Thursday, December 15, 2011

Season's Greetings!!!

Here's a quick note hoping everything is going well for everyone this Holiday Season.  Have a Blessed Christmas and a safe and Happy New Year!!

Thursday, November 10, 2011

The Handbook - Wet media Examples

While I was in the mood to experiment and play, I did these quick wet media sketches using The Handbook.  I really do like this paper for mixed media in a purchased bound book.  One day I hope to make my own hand bound books with the paper of choice which is Fabriano Artistico.

And to make sure my small travel size Handbook handled the wet media as well as the larger one, I did this quickie watercolor and Tombow Ink wash sketch.  (That beaded effect could have come in handy to give texture on that barn ;-)

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Checking out Moleskine Sketchbook

Today I compared sketchbook paper between The Handbook and the Moleskine Sketchbook.

When I first felt the Moleskine paper finish, I thought it would be great for ink and light washes.  The paper seems thick by feel but was quite surprised by the results.

First off, when I used a water brush lightly going over my ink or water soluble graphite, the wet brush marks 'beaded' on the paper.  Although I'm sure one could use that to their advantage for a textured look on smooth paper, I was not expecting that to happen.

The top of the page with my first example, I didn't notice the beading effect at that time.  It wasn't until I tried again with the second illustration (boat) that it was obvious.

Next I tried using a water soluble pencil to see if maybe it was more the ink and water that would bead.  I still experienced a slight beading but not to the extent as I did with the Tombow marker and water brush.

Closer look to show the beaded effect with the wash...............a rather nice effect if one wishes it to turn out that way depending upon subject matter.

Here's a simple watercolor example.  Definite beading!


The one thing I didn't care for was the fact there was bleed-through from front side of a page to the back side if water applied.  And another negative to this paper is the fact the Derwent water soluble graphite pencil doesn't erase very well using a putty eraser.  So unlike the paper in The Handbook.

On a positive note - this little Moleskine sketchbook will be fine for pen and ink. :-)

I started the top left with a Stabilo pen and changed over to a Uni-ball pen. 

Monday, November 7, 2011

Grid Sketching - Ink

Thought I would try my hand at grid sketching.  Each small block has a piece of something from a photograph (part of a roof; area of fencing; complete building; etc.).  All blocks or squares are randomly drawn and then filled with what ever component I might sketch within.  All done quickly with no real plan or preconceived notion of where to place anything.  No laboring over perspective or getting everything perfect. 

This was fun and relaxing to do. 

Uni-ball pen - black.

51/2 x 81/2" (full sheet copier paper folded in half)

Just for fun playing with a touch of color.

Monday, October 10, 2011

Couple of Watercolor Landscape Sketches

Brush and paint right now for me feel very foreign.  It's like I'm starting all over again due to the long spell I didn't do much painting.  I'm trying to "feel" my way back by painting simple loose watercolor sketches - primarily using a flat brush for a change rather than my normal round.  I'm finding myself timid with color values as well. 

Also playing with a bristle flat to soften edges and a fan brush for a little texturing.

The Langton 140lb Cold Press
Daniel Smith - Fr Ultramarine, Raw Sienna, Burnt Sienna, Burnt Umber, Sap Green and touch of Quin Rose in the second painting.

Saturday, October 8, 2011

Sand Dunes

Another forum challenge - painting sand dunes. 

No actual reference used but recalling sandy beaches in North Carolina

The Langton 140lb Cold Press
Daniel Smith - Raw Sienna, Bt Sienna, Cobalt + Cerulean Blue, Touch of Indigo, and Sand (or Buff - not sure what the name is)
1/2 inch Flat

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Seed Pods

This was for a forum challenge where we sketch seed pods using graphite.

Handbook journal - Med Graphite

It's amazing to me how dark one can go with the medium.

Sunday, September 18, 2011

MaimeriBlu Watercolors

Using my moleskine watercolor book, I've started making a few charts using the MaimeriBlu pigments recently purchased. 

In setting up my palette, I've filled each of the wells allowing to dry 48 hours.  The pigment is "set" but still pliable. 

