Friday, February 29, 2008

they're not bulbs anymore

I guess we need to call them lightcoils now. Have you ever traced the path of a compact fluorescent with your finger? It feels something like a mobius strip.

Pencil to find the path, then inked it over, on Paperchase sketchbook paper.

Happy Leap Day!

Wednesday, February 27, 2008


I did a random abstract, cut out the part I liked best to paste in my journal--merely for a color boost. Then I saw a duck looking out at me.

He doesn't have perfect features, but then, who does?

Monday, February 25, 2008

mindful drawing

Drawing slows me down to really see the object or the person I'm drawing. Frederick Franck said it perfectly in The Zen of Seeing:

Drawing is the discipline by which
I constantly rediscover the world.
I have learned that what I have not drawn,
I have never
really seen.

To draw something is to really see its parts, its proportions, its wrinkles and curves.

I drew this pencil piece in 1979, when I had a previous surge of time and drawing obsession. I haven't done such an ambitious reflection piece since!

It's a rare piece kept from earlier drawing days, thus the smudges (posted here back in 2005 when I started this blog). I still have the carafe, too.

Sunday, February 24, 2008

for the survival kit

I have a friend who once said that if she had to pack for exile to a desert island, one of the things she had to take was double-sticky tape. Huh?

But now I'm a convert, taping things into my journal instead of glueing. This stuff is so easy, doesn't wrinkle the paper, doesn't have to dry. I love it!

I found some rolls on sale at Staples, so now I have a new little dispenser just for the doublesided tape. Another sign of luxurious living!

Saturday, February 23, 2008

quick and slow

Drawing practice can take an extensive a mix of skills and approaches to the subject. I'm working on two lately--trying to draw what I saw in a quick glance, and the opposite--slowing myself down to record the overlapping shapes of something more detailed.

So this page has one of each: the cranky turtle from the Comcast TV ad, done from memory of what I thought I saw, and a group of sansevarias that I accurately recorded with (for me) more patience.

Is there such a thing as accurate impressionism? I think that's my artistic goal.

Fountain pen and w/c on Aquabee Superdeluxe

Friday, February 22, 2008

standing student

This was a small woman in very large clothes toting a very large bag.

I caught what I could in the moment, painted later.

Tech pen and w/c on Aquabee superdeluxe.

Thursday, February 21, 2008

yet again

Cat and paint patches. I'm playing with unfamiliar shades of Daniel Smith paint here.

Mostly deciding to go back to my usual hues.

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

canine turn

I rarely draw from a photo.

As a way to develop the "seeing" part of the drawing process, I avoid copying an already flattened image.

But this puppy from was too cute to pass up.

Tech pen and w/c on SuperAquabee

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

the familiar (no witchy implication)

Yet again, a hunched cat. But I'm faster now at accurately capturing the proportions before the model moves.

My usual pen, paint and paper, ho hum.

Monday, February 18, 2008

making a palette

I've made many mini-paint palettes, but this is my favorite. From the dollar store, get a multi-hole eye shadow kit and scrape out the powder or cream.

Instead of my first method of putting in half-pans, now I put in just a dab of tube paint so there's space to make a pool of thinned color in each cavity. I can vary the colors more often and don't need to mix in the lid as much.

Tech pen and w/c on Aquabee Superdeluxe

Sunday, February 17, 2008

Michael's man

There was such a long line for the register at Michael's, I had time to draw the man in front of me in my new Windpower sketchbook with my new .5mm Martha Stewart pen.

He was buying a pad of canvas paper. Michael's is the only local store for a decent range of art supplies, and checking out always takes at least 10 minutes. Might as well use that time to create!

Saturday, February 16, 2008

radio blues

I repeatedly pick up those journals with the interesting paper from Asia that's cream-colored with bits embedded in it--flicks and strands. But after buying one, I hate the paper for writing and drawing on. It's too absorbent, too rough.

It would make good wrapping paper. Its main advantage is no lines.

Here I glued a page of it in my current journal and painted on it with tech pen and Art-Kure brush pens.

