Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Drawing your own heart

Bernadina wrote me and asked me to give her some direction about drawing hearts to bead--I thought photos would work best--though maybe a video would be even better.

I'll work on that.

In the meantime, here are some photos of how I draw my hearts (for beaded pins). This process can be applied (of course) to anything you want to draw--doesn't have to be hearts. I just have a thing for hearts--I imagine it has something to do with my mom's birthday being on Valentine's day.
Paper: I draw on my thesis bond paper left over from my grad school days at CSU. It has a nice weight, a good tooth, and is archival. It also stands up to beading really well--I've sampled other archival papers and while they have the other qualities, they tend to crack along folds. You can still use them to bead or even just typing paper (it may not last for your great-great- grandchildren to enjoy is all).

Pencils: I like to use quality colored pencils--these are Prismacolor. They are available at most art supply stores and craft stores. They make a nice mark even when you don't apply a lot of pressure. I keep a pencil sharpener handy for a nice point.

The first heart--lop-sided for a little bit of asymmetrical visual interest--drawn with a darker value pencil. It's not perfect--but it will do--I know that it will evolve as I draw.

Then I go over the outline and refine and enhance it.

Change colors and begin the zig-zag line around the heart. I love making this kind of hatching line. I could fill pages just doing this. I love going to restaurants where they provide crayons and a paper-covered table.

I always have a little trouble keeping my lines even when I'm going around the left side of the heart. Oh well--that's just the way it is.

Now I just start layering colors.

See how undulating hearts are created by the layers of colors--just scribbles around the heart shape.

I keep darker values on the outside edges and lighter values on the inside to create a glow.

Every once in a while I emphasize the outline of the heart.

Notice that I'm starting to really overlap colors--that will really make the beading fun as the colors blend together creating new colors.

Here I added the complement to red, green for a little bit of visual interest.

I worked on the outline a bit--fixing the left side of the heart and emphasizing the outline. Now that I'm happy with my heart, I'll cut it out and stitch it to cloth--and it is ready to bead. The colored pencils will transfer to the thread as you're beading, but it doesn't show through the beads. If you don't like that, you can seal the drawing with a fixative or scan it in and print it on your printer. Just know that inkjet inks will run when they get wet--so don't cry too much over your inkjet-printed hearts.

1 comment:

Mary Timme said...

It is a great tutorial, Amy. I've never given that much thought to a heart while I was drawing in my life, but I can see how much you enjoy the whole process.