Monday, September 30, 2013

The Well - Sherbourne Old Castle UK

Another watercolor sketch of my UK trip back in 2010.

This one is of Sherbourne Old Castle........actually The Well that sits on the grounds.

The story of The Well is that it supplied most of the water used at the castle.  It's 40 ft deep cut through natural rock that forms the castle hill to the water table below.  It was originally in an enclosed courtyard where the kitchen was detached from the main buildings as a precaution against fire.

What captivated me about this scene was not only the well but the area behind it..... especially that one tree that towers over the rest. 

Worked in the Zeta Journal sketching with brush and watercolor first.  Then went back and added the pen and ink work using my Pilot Prera and Lexington Gray ink.

Sunday, September 29, 2013

Snail in Pen and Ink

This one I worked on very early in the morning.  The snail is on a plastic woven sack with the name of the road stamped on it.

Working in the Generic sketchbook, I used my Pilot Prera with Lexington Gray ink.  The snail body is multiple hatch lines turning 45 degrees several times crossing one another until I reached the almost solid darks.  The shell is using the contoured hatch marks.

Various Pen and Ink Doodles

I've definitely hit a low spot with regards to my sketching.  I'm still at it trying to do a little something each day but the "itch" or drive is not quite there right now.  I'm surprised it took this long. Sometimes I think it's not so much a slump as it might be a recharging period. 

Here is what I've done over the course of a few days.....just playing with different pens.

Thursday, September 26, 2013

Busch Gardens Tampa FL

This is from another holiday trip with my brother and his family.

Painted in the Zeta Journal using Daniel Smith Lunar Black, Lunar Earth, App Green, and Serp Green.  Touch of Fr Ultramarine.

#8 Round

After painting, did some pen and ink work with the Pilot Prera and Lexington Gray ink.

I really had fun with the Lunar Black painting wet in wet.  Love how the pigment granulates!!!!

There's a lot of green in this but that's how it truly was.  I could have used some artistic license but my goal was to capture as true to the actual sight as I could.  As it was, I took liberty in using Lunar Earth in the rock when it was all gray.

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Sea World Trip

I've been going through past-years' holiday photos reliving the glorious times we had with friends and family.

These pages are from our trip to Sea World with my brother and his family.  We had started making this a yearly venture where we got together and went different places along with visiting my mom.  Unfortunately, we haven't been able to do that in the last couple of years.

Most normal people start on the left and work right.  I seem to do the opposite.  The page on the right I did first as ink and wash and the left page is non water soluble ink and watercolor.

Pens used were:  Rotring with water soluble ink; Stabilo brown; and TWSBI with Lexington Gray ink.

Zeta Journal and Daniel Smith watercolors.

Sunday, September 22, 2013

It's Raining Hickory Nuts

All around us are Hickory Trees....primarily towards the back of our house.  There are at least three different varieties possibly four.  (I thought there were only two when I worked the first page in my journal; however, Terry came across others.)

One is a Shag bark Hickory, Pignut, Red, and possibly a King Nut.   The squirrels scarf up the Shag Bark Hickory.and we think it's because they have a thinner shell and sweeter meat.  They are the easiest for us to crack open too without the insides obliterating into crumbs.  The Pignut are bitter and the others are in between.

This time of year you don't dare stand outside for any length of time out of fear of getting hit in the head by a falling nut.  Our dogs have had near misses the last few days and I'd hate to think what one might do to the smallest if hit in the head.  Throughout the day and evening, we hear them hitting the roof and awning.  Sometimes they hit so hard that it sounds like a small caliber gun shot.  Some hit so hard and loud that it startles us and our dogs.

While out picking up Hickory nuts, Terry also found we have at least one Walnut tree.  Probably a black Walnut.  He's going to scout around some more to see if others are around the property.  I'm sure the squirrels are scarfing them up too as we are not finding many on the ground.

These were done in the Zeta Journal.  Although I touched here and there with a Pilot Prera pen, I wouldn't really call these pen and ink.  A #8 Round was used painting wet in wet.

Daniel Smith watercolors:  Appetite Green, Sap Green, Green Gold, Bt Umber, Raw Umber and Paynes Gray and Lunar Black.   A little Fr Ultra plus Bt Umber for the shadows.

Note:  A few segment lines were made using brush tip and watercolor but then went to bruising with a small brush handle.

I'm Still At It

All done in the Zeta straight pen and ink and the other two pen and ink plus watercolor. 

I have so many photos from my UK trip I truly enjoy sketching from.

And from a photo Terry took while in Arizona, here is a pen and ink with watercolor using the uniball green black, brown black and pilot prera with Lexington Gray.

