Sunday, December 31, 2017

Final Journal Entry for 2017 - Happy New Years!!!

For my final sketch for 2017, I chose to work in my Beta Journal using the Hero 578 Bent Nib Fountain Pen.......using Lexington Gray Ink.

My goal for the year was to produce 356 sketches during the year and I know without a doubt that I achieved my goal.  In fact I stopped counting when I hit 360 which includes those I never shared online. 

Let's see how I do in 2018.

Happy New Years, Everyone!!!  :-)

Saturday, December 30, 2017

Zen - Doodling

Just playing around doodling with a few zentangle patterns.

This was worked using Procreate, Apple Pencil, and Ipad Pro.

Wednesday, December 27, 2017

Same Rose Different View

This is from the same roses I received from my step-son a few days ago but from a slightly different view.  Thought I would include part of the vase this time as well.

Procreate - Watercolor Tool Brush for color and Airbrush Tool for blending.

Tuesday, December 26, 2017

Roses from Stephen

For Christmas this year, Terry's son and family came in to spend a week with us.  For the most part we've just been chilling at home visiting but on Friday the family went to Sea World and Saturday was out to the mall to do some shopping.

Stephen surprised me with a vase of three beautiful roses that have a really nice subtle fragrance.  I have it sitting on my desk in the living room.  The only thing I didn't include in this color illustration that is in the arrangement is the baby's breath and a different type of greenery added for variation.

Procreate - watercolor brush tool / airbrush smudge tool

Wednesday, December 20, 2017

The Gift of Giving and Christmas Wishes

My youngest son works as an HVAC tech and was on call a couple of weeks ago.  On one of his service calls, he worked on this couples' unit who normally receives service by another service tech. 

The lady asked Travis if he would be so kind to give her regular service tech these hand carved Santas she had for him and his family which Travis was more than happy to do.

The couple was very pleased with Travis's work and mannerism and had him choose two Santas for himself........a tree ornament size and a larger a special thank you.

Ms Carol doesn't sell these but instead makes them out of chunks of wood as gifts to people.  I'd give anything to learn how to do these!

Anyways......Travis was excited and immediately thought of me.  Although he loves these Santas, he chose to give to me as a gift because of my love for crafts and art.  He also knew that I would want to sketch them...which of course I've done for this

Thank you Carol Williams for your kindness and giving nature!!!  Your Santas are absolutely gorgeous!!! 

Because of what these Santas mean to us as a family, I have decided to use them on my primary Christmas card to you.  A special acknowledgement and tribute to Carol Williams and our Wish for Happy Holidays to you.

Tuesday, December 19, 2017

What's The Difference Between Doodling, Sketching, and Drawing?

Great question which is interesting to look up to see the various opinions of what each of these terms mean to individuals or in general by most.  For some reason over the last few days I've been questioning myself just what the difference means to me.

It appears I have a strange strange way in how I view these terms and tend to interchange them from time to time.

For many people, doodling is mindless marks on paper without much thought.  That used to be my way of thinking too until I met Peter Saw.  He had an art forum called Paintdoodles that was created and provided to those folks who purchased his interactive watercolor CD years ago.  The concept of his teaching watercolor was by breaking down individual subjects/components rather than jumping right in and attempting a full scaled composition.  These individual components were labeled "doodles".

I view doodles as "cameos" or little jewels.  That to me could mean mindless marks on paper creating shapes or  intended / well thought out shapes and subjects captured on painting or drawing various trees......maybe, etc.

Sketching for most means preliminary lines on paper working out ideas, placement of subjects, tone values, etc.  whereas Drawing is the final well thought out, careful rendering of subject or composition.

I tend to use the term sketching for most everything I do even if it takes hours (or even days) to complete.  I already know what I'm going to sketch which is normally exactly what I see in front of me.  The term "sketching" is less intimidating to me than the term "drawing".  Sketching allows me not to stress over everything being perfectly captured on paper.  It's OK if the building is leaning or my lines are wonky and I tend to be happier with my own results when thinking in the terms of "sketching".    Sketching to me means spontaneous full of life (flaws and all) whereas drawing to me means often polished and stiff (at least with my own results).

Some of my "sketches" are quick and carefree and sometimes I refer to them as doodling but most often I label as quick sketching.  Then there are those sketches most would see as "drawings"  that take longer and end up as something I wouldn't mind framing or using as an illustration for cards or similar.  I guess it's all in an individual's perception and what the terms personally mean to them.

And this brings to mind another title or word meaning I see differently than the majority.....

