Saturday, December 31, 2005
This guy represents the events and activities of 2005. He formed and grew like a stalagmite, adding layers of learning. Now he's looking around the corner at 2006.
I'm looking with him. And we're going traveling, visiting relatives who aren't (gasp!) on the web. I'll be drawing, chatting, knitting, and looking forward to all the EDM group's art that awaits our return.
Process: colored inks stamped onto Moleskine sketchpaper, tech pen drawing, watercolor added.
Thursday, December 29, 2005
When I don't have a specific thing to draw, I draw imaginary things, and a LOT of imaginary people.
This is last night's visitor. I named her Sheila. She seems to have terrible jaundice and eyebrows like a lot of my Santas.
Process: I've started keeping a little palette of Yarka w/c open by my favorite family room chair. They're super soft and always available for a quick wash over the tech pen. On lightweight drawing paper.
Wednesday, December 28, 2005
Tuesday, December 27, 2005
Rarely I can catch the cat's position fast enough before s/he moves. Drawing directly with paint is working better for me as long as I ignore fur markings and go for a mere suggestion of the shadows.
This cat is mostly gray, so fur markings don't confuse me, but I dipped into brown for this sleeping moment.
Process: w/c on Paperblanks (super white) blank journal paper.
With pencil and my tiger cat, it's easy to get confused between contour lines and fur markings. This time his position lasted just long enough to get some obvious ones down.
Pencil on very smooth paper in a top-spiralbound book. I haven't a clue who the manufacturer is, but I love the paper for dry media.
Monday, December 26, 2005
In spite of being urged to do more, including my favorite smashed can Santa (a very rare and irreplaceable collectable), this is the last Santa drawing for this year, as Christmas is over.
This ornament is a sand dollar, whose very faint shell shadowings are difficult to indicate. Same process, and now I move on.
Sunday, December 25, 2005
Saturday, December 24, 2005
Friday, December 23, 2005
I have a small ornament collection of Santa faces. It's time to draw them before they go back into the attic for their long hibernation.
Process: water-dipped pencil and washed pencil for color on a frame of tech pen.
I could have planned differently, doing this in a small Moleskine, but now I kind of like the seam there. Adds flavor.
Thursday, December 22, 2005
Wednesday, December 21, 2005
Using w/c pencils dipped in water has never been successful for me. In this case, I had a long sharpened point and stroked it on the side. The water carried by the wood section erratically dissolved the pigment. This random spiral shows the texture that emerges.
Prismacolor pencils on Aquabee sketchpaper. I'm waiting for my Palomino w/c pencils to arrive and I'll see the difference.
Sunday, December 18, 2005
I designed a Christmas card for the first time in years, choosing Light as the one element that all spiritual people include in their practice. May the solstice bring us longer days and the holidays bring us joy and shared caring.
W/c on Strathmore cards.
Friday, December 16, 2005
Sunday, December 11, 2005
There's a joy in swirling color and letting forms emerge that surpasses all more restrictive attempts at representation or intent for the image.
It's my favorite painting exercise, in spite of unpredictable results.
One has to be willing to accept disappointment (what?! waste the time, paper and paint?!)
in order to give Surprise a door to come in.
Daniel Smith w/c on 90# paper.
Friday, December 09, 2005
Thursday, December 08, 2005
After the inked birds showed up in my Moleskine, this flock appeared in another journal. I am exploring this new (to me) paper--lokta, handmade in India.
Part of the blueish shadowing comes from oil pastels on the backside.
I like the color, the eggshell-like finish, and the deckled edge. It takes light water without soaking through too much. I also spread thinned Golden Absorbent Ground on it for a whiter background experiment that created interest w/c effects.
I found these lokta journals online at Ollie's Paper. Lovely stuff!
PS: I found this paper description on their website. (I have no personal ties to this seller.)
Graeham Owens' Lokta paper is made in rural, mountainous villages with no electricity. The paper has to travel for 5 days and 5 nights, on the backs of donkeys, to reach the nearest passable road. From this point it travels to Kathmandu, where the finished products are made.
This paper is acid-free and tree-free (the lokta bush completely regenerates after harvesting). It is made today just as it was a thousand years ago. It is pure, rustic, long-fibered, strong, and beautiful. It is, perhaps, the most perfect paper on earth.
Wednesday, December 07, 2005
I've just started painting with inks. This started out as ink blobs pressed between 2 pages of a Moleskine sketchbook. Then I saw birds in one side and drew them in. The other half of the experiment awaits development.
I love the intense color of ink, but am wary of disastrous spilling.
After doing just pencil, I had to go back to pure color. Gardener had asked me for an abstract, and this came out. Don't know if it's inspired by wrapped gifts or a cross or an intersection from the air.
W/C pencil on Aquabee Super Deluxe.
Thursday, December 01, 2005
Going through old art supplies, sometimes I find a few drawings in sketchbooks bought long ago. That paper is so much thicker than what we buy now for three times the price!
