Thursday, June 29, 2017

Always Test Company Claims - Uniball Pens

One of the things I've learned the hard way is to test the claims companies make about their pens / inks being water resistance or waterproof.

Perfect example is the Uniball Vision Elite roller pens saying the ink is water resistant.  Well with that term I would pretty much count on some bleed.  Only one color of the five I have stood up ok to a quick swish of water applied.  See left page.

The Uniball Vision Needle is what really gets me.  Right on the barrel of each pen is stamped WaterPROOF.  Now tell me...........what does the example below on the right page say to you?

ALWAYS test your pens and inks on papers you normally use before doing any serious work......especially if you plan to use washes with your ink drawings.

On a positive note.........these pens would be ok if after a wash effect........except maybe the red pigments?

75 Day Challenge - Day 33

Normally I shy away from the wetter feeding nibbed pens but here lately have been trying to learn to work with them.

This is a perfect example when the wetter feed comes in handy............when dealing with a lot of dark or in this case black.

I decided to sketch my Edison Beaumont fountain pen that has a black body with flecks of various golds throughout.  The wet feed made it much easier to fill in with the broader hatch marks.

With the Namiki Falcon, I sketched the pen and outlined the flecks in the body and cap.  Then filled in the black around the flecks.  Then I used my Lamy Safari with the dryer feed......holding the nib upside down for an even finer line, and worked the lighter shading on the flecks and metal parts of the pen.

I really enjoyed doing this and for a change didn't feel nervous jumping in with pen and ink.

Stillman & Birn Beta 3.5 x 5.5 journal

Tuesday, June 27, 2017

75 Day Challenge - Days 30, 31, and 32

Two more days of pen and ink only sketches.  Both in the Stillman & Birn Beta journal using two different pens with same ink.

This one I used both pens same page.  I used the wetter feed of the Falcon for about 98% of the sketch and the dryer feed (compared to the Falcon) of the Edison Beaumont to fill in some of the gaps between hatch marks and slightly adding some texture to the shingles.

An all day Zentangle

I worked this yesterday off and on to include early evening.  Kind of a fill in between doing other things.  And, I used one of the pages I colored with distress inks in the small S&B Beta journal.

The zentangle patterns from a new book I received called The Great Zentangle Book With 101 Favorite Patterns by Winkler, Beate

Saturday, June 24, 2017

75 Day Challenge Days 28 and 29

In my previous post I shared where I stained two pages in my Beta journal.  This is what I ended up doing on both pages.

75 Day - 28:  Flags at Wooten Park in Tavares, FL.  From our sketchcrawl last Tuesday. worked from a photo I took while there.  S&B Beta journal using the Edison Beaumont fountain pen and Lexington Gray ink.

 75 Day - 29:  On location relaxing in a lazy boy chair watching youngest granddaughter's stuffed monkey  :-)  S&B Beta using the Namiki Falcon fountain pen and Lexington Gray ink.

Art Journal Page Background Experiements

Yesterday I decided to play a bit preparing a few pages in my journal with stain and with Distressed Inks.  Although I prefer to sketch and paint on white, I did want to experiment a bit just for fun.

First thing I tried was staining two pages with coffee.  I found instructions somewhere telling us to take strong coffee grounds (fresh) and place about one to two tablespoons  in the center of a paper towel.  You bring the corners up wrapping the coffee and securing with a rubber band.  Next you dip into a container of hot water getting the coffee good and wet and then stamping onto the paper.  I let the pages sit for a few minutes until the paper soaked in the water/coffee and then took a hair dryer and finished drying.

Here I'm showing a Stillman & Birn Beta journal with two pages stained.  I didn't want to go too dark as I planned to work pen and ink sketches on both pages.

(Photo taken with Ipad.  Not the greatest at depicting the proper color with the lighting I had)

After I finished the staining, I decided to try using Distressed Inks and activating with water.  They are suppose to bleed and blend beautifully but I had trouble with the results.

On the right side of the S&B Beta paper surface, I stamped each color directly onto the paper and then used a spray bottle to wet the paper letting colors merge and blend (holding at an angle to make the water run).  For some reason in this particular journal, the stamp impressions remained and the colors didn't merge and blend as a small section did in a larger Stillman & Birn Beta journal on the back side of a page.