Friday, February 15, 2008

sienna cat

The curled sleeping cat provides a constant form for my main goal--stroking on a variety of paint to see how they flow and mix.

Chaucer is always glad to provide that modeling service.

I've learned that the term for putting all the colors on in one session, instead of repeated layers of glazing and drying, is "direct painting." The one thing I learn from reading about painting is how to categorize and label my methods for those who take painting classes.

I'm a fan of classes for most things (working in a College, after all), but for me, not painting.

W/c on 140# W&N paper.

Thursday, February 14, 2008

three views

Drawing something that stays perfectly still is a real luxury.

May you carve out a fabulous time on Valentine's Day.

Tech pen and w/c on Aquabee Superdeluxe.

Wednesday, February 13, 2008


This is a plastic, slightly squishy, cupie doll from . . . the 1950s? . . . that floats to the surface in our stuff once in a while. She's Fiskars-scissors orange in real life.

The high ridge along the top of her head is the molder's indication of hair. Early mohawk.

Practice with direct brush drawing on Aquabee superdeluxe.

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

split face

Random doodling.

Art-Kure brushes (which contain ink, not paint) on Moleskine w/c paper.

Monday, February 11, 2008

The Iceman Cometh

It's rare that I paint an abstract in one orientation and then decide I like it better displayed another way.

True of this one, though. And now I see things I didn't see when I painted it (which was a several-day process of random additions).

W/c on 140# Winsor & Newton paper

Sunday, February 10, 2008

less drag, less precision

After drawing the glove with pen on one kind of paper, I had to try brush-drawing it on 140# Winsor & Newton paper.

The flow, the drag, the scale, the control--differing materials make a subtle, but distinct difference in process.

Saturday, February 09, 2008

hard and soft

Two random items lying on the coffee table.

Tech pen and wash on Cachet drawing paper.

In my current drawing mania, I have sketchbooks lying all around the house and just use what's closest. That's why I list so many papers among these daily posts.

Friday, February 08, 2008

my favorite shoes

They're the most comfortable ones I own, stretchy and slipper-like fit. Also, not shown here, totally black to go with any outfit.

Tech pen and w/c on Aquabee superdeluxe.

Thursday, February 07, 2008

another backside

This appears to be a deck chair on the Titanic.

I'm drawing some of my standard models from a different angle.

Pencil, soluble pen and w/c on Aquabee superdeluxe.

Wednesday, February 06, 2008

always the cat back

When they see me drawing them, either Fen or Chaucer, they get extra twitchy or turn their backs. So often the only view I have is something like this.

Pencil and w/c on Raffine paper.

Tuesday, February 05, 2008

another angle

It's hard (for me) to wash in dark tones and not lose all the dimensionality (is that a word?) of the item.

Not a good scan with a shadow along that top edge. The sketchbooks with spirals are hard to flatten on the scanner.

Enough excuses?

Tech pen and w/c on Aquabee superdeluxe.

Monday, February 04, 2008

subtle shades

Compared to running shoes, hiking boots hide in woods colors. Better for not scaring the little animals.

W/c on Raffine paper.

Sunday, February 03, 2008

who does it this way?

Is it a cultural thing or a regional thing, when people count by using their thumb as "one" and the first finger as "two"?

I used the side of a nylon round brush to do the gray shading with ink, moving it like a marker. I got a lot more dry brush look that way. Then I painted over it with the orange.

Pink and orange would not have been my conscious choice, but sometimes I just idly try stuff and it works well enough to post.

W/c and ink on 140# Winsor & Newton paper.

Saturday, February 02, 2008

alizarin pear

Playing with color again. Sometimes I really like alizarin crimson, sometimes I don't.

I like how it blended here.

W/c on Aquabee superdeluxe

Friday, February 01, 2008

screaming? scary? face

I had an hour to wait before an appointment, with absolutely no place to go except a Burger King. I ate food I shouldn't, then drew the tray.

It wasn't until I got to the cup that I saw the face with long tongue and squinty eyes in the dim coloration of the gray and reddish design.

I actually recoiled. Time for a new logo designer at Burger King!

Tech pen and w/c on Raffine paper.