even more tedious. So, I just go straight in with a drawing, fearlessly right onto my paper. I use a Col-erase gray pencil when I do that in order to set out my initial outlines of some areas... you can easily erase it without toturing your paper. I do not map out the entire piece though - that's just more tedious work, imo.

Before you wonder....
Yes, I am aware that a lot of people endlessly critisize folks who trace their images onto paper and they claim that it isn't creative or it leads to stiff results - I'm not making those claims because I don't really care what someone else chooses to do, or not to do...it is none of my business and honestly, who really cares ? Not me. However, I do care what I choose to do and for me, it's just a boring, painful , task to trace and transfer. I am confident that I can draw what I see and how I see it (and I'm not looking for perfection, even if it appears that I might be). I can also make it as stiff and boring as I want it to be too without tracing - so I see no point ... LOL !

Back to what I did to prepare for this piece:
I cut three of my tulips from the pot I had them growing in and brought them indoors to study the patterning and color of the petals, which varies from petal to petal and from flower to flower. This type of Rembrandt tulip, the "Insulinde", starts off as a creamy yellow-green bud with dark maroon/purple stripes and a very dark maroon stem. As the bloom opens, it becomes a white to very pale cream color and the stripes on the petals darken a bit, while the stem goes into a pale green color. It also seems to me that as the "Insulindes" grew, their heads became bigger and in the end they were an extremely tall tulip as well. I found it a very intriguing, always different, tulip - very lovely.

Here is a bud of the "Insulinde", you can see how creamy-yellow it is at this stage and the dark purple stem:

Rembrandt "Insulinde" tulip bud
image copyright, Judith Nijholt-Strong

A little fruther along in opening up, less yellow in the petals now and the stems have gone more green.

Rembrandt Insulinde tulips
image copyright, Judith Nijholt-Strong

In my drawing, the view point, (upwards or ant's view), was accomplished by holding a tulip in my hand as I drew it from that angle... a bit tricky, but I enjoyed the challenge. I'm hoping this view is working ...

© Judith Nijholt-Strong
"Looking up at the Rembrandts" work in progress
detail, colored pencil on paper

Not wanting a totally boring, single color, background, I decided to invent a sky to go behind my tulips. Based on several other studies I've done in my sketchbooks of skies and clouds, I came up with this one ... so more or less, invented.

Materials used:
Paper used: Stonehenge
Colored Pencils used: ( yes, it is possible and perfectly fine to combine the following pencils in a piece. There is no problem in mixing the different brands, even though some may be wax-based and others oil-based)
Caran d'Ache Pablos
Faber-Castell Polychromos
Bruynzeel Full-Colors (this brand has been discontinued, but I have a couple of sets)
Prismacolor (only: dark grape, black cherry, white, cream)

Well, that's all I have for now. I will have to scan another update sometime next month .... this is, of course, yet to be finished .... to be continued.




Graniyea said...

I love you tulip picture and the backgroud. About the tracing. I agree. Let them try to paint all the details in the picture and see how acurate their picture is and how long it takes them. Tracing is boring and time consuming but I know if I am doing a portrait I will have the features where they should be. Now I just have to capture the mood. I am will you.
Keep on tracin'
I do have a questions. Where did you get your fish. I love that. I want to purchase some so I can feed them. Will you share.
LaRae in OK

J. Nijholt-Strong said...

Thank you for the compliment Graniyea.

Oh about the fish widget... I can't remember where I got that. Ooops!!! It's freeware though, I didn't purchase it. Maybe if you do a Google search for "fish widget" or something like that, you will find it.

If I ever can remember where I got it from, I'll post the answer here...but I really can't recall. My apologies.



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