I have, in the last couple of months, enrolled in both Sketchbook Skool and Liz Steel's Foundations Sketching class (see links below). Both are excellent and I find I have been drawing quite a bit, spurred on by the lessons and the talent and enthusiasm of the many instructors. I feel that even though my preferred medium is textiles, I need to improve my drawing skills in order to draw on fabric with a bit more accuracy. I was introduced to Liz Steel through Sketchbook Skool (SBS) as she is one of the instructors there. She is an architect who has become a full-time artist. And I love her style, both as an artist and as a teacher. Here are some of my own modest offerings:
This is the new little paint palette that I purchased when we were in Paris. I have seen something like this as a Schmincke palette, but since mine doesn't have any names on it anywhere I suspect it might be a knock-off. It holds a little reservoir of water, filled through the screw opening, that will fill the little water bucket that goes on the side. It fits quite easily into the palm of my hand with a ring underneath that slips onto one of my fingers. This little one is filled with Sennelier paints, very luscious. More Paris souvenirs! Liz Steel loves to paint her tea cups and so I had a go at painting one that I bought in an antique store in Langley, on Whidbey Island, a number of years ago. Fun.
I have been practicing drawing whatever is handy, which explains why I have tried drawing my own hands, since they are never out of my reach (!!!). More on the pen in a sec...
And whilst sitting in my chair last night, wondering what to draw, I started drawing the wall of bookcases across the room from me. Another handy choice.
These are my new pens. If you are looking for a new pen, read on, if not, this might be a bit boring!!! At the top is my new Platinum Carbon Pen. It comes with an ink cartridge and the ink is totally waterproof. And it draws with a lovely very fine line. It's not at all expensive and I'm enjoying it immensely. (I also bought the converter, just haven't used it yet.) Next is my Pelikan M200 (recommended by Melanie Reim, another of the SKS teachers.) This is the favourite of my pens...it has a fine point and writes beautifully. Such a lovely line. Next is my Sailor 1911L fountain pen with a zoom lens. Really expensive (for me) and I don't care for the zoom lens. The idea is that depending on how you hold the pen, it will write with a different thickness of line. Upright is what I would call a medium nib all the way down to a quite thick line, which unfortunately is how it writes in my normal writing position. A very thick line. And I have most definitely NOT mastered a straight line that encompasses a line from thick to thin....I can't seem to make a smooth transition between thicknesses. It will write upside down, however, in a nice thin line, but I doubt it's meant to be used like this all the time. I guess that's one of the problems when one buys something on-line. There's no trial run. And finally, my Lamy Safari. I also LOVE this little pen, not expensive, but just great. Not quite a smooth as the Pelikan, but for the price difference, I think it might be a better investment. I got the converter for this pen as well. And so far, my favourite ink is Waterman's Brilliant ink...I've been using their brown. It's not waterproof but I love how it wets out. I tried a J. Herbin ink in my Sailor pen to start off with and when I added water it DID wet out, but not in a very painterly fashion. I'm still trying to find a perfect waterproof ink, so that I can draw and paint without having the ink colour affect my paint colours. It's a bit expensive to keep trying out inks, and what do I do with all those inks that I don't like?
I am having such a lot of fun doing all of this sketching that I occasionally feel as if I may have abandoned my fabrics all together. But no, I am itching to get back at them again.....
I have to start making some Christmas presents. My guy leaves next week for his winter sojourn in warmer climes. There will be time.....
I have put links to both sites of drawing classes that I've mentioned here....have fun!!