Saturday, September 21, 2013

One of My Favorite Plants in Watercolor

Another watercolor entry in my Zeta book..........a Prayer Plant.

I love the markings on these plants and love how they fold up at night.

Although on the page indicates several greens, the primary green I used was Cascade Green.  The others were used as a glaze or for the darks.  Cascade Green is a unique green and I wasn't real impressed with it mixed with other colors except Fr Ultra for a green blue.  It also changes color as it dries........or seemed to.

I used pen and ink to emphasize some edges for suggesting wood grain.

Friday, September 20, 2013

More Watercolor Sketching

Although I enjoy sketching in pen and ink, after awhile I feel like I lose touch painting in watercolor as my primary sketching.  This is painting first and then just enough pen and ink for detailing.

Daniel Smith watercolors:  Paynes Gray, Ultramarine Blue, Bt Sienna, Raw Sienna, Quin Rose, App Green and Sap Green.

Pens:  Pilot Prera with Lexington Gray ink and Uniball 0.38 Brown Black

It has felt great working with watercolor again rather than just slightly adding washes to pen and ink sketches!

States I'd Love to Visit

Worked in the Zeta journal painting each mini landscape with Daniel Smith Watercolor, 1/2 inch Flat brush, and finished off with pen and ink.

Used both the Pilot Prera with Lexington Gray ink and the Uniball UM-151 Brown Black.

My #1 choice if only one place to visit would be Utah!  

Maybe one day.

While Out and About

This is a Church I saw while stopped for gas.  Hopefully you can read the page explaining more about it.

Worked in the Zeta journal with Pilot Prera with Lexington Gray ink and the Uniball UM-151 Brown Black.  Finished with Daniel Smith watercolors.

What captured my interest were the directional lines of the siding.

Thursday, September 19, 2013

When You Think You Have It Bad........

Things have not changed for us......not even any prospects.  But to keep things in perspective (or try to), all one has to do is read the news.

I feel so bad for all those people dealing with the floods in Colorado.  I can't even imagine what those people feel or think as they experience this.

All that brown water and muck everywhere!!!  The property damage and loss of life!!!  :-((

How does one recover from something like this?!!

Stippling Practice

This page concentrates on stippling with pen and ink.  I used two pens........TWSBI Mini with Lexington Gray Ink and the Pilot Prera with Lexington Gray ink. 

My personal experience or findings:

I found the two worked together beautifully for tones. 

Some of the illustrations are only using the TWSBI, some only with the Pilot Prera but most with the combination of the two (as noted near the illustrations).

The Pilot Prera worked nicely for shadows and I was quite surprised even with the fine nib how easily it was to make the dots building from very light to darker value but still remaining soft.

The TWSBI is a larger nib allowing the ink to flow heavier.  Only a light touch on the paper was necessary to create the darks. 

On this paper in my Generic Sketchbook, I had to take care just barely touching the paper as the paper wanted to "grab" the ink.

This was extremely relaxing to do working a little at a time as time permitted.  :-))

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Different Strokes - Pen and Ink

These pages are working with various marks or pen strokes to depict subjects and shading. Thought I would give a serious try with using dots for shading.  It wasn't as bad as I thought it would be as the pens left their mark easily.

Used various pens as mentioned on the sheets and worked in the Generic Sketchbook.


Seems I'm losing a bit of steam now........slowing down or lacking the motivation.  Might just be a little stall but I'm trying to push through it.

Here is a page I wasn't real happy with and the sad part is I don't even know why.  Could be just a mood thing.

I chose water soluble pens so I could work a wash and then added a bit of watercolor.

Worked in the Generic Sketchbook.

Sunday, September 15, 2013

Playing in Color Again

To loosen up a bit after all the tedious hatching with pen and ink, I worked these two color sketches. 

Both done in the Stillman & Birn Zeta 5 x 8 journal; Daniel Smith watercolors.

I'm not sure how I feel a day after with the leaves but when I completed it, I wrote it off as a glouper or less than desirable.  Today all that stands out are the colors which brighten the day.

The second is from imagination where I just played a bit with grayed colors and then the contrast of the pot.  I was pretty amazed by the results of the pot with the texture.  I worked it wet in wet, dropped little beads of color, waited until almost dry and then sprayed water over it.  Then as that was drying stippled with brush tip color here and there again.

Saturday, September 14, 2013

Movie 9 Characters - Ballpoint Pen

Another play using the ballpoint pen used on the last page.  The pen is definitely not behaving well now like it did with the first rose bud yesterday.  I found myself getting frustrated and almost didn't finish the page.  I was even tempted to grab one of my gel roller or fountain pens.  But I stuck it out feeling impatient to finish the page.  I want to try another ballpoint once I can get my hands on one.

