Saturday, November 28, 2015

Found Shoes

Oops, the found shoes project took far longer to finish than I expected, but it is now done.

Above is the inked version of the shoes just prior to my starting work with the colored pencils. I moved the child's sandal in the upper left to be a bit more in the corner and made some corrections to the laces (which still aren't quite right, but I don't care). I used my 0 sized technical pen to draw the outline. As a reminder the size is 8 x 8 inches on Strathmore's new Colored Pencil paper.

Above is the finished colored pencil drawing. I used various Derwents (Artist, Signature, Colorsoft, Studio) pencils with usually an over lay or final layer of Faber Castel Polychromos. Colors were mostly my pick though some were inspired by the actual shoe colors. I had the most fun with the high heel, which is in the original photo black. Isn't it more fun my way? I have actually seen sneakers that were almost this color of green, though the ones in my photo weren't.

I rather carefully tried to use each color in more than one place, repetition is after all one element of design. I didn't want to color the background so instead came up with this idea of something like slats. I did use a ruler to draw the lines and to get the spacing a consistent 1/4 inch. But I did not use the straight edge to actually draw the lines, so they do wobble a bit, which I think is more in keeping with the style of the rest of the drawing. The black was inked using my 1 technical pen (.5)

Actually I am rather pleased with how this came out. I like the bright colors, and like how the background works. There are some things I might have done differently, but overall I am not displeased. Oh yes, the paper, I rather liked using it for colored pencils. It has some tooth so will take 4 or more layers of pencil, but it also feels like a firmer surface than what Stonehenge paper has. Stonehenge seems to feel soft to me and tends to "absorb" color meaning you have to add more layers than you might think you need originally, with the Strathmore paper the color stays on top. Now I have to think up another project.

The above is a very sketchy drawing of a vase with flowers and was made at a friends on Thanksgiving Day. I was invited for dinner and after the feast I sat around listening to the chatter and drawing various objects. As I said very sketchy but I still rather like it.

Photographs from my local park today. I haven't been going very far afield lately for my walks. In fact most of my walking is between my home and the library. Since the days are getting shorter there is less daylight available for photographs. Ah well, Christmas isn't that far off, along with the winter solstice after which the days will start getting longer again.

Above is one of this years Signets stretching it's wings. The birder group I belong to on facebook won't let us post invasive bird photos, I totally understand, but still rather like this photo of this young swan. They are usually graceful looking birds.

Above is one of the ponds in the park. This is a section of the park that I don't usually visit or photograph, but I rather like the photo with the cat tails in front and the mostly bare trees in the distance. A very typical November day.

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

Thursday, November 12, 2015

Journal drawings, Shoes and Thumbnails

I actually had the above penciled in for a few days prior to adding ink. I used the .03 Copic Multiliner for this one. Lots and lots of fine lines, almost as good as stipple without the dots or the huge amount of time that stipple takes even on small drawings like this one. Done in my new Strathmore Multimedia Journal (5 x 8 inches) from a personal reference photograph.

A real still life was the reference for this, a bowl full of 3 lemons and 2 limes. I used Paynes Grey acrylic ink and a dip pen for all of the line work and added watercolor for the fruit and bowl. I was mostly trying to see how well the multimedia paper in the new Journal will take watercolor. Not bad, not as good as using the real thing, but not as tricky as using the thinner sketchbook paper. I tried to avoid outlining anything, though there are a few in the areas where there are dark shadows. Semi happy with the results. I really do need to do more watercolor work though.

I have a habit of photographing what I call "Found Objects". They are usually physical objects found out of place, often on a sidewalk, but as in the case of the sneakers some on grass. Over the years I have made a collection of shoe photographs as you can see in the above scan. All of these shoes were dropped, lost or left by their owners who were not around when I made the photos.

Last week I printed out all my shoe images on one sheet and started a group of of thumbnails to come up with a good layout. A funny thing, when I was taking classes a few years ago I got so sick of drawing shoes that I think I swore I would never draw another, oops, well they do make interesting subjects, and these probably have interesting stories to tell about how they got left.

