Custom Business Card Sketch – “Slug on Poison Ivy”

This is a custom sketch of a slug on poison ivy, in progress for a business card client.

I needed to do the slug first because it would have been very hard to leave the exact space for it had I done the leaves first.

First, the Slug

Slug on Poison Ivy - in progress
in progress…

Leaf Shading in Progress

 leaf shading in progress

I always add the lightest highlights first with a white pencil, after the initial outline is done. There’s no way to put them in there once the darker colors are in place.

After the highlights I’ll add light shading with the predominant color. Then add the shadows and darker accents, like the spots on the leaf, the chewed part of the broken leaf, and the darker parts where the stems meet.

Leaf Shading Almost Finished

I just need to add some more of the lighter green highlights that are on the upper leaf. Then the blending will commence.

Leaf shading almost finished for this custom business card sketch.

Shading

You can see the difference that blending makes. I didn’t know about this when I first started with the pencils, but it makes a huge difference. I use a colorless blending pencil from Prismacolor to do it. I might work on this leaf a little more.

Finished!

Slug on Poison Ivy
Oops! I forgot to add an iridescent slug trail to the leaves. Back to the drawing board (hours will NOT be billed to client).

Materials Used

I use Prismacolor Premier Pencils. For this sketch the colors I used were:

  • PC 946 Dark Brown
  • PC1100 China Blue
  • PC 910 True Green
  • PC 1056 Warm Grey
  • PC 938 White
  • PC 989 Chartreuse
  • PC 1020 Celadon Green
  • PC 940 Sand
  • PC 988 Marine Green
  • PC 1090 Kelp Green (predominant green)
  • PC 1082 Chocolate
  • Prismacolor Colorless Blending pencil

The paper is “pura velvet” fine art paper from Breathing Color. This paper works well for the original drawing and for printing.

Unique, customized Business Card

Artist for Hire

If you’re interested in having me create a custom sketch for your business cards (or for any other purpose), contact me at . My rates are $50/hr.

A sketch such as this one takes me approximately 4 – 6 hours. The original drawing is on 8.5″ x 11″ fine art rag and will be signed, matted and framed when complete.

Prints will be available to the general public, but this particular piece cannot be repurposed for any other use because it was a custom design for a client. Client receives the first signed & numbered print at no added cost.

 


Thank you for stopping in! My main website is WildOzark.com, and I also have a scifantasy fiction site at fiction.wildozark.com. If you enjoy my art or writing, or are interested in ginseng and other wild plants, consider signing up for my monthly newsletter, Wild Ozark Musings.

Ginseng in May

I’m drawing a sketch of a 4-prong American ginseng from a photo I took last year in May.  The sketch will be titled “Ginseng in May”.

Limited Prints are $30. Signed & numbered, giclee print on heavy fine art paper. Finished size is 10.5 x 13". <a href="https://shop.wildozark.com/shop/ginseng-in-may/" target="_blank">Order yours now for $30 + shipping.</a>
Limited Prints are $30. Signed and numbered, giclée print on heavy fine art paper. Finished size is 10.5 x 13″. Order yours now for $30 + shipping.

 

My First Show Entry

This drawing will be displayed (and will be for sale) at the show in Kingston, AR at The Place on the Square Art Room Gallery during the month of May 2016. It’s not going to be all my art, but a collection of the artists of our area. Please come out if you’re in the area during the month!

I thought I’d record my process of this piece. The first step was to draw a light outline. It didn’t show up in the scans because it was so light, so there’s nothing for me to show you of that first step.

Step 1 Initial Outline

The initial outline is the hardest part of a sketch for me. It’s where all the proportions of the subject must be nailed down.

After the light initial outline, I use a colored pencil to make the final outline and initial shading. Usually it’s the predominant color that I use for this. I have no formal art training, so this is just my own way of making drawings.

Step 2 Final Color Outline

Here’s the final outline in green (vert olive). I am using Prismacolor Premier pencils.

“Ginseng in May”

Color outline of "Ginseng in May" sketch.
Color outline of “Ginseng in May” sketch.

Here’s the photo I’m using for the sketch. You’ll see that my sketch is not an identical copy of the photo. I had to make adjustments to compensate for mistakes I made in the original outline.

This doesn’t bother me, since the aim is not to reproduce the photo. I could just trace it if that were my intention, or use Photoshop to render an outline from the photo.

Rather, this is my artistic interpretation of a 4-prong American ginseng in May, based on a photo I took of the plant.

Photo of a 4-prong ginseng in May.
Photo of a 4-prong ginseng in May.

I’m not going to include the nursery pots in the background, but will add the rock and dried leaves. Usually I only colorize one focus in my drawings, so the ginseng will be colorized but the background will be pencil shading only.

Step 3 Adding Background

In the photo below you’ll see that I’ve added in some background shading. My intention was not to be very detailed with the background, but to give the impression of depth and show the leaves that cluttered the ground beneath the ginseng plant.

This step is the most precarious to me. By this time I’ve invested a good bit of effort and time and shading the wrong spot can ruin the whole sketch. It’s also a bit difficult to get the right effect, or the effect I intend.

background shading of Ginseng in May
background shading of “Ginseng in May”.

Step 4 – Adding Light Tones

Around the edges of the leaves and along all of the veins of each leaflet there is a light color that looks sort of like the bloom on a wild grape. I’ve added a light green shade for this now, because I’ve found it impossible to do once the darker shades are in place.

Adding the light tones to "Ginseng in May" sketch.
Adding the light tones to “Ginseng in May” sketch.

Step 5 – Choosing the Greens

In this step, and before I chose the pencils for the shading or any of the colors, I used a scratch sheet of the same paper the drawing is on.

