Sunday, September 30, 2012

graphite and colored pencils

thank you to everyone who left a comment in the last post...  it's a little weird to pick just one name, because truly,  i'd love to send everyone a sketchbook.

 terry, you're the winner...  it sounds like you will use it well.  : )

this little book lives in the bag that i take out walking.  it's made by sennelier and was brought back to me from paris by kathy, who is a present giver extraordinaire...
  it has the smoothest, creamiest paper in it imaginable, but until last week i hadn't used an 8B pencil  in it. 

then i saw a face in  a rock and  decided to use the 8B pencil so i could smudge the shadows in;  and, the face in the rock also had this kind of nose, which i've never really drawn before.  that  face is the one on the top right, and believe me, the rock one was much cooler, but wow!  did i ever get hooked on 8B smudgy faces with this kind of nose!!

when i got home i experimented on different kinds of paper from my scrap drawer.  the faces above are on a piece of paper cut from an old moleskine sketchbook...

smooth bristol...

and an unknown paper in a book with a japanese price tag on it.   i think someone gave this to me but i can't remember!

also in the japanese book...

i wanted to share these because they're super easy to draw...

here are the basics of what i use...  a mechanical pencil to draw the face initially (and you could do away with this and just start with the 8B), an 8B pencil to go over everything with (and make some lines heavier than others), a tortillon/blending stump to smudge with, and colored pencils.  i'm showing cream, sand, and light umber prismacolor pencils - they're the main colors i use for shading.  for cheeks and lips i use salmon, pink, red, orange, etc...

as you can see, i'm drawing the eyes about halfway down the face.  for the eyes, it's basically a line for the upper eyelid and a black spot for the iris/pupil.  the eyebrows go down and become the nose, and the mouth sits about halfway between the bottom of the face and the nose.  after you draw over everything with the 8B (or any dark lead) pencil, smudge away!  if you don't like it, erase!   add some light color with colored pencils - smudge some more - whatever!   it truly is fun and easy...

otherwise i've been out walking a lot;  seeing so much...   nature is endlessly impressive to me.   i can't imagine a human-drawn mandala more beautiful than this.

at the green shrine tree today, setting the cans back up, adding new stuff.  the sawdust in the foreground was created this summer by ants living in the tree.   it's a lot of sawdust.   i'm impressed...

* * *

"To keep your process flowing, to feel the enjoyment of creation, you  first need to go where it is easy.  Easy means ripe.  Go where you are attracted, whether it be toward a detail or a large shape.    While you work on the part that is easy, other parts will mature in you, and they will be ready and waiting.  You move step by step, from the easiest to the easiest.  It is never tedious or tiring because there is no need to force anything.  Depth resides more in surrendering to spontaneity than in hardworking struggle.

~ Michele Cassou and Stewart Cubley, 'Life, Paint and Passion'

Sunday, September 23, 2012

watercolors and gouache in stillman and birn 'delta', 5  1/2" x 8 1/2"

thinking back, i remember that i started painting these creatures when i was pondering 'wild ponies' -  human wild ponies, that is.   we're the ones whose motto could be "don't fence me in", and we give a silent cheer when we see the bumper sticker "question authority", hee!   but  i also know another kind of wild pony...   they don't exhibit outward signs of rebelliousness, but they have twinkle in their eye and they seem to have a bottomless well of kindness within.  i admire that kind of wild pony tremendously...

i'd like to give away one of stillman and birn's newest sketchbooks/journals.    it's a 5 1/2" x 8 1/2"  hardbound 'beta', which means that it has extra heavy (180#)  white paper in it.    the painting at the top of the post was done on the same kind of paper in ivory.  i *adore* this paper and these books.  you can paint with watercolors (or acrylics or ink or whatever) on both sides of the page and there's no buckling, no showing through on the other side of the page.  

from the side - it's about a half an inch thick.

if you'd like a chance to win all you need to do is say so in your comment, but i must have your e-mail address for your name to be entered.   most of you have an e-mail addy associated with your google account, but if you don't you need to e-mail it to me.   i'll draw a name next sunday and post the winner's name in the evening.  international readers, please feel free to join in!

i really have been drawing a lot of 'wild ponies'...  they're not easy to photograph because they're lightly painted;  i've painted a lot more than this but they didn't want to be photographed, lol.

these are in my 'daily book'.  i used mostly albrecht durer watercolor pencils to paint them.

at the top of the page is a  pogo print of a topo map of this area.   i take a pic of the map, make a pogo print of it, then mark where i walked that day on the pogo print.  i love doing this...  : )

edited to add:

if you don't receive an e-mail response to your comment i don't have your e-mail addy...   so send it to me, lol!


Sunday, September 16, 2012

prismacolor pencils on stick

it seems more like three decades than three weeks since i last posted...  i've drawn on a lot of sticks, stones and rusty stuff since then!   we had a great, busy time

and we walked so much! 

 my sister, carole

on trails around here,

  near mill creek falls

in eastern california,

and on the coast.  carole had a pedometer so i know that we walked 8 - 10 miles several times, and 4 - 6 miles per day *many* times.  surely my leg muscles are stronger than they've been in years!

me on a driftwood log, 'big lagoon' off hwy. 101, northern california

we walked and walked...

pacific ocean near crescent city, CA

and saw a lot of these - plural!

a western red cedar not far from here...

 carole standing next to a redwood in 'redwood national park'

carole drawing in the redwoods at mill creek campground near crescent city, CA

the large mossy shape on the left is a redwood stump...  my favorite thing about being with the redwoods is that everyone marvels over and loves trees in their presence...

around here we started two new shrine trees... 

we did so much, saw so much;  i think there were two days out of 21 when we just kicked back and rested.  and did laundry.

 carole and me

on our way back from the coast we visited roxanne, who took this pic.  we were modeling our new scarves for her - and roasting, lol!

i printed out a a bunch of pogo prints;  i completely filled up the 'daily book' i was working in.

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

and i drew a lot of these beings;  i just keep drawing them and drawing them!

the day after she left i went out walking, but instead of taking colored pencils (for drawing on sticks, etc.) i took my daily book and watercolors.  i finished decorating all of the pogo print pages that were left and have started in a new book...

thank you to *everyone* who left kind comments to my last post - i appreciate them!  i wish you all a beautiful fall (or spring, as the case may be).   here the fall light is so incredibly beautiful now - i just want to be out in it as much as i can...

* * *

“The meaning of the work is in the doing of it.”

~ Cy Twombly