Monday, May 28, 2012

Illustration Friday: Faded

Prismacolor colored pencils on Strathmore charcoal paper, 4.5" x 5.75"

"Beware of all enterprises that require new clothes."
—Henry David Thoreau, Walden

We all have our favorite pair of faded blue jeans. As summer begins, I'm ecstatic to be trading in my school-year work clothes (which, for me, only means casual pants and "nice" jeans) for my really casual gear.

As I mentioned in a recent post, I'm going to work on photographing my work this summer, rather than scanning everything. I haven't jumped into the process yet, so this one was just taken with my iPhone, and you can see some problems with the uneven color of the lighting. But I think I prefer its texture to the image I got when I scanned it. (Maybe my scanning abilities need some tweaking this summer, too!)

I thought you might like to see my ultra-sophisticated set-up for this drawing: I tossed my jeans onto the floor by my drawing table, isolated a composition that I liked with a mat, and started drawing. 

I tried to keep the colors I used to a minimum: Indigo Blue (one of my faves) and White, along with a couple of warm tones for the stitching as well as Tuscan Red over the Indigo Blue (one of my favorite layering combinations) for the dark corner.

I hope to connect with many of you this week; I'm planning on making lots of overdue blog visits...hooray for summer!

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Illustration Friday: Kernel

I hope you'll forgive me for posting an oldie this week. These chestnuts were one of the first drawings that I ever posted on my blog, back before I started doing Illustration Friday. (You can read the original post here.) I've been too busy with the humdrum practicalities of life and haven't participated in IF in way too long, and just needed to get something out there this week. That will change soon, though: School is out soon, so I'll be off for a few months, and have lots of drawing to catch up on. And I can't wait to have time to visit blogs regularly again. So, if I haven't stopped by in a bit, fear not, I'll be by soon.
Happy Almost-Summer!

Friday, May 4, 2012

Botanical Heart No. 4

I decided to do another little piece for the Botanical Hearts series I started back in February. I'm not all that happy with the center part, but I like how the rind edges turned out. But that's what's fun about doing these little hearts—they're kind of like swatches or samples, experimenting with new textures, etc. I might give this one another try.

I also think that my scanning is not showing the paper texture very well, so for fun, I took a quick shot with my iPhone. Obviously, it's unevenly lit, but I like it better. I've got to practice shooting my work with a camera. I have a cool copystand and everything...sounds like a summer project!

Here are the other ones I have so far:

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Baby Chickadees...again!

It's been a busy week, and I haven't had much time for drawing—I'm hoping to remedy that tomorrow—but I just had to re-post my little sketch of my chickadee nesting box's brimming with babies again! 

We hadn't see much action all spring, but suddenly there was a flurry of nest-building activity. Then, I found two tiny chickadee eggs, broken on my porch. I thought that perhaps the nest had been destroyed by another bird or something. (The eggs looked exactly like Jelly Belly "Toasted Marshmallow" jellybeans, cream-colored with brown speckles.)

But, about a week ago, we noticed both parents noisily standing guard in the magnolia trees next to the porch, and constantly flying in and out of the box, which made me think: they have babies! And two days ago, the cheeping started, and goes pretty much non-stop in the daylight hours. Just a few minutes ago, the parents started chirping loudly enough to get my attention at my desk just inside the window. Sure enough, Trixie, the neighbor's cat, was paying a visit. Happily, the box is completely unreachable by a cat, but I shooed her home, all the same. (She's the same one that we've twice caught sitting on the eggs in our chicken coop, so heaven only knows what she had in mind.)

My nesting box was originally a gift from my son (see the original post about him and this sketch here.). You can purchase the exact same one from Wild Birds Unlimited if you're interested.

I've gone online and looked at photos of what is probably taking place in there. This blog has some photos that are exceptionally good. It makes me want to install a little camera of some kind for next year!
Nesting box (at top of photo) as seen from my desk