A Sporadic Inktober

Watercolor and Ink

Watercolor and Ink

I am doing a miserable job of keeping up with #inktober. But, I am inspired to do as many ink drawings as I can. This year I am not feeling so bound by rules…so while ink is the main ingredient, I feel fine adding color with other mediums.

While I was in Frisco, NC I stopped in to the Indian Town Gallery and they were gearing up for their Tiny Art Fundraiser. I decided it would be fun to donate a piece of art for this. Everyone that participates gets a 5×5 canvas to paint on, at the show all works are $20 donated to a good cause. I am only sorry that I can’t be there for the show! Tiny Art Show

Sardine Surprise: Tiny Art Donation

Sardine Surprise: Tiny Art Donation

Feeling a little unsettled about subject matter right now. Not so much for sketching and experimenting, that comes pretty easy. But, I still feel a little overwhelmed by my goal of completing a body of work. I am not very disciplined…or maybe I am just easily distracted. Maybe I should make a list of what I want to paint, settle on a size for all, and just dig in to that. If I could get 2 oil bar paintings and two watercolor/ink pieces done I would be happy with that. That is two less than I hoped for.

Puffy Fish: ArtSnack materials

Puffy Fish: ArtSnack materials

Mermaids

Mostly Ink

Mostly Ink

Just being at the beach I am on a mermaid kick it seems. I will just let that ride its course I think. The good thing about working on something like mermaids is it helps me develop my imagination skills! In order to get the drawing or painting done I need to pull from different resources. And, they are fun!

I had plans to do ink drawings everyday for #inktober…that has not worked out. Just too much going on this month. So, to make up for it (kindof) I am just going to try and get a few ink drawings in.

Still working with the oil sticks. Mermaid in progress using the Windsor & Newton Oil Bars. This product seems to be the one, not to hard, not too soft, pretty perfect!

in progress: oil bar on canvas

in progress: oil bar on canvas

Mermaids & Bugs

Fountain pen (light blue) and sepia ink pen with watercolor pencil

Fountain pen (light blue) and sepia ink pen with watercolor pencil

I really love drawing the bugs. It seems kind of weird, but I like them. I have been looking for a piece to go in our bathroom–and specifically I want something beachy and thought a mermaid would be fun. After looking around I have decided to try and paint it myself. So, even though the painting will be pretty primitive, I am doing some studies. Stretched canvas is pretty inexpensive and readily available, so I have decided to use canvas. That means subjecting myself to acrylic paint–generally not my choice of medium. So, it’s an exploration piece and I am trying to just have fun with it and not get too caught up in the end result. After all, it’s going to be acrylic to I can paint over it if it turns out awful.

Mermaid study for larger painting

Mermaid study for larger painting

First in a series

Orange Tulip

Orange Tulip

Sketch to painting. Imaginary color. Experimental background. Sometimes I wonder…what in the world am I doing? I just launch into a painting using materials that I have either never used or have limited use in…I feel like I should be using materials that I am really adept at. However, I don’t even know what that would be. Painting doesn’t really come naturally to me, so I am approaching it like a drawing.

I had a lot of fun deciding on the colors to use for this piece. I really enjoyed doing the ink only sketch and then re-interpreting that into a small painting. This is 5″x7″ on a cradled birch panel. I really like opaque watercolor and water-soluble crayon, but I wanted to work on something other than paper. So, I found some absorbent gesso ground and made that my first layer, (purposely painted on in several layers with some nice texture) then I did an abstract opaque watercolor background and added some salt. Then I painted my image right on top. I am happy with the translucency almost tissue paper look to it. I am like┬áthat some of the background comes through in the flower. Opaque watercolor is a challenge though and some areas seem muddy to me.

I think that I will try inktense or maybe casein next.

Tulip Study: fountain pen, black ink

Tulip Study: fountain pen, black ink

Splash of color

Pitt pen and water-soluble crayon

Pitt pen and water-soluble crayon

So hard not to break the rules sometimes! I love, love, love the ink only drawing. But, sometimes it is just impossible for me not to add a little color. This Koel bird was a prime example. I drew this from a black and white only image from the Animals, Mammals, Bird, Fish, Insects etc. book I have been using. I decided to look the bird up to just learn some more about it, and the images I found show the bird with brilliant red eyes and a green toned beak. The sketch was begging for the color.