..... the word Artist.  I won't label myself as an artist because to me an artist is a more professional term for those who do more than sketching or painting in a journal book.  Artists sell their work and they often put their work in shows to be juried.  They take composition, the elements and design in rendering their artwork serious.  I don't.  I try to capture exactly what I see in front of me even if it doesn't produce a proper composition according to the rules and guidelines.  I don't get into all the rules of elements and design .......... that's just not for me.  Yes I like the results to look pleasant but what I'm out to do is not to follow rules but instead just capture or record aspects of my life that tells a story .... mishaps and all.  Another reason I feel the way I do is the fact I lack the creative mindset I feel goes along with being an Artist.  I'm not good at dreaming up anything.  I'm not good at taking components and moving around to make a pleasing proper composition.....I basically put to paper what I can see in front of me. 

So if I don't see myself as an artist.......what am I?  I see myself as a sketcher and watercolorist and quite happy with those two terms.  Those terms are also less intimidating to me. 

Special Note:  I'm sure most people view all of these terms differently and most likely in the way the dictionary and art world views them...........this post in no way is meant to step on toes or offend anyone.  These are just my feelings and how I see things in my own little world of art and how I label what I am with regards to being an artist versus sketcher or watercolorist.  Thinking on these terms is what helps me continue with what I love to do and most accepting of my own results.  :-)

Ahhh The Beauty of Digital

With the last post I shared the digital drawing I did of my newest hand crafted pen, which is a ballpoint.  The coloring was showing as more of a copper tone where it should look more like antique gold.

I was able to go into the Procreate file, duplicate the color layer (I work everything in layers), and decrease red and increase green to give a color that's more like the real deal. 

My Newest Toy - Hand Crafted Ballpoint Pen

My newest pen (top in photo) was specifically made for me by Steve Kondo as a Christmas gift from Terry.  This makes two I now have that Mr. Kondo has created.  I'm waiting on one more which will be a dip pen holder :-)

And here is the sketch or drawing I've already done using Procreate to draw it.  My coloring is off as it looks more copper here but then the scan shows it more yellow than it should be too (particularly at the tip)........LOL.  It should be an antique gold coloring which I may be able to change fairly easily.  But regardless of the color, I feel pretty stoked over how it turned out.  I believe the name of this style is "The Professor" using a clockworks blank to create the barrel.

Crazy/Busy Time but Still Sketching

Between preparing for family to come, LAL Christmas party, sketchcrawls, creating name tags for several of the LAL Sketchers and OSF ladies, sketching schedule for January and February...........and one gift exchange already, I'm still trying to get in what sketching I can or feel up to.

This first is using Procreate with a brush tool called "Artist Crayon" I though had a really neat texture to.  I was just messing around with the tool and ended up with the figure you see far left, second down.  It took on the form of a person so I ended up doing this sheet or screen of figures.

During our first Christmas exchange, Santa Terry gifted me with this beautiful glass dip pen.  It comes in a set with three ink bottles, a porcelain water cup, and glass rest for the pen.

Here's a quick sketch using the glass dip pen and testing to see how the ink behaves with a damp brush.  The ink is very strong and goes a long way when's almost like it explodes across the paper.  It's hard to control...........something very much like I find with a Rotring F cartridge pen.

Sketch using Fabriano 140lb Cold Press in hand sewn journal.

My normal ink sketch with watercolor.  This is using the hand crafted fountain pen Terry got me for my birthday.

This next sketch is using a new ballpoint pen hand crafted for me.  A pen I'll share more about in a separate post.  Santa Terry had it made for me for Christmas.

I was testing to see how this pen with a Parker refill would behave.  Will it blob like many other ballpoints do?  Plus I was trying my hand at this reflection that I thought was cool.  It's the glass pen rest that goes with the glass dip pen above.  Worked in the Beta journal.

Almost forgot about this one.  Just messing around one evening taking peaks around my computer screen at Terry so he wouldn't know I was sketching him.  Worked in my small Beta journal.

He left to take Miya out for her walk so I sketched the chair again plus the lamp post behind it.

Saturday, December 9, 2017

Collector Figurine Sketches using Procreate

I love capturing my favorite things ..... figurines, art supplies, stuffed animals, etc.  After bringing these out for the Christmas holidays, I decided to sketch them.

This first group of figurines is from the collection "Sockings"

This is one of a few figurines from the collection "Friends / Friendship"

Both worked in Procreate.  The most challenging with these was coming up with a brush to render "glitter."  I finally figured out how to make a brush tool to do this and was quite pleased with the results.

