Wednesday, March 30, 2011

75 Day Sketch Challenge - Days 38 and 39

Here are the last two days sketching exercises I accomplished.  Both with Spring in mind.

Mother Nature has been teasing us here of late.  We had several gorgeous days with warm temperatures and then the cold returned along with rain and even snow showers.  I don't mind the rain as the plants can use that but I would like to pass now on the cold weather.  I'm truly ready for more sunny skies and warmer temperatures.





Monday, March 28, 2011

75 Day Sketch Challenge - Day 37

This is a sketch of a bird my husband came across while 4-wheeling the trails behind the property.  This bird sits crouched on the ground trying to camouflage itself against the woodland debris.  While hubby was riding, he almost ran over the bird as it just sat there.  Unlike other birds that would fly off or at least take off running.

These guys like sticking their long bills into the ground for invertebrates.   I love the large eyes.  To me gives the bird a soft sweet or innocent like characteristic. 

Sunday, March 27, 2011

75 Day Sketch Challenge - Day 36

Here at the trailer we have two feeding stations.  One off from the side where our kitchen windows are located and one in the back right outside our office/studio (two main rooms we spend the most time in). 



This is in the back yard which is right along the edge of woods.  We dragged some dead limbs that were real twiggy to give the birds something to land on around the feeding station.  We added some rocks stacked in case we have chipmunks visit the feeder area and one really unusual looking piece of tree stump.  Helps give them some feeling of shelter or place to escape rather than a totally opened bare area as well as a natural looking environment for us to view.

Saturday, March 26, 2011

75 Day Sketch Challenge - Day 35

Here is a pen/ink sketch of a Junco.  We sit and watch these guys out at our feeding stations.  They mostly stick to the ground but they also will fly into the flat hangers we have.  Around the feeding post that has various type of feeders, we arranged fallen tree branches that have lots of little limbs as well as arranging rocks and other natural material you'd find in the woods.

I find using a the Micron pens to be wonderful rendering the texture on the bodies.   This was done using the 02 tip.

Friday, March 25, 2011

75 Day Sketch Challenge - Day 34

Inspired by my time watching the eagles and eaglets streamed from the Norfolk Botanical Gardens, I tried rendering their feathers in ink.

What's intriguing is the fact my husband's heritage is Native American.  I've noted on the page what the eagle feather can symbolize for the Native American tribes.

It's also amazing how the laws protect this bird to include who can own one of these feathers.

Norfolk Botanical Eaglets - Ink and Wash

Life's been a bit hectic here of late slowing me down with regards to drawing and painting.  Every day I try to escape for a few moments by checking in on the new hatchlings and parents caring for them.  The time spent is relaxing and nurturing for the soul. 

I have come to realize some of the lessons we could learn from observing more that goes on around us with nature and wildlife as examples.

Here is a quick sketch I did yesterday as I sat and enjoyed my time with these majestic and beautiful creatures. 



Friday, March 18, 2011

75 Day Sketch Challenge - Days 32 and 33

During my online surfing ventures, I saw desert scenes which gave me the idea of sketching the cactus plants.  

The prickly pear cactus is one my dad actually grew here in West Virginia.   It didn't do half bad although I don't think we ever saw it bloom.....at least I never did.

Monday, March 14, 2011

Crocus in Color Ink and Wash

Did this one a few weeks ago about the time I did the lucky bamboo.  Hadn't scanned it until tonight and thought I'd share it. 

One of the first flowers we personally have breaking ground as proof Spring is in the air.

The color Tombow markers are not created equal.  Some do better than others with bleeding when water is brushed over the ink.  I have gone through creating a color chart testing to find the ones that behave or react in the same way or similar to the black I love.   Those used in this example are amongst the winners of my testing.


75 Day Sketch Challenge - Days 30 and 31

It's been a bit difficult doing this on a regular basis and consecutive days.  Finally I've managed to do some sketching yesterday and today.  Not to the level I'd like but at least it's something.

Day 30

One of the few things I still do together with my youngest son (who's 23) and my husband is play Pokemon when the new games come out.  This year it's Black and White with the guys playing the Black version and I'm playing the White. 

Working on our DS Lite consoles, we are on our own but it's nice working together with the same goals.  Often I ask for ideas of what the others might do in certain situations or what they might choose with regards to moves.  Each of us reach the various levels at different times normally with my son getting way ahead of us and beating the game long before we get close to it.  And so that he's still playing along with us, he's been known to start over again using a different line-up of pokemon on his team.

One of few role playing games I'll actually sit and play.  It's not stressful and I don't get easily frustrated while playing as I might with other games.  I like getting my DS Lite out when I'm not up to doing other things.  It's a nice diversion from the norm......a filler when I'm not up to doing anything with art or in a creative mindset, and something I can do anywhere.

