Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Still Playing With Pen and Ink

I've been exploring ways to use pen and ink and I love the different effects which can be obtained. I also find that the stark black and white of India ink and pen makes a bold and powerful statement, no matter what the subject matter. For the rest of my life I will now be working in pen and ink as well as the other mediums I've worked with before, (of course).
The ability to capture the finest detail as well as such varied textures are qualities of pen and ink that I am continually amazed by. All of the pictures you see, unless otherwise stated, are directly out of my imagination which, to me is really the most fun to work from and throughout my life has been the main source of my images.
These pictures as well as many of the previous shots were taken with my Nikon Coolpix rather than scanned in. The 9x12 paper is a bit big for the scanner and the software that came with my all-in-one is a labor intensive kludge, which although does give a better quality end result, takes several minutes as opposed to the few seconds it takes to take and upload the camera shots. I would use the scanner for marketing purposes but for now I decided to take the shortcut.

Friday, October 23, 2009

New Work in Pen and Ink Both Bizarre and Traditional

I've really been enjoying drawing with pen and ink. I love the way the detail can be achieved because of the fine point of the nib I've been using. I use India ink and an old fashioned stick pen with a very fine detachable nib.
In the rather bizarre pen and ink drawing here I continued on with my obsession with drawing eyes and delighted in the way the lines in each iris can be defined in pen. I also love the way bark can be textured and detailed in pen and ink to look truly three dimensional. I called this one "The Growth of Vision".
I rounded out the spheres with graphite which I shaded with a tortillion. The character of gnarly trees lends itself to this medium and I'm at present working on a new one with real (sort of ) branches. I love creating this kind of "far out" abstract and the potential to include eyes (my ultimate favorite feature to draw) in surrealistic art is infinite.
The drawing of the cat is supposed to represent a white cat. My cat Asha is the model for this one, but in the end it ended up a fusion of Asha and Bud her late brother who had more of the Persian evident in him, especially the smaller ears and wider muzzle. To me it looks more like a silver haired cat but I'm still reasonably happy with this first portrait in pen and ink. For a long time I've been studying the shapes that comprise the face in a cat and I hope to get it right one day.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

New Work and Some Changes

I've been continuing on my drawing and painting kick lately and made some changes to one of my works, "Kitty in the Garden", and did a new "In the Gloaming" picture without the "critters".
I've also been working more with pen and ink and teaching myself to draw birds from life. The colored bird picture here is based on a picture in my "Birds of North America" book. My goal is to draw birds with the correct markings from life. Difficult to achieve because photographing wary birds like the English sparrow is tricky. I look out my window to do my real life sketching because if I'm outside and get close enough to really see them, they fly away immediately as soon as I make a move with the pencil.
The Indigo Bunting in the colored bird picture (which I have also seen in real life) started out as a black and white pen and ink drawing, but buntings are one of the most colorful birds and this one cried out for color. I used colored pencil over the pen and ink for the bird and leaves, and chalk pastel for the background.
I did another abstract eye picture with ball point pen and ended up coloring it with colored pencils too. These were done on a left over pad from one of my tech courses, on the blank backs of the pages.
I decided to upload some of my( very rough) learning sketches of birds too, done in pencil first and highlighted with ball point pen after. These were done very quickly as birds are constantly in motion. I've been feeding them for years and find them adorable, in all their ways. That includes all the birds I see in my yard, from the common English sparrow to the exotic warblers and colorful finches and blue jays.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

More Fun With Color

I've been on a drawing kick lately and have been experimenting with many different ways to apply color. In the photos above, I've used everything from India ink and pen (the old fashioned nib right out of the late 1800's), colored pencils both watercolor and standard. Soft pastels are also great for background and in the one I called "In the Gloaming" the pastel background has a luminous effect in real life. The scanner does a poor job of capturing the color exactly but we get the general idea. The creatures in "In the Gloaming" are not named yet and only appear at dusk in this magical land.
The "Kitty in the Garden" is mainly in watercolor pencils and pen and ink highlights. I did use some acrylic craft paint for the flowers too, because of the opacity and it seems to work well too.
I've always loved the word "gloaming" and in the perspective sunset with the strange creatures, I had the perfect excuse to finally use it.
The titles are self evident. Hope you enjoy my latest fun with color, and how to apply it.

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Trippy Art

This is some of my latest work. The woman with "the eyes" is done in Prismacolor pencils and some chalk pastel in the background. I call it "Mother Nature Raining Down a Watchful Eye"
The landscape with the surreal aspect is called "Eyes Above the Ground".
I love to let my imagination run wild and of all the things I love to draw, eyes are one of my favorites.
I get a kick out of combining aspects of both realism and abstract and to me the effect is most interesting and has endless potential to tickle the imagination.
The landscape picture is done in Prismacolor Watercolor pencils which are very intriguing to work with. This is my first attempt using this medium and I love it. You get all the effect watercolors with the ability to add sharp deliniations as well. I'm going to have a lot of fun learning all the ways these can be used.