I'm getting a little tired of sketching my watercolor palette on the first page of every new journal I start. Sketching my palette was an idea that I got from Liz Steel, but I don't change colors in my palette very often, so I thought I might use the first page as a place to do a lettering exemplar. Then, I can use it for reference throughout the journal. (Whether this new idea will continue remains to be seen.)
I copied this from two pieces done by Ben Shahn using gouache with a paint brush.
I have been playing with pencil crayons on toned paper for a couple of days. It took me awhile to get the hang of it.
I started with Magic Pencils in the garden:
Something wasn't quite right though, and I wasn't happy. A drawing needs a good variety of values (light and dark), and the magic pencils didn't have the ranges I needed - not much white, no black. Back in my office/studio this morning, I got out the Prismacolors and enhanced what I did yesterday. I had to really think about it though, and do a little research.
Here are my notes for next time, using a 5 value scale from lightest to darkest:
Decide which value the paper is going to represent. On black paper, for example, the paper would be the darkest value. On this dark rust, it was about Value 4 out of 5.
Pick your pencil crayon colors based on value - white will be Value 1/5, black will be 5/5. (If you're working on black paper, you won't need black.)
Do an initial drawing thinking mostly about placing the objects on the paper.
Now concentrate on values. Unless you're working on black paper, it might be easiest to darken the darkest shadow areas at this point. Then I find it easiest to think about the lightest values, and so on, working back towards the middle.
Here is another one I did, after adding the Prismacolors:
Someone in the #30x30DirectWatercolor2019 Facebook group asked, "As we head into the final week of this exercise, what, if anything, has everybody learned about their painting, their process, their work?" I might have learned that 30 day challenges are not for me. At least, not this kind of focused challenge. I like to bounce around between media too much, I guess. I keep wanting to draw in pencil crayon when I'm "supposed" to be painting. This was supposed to be fun, right? Someone else agreed with my thoughts, adding that sometimes these challenges can hinder creativity rather than help it. I knew going into this challenge that I might not stick with it for 30 days. I've probably done 30 direct watercolor paintings, because one day I did about 15 (small) chairs before realizing that chairs are not the greatest subject for wet on wet. (OK, I'm a slow learner.) I guess it depends how you count to 30. One night recently, I looked out the window and saw a beautiful sunset. I was moved to paint the journal page you see above. I considered it a fail, but later realized that this is exactly the kind of "whim" that Joanne Sharpe would add a quotation to and post on Instagram. So, maybe I didn't "fail" at #30x30DirectWatercolor2019, I just made it my own. Note to self: Lighten up!
I've started a new Artist Trading Card series - The Good Samaritan. Once again, these are drawn with markers, this time on plain white card.
I'm surprised at how much I like playing with markers; I have a lot of makers but I haven't really used them much. It may be because of the card I'm using. The hostess for our swap works in a printing shop and she makes blank ATC's from the off-cuts. They are very smooth and thick, which turns out to be perfect for markers.
You might recognize this cat. I made the stamp artist trading card size.
I have been wanting to try Speedy Carve for a long time, but our local art supply stores don't carry it. (I have been using Safety Kut). I never thought to try Michaels, but I found some there a few weeks ago. I like it a lot; it is a little softer and easier to cut than Safety Kut.