Tuesday, October 27, 2015

End of Inktober in sight.

Inktober is starting to wind down, only 5 more days until it will be over and it will be November. I am basically taking it one day at a time and so far so good. All of today's drawings are animals, either a cat or a dog as the case may be. Just haven't felt like going back to leaves and the elf. Course I am not only using different images as reference am using different styles for the drawings depending on the animal portrayed and what I think fits it.

Above is one the stray cats I occasionally see in my neighborhood as my next door neighbor feeds homeless cats in the evening. He used to feed them during daylight hours and I was able to get more photographs but I think someone complained and he has switched to feeding them after dark so I rarely see them any more. However the other day I did see this cat in the yard and was able to make a few usable photographs of it.

All the drawings are done in my 8 x 5 inch sketchbook, for the one above I used my 0 (.35) Rapidograph technical pen for all of the lines. Oh one other mention before we move on to the next image, all of these were first done in pencil and then the pen work was done either over the pencil or to it.

The above drawing of a poodle was done from another of my reference photographs. The State parks I walk in allow dogs, on leashes supposedly but depending on the park many who have obedient dogs will walk them off leash. I don't usually mind, unless the dog is a jumper and has recently been swimming or the paths are wet because of rain. Anyway sometimes I try to make photographs of some of the dogs I see.

For the poodle I used my Copic Multiliners the .05 and .1 tips. What I did different here is I filled in the background to my penciled lines and allowed the darkness there to define the edges of the dog, so there are very few outline lines in the above drawing, most of the additional lines are actually shading lines, not outlines. I am fairly pleased with how this one came out. The dog even looks a bit fuzzy, and if you know the breed they have very curly hair and are a bit fuzzy.

I really liked this photo, the dog was interested in something on the ground, and I think this is a pointer so tracking by scent is part of what they do. For this drawing I went back to the Technical pen, the 0 (.35) for the entire drawing. I also outlined this dog, since it had short slick coat I thought using an outline would convey that feeling. I will also say that I like the drawing.

For yesterdays I went back to a cat, this one in motion. It was another of the neighborhood strays, they really don't like strangers to approach them, and I am a stranger so. For this photo it had taken off across the street, but I was for once ready with the camera and was able to make a couple photos.

I used Copic Multiliners for this, in this case the .03 and the .5. The .03 for the line work on the cat and its dark patches and the .5 for the shadow which I wanted dense and dark.

To me all of these images have a very illustrative feel to them, fairly simple drawings of animals with clean line work and some shading.

Sunday started out with some drizzle (we could really have used some rain, but we will take what we get) but it started to clear toward mid afternoon so I went out for a walk in my local city Park. Still though there was just a bit of sun it stayed mostly cloudy, so the colors above are not as bright as they should be. Yellow, orange and red, with the understory still green, a typical New England fall image.

I don't usually post the same photo in two different places on-line, but I love this photograph, dead fern fronts in among some bushes whose leaves had turned bright red. the contrast of colors makes the fronds sort of glow.

That is it for today. Per usual comments and/or questions are welcome.

Friday, October 23, 2015

More Mid Month Inktober

The month is moving on, and so far so good with keeping up with the #inktober challenge. Here are more of my drawings to date.

I used a Box Elder leaf and a group of seeds for the above drawing. This is a combination of black Ink, brown Ink and watercolor. Black ink in Copic or Technical pens for the figure and lettering, brown ink with a dip pen for the leaf outline and the seeds, and the wash on the seeds is ink. I used Sepia Ink for this one. The green color of the leaves is watercolor, applied quickly and with relative little water. I was quite pleased with how this came out.

This one is a bit in a more traditional pen and ink style, no ink or watercolor washes son this one. The background of the maple leaf is strictly pen work, parallel lines. This is the classic fill for pen and ink, and requires a fair amount of concentration and patience, neither of which I have a lot of any more. Still I had enough to do the leaf. The brown ink was Winsor Newton Nut Brown and I used a dip pen for this. Black ink again was my technical pens with an assist from a Copic Multiliner.

