Monday, May 31, 2010

Memorial Day for Fen

A last drawing in May of our cat, Fen. Originally named Fendicchio by her former owners, we had her for about 11 years. We estimated her age at 20 or 21 when she died this month.

She came to us as a cranky, irritable cat who didn't purr for about 3 years and who hissed at passing phantoms, swiping at those who invaded her space.

But over time she mellowed and became a loving, cuddly, purring elder whom we hated to lose. She survived 17 months past the vet's one-month estimate of life, after a diagnosis of severe diabetes in 2008.

Rest in peace, Fen. This Memorial Day is for you.

Pen and w/c on Canson drawing paper.

Sunday, May 30, 2010

construction of a rattan chair

I don't know how the elements are warmed, bent, and wrapped, but the construction is fascinating. And the chairs have a simple elegance that last so well!

6B pencil, Derwent drawing pencil (the thick waxy one), and green NuPastel on Superaquabee Deluxe paper.

Saturday, May 29, 2010

Bananagrams, Pairs in Pears, and Applewords

Three good word games you shouldn't miss. And Dino fits among them so nicely!

Drawing, just to draw colorful things. Pen and w/c in the journal.

Thursday, May 27, 2010

painting to Sarah Waters' Fingersmith

I started randomly painting a background in the journal while watching Fingersmith, the 3-hour 2-part series made out of Sarah Waters' book.

It was soooo enthralling I couldn't focus on developing anything other than dabs and strokes, so ended up with this mishmash. But it's great for a color punch in the journal.

Fingersmith is set in Victorian England, with characters worthy of Dickens himself. Evil, manipulation, betrayal, insanity pretended and inflicted, babyfarming, and more. No wonder this piece is dark!

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

playing with odds and ends

I make these colorful pieces out of whatever is around and then use them as border decorations in the journal or as bookmarks.

This has a couple stamped patterns, with w/c on top. It's about 6 inches by 3 inches of 140# w/c paper.

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

making colorful pages

Just decorating the journal so there's a colorful surprise to liven it up. 85 degrees today and tomorrow makes it *really* summer, no matter what month it is.

Collage, acrylics, pen and w/c drawing.

Saturday, May 22, 2010

Prismacolor, it is

I'm liking drawing direct with the w/c pencils. Then I have the option of awakening the color with water.

This is dry only.

In the Holbein sketchbook.

Friday, May 21, 2010

Prismacolor vs Derwent vs Caran d'Ache

In watercolor pencils, that is. I like the feel of Prismacolor best, but they have only 36 colors.

The others have more colors (in w/c pencil specifically) and I prefer the Caran d'Ache feel over Derwents. I like the least pressure for the most slide and color intensity.

These are not inspired by upside-down buildings, they just turned out this way. I tend to like an abstract best in the same orientation that I drew it.

Drawn dry, then spritzed with water, in the Holbein sketchbook.

Thursday, May 20, 2010

rediscovering colored pencil

Doodling imagined buildings as I ponder what supplies to take on a vacation this summer. I miss the intensity and flow of liquid, but know I will sketch more and can have *some* color versatility with pencils.

And I always take more supplies than I use.

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Robert Bateman sketchbooks

I really like the paper in these, but the cover is just paper about the weight of the sheets inside (spiral bound).

So I backed it with 140# watercolor paper and layered the front with acrylic paint and a coating of gel medium. Much better for porting around.

Monday, May 17, 2010

pick a new combination

Trying a new combination (for me) of media--colored pencil on a canvas panel.

Not really worth doing again, but the texture is interesting because of the way the pencil sits on top of the threads

Sunday, May 16, 2010

Dino, upright

Another version, just practicing. I'm starting to like those blank eyes.

Pen and w/c in the Holbein sketchbook.

Saturday, May 15, 2010

everything goes in the chair

My daughter's childhood favorite stuffed animal, a dinosaur named Dino. He has only white ovals for eyes, just like the people in the cartoon Little Orphan Annie.

I drew him upside down, then added the chair around him for color.

Pen and w/c in my new favorite sketchbook, the Holbein Multi-Drawing Book.

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Derwent Watersoluble pencil

The feel of different pencils on the same paper fascinates me. This Derwent w/s 4B feels completely different from other graphite pencils--not like a waxy Prismacolor and not like a regular good graphite slide.

It's woodless and it lasts a long time without need for sharpening. I quit dampening it and like it better dry.

On 80# sketchpaper.

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

the bear is back

Trying out charcoal pencils, super cheap ones, that are working very well. I got them at Barnes & Noble, not best known for the quality of their art supplies.

These are hard, compressed charcoal in pencils, and I'm really liking them. Good on rough paper.

On140# Arches paper, with w/c pencil for the yellow.

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Alice Neel

The paintings by Alice Neel fascinate me. I found a documentary on Netflix done by her grandson.

It's a very personal review of her life, including old family films and interviews of her two sons, plus the children and relations of a daughter who was taken from her by the Cuban father. The Wikipedia article leaves out a lot of the psychological and economic elements surrounding Alice's life.

At one point I stopped the DVD to draw her and thought "she's so PINK!" This color choice is very accurate.

Colored pencil on 60# sketchbook paper.

Sunday, May 09, 2010

trying out colors

I always like what I get with random stamping or the brayer better than marks with a brush. They're too narrow and linear.

Palette and sponge printing in the journal. Flopping the book on top of the palette was not easy. Better idea to use a paper palette and press the sheet onto the journal.

Learning all the time . . .

Saturday, May 08, 2010

hang it on a doorknob

Then draw it. That's the door to the basement, so the dark area is real.

In my drawings, I regularly put in imagined things. Not this time.

Prismacolor pencil in the journal.

Friday, May 07, 2010

no expectations

William Stafford, poet, used to say that if you didn't like what came out of your daily writing practice, to lower your expectations.

That's why I like doodling in my journal. Drawing for pleasure relieves the pressure for judgment of the product. And daily practice makes a difference eventually!

Pen, w/c and colored pencil.

Wednesday, May 05, 2010

the other challenging chair

The wicker chair has unusual angles and slopes, too. The back on this is slightly wrong, but I liked how the watercolor flowed on the seat cushion.

For the floor, I used the graphite grey I love from Daniel Smith. Finding something to like in a piece keeps me interested in seeing what emerges in the next attempt.

Pen and w/c in the journal.

Tuesday, May 04, 2010

catching glass . . .

. . is as difficult as catching the cat. Drawing transparencies and subtle shadows quickly (as I am determined to do) is maybe more challenging than capturing a moment of constant movement.

Pencil in on 60# paper.

Monday, May 03, 2010

always a challenge

This rattan chair has parts that bend in unusual angles, so it's always difficult to draw. I can tell the back is slanted too far here.

I keep working at it . . .

Pencil on sketchpaper, painted later.

Saturday, May 01, 2010

May Day swirl

I always paint something on the black sketchbook covers.

This time, like the circle that turned into an enso a few posts back, I started with a circle. The next stroke turned into this, and I decided it was complete.

Knowing when to stop is a big part of making art.

Acrylic paint.