January 19, 2017

My New Fascination With Drawing On Wood

by Corrina Thurston

January has been the month of drawing on wood! In my last blog post, I talked about my first drawing that I’ve done on wood, the Kitten Heart, which is shown below. This was an experiment for a charity event being held at Rustic Roots during the month of February.

The finished drawing, with background.
The Kitten Heart drawing on wood.

 

My New Interest In Drawing On Wood

I was shocked at how well the colored pencil laid down on the wood grain. I thought it might be dull, or not adhere well to the wood, but I was wrong. I can’t get quite as much detail as I do on paper, mat board, or illustration board, and some of my techniques, like using an x-acto knife, are somewhat useless on wood, but I can still create a vibrant drawing.

Drawing this kitten was a great experiment and it showed me what could be done. Then I wanted to know if I could draw on other wood. I was bitten by the bug to experiment some more with this whole concept.

My Second Wood Drawing

My second drawing on wood was this loon colored pencil drawing. This is on a paddle-shaped coat hanger and was a commission for a summer rental cottage up in Craftsbury, VT called Great Hosmer Rentals.

The Loon coat rack commission drawing on wood.
The Loon coat rack commission drawing on wood.

 

This wood was much softer than the wood I used for the Kitten Heart drawing, so it was slightly more challenging. The pencil tips kept jolting into the deeper grooves and it was harder to make a line go in the direction I wanted. The color wasn’t quite as bright as I was hoping, but I still liked how it turned out, and so did the client so that’s all I can hope for!

My Third Drawing On Wood

After the Loon coat rack drawing, I went out to a store and bought a whole selection of different shapes of wood to draw on. My Third drawing, the Mandarin Duck shown below, is about 9 inches by 5 inches on wood. The drawing is finished and varnished, but I still need to urethane the wood.

Mandarin Duck drawing on wood.
Mandarin Duck drawing on wood.

The wood for this piece was harder and allowed me a little more detail. Water is always a bit challenging and the different colors of the feathers was difficult on the wood, but it was a fun drawing.

My Fourth Drawing On Wood

Now that I had a little taste of this type of wood, I took another piece that had a slightly different cut to it, and drew my next piece, the Tiger Eyes.

Tiger Eyes, in colored pencil on wood.
Tiger Eyes, in colored pencil on wood.

I love drawing eyes, especially cat eyes. This drawing was a lot of fun, and working on the wood to create a fur texture, without being able to use my x-acto knife, was a challenge. Usually I draw the eyes of a subject like this first, but this time I decided to draw the eyes last. I’m glad I did, because at the end the drawing was suddenly brought to life as the eyes were added.

My Fifth Drawing On Wood

Here’s the same type of wood, except with a different edge cut. The biggest challenge with this piece was (surprisingly) the background. I thought a simple background like this one would be fairly easy, but the wood grain made it difficult to get a smooth color.

Untitled (for now), in colored pencil on wood.
Untitled (for now), in colored pencil on wood.

My favorite part of this drawing, other than still feeling experimental because I’m still not used to drawing on wood, was the red feathers. I hardly ever get to use bright red! It’s very rare that I draw an animal that has red, especially bright red, as one of its colors. And it’s always fun to use colors I don’t normally use.

Pegs Or No Pegs?

Now the question comes, pegs or no pegs?

What do I mean by this?

Well, I bought these last three pieces of wood with the intention of making them into keychain holders, with pegs along the bottom to hang your keys by. Of course now that I’ve drawn them, I like them the way they are as well.

These pieces will be about $150-$200 each. This is much less than what a typical original drawing of mine costs. So the question is, should I leave them as strictly pieces of artwork, or should I make them artwork that also has a use?

This is still to be decided. I think I’ll do a little more experimenting and choose one to add pegs to and see how I feel about it when it comes to the others and future pieces!

Do you have an opinion about it? Let me know in the comments below!

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