Thursday, November 28, 2013

Thanksgiving Inspiration, ATC and Figures

For those here in the US I want to wish everyone a Happy Thanksgiving, may your Turkey get done and there be no family fights at your feast. May your Black Friday be hassle free.

Am I the only person who remembers drawing an outline of my hand around Thanksgiving time in school and then coloring it as if it were a Turkey? In memory of that slightly strange practice I decided to draw my own hand and turkey with some crayons that I had purchased a few years ago as props for a Graphic Design project. Since I don't recall drawing this on white paper I chose to use some brown paper I purchased for drawing.

Either my memory of how it felt to use crayons is faulty or they have made major changes in the formula of pigment, wax and other mysterious ingredients over the years because I found the colors just didn't lay down the way I remember. The more I think about it the more I think they have changed this classic tool of childhood. I can remember laying down dense stripes of colors on paper and then covering the whole with a coat of India Ink that we would then scratch off revealing the crayon colors beneath. Seems like there is now so little pigment in the crayons that this would no longer be possible to do. Ah well

In any case if anyone is reading this on Thanksgiving and has some bored kids, pull out some paper and crayons and set them to drawing and coloring their own Turkeys. Who knows it might be a way to keep them occupied while the Turkey finishes cooking. Have fun with it. At the least you end up with some fun refrigerator art.  My Turkey is sort of brown like wild Turkeys, but at the bottom of this post there is an image of a white tom you can use as reference. Colors are up to the artist.

Above is a new ATC (Artist Trading Card) which I finished in the past couple of days. It is based on the drawing I posted last time of a garden with hollyhocks and a bird bath. The card is smaller than the original drawing so I had to condense things a bit. Since I wasn't really happy with the bird on the bird bath I changed it to a bird flying over it. Still the technique is the same, I do the pencil drawing first then add some ink lines as finishing touches. Keeps the ink brighter since it doesn't get covered by pencil.

ATC's are 2.5 x 3.5 inches in case you were wondering.

These figure drawings are from a short pose Tuesday night session on November 12th. The woman model started out with short 2 minute poses (top grouping) but toward the end of that period she wasn't feeling well, so her boyfriend (who had come with and is also a model) took over and posed for us for the 5 minute poses. Those are the middle grouping above. Feeling better she came back to pose for us for the final period where we do 10 or 15 minute poses. Makes for an odd collection of images, and it was certainly a challenge for us artists who were drawing.

Because it is Thanksgiving and my theme for today seems to be Turkeys I thought I would close with 2 photographs of Turkeys. Top is a White Tom who I photographed a couple of summers ago while I was visiting a MA Audubon Sanctuary on Cape Cod. The bottom photo is of a beautifully browned bird that was about to become our family dinner. One wing had already been removed by the time I made the photograph, I think that happened during the transfer from pan to platter, but otherwise intact waiting to be carved.

Both photographs are from my archived images.

That is it for today, per usual comments are always welcome, hope everyone who is celebrating one has a wonderful holiday, Thanksgiving and/or Hanukkah.

Sunday, November 24, 2013

Comments about drawing well with a couple of pencil drawings

I am trying to get back into the habit of drawing something if not every day than at least every other day or so. Above is another of one of my colored pencil experiments where I draw (loosely) with the colored pencils and then add ink details in over the color.

For this one I was thinking about Hollyhocks in a garden so added a bird bath. I sort of wanted to add a garden shed, but in the end decided that I didn't want to complicate the drawing that way. When I was inking in leaves, flowers and grass I decided the bird bath needed a bird. Not a very good one, but... hey this is just me exploring ideas to see where it takes me.

As part of my effort to do more drawing I hauled out the sketchbook where I was doing the Everyday Matters challenge drawings. One of the things I did when I first dedicated the book to the EDM Challenges was to list in the front all of different topics and subjects that had been proposed. There are over 300 listings.
I admit I cherry pick what I want to draw, but I figure at this point it is my choice to do so as we are no longer getting new challenge subjects. Anyway the first one I tackled was to draw a pair of my socks, see above.

