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  Spotting Ultramarines and Other ThingsJan 04, 2014 5:54 AM PST | url
 
Added 1 new A* page:I tried a couple different things in today's page. One was something I'd told myself to do when I first started doing watercolor, but hadn't actually done until I made myself do it today: drawing the outline of shadow areas, rather than just sort of stroking them in with hatching lines:
 
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That let me do a bit of a cleaner shading job in the end with watercolors, though I still did my compulsive best to muss everything up. ; )
 
Another different thing I guess was using quinacridone magenta as the other shading color along with ultramarine blue; I guess I did a little of that combo in one of the first watercolor pages, but this is the first time I went all out with them. They combine into a nice purple. : ) Here's a midway point in the watercolors, after I'd done the bulk of the magenta; at this point I went to dinner and let things dry so I could come in clean with the areas meant to be pure ultramarine (although at the end I added a bit of magenta back in here and there for reflective highlights):
 
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(That was before I redrew that knee on the left a bit, which I am still sort of agonizing about but I think mainly that's because an overload of watercolor straightened the fall of the hemline over the thigh a bit too much--don't think I can retouch that cleanly at this point though; that's watercolor: at a certain point you just gotta move on. ;)
 
But really the other main thing I did a bit differently was the attitude toward the drawing; when I trashed my first attempt at yesterday's page, I'd started out drawing--at an entirely unusually early hour : P--in a really sort of tight, light, precious way, where I thought I was getting this amazing jewel-like drawing, and every stroke should be measured carefully; I even remember thinking to myself at one point something like "wow this is so refined, maybe this is the new improved way I'm going to draw in 2014." (;PPP) But that approach pretty much never works out for me; if I peck away at a drawing like that, inevitably I lose track of the overall thing and the nice individual pieces just don't hold together, and in the end the entire thing falls apart; this is the same reason why I can't work zoomed in to a tiny part of a drawing if I'm working digitally. So for the second attempt yesterday, which had to be done fast since I'd wasted most of the day on a dud of a drawing, I just kind of went with it and didn't worry about all the things I'd been worried about earlier--head size, for instance--and it went pretty okay. So today, while I had more time and didn't need to rush or anything, I still tried to keep that brisk approach, so that even if the drawing involves lots of revision and erasing, it can still be approached with gusto and verve, rather than thinking "wait is this part I'm doing super realistic? Careful, careful!" And I find it interesting that when I *don't* do that, immediately this sort of semi-cartoonish but also kind of more linear and elegant style emerges all on its own. And now that I think about it, that could be where some of my favorite A* drawings have come from.
 
Or not? Maybe? I dunno, anyway it seemed to make sense when I was thinking about it. : P
 
 
 
 
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