Saturday, April 28, 2012

albrecht durer watercolor pencils and prismacolor pencils in 4" x 6" stillman and birn 'gamma'

jan, of laughing dog arts, i picked your name from the hat!   thank you to everyone who commented on the last post - i appreciated hearing your thoughts!

the sun was back today and i was happily out wandering.  i found an old trash pile with a lot with a lot of rusty cans and broken glass - woo!  these pics are from a shrine i'm making at another old cedar that's been struck by lightning and is hollow at the base.  it looks very much like the green shrine tree, and in fact i was calling it green shrine tree #2 until last week...

  prismacolor pencils and watercolors on found bone 
when i decided it's the bear shrine tree...

prismacolor pencils on rusty lid

 * * *

“In a portrait, I’m looking for the silence in somebody.”

~ Henri Cartier-Bresson (via tumblr)

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

oil pastel, watercolors and colored pencil ~ 8 1/2" x 11",  stillman and birn 'alpha'

i've been drawing a lot of 'suzi faces' lately...   i bought suzi blu's new book because i wanted to learn how she gets her girls to look the way they do.  really, it had escaped me!  and that's probably because symmetry is a key ingredient.  symmetry!!  well yeah, that's off my radar!
i've practiced suzi's techniques pretty extensively and i'd like to give away my gently used copy of the book so that someone else can benefit from it.  i highly recommend it for learning about shading around the eyes (and the face in general) *and* it's just a lot of fun!  if you'd like to have your name placed in the hat, just say so in your comment.   be sure and let me know your e-mail addy if you don't have one associated your blogger account.  i'll draw a name on saturday and try to post the results soon thereafter!

colored pencils, watercolors and gouache in stillman and birn 'alpha' ~ 8 1/2" x 11"

the face at the top of the page was my first try,  following suzi's directions exactly.  i liked her alright, but not enough to make me want to paint her hair in, lol.
the face on the bottom of the page was next and i liked her except she looks like she just swallowed a handful of tranquilizers. this time i followed suzi's instructions but i used my choice of colors instead of hers.  also, her colored pencil hair was awful so i painted over it with gouache.
the cat on the right was next and i used watercolors instead of colored pencils - suzi uses 100% colored pencils for the faces in the book. 
  the face on the left was last and i used colored pencils and watercolors for her.  she's okay except her right eye is way too big (symmetry, remember).

colored pencil in stillman and birn 'epsilon'

the next day i used colored pencils in the stillman and birn 'epsilon' - it's the one with the super smooth paper and i wanted to see how suzi's technique worked on it.  although the girl/cat is strange (that smile), the paper was great for her technique.

colored pencil and watercolors in stillman and birn 'gamma' ~ 4" x 6"

this gentle soul is in my 'daily book' and i used mostly albrecht durer watercolor pencils to paint her.  a little colored pencil on the cheeks and around the eyes, but that's it.  also these are not true 'suzi eyes' because i just drew the top line of each eye in and let the shading define the lower line.  it doesn't come easily to me to draw two identical almond shaped eyes; this way is a lot easier (and more fun!) for me.

the girl at the top of the post is my latest, and for her i used cream caran d'ache oil pastel for the skin, then i used colored pencils and sennelier buff titanium oil pastel for shading.  at the end i used watercolors on her lips and eyes.  i really liked this combination.  
these are most of my suzi faces...  let me know if you have any questions.  as i said, i highly recommend this book for learning more about drawing faces in general, and shading in particular. 

4" x 6" stillman and birn 'gamma'; 8 1/2" x 11" stillman and birn 'alpha'

my sweet books!  i clipped the faces by anne grgich from the latest slotin folk art auction catalog.

Friday, April 20, 2012

watercolors and gouache in 'gold dust' ~ 4" x 6"

i've been using white gouache and/or white watercolor pencils for the skin lately. i like the derwent graphitint white *a lot*, but i use inktense white and the albrecht durer (watercolor pencil) white too. the great thing about them is that once they're dry, they're fairly permanent - and they don't take long to dry.

gouache and watercolors in 'gold dust'

more pages...

watercolors in 'gold dust'

thanks cat and ani for telling me that the brown spots on old paper are called foxing! it seems a perfect name for it! there's a lot of foxing on this page. ; )

back to the subject of pencils... prismacolor has quite a few new colors out. i don't have all of them, but some... i really like the deco colors and the grey green is a lovely pale green. dick blick shows which ones are new here.

* * *

total kiki love...

via tumblr - thanks mansuetude...

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

watercolor in old book - 4" x 6"

a couple of weeks ago i started working in an old book titled 'gold dust'. i bought it at an antique mall last april when i was in virginia, but according to the writing inside it had an earlier life in west virginia. most of the pages are stained with age (many brown blobs like the one above the mermaid), and there's pencil scribbling throughout.

the cover... everything about this book makes you sigh with delight.

the inside back cover: hazel r. smith, maitland, WV, october 3, 1919. of course i wonder if it was hazel's child that so profusely wrote/scribbled on the pages! i put the lotus there...

oh! something that i've been meaning to say since i came back from my blog break is that i've been drawing with my right and left hand for a few months. after years of only drawing with my nondominant (left) hand, it just stopped seeming important to me. it's interesting because now i sometimes find myself picking up the pencil and drawing with my left hand without any conscious thought; something has switched around in my brain or my habits - or both. but mostly i'm drawing with my right hand.

* * *

“Art Criticism is to artists as ornithology is to birds.”

~ Barnett Newman, via tumblr

Saturday, April 14, 2012

watercolors and gouache on manzanita leaf - in my sewing box

* * *

“If you are stone, be magnetic; if a plant, be sensitive; if you are human, be love.”