Sketches Dec 3 and 5, 2017

Most recent journal sketches........

Sunday, Dec 3 from Terry's and my outing on the pontoon boat.  We decided to launch at Lake Eustis in Tavares and try out Dora Canal that connects to Lake Dora.  Once in Lake Dora, we headed over to the lighthouse in Mount Dora.  It was nice seeing this view from the water!!

Handsewn journal (Fabriano) / Pilot Falcon / Lexington Gray ink

Tuesday, Dec 5 from sketch walk outing with the LAL sketchers' group in Mount Dora.  We sat at the park looking across the street at this historical house called the Donnelly House.

Beta journal / Lamy Safari / Lexington Gray ink

Sunday, December 3, 2017

Holiday Wishes

We are well into the Holiday Season now that Halloween and Thanksgiving is behind us which can bring happiness as well as frustration to many if not most folks.

To help in maintaining peace of mind and one's sanity........any Christmas shopping you plan to do........I suggest to do so from home (sorry, local businesses).  

* NO idiot drivers to contend with
* NO parking woes
* NO long lines at the stores
* NO fear of being robbed walking from       stores to car (or vice versa)
* NO people looking for money at every       store entrance
* NO grumpy rude people to endure

I prefer to be a hermit this time of year because of all the things just mentioned and stay put in the SAFETY of my home!!! 

Here's wishing for you all a safe, fun, stress free, healthy, 
2017 Holiday Season. 

Holiday card created with Procreate sketching of one of my vintage snow people.

I'm Sure You Can Relate from Time to Time

This came about just playing with a brush tool and color and took a shape of its own which remarkably looks like my profile pulled back and all.  As I saw the shape come alive and how I was feeling with my head "splitting", I ended up with what you see here. 

I deal with headaches on a daily basis (or nearly every day) and have since I was a teen.  I've been checked for various things and nothing really stands out as the major cause.  I was told it could be any of what's mentioned in the border or a combination.  My dad had the same problem to include what's called cluster headaches.  That's not something I've been diagnosed with.......thank goodness. 

Friday, December 1, 2017

My Missed Hummingbird Friends

One of the things I miss most about living in central Florida is not seeing hummingbirds.  In three years I've seen a stray or two but nothing like what we had living in West Virginia. 

We had so many and spent long hours enjoying their antics as they flew around (to include our heads up under our covered porch) or fought off others over feeders.  I even had one sit on my finger and feed from a bottle cap held in my experience I'll never forget.

The other side of that in Florida I do enjoy other birds like the cranes that visit our yard daily and other birds we never saw up north.  I am still amazed by the size of the cranes.

Here is my latest procreate color sketch to kick off the month of December.  I may not get the opportunity to watch these guys now but at least I can sketch and paint them. 

Thursday, November 30, 2017

Latest Sketching Bag / Handbag

As most sketchers can relate with, I'm always looking for that "perfect" sketching bag.  I have several for various occasions..........some carrying more or less depending upon where I'm going, how far I have to walk from the car, etc.  I'm still looking for one I can carry all the time that also works as a normal handbag.

This so far comes the closest but wish it were about another inch larger all the way around.  Not too big but bigger than this one, which is 9 x 7 x 3.

Although I can carry my 5 x 7 hand sewn journal in the main compartment, it competes for space with my overly thick wallet (I use a man's tri-fold).   Recently I found a "mini" wallet I can carry one card, my license, and a few dollars cash which should work out beautifully but haven't used it yet.  I bought that for when I know I'm going out sketching a head of time and only want to carry the bare minimum in case robbed (and yes I think about that after my youngest son was robbed a few weeks ago).

I don't carry a lot of garbage in my handbag.....wallet, IB, keys, maybe lip balm, cell phone, and camera at times.  I wanted a bag large enough to where I can carry at least a pen, pencil, and small sketchbook with me at all times.  This works beautifully for that just mentioned.  But then it starts getting quite crowded with extras like folded paper towel, tissue, several pens, waterbrushes and palette.

For now this will work but I will continue to search for that perfect bag :-)

Tuesday, November 21, 2017

Urban Sketching - One of our Neighbors

I was suppose to go to a class this morning on Zentangles but had a bad night and never made it.  Instead I just sat around and looking out my window captured this scene of my neighbor at his truck and RV.

Went straight in with pen and ink capturing our neighbor first knowing he'd not be there very long.  Worked the rest of the scene after he had gone inside.

