Wednesday, September 3, 2014

Plant Parts in Pen and Ink


Pen and Ink works of plant parts seem to be the order of the week. Partly I think because I was involved with a discussion in the WetCanvas Pen and Ink forum about how important drawing accurately is when it come to creating art. At one time I think I would have said that it was critical. I have certainly spent a lot of time trying to hone my skills so that I can accurately draw what I see. But I have come to realize that accuracy is not always the most important part of an art work that has impact. Sometimes it isn't important at all, though of course there are times when it is critical. It is often the artists job to figure out how important it is with each individual work of art.

Anyway because of the discussion pen and ink has been on my brain, and when you add in my new pen tips for my technical pens it became my primary mode of expression this week.

Above are two oak leaves and an acorn that I picked up on my walk to the library yesterday. Drawn free hand with my technical pens and then stippled to provide texture these leaves aren't totally accurate, but I don't think the viewer could or would know that without my telling you. The acorn is a bit stylized, but the leaves are within the norm for this type of oak leaf so it doesn't really matter that I didn't exactly reproduce the leaves I picked up. Drawn directly with my pen in one of my sketchbooks.

This is a lesson that I have had a hard time accepting/learning, that it is OK to not look for total accuracy when drawing items from nature. Anyway I rather like this drawing even though it isn't very complex,



Another pen and ink sketch, this time of some seed pods that I collected on one of my walks. I believe these are the empty seed pods for some day lilies. They look a bit like some daffodil pods that I drew several years ago. Again not totally accurate but I was drawing directly with the pen. Still I think you would identify the pods if you saw them.


There isn't an updated image on the mandala today, that is because I haven't been working on it other than to draw these two poppy flowers as samples for what I would put in the final ring. For these drawings I went with pencil first to try to be as accurate as possible then I added the pen work and erased the pencil. Still thinking if this is the flower I want to put in the final ring, but I am thinking that red would be the perfect color. Besides poppies are such dramatic flowers, with the red and black and green.


I seem to have leaves on the brain. On another walk I picked up three more cottonwood leaves, this time of different sizes, and using them I created the layout for the above in progress work. I suppose you could say that I cheated since I traced the leaves and didn't draw them freehand. I could have drawn them, but it would have taken me more time, and to be honest I couldn't quite see the point. This is going to be quite a lot of work even with that cheat since I am stippling the open background. Haven't totally decided how I am handing the leaves, something I am thinking about as I work on the stipple.

This is a revisit to some leaf work I did a couple of years ago. I was never totally happy with those works, for the most part they lacked a focal point, and while I liked the colors and textures the finished pieces didn't quite work for me. I am hoping I have managed the design of this one a bit better. Sorry for the uneven quality of the image, the work is too large for my scanner so I had to photograph it and didn't feel like setting up with better lighting.


My final photograph today is of a dish plate hibiscus flower. I photographed this in Boston a couple of weeks ago. It was a huge flower about the size of a luncheon plate (8 inches across). I had read about them but had never seen one before so I couldn't resist photographing it. The bush and flower were growing in the front garden of a home as part of my wanderings had taken me into a residential area of the city.

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