I was on a wonderful vacation in Spain recently, accompanied by my sister and father. One day we wanted to do some exploring, and we ended up at Las Salinas de Torrevieja.
Since we travelled by plane, with all the weight restrictions and other concerns that comes with it, I wanted to bring as little equipment as possible. So these photos were all taken using the 18-55mm kit lens. They were handheld as well, since my tripod was a bit to heavy to bring along.
This lake is used for salt production, wich means it´s really salty. As a matter of fact, it´s way to high in salt for fish to survive in it. There are other forms of life however, such as a species of algae that´s responsible for turning the water pink. It´s also home to shrimp that apparently attracts flamingos during some parts of the year. We were not there at the right time though, unfortunately.
At least we got to see the beautiful reflections the lake has to offer. The water sitting on top of the salt acts like a mirror. It was a very impressive sight.
This is a drawing i finished some time back, while I was visiting my parents for Easter actually. But I somehow forgot to take a decent picture of it. So it had to wait until now, when I’m once again back in my home town to spend some of the summer with my family.
It´s done in colored pencil, a mix of several different brands. I had just gotten a new pencil case, one of those where every pencil goes through an elastic hoop and you then roll the whole thing up. A lot of time were spent picking just the right pencils for my travel kit, to make sure I had a good selection of colors. I also tried to avoid the shortest pencils, just to make sure they wouldn’t become unusable while I was away from home.
I started this drawing because I wanted to practice drawing yellow objects. In my somewhat humble opinion, it´s one of the hardest colors to work with, especially when working with dry mediums. Mostly since you can´t get a really dark yellow, instead you will most of the time get some shade of orange. So my biggest problem was to get all the shadows right and give the object a sense of dimension while still making it look like a yellow bell pepper, not an orange one. There was some green in there as well, that i felt helped in making everything appear less monochrome.
The reflection of the pepper on the surface it was placed on caused me some trouble as well. I didn´t get it to look as smooth as i would have liked. Reflections are now on my list of things to practice.
This was done in a sketch pad containing Fabriano academica paper with a weight of 200gsm, which I have grown quite fond of. It has a god texture, but the drawing is now a bit warped. If this is caused by the rather heavy application of waxy pencils, or if it happened at a later date due to storage or something else I unfortunately can´t tell at this point.
Do you have any color that you fins to be extra troublesome?
I haven’t been drawing a lot lately. Mostly because I’ve been very into jewellery making for a while now. But you will see more of that in a later post. Today, I wanted to show you one of the few drawings that did get finished.
This was a shorter project, drawn using a reference photo I snapped with my phone. I liked how the pink flower and green leaves looked against the brick wall.
The sketch was actually something I created a while back, but didn’t take any further at the time. I tend to have a whole bunch of sketches lying around that may or may not end up being made into a more finished artwork.
This was actually one of my first times working with colored pencil on watercolor paper. I don’t know why I never tried it before. It has a really nice texture that’s rather similar to what I normally look for in a good paper. And while I do enjoy my colored papers a whole lot, it does not always suit the subject. Especially not when you want to go for strong and clear colours.
I actually lost the reference photo I used for this about halfway through. The cause being a corrupted memory card, something I have never experienced before. But at least I learned something about the importance of backups. This led to a somewhat rushed finish for this drawing, where it didn’t end up quite the way I envisioned. But that rarely happens anyway.
What is your favourite paper? And have you ever had any incidents with memory cards or hard-drives?
I wanted to try something new and a video on imagine fx inspired me to try creating a space scene. Since it was my first time doing something like this, I went for a simple composition with fewer elements to be concerned about.
When I try to draw an unfamiliar subject I prefer to work digitally. That way I don’t have to worry about wasting materials and can be free to experiment. This time I worked in photoshop. My biggest problem was to get the finished picture to look like my photoshop document. It lost a lot of contrast and colour depth somehow. I most likely made a silly mistake somewhere. Do you ever have this problem?
These are some more photos from the local pond. The birds here are excellent subjects if you intend to practice your photography. People tend to feed them, so they have very little fear of humans and often get close to people. Which can be a problem if you happen to have a slight fear of geese. They do have those saw toothed beaks and a somewhat threatening attitude.
Most of the geese i normally see are Canada geese. But these are a species called Greylag goose, or Anser Anser in latin. It’s basically the original goose.
The area i live in is a bit short on nature and wildlife, but with a generous supply of new buildings and construction sites. It’s not a bad place to live. However, it’s not what I’m used to and not really something I prefer. There are new recreational areas being developed though, which is nice. In one of these areas, there’s plenty of water surrounded by bushes. As you could imagine, this attracts birds. Mostly ducks and geese.
So here are a few ducks, photographed with my Pentax DA 55-300. It was mostly used on 300mm. A lot of people feed the birds here, so they are pretty used to human contact. A bit too much so even. Standing still for to long will attract them and they can get pretty physical at times.
I’m trying to get better at capturing birds in motion, but most of my decent photos were of stationary subjects.
For some time now, I’ve had a generous amount of issues with my computer. Most of it has been related to my art, with my drawing tablet refusing to work properly, Photoshop freezing up and my computer in general being less than keen on cooperating. I tried everything i could think of with no luck.
Looking for an alternative solution, I eventually decided to try doing a dual-boot, which means I decided to install a second operating system on my laptop to run alongside windows. The second operating system being the popular Linux distribution Ubuntu, in this case. It meant I could have the advantages of both systems without having to give anything up. Which is the best kind of compromise. I went ahead and researched it with the greatest enthusiasm. Along the way I found some very useful tutorials. I then proceeded to follow these tutorials with the utmost care. I was confident that the results of my efforts would be most satisfying.
Finally, the time had come. The last step was finished. My computer would now have two separate operating systems running alongside each other, where you would pick which one to use every time you started the computer.
Now, let’s start with the good parts. Ubuntu worked just fine and didn’t give me any trouble. Support for Wacom tablets are included in Ubuntu out of the box, with no need to install additional drivers. My tablet worked like a charm with none of the issues it had been plagued by on windows. But not all was well, as is often the case with these things. When I rebooted my computer to make sure everything was working, I couldn’t get windows to start. It seems my computer skills were not as good as I had convinced myself they were. At the moment of writing, I have yet to find a way to fix it. So that’s a thing.
Have you had any technological mishaps lately?