Tuesday, December 24, 2013

My Latest Watercolors

I'm behind again sharing my work.  it's been a crazy week or so as I'm sure everyone can understand.

I've been working a bit more with watercolor but also including some pen and ink.  Using W&N watercolors for a change.  The 1st, 3rd, and 4th images with two colors only.......Fr Ultramarine and Bt. Sienna.

Moleskine Watercolor Sketchbook...

Moleskine Watercolor Sketchbook...

Fabriano Artistico 140lb Cold Press

Moleskine Watercolor Sketchbook...

Merry Christmas!!

Sunday, December 15, 2013

In the Mood for some Pencil Sketching

My latest sketch using the Generic Sketchbook and Derwent water soluble pencils - used dry.  I even managed to think about scanning along the way.

1)  Using side of 2B pencil lead - rough outline

2)  Using a stump to blend the inner lines and start some shading.

3)  With 4B beginning the detailing with the pointy end and blending as I go.  Re-emphasizing the areas I want to stand out with the pencil again.

4)  After working the rest of the garlic with the 4B going back and forth between pencil lead and blending with the stump, I used an 8B point to bring out the one garlic I wanted to stand out in front.  I also used the stump to shade more of the other pieces to push them back a bit.  If I lost any of the white to make the front garlic bulb pop, I used a putty (kneaded) eraser to bring back the white of the paper.

Now why did I use three different pencil leads?  I have no clue.  I could have started with one of the darker pencils but I worked this the way I did for no real apparent reason :-))

Thursday, December 12, 2013

My Mom's House - Memory Keepsake

This was sketched on the very last page that's part of the back to my large Alpha journal. It's my mom's house in Florida she just sold after living there about 22 years. Mom lost her sister and her husband within a year of each other (Joe passing Feb 2012) leaving her alone with no immediate family near her. My brother had an addition added to his house and he and my husband moved her up here to West Virginia this past September.

What inspired me to do this sketch was learning the house just sold.

This was definitely worked with mixed emotions. Emphasis was placed on the house itself with only a suggestion of its surroundings.

Worked with the Pilot Prera and Lexington Gray ink.

I debated adding color to it but think I prefer to keep it as is. If I were to add any color, it would only be a subtle wash of light blue on the outer walls of the house. I'm not even sure how that back page will take watercolor.

Monday, December 9, 2013

Early Morning Sketching

Many nights I don't go to sleep till the next morning.  This sketch was worked through the wee hours again with a care-free approach.

These are from photos taken in 2008 when I took our large dog for a walk at a nearby park.  The park doesn't have a lot to offer but many people go there to picnic or to walk.  There's a very large oval concrete path that goes around the perimeter of the park. 

Along one side of this walking path are wood stumps left with bird houses sitting on them.

The most intriguing about the area are some of the trees with this one especially catching my eye.  I wonder if it's still standing today.  It was a dead tree and after several winters and large wind storms, it might not be there........especially with how it was leaning.

Personal Challenges and Just Letting Go

I have no idea where my days are going.  Already four days have passed since I last posted here and find I'm behind again sharing my daily sketches.

This one I took great care in trying to get my perspective right.

Next I decided to take on a couple of my challenge subjects I normally struggle with.....faces and multi-petaled flowers:

I chose three of my family members from photos with the goal just to get the facial features to be convincing.  Two came close to resembling the person while the third in my eyes is way off.  At least I think I achieved my primary goal.

Multi petal flowers tend to intimidate me so I chose a couple I've wanted to sketch but kept putting off.  To help myself, I chose to follow instruction given by Janet Whittle.  Once I feel more confident, I will try using a live model or photograph to work it through myself.

After trying to be so precise in my sketching, I took a break with this next page.  I wasn't concerned about perspective and with a care-free attitude, just dived in with pen and ink.  Used a wetter feeding pen marking boldly.  It felt great...............very liberating :-))

I'd like to feel this way more often.  To me the results are more spontaneous and "alive".  Often I feel my work is too carefully thought or planned out..........too stiff.

Top is from imagination and the bottom from a photograph.

Thursday, December 5, 2013

Our Snow Birds Have Returned

Using my Pilot Prera with Lexington Gray ink, I sketched this snow bird representing the fact they have returned for the season.

Here are the steps I took with the final after taking some watercolor to darken the black areas and to tone down the sharp contrast between ink strokes.

Moleskine Watercolor Sketchbook

W&N Watercolors:  Cobalt Blue, Bt Umber and touch of Raw Sienna for snow shadows and Lunar Black.

Also touched up the bottom of the bird with a Uniball White Gel pen.

More Pen and Ink Sketching

I find it so much easier and relaxing to sketch with either pencil or pen and ink.  I can sit where ever and sketch from my lap.  Not so with painting.

