Friday, January 14, 2011

Countdown 1 Day left

Gems of the Sea
Today is the 14th of January and tomorrow was supposed to be the mailing deadline for my Sketchbook. I should make it, I have 3 more spreads and the end page to finish and I have all of them sketched in. However I received an E-mail from ArtHouse today saying that because of weather conditions and disasters in many parts of the world they are extending the mailing deadline to Tuesday the 17th. With this extension I may revisit what I had planned to do on the final spread in the book. Currently the design isn't really relevant to my theme, but hey I figured I was allowed some latitude on the last spread so even though I have more time, I don't think I will change it.

The above page is of oysters and pearls. Pearls are the only "gem" that isn't a stone, well... I had forgotten about amber and coral, but amber is fossilized resin, and I don't really consider coral a gem stone. Anyway my drawing shows 2 oysters and a few pearls, one sitting between the halves of an open oyster shell. Pearls after all are created inside an oyster, outside is the outside of the shells.


Shoes, when I went back to school many of my art classes had me drawing shoes. I have to admit that I got a bit tired of them but when I was searching for themes for my pages it occurred to me that I could show a drawing of an indoor slipper and an outside shoe. Which is what I have done in the above spread. The black shoe looks fairly solid in the scan but in the sketchbook it shows more value variation.  They were actually kind of fun to do after not doing one for a year or so.

For this page I actually glued in another piece of paper. The idea of a scrapbook is that you assemble in one place various items, usually papers like photos, ticket stubs etc. The rest of the image is of a glue bottle opened to show the brush inside the cap. I think this spread works with my theme on several levels. I like the concept better then my execution, the bottle and cap are both a bit wonky.

Drawing Tools
 The above spread is a drawing of one of my mechanical pencils, with an extra lead and a pink pearl eraser next to it. This is a bit of a stretch, but the lead does go inside the pencil. I love my mechanical pencils, so easy to sharpen the leads when you don't have to worry about getting rid of wood. The leads do come in different hardness's, I prefer using a 2B lead for my graphite drawings but have been using a 2H for the sketchbook pages. The 2H is easier to erase and doesn't leave any remaining marks on the paper.

Tree Rings
The idea for this spread was to show a tree trunk, and then the cross section of the tree with the tree rings. I didn't realize just how weird a section of a tree trunk would look on the page, hence the scribbles at the top with the lines to indicate cut offs. This is another scan that looks darker then the original page. Not sure I succeeded with the bark on the tree trunk, but I tried.

Outlook on Blue Hill
This drawing was done from a Photograph I made last spring inside the Lookout Tower built on the top of Great Blue Hill outside of Boston, MA. The tower was built in the 1930's by the Conservation Corp and from the top you get a great view of Boston and the surrounding communities. This view is from the ground level looking out one of the open doorways to the woods and ground around the tower.

Frog Pond
Frog Pond is based on some reference photos I downloaded. This is of a frog sitting in some water in its pond.  I added some lily pads just because. Don't ask me what kind of frog it is, I really have no clue, but I love drawing frogs so this one was fun. The frog is outside but in its pond.

Bottled Cloves
This drawing I did with just pen and ink, it is of a bottle of whole cloves placed on its side with a couple of cloves spilling out of the bottle. For years (while my mother was still alive) it was a practice of mine to make cloved oranges for Christmas presents. It was always one the gifts I gave to her. They smell wonderful for an extended period of time and are fairly simple to make. When I started doing this they were also relatively inexpensive to make, though when the price of cloves began to skyrocket the gift became a bit more expensive. I didn't do anything fancy, just stuck the orange full of cloves, I placed the cloves as close together as I could get them, and then let it dry for a week or so before giving it to her. To save my fingers I started poking holes in the orange rind with a knitting needle prior to pushing in the clove. Before I started doing that my figures used to get very sore by the time I had the orange about half way done. I also used to pick the smallest orange I could find, usually a navel, as they have a thicker rind and are what is available around Christmas.

Dog House
 Above is a dog in its dog house, which of course is outside. Not much to add to this, it is what it is.

Caged Bird
Last image for today is of a parakeet in an old fashioned bird cage. I did a fair amount of research for reference parakeet images looking for a bird color I liked. When I was young my sister had a sky blue parakeet called Sky. He could actually talk, and when allowed out of his cage loved to sit on my mothers head and lean down to preen her eyebrows. One day he flew out the front door and was gone. My sister was devastated, as it was pretty much a death sentence for him. We left the cage out in the yard for several days with the door open, but he never came back.  My cage has it's wires too far apart to actually hold a bird in, but it is my drawing and I didn't want to over clutter it with wires.

This is a long post. I was going to do it yesterday, but ended up sleeping most of the day with a low grade fever and a cough. The cold is better today so I am catching up. Here in Eastern MA we had about a foot of snow on Wednesday. Thankfully I didn't loose power where I am, but the city to the south of me had major power issues caused by downed trees. Hopefully all of my readers are safe, warm and dry. Per usual comments are welcome.