29 April 2015

birthday card

My brother's birthday is next week so it was time to paint a card. For several years now, I have hand-painted a card for David. This year, I redid one of the sketches I did last year of a friend's hotrod --- hope Dave likes it!

Here are the original sketches of Kenny's car.

28 April 2015

watercolor charts

I am posting these color charts on my blog simply for my own reference. After I finish filling this art journal, I will later forget which book it is in . . . if it is on my blog, I can find it much easier. The upper page is the set that stays in my "studio"; the lower page's combinations are various travel kits.

Unless otherwise tagged, most of these are Daniel Smith, though I also use American Journey phthalo blue, ultramarine, and burnt sienna.

I am still undecided on three of my choices: quinacridone red or quin. rose? jadeite or phthalo green? green apatite or sap green? Convenience greens that are normally only in my studio set but they can be very handy at times.

"Extras" are subject to change, usually being colors that are hard to mix on their own. Or those for special use: blue apatite happens to closely match the dark blue ink I like drawing with.

And here is one more combination that didn't make the chart in my book. I absolutely love playing with granulating paints and muted, earthy colors! So I put this kit together just for when I'm in the mood to use them. The yellow ochre is an old left-over pan though it is not included in my core colors. When it's gone, I'm not sure what to use in its place.

 UPDATE: By moving my muted, granulating paints to this larger paint tin, I can fit 6 more colors in . . . just about every granulating paint I own (except for ultramarine blue and cobalt turquoise, neither of which are muted).

I think this is my absolute favorite set of colors.

25 April 2015

watching Quen play ball

This week we drove to Pflugerville, TX to catch one of Quen's little league games. What an awesome kid he is!

I don't know who the lady is --- just someone random I began to draw before the game started. 

23 April 2015

a stone dragon

This stone dragon (or is it a gargoyle?) lives under an ancient oak tree in the lovely gardens of the Antique Rose Emporium. I'm trying to get better at ink drawings --- I darkened the ball he is perched on too much, losing one of his toes in the process. But I think he will forgive me.

22 April 2015

a few art supplies

I have just begun reading "Rendering in Pen and Ink" by Arthur L. Guptill on my Kindle. Being a total art-supply junkie, I had to chuckle when I read this bit.

Actually, I have reduced my "stash" quite a bit in the past couple of years. Cutting back to what works for me regardless of recommendations from favorite artists.

I'm still undecided on the best white for sketches; hence the FOUR options illustrated above. The pens don't always seem to work -- I used the white Prismacolor pencil here.

21 April 2015

a bit of patio sketching . . .

. . . while relaxing on the porch swing. Mowing this part of the lawn was annoying for Bill as this crepe myrtle kept thumping him in the head. So he gathered pine needles from another part of the yard and spread them around this tree, then set some container plants here. Works nicely. 

This is where two signatures meet in the binding, one of BFK Rives paper and one of a toned Stonehenge paper. I glued a strip of paper down the middle gutter to cover a gap between the two.

16 April 2015

a petrified dragon's egg?

The rocks scattered over our sandy dirt road are either too small to make much difference or too large to make a decent drive. But among the larger rocks are some very interesting ones. My favorites are these very plain-looking light tan rocks --- when broken open by a car's tires, an amazing glowing red is revealed inside!

When I saw one for the first time while walking with Bill, my first thought was of a dinosaur egg that had become a rock.

UPDATE: Our son Jeff, who is studying to be a geologist, says this is a type of chert with red jasper. Related to flint, extremely hard, and the edges are very sharp!

14 April 2015

a sketch from Sunday

Our pastor and his lovely wife surprised everyone with a gift this week of a mug and a book. We love our special church family!

13 April 2015

moving on to a new journal

With the Venezia sketchbook journal's binding coming apart, I decided to leave the last blank page as is and move on to a new book. This one contains the last of my BFK Rives paper along with some toned Stonehenge. 

While I am good at stitching signatures together into a book block, I am not so good at building covers. I had to reset the book block a second time after gluing it in wrong on the first attempt --- leaving a messy strip on the inside covers that is now covered with a bit of ribbon.

As always, the first page has a palette: the border contains every watercolor I use, all single pigments. The tiny mint tin holds watercolors that match the inks in the fountain pens --- lately I've been wanting to do more pen & ink with monotone washes. 

11 April 2015

2 more wildflowers . . . and the end of a book

We found the mealycup sage during a recent walk; the stork's bill is another find from Old Baylor Park in Independence, TX. I do wonder at the name "stork's bill" because I see no resemblance in this wildflower from the geranium family.

There is actually one more 2-page spread left in this sketchbook but the binding has fallen apart so I might stop now. This is the second Fabriano Venezia sketchbook I have used --- the other one held up better than this.

09 April 2015

more wildflowers

We took a drive through Independence the other day where I found golden tickseed taking over an old weathered fence with strips of bark blown loose. This fence encloses an outdoor cooking area (or a spot to wash clothes in a large kettle) next to an old dog trot log cabin in Old Baylor Park.

Later, I added a new unknown wildflower Bill spotted on the side of the road. Its leaves look like clover but it's tall.

08 April 2015

pocket palette primaries

Before filling this repurposed palette shown in a previous post, I used a journal page to determine which red watercolor I wanted to include in the earthy, muted triad. Before now, I had been using quinacridone burnt scarlet but have always thought it a bit orangy. So I tested it with two other choices, Indian red and perylene maroon, to see what kind of oranges and purples eaxh one made.

Though I love Indian red's earthy quality, the mixed orange seems a bit dull --- more like a yellow ochre or raw sienna. So I chose the maroon.

On the opposite page, I made a color wheel for both the bright and the earthy primary sets, then tested a few of the colors with the two convenience colors.

06 April 2015

Texas longhorns and their donkeys

Something we have noticed since moving to central Texas is that wherever there are longhorns, donkeys can usually be found. Eventually I learned that donkeys will fiercely fight off attacking coyotes. In fact, coyotes will avoid herds if there's a donkey.

03 April 2015

more pocket palettes

This pocket palette from Expeditionary Art's Maria Coryell-Martin has become my "always in my bag" palette. With the addition of a business-card sized magnet, I can keep one of her larger empty mixing pans attached to the side for juicier washes. The flat upper area is easy to clip to a small drawing board or sketchbook while working away from home.

I found these metal tins in our local used book shop and thought they could be used in the same way. The green one on the left is made to hold business cards; the copper-colored one on the right holds a small notepad with a wee ink pen holding it shut on the side. I removed the pad of paper and placed a business-card magnet inside each of these. A box of these magnets can be found at a business store.

I also taped off an area of each lid and spray-painted it with white enamel for a mixing area. The copper one is a bit wider and can hold four of the jumbo pans per row. Now the copper one holds bright and earthy, muted primaries plus a convenience green and burnt sienna. In the green one, I placed the pocket color guide samples from Expeditionary Art, plus three neutrals and a mixing pan.

These new kits are made of a lighter, non-magnetic metal but an extra mixing pan can still be attached in the same manner as the original kit if attached under the paint area of the box where the internal magnet is.
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