27 June 2014
Recently I was exporing Jane Blundell's blog -- she is so knowledgeable, besides being an extremely talented artist! I especially found her arrangement of paint interesting, separating each color group into cool, warm, earth, and dark. (Most of her paint choices are from Daniel Smith; I happened to have their sample sheet to replicate her choices in my sketchbook.)
So I tried the same arrangement using my current 20 paints. (Actually, I added phthalo green and removed Hansa yellow light. And I added my own mixed dark gray as Jane does, using my quin. burnt orange and ultramarine.) --- A bit messy, but who cares?
* I just noticed that where I originally planned on sap green for my warm green and undersea green for my earth green, I changed these at the last moment to serpentine green and sap green. Then forgot to correct it in ink. I also changed burnt sienna to quin. burnt orange.
26 June 2014
For my birthday (not till next month), our daughter invited me to join her friends in going to Dallas to hear our favorite author, Diana Gabaldon, on a speaking tour promoting her latest book "Written in My Own Heart's Blood". What an amazing, generous, and beautiful woman she is! A highly entertaining story-teller, both in print and in person.
It was an amazing time just hanging out with Kristen and her friends. Lovely young women! These are the same friends who, along with their husbands, went to Scotland together last year, sharing a rented house on Loch Ness. In fact, one of the husbands said to be sure and thank Diana Gabaldon for their trip to Scotland --- it came about after reading the Outlander series.
Before leaving for Dallas, I had a large cup of Earl Grey green tea and one of Mikala's lime cookies.
I sat in back so I could try sketching Kristen.
20 June 2014
The local drought seems to be over, the lake up to its normal level. Lots of grass can be seen in the water from when this part of the lake was dry ground. Strong winds caused lots of waves to come this way.
Many of the sites along the lake are heavily wooded, but this eastern edge is more open.
I love Stillman & Birn bound sketchbooks . . . but I wish they were Coptic-sewn like those I make myself -- to lay open flat when working across a 2-page spread or when photographing it.
18 June 2014
I finally found a Texas lizard in our new home . . . . Unfortunately, Bearcat found it first. Jayna found this dead lizard in the loft, just next to where the slanted ceiling rafters met the floor. So I sketched it, while the cat glared at me for taking away his wee toy.
17 June 2014
So Jayna and I sketched a bit. She painted a favorite butterfly from her folding field guide.
And I drew a dragonfly from a photo online.
We even have our own wee dragons --- swarming clouds of lovely red dragonflies have been visiting the yard this week.
13 June 2014
After being told that we had a peach tree, a fig tree, and an orange tree on our land, we were especially looking forward to eating fresh peaches. Unfortunately, the deer ate every last one of the baby peaches before they could develop. (The orange tree died over winter and the fig tree shows no promise.)
Noodler's polar brown ink and watercolor in Stillman & Birn Alpha sketchbook
12 June 2014
We are constantly amazed at the choices of unique family-owned places to eat in this area! El Dorado, KS was approximately the size of Brenham (and 9 times bigger than Somerville) yet they had no restaurants left at all, only fast food places. Even tiny Somerville has 3 family restaurants with real cooking from scratch!
This time we tried the Texas Seafood & Steak House. Very good food in generous portions; very low-key interiors. The only wall decoration was this very large striped bass, possibly caught locally. Somerville is a small town near a very large recreation lake. The server glanced my way several times, clearly curious about what I was doing, but did not realize I was drawing the fish until I pulled out a paintbrush.
Noodler's Lexington ink and watercolor in Stillman & Birn Alpha series sketchbook
10 June 2014
So I chose to buy an Alpha series sketchbook made by Stillman & Birn. Summer is a bit hot to tote around a lot of stuff so I decided to go a bit smaller; this sketchbook is 4 x 6" and fits easily in any bag.
Today I sketched a couple of pages, drawing palettes as I usually do on the first pages, to test the paper. I thought that the Alpha would not work as well with wet media as the Beta I've used before --- I was wrong! Fountain pens and brush pens glide smoothly and watercolor works beautifully without wrinkling pages or bleed-through.
Along with a smaller journal, I'm trying to go lighter in what supplies I carry. A tiny palette made from a plastic pill box, a Lamy pen, a tiny mechanical pen & kneaded eraser, a waterbrush, and folded paper towel. I prefer using real brushes like the one on the first page, but when away from home, I don't always want to carry a water supply.
I don't normally carry the 2 brush pens shown, but wished to test them on the paper as well. They might be added to the bag once in a while -- I like using the one with gray ink for shadows. I need to practice a lighter touch with these brush pens though.
Lamy Safari fountain pen with Noodler's Lexington gray ink, Pentel pocketbrush pen, an unknown Pentel brush pen with "soft black" ink that is more gray, and a bit of watercolor in a Stillman & Birn Alpha series sketchbook.
09 June 2014
In the same yard as the railroad spike roadrunner (in my previous post) is this funny "grave" marker, under an old oak tree. Apparently the homeowner had trouble with his firewood disappearing?
|sketching at church|
The mosquitoes of Texas have finally found me. I apparently have an allergic reaction to their saliva so it's back to anti-histamines and anti-itch ointments. I drew these last night while waiting for the anti-histamine to kick in --- beats scratching!
07 June 2014
The farm-to-market road near us is curvy, has lots of lake traffic, and no shoulders to walk safely on. So we walk the circle of this small development. Adding the lane that cuts through the circle, we walk a figure-eight to equal nearly a mile.
Often we see rabbits, occasional deer, and once we found a young coral snake --- already dead, thankfully. I've heard that they no longer make an anti-venom for this deadly snake because it is not profitable. The living snakes usually run away from humans.
The entrance to the community has a roadrunner-crossing sign --- this in the only one we've seen so far, along with it's twin on the other side of the covert.
A few of the mailboxes we pass on our walks:
02 June 2014
Bill found his items, paid for them, and was back in the car in less than 10 minutes. So much for a leisurely sketch!
My grandmother had chairs like this glider -- that's what drew me to sketch it first.
Gouache was added later on both sketches, after the initial 10 minute sketches.
After removing the pans (and cleaning up their mucky undersides) I cleaned the plastic palette box with some soft scrub and Q-tips, making sure to rinse it well before attaching the pans with rubber cement.
These are the colors I began with, several left-over bits from Winsor & Newton that were heavy and chalky. The buff titanium is actually a watercolor but it comes in handy.
Some of the colors, while excellent pigments, were too close to each other to waste space in the palette. I can interchange them if I wish to later.
I learned a lot of information about these paints from Roz Stendahl's blog. She really KNOWS gouache and uses it beautifully.
Here, I tested greens before eliminating one yellow and deciding on which of two blues to keep.
BTW, I wrapped the handles of the three brushes I keep inside this palette with red electrical tape. That warns me that these brushes are for gouache only, not watercolor. I try to get them clean but gouache has bigger pigments that could mess with watercolor.