27 September 2011

nighttime sketching

I woke up around 3:30 or 4:00 am, unable to get back to sleep. Coming into the living room, Jeremiah seemed to be watching me --- so I sketched him with his wee companion!

On a funny note . . . Bearcat stood nearby as I took a photo of this page to post. But the photo had a strange blue cast. The photos I took after Bearcat left were fine. Then it dawned on me that the paper was actually reflecting the bluish color of my cat!

His official coloring is actually called "classic blue tabby".

26 September 2011

last Sunday

While putting together the illustrations for a friend's project, I got behind in posting what sketches I managed to do.
Last Sunday morning, our missionary friend, Penny Dugan, visited our church before heading back to Africa. I didn't catch a likeness of this lovely woman, but it was fun trying.
Those interested can read more about Penny and her ministry, New Jerusalem, here and her blog. Her story re: pink angels really made us laugh . . . . what other color could be assigned to Penny?

21 September 2011

illustrating for a friend

A friend was putting together a small prayer book for her church and asked if I could do seven illustrations for it. First, I looked through old sketchbook journals for things I could use.

Then I re-sketched each on some 200 lb. watercolor paper in a lightly penciled-in frame, so all the illustrations would be the same general size.Three of the illustrations were new, not from previous sketches.
Next I chose the paints I would use. I removed the tray from my studio palette, leaving just the chosen paints in the tin with all that mixing area. (I never even used the yellow!)

There are seven different prayer focuses in the prayer book with one illustration to go with each: thankfulness, healing, help in difficult times, children, the military, God's perfect will, and hope. These books and the same prayers on an overhead will be used in my friend's church for weekly prayer meetings open to anyone in the community who wishes to drop in for a short bit of time.

more colors purged from studio palette

I will probably keep an ultramarine just for mixing darks, following Liz Steel's suggestion. It costs less than cobalt.

When the payne's gray and lunar blue are gone, I may not replace them. Not sure. And when the cadmium orange is gone, I will try Liz' suggested Schmincke transparent orange instead. Cadmium paints don't always play well with others.

Meanwhile, the cobalt turquoise and potter's pink are only included as fun trials.

16 September 2011

studio palette

Lately I've been purging my watercolors, testing and removing paints I no longer use. Here is where I am so far. I often use my sketchbook to make decisions like this.

Most of these are convenience colors, easily mixed by other colors I already have (as can be seen by the pigment codes). But these are kept in my studio for when I want to just let colors mingle and have fun.

15 September 2011

I really needed this

Sleep hasn't been easy lately. Not sure why. Yesterday morning, I woke up around 4 am and wasn't able to get back to sleep, no matter how hard I tried.

By 8 am, I was really dragging but had lots to do. So off to find some caffeine --- unfortunately I am out of black tea, so green tea it was.

(No, coffee was not an option. Love the smell; can't stand the taste!)

12 September 2011

new Coptic journal

As always, the first page shows some palettes I am currently using. Not all at once. I grab whatever I'm in the mood for. Or what fits in my bag the easiest.

After church on Sunday, we ate out with friends at a local BBQ place. I've always wanted to sketch the central fire nook but was never seated close enough before.

Of course, I was hoping to sketch it in the winter, with a fire blazing.

10 September 2011

where the fun begins . . .

Finally finished binding some new art journals this week. I've actually felt a bit "lost" not having one to grab and sketch in.

The two upper ones are Coptic stitched, both having a heavier 140 # watercolor paper in them which holds up well with this open binding.

The lower left one contains nideggen paper, a print paper I've always wanted to try. Because it is so much thinner, I also added some pages of Fabriano Tiziano toned paper --- scraps of both were used to bind the mini journal.

The landscape oriented journal is Fabriano 90 # soft press --- a paper I love but it's grain runs opposite, so I bind it in this format to get the most pages out of a sheet of paper.

I found some cardstock stickers at Hobby Lobby to stick to the fronts, making it easy to tell front from back. But some actually covers goofs --- The cover paper was from a Daniel Smith sale and was a bit thin, showing glue spots in places.

Here are all* my sketchbook journals since May 2007 when I first began. The upper 2 shelves are filled (except for two on the end, unfinished); the lowest shelf contains new sketchbooks, both those I bound and some commercial ones purchased on sale. When Bill first built the shelf to hold them, I thought I'd never fill it.

* I just realized that three sketchbooks are not included here . . . I pulled them to mine ideas for a project I'm doing for a friend.

07 September 2011

it's that time again . . .

. . . delayed slightly when I realized that I did not have enough cardboard for the covers.

I've been recycling the backs of watercolor paper pads for my covers but ran out, since I now purchase paper in large single pieces. Davey board should be used, but it's not available locally and I didn't want to wait for a mail order. Yesterday I found some triple-thick marker board at Hobby Lobby in Wichita --- it feels firm enough and is acid-free. So I'll see how it works . . .

04 September 2011

eating out with my dad

My dad and I have had a very weird, estranged relationship --- I hadn't even been to their "new" home since they bought it over 20 years ago. He and my step-mom closed the door to a relationship with me a long time ago (and, sadly, with their 4 wonderful grandchildren).

Then out of the blue, he phoned and asked us out to eat. It feels good to reconnect again after all these years. I'm looking forward to seeing where the Lord takes us in this.

The restaurant we ate at serves these amazing homemade dinner rolls that taste like the ones Bill's grandmother made. Along with a homemade cinnamon roll for each of us. Yum!

I used gouache on toned paper here --- but forgot that gouache dries darker than the colors mixed when wet. Still so much to learn!

03 September 2011

out of control . . . ya think?

Guilty as charged. Yes, I recently bought TWO new palettes to add to my collection. An empty Schmincke travel palette because it had three large mixing divisions instead of two. And this white plastic one because it reminds me of Ricky Holtman's palette he used when we were on sketchcrawls together. I miss his stories and his strong faith in the Lord.

Ricky was an amazing artist who lost his battle with cancer. Check out some of his artwork HERE.
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