Day 31

This entire past weekend I've been glued to the computer screen watching the live eagle cam set up at the Norfolk Botanical Gardens.  The first eaglet was born Sunday morning and what a treat it was to experience that and the baby's first feeding hours later.  Nothing like I've ever experienced before. 

It was one of those "I don't feel like doing anything" weekends so watching the eagle was really nice and relaxing.....not to mention heart-warming!

Because of the eagle cam, I've come to learn about the Botanical Gardens.  We plan to make a trip there (7 hours away from us) sometime this year.  Looks like an absolute beautiful place!!!  Hopefully Next month we can sneak away for a weekend to visit this place.

Right now at the gardens, several things are in bloom, which includes a Saucer Magnolia.  This is where I came up with doing the magnolia bud for today's sketch.

Saturday, March 5, 2011

Lucky Bamboo Plant - Ink and Wash

Needing to do something in color for a change, I grabbed my Tombow Marker Pens and sketched this bamboo plant.  It's not a true bamboo but instead in the Dracaena family.  Can be grown in a dish with pebbles and water or soil provided the soil is never allowed to dry out.  These plants do very well in the home or office in low to indirect light. 

The sketch was done initially using the green marker.  Then I took a waterbrush to make the ink bleed out.  Once that was dry, I went over with the yellow in areas and a bit of lost and found lines with the black.  I ran the waterbrush over areas to once again cause the ink to bleed.  While still wet, I took the Bt Sienna and Redwood (brown) markers and emphasized a few areas.  Once completely dry, I used the black and just touched up a few areas for definition. 

75 Day Sketch Challenge - Day 29

This was yesterday's challenge achievement. 

I'm struggling a bit keeping up on a daily basis with the pen and ink sketching.  Some days one just runs out of time or maybe doesn't feel up to being artsy....or the combination of both. 

Also, I am finding myself missing the color from painting or the fun with pushing ink around with water and brush playing with the Tombow markers.  Some days just not enough time to do it all so I try to at least do the pen and ink challenge.  I still have a ways to go to complete this challenge.

Where do I find myself right now at Day 29 with regards to feeling confident or more willing to put pen to paper?  Still hesitant to be quite honest.  There's still that desire to use a pencil first to make sure I get things right before committing to a more permanent medium like ink.   My confidence level might be a hair better but not much more than that at this point.  I do ask myself if that will really change even after 75 days.  Are my drawing skills improving?  Maybe but then it's hard for me to really tell because I'm so critical of my own work anyways.  Probably the best judge of this would be from other viewers.

Thursday, March 3, 2011

75 Day Sketch Challenge - Day 28

Here in the last week or so, I've notice Canadian Geese all around the Industrial park I travel through to get to work.  Outside the Nasa building were several walking around to include crossing the road.  Just seems kind of funny to find these birds in this location.  I did notice coming back this evening that there's a run-off pond near the Nasa building so maybe that plays a part in the attraction to the area.

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

75 Day Sketch Challenge - Day 27

Ahhhhh, Spring is in the Air!

Our temps have been teetering up and down going from super cold with freezing rain and snow showers to sunny skies and low to upper 50s.

Today it hit 51 with beautiful sunny skies.  Tonight I think we're in for the frigid 20 degree temperatures but we have near 50s and sunny skies again tomorrow to look forward to.

We saw our first Robins out yesterday.  Only two but I'm sure we'll start seeing many running around the field.  The Robins are one of the most beautiful early sights letting us know that Spring is right around the corner.  Next will be all the budding and blooming Spring flowers and other vegetation.


Totally unrelated to the above, I did this sketch this evening.  I was researching seed pods and came across an article about velcro.  I did not know until this evening that the cocklebur is what inspired the invention of velcro.  I thought that was most interesting.

What I do remember of this plant is picking these awful things off the boys after running and playing in the woods or coming back from fishing.  What a pain trying to remove those embedded in socks and shoe laces.

Digital Sketch - Bamboo Tablet

It's been a crazy week so I've really not done much in the way of artwork. 

Today setting up my laptop with various drivers and programs, I installed a Bamboo Tablet and thought I would give it a try.  Here are the results.  This is a quick sketch of what I see outside my kitchen window. 

It's going to take a bit of practice with this digital tablet/pen combo.  The surface is smaller than what I'm accustomed to working on at home using a larger Wacom Tablet. 

This bamboo tablet is smaller making it easy to carry around with me and I see potential should I be out and about with laptop (like at work) and find I don't have my sketchbook with me.  Another art tool added to my collection I can sit and play with.
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