May 30, 2006

Let there be light!

I spent the day with chainsaw, pruning stick, loppers and pruners in hand, creating more light in the house. My trees had become so overgrown that it was making the living room perpetually twilight. So this morning I started early, sawing, hacking and chopping my way into more light. The roses were also getting pretty long necked stretching for the sunlight from under the neighbors renegade tree. Although I am sore and achy, it was a day well spent!

May 28, 2006

Technique applied! I pass this stump every day walking into work. I have been fascinated with it for several months now and decided to draw it today. I stopped and did a quick sketch and filled in the detail while I ate. It wasn't until I was almost done that I realized IT IS LISTING TO THE SIDE! This just cracked me up! It must have happened in the initial quick sketch. I didn't do too bad stepping out on my own, a few problems with the the shading but not too bad.

This is the original scan. I am having trouble with getting the color balanced with these pen and ink drawings. If you scroll down you can see the post from last night where I was messing with the back ground to try to off set the blinding white. If any of you have any suggestions for balancing this out, Please let me know!

May 27, 2006

This color is a little better, it is kind of blue, but at least it isn't blinding you. Frank Lohan's book is set up to have you do the rough sketch and then he guides you through filling in the details. One sketch builds on another. I am starting to look around me and think, "How would I juxtaposition one set of lines against another to show that?" With Only black and white to represent the image, one has to find ways to create the tonal ranges. It is intriguing. I still love color but for what ever reason black and white fascinates me in all media forms. I may try alight wash of color on the books only and see how they turn out. Kind of reminds me of some of the hand coloring I have done on my black and white photos.

May 26, 2006

More practice work, I am sure by the time I get done "practicing" you all will be sick of seeing this stuff, but since I have made the commitment to draw everyday, and I work, AND I want to learn this, this is what you get to see. I am trying not to copy anything, just use his illustrations and think about how the shadows will fall as I fill in the detail. I need to know how to read the shadows and light for my self if I want to use this style for my own work. I have discovered that I have a tendency, if I don't watch out for it, for things to list slightly to the side. I will have to keep an eye on that.

May 25, 2006

I do need to say, before anything else, this is practice work! I did draw it and did fill in the details but it is part of the lessons in Frank Lohan's book Pen and Techniques. This is a style I REALLY want to develope, it is one of my favorite forms of art work. This morning I was having a hard time, again, trying to decide what to draw when I realized that more "practice" was what was called for, so here it is.

May 24, 2006

I did some field sketches while I was out hiking with the dogs this morning. I penciled them in and then colored them with pigmented ink after I got home. I love this ink, I purchased a set of 8 different colors from Michael's several months ago. The colors are intense and wonderful until they spill...I am REALLY glad I haven't finished re carpeting yet (although, I probably wouldn't have been using them in here if I had). I am also REALLY glad that the chair I usually draw in is dark brown leather so the dark green ink came right off. The edges of a few books are permanently dark green but I can live with that.

The Turkey vulture was quite a ways up in the air when I quick sketched him, I didn't realize what he was or what he really looked like till after I had inked him, so he isn't very true to form.

May 23, 2006

This is a composite of a couple of the vineyards from a month or so ago. In the spring, the vineyard and orchard floors are carpeted with wild mustard in our area. Some of the vintners pull it out and some leave it be. I particularly like the vineyard that leave it be. The hill with the grapes growing over it is in another area but I love the way it looks so I "moved it". The road in got a little overworked (funny I was just saying this morning that I have a tendency to do that).Here's a question for those of you that work often in watercolor, this includes you, Teri and Lin; Do you usually work wet into wet or wet into dry? I can see where the effect would be more spontaneous in wet into wet but I am not sure how to begin to control it. Is it just practice?

I had originally cut down the size of this painting to cut out the "Dude" but then I decided to leave him in, after all, I can't "cut" him out of my sketch book and that is really what this blog is all about, learning. He is out of proportion, I was trying to work too small. So here he is in all of he's ill proportions.

EDM challenge, My computer. This is lovingly known by my family as my "Nest". It is the location I head after work, and yes, it is a recliner and yes, I do ALWAYS have my feet up. I have my book cases behind me, my drawing and painting bag on the floor right next to me and I have mounted an adjustable necked swinging lamp on the side table for better lighting while I draw at night. As to the computer, I had a PC and NEVER now I have a lap top and use it all the time.

Oh, you may recognize the chair as it has appeared on several of my drawings!

