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.

Sunday, November 17, 2013

Peace Lily - Dried up Flowers - Demo

Working with dried leaves with curls and shading, I found these dried up Peace Lily flowers to be a perfect specimen to practice the added bonus of the stamen.

Thought I would share the steps I took to create this journal entry :-))

Worked in a Moleskine Sketchbook......

First I did the initial pen and ink sketch using the Micron 01 Brown pen.  I used stippling for ink shading rather than hatch marks as to me it just looks better. 

Next I took the Inktense "Mustard" watercolor pencil and lightly went over the entire flower portion (stamen worked later).  Watercolor pencils are used dry without taking any water to them.

Once that was done, I began the shading process applying more pressure with this same pencil.

Then I took the Inktense "Willow" watercolor pencil darkening the shading I had already done with the previous pencil.

Once I was happy with the shading, I started working on the stamen (see illustration below).  Once that was completed, I looked over the overall tones and darkened my shading if necessary with the Willow and touched up here and there with the Micron along a few edges.

NOTE.............the stamen demo below shows me adding a blue shadow to the stamen.  That was purely for the illustration.  In the actual flower, my Willow Inktense pencil is all I used re-emphasizing a few "circles" or "Squigglies" along the edge with the Micron Pen.

Using the Uniball White gel pen, I dotted in the white pollen.  In a few areas I even added a dot here and there using the Micron 01 Brown, taking care not to over do it.

Final, I added shadow with the Derwent Blue Gray watercolor pencil.


Saturday, November 16, 2013

Back on Memory Lane - Disney 2009

This is from a photo I took while on holiday with my brother and his family at Disney World.  I was taking photos of just the surroundings and people in general.

The people in the background were formed from squiggly lines initially intended to represent foliage around the buildings.  As I sat looking at the foliage, I started seeing people shapes and decided to emphasize those shapes :-))

This was a lot of fun and I'm sure mainly due to the fun memories of this trip together.

Wren Challenge by Nan Vore Burger

This is a challenge where Nan (thank you Nan!!!) uploaded a photo and people within the AJW group was welcome to use as a reference for painting and/or sketching.

I chose to do mine in pen and ink. 

The original photo had the wren sitting on a bare branch.  As I worked this, I added the berry in the mouth (which started out as a simple circle to help me define the curvature of the beak).  Then added some leaves plus the border.

Practicing Animals Using Box Shapes

Taken from the book, "Wildlife Sketching" by Frank Lohan, I practiced a few animals using his box shape examples.

It's one thing for me to follow already laid out box's another to actually visualize them when looking at an actual animal.  You'd think looking at something and working with shapes would be easier but it doesn't really work for least broken down shapes within a subject.  My eyes see the overall shape and stops there.

Nest Study

Because I struggle with negative shapes, I tend to avoid subjects like this.  Yesterday I finally made myself sit down and do some practice.  By the time I reached the bottom, I felt more at ease with what I was doing.

Thursday, November 14, 2013

New Art Form - Zentangles

A gal in one of the groups I'm in asked me the other day if I had heard of Zentangles.  I hadn't heard of the term but after surfing the web, I realized I had seen this style in another group but just didn't know what it was called.

After studying several examples and reading what I could find on it, I decided to give it a go.  Talk about fun and relaxing!!!!

Back years ago I used to do what I called "Kaleidoscope Cameos".  The idea was to draw out a shape and then with light pencil do a squiggly line creating segments.  Within those segments I would use different color watercolors and different techniques..........salt, water drops, glazing, etc.

Using that same concept and what Zentangles is all about, I worked one of my original watercolor lizards but used the various patterns instead within the segments.

Here are a few more with the mushrooms finished last night.


Rather than just working in a box making random shapes and patterns, I prefer to have some sort of subject to work on.

Now this is my idea of fun doodling :-))  Thank you Carol!!!!!

Simple Pen and Ink with Watercolor Pencils - Dry

I needed a break after all the stippling I did with the dog toys but still wanted to sketch something.  Here is a very simple sketch of field flowers or weeds I had taken pictures of early Spring.  It was snowing the day I sketched this :-))

Miya and Her Toys

One of my weak areas (or so I feel) are sketching animals.  Especially if they have the long curly fur.  I've tried several times trying to capture my "baby" on paper but never liked the results.

