Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Three H's, Hosta, Hearts, Heron

I finally finished the above drawing. Poor thing was put aside for a couple of weeks while I adjusted to the summer heat and nerved myself up enough to go in and work on the details. Not terribly large, the drawing area is approx. 4 x 5.5 inches, but when you are doing it all one dot at a time it takes a while to do even a small piece. I am rather pleased with how this came out. The drawing is based on a photograph I made earlier this spring/summer of a Hosta starting to put out its flower stalk. I believe I posted that photo on the blog.

I rather enjoyed doing this piece but have a feeling that it will take me a bit before I want to attempt another stipple drawing. They do take forever to do.

Below is the colored hearts and shells drawing that I posted last week:

I used mainly Derwent Inktense pencils for the color. When water activated these pencils display a brilliant color, brighter then most watercolor pencils so they are really fun to work with even if the resulting colors can be a bit tricky to prejudge.  This wasn't a preplanned drawing, just something I did for fun as a break from the Hosta.

Below is my figure drawing from last night.

Due to several factors we only had one 45 minute session last nigh instead of our usual 2 1/2 hours so the above drawing is really more of a sketch. It is mostly done with a 2H lead, though just before the break I had switched to the 2B lead  which can be seen in the sketched in background.

This drawing at least lets you see how I go about doing my weekly figure drawings. I start with a 2H lead (lighter marks, easier to erase) to rough in the figure/face and any furniture. Erasing and redrawing until I have the figure blocked in the way I want it. This usually takes me through the first posing session. After the break I will go back in with a 2B lead to refine and darken the face/body putting in shadows and shading during the 2nd session. In the last session I add details to the hands/face and work on the background details. Though usually I have the figure pretty much finished by the end of the 2nd posing session and spend the last session filling in the cloth shadows and background.

My last image is a photo I made yesterday at one of the MA Audubon Sanctuaries:

The bird pictured above is a Green Heron, and I photographed it at the Daniel Webster Sanctuary in Marshfield, MA. yesterday afternoon. Yesterday was the first time I had seen this bird other than in a photograph. They are MA's 2nd native Heron species, the other being the Great Blue Heron. These guys are quite a bit smaller then the Great Blue's, but still larger then most of your backyard birds.

I was thrilled to have see it, and probably spent over 20 minutes watching it wander around the shore of the pond and feeding. I think it was catching tadpoles, but even though I was fairly close (in one of the Sanctuary's hides) I couldn't really see what it was eating, other than it look black and wriggled a bit.

Well that is my three H's for today, I think I much prefer my three to the weatherman's three. Per usual comments are always welcome.

Saturday, July 23, 2011

Heat Wave?

It's hot, OK, I know compared to the rest of the US we have had cool (relatively) weather so far this summer, but this past week the heat in the rest of the country caught up to us. Temps have been in the 90's and even up to 100 degrees in some communities. I don't have AC so have to find other ways to deal. One way is to sit in front of a fan. Makes it hard to do any art work so that is the reason why there is only one blog update this week.

The above pen and ink drawing isn't quite done yet. I am going to add color to it, but need to wait until I can find a morning cool enough that I don't have to sit in front of a fan to do it. I am not sure where this came from. I had a piece of hot press watercolor paper marked with a square and a pen so I just started drawing. The hearts came first then the "shells" then the drops. Done with stipple using my technical pens. The weather is supposed to be cooler tomorrow so hopefully I will have a colored update for you next week.

Our Monday night life sessions started up again last Monday. Above is my effort. ACK, 2 weeks off has not been good for me, though I did do those portrait studies that first week off. Wouldn't know I had done that work from the above drawing. She looks human, which is nice, but she doesn't look like our Monday night model. Not to mention that I think I have her head a bit too small. Well I can try again this coming Monday and hopefully do a better job. The only thing that makes me feel a bit better is that the other attendees were having issues also so I wasn't alone.

This is going to be short, with the heat I haven't been out photographing so no new pictures. I did make a few last Sunday when I visited a friend so we could go see the last Harry Potter Movie (it's OK, not the movie I wanted to see but OK) but I didn't make anything that I want to share so that will also have to wait for another posting. In the meantime comments are always welcome, and thanks for looking. If you are in the States stay cool if you can.

