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!

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!

143. Inktober 25: Prickly

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?

133. Inktober #12: Whale (Shark)

Yes, there are really fish called whale sharks!  In looking up pictures of whales, I came across this creature, and if you look at online images, you will see it is a beautifully patterned shark, as well as learn that it migrates long distances, and is a gentle animal, feeding on plankton and such as it swims along.  I thought it was so beautiful that it had to be the Inktober #12 offering.

The weekend was super busy, so I am a bit behind with my Inktober commitment, but the commitment continues.  It would be really easy to let it just fall behind – like a diet – so the focus of Inktober may be more important than the drawings themselves.  Inktober is a challenge to not only commitment, but to imagination and dedication to meeting a goal.  Harder than I thought it would be – but at least I have some time for commitment these days.

 

129. Inktober #8: Star

This Inktober drawing is taking forever and making me really behind schedule.  Oh, dear!  I plan to finish this one up later, time permitting.  It’s all dots.  And dots.  And more dots.  It’s is crazy-making but really fun – and a good way to think about positive and negative spaces.

127. Inktober #6: Drooling

Inktober #6 was really hard to make a choice about!  Monsters?  Drooling bassett hound?  Nah – pie!  It’s apple season and birthday season and thus, drooling for apple pie.  Homemade, of course, with plenty of fresh apples and spices.

Eat your heart out!

126. Inktober #5: Chick(en)

I do not draw animals well . . . but was surprised and rather pleased to do this one.  I found a picture of baby chicks – chickens seem too complicated to draw! – and did a rough pencil sketch, then a pen overlay, erased the pencil, and here ya go.  Total time about 3 minutes.