A surreal bee in space, or maybe this is where all the bees have gone. So long and thanks for all the flowers.

I had an idea of Earth with a bee harvesting from it. I’m not sure this reflects the exact idea I had in my head but I think it comes close. I was again working on sanded paper with powder blender. I am really liking this stuff as I feel I can get projects done in a reasonable amount of time and work larger. I now feel restricted by a 9×12 size where before I felt 5×5 was too big.

Watch the time lapse or skip down for more.

UArt 400, 600, or 800

This time I actually worked on both the 600 and 800 grit UArt paper at the same time but on two different projects. Next week’s post will cover the other project. I thought I didn’t like the 400 but after going back to the 600 and trying the 800, I think I prefer the 400. The 600 is suitable and not to be discounted but I am not sure it is the right paper for me. I’ll try the 400 again to see how I feel about it. I get the feeling, I will oscillate between the 400 and 600 for a while until I finally get a good feel for both and their strengths or weaknesses with the powder blender and which one works better for my technique.

Bees

Bees are so important and without them our diet would be vastly different. While this picture doesn’t capture that feeling or sentiment, I wanted to do something to showcase the lovely bee. How fuzzy and cute they are. And fuzzy they are, it was important that I blocked in the fuzz working in the direction it was going so nothing looked out of place. I also had to use short pencil strokes as the fuzz is not very long, I didn’t want an extra fuzzy bee or a bee with long hair. The direction and length of pencil strokes are very important when working with hair or feathers.

Space

I was also experimenting with some space backgrounds, trying out a different technique. In order the make the background for this space scene, I blocked in my colors and shapes until I had a nice level of saturation. I then went over the bight colors with black. I wasn’t able to get as much saturation as I wanted here. I was experimenting and while the concept worked, it worked slightly differently than I thought it would. I took a stencil and a soft kneaded eraser and removed areas of black to create a milky way galaxy effect. This didn’t show up very well on my timelapse as I had to work in my lap so I wouldn’t be pushing my easel across the table.

Is bigger better?

Working with the powder blender, I feel, has opened up a new door for me. I thought I wanted to work on small, simple images until I found I could create faster and larger. My imagination has been unleashed and I have so many ideas that are either fantastical or surreal that I now want to see realized. Ideas that need need a bigger area, so for me, bigger is going to be better. I hope you enjoy following me along on this journey.

What is next?

You can follow me on Facebook, Instagram, YouTube or Patreon. I’m currently working on a graphite piece. Let me know in the comments if you followed along and how it turned out.

Equipment (affiliate links):

A kneaded or putty eraser really makes lifting pigment easier. Masking tape will work but stick it to your pants a couple times to reduce the tackiness so it doesn’t rip your paper. Paper is rather important, try to go with something of quality and non-absorbent, like sanded or gessoed paper. You can buy a large sheet and cut it down to size. If you get pre-mounted paper, you may be able to skip the easel and art board.

The affiliate links are for both Amazon and Blick Art Materials, they don’t cost you anything to use them, but by using them you help support me in making videos and writing blog posts.

Colors used:

  • White 101
  • Ivory 103
  • Cadmium Yellow 107
  • Orange Glaze 113
  • Deep Red 223
  • Deep Scarlet Red 219
  • Dark Red 225
  • Magenta 133
  • Purple Violet 136
  • Sky Blue 146
  • Cobalt Blue 145
  • Helioblue-Reddish 151
  • Phthalo Blue 110
  • Bluish Turquoise 149
  • Prussian Blue 246
  • Permanent Green Olive 167
  • Pine Green 267
  • Chrome Oxide Green 278
  • Terracotta 186
  • Sanguine 188
  • Light Yellow Ochre 183
  • Dark Naples Ochre 184
  • Naples Yellow 185
  • Bistre 179
  • Burnt Sienna 283
  • Walnut Brown 177
  • Cold Grey I 230
  • Cold Grey V 234
  • Black 199

An asterisk indicates a luminance color.

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