Thursday, July 17, 2014

My Favorite Brushes

This is a page in the Stillman & Birn Beta journal I'm trying to keep dedicated to my materials and supplies, color charts, and maybe at some point various techniques. 

Although I have several different size and type brushes, these four are the main ones I tend to reach for with the #8 Kolinsky and the 3/8" Synthetic Angular being what I use most often.  The #14 Silver Ultra Mini (synthetic) I will grab if I need a real sharp point and the 3/4" DaVinci Flat (synthetic) for large areas.

I love my Kolinsky brushes but sometimes I prefer a synthetic for better control of the amount of water in the brush.

Again using MairmeriBlu watercolors, I'm trying to get used to the color mixing results compared to what I'm used to with Daniel Smith and Winsor & Newton pigments. 

The flesh tone was trial and error since I didn't have Perm Alizarin I'm used to using.   The closest to Perm Aliz I had to work with was either Crimson Lake or Primary Red Magenta mixing each with Raw Sienna, Golden Lake, or Burnt Umber.  I went back and forth so many times trying to get the flesh tone I wanted that I honestly can't say which I ended up using :-)

Microns 05 both in Sienna and Black were used. and in places I used a Sharpie extra fine white marker pen.








Monday, July 14, 2014

Plant Pot Picks

Plant Pot Picks..................try to say that fast three times.  I for one stumble by the third time saying Plot instead of Pot  :-)

Trying to decide what I wanted to sketch today, one of my plants with this plant pick captured my attention. 

Worked in the Handbook journal first sketching in pencil, adding watercolor, and then the pen and ink using a Micron 005.  Watercolors used were MairmeriBlu.

Here are the steps I took:

Used a mechanical pencil for the initial sketch....




Wasn't satisfied with the balance so added a couple more leaf segments to the right as you view it....



Next I painted everything starting with the bee.  I started to add the pen and ink before realizing I wanted to scan before doing so....



And finally, here is the results with pen and ink detailing everything.


Eastern Phoebe Young'n from First Brood

After watching a new video by Cathy Johnson on sketching/painting a Wren, I had this great desire to do the same with this Eastern Phoebe. 

Cathy's video showed how she handled the fluffiness of the body and wings often seen when a bird is trying to keep warm.  Using those same techniques for depicting a young bird, I worked this watercolor with pen and ink. 


This is a young Eastern Phoebe from the first brood of the year. We have a second right now with the babies soon to take off.

Handbook, 01 and 02 Microns (02 for notes), Mairmeriblu watercolors and #8 round. Used a 3/8" angular here and there too plus a touch of my white sharpie fine marker.

Goal was to try and capture that fluffiness and capture that greenish tone on the body.



Terry's Make-shift Hanger

As we get closer to our move date, we've taken down all the bird feeders, hangers, and baffles we had out front.  With the hummers here, Terry decided to make a temporary wood hanger for one of our hummingbird feeders right outside my window.  Thought I would capture that in my journal.

Worked in the Handbook using MaimeriBlu watercolors keeping things loose and simple.  Line work with Pilot Prera and Lexington Gray ink.


Thursday, July 10, 2014

Stillman & Birn Beta Journal New Pages

So far I've kept this new journal dedicated to supplies and charts.  I've yet to do that with all the journals I've worked in.  We'll see if I can actually do one that is subject oriented rather than a mix of mediums and subjects.  :-)

First I worked the pages showing my pens and various pencils I use (found in an earlier post).  This next page in my journal shows one of my smaller palettes that is dedicated to greens plus Lunar Pigments from Daniel Smith.


I tend to stick with tube greens altering with yellows or blues due to simplicity sake but I would like to get back to mixing my own greens.  It's been awhile and had forgotten the variations I could achieve by mixing my own. 

After watching Cathy's Johnson video on Mixing Greens, she made it look so much fun that I worked these next three pages of greens. 

Next I'll probably work my Violets and Oranges for reference.  This is where having a dedicated journal will be nice...........I can easily locate these charts if I keep them all in one place.




Handbook Journal Entries

I've been a busy body with my sketching.............just slow in getting them posted.  Here are the last several pages in my square Handbook...







Sketchbook Skool


These next two pages are following a course I'm taking online called Sketchbook Skool.  It's a 6 week course with six different instructors like Danny Gregory, Cathy Johnson, Brenda Swenson, and I can't remember the other three names.  Danny Gregory started this semester and here are the results of my homework for the first week.

First exercise was to take a piece of toast and try to capture nooks and crannies you "see"........not what you think you see.



Next exercise blocking in a general shape working fast.........no detail.   Then going back and working slow, putting down details correcting angles, sizes, etc. the initial quick sketch didn't get right.  To fully understand this exercise, one would need to take the course.  I can't give away all the specifics ;-)



Getting Close to Finishing the Alpha Journal


The next journal close to being finished off is my 4 x 6 Alpha Journal.  There are 16 remaining single pages but some of those I might make into two-page spreads.  Not quite sure yet.  Being so close, I will probably concentrate on finishing this journal book over the next couple of weeks. 

Although over the next two to three weeks, we will be working hard on preparing for Trip #2 of our move to Florida.  It's been a long drawn out experience moving two different households.  We will have one more trip after this next load with what we can't fit in the truck this time around.  Makes it hard when you can't get a large moving van up this hill.  Hopefully this will soon be behind us..........at least until the next move......lol

This page was painted first in watercolor and then detailed with pen and ink.


Last Pages in the Moleskine Sketchbook

These finish off another journal that had only a few pages left.  Now I'm down to 12 unfinished (that I am aware of). 




Finishing My Moleskine Watercolor Sketchbook

Here are various sketches I worked finishing the last several pages in the Moleskine Watercolor journal.  Out of 14 known journals that still have pages left to finish off, I've managed to finish this one and my Moleskine Sketchbook.  I'm now down to 12 (that I'm aware of that's not already packed for our move).







Started My Stillman & Birn Delta Journal

I finally cracked open my new Stillman & Birn Delta journal  after having it over a year.  This journal has the same type paper as the Beta (heavy weight cold press paper) but in a cream color.  Wonderful paper to work on!

Here's the first page I worked in pen and ink with no color.



Then I used this journal for a challenge shared by Jean Mackay where you work a sketch every hour throughout your day trying to keep your sketches at 1 to 5 minutes each.   I used a Micron 005 and 01 for these little illustrations.




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