Sunday, August 14, 2016

I'm Just a Little Nuts About Turquoise

"Turquoise and Lace"  8 x 10 sketch matted to 11 x 14
My love affair with jewelry has been with me for as long as I can remember.  It would be what you could call a long termed relationship.  I'm one of those girls that feel naked if I don't at least have earrings on but I prefer matching sets.  I don't need diamonds and emeralds.  No I'm happy with silver and Lapis Lazuli or Turquoise.  I don't really own many expensive pieces but I do have a few pieces that are priceless to me because they hold a great deal of sentimental value.  Several of those pieces involve turquoise.  It is hard for me to pick out my favorite gemstone because I love so many of them but turquoise would definitely be up pretty high on that list. 

A few years back I came into possession of my dear grandmother's jewelry box and got to keep anything I wanted out of it.  Most things were just little trinkets and silly little junk pieces she had collected but her chunky turquoise necklace and matching earrings (she didn't have pierced ears so they had screw on backs that I had to alter) are one of my favorite pieces to wear and I wear it proudly.  
My grandmother's chunky turquoise necklace and earrings

This week I really wanted to draw a piece that focused on turquoise and this is what I came up with.  I decided to call this "Turquoise and Lace" for obvious reasons.  I love how you can blend Prismacolor Pencils to give it a rounded 3D appearance.  These stones look to me like they are jumping off the page.  It make look difficult, but really it is pretty simple to accomplish.

So easy that I thought I would do a step by step demonstration here for anyone that might be interested.  I started this little drawing in my sketchbook just today.  Here let me show you....

I started by drawing out a simple gemstone design and a row of lace.  I'm going to use some of the same turquoise colors for this drawing as I did in my "Turquoise and Lace" piece.  Aquamarine(PC905), Light Aqua (PC992) and Peacock Blue(PC1027)

I use my lightest pencil color to set aside a small area that I'm going to make as my reflection.  This helps me to remember not to color in this area.

Now I take my Tombow marker and color in the whole area.  There is something about using markers or watercolor paint as a base layer on a pencil drawing that allows the pencil to blend and fill the white of the paper easier.  I picked a very light blue color for the marker.  You really won't see any of the marker when your done but you want the color to correspond with the pencils.

Here I have covered the entire gemstone area with my light aqua color.  Remember to very lightly color the reflection area.  I use a small circular motion with light pressure.  You don't want to go heavy here and fill the whole tooth of your paper so that none of you darker colors will penetrate. 

Now I take my second color.  Int his case it is aquamarine and fill only have of the gemstone area.  I want to leave the center of the stone with only my lightest color.  These small circular motions help prevent a line where the two colors transition.

Now I'm doing the same thing as the two previous steps with my darkest color, Peacock Blue.  I'm careful only to color the widest area of the gemstone design.  This gives the appearance of a rounded stone getting darker as you go further from the light source.  

Here is where the magic happens!  Take your white pencil and color over the whole stone area.  This blends the whole thing together and gives a very smooth appearance.  Now that wasn't hard was it?  I mean you are almost there.  Now you just have to focus on some ink work and shading but you have the most important part of the piece done.

Now this is an important discovery that I just made a few weeks ago purely by accident.  I picked up a few black pens at Michaels because I go through them pretty steadily.  I grabbed this pen called "LePen" by Marvy.  I AM IN LOVE!  Most of my drawing pens don't want to continue to draw over any colored pencil area because of the wax the pencils contain.  Every other medium is fine but just a few strokes on colored pencil and the pen stops working.  Not the "LePen".  This pen works great and I'm ordering more and in different colors.  So here I have added the black webbing or matrix lines that most turquoise has.  Some turquoise has brown or white lines but I decided to stick with the traditional black lines.  

Here I have used my N60 Tombow marker (my favorite of all markers in my set of 96).  This color is absolutely perfect for shading.  I just draw around any area that I want to be shaded and talk about making it pop right off the page!

More ink work added here.  I am using the tip end of a Tombow marker.

I made the decision to make the lace a teal color to match the gemstone.  The same shading applies.  You use three colors to give that depth you want and then I blended the whole area with white.  

My final step here is to add the spots of white highlight to the composition.  I use a fine tipped painting brush and some white acrylic paint to lightly apply spots of light to the specific areas on the gemstone, silver and the lace.  

See how easy that was.  I would love to hear from you if you try to create your own or if you found this blog helpful.  In a few weeks I'm planning on teaching this to my after school art club I am starting.  I'm really looking forward to helping kids have as much fun as I do with some pencils and a sketchbook.

Be sure and check out my website if you want to see more of my artwork!

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