It has been a long year (and there are still three months to go). I’ve been busy with……Life (no boring, whining here). I’ve continued to draw and paint although I have been neglecting my blog, I’m still kicking. Okay, now I’m back to blogging and with exciting news. I’ve been doing giveaways on my Instagram of pet portraits. This little gentleman painted in oils, is on his way to his new home. I love doing these small (6″x6″) portraits.
Working through the process of darker coated dogs without getting too muddy. Try, try again. It’s all practice.
I have recently rediscovered a creativity action technique that I had forgotten. An easy way to increase your sketching time is to keep tools at hand all the time. Besides carrying a sketchbook and drawing implements with you when you travel outside of the home, leave a sketchbook (or sometimes in my case a stack of 24# bond letter size paper clipped on a clip board) and a pen/pencil in every room in your house. It will encourage you to draw something and give no excuses to not to. Any free moment you have, sketch your dog or cat, sketch furniture, cubes, spheres (all the foundation shapes) or just pull something out of your imagination. In my opinion practice is practice and can only get that hand eye tuned sharper. I, for one needs all the tuning I can get (LOL)!
A little sketch I did! I used a Lamy Joy pen to do the drawing and then just used water to shade.
So, I really struggled with this one. My history as an illustrator had me very detail oriented, the more visual info the better. Now as a painter I try to be more relaxed, the past few years I have tried to loosen my artwork, paint more zen like, use less detail, let the viewers use their own imaginations to fill in the vague spots. This painting taught me the value of patience and trial and error. Every time I would attempt this brindle fur in my “looser” style I would end up with a big muddy mess. I made several attempts to end with the same result. (Insanity: doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results. Albert Einstein) After banging my head on the wall it occurred to me to just try a different approach! So, I got out my trusty 0/5 brush and proceeded to draw every single hair on that bulldog’s face. I learned so many things with this painting (which is the whole point of the creative practice for me). The most important take away: don’t be so attached to owning a “style”, stay flexible, and don’t be more stubborn than the bulldog you are painting!
Winter weather is finally here! Blessed rain falling in sheets outside the window of my little retreat. The birds flock to the bird feeder between downpours. I find myself staring out the window enraptured by the power of nature. Now, those that live in a rainy climate might not be so enthused by so much rain but here, in California, where we are in the throes of a long drought and go months without seeing water fall from the sky are downright rapturous.
One upside for me in particular, is that the rainy weather inspires my creativity. I have been non-stop drawing and painting since the rain began a few days ago. “In the zone” my biggest concern is not confusing my paint water for my tea (I have mistakenly ingested plenty of paint water in my life). It’s all rain water color bliss!
The social media learning curve can be so sharp, that you meet up with your back end somewhere along the journey. Oh, I want all the bells and whistles when it comes to my social media pages and posts. My latest post madness is video. Now, I’m no videographer and I don’t have a child living in or near my house, so it’s all up to me to learn. Ugh!
So many options out there: do I shoot video with my digital video camera, my iPhone, my GoPro? What app do I use? iMovie, GoPro, Videoshop? and where do I get a manual for these tools that I can read? Yes, I want an actual physical manual that I can read and jot notes in (I’ve discovered that they barley exist anymore).
I’ve found that the best resource to answer all of these questions and then some is my good friend YouTube. You want to know how to change the battery in your GoPro, watch YouTube. You want the easiest way to edit video in iMovie, watch YouTube. You want to know how to shave a llama, yes, that is on YouTube also.
Today marked my first day on the video path. A little trial and error, and the realization that I have a whole lot left to learn. But, here it is my first video. 14 sec. of success:)
I am obsessed to know what tools other artists use to create their works of art. I’m always in search of something new and exciting to try. Be it pens, ink, paint, brushes, paper, a new phone app…. yes, obsessed.
So today, I thought that I would share my favorite pencils, erasers and sharpeners.
From front to back: Wooden Pencil – Staedtler Mars Lumograph HB, oh so smooth and reliable. Mechanical Pencil – Sakura 127 0.7 lead, a fairly inexpensive pencil, but it feels good in my hand and gives me detail lines. Lead Holders – Koh-i-noor Hardtmuth Versatil, sturdy all metal body has a great heft to it, feels like driving an Audi. Rotring Art Pencil, nice tapered barrel (like a dip pen) gives this lead holder a super comfortable balance. I can draw with this all day and not suffer hand fatigue. Koh-i-nor Hardtmuth 5.6mm lead holder with the handy sharpener in the lid. Like driving a semi tractor trailer, big and bold strokes. Palomino Dual Sharpener (I love the Palomino pencils too). Staedtler lead sharpener, keeps everything pointy for super fine detail work. Lastly, my favorite graphite eradicators: Tombow Mono Zero, I actually use both the round and the rectangle shapes, you can really pull out details with these little guys. Moo PVC eraser is fairly new to my toolbox. It picks up graphite better than the art gum eraser I used to use. I actually will cut my own shapes from these erasers depending on the areas I need to erase.
Back in the studio today with the watercolors. I am fascinated with goldfish. It is probably my most drawn and painted subject of the H2O project (I could easily paint them every day). I love the roundness of their bodies and their floaty fins, looking as if they are dressed up to go to a social event or wedding.