Above are the six thumbnail drawings I did using my "found" shoes. I know thumbnails can be a pia to do and for many seem like a waste of time. But note the first drawing I did above, The four shoes are centered on sheet, not only centered design wise but all shoes are about the same relative size. Not a very inspired drawing. I don't know about you but such is my initial tendency when starting a drawing, my comfort zone so to speak. In the next drawings I tried different things working the shoes larger and smaller, pulling them toward the edges  I probably should have done more drawings, but some of these I actually did some erasing and redrawing on just to change things up.

One of the first things that happens if you spend any time in Collage level art classes (other than beginning drawing) is that you will find that instructors push you to create thumbnail drawings to play with various layouts. Since I have realized that my initial layout drawings are usually pretty trite I have to admit that I am trying to stop plunging into a major drawing without at least some thought if not spending the time to do the thumbnails. Once I start with colored pencil I am going to put significant time into this piece, so the overall design should be as good as I can make it up front.

I decided that the one I liked best was the middle drawing on the right side, but rotated so that the sneaker was on the bottom.

Above is my working drawing, still just pencil right now and I am trying to decide if I like it or not. I intend to ink outlines on this and then color it using colored pencil. The drawing is being done on Strathmore's new Colored Pencil paper and I am curious as to how well it will take colored pencil.

The sneaker ended up a bit smaller than the one in my thumbnail, and I am trying to decide if this smaller version works. Drawing is approx. 8 x 8 inches in size.

 Only one photograph today, as fall slips into winter there is less and less plant material and insects to photograph. Since we haven't yet had a hard freeze I do still see an occasional butterfly (a yellow sulfur or cabbage white) but I haven't actually photographed one for a while. Above is a milk weed pod letting loose its seeds. Love how the light lights up the seed heads. Photographed over the weekend in my local park.

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

Saturday, November 7, 2015

Exploring Various Ink Colors

Took a couple of days off from drawing after the finish of the #inktober challenge last weekend. I had sort over extending myself and needed a mental break if not physical.

Earlier this week I took a trip into Boston and made a visit to the large Dick Blicks store up near Fenway Park. I picked up some new colored ink and colored pens to play with.

Not a very good still life, I did the drawing last night and then did a rush job with the inking this morning. Two apples and a pear, and I am not at all happy with the apple to the left in the drawing. Part of my problem this morning was with the light hitting the fruit. Last night there was only a single source from a lamp on a table next to me, this morning the sun was coming in the east and south facing windows that are in the room, but it was still early enough that I also needed the lamp on. Still Life's do much better with a single source light source, should of inked it last night or waited. Ah well guess I can try again another day. Also should have thought through where I wanted outlines and where I didn't before I started inking. Oops indeed.

I used my new Acrylic Indigo ink with a dip pen for this, though I am not sure that the scan really shows off the blue ink. Indigo is a combination of blue and black, and I am thinking as I write this that a drawing using the Indigo with Paynes Grey and maybe some black should be interesting. Drawn in  my new Strathmore Visual Journal. I like the paper for ink, not so much for pencil, but that is OK, any pencil I use will be because I need the guidelines for the ink.

I was visiting Blicks because I needed some replacement tips for a couple of my aluminum body Multiliner pens. To my surprise I noticed some new brown colored pens in the rack and ended up purchasing a couple to try out. The color on the pen is Brown, vs the other brown Copic Multiliner that is labeled Sepia. So they are two different colors.

I had picked up this oak leaf and small acorn on my walk along the Fens (I was on my way to the MFA) and thought it would be a good subject to test the new brown ink on. I added some lines using the Sepia pen so you can see the difference in colors between the old Sepia and the new Brown. The new Brown is slightly darker.

Don't go by the acorn I added black to that since the actual acorn has a very dark walnut colored body. Not sure what kind of oak this is, but I have a feeling it isn't an American oak, most native oaks have much larger acorns, and this little guy wasn't a fluke, there were lots of them about the same size.

