167. Lines

Every now and then an outstanding artist and instructor shows up on the scene.  When they write books that are accessible and practical, it’s even better.  Alphonso Dunn is one such person!  He has a personal website, a YouTube channel full of information and wonderful tutorials, and two fantastic books.

The workbook was published after the simple guide, but is used in tandem with the exercises found in the workbook.  Besides using the two together, head over to YouTube for a really great set of instructions.

Today, rather than paint, I finally sat down and did some exercises from Dunn’s books.  The exercises were on lines – direction, shape, shift.  It takes a bit of patience and time to understand what may be going on.  I had to think about how I had my pad of paper, how far up or down my fingers were on the pen, whether to use my fingers, my wrist, or more of an arm movement.  In many ways, doing these exercises made me think of learning printing and cursive back when I was a sweet young thing.  Lines, repetition, thinking about how to do things, and doing them over and over.

Skill is bought with repetition – but repetition of itself is rather dull.  Rewards sure help!  Thus, a few drawings – one of a hat from Dunn’s book, and one of a Christmas cactus on my patio.  In each, I used straight lines, or slightly curved ones.  I thought about light and dark, repetition and straight or curved lines, or placing more lines over ones already laid down.  

To aid with the line studies, I ruled pencil lines onto my sketch paper.  It helped.  Sometimes I also drew vertical lines, or extra horizontal lines, either in pencil or pen.

Nothing like a pen in hand to make me happy!  Altogether a pleasant way to while away an afternoon.  I shall continue!

162. On the Forest Floor

A few goals for this mornings painting.  First, keeping the white flowers white.  Outlines helped here!  Second, wet-in-wet painting.  That worked well, too.  As an afterthought, I worked on the shape of the vignette within the frame.  Top, bottom, sides.  The far right could run off the page a bit more – I could crop it, if I wanted, but I rather like the reminder of the flaws I see, too.

 

160. Winter Sparkle

winter sparkle

After a fresh snow, an icy snow or blizzard, the day is filled with sparkles when you look against the sky.  In photography, it’s easy to capture – line up the sun, the light, move around, and you get it.  In painting, though, it’s a totally different thing.  How to express that sparkle?  I tried to capture it in the upper left corner by dabbing in colors of blue and black and bits of ink – did it work?  I don’t know.  On the bits of snow in the lower left, small dots of blue to represent shadows on the white snow.  Perhaps that is a bit more successful.

Pen, ink, watercolor, limited palette.  Wet on dry.  Ink on paper.  Ink on painted paper.  Wet into wet.  A morning mish-mash, but every day I am trying to do something with ink or watercolor.  Not always successful, but an everyday activity from which a lot can be learned!

156. Poinsettia

Another morning with sewing ahead of me – but not too much!  Just a touch here and then, thread trimming, ironing, and finally wrapping.

To start my day – after coffee, breakfast, a review, and the news – I decided to use my watercolor pencils, InkTense blocks, and Neocolor II by Caran d’Arche to draw the classical Christmas / holiday poinsettia, and some permanent black ink.

Did you know the red is really the leaf and the little yellow dots in the center are the flowers?  Poinsettias are not only crimson, but come in pale pinks and whites.  And, they are easy to grow – just take a cutting, let it dry out until hollow, and stick in some dirt, and you may be ready for next year!  I think they may also be poisonous . . .

Happy Holidays, everyone!

155. Shorelines

This morning I saw a photo of a shoreline at dawn.  A lake.  A sunrise.  Twigs.  Grasses.  Mountains.

I have spent the last two weeks making Christmas presents, sewing mostly, but also baking fruit cakes (brandied and bourboned), and shopping for this or that.  Today I have more sewing scheduled, and a few “must do” things.

The fact is, while I love sewing, I love other things as well.  I have done little if any drawing or painting.

Why do we get caught up in the “must do” so easily, so easily that the simple pleasure of an hour spent with paper, pen, and ink becomes something of a crime, one so self-indulgent that our Puritan ancestors shake their fingers at us?  Pleasure?  Nay!

But, I gave in!  I’m happier for it!

147. In the Woods

Inktober is done and gone . . . this past week I’ve been sewing like a fiend, last night there was a mass shooting down the road from us with a thirteen people killed and eighteen wounded – more –  there are fires to the east and west of us, and the wind is blowing like crazy.  There is peace in ink.