Saturday, September 29, 2012

Building for Sale, Rockport TX

Not sure why but this particular building caught my eye every time we passed by it. 

The building sits empty along the main road taking you from Rockport to Aransas Pass.  I believe it's 35 South but not exactly sure if that's correct.

It's just a plain gray building but it intrigued me enough to finally stop and take several photos of it. 

Here is pen/ink sketch I may take watercolor to but haven't yet decided if I want to work this further in color.  I used the Pilot Prera with its original ink cartridge.  Then I took a damp angular flat and pulled some of the ink for shading, darkening, and softening some areas.

The darkened windows is the only area I've already taken some watercolor to using Fr Ultra and Neutral Tint.

Sketched in the Stillman & Birn Alpha journal book (8 1/2 x 11")


Friday, September 28, 2012

Few Pages from Stillman & Birn Alpha Journal

Back on September 21st, I shared a page from my S&B Alpha journal using pen/ink.  Since that day I discovered the ink in the two pens I was using was not waterproof and decided to go back over with a damp/wet brush.

This page is where I was playing with my new Pilot Prera and Lamy Safari pens.  The Lamy came with a blue cartridge I decided to go ahead and use.  Then I will add the converter with Lexy Gray.

Here are the results taking brush to ink:










Here is another page in my journal book I completed of dogwood leaves that are turning color and the seeds:

My scanner normally does a decent job in picking up pigment colors nicely; however, sometimes it doesn't.  The blue on this page didn't scan very well leaving off the more subtle (light values) areas of blue.











This page has at least one good mishap where I goofed in judging size of beak.  But once ink is down, there's no going back and fixing (or erasing).  I am practicing sketching without a pencil.

This is the page I was working on when I discovered the Lamy Safari ink was water soluble.

Top sketch is from a photo taken while visiting my sister in Rockport, TX  I love capturing wildlife sitting on posts and piers.  Not sure why but it's just neat to look around and see the various type birds perched on whatever they happen to come across.

The leaves are from my granddaughters as they are always looking for things to bring me to sketch/paint.




Thursday, September 27, 2012

Country Side Treasures


Country Side Treasures by sbwatercolorsWhat we are finding various seed pods these days as we go into Autumn.

All were found around our property except the ones noted from an unknown tree in Texas while on holiday.

All sketched with the Pilot Prera with original ink cartridge that came with it.  The ink is water soluble and does bleed or wash out but it's subtle rather than over-powering when watercolor is applied.

#8 Round used along with Daniel Smith and Holbein pigments. 

Stillman & Birn Alpha Journal book



Comparing Two Pens/Ink

Comparing Two Pens/Ink by sbwatercolorsHere is a comparison I did between the Rotring pen and ink cartridge and the Pilot Prera and original ink cartridge that came with the pen.

The ink that comes with or for the Rotring (cartridges)  would be great for a monochrome sketch due to the wide value range.  A damp or wet brush really makes this ink go crazy.


The Ink that comes with the Prera is more subtle making it nice to work along with watercolor without over-powering it. 


I used an angular flat to control the amount of water flow for both pen type ink illustrations.


Stillman & Birn Beta Journal 

Monday, September 24, 2012

The Last Resort Hummers

This is a reminder to me of all the hummingbirds we saw while on our two week stay in Rockport, TX.  A  tiny sampling from one photo I took  that turned out as nicely as it did.

Where the RV resort is located must be on a flight way for hummingbirds.  The residents normally look for this time of year having scores of hummers hitting feeders they put out.  Local stores have trouble keeping sugar and red food coloring in stock.

We have hummingbirds in West Virginia from around May or June till August to mid September but lucky to see a few to a dozen.  We were totally amazed by the number of hummingbirds we saw at the feeders at the park.

My sister made sure we had a few feeders to hang outside our cabin.  Between her feeders and ours (her lot next to the cabin we rented), the hummingbird activity was something to behold (for us anyways).  We sat for long periods just watching all the activity.  Most of the hummingbirds we saw were the Ruby Throat but now and then we'd spot one we knew was a different variety.

Upon arriving home we took note that all our resident hummers were gone..........until next year.

