Friday, January 8, 2010


"I wanted to draw, then paint a rose, and can't seem to get a non-warped rose by just sketching it. (I should take lessons from Johanna, who is a natural at roses.) So I decided to try the graph transfer method. I placed a clear acetate graph sheet over the photo, then penciled the same size graph onto my paper. I drew what I saw in the photo, grid-for-grid, onto my paper."

"This outline drawing is too small. So I enlarged my penciled grid a bit, and re-drew it. Tedious, I know. But I want to paint the rose, so it's worth the effort. If I thought more mathematically, I might have figured it out before I did the first drawing that it would be too small."

"When it is time to transfer the drawing to my watercolor paper, I will use this method: On tracing paper, I will trace the outline of the rose. Using the side of a soft pencil, I will rub graphite onto the back of the tracing. Then I'll lay it on my final paper, graphite "carbon paper" side down, and then - pressing lightly - trace the rose on the top of the tracing paper. This will transfer my drawing onto the watercolor paper."

"Right now I'm in the middle of working on a value sketch for my painting. This is merely a pencil rendering of the shading so I'll know what darks and lights to use in my colors. This is very important. I've tried skipping this step a few times, and have regretted it. Skipping it wastes time, because I usually have to re-do the painting, or else the painting is too light or in some way unsatisfactory in it's shading / realism. Notice the difference between the line drawing and the values drawing. See how the rose seems to pop up off the page in the areas where it is shaded? Shading is what gives form and a 3-D effect. Even if I was to get the colors right, if I didn't get the shading right, the painting would look flat. I'm going for realism, so the shading is essential.
"I'm also working on two other painting projects, one of which is in two parts. I really ought to finish them first, but when I get the rose done, I plan to post it. Ha! That's a brave plan, because if it's disastrous, it will be a real blow to my pride. But I will post it, successful or not."
Soli Deo Gloria,
All pictures are the property of Julia A. Kautt, Copyright 2009.

1 comment:

Ashley Sebo said...

Nice work, Julia!!

Sounds very interesting! I know the Lord will help you with your project! I am looking forward to the final product!

(I have a brother who is very good at drawing and really enjoys it!:)

Have a wonderful evening, Miss Julia!! Keep up the hard work!