Thursday, February 20, 2014

Double Dare Challenge

One of the subjects I tend to struggle with are mass groupings of flowers.  When I see a bouquet of flowers, I feel overwhelmed with the tangle of leaves and flowers.  It's really quite challenging for my eyes and brain to focus on one spot at a time.

In one of my groups, I posted this picture as a possible challenge using medium of choice for anyone interested and also as a call for help asking how others might approach it.  Several jumped on the challenge.

Of course I still sat back very skeptic I could get past the visual chaos until last night.

In another thread there was a discussion about folks using pencil guidelines before pen and ink.  I'm one of those folks.  Although I have worked several pen and ink quick sketches with no pencil guidelines, I still feel that hesitation jumping right in with ink.  Even to the point my hand can become shaky making it difficult to sketch.  I know it's just a mental thing and something I need to work on.

A few of us admitted we use pencil first and a lady dared us to try a serious sketch with pen and ink only.   Then she double-dared us :-)

Here I had the challenge of the sunflowers still to do and now the double dare on using only pen and ink for a serious sketch.  So I thought OK............I'll take care of both challenges at the same time.  And to add to the challenge (not intentionally), I chose a journal with paper that is not the easiest to work.  You can't linger with nib on paper as the paper is like a sponge and soaks the ink right in.  But for the subject, I wanted to use the brown paper that's in this journal.

Am I a glutten for punishment?  Yeah......I must be!!!!

I started this sketch like around 9 pm last last night beginning with the upper middle flower.  Next came the one opening up next to the one I just worked.  And if it weren't challenging enough, I just had to try and visually change things from how they were in the photo for better composition. It was slow going but so far so good.

Next I worked the the bottom right flower and there I got stuck.  I hit a brick wall not knowing what to do next or where.  I felt lost and confused..........truthfully ready to give up.  But determination kicked in and I moved on.................good or bad with my decision, I added a few of those little flowers at bottom mid area.

The left flower came next and then I had to figure out how to fill in all the rest.

I had to keep putting it down and studying what was there already.  I had to try and visualize how this or that might look before taking pen to paper.

I used two pens............the Platinum Carbon pen with Lexington Gray ink and my dry feeding Pilot Prera with the same ink.  I was able to get light values with the Prera.

Finally I worked through and finished the page and I looked up to see it was 5 am in the morning.  :-)

Here are the results and I'm honestly blown away that I actually did this and I actually like it and feel great I succeeded in the double whammy challenge.  Am I ready to take on another similar challenge like this???  NO WAY!!!!  Not anytime soon, that is ;-)

Yesterday's Accomplishments

Yesterday I was sitting looking out the window as the sun was shining and our temperatures reached the low 50s.  With all the storms that have passed over us, we've accumulated about 18 inches of snow.  We've been stuck up on this hill for four weeks with only a one day window where we were able to get down the quarter mile drive safely. 

Although it was warm yesterday and again today, it's going to take several days to melt this away.  And so far the drive up the hill is still treacherous due to a couple inch thick sheet of ice that was under the snow.  Even the slushy areas are slippery!  Terry's out now trying to break it up and lay salt down. 

Here's a watercolor sketch I did as I was looking out the window....

And before I worked the watercolor, I worked on this pen and ink sketch.  Perspective is not quite right, I don't think, but I enjoyed doing it just the same.

As I was working the sketch, I lost sight of sunlight and shadow.  When I first thought I was done, I sat there looking at the sketch and realized the values were all the same as if a cloudy day and yet I had included cast shadows on the ground.  Didn't look right by any means!  Here it was worked in pen and ink and I needed to fix the lighting.

So I grabbed my trusty white gel pen and covered some of the ink marks on the sunny side of the buildings and posts and took a Neutral Tint wash over what should be the shaded areas.

I think what also helped make it a little easier to cover the ink marks was the fact I used my Pilot Prera with the dry feed and Lexington Gray ink.  I struggled getting the ink to feed dark anyways.

Just Playing for Practice

Here are several pages worked in the Handbook over the past week.

The top three using watercolor first and then pen and ink and the bottom one primarily pen and ink with a little color added last.

Trying a Regular Gel Pen

This is a little sketch I did in the Generic Sketchbook trying my regular writing gel pen.  It's a Uniball Signo 207 pen.  I've been using this type pen for years as I love how it writes.

Sketching with it wasn't quite what I expected.  It wanted to skip on the paper.  Although the pen still has at least half the ink left in the cartridge, it's possible due to age the ink might be a bit on the dry side.  I may have to try this again with a newer pen as I know other people who just love it for sketching.

And just for fun, I tried something a member in a group I'm in often does with his pen and ink sketches.  He will paint up a sheet of watercolor paper with various colors and then using photoshop merge the image of the painting and his ink sketch. 

Here are two I did looking a bit different depending upon how I turned the watercolor image.

This one the pattern looks like a heart around the bear :-))

Thursday, February 13, 2014

Various Mediums, Various Subjects

Catching up again :-))

Those with pen and ink only were challenges where no pencil was used.............just jumping in and trying to capture as close as possible correct angles, shapes, etc.