Stillman & Birn Alpha series journal;  Pilot Prera pen; 1" Flat and #10 Round; W&N - RS, BS, Fr Ultra, Paynes Gray and Daniel Smith - Cer Bl and Sap Grn

I'm thinking I might have this made as a magnet for my sister - either the size of an ATC or maybe 4 x 6 size cropping like this......


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Saturday, September 22, 2012

Colors of Coastal Living

One of the views I love to see are all the colorful houses along the coast.  This is from a photo taken at Port Aransas, TX.

I'm really liking this Pilot Prera pen.  I was taken by surprise when I laid the watercolor wash over the ink lines.  I learned the ink that came with the pen is water soluble.  What is nice about this particular ink is the fact it still behaves even though it bleeds a bit when the brush hits it.  The ink didn't contaminate the wash like other water soluble inks might (like Rotring or Tombow). 

The sketch was done in the Stillman & Birn's Alpha series journal book.

Holbein paints - Cer Bl, Rose Violet (Quin Magenta), Ultramarine Lt, Leaf Green, Sap Green, Raw Sienna and Bt Sienna.

1" Flat


Friday, September 21, 2012

Trying Out New Pens

Upon returning home from our holiday, I had a package waiting on me where I had ordered a few new pens.

Pens received were:  Pilot Prera, Lamy Safari, and The Platinum Carbon

These sketches are just some quickies as I try two of the three pens out..........the Pilot Prera and the Lamy Safari.  Both using ink cartridges that came with the pens.

Both are very fine-lined.  The Prera seemed to move smoothly across the paper whereas the Lamy felt a bit scratchy.  Both flowed beautifully though except when hatching and cross hatching.  The ink skipped a bit when trying to fill in areas with ink.  Might be just me in how I'm applying the ink to paper.  Will have to practice a bit more before I can really say for sure if pen or person was causing the skipping.



Close-up of the bottom sketch above.  This caught my eye due to the unevenness of the block and concrete the picnic table was made of. 

One of the rest areas we stopped at to walk Miya and Yorshi.







One of the things I like to do on trips is taking pictures from the car as we drive along looking out over the country.  I love taking pictures of old barns, run down houses, etc. 

This sketch actually makes the building look in better shape than reality.





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Monday, September 17, 2012

Other Sketches While on Holiday

Here are several other sketches done while on our holiday at Rockport, Texas.

All completed in the Stillman & Birn Alpha series journal book (8.5 x 11")

This first one is a pencil sketch of what you could see sitting outside the front door of our cabin.  Some areas I went over with pen/ink.



These next three are watercolor sketches with pen/ink.

The first is a toy purchased for our two dogs that went with us on the trip......one of two of the same toys only one was larger than the other.  This one is the smaller of the two.  Within about two days, Miya had the rope portion detached from the body and the stuffing removed.  She fixed it to where it was "just right" for her to play with :-)





Next is a quick watercolor sketch of one corner of the living room inside the cabin.  The chair is primarily a green color but I had trouble mixing the proper color of this green.










Here are a couple of souvenirs we picked up at Port Aransas, Texas.

I loved the coconut made into a puffer fish so I decided to get that along with a basket of seashells for ourselves.

The little native dude to the left jumped out at me as I walked around trying to find something unique for two of my sons. 

My sons had picked up a really unique tiki candle as a gift to us when they went to The Outer Banks this summer.  Trying to find something unique for them in return, this just seemed to fit the bill nicely.

Neal plans to use his for storing his guitar picks and Travis will probably use his for coins or little odds and ends.

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Glads from my Sister

Well, we are back from holiday and have a few sketches to share that I did while gone.

These were done in my new Stillman & Birn Alpha sketchbook received the day before we left. It's proving to be yet another beautiful paper surface for graphite, pen/ink, and light watercolor washes.  I haven't tried using the back of the pages to see how well the pages scan without ghost images from back(front) side of page.  The paper in this Alpha series is a little thinner than the paper in the watercolor journal books from S&B.  Will have to experiment but so far I've only worked the front pages.

The glads were a welcoming gift from my sister.  She had them set up in the corner of the cabin that you couldn't help notice as soon as you walked in through the door.  The vase had white glads as well as these yellow with the splash of orange which really caught my eye.





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