So far playing with charts and the simple ice cream cone illustration, I'm not real impressed with the handling of this brand.  The colors are vivid and beautiful but I'm not liking the "feel" of the pigment itself when re-wetting and working with the brush.  The binder or vehicle seems thick making the paints feel almost like working with oil paints or working with honey even though according to the stats, these pigments do not use honey as the binder like M. Graham pigments do.

Maybe once the paints have totally dried, I might find they "re-activate" differently when water is applied to them. I'm hoping in the next few days or so my feelings change more towards the positive; but, as of this posting, I'm ready to return to my Daniel Smith watercolors.

Monday, September 12, 2011

A Sterling Edwards Practice Piece - Watercolor Barn

The last couple of days I have been studying Sterling Edwards watercolor methods hoping to inspire me to do some painting.  I had so hoped to take a workshop with him this year at the Art of the Carolinas but looks like I may miss out again this year.  So the next best thing was going through his book and viewing the video lessons he's created to include the freebie lessons through Jerry's Artarama website.

Sterling Edwards is a contemporary watercolorist who works on portraying his subjects through loose suggestive brush strokes creating an illusion of his subject rather than realism (if I'm explaining that correctly).  He believes in paintings have mood, telling a story, and leaving something to the imagination for the viewer to fill in rather than spelling it all out.  He also likes using a variation of deep rich color and values which he feels gives many scenes that extra punch.

He also works in abstract which I find I really like.  But it's the looseness and suggestive attributes that has grabbed my attention that I really love about his work.

Because of this method..........I find it more relaxing and actually fun to do.    Don't have to worry if everything is perfect or just so so. 

With this painting exercise, I did not have the proper tools so I had to improvise.  Instead of a flat, all I had on hand was an angular flat.  For the bristle brush to blend edges with, I had to use a slanted foliage brush.

This is a 5 x 7 painting on The Langton 140lb Cold press.  Didn't have masking tape to tape down onto a board as he suggests so I did the best I could with the paper just laying flat on my table.  Considering there was not a great deal of wetting of the paper, I managed OK without buckling.

Should I try this again, I hope to achieve more variation in the greens than what I ended up with in this painting.  There's a variation of brown and green but the brown is so subtle you can hardly see it.....particularly with the scan.  The actual painting is more noticeable but still not to the extent I would have liked.  Also plan to introduce some blue or even another color to help offset the primarily green foliage back drop.

Saturday, September 10, 2011

Sandpiper Pencil Sketches

My work days were long this week and I found myself super restless up and down out of my chair - walking outside often just to get up and about.  On Thursday I stepped outside the office door into the parking area and to the right I saw this bird.  It looked familiar from birds I'd seen somewhere but couldn't place it at the time. 

Quietly and quickly going back inside I grabbed my camera hoping he was still out there when I returned.  Sure enough he was.

I stood still taking pictures as he came closer and hopped all around me.

This morning I searched the internet to find out what kind of bird and it was a sandpiper.  A bird I've seen only at the beach.  Was really strange for this loner to be here in the middle of West Virginia in an Industrial Park no less.

These are quick gesture like sketches from three of the photos I took.  Using an HB on its side for most of the sketching in my Handbook sketchbook.

Saturday, September 3, 2011

Old Rusty Tools

What a perfect subject to paint using the granulating Lunar pigments!

These were truly relaxing and fun to do! 

The Handbook

#4 and #2 Rounds

You know what the most difficult was for me in rendering these hammers????  Splattering.  I've yet to get that down.  Either it splatters ALL over the place with teeny tiny specks or big blobs I have to quickly mop up.  And control with direction??  Forget  There MUST be a trick to it.  Maybe the type brush I'm using?  Consistency of the paint not right?

Another Loose Mini Landscape - House on Pond

The description on the illustration is pretty straight forward.  Still trying to keep my watercolor sketches loose and care free.  I truly don't want to get into fidgeting like I have a tendency to do.  Basically put the paint down and leave it alone.

Loose Landscape using Lunar Pigments

Using two colors and still on the Handbook sketchbook paper, I did this quick watercolor sketch.  This was using a 3/8" flat angular brush so I didn't get much in the way of granulation like I might have using a round holding more water/pigment.

