My friend, a lovely neighbor and ikebana artist, was lamenting her drawing skills so I was all “Do the exercises in “Drawing on the Right Side of the Brain”* and then realized I haven’t done it myself in a long time. Since I’ve been feeling an urge to do something more free form and direct and after telling her that, I had to take my own advice!

So, here are a couple of modified contour drawings from the last couple months in reverse order of completion. The gourds are from life – if you can call gourds sitting on a table lively – and the birds from photo reference.

The lines are just where I put them with Prismacolors (either black or dark gray) on watercolor paper and you can see places where I restated or flubbed a little. But, that’s the nature of contour drawing. I used the Prisma for two reasons: One – no erasing; and two –they’re waterproof since I had the idea of adding some splashes of paint.

The birds were on a cold press paper from an unidentified maker and I wasn’t as pleased with how the colors dulled on it. The gourds are on Arches hot press paper and the drawing lines were more expressive as well as the colors coming truer.

Lately, I’ve been drawn more to the opaque and granular colors. I especially liked the gourds with the mixed orange from Yellow Ochre and Cadmium Red (I normally dislike Cd red, go figure) with Caput Mortem Violet shadows and Chrome Green stems. I don’t have so many of the heavier colors so will have to expand my palette a bit.

I’m thinking of doing a few more of these. Maybe it’ll turn into something. If you’ve got an idea or have suggestions on your favorite opaque or granular paints, let me know in the comments or a note . I’d love to hear about it!

* Amazon affiliate link to the drawing classic