Monday, June 9, 2014

An ATC, Watercolor and pen and ink Drawing


If this looks familiar it is because this ATC (Artist Training Card) is based on an image I posted a few weeks back. The bee started out as a doodle and then just evolved. For the card I changed a few things while leaving it basically the same. I don't do whimsy often so like to take advantage of it when I do.

Done on Stonehenge paper, pen and ink with colored pencil added.


Over the weekend I thought I would try to make another plein air painting. I needed to return a book to the library so after that stop I traveled on to a local park and made the above. I sketched it first with pencil added a few ink lines, erased the pencil and then painted it with watercolor.

Hmm, well I suppose not the worst painting I have ever done (that had to be a watercolor I did back 40 years or so ago) but it certainly isn't the best either. Very muddled, design wise, and my greens are not the best, even for a sunny day in June. Though it is probably hard to tell there is a granite sculpture toward the right of this painting that was supposed to have been the focal point.  Somehow the trees sort of took over. I can see working plein air is going to take a lot of practice before I even start to get this right.

The painting is small  5.5 x 7 inches but even so I am finding that the brush that came with my Cotman watercolor travel kit is just too small. I am going to have to figure out a way to carry a larger, better brush with me without damaging it. I suppose there are other brushes that I could purchase but that isn't something I want to do at the moment. I will figure something out, just have to think about it a bit.


A quick pen and ink sketch, well quick only in the sense that it didn't take me long to do the inking, or even to do the preliminary sketching with graphite. But the concept behind this drawing has been kicking around in my brain and even occasionally as attempted sketches in my sketch pad for years.

When I was a kid I had a fish tank that sat on top of a book shelf, I also had a cat, well the family had a cat, Taffy was never really mine. Anyway it was Taffy's habit to jump to the top of the fish tank and attempt to catch a fish. I don't believe he ever caught one but he sure tried hard enough.

All my previous attempts to draw this action just weren't working, I was trying to be much too realistic with the cat. Not sure this is my final version but I am liking this one much more than any I have done before. I have a lot of "Taffy" stories and have been wanting to make illustrations for some of them for a long time, maybe I now have a start. Wish me luck.

Done in my sketchbook, graphite first then added pen and ink using my technical pens.


As my photograph for today above are a couple of Dogwood flowers. These aren't the same species of Dogwood as the earlier pink flowers, those trees bloom prior to leafing and the ones in the above photograph are just in bloom now (in early June). There are quite a few varieties of dogwoods either native to North American or to Asia.

Our early spring bloomers (think pink) are native to North America, the tree blooming above is Japanese. Whichever, the flowers are actually the green center and the white or colored "leaves" are called bracts.  Our native tress prefer some shade while the Japanese variety can deal with full sun.

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