Journal 52: Week 5: Monochromatic

The selected prompts for this week on Journal 52 was ‘monochromatic’ or ‘psychedelic’.  I chose monochromatic as despite my love for color, I do love the muted tones and matte finishes.

I took a cruise through my photo library for some inspiration and came across a photo of the Manhattan Bridge from DUMBO taken a week or so before Thanksgiving 2015.  We had met up with some friends in Brooklyn and made a night of photography, food, and fun.  Also, it was cold.  So. Damn. Cold.

Wheezy is all, why are you looking this way, the awesome shit is behind you!My frozen britches aside, it was a wonderful trip and the memory of the sunset that night will stay with me for years.  A.D. and I sat patiently in the late autumn waiting to see if we would be blessed with color in the sky or whether it would be a disappointing dud.  We sat and watched and sat and watched, all the while looking at the Brooklyn Bridge as the sun was setting behind it.

And then I turned to my right, stretching my back and being generally Damn! That is one orange Manhattan Bridge!fidgety, when I saw the most amazing thing. The Manhattan Bridge was lit up with orange and pinks.  It was magnificent!

When we returned home from that trip, I attempted an acrylic abstract of the scene.  It was a massive failure and that canvas board is now a palette.  Bleh.  My obsession with capturing the photo didn’t change.  It was just delayed.

So after getting the prompt this week to move toward monochromatic, I recalled a tidbit I learned from MaryDoodles or some other fantastic art video place, that when one is struggling with getting a scene in color, sometimes it helps to just knock it down to black and white.  So that was my goal.

I used a pencil to put in the grid lines for my thirds and then found my vanishing point.  I am never sure if it is the right one, but I found one and stuck with it!  I then sketched in all of my main areas and went over it with my 005 Micron. I think my example is out of focus 🙁

Boom. Sketched it!

I had started to think about some of the values and laid those out roughly in pencil too.  I still wasn’t sure if I was going to use all pen and ink or where I might head with it, but I knew I needed to get the shading started.  I finished putting all the lines in for the basic shapes and then went wild with some details in the water and really getting the shading down.  I used my 08 Micron pen to make areas really blacked out and my 01 and 03 to do details that were closer in the frame.

As a final touch, I went back to my Inktense Pencils and picked a couple of colors and really used by grays and blacks.  I can’t share how competent the pencils make me feel.  It was nice.

Kinda Monochromatic!

Hope you enjoyed and see you next time!

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Marie Wheeler