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September 2, 2010

Learning to "Paint Outside the Lines"

Linda Kemp's book, Watercolor Painting Outside the Lines, was mentioned on the Everyday Matters message board, and on View From the Oak Blog.  When I have gift cards, I buy this type of art technique book for my library and this year it is one of my goals to actually read and sometimes do exercises or demos from some of these books.  This was my book for August.

In order to really understand the technique of painting just the negative space, I had to try the first two exercises in this book.

Exercise 1:  Paint many different size circles in groups and paint only the negative space.  This painting has 5 layers.  I was quite messy, and didn't keep nice smooth edges, but I accomplished my goal.  I did understand the concept after doing this exercise.

I just found Linda doing this exercise on a You Tube Video.

Kemp1.jpg

Exercise 2:  Same technique, but with a stem with 2 leaves, and a watercolor underpainting.  Again, I was quite messy with the outlines, but now understood working wet-in-wet and creating interesting color washes.

Although I did this exercise from her book, I just found a demo of it on her website.

Kemp2.jpg

Extending the Lesson Using My Original Image:  Friends brought a lovely bouquet of flowers Saturday evening and I decided to use the flower and leaf shape from one of the flowers to create my own negative painting.

StephsFlowers.jpg

Then I created Two Magnetic Bookmarks using the same flower and leaf shapes.  The technique for making these was posted previously.  But now I use individual magnets sold at Staples as adhesive business card magnets - and I cut them in half vertically. 

                                 Bookmarks.Flowers.jpg

August 29, 2010

Square Watercolor Journals

I never thought that I would LOVE a square watercolor journal, but Roz and Kate both talk about them regularly.  When Fabriano Artistico changed their watercolor paper from "grain long" to "grain short, " I made a square book that is approximately 7.5" square.  It takes 2 sheets (22 x 30") -without any waste - and it JUST fits in my mini-backpack  

I just made my second square journal.  The cover was made with cloth that I dye-painted with Procion MX dyes and fused toThai mulberry paper with Wonder Under.  The paper is FA 140 lb soft press extra white - 6 signatures with two folios per signature. 

FRONT COVER:

P1110262.size.jpg

BACK COVER:

P1110263.size.jpg

Since the book cloth is so "busy" I used Canson Mi Tientes for the end papers.

P1110267.size.jpg

I started making my own watercolor journals because I couldn't find any that I liked.  I took a 1 1/2 day workshop on making cased - in journals and now love making and using the journals.  There is lots of information and photos of many journals in the Bookbinding category on the right.

August 28, 2010

Carla Sonheim Drawing Labs

Lab 16 in Carla Sonheim's Drawing Lab book is to draw !00 Faces.  I cut 20 pieces of watercolor paper and packaged them with a pencil, eraser, pen, and 7 watercolor pencils - and now keep it with me when I leave the apartment.  Here are 4 sketches done on the uptown-downtown buses.  I haven't drawn strangers from such close proximity before and it was fun.  These are clearly faces, not portraits!

Portraits1.2.5.6.jpg

I'm interested to see the way these 100 face drawings will evolve.  The only rule I have is to carry my pouch with me when I leave the apartment and to number them sequentially as Sonheim suggests.

I am currently finished with Lab 26 in the book and ready to move on.  Here is my One-Eyed Monster.  I used a sheet of paper, quickly drew 3 monsters, and then selected one to redraw in my watercolor sketchbook.  Since I started drawing again in 2003, then daily in 2006, I have drawn from models-objects-scenes of some kind - including photos and paintings and drawings from Master Artists.  This is the first time that I am exercising my imagination completely and it is great fun and as I've said before, a wonderful way to loosen up,   

Lab26.OneEyedMonster.jpg

August 25, 2010

A Weekend in Washington, DC

We spent a long weekend with our grand daughter Annabelle in Washington DC and my daily journal pages were all done in a sketchbook that I have devoted to her neighborhood and her life during each of our visits.  Previous entries can be seen by clicking on the Washington DC category on the right side of the page.

When I asked Annabelle what I should draw, before we took her to day care on Friday, she told me an elephant.  So I painted one of her very small stuffed elephants.  On the way to the Metro, I took several photos of her walking/running ahead and drew that image for the rest of the page.  I still rarely sketch my grandchildren except from the back because I'm always disappointed that my drawings don't look like them.

Elephant.Annabelle.jpg

On Saturday morning we went to work with Daddy at the NIH Clinical Center, so she could play with Grandpa and I could see the art quilt exhibit that is currently hanging in the lobby. 

Art quilters who read my blog should look at the link - each spectacular, color photomicrograph taken as part of a research project was translated into a quilt by individual artists.   

In an alcove off the lobby, near the wall quilts, there is a huge fish tank with several beautiful, large tropical fish.  This one was my favorite, although we need to contact the curator to learn its name.  Any help from fish experts would be appreciated. 

NIH%20Fish.jpg

There were intermittent showers on Sunday so we went to the Smithsonian Museum of Natural History.  The squirrels are quite tame around the Washington Mall and this one eagerly took Annabelle's acorn when she dropped it for him at her feet.  Inside the Museum there was another great fish tank with lots of Nemos - as Annabelle pointed out.

Squirrel.ClownFish.jpg

Annabelle is our only grand child that doesn't live in New York City - and I continue to be delighted that we're creating memories of our visits in the Annabelle Sktchbook.

August 22, 2010

Recent Museum Visit Drawings

I love visiting all of the Museums in Manhattan, and always try to sketch one item during a visit.  Maybe I can internalize some of the skills of the Master Artist, or convert a 3D object into a reasonable 2D drawing, or just create a memory of the museum visit.

David Goldblatt, a South African photographer who documented life during apartheid, has an exhibit at the Jewish Museum.  I loved the position of this man, who was posing for a paid photograph while Goldblatt photographed him and the photographer.

Dav.Goldblatt.jpg

The American Woman exhibit at the Met was a favorite among our visitors this summer.  I have visited enough times that I have sketched one mannequin in almost every room.  I sketched several during my recent visit with Liz Steel and this was one of them.

  MadameGres.jpg

 I love Guercino - an Italian artist from the 1600s, and try to reproduce one of his drawings whenever I see one.  The Met has an exhibit of Italian Drawings from Correggio  to  Tiepolo including one of Guercino's.  His drawing was done in ink, mine was done with black pen and watercolor.

Guercino.2010.jpg

My quilt artist friends and I went to see the Exhibit honoring Women's Art at the American Folk Art Museum.  My favorite piece was a painting of a mourning family, with 4 women lined up on the left side of the cemetery stone and men on the right.  This is one of the identically dressed women.

FolkArt.Mourner.jpg

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