Platinum Carbon desk pen with Lexington Gray ink in S&B Beta journal (small)

Heather Oaks - Maria and Sheep

This sketch is from one of the photos taken during our first trip out to Heather Oaks Farm in Lady Lake, Florida.  It captures Maria (owner of the farm) calling the sheep trying to get them over closer to where we were standing.

Pencil sketch first followed by watercolor and then ink.  Lamy Safari used with Lexington Gray ink.  Stillman & Birn small Beta journal.

Saturday, November 18, 2017

Opal from Logo Design to the Real Deal

For those who know me and follow my blog, Opal is a miniature bear I often use as a model for sketching and painting.

After I worked a possible sketchers' group logo, I wanted to find a way to actually dress this little bear wearing a hat and backpack.

A dear lady (Steph) at "In a Nutshell Miniatures" shop in Tavares, Florida, specializes in miniatures from doll houses to furniture to accessories and food.  When I mentioned what I was hoping to do, she had me come by the shop and we worked on making my wish happen.  I sat across from her as we looked at various fabrics and she created the miniature backpack and dressed up a miniature raffia hat.

I also bought a miniature composition book, plain journal book and pencil to the scale I needed but haven't quite figured out how I want to attach without making it permanent with glue.

Watercolor Demo by Lyn Smith Worked in Procreate

Yesterday we had a wonderful watercolor demo with a great turnout at the Leesburg Art Center presented to us by Lyn Smith.  The purpose of the chosen subject and results was to teach us how to use two colors to produce the painting.  With Lyn's demo example, she used Coblt Blue and Burnt Umber.

She shared how she mixed a thick sticky base mixture of her two pigments and then adding water for the various values needed.  She shared how to lay down a small amount of dark color and fade it out creating soft edges like you see in the petals.

Take note of what she used here to mix her two pigments together.  I would never have thought to use a mini whisk like she is using here.  What a fantastic idea and it would save on the hairs of a brush most people use for mixing.

Initially, Lyn used two other color choices (I believe Aliz and a Phalo  Blue) for her original painting she completed taking a watercolor class.  For a different look and using non staining pigments she had us go for a blue tinted painting instead.

Well Susan being Susan, she decided to try her hand at seeing what she could do using Procreate instead.  Using methods of laying down a color stroke and blending..........trying to achieve a similar look using an Apple Pencil instead of a paint brush.

Although not the two colors as used in the watercolor demo, a very limited palette was used here.  A single blue was used and the values achieved either by light or heavier pressure and/or blending or fading out.  Two different values of green were used.......a very light and a very dark almost black was blended together for the background.  Then a bit of pink was added just for added interest.

One thing I could still do is go darker with my values in some areas of the petals nearest the center.

Thank you Lyn for a wonderful presentation and fun time we had :-)

Wednesday, November 15, 2017

Two More from Heather Oaks Farm

Two more sketches to share that I worked yesterday and today after our outing at Heather Oaks Farm in Lady Lake, Florida.

First is the owners' home.  There are technically other building structures around their house but I elected not to include them.........instead filling in with trees.  And I thought I would handle the trees differently from what I normally do for a different look.

This next one is of a lamb that the Mrs. has been bottle feeding.  I believe was an orphan the mother wouldn't have anything to do with.  He's precious to say the least and Maria holding him and how relaxed and at peace this little fellow was is what captivated me.

Tuesday, November 14, 2017

Rooftop in Procreate

This is from another photo taken while we were at Disney Springs for the USK 24 Global Sketchwalk.

This one was worked using the grid method with photo on computer with grid lines and grid on Procreate with layers added above it as I sketched the lines.  Removed the grid and added color.

Monday, November 13, 2017

Raggedy Ann Using Procreate

The more I play on my Ipad using Procreate, the more I'm enjoying the change and different challenges involved with digital sketching/painting.

I'm sure there are various ways to apply color........many of which are faster than what it takes me but I have found a method I really enjoy.  It's very time consuming like graphite can be for me when I get into putting down marks and blending.

My subject is a new miniature Raggedy Ann doll I found at a local shop in Tavares, FL.  I've always wanted one of these dolls and finally after 61 years, I finally bought one.  She comes in a matching fabric basket.  I had her sitting on my table and included the interior background which I chose to leave plain (no color).

Below the finished sketch I am sharing several steps.  This is about 21 or 22 layers total which includes a cold press watercolor texture background, date, signature, and a splatter layer.

These four screen shots show how I work the color.

And here are the steps from line drawing, adding hatching for shading, to finished results with color.

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