~ Victor Hugo

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

emissaries of land, air & water ~ watercolors and 8B pencil in 8 1/2" x 11" stillman and birn 'alpha' sketchbook

in the big (8 1/2" x 11") sketchbook i've been drawing with no thought for composition (of the overall page, that is); that is beyond me. i saw some mermaid creatures on tumblr and i've been drawing a lot of them. trying out different colors, noses, etc...

watercolors and 8B pencil in 8 1/2" x 11" stillman and birn 'alpha' sketchbook

in the last couple of weeks i've come to see that i'm a small book person for sure, but on the other hand i've come to love the big book as a place to try out ideas. (ha, like i ever do anything else) i didn't plan to have the bird girl fly through her hair (is it hair?). it just worked out like that.

i got my 4" x 6" stillman & birn journal!! when i snapped this pic i was sketching a new idea in the big book; another good thing about big books is that you can use them as a sort of lap desk... the small book has ivory paper in it, and the big one, white.

* * *

Sol LeWitt, letter to Eva Hesse via tumblr

you can read the entire letter
here (click on the link under the title of the post)

Monday, April 9, 2012

watercolors, oil pastels, gouache and casein paint in muslin book

so... short posts with few words... : )

thank you for your well wishes!!

* * *

“You are not an artist simply because you paint or sculpt or make pots that cannot be used. An artist is a poet in his or her own medium. And when an artist produces a good piece, that work has mystery, an unsaid quality; it is alive.”

~ Toshiko Takaezu, 1975 via tumblr

Saturday, April 7, 2012

two of me side by side would not be as wide as this tree

i took these pics this week on my wanders in the woods... the reason i can tromp around on my own paths, make shrines, and leave things hanging where no one (besides creatures, both visible and invisible) will see them, is that i live next to a national forest.

this kind of art is my favorite... i leave it all in the woods...

the green shrine tree

rust is the *best* thing to draw on with colored pencils!

prismacolor pencils on found lid

hanging beside the green shrine tree

watercolors - this writing is almost two years old!

prismacolor and 8B pencil on bark laying at the foot of the tree in the top pic

a wet weather stream flowing over a big root, bottom center

prismacolor & 8B pencil on manzanita leaves

i carry pieces of sari silk with me for hanging stuff. it comes in so handy.

my sewing/fabric kit with some extra manzanita 'canvases'

watercolors on manzanita leaf

ahh! to see them blow and twirl!!

on another subject entirely... i hurt my right hand/wrist in february when i was out tromping around; i lost my footing on some snowy rocks and fell, with my right hand almost entirely breaking the fall. thanks to a lot of arnica and hypericum and my dh, who did everything possible so i wouldn't have to, it healed beautifully - until a few weeks ago! huh?!! yes well, i've figured out that what's made it start hurting again is using the computer keyboard! in light of this i'm not going to reply to comments until my hand is more fully healed... unless you ask a question, then i'll be sure and answer.

* * *

John Ruskin, 'Chestnut Leaves' - pen, ink & watercolor

“You sent for me to talk to you of art; and I have obeyed you in coming. But the main thing I have to tell you is, that art must not be talked about.”

~ John Ruskin, from 'Sesame and Lilies', via tumblr

Sunday, April 1, 2012

'evelyn' ~ watercolors, gouache, oil pastels & old paper on cardboard - approx. 5" x 7"

i finished 'evelyn' early last week but i haven't gotten around to putting wax on her. she and tina lorene (last post on the easel) will both have wax on them. they're good friends as far as i can tell...

i've been messing around with lots of different stuff - working in different books, trying this and that out. we've had a lot of rainy, snowy, windy days so i snapped all of these pics this morning during a brief period of sunshine.

this is a page in a 7" x 10" 'epsilon' from stillman and birn.
i *adore* the paper in this book. it has a 'plate' surface for working with pen and ink, and it's super smooth. this pic doesn't do the paper justice at all... here i'm using colored pencils and faber-castell albrecht durer watercolor pencils (i used a niji waterbrush on them)... it is serious fun to color with both of them on this paper!!

cut from the 'epsilon' paper... i glued her to the front of the book - i used my .25 rapidosketch pen. this paper is pen delight...

more watercolor pencils and colored pencils in an 8 1/2" x 11" 'alpha' sketchbook. after all of my whining about working on 5 1/2" x 8 1/2" pages in the last post, believe it or not i really like the 8 1/2" x 11" page!

in the large 'alpha' again - i drew her outline with a brush dipped in sepia calligraphy ink, the rest is watercolors...

and for my 'daily book' i'm finishing a 4" x 6" altered book that i bought in 2008.

pages from then... i was still doing a lot of collage, and i had no pogo printer! the image on the left was printed with a 'regular' printer.

this book is amazing; it was altered by bobbi studstill and the main reason i didn't finish in 2008 was that i loved it so much as it was - i just didn't want to mess it up. now i don't feel afraid of messing it up, i'm just very glad that i have it...

the two pics above are pages from this week using watercolors and colored pencils. when i'm done with this i'll start in another 4" x 6" stillman and birn 'gamma'.

and i made a muslin book! woo! i love them so much! here are the pages just before i put the acrylic paint on them. in case you haven't seen it, there's a tutorial for making muslin books in the sidebar. there are many ways you can vary the 'recipe' - here i put walnut ink on the muslin and stuck bits of old prayer flags to it with the acrylic paint as i went. also i now sand the pages with 150 grit sandpaper when the acrylic is dry. it makes for a smoother surface...

the finished book...


: )

* * *

from the (2009) exhibition "Squeak Carnwath: Painting Is No Ordinary Object". i highly recommend it; squeak is way up on the list of people i admire (and whose paintings i love)...