Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Pears and chairs

I am continuing on with some of my homework for the Liz Steel class.  I took myself out for coffee the other day and drew some of the chairs that were in the coffee shop.  I also drew my coffee and did a small architectural drawing, but you'll have to take my word for that!!  I am finding the perspective concept a bit of a challenge but I am willing to persevere...sort of.   I'll let you know when I get one that's even mildly post-worthy!!!

In the meantime, I ordered some watercolour cards from Dick Blick (thanks Susan!!) and have started to try my hand at some more pears.  It's quite a nice paper, from Fabriano, and I think it'll be fun to try out various subjects.  I also got the envelopes to go with them so I'll be able to make some more gift sets for future giving.  And learning in the meantime.  How's that for a good deal!!!

And yup, I know it looks like the same pear three times, but really, is it???  I'm having fun playing with my palette colours.

It's New Year's Eve tonight.  It'll be super quiet for me and I am usually asleep well before midnight. But tomorrow it all starts afresh.

Wishing you all a healthy and happy new year.
I'll be back......

Wednesday, December 24, 2014

Liz Steel, Lessons 5 and 6 and a bit

I haven't done too much in the last few days.  But I feel as if I've been quite busy, getting over my cold and getting ready for the festivities  (both of my little families are coming over for dinner tonight, 9 for dinner since my guy is away).  But I did manage to get a couple of things done for Liz Steel's class.

 This is another example of a measured set up.  I like drawing my stapler and have drawn it a few times now,  It is amazing how drawing the same thing really does get you better acquainted with your subject!!  I've had this little stapler for nearly 50 years!!!  You would think I'd know it by now!
I've used my watercolours again, the Winsor and Newton palette I made up.  I think that the grey of the shadow is too similar to the greys of Everything Else.  But that's ok, learning, learning.

This is a pic of my photo bag (it's a Kelly/Moore bag).  I am considering whether or not it might work as a sketching bag. Can't decide.  And then, where would I put my camera???  This is another measured drawing, first in pencil, then inked over with my Platinum cartridge pen (it's waterproof), pencil lines erased, and then painted with watercolours.

These are a couple of further efforts to draw the same bag.  On the left hand side I THOUGHT I was going to draw a gesture drawing, but in my typical fashion I kept on drawing more and more detail.  I have realized that this might just be my 'typical' fashion.  I am most comfortable with it.  But I am also trying a minimal gesture approach and I want to work on this method over the holidays.  The pic on the right is drawn directly with ink, no set-up lines.  I used my lovely Pelikan pen, with the non-waterproof ink, and then I used a waterbrush to paint out the lines using the ink in the lines for shading.  Another of my favourite methods.

And this little doodle is my first attempt ever at drawing a vehicle.  A bit wonky, but that's ok.  Once again, it was done directly with ink, no set up lines.  I love having my little sketch/notebook with me all the time.  I was waiting at the ferry to pick up my son and I just drew and painted the car parked in front of me.  It was kind of fun because I applied what I am learning about angles and foreshortening in Liz/ class not terribly well perhaps, but better than before.  I have to say it again, this is a Great Class!!

I am looking forward to a quiet period after the hols so that I can go over the lessons to date and do some thinking about what I've learned so far.  And to play some more!!

May the blessings of the season be with you, whether and however you celebrate it.

See you soon.....

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Liz Steel Course: A start on lesson 5

I have had a crazy week.  My younger son and his family are staying for a while over the holidays and we are fitting people and noise into my relatively small space.  Headcolds, teething, you get the picture.  And then my elder son and his wife just had their second child this past week as well.  A little girl this time, so both of my boys have a boy and a girl.  Very exciting!!!  Having had two children myself I obviously spent time amidst the noise and chaos, but mercifully, we forget!!  OK, now I'm remembering!!!  Nonetheless, they are dear little individuals and my sons (and their wives) are fabulous parents, but  I forgot about the noise.....just sayin'.  That's my excuse for not getting much done in the last few days.

But I had a few moments to myself yesterday and I grabbed a couple of things off the counter to work on the current Liz Steel class.  And I came up with this.

We were to use sight measuring, using our pencils, to set up the composition and it was supposed to be using things from the bathroom.  I just grabbed stuff from the kitchen because I am working at the kitchen table.  I did the 'measuring' and used my pencils, but forgot to take a picture of this when it was just pencil lines.  I went over the lines using my Platinum carbon pen, erased the pencil marks and then I applied watercolour.  (I really like the thin lines of the carbon pen, but I also like them because they are reminiscent of the lines I make whilst stitching.)  I am using a Stillman and Birn, Alpha Series sketchbook, 5 l/2 x 8 1/2 with the heavy weight paper.  It takes the washes pretty well.  If I get a few more moments today I'm going to try another one.  And I haven't done part two of this week's class yet either.  And the new class is coming out tomorrow.  I'll do what I can....there is dinner to prepare and I have to shop for it first.