Leaves and seeds were picked up in my neighborhood.

For the 21st I just couldn't face another leaf. I will probably go back to them before the end of the month but I really needed to do something different after 20 days. So I looked through my stack of reference photos and picked one that shows a squirrel on a brick wall.

This is from a photo I made myself. I tend to wander around the world with a camera, and on this day I startled a squirrel which must have been relatively young, it really wasn't quite sure how to get away from me, it ran in one direction, changed directions then started to climb a wall, fell off, ran a different direction, went back to the wall tried to climb again, fell off again, and tried a third time and finally managed to get a grip and actually climb. I watching these antics, got the camera ready and when it stopped for a moment on the wall to check me out I made some photos.

For this piece I did lay it out first with pencil then using my 0 (.35 mm tip) technical pen I drew it again in ink. The lines are basically scribbles, but the scribbles have given it a more spontaneous feel than it would have had if I had used more traditional techniques. It isn't a masterwork, but it is a fun piece.

Again I wasn't in the mood for more leaves so I drew another animal. This is my Sister's cat. I can't recall if I made the reference photo or if it was part of a group she sent me. Again there is a pencil under drawing for this, Accuracy counts with cats esp. their faces. I have her sort of floating in space I know, but I deliberately didn't anchor her to the background.

For this piece I used various commercial technical type pens, There are actually 2 browns and a black, the browns are Copic .05 Multiliner, and a Prismacolor 005 liner,  the black is a .05 Copic Multiliner. Not totally her, but pretty close, she is a pretty kitty. I didn't want to draw an inked outline around her, most of her outline is defined by either the background or her dark fur, and occasionally some shading.

More fall follage, again a maple tree in full color. Won't be long now until all the leaves are gone and we will be left with bare tree's.

I am not sure what these flowers are, they are growing in a neighbors front yard, and as you can see are a very pretty pink. I tried for several days to get a good photo of these. But I was mostly trying at the wrong time of day. Yesterday I was out in the early afternoon and finally had enough light to get a good photograph.

That is it for today. Comments are welcome, I would to know which of my Inktober drawings you like the best.

Monday, October 19, 2015

Mid Point of Inktober

We are now more than half way through October and so far so good as far as my keeping up with the #inktober challenge goes. I have been doing one ink drawing per day. Well mostly, some days I just do the drawing part and then ink it in in the morning, but I am staying up to date so far so I am not going to quibble too much.

All drawings are being done in my small sketch book (5 x 8 inches, approx) most starting with pencil drawings and then being inked with a combination of dip pen, technical pen and my Copic Multiliner. The figure work is from my memory/imagination while the plant materials are all from reference, usually the actual object. So any errors you see in figures is because I don't have a real image in front of me.

I used the leaf and a seed pod from a Red Bud tree for the above, that little brown dot is actually one of the seeds of the Red Bud. Antelope brown ink was used for the plant material. Dip pen for the outlines and a brush for the wash. I do water the ink down quite a bit before brushing it on the drawing.

For the pears I did things slightly differently. After the initial pencil drawing the bowl and the pears were outline with a dip pen and Sepia ink, but for the color I went with watercolor paints entirely. I am relatively pleased with how this one came out. It would have been better if I had used watercolor paper for a base but still I like the results of this one.

We have a lot of Beech trees in MA. The woods/forest are full of the native species, and many cities and towns have specimens of various European Beeches growing in yards. These leaves are from a neighborhood tree which is an old Copper Beech. The tree has an enormous trunk (several feet in DIA) so I feel that it has to be over 100 years old.

Doesn't matter if the trees are native or European they all have these slightly prickly seed pods that contain 3 triangular seeds. I have drawn an empty pod and one seed to go with the leaves above.

Native Beech leaves turn yellow in the fall and sometimes the leaves will stay on the tree until next spring when the growth of the new leaves forces the old to fall. In the woods the ground underneath a grove of beech trees sometimes looks like it has a yellow carpet from the fall of leaves. Can you tell that I am very fond of Beech Trees.

I went back to the Antelope Brown for the leaves and seed pod above.

