Blue Jay, Take One (#44)

Kathy at Backyard Bird Nerd never fails to inspire me with her amazingly sharp closeups. Lately, I’ve been working on getting my blue jay on, after seeing one of her recent posts…..

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…and this was my first. I’ve sketched several since, but as sometimes happens, the first was my favorite so far. We’ll see what the week brings!   This was done with a Copic SP 0.1mm pen.   Love the dark markings on these guys.   Hope you enjoyed this!

Happy President’s Day! May you have a productive and satisfying week, and lots of time to bring out the paint and pencils. Peace.

Partial Rabbit (#26): 100 Face Challenge

I found a nice closeup of a rabbit/hare head via a Google images search and had to try to capture it.   This is a simple ballpoint pen with a bit of Polychromos colored pencil on top.

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It kind of reminds me of the hares I’ve seen Rebecca over at RebeccaEvansCreate do so many times, but now the photo is gone and I can’t find any more info about him/her.   I just know he was cute and I had to try and draw him.    I was surprised how much I enjoyed working with the ballpoint pen!    A nice inexpensive art supply, I tried it due to a suggestion and related video from Alphonso Dunn (my ink hero).

Let’s all blow really hard and send that snowstorm out to sea.   Who’s with me?   Stay safe and warm, my friends.   ❤

Redbird …. or not? (#18): 100 Face Challenge

I want to thank Kathy at Backyard Bird Nerd once again for inspiring me with a lovely photo of a cardinal.    I almost didn’t add color to this, but I did think to take a photo beforehand this time.  🙂

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What do you think?   Better with, or without?  It’s nice when we can look back at an image, or see the stages along the way.   I often go into a creative trance and forget to take photos during the process.    I love color, but sometimes those pen lines look fine as is, and the color can be a bit much.   I’d love to hear your thoughts.   I believe this was Graphitint and Inktense watercolor pencil, and a General’s sketch and wash (water-soluble graphite) pencil.   With Copic 0.1 mm fineliner underneath.

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And I hope we are all joining the birds today in whistling a happy Friday tune!    Peace and pigskins (that’s football for my friends outside the States) to all!

Portrait of a Man (#17): 100 Face Challenge

This is the second portrait I’ve tried in pen and ink.   I wonder if anyone will recognize him.    (Unlikely, unless you’re an American football fan.)    It was fun to do, and I’d like to try more human faces in ink.   I find you have to be careful with the strokes or you can really age a person.

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Pen is an interesting medium.   I’m really enjoying the precision that’s possible, particularly with these Copic multiliners.   This one has a 0.1 mm tip.   If you think about it, that is whisker thin.   I like that.   It also makes it easier to try and cover up mistakes, a useful thing when using ink!  😀   So much to learn.   It’s always fun & challenging, this art journey!

Happy, Happy Thursday to you…….the long weekend approacheth!   Peace.

Draw A Bird Day in January

Tweet Tweet!    Check out those bird feet!   hehe

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I’ve been sketching sketches from the book “The Bluebird Effect” by Julie Zickefoose. I found this on page xxiii of the introduction and couldn’t resist trying it. This was painted with my Cotman travel palette, drawn in Pitt waterproof pen in the Canson universal sketch pad. I was amazed at how well this 65 lb. paper took a light watercolor wash! It sold me on these books (which are under $4 for 100 pp. at Blick)! Hard to beat that.

I find I learn something every time I intentionally copy something another artist has done, particularly when there is pen work involved.   This book has been a big help to me, because she has tons of small illustrations (all her own artwork) throughout.   The book is worthwhile for those alone, but if you’re interested in birding, her stories about birds are wonderful.   I highly recommend it.

Happy FRIDAY to all!  Fly, be freeeeee!

100 Face Challenge: Less is More Experiment (#8)!

Recently, I decided to focus more on drawing animals, particularly in ink. In that process, I ran across the YouTube channel of an amazing artist named Alphonso Dunn.   He has a huge catalog of videos there, which he’s graciously produced and made available for free.   One that particularly caught my eye is titled “The Less is More Principle”.  Which led to this drawing.

010616Pen can be tricky, and as Alphonso teaches, it can be very useful to learn to be brief with your strokes, and capture the immediacy of the subject in that moment.   I wanted to capture the essence of this dog quickly, and I was happy with this effort.

Incidentally, Alphonso came out with his first book a few weeks ago.   He wanted to produce the kind of book he wanted when he was trying to teach himself how to draw in pen.    “Pen and Ink Drawing:   A Simple Guide” doesn’t disappoint.   He is passionate about teaching and about drawing, and he is one of the few artists I’ve come across who is really good at both.  He can boil difficult principles down to a paragraph or two.    (He has some wonderful videos on perspective, for example, that brought me closer to understanding this than anything I’ve come across.)

He is wonderful, and has such a gentle and gracious way about him, too.   By the way, he also works in pen and watercolor, graphite; he doesn’t limit himself to just ink.   I encourage you to check out his YouTube channel, and consider taking a look at his book (free preview on Amazon, here) to see if you might find it useful.   It’s already the #1 bestseller on Amazon in its category.   Congratulations, Alphonso, and well-deserved!

Happy Wednesday; we’re almost home free now!     I want to thank all of you for taking this journey with me.   Peace and creative wonderment to all.

100 Face Challenge: Studio Cat (#6 & #7)!

I was browsing the blog of artist Katie Turner recently and found this post, featuring a wonderful photo of her studio cat, Tiger.    This cat is so gorgeous, with lovely markings, and I was especially drawn to her eyes (I am eye obsessed).   So of course, I had to draw her.    Or try!   🙂

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My first attempt was in graphite pencil (2B) in my 65-lb., mostly smooth Canson sketchbook.   I was happy with the eye, but had misaligned some other markings a bit.   And I didn’t think the lightweight paper would fare well with too much erasing.

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So I tried again in ink, this time in my Strathmore mixed media journal with a Copic 0.1 mm nib.   I’ve not finished this drawing, but will probably start over again on Bristol smooth paper.   The photo has so much eye detail (making me crave about 100 more just like it, of any animal you please!) and I find myself being drawn to it again and again.   I’ve found that the importance of a good photo reference can not be overestimated.   I’ve also found that in spite of a good reference, it’s easy to make mistakes.   hehe.

I’ve got some barnyard animals planned for the future:  cows, horses, rabbits, roosters, and even the odd squirrel and raccoon.    Also, more dogs!    I hope you make this a day to remember.  Meowing in public could go a long way toward brightening a January day.   (I’m just checking to see if anyone’s still reading.   But meowing in public really is fun!)    Peace.

100 Face Challenge: Mallard Duck (#4)

The best thing about blogging on WordPress is that we’re all constantly surrounded with tons of inspiration coming at us from every direction. This post at Bay Photos by Donna recently caught my eye, and I just had to attempt to draw this mallard head.   It was a magnificent close-up head shot!   It was calling….um, quacking my name!!

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I like the ink drawing ok, but this is a face that begs for watercolor.   Don’t you agree?   How could any painter resist the beautiful colors in his head? I ran out of time to paint today, but aiming for a more colorful version of this beautiful bird next time out.   Thank you, Donna, once again, for your wonderful and inspirational photos!

Happy Sunday! Do more of what makes you happy. The world will be a better place if you do! Peace.

 

Materials Used:

Superfine Pitt Artist pen in black

Strathmore Visual Journal – Mixed Media format