I'll be back.

Saturday, December 13, 2014

Pears, more painting and stitching

I have painted another batch of pears.  I didn't find them quite as much fun to paint this time.  The last batch was painted onto bamboo cards (from Strathmore, a nice surface) and this time I used a Mixed Media card (same brand), with a much smoother finish.  I found this surface really hard to paint onto with watercolours  and so I struggled mightily. It's good practice.  I have yet another pack with this same surface, so I think next time I'll try using these cards on my gelatin plate....I suspect they will handle the printing inks much better than the watercolour.  In the meantime I have stitched a few of the images and overlaid them with the painted cards.   I haven't cut the fabric just yet and so they are not affixed onto the cards. Can't decide if I like this development although I think it has some potential.  And it is sparking some other ideas.

Not giving up, but for today, my energy is giving out. I'll be back....

Monday, December 8, 2014

Decolourant Colour Remover and a perspective on textiles.

I can't believe I'm going to say this, it makes it sound as if we go all the time....honestly,  we don't...but....

The last time we were in France, in 2012 (!!!!! oh, my gosh, it's true!!!!), we stayed in a delightful little gite just outside Aix en Provence.  And in that gite there was a chair...(okay, I can't help but sing that) anyway, there was a sweet little chair that I painted and that particular image I have used several times in different pieces of my work.  You can just see the original little painting under this pile of fabrics.  Yes, fabric again!!! Yesterday I spent an enjoyable couple of hours stitching the chair image several times onto silk organza.    I also made a stencil of the chair and I have been playing around with Decolourant Colour Removing paste on some of my hand-dyed fabrics.  Messing about with ideas for some new work.  I'll show you more later.....

And I continue to play around with perspective. (I'm pretty sure that this will be a life-long challenge.)  And my watercolours....I LOVE them.  I have so much to learn but even that idea is exciting and they are so delightful to play with. The timing is so perfect for me with the Liz Steel class (link below), I just want to try drawing everything and I find her lessons kind of encourage one to keep doing just that!!!

December 5.  Books on the edge of the chesterfield.  Painting on my knee.

December 8.  Books on the table.  (It would seem my books are everywhere.  I don't feel this a bad thing by any means, but some of the piles are getting a wee bit precarious.  This  is not 'a pile', a pile is 20 to 30 books, at least.  There are several around.....I move them when the grandchildren come over.  Safety first.)

I'll be back....

Friday, December 5, 2014

Pears for gifts!!

I have been struggling with what to give as gifts this year.  For people who seem to have everything. And I think I have come up with a suitable solution......I am gifting them pears!!!  I love drawing pears and I love learning to paint and so I have put those two things together and come up with this. What do you think???

Ten little gift cards, no message inside, but each one original.  They are certainly not meant for anything more than to be sent out as thank-you cards, birthday cards, whatever cards, (or directly-into-the-bin cards, but you see, I'll never know!!!) but they were totally fun to do. I learned in the process and it's a unique little gift as well.  (The intended recipient is always sending out little cards so I think this will be appropriate.)

In the meantime, I have also been continuing with the work for the Liz Steel class.  I am really enjoying how she has structured the lessons and the way each one is flowing so well into the next.  All right, I confess, I'm still not very good about getting out to sketch, but soon.  I'm pretty sure.  Probably.  Maybe.  But.... it's very possible I may be busy that week.....

I am trying to learn how to draw an ellipse.  Good grief, that is one tricky shape.  So I filled a page with attempts at drawing a little milk jug.  And a cup.  And then a leaf got in there.  Practice, practice!!  (And I am still loving the Waterman inks, they wet out so beautifully.)

 And volumes:  here is my notebook sitting on top of one of my books.  Angles, volumes....more practice!!  Lots more to do....fortunately, I have a rather large selection of books from which to choose!  I drew this one with a watercolour pencil first and then went over the (final, after many attempts!) lines with my waterproof Platinum Cartridge pen.  Then added watercolours.

For this one we were to do a little thumbnail first to try and get the values right.  It's drawn with pencil and painted with watercolours.  I am starting to see shadows and shapes more clearly....I'm just not getting them on the page yet!  But I am certainly encouraged to keep, you know, practicing!  This one I did with my sketchbook on my knee....I'm practicing for when I got out, into the real (read: populated) world.

Liz' lessons are fabulous and it's possible that my enjoyment of them and my wish to keep painting and drawing and improving will finally get me out the door.  I'll keep you 'posted'.

I've given a link to Liz Steel's blog below.  I'll be back...