I'm still playing basically in a loose mode for now as I try to regain some enthusiasm and motivation to work with my watercolors.  In all the years I've been painting, I've only gone through a couple of major slumps that lasted months.  This happens to be one of those times for whatever reason(s).  I'm sure everyone goes through them to some degree.  ;-)

Friday, September 2, 2011

Lunar Pigments - Dragonfly Sketch

I really must work on my planning where placement is  I so often misjudge and end up with part of my drawing or painting off the page.

Still playing with the Daniel Smith Lunar pigments, I did this quick watercolor sketch of a dragonfly.  I prewet the areas but had to dip my brush in water to help the pigment spread due to the type paper this was done on.

Handbook sketchbook with #4 Round.

A little Green Gold was brushed over to add a bit of life.

Playing with DS Granulating Pigments

Thought I would play a bit using the Daniel Smith Lunar pigments which are highly granulating pigments.  I was curious to see how they would do in the Handbook sketchbook.

The granulation did appear even on this sketching paper but not to the extent they do on watercolor paper to include Moleskine. 

This was using a Daniel Smith #4 Round travel brush wet in wet (although on this paper, the water soaks in quickly and it's more like painting wet on damp.)  I found myself dipping the brush in water after pigment was added to the paper to make it pool.

My favorite of the five examples is definitely the combination of Lunar Blue and Lunar Earth.

Note - The Green Gold is not a Lunar pigment.  I just threw that in for some added color.  :-)

Thursday, September 1, 2011

Ink and Wash - Mixed

Few quick ink and wash mini sketches done today between phone calls.

Composition leaves a great deal to be desired but then I was only doodling and not really thinking on those lines.  I'm just thrilled to get something on paper.

Tombow marker pen and waterbrush on plain paper.

Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Ink and Wash Mini Landscape

My BIG accomplishment for the day - postage stamp size landscape done between phone calls. 

Inspired by Ian King - Watercolour Tips

Tombow marker pen and waterbrush on standard paper.

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Hummer on Plant Stake #2 - Graphite Sketch

I've managed to complete the second sketch following my two favorite photographs shared a few posts back.  Out of literally 100s of photos taken in the course of one day, these two I've chosen to sketch are by far my all time favorites.

Again using the side of my pencil (4B) for most of the work and point for fine tuning and darkening in some areas.  I did use an 8B for the darkest part of the tail and for the darkest ring around the eye (not noted on sketch).

Strathmore Bristol Vellum paper, 6x6".  I really like the tooth on this paper!

Monday, August 29, 2011

Hummer on Plant Stake - Graphite Sketch

WOW..............#2 for the day.............I'm on a roll :-D

Thought I would use a different paper for this sketch rather than using my sketchbook.  Sketched on Strathmore Bristol Vellum 6 x 6"

#4B Derwent Sketch pencil (dry) using side of point for most of the sketch.

Following one of my photos I shared a few posts back.

Bit of Sketching - Nests

Can't believe how many days/weeks have passed and I've not done anything.  Today I finally did a little bit of sketching.  It's a start, anyways.

Med (4B) pencil in Handbook sketchbook.

Started out right to left sketching the mud dauber tubes or whatever one calls them and then the web worm nest that is popping up all over the place in the trees.  Some areas worse than others.  Last thing I did was add the mud dauber, which turned out a little larger than I had planned.

Went over some areas with a water brush (pencil is water soluble graphite).

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Babies Gone

Well..........I knew it was close ......... guessing tomorrow or Saturday but they chose to leave today while I was at work :-(  Talk about a huge feeling of loss. 

Before I left for work, I checked in on the baby wrens and sometime before noon, they took their leave.  My son had gone down to do some work on a washer and like me would check in on them.  He called me to say they were gone - no signs anywhere to include the mom and dad.

It's been a big part of my day from the time they started building the nest till now.  I will sure miss them.  It's like me having a second set of kids that have grown up and left the nest.

