Monday, April 28, 2014

Playing with my peas

(click to enlarge)

I'm in an experimental phase. I think we all go through these times—either we're tired of what we've been doing, or we're just wanting to get out of our comfort zones a bit. Or maybe we we're stuck with a drawing of some lovely English peas that is looking more than a little blah—and we need to try something to salvage it. I'm not sure where this one went awry, but I was totally overworking it and wasn't sure what to do. I decided to take my .005 Micron pen and cross-hatch it a bit. (Alright, I'll admit that I was trying—in vain—to channel my idol, John Burgoyne...)

I think that the pen-over-colored-pencil combination is something to explore, but I'm finding that it calls for a different sort of "underpainting" with the pencil, leaving more shading to be done with the hatching .

So my experimentation continues. I'm not sure if it's the things I'm seeing in Danny Gregory's Sketchbook School, or my weekly life drawing class, or the beautiful spring weather, but int'll be interesting to see where all of this restlessness leads!

Monday, April 21, 2014

A rushed radish

After buying a bunch of beautiful French breakfast radishes at the farmer's market on Easter morning, I had planned on doing one of my more detailed, realistic drawings. But the green leaves started wilting so quickly that I ended up settling for a much quicker little drawing. I rather like how it turned out. I broke out the ol' interior designer lettering skills for the label. (Do they even teach hand lettering to design and architecture students these days?...probably not, I suppose. Sigh.)

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Sugar Pine Cone - Finished drawing!

graphite on paper, 6" x 17" (actual size of pinecone)

"Between every two pines is a doorway to a new world."—John Muir

Pinus lambertiana,
commonly known as the 
sugar pine or sugar cone pine,
 is the tallest and most massive 
pine (genus Pinus),
and has the longest 
cones of any conifer.

Note: I still need to clean up the edges and smudges but I had to post it, since it's been such a long process! I might have to have it professionally scanned, as this stitched-together piece of mine isn't great; graphite is so hard to scan! (Scroll through recent posts for the full story of the pinecone drawing.)

Thursday, April 10, 2014

Happy feet

There's nothing quite like enjoying the first really warm days of spring.

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Sketchbook Skool

"Sketchbook Skool" (yes, that is the correct spelling) is an online class from the wonderful and amazing writer/artist and keeper-of-extraordinary-illustrated-journals, Danny Gregory. I've followed Danny for ages, so I was really excited to sign up. I've never been disciplined enough to keep a sketchbook, despite my best efforts, so we'll see how it goes!

So far, the class is definitely pushing me out of my comfort zone—my safe, cozy, pencil-ly, dry-media comfort zone. Yes, you heard right:  Sketchbook Skool is a "NO PENCILS" zone, at least for now, so I'm getting reacquainted with pens and wet media—sometimes it's a blast, and sometimes, well, it's a real challenge. Sketching a little preliminary drawing under the ink is a no-no; you have to just put that pen on the paper and commit.

I'd been drawn to their class klass description of sharing the experience and the artwork with the other students but I had no idea how many they'd have—I think it's over 700 at the moment! I exchanged emails with Danny about that issue, and he was very gracious about it; hopefully future sessions will be divided into smaller "study groups" or "studios" or something. So for now, I'm just watching the class videos and sketching away. It's refreshing to do a drawing that takes 15 minutes instead of hours and days...

Here are my first two pages. (I'm already sorry that I chose a spiral binding, but I love the paper in the 6 x 9 Bee Paper Aquabee Super Deluxe Sketchbook.)  No judging please, or I swear I'll make you look at another Pinecone Progress pic.