Wednesday, January 30, 2013

'the unbearable lightness of being' ~ sumi ink and watercolors in stillman and birn 'gamma', 4 x 6

i've been playing around with all kinds of stuff lately.  i mess around with something for a few days, then off i go again.  i've tried colored pencils on just about every surface i can think of, including yupo (very cool for faces, but tricky), and i recently ordered matte dura-lar so i can give it a whirl.  i also bought the arches drawing pad that's farther down the post.   i'm curious about many things these days!

since i just bought the dura-lar and arches pad, i was feeling pretty satiated - until yesterday while waiting for my dh to check out at barnes and noble that is...

that's when i spotted these brightly colored, hardcover moleskines - 2 1/2" x 4". i held one up to him with a look that said "can you believe the sweetness of this?"  he gave me an answering look that said, "i don't see how you'll be able to live without one, lynnie..."

colored pencils and graphite in tiny moleskine

it's the perfect little book for my purse...

in early january i bought this book, and it's largely responsible for  my current fascination with colored pencils.  of course i've always loved them, but seeing what the author and other colored pencil artists are doing with them now has me seeing them in a whole new light - it's way way beyond what you usually think of when you think colored pencils.  and to top it off, she does all of the illustrations in this book with 20 faber-castell polychromos pencils.  yeah, 20 colors...    it's an excellent book that's got me thinking about everything from color theory to perspective...

albrecht durer watercolor pencils, colored pencils and graphite in my daily book

an example of me practicing drawing accurately.  what i'd like to be able to do is draw flowers, lichen, etc. more or less accurately when i'm out walking.  otherwise, drawing *anything* accurately holds no appeal for me...  and i can only take so much of at one time no matter what, lol.  i have to draw at least one face for every realistic drawing i attempt.

albrecht durer watercolor pencils, colored pencils and graphite in my daily book

since there aren't any flowers blooming now, i've practiced drawing things like an old tooth that i found and an acorn.

this daily book is different from others i've filled lately because it has no pogo prints in it.  my pogo printer quit working, and i haven't decided how to do the picture thing since.  it was so easy with the pogo prints!   also i wanted to see how i liked a book with very few or no photos...  i thought it might be nice.  but i'm still not sure.

this arrived in the mail yesterday and i'm so in love with it that i had to include it in this post.  when i saw these pads advertised at blick i immediately  wanted one.  123# cream cotton drawing paper?!  my drawing heart was practically beating out of my chest!!

and it is pure, pure joy to draw and color on...    it's soft, yet it seems to literally grab the graphite or pigment from the pencil.  i imagine that charcoal would be a dream on it.

colored pencils, albrecht durer watercolor pencils and graphite on arches cream drawing paper

so you can see the texture,  and a little more of how colored pencils and watercolors look on it.
the white prismacolor pencil is so gorgeous on it!  and graphite just sings...  you really can't tell from these pictures how beautiful this paper is.

she's pretty rigid, isn't she?  i drew/colored her while i was waiting at the dentist's office yesterday.   i felt a lot like she looks...    

pentel .07 mechanical pencil and cretacolor 8B pencil

the stars of my show...    this is a new mechanical pencil for me; the one that i'd been drawing with for 6 years broke in early november, and  it is not an exaggeration to say that i was deeply saddened by its passing...  i'll spare you the hand wringing that i went through in the following weeks and just skip ahead to now.  if possible, i love this pencil even more than my old one...

my feet just after taking the pencil pic; they were starting to get cold!  so that's the end of the post...   : )

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The artist is nothing without the gift, but the gift is nothing without the work.

~ Emile Zola (via tumblr)

Monday, January 21, 2013

'Mrs. DuPre...' - watercolors, graphite, and colored pencils in 4 x 6 stillman and birn 'gamma'

someone asked if i'd be more specific about what i do on translucent paper.  yes, of course! 

this is the front and back of what i lay the translucent paper on while i'm drawing.   it used to be a pad of watercolor canvas, but i took the canvas out, flipped the cover over so the white on the inside was on the outside, and taped it to the back - which conveniently happened to be black.  both sides are useful.   i use the white side while i'm drawing and coloring, then i put the drawing against the black side to see if  i've missed any areas.  also, since i leave the eyes, lips, and outline of the nose free of color, i like to see if i like the amount of 'open space' i've left - the black shows you this instantly.

acrylic and graphite on waxed paper

i grabbed this face out of my manila folder of pieces in various stage of the process this morning;  i painted it several weeks ago with  white acrylic paint (i don't know how the turquoise got on there)...  i'm showing it against the black so you can see that there isn't much going on initially, and you can see the unpainted areas clearly.

