Monday, September 28, 2009

Malloy & Sons

I really liked this sketch. And then I tried to paint it. I like the way it looks when its small, but goodness gracious does it look terrible in person and up close! That's okay. I'm not crushed! It's just a step toward my masterpiece, right?

Anyway, I've been thinking. I'm not working right now and I need to start some cash flow. There's monetizing, which yes I know is next to nothing, but it's something. I've also been thinking about putting together a pamphlet on basic perspective for artists. Do you think it would sell? I'm not ready for prints of my work. I think I still have a ways to go before that. But, one thing I do know is perspective. So what do you think? Do you hate ads? Personally, they only bother me if they are the flashing, obtrusive kind.

I almost forgot, this is the Malloy & Sons Funeral Home in Galveston, TX. Colored from photo that I took.

Saturday, September 26, 2009

Green Is My Favorite Color

I bet, in looking through my work, that you would never have guessed that green is my favorite color! I know, I use it for everything. When I go shopping, my husband has to remind me to buy things in other colors! My purse and several pairs of shoes are green. I have green shirts of every shade, and even green pants. When I showed up for the sketchcrawl, Cecilia was wearing a green shirt and carrying a green purse, just like me. You would think that we had called each other and set it up in advance! We had a good laugh about that one!

This first sketch is from morguefile again. I love that site! It is great for reference photos (in the free photos section)for when I'm not out and about. I wish I hadn't sketched in the creases of her jacket in ink, though. I guess we do learn from experience! It is sketched in my micron 03 pen in a regular drawing (dry media) sketchbook. And actually, I think I like the way this one takes watercolor.

This one is quite messy. It was done very small and for some reason I failed to switch to a smaller brush! It just didn't occur to me. Then I painted her face too red and had to lift some of the color out. Another learning experience! This is from a personal photo, though I won't go into who it's supposed to be because I don't want to offend the parent with this poor sketch! It is sketched in pencil and done on 140lb w/c cold-pressed paper which I made into a pamphlet-style sketchbook. I'm having a terrible time finding a sketchbook that takes w/c in a way that I like! Any suggestions are welcome!

Friday, September 25, 2009

The only thing I did yesterday...

I didn't get a lot done yesterday, unless you count reading, looking at blogs, and watching videos. Which wasn't too bad, I suppose, when you consider that I was reading another Charles Reid book. And inspecting the work of others, trying to figure out their techniques. As for the videos, well, total waste of time!

This is a modified (almost blind) contour drawing of a pine cone done with my micron 03, to which I then added watercolor. It is actually quite small, only about 2"X 2". Well, I'm off to get something done for today!

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

A Day for Experimentation

I did a lot of playing today. First I did some warm up sketches in pencil, then I moved on to doing a sketch directly in ink, in my moleskine sketchbook, which I then added watercolor to. (because I apparently love banging my head against the wall!) Then, I attempted a watercolor portrait on actual watercolor paper. There are a lot of things I wish I could fix, but because I was practicing techniques I won't complain!

I still haven't added color to the Rudy's crowd, but I've been looking at how others have handled similar situations and I think I'm learning. So, maybe tomorrow, heh?

The drawing were all done from morguefile photos, except the top guy on the pencil sketch page who was from imagination. Reference #s :159360, 159379, 575912, 184629

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

It's A Stormy Day

I don't mind that it's storming on my birthday even though it means that the trip to the zoo will be postponed for a couple of weeks and the mall will be postponed until tomorrow, maybe the next day. You may be thinking, "but you'll be inside at the mall", but let me tell you this isn't just rain! This is a you-might-have-to-disconnect-the-computers, and put-the-car-in-the-garage-to-protect-from-hail-damage type of storm! It's dark outside at 11am. Yesterday we had a funnel cloud and the weather guy said more of the same today. No worries though, I LOVE storms, as long as they don't hurt anyone!

So yesterday I spent my day practicing drawing with a pen. I have become dependent on my pencil, and its eraser! The first two drawings are from morguefile, reference numbers 209473 and 618871. The girl saluting was done with my Lamy Safari, non-waterproof ink, which I then added water too. She was backlit by the sun. The second was with my Pigma Micron 01 in sepia. I randomly placed the figures from the photo. Sketching with a pen is so unforgiving! And I don't really like my line work in ink. I'll keep practicing though.

