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February 26, 2013

Quick Sketching

My friend Kathy made this cute little leather book for me and for the first time I have a sketchbook with me at all times.  The pages are 4.5 in high by 3 in wide.  I carry one ballpoint pen with the sketchbook and try to do quick sketches on the subway or bus.  The stops in the City are very close together so each sketch needs to be done in 1-2 minutes - or your subject gets off or is obscured by the arrival of new passengers.

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Here are 8 recent drawings:

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February 22, 2013

Elephant Experiments

I don't work in a series very often, primarily due to boredom.  But I still have some tools and mediums, purchased in the past, that I want to try in my elephant series. 

Elephant #13:  Elephant #12, posted previously, was drawn with a dip pen and India ink.  Today I tried a ruling pen and FW acrylic ink on Fabriano Artistico 140 lb Soft Press watercolor paper for Elephant #13.  I was able to move the ink with water in areas that weren't completely dry.

I used the ruling pen with thickened black procion MX dye on fabric several years ago and I really liked it.  Today I found it hard to prevent a few big ink drops with the acrylic ink - a much thinner liquid.  Practice and more practice would be necessary if I were to use the ruling pen again this way.

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Elephant #14:  On Wednesday my art buddies were here to play with Gelli Arts printing plates and acrylic paints on paper.  One of the prints I made with white and black Liquitex Basics paint and smooth, slick copy paper was perfect for an elephant collage.  I thought I was going to use paste paper for the collage, but made a last minute decision to go with the more textured "Gelli" print.

I looked at Eric Carle's book The Very Hungry Caterpillar and a reference book entitled The Art of Eric Carle to look at his technique.  And then I found several wonderful tutorials on his website and a single page PDF with instructions to create a collage.  PERFECT!  He paints tissue paper with matte medium and acrylic paints and uses them as his palette.  He doesn't make paste paper as I originally believed.

My process:  I traced the FW acrylic ink elephant #13 to use as my pattern, and then cut each elephant segment through the tracing paper with an x-acto knife.  Each segment was cut out sequentially and immediately glued in place with a UHU glue stick using the tracing paper for placement.  At the end I added eyes and some detail with a dip pen and India ink.

Here is my Gelli Art print after I cut out each of the segments.

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And here is my elephant collage.  I'm thrilled with the results!

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February 19, 2013

Elephants - One By One

I painted gesso onto a piece of newspaper and then sketched an elephant with a dip pen and India Ink.  I had no idea how this would work, but proceeded in the spirit of experimentation,  

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Last Saturday I took a Paste Paper class at the Center for Book Arts in Manhattan.  Here is a picture of Me, and my friends Gloria and Benedicte.  I used a >30 year old apron for the class and was shocked to see the elephant on the front. 

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I made thirty-one 14 X 17" sheets of paste paper and enjoyed every minute of the class.  Here are 5 grayish pieces that I made for an elephant collage.  I've done collage, but never to create figurative art.  But Lynn Gall, our class instructor, says that Eric Carle uses paste paper for his children's book, so of course I will need to try it!

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February 15, 2013

Figure Drawing Practice - Feb 2013

It is time to practice drawing men's hands and faces.  I have photos clipped from magazines and use these for practice drawings.  Here are my drawings from this week.

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I also like drawing faces quickly when I pause the TV.  Here are 3 done during the news Tuesday evening.

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February 12, 2013

This little elephant was painted using white and black acrylic paints - by someone who knows nothing about painting with acrylics!  I did a quick loose pencil sketch, squeezed out two drops of paint on my palette, and selected a brush.  Suddenly I felt just like I did back in 2003 when I opened my first tray of pan watercolors.  Yikes!  How do I even start painting?  

So what you see is one great big experiment - in my project to try all of my unused art supplies - while completing a series of elephant images.  I think I held my breath and only remembered that "darks" are painted first with acrylic, and last with watercolor.  But it was definitely trial and error for me as I tried to define body masses.

Then I put my acrylic paints away until next week, when my friends are coming to play with Gelli Art plates!  This elephant may be my only experience doing a figurative painting with them! 

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