here she is after i colored her with colored pencils and graphite.  i used my 8B pencil for the pupils of her eyes, otherwise it's just my mechanical pencil and miscellaneous colored pencils. 

when i was finished, i laid her over mrs. du pre, which is the page i finished yesterday in my 'daily book'....   i  laid the waxed paper on the page, it's not taped or glued down - i just wanted to see how it looked.   i liked it there but not enough to cover up mrs. du pre.  the thing that i don't like about using oil or acrylic paint for the skin is that you can't see through it;  colored pencils or oil pastels, on the other hand, are translucent.

starting from scratch, this time on strathmore 300 series tracing paper...  i drew the flower faces, colored them with an ivory faber-castell polychromos colored pencil, 

and put them against the black to see if i'd covered everything that i wanted to cover with the ivory.  after i touched things up a bit, i put the tracing paper back on the white side and finished coloring with colored pencils.

once i was done i tried putting the tracing paper over images in different books, but i didn't like any of the combinations.  i liked it best on the ivory paper in my daily book - but not enough to leave it there for good!  i taped it down temporarily so i could take this pic, then i took it off and put it in the manila folder for future use.

that's all there is to it...   thank you for your great suggestions and kind words last week...  : )

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Monday, January 14, 2013

'ulma' ~ colored pencils, graphite, tracing paper, cold wax and shell

this post is about my tracing paper/vellum/waxed paper experiments... i decided i needed a focus : )

for ulma, i first drew her on a piece of tracing paper, then i 'glued' her to the shell with cold wax, which i realized later isn't a good idea because i'm pretty sure that cold wax dries through an oxidizing process, but anyway, that's what i did.   then i put two layers of cold wax on top of the tracing paper. 

colored pencil and graphite on tracing paper

i have a manila envelope full of pieces of translucent papers, about this size, waiting to be used.  usually i draw on three or four pieces at a time;  it's nice to have a supply ready to choose from...  

the reason i haven't done a post about this sooner is that they're not easy to photograph, and these pics are particularly bad because the light was way too harsh. but, we don't have much sun these days so i quickly took them before it went away.

colored pencils and graphite on unknown paper - maybe freezer paper or baking parchment?

a washed out pic of the face that's under the one above it.  in person, it's always as if two layers somehow capture the whole person; inner and outer...

colored pencils, graphite, watercolors and waxed paper in my daily book

the bird, the flower and the sun are on pieces of waxed paper that i glued to the page.

oil paint, colored pencils and graphite on unknown paper over gouache and watercolors

i got one of my favorite papers in the mail as wrapping paper, and i don't know what it is.  i used oil paint on it here to paint the skin white, and when that dried i used colored pencils  for the lips, hat, eyes, etc.   instead of gluing just the edges down, i glued the whole thing, which i don't like - it's really hard to get all of the ripples out.

colored pencils and graphite on tracing paper over watercolors

 colored pencils and graphite on vellum over photograph

basically i like to cover stuff up with thin paper!!

colored pencils, graphite and oil pastel on tracing paper

i used oil pastel for the skin on this face - it's over a jewelry advertisement from a magazine.

colored pencils and graphite on tracing paper

i glued the tracing paper down only at the top so i can lift it up to look at my color mixing experiments underneath.

just in case any of  this might give you some ideas... 

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Tabitha Vevers - 'Pearlmaker VI', oil & gold leaf on oyster shell

and now for something really wonderful!  this is an oil painting on an oyster shell by tabitha vevers...  there are more paintings on shells here if you'd like to take a look.  a friend sent me a link to this painting this morning, and i've been thinking about it all day...

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

1/1/13 page in my 'daily book' ~ watercolors, rapid-o-sketch pen and graphite

i'm peeking in, wishing you all the happiest of new years...   and i'd like to say 'thank you' to everyone who visits this blog, for your support and kind words; and a *double thank you* to all of you whose blogs i read;   with just one click you inspire me, make me smile, or teach me new things - thank you for that!

it's been a snowy, quiet few weeks...  some days i've felt tremendously insightful and inspired, others i've felt like amelia here, who's resorted to rooting around in the trash bag under my art table to stave off cabin fever.  

but for three days now we've had sun, and the days are getting longer! 

i took a bunch of pictures like this yesterday.  that blue...  i decided that the caran d'ache 'sky blue' was really quite accurate.

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watercolors, graphite and colored pencil in my daily book

The act of painting is about one heart telling another heart where he found salvation. 

~ Ai Weiwei