Hard to believe it’s that time again. Thanksgiving will be here in less than a week and then it’ll be Christmas.
I just completed “Three French Hens,” my seventh illustration for the Twelve Days of Christmas series. My medium was watercolor pencil, and a Faber Castel fine line pen to outline all of the images.
In keeping with the overall whimsical theme, I depicted three rather disturbed French hens around a dinner table at a nice restaurant. The waiter lifts the lid of the main dish only to be stunned by the sight of a roasted chicken on a platter. His reaction is mild compared to that of the three hens. The one sitting closest to him faints backwards after the reveal, while the other hen on the opposing side clucks at the waiter in outrage. The third one seated in the middle is so overcome with emotion that she leaps up in the air to physically pass her “compliments” to the chef.
The biggest struggle? Working with a lot of color. I forgot what a pain it was. It took me longer to determine the actual colors to use then it did to apply them to the work.
All in all, the struggle was well worth it and I am proud to have another completed work for my series. Only five more days to go!
Okay so it’s already May! Time is flying! My birthday is just around the corner, and it occurred to me that it won’t be long before the arrival of Christmas. Yeesh! I shudder at the thought.
This prompted me to start generating some ideas for my on-going “Twelve Days of Christmas” project. I started working on my sketch a couple of days ago for “Partridge In A Pear Tree.” Back in 2010, I created an earlier version in watercolor pencil and used it for Christmas cards to send to friends and family. The final product turned out fairly well, however months later after completing some of the other pieces in the “Twelve Days” collection, this partridge now seems so serious by comparison.
This time, I want to make the new one brighter and a little more animated so here is the latest sketch below. I love him! He has just finished eating a pear that was hovering above him and is leaning back, full belly and all, feeling extremely satisfied. When I create the final, the leaves will be even larger and overlapping, thus eliminating any white space. I am considering the use of oil pastels to make the colors pop. No surprise, I will probably struggle with the decision of what colors to use for the partridge. There’s a good chance that I won’t stick to the same palette in the sketch or even the original partridge drawing for that matter.
When I did the initial sketch of Five Golden Rings, I thought, isn’t God smart? I mean, there’s no way I can take any credit for this one here. For awhile I was stumped on how to create Five Golden Rings, unless I were to literally DRAW five golden rings. Not only did the thought of that sound boring to me, it just sounded BORING.
Birds are prominent subject matter in the Twelve Days of Christmas, including the partridge, calling birds, french hens, turtle doves, swans, and geese. So it seemed to make sense to me when I read on the Internet that the Five Golden Rings referred to the rings around the necks of pheasants. That statement quickly lost its credibility when I surfed the net and could only find images of pheasants with white rings.
Not that it any of this really mattered to me anyway. I wasn’t feeling this pheasant thing and my only interests in them were observing them in the wild, or having them served up on a platter with some type of vegetable. Animal activists, do not judge me. They are TASTY.
This sketch was created in July when I was visiting my parents. As you can see the Five Golden Rings are five angel halos. I decided only to show the backs of the angels so you could see their wings. My sister, who saw the sketch, pointed out that the collective arrangements of the angels resembled the shape of a flower.
As far as color is concerned, I feel led to use a soft purple background and I may consider using chalk pastel rather than water color pencil. I still haven’t decided what to do in terms of applying color to the angels yet.