Here are my most recent pen and ink sketches I've done in the Moleskine Watercolor sketchbook using my Pilot Prera with Lexington Gray Ink.

This first is a sketch of a tiny birthday bear given to me many years ago.  It wears the birthstone Opal.  This little guy might be 2 inches tall standing but I've never taken him off the cardboard chair shaped box it came in.

Although this is not exact by any means......it represents a State Park called Cooper's Rock.  I started out following a photograph but then slipped off into my own little world and worked this without reference.

This next is a baby black capped chickadee.  I actually thought to take a few scans along the way.

Working on Granddaughters' Christmas Card Idea

Both of my granddaughters love my sketching and painting.  They are always flipping through my journals and asking if I would print off their favorites so they have them on hand.

As a personal Christmas card idea to the girls, I worked the following sketches and then a couple in watercolor.

Pencil sketches were sketched in the Generic Sketchbook with a Derwent Light Wash water soluble pencil......used dry and holding where the marks were made with the side of the lead.  Then used the point for the eyes and some light detailing.

Watercolor painting examples were done in the Stillman & Birn Beta journal. 

I haven't quite decided how I want to work their cards.  I may use the birds together as shown below or I might separate and give each girl a different bird.  I might even repaint on individual sheets.........just not sure yet.

Here's one idea using Photoshop Elements to arrange what I have already painted and add wording.  I could use this idea to create a money card :-))

Fabric Folds Challenge

A subject I seem to struggle with happens to be fabric folds.  I understand the concept but for some reason applying that on paper is another story. 

The following is where I set myself a personal challenge to work on folds.  One reason I chose to do this challenge was after I attempted the scrunchie Eeyore is wearing.  I was a bit squeamish with the fold shading......especially in pen and ink.

My first practice is mostly with a mechanical pencil in the Generic Sketchbook.  One illustration I tried with pen and ink as noted.

Next I chose a hand-made doll I use to make years ago as gifts.  Made of a clothes pin, embroidery thread for the hair, hand-sewn dress and pipe cleaners for the arms and hands.

Worked in the Generic Sketchbook using a mechanical pencil (HB).  I felt a bit more confident this attempt.  Blending is so much easier depicting the folds with pencil.  I still want to feel better using pen and ink so I see more practice in the near future :-)

Ballpoint Pen Play

A few doodles using a ballpoint pen - Bic Blue and a Bic Black.  I am not crazy about how easily these pens blob at the point.  I found myself having to wipe the pen on tissue way too often for my liking.  I do love being able to work up values with ballpoints.........I just need to find a pen I like.

Saturday, November 30, 2013

Watercolor Exercise - Snow

My latest ........... Fabriano Artistico 140lb Cold Press and W&N watercolors.

I first tried this exercise in the Moleskine Watercolor sketchbook and the paper would not cooperate with me.  So I decided to use good paper for this to save on additional frustration.

More Pen and Ink in the Generic Sketchbook

Pen and ink using various pens in the Generic Sketchbook...

Various Pen and Ink Sketches

Still catching up...........

Various pen and ink sketches in the Moleskine Watercolor Sketchbook over the few days.....

Back using Fabriano Artistico 140lb Cold Press

November 24th thru 26th.....

Another aspect of my working pen and ink is the fact I've not worked with my favorite watercolor paper in some time.  I decided to work a bit on Fabriano Artistico 140lb Cold press.

Here I decided to test my finer pen nibs on this paper and my personal feelings on how well the ink flowed and how the pen nib felt going across the paper.

More watercolor practice...

Back to Watercolor Painting

November 24th.......I've been working in pen and ink so much that it feels funny working primarily in watercolor.  I feel a bit lost.

Some Color to Brighten the Day

November 21st.......I was in need of some color so chose to do some flowers.  Yellow for me means happy to brighten the day.

In Moleskine Watercolor Sketchbook using Pilot Prera and Lexington Gray ink plus Inktense water soluble pencils and damp brush.  Background is using Daniel Smith watercolors.

Spider Zentangle

Wow do I have some catching up to do here.....

November 20th...............Another Zentangle using the Moleskine sketchbook using a Micron 01 pen and colored with Inktense water soluble pencils - dry.

Monday, November 18, 2013

Winter Scene - Pen and Ink plus Color

This is a winter scene in pen and ink plus water soluble pencils used dry.  One of my favorites snow scenes I enjoyed painting in watercolor.

Moleskine Sketchbook

Pilot Prera with Lexington Gray Ink for the main ground work.
Micron 01 Brown and Black to add extra emphasis on some areas
Uniball White Bold gel pen to add some snow on branches
Inktense Pencils:  Mustard and Willow with a touch of Baked Earth
Derwent Watercolor Pencil:  Gray Blue for shadows, snow shading, and pushing trees back.

Final after adding a bit more blue for shadows and a few dark tree trunks in the background.

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