Saturday, June 12, 2010

Akebia and Fuzzy Practise - Sigrid Frensen -

My Akebia quinata drawing is still not finished but I'll give you a nice scan of how it looks now. Here it is:

It's so nice to work with graphite again. Now I'll tell you a little about my technique because some people think it is only a very light touch. It is a bit maybe but most important is to use many different kinds of pencils. I use very hard ones (4H) and very soft ones(6B) and some in between of course. One of the most important things is to keep a sharp pencil at all times. So when I draw I have the pencil in my right hand and my manual sharpener in my left. I'm sharpening all the time.
Like in my coloured pencil drawings I layer a lot. In this way I can controle the lights and darks. To make a very smooth looking finish I use a hard pencil or I use a blending stump depending on what effect is needed. Most used tool to get a perfect drawing is my kneadable eraser. I use it all the time, to lift graphite, to add texture, to clean the paper....
Ah, and if you want to make a drawing like this too, be sure to use very smooth paper. I used Bristol for this one but there are other papers that are a bit more creamy and also very smooth.

Now, enough about that... Yesterday I had a bit of time to make a fuzzy Stachys leaf.

It's not a great botanical but I wanted to try out a fuzzy looking texture with my coloured pencils. Last year, when I tried it, I totally failed. I think now it's looking better. Not as good as I had in mind, but it's progress.

This afternoon I want to try out a technique I have in my head to make white flowers with coloured pencils. I never tried this technique so I don't know if it will work at all. In my mind it works very well... now let's see if it works in reality ;)


  1. These are beautiful drawings. I don't know how you achieve such a range of texture with graphite!!! Masterful!

  2. Absolutely stunning, and thank you for the tips. I do like the result of the fuzzy leaf, I can almost feel it under my fingers

  3. Stunningly gorgeous, as usual! :) Thanks so much for sharing your technique. I love working in graphite and it is so helpful to see your drawing and then read about what materials you use (paper, pencils...I also love using Bristol) and how you go about it. Love the leaf, too.

  4. This is beautiful .... and thank you for telling us how you do it.

  5. Thanks so much peeps! I really don't do graphite enough. It is so much fun and I really love it. Maybe it's because it's so time consuming... but on the other hand so is watercolour and so is coloured pencil.
    I should do it more often though.

  6. Sigrid - I think the time consuming part is what pays off in the end. A lot of what I do now is rushed as I have two little girls who keep me busy. I see work like yours and it reminds me that nothing beats patience and using a variety of pencils to get the shading and form just right. You have to take your time. My work often comes out a bit heavy-handed, I think, because I'm just trying to get something done quickly. I'm excited for the day when I have a chunk of time to just breathe and take a piece slowly.

  7. I know what you mean, Carol. I have a 13 year old and a 3 year old. The eldest can take care of himself more or less but the 3 year old is a tornado and I have to keep an eye on him all the time. It takes weeks for me to finish something like this. But like you said, it pays off in the end ;)


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