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May 1, 2015

Dip Pen and Ink Wash Drawings

We are still drawing with dip pens and ink washes, and I really enjoy it.   Others in the class have gone back to graphite, although he is also recommending that we try Conte crayons.  My experience in figure drawing class convinced me that charcoal and Conte crayons would never be among my favorite media, so I'm thrilled to continue with ink and my Brause steno nib.

I assembled this Shoe still life when I arrived in Drawing class last week, so I could have it on my desk to draw.   Our professor usually puts props on a table in the center of our desks, 8-10 feet away, and although I don't need glasses, I do like to see more details.



I selected several other props for two more drawings - a plaster sculpture missing a foot (but I added it) and a metal lantern that had a great shape. 





Two more weeks, and then I can say I've taken one college figure drawing class and one drawing class - and proceed on my own as usual.  Sketchbook Skool Semester 4 is delightful so far - Jonathan Twingley, Lapin, and France Belleville Van Stone. 

April 28, 2015

Studying Under the Masters- Mary Blair

I am slowly making my way through the 2nd Studying Under the Masters online class by Jeanne Oliver, and I'm enjoying it as much as I did the first one.  Master Artist #5 (out of 6) is Mary Blair and I had never heard of her before. 

In this class, an apprentice selects a master who they would like to study, presents lots of information from their research and then, in the ancient art tradition, copies the Master.  In Part 2 they do an original painting using techniques learned when copying the Master.  Cori Dantini selected Mary Blair because she was one of the only woman illustrators in the early part of the 20th Century and created the images of Peter Pan, Cinderella, and the Small World exhibit for Walt Disney among many other famous works. 

Mary Blair did her concept paintings in gouache and Cori Dantini was anxious to experiment with gouache, when she normally paints with watercolors.

I selected a different painting to copy - and here is Mary Blair on the left and my copy on the right. It is the first time I have ever used gouache for an entire painting and I'll now experiment more when I decide on the topic for my Mary Blair-inspired original.  I used 2 Winsor-Newton triads of primary colors - one cool and one warm, plus white, black, and brown.



April 24, 2015

Collage from Imaginary Drawiings

For my homework for Jonathan Twingley in Sketchbook Skool 4th semester, I did many pages of imaginary drawings and then selected a few, cut them out, and made a collage.  The background was created with paste paper that was leftover from my bookbinding projects. 

I loved this week, both the ink blots to make into imaginary drawings, and the pages of imaginary drawings that I did each night for the collage.  Thank you Jonathan Twingley for "Stretching" me.


April 23, 2015

Drawing with Dip Pen and Ink Washes

We are still drawing with dip pens, ink, brush, and ink washes in my drawing class.  I really like this technique, and love my Brause steno nib.  It is the first nib I bought, among many, that is not scratchy, holds a reasonable amount of ink, and is somewhat flexible.  I did two drawings this week, a still life to celebrate Spring, and a plaster bust.





My Professor said that it is great experience to draw white plaster casts because all of the variation in values is due purely to light. I keep raiding the prop room to pull out what I want to draw, instead of the suggested models/still life.  Three more weeks of this class and the ink drawings are my favorite part of the experience so far.

April 21, 2015

Searching for Imagination

I didn't realize that my 100 day project, in which I would make one sketch from my imagination each day, would suddenly explode. Last Friday Sketchbook Skool Semester 4 began with Artist Illustrator Jonathan Twingley.  And his work, and his homework assignments, are all about challenging your imagination.  Assignment #1 is to make ink blots and use them as the basis of art.  My first ink blot was large and the only thing I saw in the shape was a bear head, hanging on a hunting lodge wall.



Assignment #2 is to draw from your imagination every day for 6 days, and on day 7, to select some of the images and make a collage page.  I filled 11 pages in the first 4 days and was surprised at the sketches that came only from my imagination.  My only observation, is how dependent these sketches are on my decades of drawing my world from observation. 

This sketch started with a table and then I started to see it as a desk, and eventually a comfy library.  But suddenly I realized that I finally had a setting for a metadrawing, a homework assignment of Mattias Adolfsson's  in Sketchbook Skool Semester 3.  And I sketched a pig, lying comfortably on the floor, making a drawing.  I had to look up the concept of metadrawings, which are drawings about drawing.  Mattias also called this type of drawing "enhanced reality." 



Another one of these pages captured a sailor, an artist, and a chef.  I have no idea where this character developed, but I hope to use him in other drawings. 


I'm also still sketching from my imagination daily for 100 days as part of the 100Day Project and just completed 16 days.  Here are two of the more recent sketches.  





I'm so interested to see where this "drawing from imagination" takes me.  I am still drawing from direct observation which I love, but I'm also having fun stretching my imagination with Sketchbook Skool Semester 4.