This movie came on wee hours of the morning.  I thought the characters were adorable........loved the animation.  But I didn't follow the movie as I was too into wanting to sketch a few of the characters.

I may still do one of the full bodies as I thought they were cute........especially the one with the zipper......probably with a different type pen.

This was finished off with just a tad bit of color using Raw Sienna and Sap Green.

Ballpoint Pen Play

There was a discussion yesterday by Cathy Johnson about ballpoints so I had to try it.  Most of our pens are gel rollers but I did manage to come across a single ballpoint.

Because ballpoints have a tendency to "blob" and skip, I just never thought to use one in any serious sketching.  Boy have I been missing out!!!!

I love the value range you can get with one pen.  Unlike the gel roller or others where the ink flows pretty consistently, to get a different range of value with those pens, one has to hatch and cross hatch or hold the pen at different angles.  With the ballpoint, it depends on pressure and I like that.

I've been surfing the net trying to find out more about which ballpoints might be better and so far haven't really come up with a definitive answer.  Andrea Joseph uses all kinds to include the cheap Bics or dollar store pens....some with better results than others.  I guess I'll just have try a couple different ones beginning with the Bic as that was mentioned in several articles and comes in various colors.

Think I'll do more surfing today locating artists who work in ballpoint.  I'm really intrigued and for me this is like playing with a new toy.

Friday, September 13, 2013

Turkeys in Pen and Ink

One of the things we treasure about where we are at right now is all the wildlife we see.  Tucked back in the woods with only the clearing around the house, we have turkey and deer passing by all the time; bunnies and squirrels as well as chipmunks and other critters.

I was in my room with windows open not so long ago and was startled by this rustling sound outside my window.  Three turkeys had flown down into the shrub/tree close by making a ruckus.  I went over to see what what going on about the time they started dropping to the ground  strutting across the lawn looking for food.

Trying to move slowly and not startle them, I managed to get my camera taking several shots until one saw my shadow or heard me and headed for the safety of the woods.

It's surprising how fast these guys can move!

Thursday, September 12, 2013

Rough Sketches of UK Coast

Still playing with the Hero 578 bent nib pen and Lexington Gray ink.  These sketches are quick trying to maintain some free spirit and spontaneity.  I'm still trying to get the hang of using hatching and cross hatching for depicting various values.  It's easier with the finer nibbed pens building up values but I'm determined to keep practicing with the larger nibs and heavier ink flow.  Maybe I'll get better and then again........maybe not :-))

Worked in the Generic 9 x 12 Sketchbook.

From photos of my 2010 UK trip when Terry and I spent two weeks with our friends Clare and Robin.  I so love visiting that country!!


Chicken of the Woods Fungi?

We took a walk on our property in the woods and came across several areas where this fungi is growing.  We hadn't seen it before and might be due to all the rain we've had this year.

Searching on the internet, we think it's called "Chicken of the Woods" but not 100% sure on that.  The orange just seems to glow in the cover of the shade from all the trees.

Quick sketch in the Zeta journal first using the Pilot Prera with Lexy Gray ink; watercolor pencils, watercolor; and finished with a few touches of the Uniball 151 Brown Black.

Note to myself......I could have made this a little more lacy looking along the edges and darkened the center with more orange.

Latest Achievements

Yesterday I worked on several different sketches using different pens.

The first is a peace lily in my bathroom.  I used the Pilot Prera with Namiki Black ink which is water soluble.  I worked the outline, took a wet brush for the wash and then applied watercolor after the wash was dried.  I chose to use the 5 x 8 Zeta Journal because washes take longer to dry allowing one to work moving ink/color around.

The second is sketching people from my 2010 UK trip using the Pilot Prera and Lexington Gray ink.  Worked in the 9 x 12 Generic Sketchbook.

Last but not least was finished this evening.  I dug out my Hero pen which is a bent nib and worked these from photos taken during my 2010 UK trip.  The pen is loaded with Lexington Gray ink.  As noted on the page, the top sketch was using the pen close to being out of ink.  I managed to finish shading when it completely ran out.  The bottom sketch is after reloading with ink.  Was more difficult to control but coverage was definitely easier to achieve.

There is one other I worked on finishing in ink but I want to take color to it so chose not to share yet.

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

More Pen and Ink plus Watercolor

Today I managed two more sketches.

One I was playing with on regular copier paper as a practice before working in my journal.  I even took watercolor to it.  The results surprised me.  Not so sure I could do this again to my liking in my journal....(grin).

Used the Pilot Prera with Lexington Gray ink and then after the watercolor wash, went over areas with the Platinum Carbon with black ink.

This second was worked in the Alpha journal as noted on the page.