I loved this little Jack Russell Terrier that was running around on the lava stone at the beach on The Big Island of Hawaii. i took several photos of him. I think I might do a couple more sketches of him.

Pitt Pen Medium Point

Pitt Pen Medium Point

Behind again on my sketches, two more to do today.

Every Day Sketching

Bird in blue ink: micron pen

Bird in blue ink: micron pen

I am getting used to sketching everyday…it seems like all the sudden its become a habit! A habit that I look forward to and one that feels a lot like meditation. And, I am getting to the point where I feel comfortable drawing in locations that might not be ideal. The bird in blue sketch was started before supper and finished up after supper–that is a first. I couldn’t get a sketch in at lunch, so before and after supper had to do.

Nice surprise in my email from #sketchbookskool–an assignment! Awesome. This one was to scrutinize a tree. Once I started looking around for resources I realized that I have a lot of great tree photos in my photo portfolio to draw from! I love this view of the trees from my regular weekend walk with my dog Big.

Trees. Black ink, little bit of color added.

Trees. Black ink, little bit of color added.

Two Trees

Inktense and graphite

Inktense and graphite

I have been thinking about this image for quite awhile. So, I decided to make it the subject matter for my first “finished” piece of the new year. I’m not sure what that really means, but I suppose it will just be well attended to and slower to complete. My approach is to get to know the subject by doing at least 2 or 3 warm up sketches. And, they can fulfill some of my more minor goals too. The first sketch was done in my 75 Days of Ink Journal. Fairly quick. Next up, color! I am missing color with the ink drawings, but trying not to break the rules.

The sketchbook skool folks are emailing assignments to previous klass participants! That is pretty awesome. This week’s assignment is to scrutinize a tree. Perfect for Ink!

Ink only

Ink only

Lunch time ink

Warm-up sketch for flower journal

Warm-up sketch for flower journal

Sketching at lunch is great, I have limited time, so I really have to focus quickly. Perfect combination for ink only drawing. I am officially behind in my challenge–yesterday was packed with so much activity I didn’t get a sketch in. That means I have to do two today or three tomorrow! It’s a work day, so I will try to at least get one done. The gladiola is a warm up sketch for my flower journal.

I want to start drawing the same subject several times–just to get to know it better. I always want to move on to something new, but I feel I need to spend more time with the same subject. I think I am ready to do that.

Lunch time sketch

Lunch time sketch

Ballpoint Pen

Micron blue pen and zebra ballpoint black pen

Micron blue pen and zebra ballpoint black pen

Fun! Ballpoint pen is great to draw with. I worry that it isn’t archival and light fast, but it’s fun…liberating. Kind of like drawing with crayon–but better because it is a finer point. This #sbsseeing klass assignment was to use one color, but I didn’t listen well and ended up with black and blue. The most difficult part of this assignment for me today was subject matter. Drawing from life is always a challenge this time of year. So, I just looked at my desk and decided to do shells.

The black zebra ballpoint is a great tool. I am also working on 75 days of ink only drawings, so this assignment fit that challenge. And, today was the virtual sketch crawl for the Artists Journal Workshop, so the final shell drawing had to work for that as well. Even my Dad got into the act with a sketch (although he may have just been placating me).

Next lesson is hand lettering–which is super great because this is something I am not good at!

Zebra ballpoint pen drawing

Zebra ballpoint pen drawing

Sketching the Big dog

Big in front of Lella's chicken coop in SW Harbor

Big in front of Lella’s chicken coop in SW Harbor

I am trying to work outside my comfort zone. One of those places is sketching or drawing animals. It really started with thinking about what makes me happy, and of course, my dog Big came to mind pretty quickly. I needed some subject matter for #sketchbookskool, and thought, well, he is always right here with me and I have tons of photos of him. Nothing to lose by trying. I am super happy to discover that I enjoy drawing Big! I will keep doing sketches of him and maybe turn some into little paintings. Its kind of amazing the joy that it brings me to capture him on the page… very different than a lot of subjects. Somehow I feel more connected to the process and the completed sketch. I will keep trying.

The sketch below was done really quickly. I have a photo of this one to use for reference. I am thinking that it would make a nice watercolor try (this our next assignment for klass). I think it has potential, even though I am not really happy with the sketch. I like the composition, the shadow and he was really loving the wind!

Big at the beach

Big at the beach