I bet you are wondering where this drawing came from. It is actually my ink drawing for the 18th. I was so tired/bored of drawing my Elf yesterday that I decided I deserved a break. These 3 mushrooms are from a photograph I made earlier in the summer and I decided they would be a good subject for yesterdays drawing. I used my Technical pen (.35mm tip) for this, making simple shapes and then shading, and then cross hatching the background to add value contrast. I didn't do a pencil sketch with these, I didn't see any reason to actually. Not amazing, but acceptable and I enjoyed the break from the Leaf/seeds and Elf series.

Closing with a couple more fall photographs. We have had some semi cold nights (no frost here, but there was elsewhere in the State) so I am not sure how much longer these flowers will survive, such a pretty yellow they brighten any yard.

The maple in the above photo is in one of the city parks and as you can see showing its colors while most of the other trees are still quite green.

Well that is it for today per usual comments are welcome. I hope you are enjoying my Inktober drawings for the most part I am enjoying making them.

Thursday, October 15, 2015

A Doodle and More Inktober

So far so good this month, I have actually managed one Inktober drawing a day. Well sometimes the inking overlaps onto the morning of the next day, but I am getting the drawings done on the day. I am continuing to use a combination of reference materials and my imagination for these. The plant materials are the ones I am using references for and my figure is from my memory and imagination.

With the mushrooms above I have started using a brush to either add color or tone to the drawings instead of doing them all with the pen and having just lines. The mushrooms just called out for color and I couldn't resist. The brown in the above drawing is mostly ink, thought there is a bit of brown watercolor mixed in, the red is just watercolor.

Again these are done in my 8 x 5 inch sketchbook and I am doing under-drawings with pencil prior to inking. The mushrooms were collected on a visit to Massasoit State Park in East Taunton, and no I didn't eat any of them, when I finished drawing them I tossed them in the trash.

On another walk this week this one in Borderland State Park, Easton, MA. I acquired the leaf and seed pod of a yellow poplar. The seed pod pretty much fell apart on the way home so I ended up printing out a photograph I had made earlier in the day and using that as reference. I used Antelope Brown ink for this drawing.

On a walk to the library I collected this Rose Hip and a rose leaf. Also got pricked by thorns. Not sure what variety of rose the bush is other than one of the reds, it tends to bloom all summer and doesn't have an obvious fragrance.

I used Winsor Newton Nut Brown ink for this drawing, well other than the black.

I noticed this tree which is growing sort of on waste ground last year, but couldn't get either one of the seed pods or a leaf to make an ID of it. This year there was more of a low growing branch and I was able to snag both some seeds and a leaf, and yes that is one leaf and is actually a couple of feet long. The tree is the Tree of Heaven, it is originally from China and was planted for a while by city fathers who wanted trees that didn't mind pollution. It has turned into a problem invasive and is no longer allowed in some states and is certainly no longer being planted by those in the know.

I have only noticed this one tree in my city, but that doesn't mean there aren't others, which there probably are as this one is probably a volunteer, meaning not planted by anyone deliberately. Not sure how old it is as I don't know its growth habits, but it is old enough to bloom and have seeds so not young.

The ink here was Sepia again.

Above is the doodle, done with one of my technical pens, I just needed to play with something other than the more restrictive Inktober drawings. This was just drawn directly in ink, not even much pre-planning. I actually rather like it.

Both photographs are from my walk in Borderland State Park on Monday. It was a beautiful sunny warm (temp in the low 70's) fall day. This is some kind of Maple overlooking what should be a pond but with our lack of rainfall this summer was mostly an empty hole. I could see tree stumps and even some old stone fences from when this was farm land prior to the creation of a dam that is not in this photograph.

I love photograph milk weed seed pods that are releasing their seeds, the silk lit by the sun is so much fun.

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

Sunday, October 11, 2015

Still Inktober

I am posting 4 #Inktober drawings today. Catch up for what I didn't post the other day and since I really haven't been doing any other drawings than these it makes sense.