Saturday, July 16, 2011

Lemons and Photo's

Apologies for the lack of postings this week. It has been hot here in the Northeast, and when it is hot about the only thing I feel like doing is reading. Doing art will take my mind off the heat, but as my hand starts to stick to the paper it does get a bit more difficult. So most of my drawing has been on hold since last weekend. I did manage to do a quick drawing last night of these three lemons. Done with a Pigma pen, the 005 tip on just sketchbook paper from a reference photograph. Not great but not bad and at least it is some art for the week.

Next week the life sessions start up again so I should have more work to show. I was going to get a bunch of portraits done. Oh well, no reason why I can't fit them in between other works anyway. I really need to finish that flower stipple work. Wish me luck.

Though I haven't been drawing I have been taking advantage of breaks in the  heat to take some walks in either State Parks or MA Audubon sites. The photo's above I made last Saturday in Massasoit State Park, East Taunton, MA. Pictures are Purple Loosestrife on the top left, Depford Pinks on the upper right, a green dragonfly lower left, and Blue Vervain in the lower right.

We have just had 2 days of beautiful summer weather. Actually Thursday was almost too cool, with temps only in the mid 70's as a high. Yesterday was a bit warmer with temps in the low 80's. I took advantage of the fact that it was a Friday to head down to the Cape for another visit to the Long Pasture Audubon sanctuary.

Above are just a few of the photos I made yesterday. The upper left photo is Heal-all with an Ox eye daisy blooming right next to it. The top middle photograph shows a copper colored beetle sitting on a old clover blossom. The top right photo is of one of the few orange flowers, Butterfly-weed. This one has a bee visitor and I photographed it in the center's garden so you can see some day lilies blooming behind it. The lower left pink flower is one of the mallow's not sure which as I wasn't really paying attention to the leaves. Also this is a planted garden so while I think they mostly choose wild flowers it may also be a garden variety. The lower middle is a butterfly on some clover. I am sure the butterfly is a type of Skipper, but no clue which one. The image at the lower right is a seed head of some Dandelion like flower.

One photo I wish I had but don't is of the blooms on the Mimosa Tree. Problem is the only branches blooming were up high and as there wasn't a ladder handy I could only photograph from the ground and the results just don't look like much. The tree on the site is quite large I would say it probably reaches the max. size for this variety of tree (30-40 feet).

I wanted to photograph butterflies yesterday, but they weren't cooperating. However, I did see quite a few, several monarchs (I did photograph one but the photo isn't good), some yellow butterflies I wasn't close enough to identify, and a lovely black and gold one that just wouldn't stay still long enough for me to photograph.  Oh well I will have to try again another day.

I also heard and saw a lot of birds, several chickadees, probably a nuthatch or two, song sparrows, and a pair of cardinals, both the bright red male and drabber female. Can you tell I really enjoyed my outing, and will try to get back again this year. The tide was in when I arrived so there are no beach photos from this trip.

Enough for today. I hope you enjoy looking at my flower photos as much as I enjoy making them. I try to select the best to show on the blog. Photos are often cropped and sometimes lightened but otherwise not manipulated. Per usual comments are welcome.

Friday, July 8, 2011

Portrait Studies and more

A couple more of my portrait studies today. The first above is of a young girl who has been swimming so her  hair is wet. She is leaning forward because she was about to get into a wading pool and was talking to another child in the pool. Not sure how well I have done this.

The drawing above is done from a photograph in People Magazine. He is an actor though not one that I recognize. I think I have the face too long, between the eyes and the mouth. I hope the shadow at the top of his forehead works to indicate that his hairline is receding, despite the amount of hair he has elsewhere on his head.

As you can probably guess I am selecting my subjects to give me variety, young, middle aged, male, female, African American. Part of the purpose of this exercise is to give me practice drawing various faces with different expressions.

Below is an update on the flower pen and ink drawing I am working on.  

