Pen and Ink...and maybe some paint

Saturday, July 30, 2011

I learned something new...

I created a handmade birthday card for my son Josh's 27th birthday. Several years ago he bemoaned the fact that nobody writes their own cards any more. He doesn't like "store-bought" sentiments. So, I made a card with a picture of himself at three years of age. I added ink and watercolor details. The new thing I learned is that you have to do the watercolor FIRST and the ink LAST or you get a smudged mess! Do you believe I didn't KNOW that? Hey, I'm a beginner! I thought the ink was waterproof. Oh well, live and learn. My ignorance didn't harm the card very much. I just wanted Josh to know that he's worth the effort of making a card just for him, and I thought his wife and little son would enjoy the picture.

I've been having fun today sketching pictures from Pom Pom's last blog post. I'll send her a copy of my sketches to use as a coloring page. She can color it her way; I'll color it my way and maybe we can both post our results and see how different they are. Interesting!

Sunday, July 24, 2011

A pleasant morning of artistic pursuits...

I've had the house to myself for a couple of hours this morning and I'm taking advantage of the solitude to do a little drawing. I've also been looking through some of the wonderful children's books I purchased lately, looking for drawings to copy for practice. I'm posting this in a hurry because I have to leave for work shortly, so I may come back and revise it later.

These are the two little A.A. Milne books I got at the library sale. They are full of wonderful drawings by E.H. Shepard.
I certainly need to work on drawing children and people in general, so pictures such as these will provide some copying practice.

I'm going to try to begin doing things in a more "sketchbooky" sort of way buy putting many small drawings together, fitting as much as I can on each page. I think I try to draw things too big and then get discouraged because it takes so much time. I also want to write more in my sketchbook. This really gets me excited thinking about just doing little drawings that I enjoy and seeing where it leads!
I recently discovered Alisa Burke's blog. What a talented artist! One thing that really encouraged me was comparing her drawings to the model she's drawing from. The two are very different and the colors are even very different. You can see that she makes her own interpretation of the object. This is a very freeing thought; that my drawing doesn't have to replicate the reality. I love that she has lots of little "peek inside my sketchbook" links on each page. Gorgeous stuff!

I think it's really cool the way she writes all over the pages. Quite an inspiring blog! I highly recommend it! You can see more here.

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Grappling with ideas...

I've been poring over the Sketchbook Challenge blog site. There is so much to take in! I've read numerous bits on the various artists who are the "experts" who keep the whole thing going. I'm very impressed with their creativity and originality, to the extent that I'm feeling very UNcreative and original! :( I know they all started in the same place I'm starting. I realize it takes years of practice to get good at this stuff. I'm just wondering if it's worth years of practice?!?

Where am I headed with this? (Thinking out loud, which is, of course, what blogging is all about, eh?) I'm also reading a book about professional artists who go to work each day and paint 8 hours a day to produce saleable art. Yuck! It's interesting to look at their studios, but I can't imagine doing art as a business. SO, I know I'm not headed there. At least not in the sense of artists who fill large canvases (canvasses?) with big splashes of paint that look like nothing I recognize, so others will buy it because their name is well known in artist circles. Nah.

On the other hand, small illustrations for greeting cards, picture books, that sort of thing...possibly.

What gets me is how many of these artists (on the Sketchbook Challenge website) can draw or paint something fairly simple, then they take it to a whole new level by adding really beautiful details that came from their imaginations. I just draw what I see and it can look pretty boring when I'm finished. So, I'm going to continue to try to ENJOY drawing and experimenting and I'm not going to worry about where it's going. I'm also going to keep reading and looking at what others are doing. Maybe eventually something will spark some originality and creativity that's "in there" somewhere!

In fairness to myself, I also see that many of these artists are drawing from photos or models and are taking classes from other people to get ideas, so maybe I'm not the only one who needs some help! :D

Just needed to vent, self!

BTW, this is a video called The Doodle Game. I've noticed that several of the people posting drawings on The Sketchbook Challenge like to do extreme doodles. This looks like fun! Come on Pom Pom! You're a doodler! I'm going to try this...

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Another for the sketchbook challenge...

"Elemental" brings to mind such things as wind, rain and lightning. Not an excellent use of cross-hatching, but I'm still at the stage of recklessly drawing without the experience necessary to plan ahead. Still lots of fun!

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

The Sketchbook Challenge...

I'm joining in the July challenge to draw something "elemental". What could be more elemental than a cheerful group of toadstools wriggling their toes into the dark, loamy, woodland earth?
I look forward to being inspired in my sketching through The Sketchbook Challenge. I only recently dug out my hoard of art supplies and have begun an art exchange with my pal Pom Pom who has been such an encouragement to actually begin creating! This sounds like another facet to the great adventure we've begun. :)

Monday, July 11, 2011

Pom Pom and Debbie...