Above, I am not totally sure that the leaf and berries are from some kind of Ornamental Cherry I think. The fruit certainly looks like some kind of cherry so unless I can otherwise identify this popular city landscape tree I am going with it. Course it will be my luck that this is actually some kind of crab apple tree. The spring flowers are white, but it does bloom before it leafs out so...  I collected the berries while I was in Boston, but the leaf I used I picked from a tree planted along Main Street here in Brockton.

All drawings are done in my 3 x 8 inch sketchbook, starting with a pencil sketch and then inked. The brown ink for the above was Winsor Newton Nut Brown.

I had purchased a small bunch of bananas at the store (I like have a piece of fruit with my lunch and bananas are easy) and though that I should use it as a model prior to starting to eat them, three is a better number for an image than two or even one. Obviously I don't have any banana leaves handy so it is just the fruit today. They are resting on some new to me shelves that are just zinc coated wire racks. I went back to the sepia Daler Rowney FW Acrylic ink for the Bananas, and used paynes grey ink for the wire rack.

I have been walking to and from the library. Since the days are getting shorter my habit of walking in a park after leaving the library isn't working, and I need the exercise. So I have mostly stopped driving to the Library and walk it instead. I try to vary my route a bit even if it does make the walk a bit longer.

I picked the leaves used above on one of those alternate walks. The plant was growing in a yard behind a fence but a few leaves and seed pods had escaped through to the sidewalk side. The pods had dried a pale cream color, and I didn't feel too guilty about picking a couple and taking a set of leaves. I have no clue what kind of beans they are, they are white (dried) and sort of look like lima beans except smaller. I opened one of the pods for this drawing.

Ink used here was again the Sepia Daler Rowney ink, along with my black technical pens or sometimes one of my Copic Multiliners, usually the .1 or the .03.

I am not happy with my helpers face, it looked OK in the pencil drawing but it didn't ink as well as I would have liked, I sort of wish now that I hadn't bothered to even try to add features. Ah well Inktober is for experimenting so I guess it is live and learn.

Picked this leaf on another of my walks, from a Concord grape vine that is growing mostly wild in the front yard of a home. Since the grapes were allowed to dry on the vine the current occupant obviously isn't tending to the vines or the grapes so I have no guilt over taking this small bunch to be my drawing subject.

I went back to the Daler Rowney FW Antilope Brown for this drawing, except I did use a bit of black in the middle of the dried grapes.

It is a good thing for me that Inktober is October and not November as I would be hard pressed next month to keep coming up with different reference materials for my subjects for 31 days. I suppose there is always the grocery store, but there are some veggies that I don't eat and I hate to waste food.

Time for a couple of photographs, trees are finally starting to show some color here in Southeastern MA. This maple is turning yellow with a bit of orange and red.

I have mostly given up on trying to photograph butterflies for the season. The last part of this summer was so dry that there just weren't a lot of flowers around for them. But there are still some butterflies flying around, above is a female cabbage white butterfly. Spread wings and not nectoring so maybe she was trying to warm up after a cool morning. The cabbage white is the one type of butterfly that can be photographed from early spring to late fall, the have one of the most extensive flight times of all our NE butterflies.

That is it for today, having to go hunting subjects for my Inktober drawings, wish me luck. In the meantime comments are welcome.

Thursday, October 8, 2015

More Inktober and a sketch

So far so good with my drawings for #inktober. Without quite intending it I seem to have a series going. It seems to be a series in 2 different ways, first; all of the main drawings are of plant materials of some sort, nuts, fruit, and leaves. Second I have continued drawing my little helper as the actual executor of these drawings.

All those hours of life drawing from models is coming in handy. I won't say that my figure looks really lifelike, but I think I am getting most of the proportions correct, and the poses mostly realistic. I am not quite sure I can come up with 31 different poses though, so that will be just another of my challenges for this month.

I don't know why I keep using vertical text where the letters are kept vertical, doing it that way throws the spacing between letters off and really isn't very attractive. But once I start inking there really isn't any going back so Apple above is vertical/vertical. Still if frames the apple so in a way it works.