So I also tried the same stamping technique with sprayer bottle on the wrong side of the page in my little journal and it worked better with only a slight impression still showing on the page from the stamps.  Still didn't work as well as my little experiment in the larger book.

Now what would I personally use these pages for???  I honestly don't know.  For the page that didn't blend very well I decided to just write on it.  For the other...........who knows.  I don't have that great of an imagination or creative mindset to really know what to do with it.  Maybe just do an ink sketch over it with no real planning or anything.

The page with the writing was done using a Pilot parallel calligraphy pen.

With this next page I decided to use an applicator to transfer the Distressed Ink onto the paper in circular motion.  This is on the wrong side of the journal page.  Then I gave it a spray with water.  Color didn't really move all that well this time.  Again I have no idea what I'd use this page for.  Maybe I'll do some stamping or word art but I'm not too familiar with doing either at this point.

Friday our Art League is getting together to work on monoprinting using gelli plates and other printing techniques on our journal pages.  Maybe from that I'll find some incentive or ideas to finish the two inked pages above.

Thursday, June 22, 2017

How to Disassemble Your Favorite Fountain Pens

A friend on Facebook shared about a video series that shows us how to disassemble several of our favorite fountain pens (thank you Kate Powell).  Here are just a few videos along with the link to the video series itself:

How to Disassemble the Lamy Safari:

How to Disassemble the Namiki Falcon:

How to Disassemble the Pilot Prera:

The Disassembling Line Series

75 Day Challenge - Days 23 through 27

All are worked in Stillman & Birn Beta journals using various pens as noted on the pages.

Sunday, June 18, 2017

Sketchcrawl Saturday June 17, 2017 - Yalaha Bakery

There is a bakery that specializes in German breads and pastries about a 25 minute drive from where we live.  Inside is the bakery plus a deli that also sells German meats and prepares simple meals.  This place is quite popular too.

There is outside seating along with a few other for live entertainment and one where pizzas are made.  A really lovely and relaxing atmosphere.

For our sketchcrawl, seven of us met up to enjoy the treats, listen to live entertainment (a group of four men called La Grange who play country / bluegrass), and sketch/paint until about noon.

Already shared in my previous post, this was my first sketch which took care of Day 22 of my ink only challenge.  It's a pizza oven that sits outside.

Next I decided to sketch the band as they played..  I managed to get one guy playing the guitar and surrounding structure / foliage but decided to finish the rest at home.  I took a picture in order to continue with the other guys and adding ink and watercolor.  The ones showing are the two main guys in this band from what I understand.  One was blocked from my view due to the tree and the other............well I ran out of paper.

I also worked a quick pencil sketch of one of the guys sitting and listening to the band play before he decided to get up and go inside the bakery.  What made me choose him was the fact he was partially hidden by the planter.  He was really into the music too :-)  One thing I failed to get was a photo though in order to add the table and surrounding chairs so just added ink and watercolor to what I had down on paper.

This shows the before and after adding color.  Likeness is way off as the ending results makes this guy about 20 or 30 years  

75 Day Challenge - Days 18 - 22

So far this is what I've accomplished with the ink only challenge.  For the most part I am working one each day but I think there's been a day or two that I did something else and just picked up the next day where I left off.  I'm trying to remember to write on each page what pen I'm using as I bounce around and play with various pens.  All worked in the Stillman & Birn Beta

Yesterday was Day 22.  We had a sketchcrawl at Yalaha Bakery in Yalaha, FL and my first sketch there was for the pen and ink challenge.  We sat outside where there was live entertainment by a band called La Grange.

For Day 21 I worked these palms.  One of the things I absolutely love about living in Florida.  There's just something special to me about these trees and I searched online to see their symbolic meanings across the globe and cultures.

For Day 20, Ron sent me some photos he had taken while on their vacation at Cape Hatteras.  One that perked my interest in sketching was this bird's eye view of this building.

Day 19 was practicing with a Micron using various pressure holding the pen and at different angles to achieve the different values in hatch marks.

Day 18 was a quick sketch of one of the ladies in our sketching group.  A week or so ago, Shari and I drove around checking out some places for our group to meet up at.  We took various photos and she happened to be caught in one I was taking atop of a parking garage looking out over roof tops.