Okay, on to today's confession. I tried, I really tried, to paint loosely. I just blobbed on the paint at first. But, I didn't get that loose look, I just got a mess which I then felt I needed to clean up. There must be more to this loose look than I realized! I really disliked the outcome and kept adding to it in hopes of saving it. I'm really disappointed with the ink line that I added. I don't think that helped at all! And unfortunately, this little experience has me petrified to add color to the sketch of people at Rudy's. Because I really like that sketch and don't want it to be destroyed. Even though I have it immortalized on the internet...oh, okay, it's just a sketch and I can do more of them. I'll never learn if I don't do!!

Monday, September 21, 2009

More people at Rudy's

I don't normally eat out a restaurants because there aren't many that serve organic food (yes, I'm a little uptight about that). So, when I do, I am overwhelmed by the number of people there are to sketch! Don't get me wrong, I will eat out at one if we are meeting people, etc., I just don't go as a general rule. When we were on vacation, we took a grill and a cooler full of food, and for the most part cooked all of our own meals!

For my birthday, my parents are going to take me to the zoo, and my husband is going to take me to the food court at the mall to sketch. They know me too well as these are the best presents they could possibly give me. More opportunities to sketch is all that I want! I don't need clothes or gadgets.

I am going to add watercolor to this sketch, so I wanted to have a record of the before, just in case disaster strikes! The lady at the far left is my sketchcrawl partner, Cecelia, added from photo.

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Sketchcrawl 24...Bryan, College Station TX

Well, I had a fabulous time, but I must admit I was a little disappointed that there were only two of us at my first sketchcrawl. It might have something to do with the home football game for the Texas Aggies. I met Cecelia and we had a wonderful day sketching. And luckily the weather cooperated. The first sketch was done on Main Street in Downtown Bryan. It is the Queen's Theater. Who could resist drawing a building with a giant crown on top. And something I hadn't noticed until I started drawing was that the facade was slightly scalloped. I've emphasized it in my sketch, but when looking at the building, which is badly in need of restoration, it appears flat. It only became apparent when I noticed the shadow at the top wasn't straight across!

This second sketch was done at Rudy's Bar-B-Q in College Station. Unfortunately, I wasn't able to complete it on site because we had a couple of errands which came up unexpectedly. I took a picture of the area for color reference, though the girl had left already.

It was great to meet a fellow blogger/sketcher and I do look forward to the next. I hope this isn't something that is losing its popularity!

Sorry, I'm not very chatty at the moment, I am still recovering from yesterday. In total, I think I spent about seven hours in the car. And I had to get up at 5:30! I might have to attend one closer to home next time.

Thursday, September 17, 2009

A Little Practice before Sketchcrawl 24!

I am so excited about Saturday! This is my first Sketchcrawl to attend and I'm like a kid waiting for Christmas! In preparation, I went and purchased new brushes and a watercolor sketchbook today. (Let's hear it for 40% off coupons from Hobby Lobby!) I've also been reading a few books about process and doing some practicing. Lots of it actually. I want to be loose and comfortable. This sketch is very small, only 3X5, from a photo I took at one of our pit stops in Georgia. Okay, I have to go...more practice to do!

PS It's amazing what actually reading a book on watercolor and doing some of the exercises will do for you (as opposed to checking it out from the library, looking through the pictures, then setting it down on a table where it stays until it's due!) Important things can be how to lay a wash!

Sunday, September 13, 2009

A Reflection/Confession of My Own

This isn't me, but it's the expression I often have on my face after I've painted one of my sketches. From a photo on, posted by anamaizing, here.

I checked out a book from the library by Charles Reid, Pulling Your Paintings Together. The whole first section was on contour drawing, which I love to do. It has inspired me and I'm on a sketching binge. That's a good thing, but I got it to learn how to paint. I just, haven't gotten to that part yet because I'm having so much fun sketching! So, after about ten or so faces, I decided to paint one. I went a little crazy with the colors, but I liked it! Yes, I said that. I like it.

I've been doing some thinking. It's been pointed out to me that I am incredibly hard on myself. (I can see your eyes rolling! I know, I know, it's about time I got the message!) But, I've been trying to figure out why and I think I have it down to this: I like to sketch and sometimes I think I get a little too attached to my sketches. I'm just learning to paint and hardly know anything at all about color. This makes for a bad combination, because if I like my sketch too much, I'm disappointed if the painted version isn't something I'd hang on my wall. This definitely has to stop, because 1) I'm sure you're tired of my moaning, 2) Fear of messing up my sketch makes it harder to do, and 3) Fear of messing up my sketch means not practicing very often and therefore, not improving!

Besides, I really want to know how to paint!

