Archive for January, 2011
Breakthrough! I finally did a sketch directly into my sketchbook! I see from the Sketchbook site that I am not the only one having this problem. Are we funny or what?
This is probably my last Highly Prized sketch and I must say that this one is at the top of my list. All the holiday flowers are done and on the way to the compost bucket and what do I find in the dining room? One of my geranium plants, saved to get starts from, has bloomed! This flower is one of the best, brilliant white with the tiniest red dots, and then of course it is unexpected, a surprise. Definitely highly prized.
Process? Pencil sketch, go over with S or F-size Pitt pen, then add water-color although with this I experimented with some of the Pitt B (brush) pens in color too. I decided I would have to quit lauding Jane LaFazio until my pictures got better -
I had kids here for the weekend. The long, cold weekend. Indoors.
They are in a “Mythological” stage. The Rick Riordan books got them interested but now, as we are a Netflix/Roku family, they have found Hercules and Xena as well as some really old black and white movies with Charlton Heston and others…what I’m trying to say here is that it can be a really loooong weekend when the entertainment is set at the adolescent level. So to wile away the hours I finally tried out some zen-tangling.
I got started on some ATC -sized pieces of watercolor paper left over from some booth or giveaway along the way. By the time I had done 2 I was hooked. Hmmm – “Have you kids seen Ben Hur? How about some more popcorn?” LOL
Since the weekend I have worked on them in a doctors office, waiting in a parking lot, waiting for a prescription, while watching English television programs (they tend to go slower) and have been making excuses to run down to the studio just for a moment…What is it about them? I think I just love to add “one more line, or maybe a dot…” The black and white looks so crisp and formal in the small format and then the content? Silly with no redeeming value. I love it.
I want to make my own Sketchbook for this year’s Sketchbook Challenge. Previous posts showed my first try i.e. the New Year idea. That first sketchbook is very cute and not practical at all i.e. it cannot travel. C’est la vie – I moved on to Plan B! I would make my own cover add alternating paper (Strathmore Bristol Vellum 100lb and Strathmore Watercolor cold press 140 lb) and I would get it coil bound so it would lie flat OR fold all the way inside out for a better work surface. Also with the different papers, I could sketch on sketching paper and paint on the watercolor paper for the sketches where I wanted to add color.
I made the cover boards, trimmed the paper to size and set off to FedEx-Kinkos, only to have them decline to punch the cover boards for a coil binding. “Just a little to thick, why don’t you make a copy on some nice, shiny, cardstock…” No thanks – I am now in love with my cover boards. I looked around and found some book binding rings and bought a packet of 5 one-inch rings.
At home I dug out my super-duper hole-puncher and punched 2 sets of holes in my cover boards. If my manual hole-puncher could punch the boards, the heavy duty machine at F-Ks certainly would have worked. I guess they have messed up one too many art works and now have this policy…
Once I got the book put together so that I knew it would work, I got to work making sure it could find its way home if I left it behind somewhere.
And then I found some ridiculous glitter-sticker letters and finished off the cover in my favorite style “Campy-Vampy with a little bit of Trampy thrown in.
An unexpected road trip wedged into the schedule on the spur-of-the-moment! YIPPEE! Took my writing journal, my class notebook, my pens, some watercolor crayons, a watercolor water-brush – and no art journal. DUH. I did have a new package of cardstock in the car, so at least I had some paper. Since we landed at the Bosque del Apache, an hour-and-a-half south of Albuquerque I decided to sketch birds.
Last year we missed the Snow Geese migration as we went through the Bosque in February. This year we got to see them. The count was at 37,375 as of last weekend. The Sandhill Cranes are also still there and we always see lots of eagles, ducks – the overall duck count was over 50,000 – Canada Geese, and then all the little birds that are there at the Refuge.
Back to the Sketchbook Challenge. I made several sketches and when we got home I cut them out and pasted them together to make one page. I may still put a border of bird tracks or coyote tracks to finish it up, we shall see.
The Sketchbook is the final product for me – it isn’t about making another painting or piece from my sketches.
I will have to figure out how to improve the pictures of my sketches though. I may have to choose a different blog format – so that you can see the pictures better.
I made a second page for week one’s lesson as I think the first page is finished and there is a rumor that we need to keep adding to the page we start in week one.
The background strips are from my earlier collaged journal pages which I copied and tore up with the addition of a strip of blue Japanese masking tape. The head is a composite of “The Girl with a Pearl Earring” and a drawing of a 1935 pattern model. The blue flower print is from the test papers I made with my wood blocks.