I've always been intrigued by doors and windows and surprised I haven't done more.  I think the problem is my mind is always thinking of various subjects I want to attempt.  I never know which subject I'll work on next. 

The Friendly City???

Here is a sketch I did of downtown Fairmont.  This is the heart of the city/town where the courthouse is located as well as other government buildings.

Fairmont's nickname is "the Friendly City" but in all honesty, I don't know how it got that name.  I've been here 17 years and personally find it to be just the opposite.  Maybe at one time the city warranted that nickname; however, most people of today walk around and work as if they couldn't be bothered or carrying chips on their shoulders.  You do find some friendlies now and then as you would anywhere.

This area sits across a river where Tygart River and West Fork River join in what's known as Buffalo Creek/Monongahelia River.  This area is also known as "West Side".

I may have to go back and try this again as I struggled with the perspective of the dome.  It's worked in my Stillman & Birn 4 x 6 Alpha journal using the Pilot Prera with Lexington Gray ink and Daniel Smith Watercolors:  App Green, Cerulean Blue, Bt Sienna, Cobalt Blue and New Gamboge.

It's taken me some time to gain the courage to even attempt this as city scenes can be daunting to me.  Plus side is I worked past my fears and gave it a try.  Maybe as I practice more, it will become easier for me.  ;-)

Sunday, September 8, 2013

I love illustrating

Here are two more sketches I worked on........

This first is in the Generic 9 x 12 sketchbook using the Pilot Prera w/Lexington Gray ink going back over some areas with the slighter larger nib on the TWSBI same ink.

Yesterday afternoon and evening I worked on these utility knives starting with the left page.  The handle is using the Blue Stabilo 88 pen hatching and cross hatching.  No wash was done to this.  Hatching is in all directions first with vertical lines, horizontal lines and then diagonal in both directions.  The shadow was created with the Pilot Prera and Lexington Gray ink.

The right page is using the Uniball UM 151 Brown Black gel pen for the wood part of the knives (which I failed to note in my journal) and the Pilot Prera with Lexington Gray ink.  I applied a light Bt Sienna watercolor wash over the hatching/cross hatching to give the handles a little more red tone.

I went over some areas with the TWSBI and Lexington Gray to emphasize some lines.

With the small hatch marks I use and the Pilot Prera with the gray ink, the results are almost like graphite.  I really like that pen!!!!

Saturday, September 7, 2013

My Sketching Frenzy

I seem to be in a sketching frenzy these days.  After sitting and thinking or questioning about this surge I'm experiencing, the answer is actually quite simple..........I'm trying to keep my mind occupied with something positive.

It's been four months now since Terry was laid off work.  Severance pay has ceased and his 26 weeks of Unemployment is soon to come to an end. 

At almost 60 years old, purchasing his first ever home just last year, and not so far off from retiring, he loses his job.  Everything right now seems so discouraging.

I sit back and watch a normally optimistic, happy man  lose heart and experience emotional meltdowns as he tries to find work before losing everything. 

So why the sketching frenzy???   I'm leaning on my sketchbook journals to find some solace.  I'm normally the pessimistic worry wart but I'm trying to be positive to help him through this. 

Friday, September 6, 2013

Playing with Stabilo Pens 88

Because of the rich colors these pens produce, I find myself wanting to do more and more pen work with them.  Here are a couple other illustrations practicing line work.

I am finding you can somewhat control the line thickness and light/dark marks with angle the pen is held as well as holding up higher on the barrel.

One could really become addicted with pen sketching!!!

I especially had fun with the stones and may have to do more.

Still At It Sketching

Here is what I've been up to over the last several days.  Still working with pen and ink primarily as I continue practicing hatching and cross hatching.  I tend to work fast and trying to slow myself down so my lines are more uniform.  I'm struggling with that, however.

This first sketch was using the Pilot Prera with Lexington Ink in the Zeta journal.  I may go back and apply a light wash of watercolor to selected ones or maybe all.  I'm still not sure yet.

Next is using the Uniball UM 151 various Color Black pens (0.38) on the right page, the TWSBI mini with Lexington Gray ink on top and bottom key on left page and Pilot Prera with Lexington Gray ink on middle key left page plus shading on the other two keys.

The TWSBI mini applies a wetter and thicker line of ink compared to the Pilot Prera.

My youngest son who is 25 shared this "prize" he got from a box of cereal he recently purchased.  I had to sketch it and send to him as a reminder >:-))

Using the TWSBI mini and Lexington Gray ink in the Generic No Name Journal.  

Playing with Stabilo Pens in the Generic No Name journal.

Most recent (tonight) did this two-page spread in the Alpha journal using the Uniball 151 Brown Black 0.28 gel pen.

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