I am trying to do something everyday when it comes to drawing or painting. Some days only allow for morning time, and that is when I did this drawing of a bee in a borage plant. Today, I used a dip pen, my ca. 1810 pewter ink well, and iron gall ink. I have never drawn a bee before, and using a dip pen and focusing on the shapes, rather than what I think I see (thank you, Sharon, for that great advice!), produced fairly decent results. I’m rather afraid to draw anything that requires a bit of realism as I really doubt my abilities to do this. Practice is needed here!
Borage is a lovely plant, covered in fur, with beautiful blue flowers. If I recall, it is an invasive plant, and one best kept contained in a pot. I had some in my dog free zone (DFZ) this summer amongst the lilies.
As an aside, I’m getting used to using a dip pen, which is really a rather nice skill to have as I don’t have the big blobs I used to get; I know when to refill the well and dilute the ink with water. Something we don’t think about in this day and age of non-dip pens.
For the next week, my schedule is a bit different. I have to be in to work 30 minutes earlier than normal, so I did this quick sketch in my Stillman & Birn softcover book. The ink is iron gall. I tried to keep the lines minimal, enough to capture important elements of the landscape, but not so much that they become dominant or what will (eventually) hold the image together. Hopefully I will be able to work on shadows and light, working to good contrast. I seem to need lines – I am comfortable with them – that are clearly visible. Interesting to find out how we all work, eh?
This is the third layer of Village Windows, and the last. It couldn’t go much further from here. The big surprise came when I added water to the sky. Soooooo much purple!
And after that, I added more color pencil and more water, and finally more iron gall ink with my dip pen. I kept to my two things – the ink, the layers of pencils. I added colors as I went, just exploring. I felt that it was a good thing to do as this is really the first picture I have ever done with watercolor pencils. I have the Faber-Castell Albrecht Durer ones, with 60 colors.
Dimension is not something I am really good at – perspective. Things get cattywumpus. In fact, per my eye doctor, I have no depth perception at all, and may have never had it in the normal sense that most people have. Even when I was 18 I was told that. Good? Bad? I manage – I don’t wander around banging off the wall!
And here is the final picture. Parts work, parts don’t. Watercolor pencils are really interesting, just as is the iron gall ink. As an experiment in a new media altogether, I rather enjoyed the experience. I did learn a bit in the process, which was the point – how and what to do with watercolor pencils? I couldn’t write a dissertation on it. I can tell you it was a lot of fun, and I know I will revisit them in the future.
Well, I don’t live in an interesting old village, but I think I could quite happily. Suburbia just doesn’t make it when it comes to interesting lines, stones, and such. Macadam and stucco and neatly cropped lawns are my daily world, so I always have to run off someplace else! Not that suburbia doesn’t have its good points, like modern plumbing and electricity, but it’s not that visually exciting.
Okay, so I got our my Faber-Castell watercolor pencils. I have a tin of 60 that I have been meaning to try on a serious level. So, here is the first layer. I used iron gall ink on a dip pen for the lines, and then just a quick scribble of pencils to lay down the basic colors. Next, I will wet the pencils and let it dry. Then, off to work. Bye!
I have been playing with iron gall ink, in this case McCaffery’s. Iron gall ink is easy to make and is the traditional ink over the centuries. It is waterproof, but with age turns the sepia so often affiliated with old manuscripts and drawings. I was playing with my goose quill pen, and a steel nib pen as well, working on calligraphy, when I decided to try it in a sketchbook. Given how busy I was this weekend, this is all I could accomplish, but I will say that the ink held up beautifully as the watercolors were added after the drawing.