Sunday, February 12, 2017

More Sketches, Titmouse and Stuff

 The reference for the Tufted Titmouse above was another of my more recent bird photographs. I suppose I should have darkened the background a bit more, but the reference isn't that high contrast and I wanted to keep the same soft feeling for this drawing. Done with 2H, HB and B grade pencils it wouldn't have been easy to go a lot darker in any case. Just trying to get my drawing chops back up to par. Not totally displeased with this, it does look like a Titmouse.

 I know the circles are seriously out of shape, and the "leaf" motifs aren't all the same size, nor are the center segments. The reason is that I did this drawing entirely by hand, usually when I am doing circles I pull out my campuses and use them (it can bother me if circles are too wonky) but I was just exploring designs so decided not to do that. After I finished the pencil drawing I inked the whole thing using a dip pen and one of my new crow quill nibs with India Ink. The paper in the sketchbook I was using seemed to spread the ink a bit so the lines aren't as fine as they should be. After I finished inking (and let it dry overnight) I erased out the pencil lines.

Design is based on some architectural motifs that I photographed on Chicago buildings over Christmas. I am working on another piece the same shape and wanted to play a bit with designs, and how to shade the background for the outer ring. Not sure how I feel about this, it seems to cry out for color, but I also like the black and white version.

 Managed only one page this week for the WetCanvas Scavenger Hunt. Part of my excuse is that a lot of the prompts called for outside (meaning outdoors) images and our weather here in MA just hasn't been sitting outside weather (too cold, too wet, rain and snow). Hopefully I will do better next week. Done in the sketchbook I seemed to have dedicated to this with a .1 Copic Multiliner pen. Again these were drawn directly in ink, no pencil underdrawings. The screwdriver isn't too bad, considering.

From a walk last week in one of the Blue Hills Reservation sections this is a photo of lichen covered boulders, left by the glaciers at the top of a hill that goes down to Ponkapoag Pond. Note the smaller rock balanced above the gap between two others. MA not only has a foundation of granite but it also has a great many rocks and boulders left loose on the surface by retreating glaciers. That is one reason why we have so many stone walls, they had to get the rocks out of the fields to plow them, so why not build something. Oddly enough early settlers mostly didn't use stone for their houses, they preferred wood or brick for those.

A photograph from Friday of snow left by Thursday's all day snow storm, a small local park. I think we only got about 8 inches but other areas of the state got several inches more. Yesterday (Saturday) we had another couple of inches of snow then clouds for the rest of the day. Since there was no sun I didn't take the camera out. Today we again have clouds only today we are getting some rain which is expected to turn to snow overnight then we are scheduled for another storm tomorrow. ACK one winters quota of snow storms in about 5 days. It is more fun when they are spread out over several weeks.

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

Tuesday, February 7, 2017

Just sketches, but am drawing

All of my postings today are just sketches, which is about all I have been doing the past couple of weeks, but I consider sketches a step up from doing no art at all, so thought I would post them just so I keep in the habit of updating the blog and kept sketching, hopefully I will also get back to more finished/polished drawings at some point. 

My new camera is allowing me to make better bird reference photographs. Above is a quick sketch done with a Copic Multiliner .1 pen in a small sketchbook. The bird is a song sparrow, one of our native North American sparrows. Not a terribly good drawing, but not totally off either considering I didn't do a preliminary pencil drawing and my drawing skills are seriously rusty. From a personal reference photograph.

These next three images are sketches done in a 8.5 x 11 inch Canson Sketchbook. Again I used the .1 Copic Multiliner pen for them and did no preliminary pencil sketches.

The subjects come from lists posted in the Artwork From Life, WetCanvas forum. The Scavenger lists are weekly lists of subjects to be drawn from life.  I have labeled each page with the list number used and then labeled the item drawn.

I have rediscovered that I still have the tendency to draw what should be perpendicular lines at an angle on a page. ACK. Note that the peanut butter jars above, and the black mug and ink bottle in the previous drawings are slanted to the right. I keep forgetting that I do this and really need to check my orientation before I put pen to paper. Once the ink is down it is too late. I am not sure why I do this, maybe because I am right handed? But it drives me crazy after the fact. What really frustrates me is that I don't even notice the slant while I am making the drawing, only once it is done do I see the error.

Not really the best quality photo, these winter days even in full sun don't let me use a shutter speed that would give me a clearer image, but it is much better than I could have gotten with the old Rebel. A Great Blue Heron at Daniel Websters, MA Audubon sanctuary in Marshfield, MA. I didn't think these birds stuck around over winter, but I have seen Great Blues at Daniel Webster on both of my latest visits this winter. And others in my Facebook Birding Group have also photographed Great Blues so I guess they can and do stick around. This one was walking away from me along the river until it realized I was there and took off. I love the shadows in this image.

While our days have mostly been above freezing (just) the nights get into the 20's or lower so many lakes/ponds in the area have some ice on them. The water has gotten cold enough that the ice doesn't quite all melt during the warmer days and then it refreezes at night. This photo shows Lake Cleveland in Ames Nowell State Park with some frozen areas covered with a light snow fall. I think it makes a pretty picture.

That is it for today. Comments per usual are welcome though I am having trouble replying to them. Over the years Blogger has made changes to its comments section, and I haven't quite got a handle on how they work. But I really do read and appreciate all comments.