Above are the leaves and some of the seeds of the Lindon tree. They have pretty yellow/green flowers in spring and this odd shaped leaf that both the flowers and the seeds grow from. I am sure there is a more technically correct term for this, but I am not in the mood to go chasing it.

The other change I made for this drawing was to make the plant material a different ink color. In the WetCanvas pen and ink forum another participant in Inktober was doing his drawings with brown ink, and I rather liked the look of it. Since I have 3 different bottles of brown ink I thought it might be fun to add a different color to the mix. Since I am continuing to draw my helper in black ink, it makes for a interesting contrast, which I rather like. So starting with this drawing the central drawing is done with different shades of brown ink. The one above was Daler Rowney FW Acrylic ink, Sepia.

I was in Boston on the 6th, visiting the MFA and then walking along the Fenway and picking up more nuts, mostly acorns but also some sort of a Hickory nut. The Hickory isn't the shag bark that I am familiar with but there are several other species of Hickory that can grow in the northeast and the nut I am finding is from one of those. One day I will actually pin it down. In the meantime I picked up this oak leaf and thought to use it as my subject for the the 6th.

The ink for the oak leaf was another Daler Rowney FW acrylic, Antelope brown.

The above is a graphite sketch I made of a fellow bus passenger while on route to Boston. I have played with it in Photoshop to darken the graphite which was otherwise a bit light, no other changes though. 

We had beautiful blue sky's on Tuesday, the day I went into Boston. This is a photo of the Fens, a bit more water in them since last weeks rain storms. Trees are just starting to hint and the fall change. We had the warmest Sept. on record last month and I think it has delayed the fall colors.

Above is the fountain in Copley Square. The last time I was in the Square in Sept. they were working on the fountain and it was dry. I wasn't happy because I was trying to get a good photograph in Copley for the 2016 Boston calendar I was working on. Course I was there at the wrong time of day also, This week I was there in the afternoon, which is the best time to photograph the square and the church, esp. on a sunny day. I expect they will be draining it again soon so I made this photo while I had the chance.

That is it for today, I do have a drawing for the 7th but am saving it for my next update. Per usual comments are welcome.

Sunday, October 4, 2015

Starting Inktober 2015

Well, it isn't the best drawing I have ever done, but I did it without any preliminary work, so I don't think it is too bad. I had totally forgotten about the Inktober Challenge until I saw a posting on facebook which reminded me. It was still early enough in the day that I could take the time to make the above drawing.

If you are interested you can go HERE to read about Jake Parker and the Inktober challenge. It is still fairly early in the month so if you want to join/start there is still time. Most people post to facebook, or flickr or wherever, if you do a search on #inktober you should pull a lot of images.

Not quite sure where the idea for this came from, but I am finding it a lot of fun to continue with the theme of a small helper making my drawings for me. Just the kind of thing I need to ease me back into some more serious works.

For the first drawing my helper was just doing letters, reminding me of the Inktober challenge, for this second drawing it pulled out a couple of acorns and drew them. The drawing shows it caught in the act of shading the nuts. Well that is the story I am telling myself anyway.

For this drawing I first did a pencil drawing and added the ink afterwards. The result is a much more polished drawing and I am much happier with it. All of these challenge drawings are being done in one of my smaller (5 x 8 inches) sketchbooks and I am using either my technical pens or my Copic Multiliner pens, mostly the .1 and .03 tips, or the 0 and 00 technical pens.

Above is my drawing for the 3rd, this time I started with a White Pine pine cone, and my little friend is viewing the results of it's efforts. I haven't decided if it is male or female which is why I am trying to be gender neutral.

Again I made a pencil under drawing for this one and then did the inking.

We have had clouds and rain most of this past week so I haven't been out with the camera since last weekend. This photograph is from last Sunday's visit to Daniel Webster, I think the plant is Wild Lettuce but I may be wrong, all of my plant ID books are still packed away so am guessing. It is a tallish dandelion looking flower. I just liked the image of the sun lit seed head.

That is it for today, hopefully I will be continuing with my Inktober drawings so should be updating the blog again soon.