This is smudgy and picked up graphite from the facing drawing, but it's evidence I drew a little way back in 1979. I had time to draw when we lived for three months in New Mexico on (husband's) special job assignment.
I had long hair then, and I still have this carafe.
Wednesday, November 30, 2005
I think my favorite after-trip image is the griffin. He's such a cool mix of powers--clawed strength, flight, and serpent's lash.
Tech pen and Daniel Smith w/c on Strathmore Aquarius II paper--the mix of cotton and synthetic that cockles very little. It stays almost soft, a bit like painting on fabric. I'm liking it more and more, though I can only buy it online.
Definitely the paper I'll use for my next custom-made (coptic-bound) sketchbook.
Sunday, November 27, 2005
This is an imagined scene. My hand, the Michael statue, and church stonework: reassembled.
After I draw a thing on site, I like to use it in imagined scenes, sealing the shapes into my memory so that I can draw them anytime with fresh lines.
Tech pen and w/c, of course!
It's so much easier to avoid notice by my subjects when I draw their feet.
On the right side, those socks are much more colorful than the originals. Though one subject's socks (not posted) were bright orange and red. All the rest of his clothes, glasses, and hat were black. Fun to catch a glimpse of his colorful side!
Saturday, November 26, 2005
This structure stands at one end of the upstairs space at Saint Chapelle, the church on the Isle de la Cité with the fabulous walls of stained glass.
While drawing this (instead of attempting a sketch of the stained glass), I saw what I'd not have seen otherwise, the tiny lizard creatures crawling head down at the corners.
Tech pen in the W/N sketchbook.
In Orsay, this blue-doored church was our landmark for navigating the main shopping streets. The central structure of it was built in 1200.
There has been a settlement on this site on the Yvette River since 999.
Friday, November 25, 2005
We spent about 2 hours roaming inside Notre Dame and I drew a lot of little items.
(Scanned with the setting on color.)
Suddenly bells rang and three priests came out to celebrate Mass. I happened to be sitting to the side behind a small candlestand and was able to draw the priest at the lectern.
Those tall candles were on thin supports that swayed a lot when, later, someone snuffed the candles.
Tech pen in W/N sketchbook. Scanned in grayscale, taking away that blue cast. Still learning about the software side of art.
Thursday, November 24, 2005
This was the brasserie next to the train station closest to our B&B. I had tea there several times. The teapots were bright yellow and the hanging lampshades really were orange and yellow. The owner had his little dog there, as in most French restaurants, and it was a great place to hang out and draw.
Done in the sketchbook.
This was the wall and steps to the left of the Maison des Associations, posted earlier. Quickly drawn and colored on the spot, in spite of chilly air and a hard bench. Landscapes are not my thing.
Done on loose Aquabee sketchpaper. It's that blue wash again, too!
Wednesday, November 23, 2005
Usually the problem with sketching on site is the moving subject. For these, though, the problem was a continuous flow of people in the walkway between me and the statues, blocking my view.
And I wondered about the model for Schoenewerk, who had to hold that awkward head-down pose for HOW long?
Pen and shading wash in the W/N sketchbook.
Tuesday, November 22, 2005
The tiny vehicles of Europe are endlessly fascinating, and so much smarter than our behemoth gas-slurpers!
The hill wasn't this steep, though some are. Just one wheel and a metal stand touching the pavement!
Same process as the previous sketches.
Archangel Michael, outside Saint Chappelle in Paris. I think he used to be on the roof, now he's braced upright on the ground.
He can fly off if he wants to, of course. He held still for me here.
Tech pen and wash on Aquabee sketchpaper.
A statue in the Latin Quarter, just off the Blvd. St. Germain des Pres.
I guess he's a griffin, but the ones I've seen before have lion legs. Does anyone know what you call a flying snake/lion?
Monday, November 21, 2005
Sunday, November 20, 2005
When I started with the roof of this Maison des Associations in the little town where we stayed, I was focused and warm. As I got colder (weather overcast and chilly), the bench got harder, and I got bored with architectural drawing, I really lost interest by the time I got down to the ground floor.
Good thing it wasn't a taller building!
Ink and wash on 90# w/c paper.
In Paris we'd seen a gallery with beautiful line drawings backed by a swoosh of color. So I came home and rendered my water bottle.
Saturday, November 19, 2005
Carol, done in 3 stops before we had to get off. Six minutes means fast hair and simple shapes. That's my excuse! And I don't think her nose is right at all.
Tech pen. I don't do any pre-marking or drawing with a pencil. I like the uncertainty and the serendipity of what emerges. My subjects might not!
Jim looking down, and on a separate drawing, what he was looking at, writing in his Moleskine.
In the Picasso museum we saw this same layout, using one sheet of paper for the head, another crosswise piece for the torso. Better than squeezing it all on one, Picasso and I say.
The head scan was with "color" and the hands with "grayscale." The paper doesn't have a blue-cast except where I added paint.