Crayon Drawings

Crayon 1

I’m sick with a cold right now, and so busy, but things’ll be back to normal soon. Here’s a few drawings that I made using my two and a half year old niece’s wax crayons on colored paper and note cards.

In the second to last drawing I was making whatever animals she wanted to see. She likes cats. In the last one I was showing her the difference between a moose and a mouse. I’ve read that what we call a moose in the US is called an elk in the rest of the world and what we call an elk is actually a wapiti (though it’s rare to hear that name).

Mountains and Clouds

Mountains and Clouds 3a

Here’s a few iPad drawings I had made a couple of weeks ago. Above is the third and final drawing of these three. Originally I was going to have ibexes in the foreground like in the two sketches before it, but it wasn’t working like I wanted in this final one and I redesigned it to have birds flying.

Mountains and Clouds 1a

This was the first drawing I made with the Tayasui Sketches app, and at this point I was just using my finger to draw.

Mountains and Clouds 2a

For this second drawing I used a stylus. I like it, but it’s kind of a boring composition, so after this I started the final drawing that I posted at the top.

Verdigris Pigment: Making Green From Copper – part 1

Verdigris 2

The photo above is verdigris pigment, PG20, that I made in a copper dish. The scratches were made with a stone to reveal the color.

The name verdigris comes from the French name for “green of Greece,” which is made from copper corrosion. It’s poisonous and from what I’ve read has problems with permanence and other issues, such as damaging paper, but from ancient times until the 19th century it was the most intense green available. Today it’s very rare to see anyone selling it, so yesterday afternoon I started this experiment to make my own.

This was done with a sheet of copper that I cut into a small circle and then hammered into a bowl shape. After that I poured into it a small amount of white vinegar for its acetic acid content. Apparently different vinegars will produce different greens, but this is the only one I’ve tried so far. I had read that a little salt is suppose to help, though I don’t know the specifics, so I also sprinkled in a little sea salt. Then I just left the dish in the sun. As it evaporated I could see a rim of dark green forming around the edge of the vinegar. I forgot to check it this morning, but when I looked in the afternoon everything had evaporated. There was still a bit of a vinegar smell though, and I don’t know if I should have waited longer before collecting the pigment.

Verdigris 3

Looking closely, the bottom of the dish had many green crystals on it. They were easy to scrap off and crush with a palette knife. I also poured in some more vinegar to see if more would form tomorrow, but in the course of making this post it already evaporated and it looks like there is more green in the dish already. Again though, I don’t know if I should let it sit longer.

Verdigris 1

I made a small amount of watercolor with that pigment, just using a palette knife, and then mixed it with lemon ochre in steps to see what it’d look like. The photo shows the paint a little lighter than it really is, but the hue and intensity are pretty close. Looking at the paint from different angles shows a lot of metallic glitter. Maybe that’s copper that didn’t fully corrode?

For the next part of this experiment I’ll get enough pigment to make some oil paint with it. Then I’ll try a different method in which the copper is placed in a jar with some vinegar in the bottom and left in the sun for a month as the vapor from it fills the jar and forms verdigris crystals on the copper. :)

Earth and Graphite Sketches 3

EG Sketch 17

I’ve been so busy with many unexpected things, but here’s some more sketches from the past week. Besides these there’s a painting that I’ve been working on sketches for and some other sketches, but that’ll have to wait until next week.

Earth and Graphite Sketches 2

EG Sketch 8

Again I used pozzuoli red and graphite watercolors. In the 6th and 7th I also used a little mars yellow, and in the 8th and 9th I added zinc white into the graphite in a few places to get a bluish grey. The 6th, 7th, and 8th are copies of paintings by Thomas Girtin, Charles-François Daubigny, and David Cox.

I was thinking I’d post sketches like this on a regular schedule, using various earth and graphite watercolors. You hardly ever see graphite watercolor being used, and I think only one or two brands even make it, but I’m really starting to like how it looks and works.