Jus playin' around, can't settle on anything really to draw or paint so just decided to put brush in hand and see what came out on paper. I did figure out that "sharpening" a watercolor image is a touchy thing, and for the most part, don't! Okay, so I am a little slow on the up take... I eventually get there. :>)

May 21, 2006

Wow! This is the very first drawing in my THIRD sketch book! I am amazed at my self, I really did believe that I could not draw, I was wrong, I am still learning and have ALOT to learn but I can see my progress. This is also a few days shy of the second month that I have drawn every day. I get up in the morning and start thinking about what I want to draw today, it has truly become a habit!

These guys were out in my back yard yesterday morning, I drew them then and painted them today. I thought the dragon fly was dead, it stayed still for so long. I like nature journals and would like to get more consistent with keeping one.

May 20, 2006

Here's my drawing for this weeks IF, don't know if I will actually get it posted on there or not, though.

He is sorry he broke the flower, he was only trying to swing form it. Here in, lies the reason for having "wee things" watch over the garden. I suspect this sort of thing goes on quite often when I am away at work...

May 18, 2006

When I think of my Mom, I think of her hats. She is the epitome of femininity, unlike myself, and always wears these hats (big brimmed with ribbons) and long dresses. I must say, she does look wonderful in them, she is tiny and delicate and looks 50 although she is in her 70's. Here is the problem with the hats: Everyone in the family including those that don't have a license (just kidding) will take the keys before opting to be the passenger with her in the drivers seat. It isn't that she is a bad driver (no tickets, no wrecks) it is just that she drives with both feet, one on the gas and one on the break, resulting in a very herky jerky experience for the passenger. She also assumes her right of way, sometimes cutting other drivers off tighter than is acceptable and making sudden turns unannounced! But I digress... When one opts to drive, one has to manage to SEE around these huge hats. Asking her to remove them has caused a few to slink away in fear after the ear scalding response she delivered. So you see we (Dad and I especially) have a love/hate relationship with these hats. But in spite of all of this, I wouldn't trade Mothers for anything in the world!

May 17, 2006

I tried darkening this in PS but it didn't seem to help it any. I have a tough time with blind contour drawings, but I know the only way to get past the "hard" part is to practice, so here you have it.

May 16, 2006

I am so pleased with this, I know it isn't great, but I have tried to paint this section of my yard at least 5 different times and always gave up in frustration. This morning I was reading some of the EDM messages and came across a note Karen had left one of the members. She said that people think that when you paint a picture, you just start in one corner and paint. That was exactly what I was trying to do! When I read that I decided to try laying in blocks of color first and then adding detail, OMG! what a difference! Never having had any art lessons, I am learning this by tid bits, books and lots of mistakes! I can still see a lot of places where I over worked this , but for the most part, I like it!!! What I did learn was that when I am laying in blocks of color I still need to keep in mind the basic form of what that is going to be. I had a couple of spots that I had laid even horizontal lines of color when I should have done them more blotchy. Like I keep saying "I am learning"!

May 15, 2006

Practice work...

I have been tagged by Teri and sport that I am, here we go:

5 things in my fridge:

Hazelnut Coffee Creamer (must have)



Ice Tea (with Lemon)

Sharp Cheddar Cheese

A few things past their prime???

5 things in my Closet:

Work Boots (well worn)

Faded Jeans

Out Grown slinky nightie (only slightly out grown. Really!)

Zip up sweatshirt

8 coffee cans with change for grandkidletts

5 things in my Car:

Hairy and well used seat cover for dogs

Bottles of H2O for dogs and painting

Map of backroads of California

GPS for losing the "known" trail

Large umbrella for shade when shooting with the camera or a sudden rain storm...

I tag Marilyn and Penny.

May 14, 2006

I was trying to figure out what to draw tonight when my daughter came by and sat down to use my computer. I can see that her nose is just a little long and that her chin is a tad short but not by much and I was afraid that I would do more damage trying to straighten it out than if I just left good enough alone. In looking at the original and the scan, it looks like the scan some how emphasized the longness, maybe it is the difference in the softer tone of the pencil in the original sketch. More learning to be had...

May 13, 2006

I was trying something that I had in my head, it didn't turn out the way I wanted it to however, with this failure, I learned a boat load! I should have just used pen for everything but the sky, sun and water or should have used nothing but paints. It was still "okay" until the "ducks" came into the show (they really are ducks and not surface floating seahorses!). The ink is just too strong for the light watercolor, unless I am doing just a skyline, I think.