Next day I chose the Draw a book Challenge. I made the book too small, ah well once I had started I didn't want to start over.

In case you are wondering the book is Ceremony in Death one of the early In Death series by J. D. Robb (Nora Roberts) This is the large print edition, I read what I can find at the library and they only have many of the early books as Large Print editions.

I am not spending a lot of time on these drawings, 30 to 45 minutes. The point is to get me to focus on an object and draw it as I see it so I am further training my hand/eye coordination.

As an aside I met a woman at this weeks Short Pose Drawing session. She is probably about my age (not young) and has a goal of learning to draw well. I mentioned that if she really wanted to do that she needed to draw every day. She told me that she does, but from what she further mentioned I gather she is drawing the same subject every day (her dog). I really wanted to suggest to her that she change her subjects if not every day then several times a week and draw something new, a cup, a piece of fruit etc.

I know that when I draw the same thing all the time I stop really looking at it, and start drawing the image in my mind instead. Drawing the mind image isn't bad, but it doesn't train my observational skills and that is really what I am after. I have a feeling that is what she is after also, well if she comes back to another session I may be able to make that suggestion to her.

The above photograph was made back in October after the first of our cold nights. The ferns have lost their color but are still standing. I love seeing their ghostly shapes in the woods. This stage doesn't last very long, I am sure that if I were to go back to this location today I would find only a few stems standing, and perhaps not even that. The photograph was made in the woods at Forge Pond in Hanover, MA.

That is it for today. Per usual comments are welcome, even if I can't always reply.

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

November Flowers, Figures and Fall

Been playing around with another bookmark. The idea for this one sort of came from my checking out a feed on a flickr account that I just started following. The owner of the account is into Zentangles and has a lot of images of Zentangle textures. At this point I can't recall if the weave I used for the above background was one she used, but it doesn't really matter as it was looking at what she had done that inspired this drawing.

Not sure I went with the right colors for the flowers here, but it is what it is. Still needs to be finished off with a tassel and protective film but otherwise I consider it done. Done with technical pen and colored pencils on a heavyweight paper.

Above is a drawing where I was playing around with the concept of laying down color and then using a technical pen to add line over the color. Usually with colored pencils I work the other way around, laying in the ink and then adding the color but for this drawing I wanted to see what would happen if I reversed my usual method. Kind of fun, wish I had used a bit more variety of colors, but I am going to think about this and maybe play with it some more, impressionistic colored pencil work. Adding the ink after the pencil allows the ink to have more shine.

Back in October we had a short pose session with a couple. Scott calls them a Barbie and Ken duos even thought the models usually don't have much in common with the dolls. They are a challenge to draw as you can end up with a tangle of limbs, and trying to make sense of them can get tricky. I try really hard to draw what I see but... Not totally thrilled with these drawings. Sorry about the quality of the photographs, didn't really realize how the sun light would impact the final image until I had the photos in Photoshop. Then I didn't feel like re shooting them so I just went ahead and cropped them.

Top grouping are 5 minute poses, the bottom poses were from 10 to 15 minutes.

I missed the following two weeks of sessions. Tuesday nights seemed to become my night for not feeling well, not really sick but also not feeling well enough to spend three hours trying to draw and mingle with fellow artists.

What a difference a couple of weeks and a couple of rain storms can make with the amount of leaves on trees. The above photo was made the end of October, love that red. I was photographing trees surrounding a parking lot that afternoon. A stream runs next to the property and this tree was on the other bank of the stream. Had a cop in a patrol car stop to ask what I was doing, thankfully my Cannon is fairly large so when I lifted it and said making photographs of fall color he left me in peace.

This photograph was made this past weekend at Ames Nowell State Park. There are a couple of men in some sort of craft out in the middle of the lake fishing. They stock this lake but not sure how many fish are left after the summer season. It is a popular place for folks to come and fish. Anyway you can see that there are very few leaves left on the trees. Color is pretty much gone for this year, now to get through the next 4 months.

That is it for today, per usual comments are always welcome. I will make responses as allowed by Google.