Wanting to try again, I decided to sketch some cats.  The reason for cats is because they can be so poised and offer greater poses than a dog might.

Here is my warming up with cat figures:

After this I attempted Miya in pencil.   

Then I took pen and ink to this using the dryer feed Pilot Prera and Lexington Gray ink..  I prefer the results of the graphite because it is soft and fresh looking.  The pen and ink is OK but to my eyes looks a bit stiff.  I'm still happy overall with the results.  All graphite was erased after the pen and ink and then went back over using the graphite for some shading in places rather than ink.

And here are a couple of her toys.  When I was done with this, my hand actually hurt.....all that stippling!!!!  I love the results with all the dots but on this paper, it was a challenge for my pen and my hand.  It took a long time to do this.

Monday, November 11, 2013

Fountain Pens Comparison

Tonight I've been playing with each of my fountain pens comparing nib size and ink flow.  Thought I would share the following with you:

NOTES:  My own personal thoughts

a.  I have two Pilot Preras (both Fine nib) and each feeds ink differently.  One dryer than the other (which I like)
b.  Love the feel of the shorter pens in my hand.
c.  The Platinum Carbon pen is a desk pen with a long thin tapering barrel.  We cut it just below where the cartridge sits inside in order to post the cap.
d.  The Lamy Safari is a nice pen but I find the squared barrel to start hurting my hand after a long period of time.
e.  Both Noodler Flex pens have to be jump started for ink flow by dipping in water.  Other pens with the same ink doesn't do that for some reason.  The Creaper to me feeds better but it might just be a nib adjustment to make the Konrad flow properly.
f.  The Hero 578 is a bent nib calligraphy pen.  It's metal and quite heavy.  Large in my hand and I can't use it for any real length of time before having to take a break. It is a fun pen to play with!
g.  My top two favorite pens are the Pilot Prera #3 above (the dryer feed allows me better control with values) and the Platinum Carbon.  My preference is using a pen with the finer nib point and with the Lexington Gray ink because it's not as stark as black.

Sunday, November 10, 2013

Artist's Journal Workshop Challenge 2

After the crab apple challenge, another member of the group uploaded four photos of a jade plant hoping to inspire folks to continue with he joint project idea.

The member is Jacqui Petersen.

This one took me a long time to do.  I first used my Pilot Prera with Lexington Gray ink sketching out the shapes and stippling on only a few of the leaves.  Then I started with Inktense pencils dry.  As I worked, I would stop and take a damp brush to the color.  Then go back if necessary and add more dry pencil.  Final detailing with a Uniball Bordeaux Black gel pen.

I found myself fidgeting.  Adding color, trying to lift if already wet and erasing color if still dry (before the wash).  I have limited colors in the pencils and I didn't really care for the greens I had to choose from.  I also struggled keeping the "wash" clean because I was using complimentary colors that mixed together can turn dull or grayish.

4 Greens, 2 Reds, Dark Blue, a light brown and Gray Inktense pencils.

Moleskine Sketchbook

Holly Leaves Pen and Ink plus Watercolor

While out with my daughter-in-law doing house inspections for her job, I came across this holly tree at one of the houses we went to.  I took several pictures and from those pictures I came up with this page arrangement.

Pen and Ink in Moleskine Watercolor sketchbook
Pilot Prera with Lexington Gray ink using the stippling effect for shading.
Watercolors Used:  Daniel Smith - Fr Ultramarine, Sap Green, Aureolin, Perm Aliz, Quint Bt Orange, and Winsor & Newton Skarlet Red.

I used Sap Green as a green mixing base adding the yellow and/or blue to give me different greens.  Also added Perm Aliz to darken one of the mixes for the deepest greens.

The berries were worked in such a way where the left bunch is more vibrant for the focal area.  Then slightly lighter to the right and blue glazed over the red in the back three berries to help push them back.  Notice I placed the lightest more vibrant greens near my focal area.

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