Sunday, June 11, 2017

Afternoon Outing

Yesterday, Terry and I decided to drive around a bit checking out a bakery that Shari told me about and showing Terry the old Church (not in use) Lee told me about.  We got a late start and hoped our afternoon trip would be before the rains hit us.  We did run into a few showers along the way but nothing serious and they were quick.

First place we went to was the bakery.  We chose to go there first to try out their goodies as neither of us had anything to eat yet..  A lot of what they sell is German baked goods as well as meats and meals at their deli.  Terry spending a good bit of his life in Germany was super excited about a German bakery/deli close to us.

Terry loved what he tried but I wasn't all that impressed with what I had.  To me the baked goods were dry.  I tried one of their pretzels which was tough (they were cold off the shelf), a cheese croissant (not very sweet and dry), and a couple bites of Terry's croissant ham and cheese sandwich.  The two croissants were supposedly warmed up but barely.  I ended up bringing home what I bought and stuck them in the microwave.  That helped to some degree......especially the pretzel.  To make my cheese croissant better, I added some strawberry sauce to give it some flavor.

After walking around taking pictures, we went next door to a fruit stand/distillery where they sell moonshine.  The guy there gave us a little taste of two just a plain (similar to vodka) and the other a brandy type.  The plain was nice and smooth.  The tiny taste of the brandy moonshine about took my breath away nearly causing me to choke.  We ended up purchasing tomatoes and a watermelon and went on our way.

From there we drove to Mount Dora where the Church sits just below a service station, took more pictures, and then made our way home.

Saturday, June 10, 2017

75 Day Ink Challenge - Days 11-17

Not only am I gaining more experience jumping in with pen and ink only, I am really getting to know my favorite fountain pens and what I might be able to do with them as far as line strength and coverage with the paper surface.  I this case (so far) Stillman & Birn Beta.

I'm learning that for better control in line strength, my Lamy Safari is the easiest to go from light to dark just by how much pressure I apply when making my line strokes.  It has a dryer feed compared to my other fountain pens with the Platinum Carbon desk pen coming close with it's super fine nib.  And the other thing I'm learning is that I feel less intimidated going straight in with pen and ink if I use the Lamy Safari.  With light pressure, I can lay down a super light line and if I'm off, chances are it will be easy to hide with stronger pen pressure or shading.  Can't do that as easily with the wetter feeds or larger nibs.

Monday, June 5, 2017

Playing with Rocks

Last Friday at the Leesburg Art League Open Studio, we had a presentation by Gail Bannock on rock art.  She shared several examples from full painted landscapes to mandalas she had painted over the years and how she went about it with rocks found or purchased.

I already had an idea before Friday of what I wanted to do and worked on one that day.  But my goal was to create four to represent coffee types.  I'm a big coffee drinker from morning till bedtime or hot green tea.

The idea came to me after a friend of mine (thank you, Ginny) sent me a photo of owls with someone labeling each to fit the looks on their faces.  The photo was sent after my making comment in an email that I wasn't quite awake and needed some caffeine.

These were a blast to paint!!!!  I'm the one in the back............LOL

Now I want to figure out a way to display them holding little signs of what coffee type they are.  I'm thinking possibly using a clay saucer lined with Spanish or sphagnum moss (like a nest) and hot gluing these standing up.

Sunday, June 4, 2017

75 Day Challenge - Days 7-10

Here is a line-up of sketches worked for the last four days.  All worked in the Beta journal.  All with Lexington Gray ink but with different pens (Lamy Safari and Pilot Falcon).

Thursday, June 1, 2017

75 Day Challenge - Days 4, 5, and 6

So far so good with my repeat of the 75 Day ink only challenge.  For the first four days I used a ballpoint or roller pen.  Last night I was back to using one of my beloved fountain pens - Lamy Safari.

Stillman & Birn square Beta journal.

Day 6 - Lamy Safari with EF nib.

Day 5 - Using a UM 151 ballpoint or gel roller pen that gave me a lot of problems.  It's been sent to time out for who knows how

Day 4 - Finished the page I was sketching people.  Sketched two for this particular day using Papermate stick ballpoint pen.

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