Tuesday, June 28, 2016

Early Morning Sketching

Worked these this morning...........the bird while everyone else was asleep and then sat outside after the sun came up for the other page.  Although really not feeling it with regards to doing much (especially artwork), I did manage these two pages.

Both using my Pilot Falcon pen in the Strathmore Visual Journal (Bristol paper).

Not real happy with my scanner either.  Settings have been messed with and I can't seem to get it back scanning close to the actual color saturation.  A bit on the contrasty side.




Monday, June 27, 2016

Cypress Tree Sketch - Pen and Ink

Had that itch to sketch today so I worked this cypress tree in the Strathmore Visual Journal - Bristol Smooth paper.

Decided to use a different fountain pen as well..........my Platinum Carbon Desk pen with Platinum Carbon black ink.

When I added watercolor to it, I thought about adding in a background.  Unfortunately (or maybe fortunately), I was in one of those "hmmmm, I don't know" moods so I went with the "if in doubt, do nothing" decision and left it out.

As far as I can remember (which some days I question), I have not tried watercolor on a Bristol paper surface.  I was quite surprised and pleased with how well the paper handled it.  Normally I save Bristol for graphite work.  I wasn't even sure how well the fountain pen would work on it.  Would it smear as I worked?  But no it didn't.........at least not with this pen or the ink in it.


Saturday, June 25, 2016

Stonegate Community Landmark


Each time I've passed this over the last two years, I've wanted to sketch it.  I've finally managed to do so.

The left page is my main sketch but as I worked, I decided to carry it over onto the right page.  It's worked in the hand.book journal using my Pilot Falcon fountain pen and mixed brand of watercolors.



Spooky Tree in Graphite

A couple weeks ago while out on the river near where we live, I took a lot of photos.  Besides wildlife, I enjoy taking pictures of trees because of their unique shapes and patterns.  This one particular tree grabbed my attention because of it's unique shape, holes, and because of the nest on top.

Going through my photos and coming across this tree, I saw something totally different tonight from what I saw the day I took the photograph.  To my mind's eyes, I saw what resembles an old wizard, wearing a robe of sorts, and holding a wand.  I have put to paper what stands out to me the most using a mechanical pencil in the Strathmore Visual Journal (watercolor paper).  .

This was fun.........so much so that I sat up all night working on it :-)





Thursday, June 23, 2016

Sitting Outside The Last Two Mornings

Earlier this week, I've spent quite a bit of time outside with the temperatures mid to upper 80s and low humidity.  But all good things eventually come to an end.  The 90s have returned with it hitting mid to upper 90s..........a bit warm for me although I'm slowly adapting.

Yesterday, because I knew the day was going to be a hot one, I was up before 6 a.m. :-O and enjoyed being outside until it started heating up.  I sat taking in all the sounds around me and wrote those sounds down in my hand.book journal.......along with a mini sketch of a new bird feeder we put up Monday.

Falcon fountain pen with Lexington Grey ink and mixed brand of watercolors and waterbrush.


This morning I was up early once again and sat for a couple of hours before it got too hot watching three squirrels forage the ground for food and chasing one another up and down this tree as seen on left page.

The bungee feeder we put up has been ignored except when we draped the corn across the picnic table.  One squirrel found it yesterday and went to town.  We then let it hang again hoping to see some fun action.

As of early morning when I started journaling on the left page, the corn was being ignored.  Instead, the squirrels fed below the bird feeders.  After sketching on the left page adding my notes and ready to go back inside, one squirrel finally spotted the hanging corn.  He actually tried for it but the bungee action made him jump and move away.  He did attempt it a couple more times until another squirrel caught his attention and he decided he wanted to play.

Handbook, Falcon fountain pen, and mixed brand watercolor using a waterbrush.


Bird Doodling in Pen and Ink

This is just a page in my hand.book square journal doodling a couple of birds.

One following John Muir Laws article on simplifying bird plumage and the cardinal head from watching cardinals out at our feeder.  With the top bird, I chose to go with more......not less........of the plumage.

For his article, please follow this link:  http://www.johnmuirlaws.com/art-and-drawing/simplifying-bird-plumage

I added the cardinal to fill the page where I was sitting outside.  I chose to work pen and ink only as continued practice getting comfortable using ink only.  (I still have a ways to go before feeling comfy.)

Caladium Flower in Graphite

I find whenever I might have something weighing heavy on my mind, graphite tends to be my medium of choice to work with.  For me it's the most relaxing medium to use helping me to lose myself in what I'm doing (forgetting for a time what was on my mind when starting).

This is a caladium flower that came up with a small clump of pale green caladium leaves edged in dark green.  The flower was white.

Behind the caladium is a large reddish violet impatiens plant and with this drawing, I tried to only suggest them using a putty eraser to lift some shapes.

This was worked in a Strathmore Visual Bristol journal using a 5.6mm cluth pencil with 4B lead and a 2mm mechanical pencil with a 4B lead.

I love the blending of graphite and lifting with a putty eraser.


Sometimes It Works and Sometimes It Doesn't

This is one of those times when "I" didn't feel things turned out.  I've never really liked working anything black on a large scale so it was my intent to only color the background and leave the bird in pen and ink only.  Unfortunately I had a bit of a mishap dabbing a few areas with white acrylic marker pen as the pen decided to unload a large pool of white.  When scanned, the acrylic covered area showed up in a blue tint.  So that changed my plans leaving the bird pen and ink only and went ahead trying to paint him.


With my first attempt at painting the vulture and scanning it, the page looked flat..........all the same values.  I didn't want to go too dark with my blacks so I tried scrubbing out some of the background color.  I managed to remove some color but I was also using staining pigments.  Thank goodness for heavy paper.

Already feeling I had messed up this page, I thought, "what the heck," I'll go a darker and see what happens.  It took three layers to achieve this and I'm still not thrilled with the results.  BUT, as a reminder to myself, I'm not after perfection.  I'm not planning to frame this page nor enter it into a competition.  This is about journaling an experience and that I did achieve with this page :-)


Hand.book homemade heavy weight watercolor journal, W&N watercolors, #8 Round, and Falcon fountain pen for sketching and brown Micron for wording.

Friday, June 10, 2016

Playing Catch-Up

We acquired a new toy the end of May, just in time for the Memorial Day Weekend............a pontoon boat.  Needless to say, we've spent quite a bit of time out on it ....in and out of the water (ha ha).... weather permitted.

We were able to get the pontoon before my Nephew returned home after being with us for three weeks.  Our first day out Terry took the boys out on Lake Eustis.  Next he took myself, Cristy, and the girls out circling an area of the lake while Ron worked on his bass boat dealing with engine issues.

Once Ron and his family left, Terry and I did a little sight seeing traveling down the Dead River that connects Lake Eustis with Lake Harris.  My favorite has to be the Dead River as it's quiet, beautiful with the cypress trees, and lots of wildlife along the banks.  Dead River is not very wide compared to other rivers I've been on.  Just so peaceful!

While out on Lake Harris, there was this opening between pine trees where these three palms sat.  They just sing out to be noticed.

Pen and Ink in the handbook.


Along the Dead River on either side were Anhingas sitting with wings stretched wide as they sun bathed drying off after diving for food.  This guy had finished drying and I caught him just as he commenced to fly off.

Strathmore Visual Watercolor journal, Pilot Falcon fountain pen and QoR watercolors.



These other two watercolor sketches are from other outings weeks/months earlier from photos.  Both worked in the Strathmore Visual Watercolor journal.  The flowers using a ballpoint pen and the bench and door using the Pilot Falcon fountain pen.  Both using QoR watercolors.






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