Sunday, February 9, 2014

Opal's Fantasy Playmates

Using my 2" Birthday bear "Opal", I thought I'd just play around creating playmates for her.

Zeta Sketchbook, Platinum Carbon Pen and Pilot Prera with Lexington Gray Ink plus watercolors.

Still Life of Opal and Violet.  Sketched in the Zeta sketchbook but printed off onto copier paper trying to decide how I want to finish the page.  The color test version was done using watercolor pencils and a damp brush.

Catching Up

I haven't been too active lately but at least have a few sketches I've done since my last posting.

First two were done using a logo ball point pen I found.  One that you don't have to wipe blobs off after every other stroke on paper.  Was quite nice to use.  They were worked in the Generic Sketchbook

This also worked in the Generic sketchbook using water soluble ink and a damp brush.  Pilot Prera with Namiki black ink.

Monday, February 3, 2014

Another Snow Scene

Worked in the Zeta sketchbook using Pilot Prera and Lexington Gray ink plus W&N watercolors.

If winter has to consist of gray skies and cold weather, we can at least enjoy a white, fresh, blanket of snow now and then to help brighten things up a bit.  :-)

A little Imagination and Creativity

This started out to be a simple still life of an air plant in a piece of driftwood but ended up into something else.  To me looks like a creature crawling out of a tree stump :-))  Only thing missing are eyes.

Generic Sketchbook using a Micron 01 Brown pen and mechanical pencil for some of the areas.  Added a little watercolor using Daniel Smith pigments.

Sunday, February 2, 2014

Painting With Ink

Here's something that was different for me.  I've seen Steven Reddy work magic with ink so I wanted to give it a try.

Not having any India Ink, I chose to use my Noodler's Lexington Gray.  First I worked the sketch using the Pilot Prera and Namiki Black water soluble ink.  Then instead of watercolor, I mixed up a diluted pool of ink and painted with a synthetic round.  I'm not sure what ink might do to Sable and didn't want to take a chance of ruining my brushes.

I worked this in the generic sketchbook with no sizing and was quite amazed with how easily the ink went down.  I was expecting the paper to grab it right off and end up super blotchy.  Those areas that might look so (table surface) was done on purpose that way as I didn't want a solid color. 

If the area was still wet, I found I could work the ink somewhat like watercolor.  Lift too dark of an area with tissue or let it dry and it layered nicely..........without the layer beneath lifting.  A true example of how smooth the ink went down shows in the shadow beneath the stapler.

This was a nice change :-))

What to Sketch Today?

This is a collector "Fishing Bear" I purchased many years ago.  Besides the vest you see, he had a fishing hat with artificial flies (for fishing) attached as well as wearing boots.  A fishing pole was sewn to one paw that had a ceramic fish dangling from the end of the pole.  We are not sure what happened to these accessories after one of my granddaughters discovered him sitting on a shelf.  His head is quite wobbly only being held on with a thick strand of some type of material.  We can't remember if that was the way he was made or if the results of being played with.  But I treasure this little guy and love his face.  He has a unique look unlike other stuffed bears. 

Worked in the

Little Snow Scene

Although I wanted to sketch something on the 31st, I just couldn't seem to do anything right.  Not even a stick figure.  Maybe due to needing a little break after the several sketches worked on the

Before and after pen and ink worked in the Zeta Handbook.  Used my Pilot Prera with Lexy Gray ink and W&N watercolors:  Cer Bl, Cob Bl, Winsor Bl, RS, BS, BU and a touch of Light Red and Aliz.  The Winsor Blue was used to mix my evergreen tree color.

January 30th Sketches

January 30th was a productive day for me with sketching.  Felt great!

This first is another exercise using the Blue Gray Derwent watercolor pencil to put in a light sketch.  Next came the watercolor painting and final touches with pen and ink. 

I am finding I really like using the watercolor pencil for laying in a light sketch.  It's not easy to erase

Photo reference source from Paint my Photo / Max Hemingway.

Worked in the

This is one of the places my daughter in law and I drive out to doing house inspections (foreclosure properties).  Worked pen and ink plus wash.  I kind of misjudged on where I started ending with the edge of the house kissing the edge of the paper :-/  I might do this one again with watercolor. 

Generic Sketchbook with Pilot Prera and Namiki water soluble ink.

Still in the mood to sketch/paint, I grabbed two toys that are favorites amongst my dogs.  Each has their all time favorite with Smudge liking stuffed remains to chew on; Yorski loving the rubber chicken; and then Miya just loves to play..........mainly with rubber toys you can toss and she runs after but also loves  the stuffed toys now and then to shake or play tug of war.

Zeta sketchbook with Pilot Prera and Lexington Gray ink.

This next one I basically was after a pen and ink only using a Micron 01 Light Brown pen.  After I was done, I was in the mood to add a little watercolor just to add some extra zing to it.

Photo reference from Paint My Photo / Pauline Gough.

Worked in the Zeta Sketchbook

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