Yesterday was another run-around-and-get-things-done day. Whew! Taxes, appointments, scheduling, ya-da-ya-da. It’s boring stuff, believe me.
Anyway, today was drawing day. Eating lunch between all the craziness, I clicked on Alphonso Dunn (my hero!) on YouTube, and his tutorial of a rose popped up. Very simple way to look at a rather complicated subject. Essentially, a rose is a cylinder with layers peeling back. Voila, there it is.
I did use a pencil to create the shape, and erased it multiple times. If you enlarge the picture, you will see the paper is pretty dirty after 3 and 4 erasures. However, the paper held up (Bee), the ink went down (Micron 0.3), and so did the paint. I’ve never really done a rose well before, so Dunn’s tutorial has, yet again, explained things I never thought about. Go watch him!
Pen, ink, watercolor. I used Bee 8×10 cotton watercolor paper. It’s not expensive, but price does not always indicate “good” or “bad” paper. It is a nice paper to work on whether wet, damp, or dry. Because it is small, color is easier to control than on a large sheet. I like it a lot.
I haven’t had time to do any artwork for the past four or five days, and I can feel it. Colors, ink, brushes all feel like aliens. To counter this, I watched a Peter Sheeler video – his pen work is phenomenal – delicate, spare, assured. The same may be said with his usage of color. With this in mind, I went ahead and did this. The inking is okay; I didn’t do any drawing in pencil, but went straight ahead with a Micron pen. From there, I applied color and tried to keep it simple, but my usual messy style took over.
After a lot of watercoloring, picking up a pen and using ink to draw feels really relaxing. Adding watercolor to a pen drawing doesn’t need a lot of color, but it does require a bit of thought about light and shadow.
I thought about a daisy study of Peter Sheeler’s on YouTube – I remembered how very little color he added to his ink drawing of the daisy. With this in mind, I put in some greys and grey-blues. I tried to apply the same concept to the blue flowers (which I want to call cornflowers, but don’t think they are), and to the grasses and leaves. Below is my ink drawing, done freehand without a pencil sketch beforehand. I am rather pleased with both – my inking skills are improving, as, perhaps, are my watercoloring skills. Less is more has become more of motto than before!
Today I am entertaining myself by watching watercolor videos on YouTube, along with ones on ink drawing, sewing, and whatever. As I watch – looking up here and there from my practice – I decided after a couple of pages it was time to draw. Why not an artist’s palette with watercolors waiting to be used?
Today, an ink study of orange slices on a bit of peel.
I am / was trying to do a bit of watercolor painting every day, but I find that such commitments, while good, can be stifling. Drawing is integral to painting, and it is a pleasure to do in and of itself.
I’ve been working on the exercises in Alphonso Dunn’s Book Pen & Ink Drawing Workbook, so an ink drawing after exercises seems like a good thing to do! I know I certainly enjoy drawing after the practice. It’s also relaxing and, I find, a good way to loosen up for a painting session.
In addition to using Dunn’s book, I am also working through Tom Hoffmann’s Watercolor Painting: A Comprehensive Approach to Mastering the Medium. Right now I am working on simplifying forms and determining the 5 shades of grey – the lights and the darks – in pictures. I am not very good at that, so combining his exercises along with ink drawing, I think it may sink in. Then, let’s see if it can be applied to paint.
Thus, a dose of vitamin C for painting health!
In a number of circles, there is an “urban sketch” style done with ink and watercolor. Drawing and painting are combined. Some people are masters of it, in my opinion, having a good balance of ink and clear watercolor, with one or the other predominating, and the other not overwhelming its partner. (I hope that made sense!)
I am trying to find that balance. I’d say I am okay with ink, but heavy-handed with color.
Today I decided to try two things. The first is above – a simple “country” scene with trees (and green! remember yesterday?), a fence, and a building. The idea was for the sun – the light source – to be coming from the left, behind the barn. I’m not so sure what that big blue thing is to the right of the (obvious) three shadows of the trees, but it’s too late to do anything about that!
This one is an urban scene, one obviously not in downtown Los Angeles, but in some older part of the world. Here, the light is coming from the right, perhaps, but the alleys and buildings create their own logic. Shadows are broken up with bright spots. One can only imagine that to find the light, looking up will reveal a world much different than the one on the ground. I think this one was fairly successful; there are parts which seem to work, and others that make no sense at all – like, what is that thing? Scribble more ink on it and let the viewer guess!