My guy gets Man of the Year Award for the BEST present to wife EVER!
While shopping for the kid’s presents we stumbled across a new store on the Boulder Mall called Momentum. The store is a fair trade outlet for third world art and accoutrement, helping different countries in a sustainable way. In the back of the store was a large old tin washtub filled with (seemingly) antique wood printing blocks of different styles and sizes. My man, noticing me drooling over them, somehow managed to distract me and bought several to surprise me with on Solstice morning!
I will have to wait until all the house guests have gone back to school etc. And then I will spend a day figuring out how best to use them. Do they work best on cotton? paper? combination fabric & paper? Which medium should I use? dye? ink? paint? I did a quick and dirty run through while people were napping on Solstice, but it just whetted my appetite. Maybe by next weekend?
For this online class I am using a children’s book discarded from the library.
In the class, Pam uses a female face she drew for her focal point. I haven’t drawn any female figures before so I used a copy of a photo for my focal point. The bright green pattern at the top of the page is a block print made while I was testing my new antique wooden block stamps – more about these later. The figures on the side are part of the original page in the book. The idea this week is to make collaged pages for a visual journal using portions of copies of pages from past journals i.e. recycle your own art.
I am not certain if we are to do more to this particular page or not. This covers all the directions in the video for week one.
Update on the Sketchbook I’m making.
1. Don’t think this will handle much more than sitting on a table in the studio – just not sturdy enough for the in-and-out-of-purse experience.
2. It does lie flat though – still not all the way dry so I’m not moving it around too much.
3. I’m getting confused between the Sketchbook Challenge – which I started this book for and the Strathmore/Pam Carriker weekly prompts so I started using recycled journal pages from the past (ala Pam’s class) for the fly leaf. I think this problem will resolve itself soon enough.
4. I am getting to use a LOT of my tape!
5. Just visited the Sketchbook site and they have instructions for making your own sketchbook – maybe I’ll start over. HWL
Well heck – how DO you learn to draw? I guess just start. I have a book of photos that I really, really like so I pulled it out and started copying the cover photo for my first sketch.
I HIGHLY PRIZE personal music-making. I love live performance of music as well as people making their own music. My sketch gets the woman playing a flute, but the photo captures the youth of the player and my sketch did not.
Side Note: My homemade sketchbook is still drying – very cold here – so I am starting in my Moleskine watercolor book that I began in the Jane LaFazio class I took. I do love the paper. I may go find another sketchbook somewhere, hopefully my bottom drawer, unless I want to do a color wash I would rather not use my WC paper.
I added ink to the sketch. Not sure I like it as much as the pencil only. The ink lines make some of the details more noticeable, but the picture overall seems harder and not so friendly.
Good thing this is a learning experience not a performing experience. (You do know the difference Lori.)
Wishing all of you a Happy and Hearty New Year! Hearty as in healthy and full of life. What will you be doing to push the envelope on your art, your adventures, your vitality?
Somehow this past year ended all in a rush with events and happenings piling up so fast it was hard to absorb them all. I just barely started on my completion of 2010 and the invention of 2011. Generally I spend from my birthday in mid-December until the first of January, leisurely reviewing the year and making goals for the next year. Yesterday, New Year’s Eve, I was working away at the invention part!
Through the holidays I did get myself signed up for the online Sketchbook Challenge and have been fooling around building a sketchbook for the first month of the challenge. My objective is to make some marks, some art, everyday and to get over my hesitation to share those marks. I have lots of art supplies, so I will also see if I can press myself to use what I have, you know, instead of running out for every new idea that passes through my brain and then sits in the drawer in the form of palette knives, pastels, and…you-name-it.
I didn’t want a sewn binding for this sketchbook so I am trying a new (to me) method of gluing the binding to the back…I’ve seen it done, but don’t know how well it will hold up.
I thought I would sew my fancy watercolor paper (Fabriano-Artistico 140 pound cold press) to old, but nice, journaling paper, and then the re-cycled journal pages could be glued so the watercolor paper would be free for the doodles, sketches and paints. Of course I got completely carried away and began gluing the recycled pages to yellow (phonebook) pages and then it went downhill from there.
I used a tape collage I made in a Kelly Kilmer class for the cover art and a piece of a cereal box for the binding board…more tape…like I said I don’t know how well this will hold up. I may just take it to Kinkos and get it wire bound. I won’t start a second sketchbook until I see how this one is working. I still need to trim the individual pages, glue in the fly leaf, and finish the binding tape. I guess I will test the binding before I get much further along. I will keep you posted on progress and effectiveness.