Pom Pom, I put a letter in the mail yesterday. About time!! :D Hope you enjoy! (You'll find a little Van Gogh influence in it, hee, hee!)

Debbie, glad you got to order your very own English Cottage cup! Remember they are made by a Japanese company. I think the artwork reflects an Asian influence. See if you agree with me when you get it. Kind of different!

My projects for today include adding some pen outlines to my little Freya Blackwood girl. I'll probably try some shading with pen, also. I've got to take some chances in order to learn what works! I had some little smeary problems on her face. Oh well!

Another picture I'm working on is based on the English cottage below. I'm trying to rein myself in and take my time instead of getting rushed and trying to do it all in one day. What's the hurry? This is fun time! :D
I know, my stone walls are too dark. When I try to correct it with watercolors it just blends together. Maybe some colored pencils after it dries? Experimentation is fun!

I checked out five interesting books at the library. I'm looking for more drawing inspiration and I think I'll find plenty here. The books are:
I'd Rather Be In the Studio by Alyson B. Stanfield
Inside the Painter's Studio by Joe Fig
Mexican Churches by Eliot Porter
Garden Patterns and Mosaics by Clare Mathews and
Crazy Quilts by Cindy Brick, which I've mentioned before.

I'd Rather Be in the Studio is subtitled The Artist's No-Excuse Guide to Self-Promotion. It's more for people wanting to be professional and find ways to promote their work, so I'm not sure if it will be very engrossing. Inside the Painter's Studio looks really interesting. It's a compilation of interviews with artists and shows lots of pictures of their studios and they ask lots of questions about how they work, etc.

Yesterday I did these exercises intended to give one practice in creating various tones and textures. You're supposed to do them quickly. I just love the feel of the pen on paper!

Thanks for visiting, gals!

Friday, July 8, 2011

Adding layers...

I've added some watercolor, but still need to do some ink and shading. I'm just making up the painting part as I go along. I've read some books on the subject, but would rather just have fun with it.Just paint with a little pen...In some ways I prefer this version to the one with more pen, below.I'm not sure if I'm finished or not! How do you decide when to stop fooling around with it? LOL! Oh well, it's JUST a PAINTING! Having fun learning by trial and error.

In answer to that little voice...

Remember the little voice that asks, "What are you going to USE this for"? My hubby has been teasing me about writing books for my soon-to-be-born granddaughter. Hey! That's a great idea! Pom Pom, I bet you already do this, right? I sometimes miss obvious ideas like this.
I was also mentioning to Bob (aka hubby) that I don't know why I buy little teacups when I like to drink tea out of a BIG cup,
and then I realized they will be just right for a tea party after Audrey and I read Beatrix Potter. I'll have to be careful not to break them in the meantime. Of course, we'll bake scones, too!
Pom Pom, you did mention the impressionist book. I'll have to look for it.

Thursday, July 7, 2011

New sketchies...

See, I really am doing SOME drawing! These are on watercolor paper, so now I have no excuse not to try my paints.
A little voice keeps piping up in my mind wanting me to justify time spent drawing. "But what will you USE it for?" I try to reply (silently, of course) that I'll just keep practicing and worry about crossing that bridge when I get to it. Hee, hee...I believe I found this on the Old Book Art link in my right hand blog column. It will be very colorful when I'm finished. (hope, hope)
This little girl is from a Freya Blackwood illustration. Oh yeah, I checked her out! ;) I like her very much!

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

My Pom-Pom notebook...

I'm enjoying the art exchange, Pom-Pom! I've decided to create a 3-ring binder to keep your art in. If you should decide one day that you need it back, you know, to add to your portfolio when you write children's books, just let me know. ;D Tomorrow is a day off, so I hope to do some creating. Yahoo!

Monday, July 4, 2011

So far...

Hmmm... This sketching process may take a while. I'm not going to hurry on this. I'll go back and make changes and eventually add ink and shading. I'm still unsure how to represent all of the little square buildings in the old sections of the town. I can't see them that well, so there must be a method of representing them similar to what you would do in drawing trees. You don't draw every leaf on a tree and you don't draw each little building. Of course, there is still a lot more city to add, but I'm going to think about it before continuing. Still pondering!

Sunday, July 3, 2011

Drawing Jerusalem...

I absolutely LOVE this view of Jerusalem. I'm going to begin a sketch and, if I don't talk myself out of the project, I will post some sketches later. This is a busy scene, so it will require some thought as to what to leave out and what to keep in. I'm not going to try to do this in one sitting! Happy sketching!