Okay! Today is Halloween, a day of gore and horror. Inktober is not making this a “safe” subject for today, either – SLICE! Really? You can get pretty gruesome with that one.
So, with a hail to famous or infamous quotes, a slur on red velvet cake (which I dislike intensely), I bring you a slice of history, a slice of cake, a slice of the macabre, a slice of my own sick sense of humor, and best wishes for a fun and scary Halloween.
I thought of Edward Gorey as I was drawing line after line after line. He certainly was the master of the dark and macabre! I also used up one of my last permanent ink pens and need to shop for more . . . Inktober is expensive in the ink department.
Yesterday I decided to put together my own travel palette of watercolors. These pumpkins are an experiment to see how certain colors work together. I had to choose from a ton of colors, and narrow it down to 18. Here I am using Quin Gold, Hansa Yellow, Perinone Orange, Carbazole Violet, Cobalt Blue, Sap Green, Green Gold, and Hooker’s Green. It’s really hard to choose colors as well as how to arrange them!
Today I present you with the teasel. These plants were once harvested to make carding brushes for wool. They were mounted on wooden boards when dried, and the wool was placed between the carders, and combed or brushed back and forth until the clean wool was aligned, ready to be spun.
After I initially posted the ink-only drawing, I decided to play once more with the InkTense pencils. This time I mixed colors together, such as a red-violet and a blue to make the lavenders of the flowers, and yellows and greens and browns in different areas before applying a small amount of water with a water brush. I’m not sure if I am happy with the colored results, but you never know how something works until you try it, right?
Beds of dried, caked and cracked mud are fascinating. Footprints in them are even better, or the mysterious sliding rocks found in Death Valley. I looked at a lot of pictures of mud flats, and one thing I noticed were curves and angles as well as the way light bounces off their slightly uneven surfaces.
Here I used ink and water, specifically Private Reserve’s Copper Burst. I have never considered using fountain pen ink as a painting medium, but it’s opened up my eye to its potential.
I refilled a pen with some Private Reserve Copper ink, a water soluble ink, to see how it works as a sketching ink. The pen is an Aurora with a medium nib, one which I like to use when I need a broader line. For some reason, maybe it’s just me, but the pen is not writing quite like it did with a different ink. (Hey, maybe it’s the ink!) The idea is to see how well the ink blends into the watercolors or affects the colors themselves.
From what I can see, it just merges into the paint without polluting the clarity of the colors. If you look at the trees on the left, you will see a lot of lines representing the directional flow of the bark. In other areas, I used the pen to outline white spots or fallen leaves. In the background, you can see the outlines of the tree trunks.
Besides just playing with ink, I am trying to use simpler swaths of color in my painting to convey a sense of depth. I struggle with depth – and maybe it is because I don’t have any depth perception – and too often I think my paintings are rather flat in appearance. Luckily, there are “rules” out there to help me, such a lighter colors in the distance, which I do see. I just don’t have a sense of dimension.
I wonder how many people really do have eyesight problems – just recently I read that Da Vinci may have eye issues, having one eye which turned outward. Degas, too. Others? Interesting thought.
As we move into winter, I think of the places I lived when I was a kid, where 6 feet of snow was a “mild” winter. Today, the low was about 56 F, and the high about 78 F. Very different – and as an adult, I admit to preferring a lack of snow to an abundance! Nonetheless, the seasonal changes are apparent here, just more subtle – the shift in light, the change in the blue. Even the air smells different.
Working with Inktober, I can feel a shift in how I am approaching drawing, and painting. I am simplifying but being more specific about the brush or pen size I choose and how to deploy a line or a brush stroke. While there is a lot to be desired here – such as a sense of architectural reality and non-topsy-turvey houses – I had a lot of fun looking at areas of color as a suggestion, not a reality, as a plane rather than the detail I normally hone in on.
Maybe there is some hope after all!