May 12, 2006

I did this a while back, started one thing, didn't like it and started just swishing paint around. I am using her for IF this week even though I don't have a devil to go with her. Maybe as long as she is around he can't be found....

This was a very simple drawing, just wanted to do something out of my imagination instead of drawing what was in front of me for a change. I did not intend to be up at 4:00 A.M. posting it, but sometimes these things happpen. My ink got a little smeary but the overall idea is there. Felt like something a little brighter than paint.

May 11, 2006

I was out sketching again yesterday, this time I went with a friend, the first time we have done that, lots of fun! The tombstone is on a down hill slope but not as much as what I have drawn it (the cruse of ink is that you can't erase). While I was drawing it, a lady bug happened to land on me, so I had to draw her also.

May 09, 2006

I am trying to push a little harder to learn to use my pen more effectively for drawing. I was pleased with the way my leaf came out. I found the leaf kind of amazing in it's self, as it had some how managed to stay intact all through the long rainy winter, in our parking lot, at work.

May 08, 2006

I picked up these Eucalyptus "berries" to draw on my way out of work today. I love the color and shape of them, even the "berry" has the dark red that the mature tree is known for and yet there is also the blue green cast that is distinctive to the leaves. When I take the time and am fully engaged with my subject, I can do an illustration that reflects some of the respect I have for the natural world...

May 07, 2006

I realize this is a funky sketch, but the only way I am going to learn to do good sketches is to work my way through the funkiness.

I was watching this drama unfold during my lunch hour. I saw the squirrel on the fence and turned away, caught a flash of movement out of the corner of my eye and when I looked back he was flying toward the tree. He stopped to munch a few leaves then continued on up the trunk. Meanwhile, I spotted a crow circling close by and the next thing I saw was the crow dive bombing the squirrel. I felt witness to an event and I wanted to capture it, so here it is...yes, in all of it's funkiness.

May 06, 2006

Lunch time is not the best time for me to draw. I am just too aware of the time constraints. I planned to draw the pine cone and the Liquidamber ball, while I was working on that, Mr Lizard appeared and started doing lizardy push ups and such. He spent my lunch hour alternately sunning himself and diving into the shrubbery.

May 05, 2006

Mr Otter used to preside over my strawberry patch. I like things to look over parts of my garden, inspecting things and keeping a look out for visitors while I am away at work. He was fully dressed in coat and tails. This was long ago before the strong winds came and knocked him over permanently removing his head from the rest of his body, now his head rests under my angel trumpet bush watching for signs of gophers.

May 04, 2006

This IF topic reminded me of giong to the sea with my daughter when she was a child and playing in the tide pools.

May 03, 2006

I love my weekends! I have so much more time to play with my art.

This morning I decided to do washes on a couple of pages in the style of Roz's sketch book. It is the first time I have tried that and I really like what it adds to the ink sketches. I got some of the wash on funky but with practice all can be learned. In my sketch book, I have to be a little cautious on how much water to add to the pages, too. Anyway this is a drawing of a small branch of my Asian Pear that is just coming into bloom. I love this tree for its knotty form.

The noses challenge is done, this was not easy, thank goodness for flicker! I would have had a hard time drawing this many noses on the run (pun intended *grin*).

This is a bouquet of Nasturstums and Salvia that I picked from the back yard today. The orange in the Nasturstums makes even a dark room glow. They are an old fashioned variety that I was given seed for from a friends yard. It makes them all the more special.

May 01, 2006

The clippers are my sketch from Sunday night. I have packed up all of my trinkets so have to find regular boring household items to sketch. Actually, I was looking for something really simple to draw as I was having such a hard time focusing.

The ball cap takes care of two things, my EDM hat challenge and my sketch for today. I was going to have a go at the sink but realized that I was WAY to tired to draw something with that much of a prospective challenge.

This ball cap is a very nice red , deep towards the blues, not at all pink but my Scarlet ink dried to more of a pink than red. I didn't want to over do it with color because I liked the original sketch in just pencil (did not scan before adding ink). The arm of the chair started giving me fits, I couldn't quite get my ink thin enough but not too watered down. Anyway, I do love this ball cap although I don't wear it real often. It brings fond memories of going to a ball game with my Grandson's on a warm summer evening. The arena where the R.C.'s home games are played is very clean and family focused. There are a lot of murals and just things that make you feel like you have stepped back in time to a simpler era of cotton candy and family. We have tickets already for a game this season.