After the colors are put down and the blending is done, it’s very hard to add another shade. Some of the greens have blue tints to them and I wanted to make sure I had the colors that gave me the look I wanted.

I’m not convinced that everyone sees the same colors in the same way, though. To me, these are the ones that look closest to the plant’s true colors. It also helps to have a large palatte of colors to choose from. Before I got the set of pencils I have now (a large tin of 150 Prismacolor Premier), I only had a set of twelve colors and it was difficult to get the exact shades of colors I wanted in the final sketch.

Here’s my practice sketch on the scratch paper to show how the colors look when blended:

Practicing with blending the greens for "Ginseng in May".
Practicing with blending the greens for “Ginseng in May”.

 

The next step will be to add the greens to the leaves. Then I’ll blend the colors using a pencil with no color made just for that purpose. I may blend the background too, but I haven’t decided about that yet.

Step 6 – Applying Color

Just beginning to apply the color on "Ginseng in May".
Just beginning to apply the color.
Color applied, blending started on the left upper prong.
Color applied, blending started on the left upper prong.

Finally Finished!

I usually do quick sketches. This is the first one I’ve done that took more than one full day to complete. Whew! Come out and see it during the month of May (2016) at The Place on the Square & Art Gallery in Kingston, AR.

The finished drawing of "Ginseng in May".
All Done!

 

Thanks for Following Along

If you do come out to see the art show, let me know and if I’m able maybe we can meet for coffee at the show. I’m listed as “Wild Ozark” in everything, so do a search and follow or friend me. Let me know you saw this post and I’ll be sure to follow/friend you back!

Finished Size

The framed original is on display at The Place on the Square in Kingston, AR. Prints are available.
The framed original is on display at The Place on the Square in Kingston, AR. Prints are available.

For the original, the paper is 8.5 x 11, charcoal mat with a framed size of 13 x 17.

Giclee Prints

Prints are the same size image, but there is a 1″ white space surrounding the 8.5 x 11 drawing. These are high quality prints made at a professional printer, packaged in clear cellophane with a backer board, unframed. They’re $30. You can get them from The Place on the Square, or me and I’ll send you a PayPal invoice. There will be shipping charges added to mail-ordered prints. You can also order from my online shop.

smallMake your own Nature Sketch

If you’d like to make your own nature sketch but want a head start, order the color page . You’ll get downloadable files of the guide and a .jpg high res file to print the outline.


Thank you for stopping in! My main website is WildOzark.com, and I also have a scifantasy fiction site at fiction.wildozark.com. If you enjoy my art or writing, or are interested in ginseng and other wild plants, consider signing up for my monthly newsletter, Wild Ozark Musings.

Nature Art in Kingston, AR

I’ll have a drawing of ginseng on display at the Art Gallery during May 2016. There will be lots of nature art in Kingston during this month.

flyer for art show in kingston, ar featuring nature art by madison woods
Click to go through to the FB page – leave a comment to let us know if you’ll be there at some point, and mention the thing you hope to see most!

If you live anywhere near northwest Arkansas and you enjoy nature art, I’d suggest you try to get by to see this show. Lots of talented artists here in these hills! Not all of the artists feature nature, but mine will be there and many of the other works are of plants, landscapes, and nature.

In my next few posts to this blog, I’ll show my entry as I sketch it. So check back to see the first phase soon of the rough outline sketch of “4-prong American Ginseng in May”.

During the remainder of the year I’ll be focusing on sketching the plants of a ginseng habitat. I already have wild ginger sketched and will be adding blue and black cohosh, bloodroot, goldenseal, jack-in-the-pulpit, spikenard, mayapple, rattlesnake fern and maybe some others.

 


Thank you for stopping in! My main website is WildOzark.com, and I also have a scifantasy fiction site at fiction.wildozark.com. If you enjoy my art or writing, or are interested in ginseng and other wild plants, consider signing up for my monthly newsletter, Wild Ozark Musings.

Departures

Not all of my art reflects the Ozarks. Some of it is purely from the imagination, and some are images of things nowhere nearby.

When I first began this site, I thought I might only post the art related to the wild Ozarks.

Now I think I might post all of the artistic things I do.

The first departure from the theme was my Tree Priestess. She is a fictional character standing beneath the Tree of Life, awaiting the gift of a single leaf:

tree priestess
Tree Priestess, click to see products available with her at FineArtAmerica.com

The second is still a work in progress. It’s a dragon’s blood tree I’m drawing as part of my product illustration for an ointment. The ointment uses dragon’s blood, frankincense and myrrh.

Dragon's Blood tree
Dragon’s Blood tree, in progress

Thank you for stopping in! My main website is WildOzark.com, and I also have a scifantasy fiction site at fiction.wildozark.com. If you enjoy my art or writing, or are interested in ginseng and other wild plants, consider signing up for my monthly newsletter, Wild Ozark Musings.

Wild Ozark Journal: Autumn 2015

If you’d like the collection of sketches from Autumn 2015 on your e-reader, it’s available this week (Nov 16- 20) for free at Amazon.

You can keep up with me as the sketches are done here at the online journal, or get the collection each season for your e-readers at Amazon. They'd make great gifts for the nature lovers in your midst!
You can keep up with the sketches as they are done here at the online journal, or get the collection each season for your e-readers at Amazon. They’d make great gifts for the nature lovers in your midst! Click here to go to Amazon now.

Thank you for stopping in! My main website is WildOzark.com, and I also have a scifantasy fiction site at fiction.wildozark.com. If you enjoy my art or writing, or are interested in ginseng and other wild plants, consider signing up for my monthly newsletter, Wild Ozark Musings.