Background darks are filling in nicely and I have started with some of the flowers and the leaf areas. So far I am pleased with how this is coming along. Stippling takes forever esp. to get the really dark areas. It should go faster when I am working mainly on the flowers.

One last photo to share:

I made this Monday during the sunset. It is a view looking toward Boston, MA. (the skyline in the distance) from Nahant. I love the colors that grey/blue with the pink sky.

That is it for today, per usual comments are welcome.

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

4th of July, Sunset and Fireworks

Hope everyone State side had a fun and safe 4th of July. A bit more about mine later in this post, but first the drawings I  have been working on. Above is my 2nd try at a portrait this go round. Done from a photo in an old Discover Magazine I had around the house. Not bad but not great, I have to continue to practice.

I have decided to try and do different ethnic faces if I can find source material. They are a bit more of a challenge for me, and good practice.

With that thought in mind I selected the next source drawing of an actor. It isn't quite him, the face should be a bit thinner and I didn't spend enough time on the mouth and teeth, but it is close enough that others who have seen this have guessed his name, Will Smith.

Next image is a work in progress and not a portrait:

This is done from the photograph I made of a Hosta starting to bloom. Not sure at this point if I will add color. I may or I may just leave it black and white. This is stipple work and so far I haven't used any lines (don't count the pencil lines they will be erased later)

Next I have a couple of photos from yesterday's 4th of July celebrations:

The first isn't a man made image, this is not photoshopped, the clouds actually did obscure parts of the setting sun last night long enough for me to make the above photograph. Looks like a face doesn't it. The location was Nahant looking across the bay to Revere/Lynn, MA. The tide was almost fully out and you can see the sun light reflected across the sand flats. The photo is cropped, but otherwise I have haven't made any changes.

We had had a lovely sunny day with a few clouds until toward evening some clouds moved in and some areas had thundershowers. Where I was we had only a bit of rain, but on my way home it was easy to tell that other areas had had far more. Thankfully the rain was early enough to not cancel the fireworks.

One last photo of some fireworks. Everything is blurred because the lens stays open too long, but still I sort of like this photograph. It does give some sense of the beauty of the fireworks last night. They had some really beautiful and different shells. It is amazing what the makers can do with them now a days. I don't recall many of the elaborate shell patterns we see now from when I was younger. But fireworks are always fun, and it was a great way to end my evening.

That is it for today. Per usual comments are welcome.

Friday, July 1, 2011

First of July

I can't believe it is already the first of July. We have been having some lovely June days this week, mostly sunny skies (with a few puffy clouds) temps into the low 80's during the day and falling into the 60's at night so it has been good sleeping weather. I haven't done a lot of drawing this week. But in thinking about what I want to do next week since I won't have the figure session to go to I decided to try some portraits.

Above is my first attempt in a while to draw a portrait. I chose a photograph I had made this spring of a young relative of a friend. I am semi pleased with it, but it took me a lot longer to do then I expected. Course the faces I have been drawing haven't been detailed portraits and they have all been adults. Children have different proportions to their faces and I was looking down at her when I made the photograph so it was interesting to say the least to get the distances even semi correct.

I picked up a People magazine at the store yesterday to use the celeb photos as references for my drawings. It will be interesting to see if I can create recognizable portraits from some of them.

I am thinking about doing another flower colored pencil drawing. The sketch above is the preliminary drawing of some Birds Foot Trefoil. I think it is OK, so now I just have to transfer it to better paper and get started. Hopefully I will have some progress to show next week.

One last photograph.

Above is a photo of Indian Pipe. A common (at least here in MA.) parasitic plant. They feed on the leaf litter in the woods and have no chlorophyll to produce their own food. I have been trying to years to get a good photograph of a clump of these and think I finally managed it. A combination of a better camera and a good flash with a dark background to show off the white stems and flowers. I had the camera last year, but didn't find any of the plants growing with the right backdrop. This photo was made earlier this week at the North River Audubon Sanctuary.

That is it for today. Per usual comments are welcome. I want to wish any Canadian visitors a good Canada Day, and for my US visitors have a wonderful 4th of July. Don't go too crazy with the fireworks folks, they can be dangerous.