Saturday, September 12, 2009

EDM #56 Self-portrait

My forty-second birthday is in ten days. I thought it would be nice to get a self-portrait in before everything starts heading south. (I heard that starts the day after your forty-second b-day!) This one is from a photo since every time I do one in a mirror I have that growl look. The eyes look a bit off, I think I've made my pupils too big.

And this is the one that I royally screwed up a while back. I went back and added payne's gray to the background to tone down the color a bit, and then painted my husband. I did a lot of guessing on the shadows and it probably isn't consistent. I like it okay...At least I feel like I can bring this one out of the closet now.

Wow...productive month for me. This post will tie me with my biggest month, and it is only the twelfth. (And I haven't typed the word "twelfth" in so long that it looks strange to me. hmm.)

Friday, September 11, 2009

Soapy water helps...

I hate doing this...posting something so bad. It feels like I'm showing you my underclothes or something. But I have to, I have a point to make! Kathy Johnson suggested adding soap to my water when using watercolor on the Moleskine sketchbook (thank you Kathy). I wanted to let you know, yes, there is a big improvement! The water doesn't bead up and skip areas. Though, it dries very fast, is still unforgiving, and you can't scrub away mistakes! I think it will be good for adding small amounts of color to the page.

And this is for Dan, I'm still waiting to see yours!!

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

3-D Doodling

Lwatching my favorite television show NCIS, I played with my kneadable eraser. I've never had an interest in sculpting, but this was fun. A sort of three-dimensional doodling, don't you think? Maybe sculpting would be fun afterall!

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Grandma, painted

Okay, I did it. And I am happy with the results. I knew it was just a trial run so I was able to relax and experiment. I see things I think need touching up, like the jacket, and maybe some shadows. Anyone with advice on how to improve it? This one is on actual watercolor paper. Amazing the difference using the right paper makes!

Now on to paint the domino players. I am going to try the adding-soap-to-the-rinse-water trick, to see what happens. Experiments! I feel like I need a white lab coat and some coke-bottle glasses (oh wait, already have those!)...maybe a beaker or two!

Monday, September 7, 2009

Grandma and Dominoes

When my husband's grandma saw that I sketched, she asked me to do her portrait, like one of her friends had had done. She (grandma, not her friend) had just broken her hand several days before and wasn't able to fix her hair, so she just told me to put it into a bun. This didn't quite capture her, so I'll use it as a practice run for the watercolor and I'll try it again. She's 88 years old and looks fabulous for her age!

This was the family, sitting around the kitchen table playing dominoes this afternoon. They were a little bent out of shape because I didn't want to play, but how could I when I had this perfect opportunity to sketch?? I started off too large and then tried to squeeze everyone in. So, no, they were actually able to see each others dominoes! I probably wouldn't have survived anyway; this is a very competitive group! It was difficult to capture much of a likeness (not much there) because they moved, but so subtly that it was difficult to notice.

Thursday, September 3, 2009

On the way to Galveston...

Wow... I really wish I had better scanning skills because I really like this one! I know, surprise! It has a lot to do with this crazy building that I've always loved. I pass it on our trips to Galveston. If you get curious, go to Google maps, type in Seabrook TX, then look for where the 146, 2nd st, and Anders Ave intersect. Then do a street view! It has statues on the shelf, outside. And tiny square glass windows, randomly placed. And, yes, those are plants at the top. Have a look! I'm not sure what it is used for, but wouldn't it be fun to have a studio there!!

Wells Fargo, redone

Okay, although I admire the digital artwork of many artists and I do respect it as an artform, I felt as if my last post was cheating in a way. I hated that while my posted picture didn't look so bad, the actual sketchbook page looked terrible. So, on the advice of several commenters (and thank you for that!), I went back over it with watercolor pencils. What a difference! You may, or may not, like it as much as the last one, but I am happy because if someone were to open my sketchbook, I wouldn't be embarrassed! I do believe I'll be using these pencils for the rest of this moleskine.

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Lessons relearned?

This sketch taught me many things. One, I'm not as intelligent as I liked to believe. I knew, absolutely knew that watercolor is difficult on the Moleskine Sketchbook. Two, when you know you are not feeling patient, don't start putting in the bricks. Three, don't take on a building with a complicated awning in fountain pen, when you haven't used one in quite a while, and you didn't check to see that it was full.Very unhappy overall, though I've managed to hide some of the yuckiness for you, with the magical powers of Corel Painter. I'll call it mixed media and turn the page. Tomorrow is another day. Think I'll go back to people! At least if they move I'll have something to blame! ;)