Last of my drawings today, I sketched a fellow passenger on the bus into Boston, rather sketchy, but I actually rather like it.

Now for a couple of photographs. The above was taken on the Northeastern University Campus in Boston. The day had been warm and sunny earlier, by the time I made this photo it was getting to be not only late afternoon but a bit overcast so the colors aren't as brilliant as they could have been.

The above is a photo of one of my White Christmas Cactus flowers. I have two plants and they are both currently in bloom. The flower is being lit by some sunshine coming in a south facing window, so the light hitting the petals and reflecting off some of the leaves give this a rather abstract look. Christmas Cactus flowers are a bit strange looking in any case, but I rather like this photo.

That is it for today. Per usual comments are welcome. Have a couple of other projects in the works so  hopefully it won't be a week until  my next update.

Monday, November 2, 2015

Final Images from Inktober

I don't like to post so many drawings/images at once, but it is now November and #inktober is over so I want to be finished blogging about the challenge.

I feel I did well, I actually managed 31 drawings within the 31 days. Now I have to take a deep breath and think about what I want to do next. Not sure, though I did pick up a new sketchbook over the weekend that is a Strathmore Mixed Media Visual Journal which I think I will be using. Should be good for pen and ink and some light watercolor washes. Well it will be better than the Strathmore sketchbook that I was using for the #inktober challenge. The Journals were on sale at my local A.C. Moore and I just couldn't resist.

Back to the drawings, expanding from just single cats or dogs I made the above drawing for the 27th of Oct. I used a reference photo I made a few years ago. The bird is a Blue Jay, and I don't think it was happy to find the squirrel in its feeder. This is a photo I have been saving to use for a more finished work. This drawing isn't quite as finished as I would like (had to be done in one day for one thing) but it is a good study for something larger. Pens used were a mixture of my Copic Multiliners and my Rapdiograph technical pens.

From another of my personal reference photographs. A swan with arched neck and an almost perfect reflection. I used Copic Multiliners for this one the .03 for the swan and the .5 for its shadow. I made an error with the placement of the swan on the page and didn't have room for the complete shadow, rather than spend time redrawing the swan I just went with it. I may also redo this one someday, there are other errors, though you may not notice them.

This is from a photograph that was one of the January 2015 Pen and Ink Wetcanvas Forum challenge images. I didn't draw them at the time, and by the 29th of October I was looking for something that would be relative quick and easy to draw, so I used it. I used my Rapidograph 0 pen for this one, and tried to limit the amount of outlining that I did, using the shading lines to create the outline of the gourds.

For the 30th I did a quick revisit of a leaf and seed pod. We have lots of Catalpa's in my city, in fact they are something of a problem I think for some people, growing where they aren't wanted. Again I wanted something not too complex. I added some watercolor to this one, and am not really happy with how it looks, splotchy on the leaf. Would have been better if I had been able to pre-wet the paper but the sketchbook I was using wouldn't have been happy with that technique. Otherwise a mixture of Copic and Rapidograph pens, and a dip pen for the outline of the leaf, seed pods and seed.

Since I started the month with just a black and white drawing of my elf helper, I decided to end the month with another image of him, with the addition of a jack-o-lantern, after all the 31st was Halloween night. Maybe he went trick or treating after posing for this.

Not the best drawing, but by the 31st I just wanted this done with. Pens used were my standard mix, Copic Multiners and Rapidographs.

As a final photograph another scene of fall foliage, the last for this year I promise, mostly because we had a storm last week and the trees were pretty much stripped of leaves so they aren't there to be photographed. Well maybe there are still a few trees with some leaves so perhaps there might be one or two more, but I am fairly sure there won't be any more photos with trees with green leaves in them. This was made in my local park along with the photos I showed last week. Yesterday was mostly cloudy so not a good day for photographs.

That is it for today, per usual comments are welcome and appreciated. Oh I had issues with the uploader today so the image size isn't as large as I usually post - sorry.