Monday, August 8, 2011

Long Absence

Seems like forever since I last posted anything.  We were hit by lightening a couple of weeks ago......or I should say my computer was hit along with my son's router and the other evening his kitchen stove.  We've experienced some really bad storms this year; and, even with all the electronic protection, we still got zapped.  So I've been down while waiting to have my computer repaired and re-installing programs.

In the interim, the baby birds that hatched are 10 days old.  I've been watching them daily grow from naked little things to these darling fluff balls with developing wings.  It's been quite an experience watching mom and dad carry on the task of feeding four hungry and growing youngsters.  It's just unbelievable to have been given the opportunity to watch the parents build their nest, to laying eggs, seeing the babies hatch, and now them growing.  By this weekend according to what I've researched, these little fluff balls should be ready to test their wings.

Along with watching the wrens, we've had hummingbirds like we've never had before.  Nothing like standing there and having near a dozen hummers battling all around you.  So close you can feel the breeze from their wings.  A couple hovering in front of my face checking me out and sitting within a couple of inches from me on the feeders.  This has been incredible for us this year!!!

Hopefully I'll feel up to drawing and painting some of what I've been experiencing soon.  :-D

Thursday, July 21, 2011

75 Day Sketch Challenge - Days 66-68

This should read 70 Day Sketch Challenge at this point because I only have enough pages remaining in this dedicated notebook to complete 70.

I'm getting there :-)

Day 66 - A huge crow caught my eye that was sitting up on the dead branches of a tree behind the salon across the parking lot where I work.  He looked like he was stretching his wing.

Day 67 - Everywhere I look I'm seeing Queen Anne's Lace blooming.  Thought I would record that in my notebook as one of the challenge sketches.

Day 68 - Super slow day at the office so I decided to "doodle" a clip sitting on my desk along with a paper clip.

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Bunny in Graphite

Here is a first ever attempt at drawing a bunny. 

I had fun with this.........especially the challenge in getting that eye to look the way it does (as shown in photo).

4B Pencil using the Hand-book sketchbook (frame is digital)

Peek-A-Boo...I See You

This is a little watercolor sketch I did in my Moleskine Watercolor Book.  I was turning my pot around checking the different angles with this guy and this definitely captured my attention. 

Blue Jay Portrait in Graphite

Here is another bird portrait I've done today to go with the Cardinal I posted a day or so ago.  I really do like this paper for graphite (Hand-book).

4B Derwent Sketching Med Wash pencil

I'm still using the technique where the side of the pencil is used to get the basic shapes down.  Then once satisfied, I go back with the point to darken and define some of the areas.

Fun with Color

Today I was in the mind-set to play with color.  The three primaries I started out with were Daniel Smith - Ultramarine Blue, Quin Rose, and Aureolin (Yellow).  Extra colors I used were Sap Green and my three Earth Colors (RS, BS, BU).

Completed in my Moleskine Watercolor Sketchbook using a #5 Kolinsky Round.

("Fun with Gourds" was digitally rendered using Wacum Tablet and Electronic Pen - haven't decided just yet how I want to add that on the actual journal page......probably similar as shown here after I practice writing with a brush.)

Here it is with me using a small brush and paint writing in "Fun with Gourds" going with the idea I played with above with the digital rendering of the words.  It wasn't as difficult as I had convinced myself hand writing with a brush.  I do surprise myself sometimes :-)

Monday, July 18, 2011

What One Family Member Did with My Artwork

How many people do you know would take a painting you did for them and have it tattooed to their body?  Talk about making one feel on top of the world and reinforce what they do as being truly worthy of the time and effort put into their artwork.

This is from a painting of two lilies I did for my sister-in-law - "Sissy"  It's not 100% exact to the painting for obvious reasons due to limitations of detail with tattoos; but, it's close and definitely recognizable and a reminder of the painting I did for her years ago.

Anytime I might be feeling low and question why I bother with all the time and effort drawing and painting (which does happen from time to time)........all I have to do is visit my "Sissy"  What she did has to be the ultimate sign of approval and love for what I do.      :-D

Female Cardinal Portrait in Graphite

One last before I retire for the night..........

Derwent 4B Med Wash sketching pencil

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