Tuesday, March 25, 2014

My First Acorn Squash

In all my years, I've never tried butternut or acorn squash until recent.  A few weeks ago I first tried the butternut and really liked it.  Then this past weekend we picked up an acorn squash to try.

Of course I had to sketch it first before cutting into it.

This is my first sketch using an HB pencil only.in the generic sketchbook.  I started out with an irregular circle very lightly drawn and then working clockwise, started top right lightly shaping the edges and sections.  Using the side of the pencil lead, I worked all the shading and then the point for definition.  I used a tortillion to blend and shade the graphite.  Then went back with a putty eraser pressing in some areas to lift some tone out and then shaping into a wedge for the lighter areas (I did leave some areas pure white while sketching). 






With tonight's journal entry, I first sketched the general form and added some dark lines knowing I was going to use a stump to blend it all out.  Then I used the side of the pencil and started putting in darks.  At this point I wasn't sure where I was going with it.

An idea hit me to try so I went digging in my boxes for a pastel pencil set I bought many years ago but hadn't really used.  Because I was going to add some color, I took my putty eraser and lifted back out the darker shading done.  I started adding color.......orange, yellow to brighten in areas, and two of the lighter greens.  Then used the dark green in those areas I had originally shaded dark with graphite.  I would blend with the stump and then lift areas with putty eraser until I was satisfied with the overall look.  Then took the eraser and softened some of the edges.

I'm sure I didn't work the pastels correctly and should probably do some reading on techniques.  But overall, I'm happy with the results.  This is definitely new territory for me and enjoyed the experiment using something different.

NOTE:  As I sit here and study the results, I see something I need to work on.  The results look like this was cut with my sketching only the top half sitting on the surface.  It 'should' look like a whole squash and more rounded rather than flat.  Of course I didn't have to tell on myself but I hope by sharing this it might help someone else not make the same mistake.  ;-))







Saturday, March 22, 2014

Various Sketches Since March 4th

I haven't done as much sketching since I last posted.............not like I did back in January and February.  We are preparing for a major relocation so I just haven't had the time or energy. 

Worked in the Zeta - pen and ink before and after adding some color.




Experimenting with color shadows on Yellow.....Zeta sketchbook


Worked in the square format - Handbook....


Stillman & Birn Zeta sketchbook...



Playing with inks from the Sampler vials from Goulet Pens.  I used a dip pen for these...



Painting with ink in the Zeta sketchbook...






Messing around with facial features...I definitely have my work cut out for me with this subject.  Not one of my favorite subjects to work with but it's good for me to step outside my comfort zone and practice now and then. 


Tuesday, March 4, 2014

Wonders of Nature

This tree sits at the bottom of our hill next to a stream where all the mountain runoff from rain and snow collects.  It's the shape that captured my interest making one wonder how on earth it grew this way.  Terry seems to think that at one time another tree fell leaning on this one forcing the growth to curve before the one tree rotted and fell to the ground.

Worked in the Moleskine WC sketchbook.  Three pens were used for this sketch:  TWSBI, Platinum Carbon, and the Pilot Prera with the dry feeding nib.........all with Lexington Gray Ink.

This was before our last snow storm when the previous snow was starting to melt showing some areas of ground.


From Terry's Trip to Arizona

This is from one of many photographs Terry took while working in Arizona some time ago.

Before and after color added.

Used the TWSBI pen and the Pilot Prera with the dry feed nib put back on it.  Both Lexy Gray ink.  Each feeds differently and why I chose to use both.

When applying the watercolor, I was in one of those free spirited moods where I let the brush dance with color with a round and also a foliage brush.  Added a little spattering to it.

Handbook journal.



My Poor Plant

This is an Easter Cactus that I'm struggling to keep alive.  It keeps losing segments from the soil surface up.  No signs of rot or anything but the segments will shrivel roots and all. 

I take care of it the same way I do the Christmas Cactus and they are all thriving.  I've had problems with this plant from the day I received it through mail order.  I'm hoping this spring to see if I can start fresh plants in fresh soil.  Maybe I'll have better luck.

Also hasn't flowered much.  Two flowers first year and one last year. 

Worked in the Generic Sketchbook with the pens mentioned at the bottom of the journal page.

Several Days' Worth of Sketching

Unfortunately I've lost a bit of momentum due to feeling a bit under the weather and other things going on in our lives at the present time.  I 'have' managed a little sketching although for several days it was really slow going.


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