29 February 2012

learning gouache technique

Gouache is SO DIFFERENT from watercolor! It dries darker than when wet instead of lighter, light colors can be added on top of dark colors, and the colors are so much richer, they almost pop off the page if done right.

As I wrote on this journal page, I had planned on spending some time learning better how to use gouache in January. But an after-Christmas head cold stopped me dead-in-my-tracks. Then it just kept getting put off . . .
Now I am finally starting to go through this excellent teaching series from Sandy Williams. I decided to do the exercises in my regular journal to keep them all together in one place.

I do question my own timing though. I am still taking some watercolor classes on Thursday nights, tomorrow I begin taking Cathy 'Kate' Johnson's Strathmore class, and life is generally pretty busy. We shall see how much I actually accomplish . . .

25 February 2012

a study in grays

This week in the watercolor class I'm taking on Thursday evenings, we practiced mixing grays. So many varieties of gray out there! I tried mixing each blend "50/50", then mixing a cooler and a warmer version. The addition of a bit of yellow ochre made more of an antique brass.

After mixing our colors, we chose one or two metal objects to use them in -- it was really more about learning to actually SEE what we are looking at. Different metals are different shades of gray -- break that down into shapes and it's easier to capture the shine and shadow.

I chose to paint this antique stapler (I so want one!) --- The top was a different metal than the body and much shinier.  I love how it slices and folds a bit of paper, tucking the sliced piece into a slot. No staples needed!

24 February 2012

am I a pen-a-holic?

It's beginning to look like it. So many varieties of putting line to paper! And owning more than one fountain pen? One for each of my favorite color inks, of course!

I just bought a small Acer notebook as a back-up computer, to use when traveling or for when my regular laptop may need repair. Uploading this photo is my testing the newer Windows Live Photo Gallery for cropping, adjusting light levels, etc.

Without a CD drive, I wasn't sure about installing my camera -- what a relief to find that when I plugged it in, it automatically searched for the right driver!

Next step: trying to find a driver to install my older version of Quicken, which I use for our church's financial records as well as our own.

22 February 2012

blame it on my laptop

I did not need another purse. I went to Wichita because my computer's screen was black and re-booting would not bring it back. The office store I first took it to for a free diagnosis said it needed a new mother-board, $100.

Thank God, the second place I took it (Best Buy) knew a bit more about it . . . . the "geek squad" lady kindly asked if I had tried resetting it. HUH? I didn't even know about that. She plugged it in, removed the battery, and turned it on. Works perfectly.

If computers came with user manuals, I probably would have known about that. I just never bothered to look up the on-line version.

So I went out and bought this bag (only $16) instead of an expensive repair. Made sense to me. And of course I chose one that would hold my journal and sketching supplies --- my red Lamy is in the front pocket, ready to grab.

(Oddly, this is the exact same paper as the two previous sketches . . . sometimes it photographs browner than other times. Weird.)

20 February 2012

sketchcrawl at Bass Pro, 18 Feb.

This time, we met at The Bass Pro Shop in Independence, MO. As soon as I entered the foyer area, I just had to sketch the Texas longhorn since our 4 kids and 5 grandkids all live there . . . . then I added a baby bison for Kansas. It's so easy to draw animals that don't keep moving! The foyer was a very inviting place to start out, with deep couches, a huge ottoman, and huge live fireplace.

This awesome grizzly bear was next to a pond with living fish and ducks . . . . which attracted lots of parents and grandparents with small children. Some of the youngest were ready to jump right in and join the ducks and fish, keeping the adults jumping as well.

As we drew, some of us found that we were part of the day's entertainment. A few of us even had our pictures taken by shoppers as we sketched. I thought that would make me feel intimidated, but it was actually lots of fun. Strangers are generally very respectful and admiring.

Eating at the restaurant later, we passed our sketchbooks around and signed each other's books to remember the day. Shops like this are a fantastic place to find subjects for sketching. Besides the animals, there was a great antique truck (Jeanette captured it!), a lovely view overlooking a small lake and running trail out the huge windows, lodge-style furnishings, and so many interesting people of all ages! Way too much to capture in a few hours.

16 February 2012

drawing w/o inspiration

I don't know if it's sinus-blahs or blustery weather or what . . . but I was feeling particularly uninspired. So I drew what was in front of me.

Later, when I wrote the verse in the upper corner, my new Noodler's Ahab pen suddenly started spitting ink. I've heard that this can happen when it's half-empty --- I'll refill it and see if the spitting stops.

Noodler's inks and white gel pen on "lama" Fabriano Tiziano paper in handbound sketchbook

13 February 2012

running errands

Bill took a personal day Friday and we ran errands for his current woodworking projects. I sketched a bit here and there from the car at the various places --- no planning or thought went into this spread. I had planned on adding the industrial area behind the sign, but two trucks drove up and blocked my view completely.

Winter has finally arrived in a serious way. Very cold and blustery out there. Which made the green sprigs of grass popping up behind the gas meter seem totally out of place.

09 February 2012

found on my walk

At first I thought I was looking at a strange rock . . . . then realized it had wood grains. So I picked it up and continued to walk my dog. A couple blocks later, I found another one. Neither one near any tree.

ink and watercolor wash on Niddigan paper

RE the quote on this page: I often use my journals to record things I hear or read and wish to remember. Recently, I read a biography of Lilias Trotter, a Victorian woman of wealth who had a very promising art career ahead of her . . . . and left it all to pursue her passion of being a missionary to North Africa. Her journals are full of wisdom . . . and amazing sketches!

04 February 2012

Jill's chicken purse

Several of those leaving comments on a recent post (see Jill's peanut butter and jelly sandwich sketch bag below) challenged me to draw her chicken purse. So I did a VERY quick ink sketch while others in our watercolor class set up their gear. Color was added later at home.

You can see a photo of this silly bag here.

02 February 2012

sketchcrawl, 28 January

I drove to Excelsior Springs on Saturday, meeting up with Kate, Joseph, and Kelly to sketch at The Elms. The historic hotel is undergoing a renovation at the moment, but Kate arranged for us to have a private tour, followed by free access to sketch as long as we wore hardhats and stayed out of the workers' way.

While waiting for the others to arrive, I sketched the little gatehouse where we were to meet. I should have added some of the bare winter foliage but the others had arrived. (This was done in 15 minutes.)  Later, when we met for a late lunch and to show our work, I added a sketch of one of Kate's newest pens from Noodler's -- a limited issue brush-tip pen. Cute! but I think I'll stick to my Pentel brush pen -- I'm far from mastering it, as the next sketch shows!

After the tour, we settled in the curved library, a sunny spot where we have sketched from before. But even the sun couldn't warm us up much in the cold stone structure.

I tried sketching a portion of the building seen out the window, but was NOT happy with the direction it was going. Later at home, I tried reworking it but I still don't like it. After several days of indecision, I decided to post it anyway.

Both pages are ink and gouache on Niddigan paper.

Meanwhile, as I was loading these photos and cropping them to post, my email was hacked. I changed my password, but not sure what else might be needed, if anything. What an annoyance!
Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...