Saturday, July 25, 2015

Pen and Ink from Life, more studies

Haven't managed to do another of the WetCanvas monthly challenge images yet, but I have been doing some pen drawings while out and about on my walks. After that statement I am sure you are now wondering what kind of walk has a wine bottle, a piece of broccoli and a slice of cucumber, none actually. I was visiting a friend for a monthly book club meeting and we had wine and a veggie platter with dip. To keep my hands occupied while things other than books were discussed I drew the wine bottle and a couple of the veggies with my copic .03 pen. I didn't want to actually draw the platter so just drew one piece of broccoli, and one cucumber slice. Obviously this was not a real arraignment and to be honest I even took a bit of liberty with the bottle.

Still not totally displeased with how this came out. Drawn in one of my small sketchbooks directly with pen, no pencil involved.

Drawn in my local city park, duck, a couple of geese, another park visitor, and a segment of distant shoreline. These drawings are more impressions than detailed studies. But hopefully doing them will help me keep my hand in, and even help me to improve at doing this type of drawing.

Another of my park drawings, a visitor with child feeding the ducks, it is a bit sketchy but I am not totally unhappy with it.

This started out as a cloud study, There were large cumulus clouds in the sky that evening looking pretty. Sometimes up for a challenge I decided to see if I could draw them with pen and ink. Just clouds didn't seem to be enough so I started drawing the skyline of the trees in the distance. Oops, not sure the woods are very successfully done, so I guess I should challenge myself to work on how to depict distant trees besides working on my techniques for clouds. I think part of the sky works, but some of it doesn't. That said I usually find there is always need for improvement in some aspect of my drawings.

Again all of these drawings were done in one of my small sketchbooks with either a copic pen or one of my technical pens.

Before I get to my photo postings, I wanted to comment on something that came up on an e-mail list I belong to. They question was why make art, and someone commented that they were really interested, not so much in the hows of someone making art, but the whys. In that case the art works are quilts, so there are a lot of techniques that can be used and usually those techniques are what is described by the makers on their blogs. All well and good according to this writer, but what she really wants to know is why the artist is making the particular quilt in the first place. For me that is a hard questions to answer not only about the quilts I have made but also generally about my drawings.

Obviously I don't discuss how I draw, there are plenty of how to draw books out there, and I feel that most of them aren't worth anything, drawing is a very personal occupation and every artist has to undertake the learning to draw part on their own using trial and error to learn what works for them.

But why do I draw what I draw? Hmm, that isn't any easy question for me to answer. I love animals so for me there is a challenge in learning how to draw them well, actually there is a personal challenge for me to draw anything well with a fairly high degree of accuracy. That said I am slowly learning and realizing that accuracy is not the be all/end all of a work of art, in fact when it comes right down to it accuracy can be the least important part, as long as there is enough for the subject to be recognized. Real works of art need something more, and to be honest I am fairly sure I am not there.

But I am having fun working on it so will continue to do so. Any thoughts on this subject would be of interest to me so feel free to comment.

I don't often post dragonfly photographs to the blog. I find them endlessly fascinating, but I know that others don't share my views. Still I really love this photo of a Window Skimmer Dragonfly that I made this past week at Borderland State Park in Easton, MA. And yes they do have white on their wings, that white isn't a reflection. Whether you find them as interesting as I do doesn't matter, you should still be grateful for Dragonflies, they eat mosquitoes.

Usually I post a landscape photo to go with a close up of a flower, or insect, or animal, but today I have another semi close up. This is a nuthatch, and it was looking for a handout of seeds, which I didn't have so it didn't spend too long in my vicinity. I was at Ipswich River MA Audubon in Topsfield, MA this past week which is where this photo was made. They feed the birds there, and have done so for so long that the birds (titmice, nuthatches,and chickadees) have gotten very tame and will actually fly to someone's hand to take seeds directly from them. The first time I visited Ipswich River I noticed that the chickadees seemed very tame, but I didn't actually see them feeding out of visitors hands until this visit. And no I didn't try, I wanted to make photos not feed the birds and there was no way I could do both.

That is it for today, per usual comments are welcome, oh I posted more Ipswich River photos on my Facebook Page, link at the bottom of the blog you don't have to belong to facebook to view.

Sunday, July 12, 2015

A Barn and some other landscapes

I have been trying to push myself to do more drawing. I worked hard to get my drawing skills up to a fairly high level and I really don't want to let them get too rusty. So the above pen and ink drawing done from one of the July reference photos in the Pen and Ink forum on WetCanvas. An old barn, drawn in one of my small notebooks, so it isn't very large, approx. 4 x 6 inches and it was drawn with my technical pens.

I see some mistakes, but am otherwise not displeased with this small drawing.

The above is actually a plein air landscape, drawn with pen and ink in one of my smaller notebooks while I was visiting my local park. Not wonderful, but not too bad either. Trees are supposed to be birch trees. I need to work on how to depict leaves on a tree without drawing each and every one what I did in this drawing isn't entirely satisfactory.

In the same park where I drew the landscape I also spent some time trying to draw the ducks and geese that live there from life. Very sketchy drawings as live animals tend to not hold still. The advantage of drawing ducks and geese is that I have done a fair amount of drawing them from references so have some basic understanding of how they should look, which helps, but I have some pages with some pretty weird looking sketches, where I wasn't very on the mark with the drawings.

Another park, this time a State Park in Abington, MA, and another landscape. Foreground is actually a huge rock which I was sitting on to make the drawing of the woods beyond. Should have spent a bit more time on this to get the values a bit more accurate, but it was getting late so I really didn't have the time.

People make fires at this spot even though the park is supposed to be closed after sunset, probably local teenagers who come to drink beer, no one would be able to see or hear them. The rock is off of a main trail along the edge of the lake so would be fairly easy to find even in the dark.

Two photographs today, the above was made in Boston during a recent visit and is the fountain in the Christian Science Plaza, in the summer the kids love to play in the fountain, which is allowed I have a feeling that by allowing them to play in the fountain they hope to keep them out of the reflecting pool behind. Beyond in the background is the dome of the Main CS church.

The above is a head shot of a bumble bee gathering nectar and pollen from a Milkweed flower. Even if you don't like bees I hope you like this photo, It isn't easy getting a good photo of a bee they move so much so quickly. I really like this one, and hope you do also.

That is it for today, per usual comments are appreciated. One last note I have been collecting so many butterfly photos that I though it was time I set up a separate page for them. I have just started working on it so don't have all the butterflies I have photographed posted yet but if you have a moment do take the time to check it out.