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March 18, 2013

The Final Four - an Elephant Series

These may be the final four in my Elephant Series.  It was a good challenge for me during February and the first half of March, especially since I limited my activities as I recovered from presumed influenza that occurred in spite of a flu shot.

The numbers on the paper aren't very accurate, since I missed a drawing and that shifted the numbers.  These are really #17, 18, 19, and 20.

These elephants were drawn from frames in the PBS Nature special entitled Echo: An Elephant to Remember.  I love the documentary and I'm fascinated with the ability to pause and sketch.  They were all done on Fabriano Artistico 140 lb soft press watercolor paper with different media.  Although frequently frustrating, I'm very glad that I pushed myself to explore and use different tools.

Echo and her Mother were drawn in pencil and then colored with various shades of gray Pitt artist pens (B).  I never use markers, so I decided to add color with lines - and couldn't bring myself to fill them in as if I were using crayons.

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I was dreading trying my pastels - and spent some time watching online videos re: using oil pastels and pan pastels. 

Oil Pastels (Echo following her Mother):  My friend Melanie gave me a set of student grade oil pastels and I used the black, gray, and white pastels to color the elephant, and then blended the colors with a white acrylic eraser.  I photographed this elephant because I didn't want to put the pastel on my scanner plate.

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Pan Pastels:  My friend Pat gave me her pan pastels because they were too messy.  I tried Teri's once before and liked the creaminess of them, so I accepted graciously.  This morning I mixed all of the colors I had, in order to practice the application and blending, and then decided to use gray, white, and some purple for the darker areas because I don't have black.

Here is my palette and the gray-purple elephant:

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I started missing my watercolor paints and ended the series with a closeup painting of an elephant head. 

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What I Learned:  I LOVE painting with watercolors, and also enjoyed drawing with soluble graphite, watercolor pencils, and watersoluble inks.  Although I decided that there will be minimal painting with acrylics, drawing with markers,  or using pastels, I am very happy that I challenged myself. 

March 15, 2013

February Figure Drawing at the Society of Illustrators

We had one male and one female model at the Society of Illustrators Sketch Night the last time that I attended.  I rarely get to sketch male models, and sketched him as much as possible.  Here are some of my drawings.

I'm still working in an 8.5 x 11 inch Sketch Book with a 9B pencil.  My drawings keep getting bigger, meaning that I rarely capture anything below the knees.  But my scanner limits the size paper I can post.  A dilemma!

Three 2 Minute Sketches:

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One 5 Minute Sketch:

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Two Ten Minute Sketches

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March 11, 2013

March Bookbinding Adventure

This year I am challenging myself to research and make a new book structure each month. In January I made two Coptic Books, in February I made a leather long stitch book, and this month I made a flag book.  Previous books made can been seen in the Bookbinding Category on the right side of my blog when you scroll down.  
Flag books were introduced in the 1970s by Hedi Kyle and it is said to be the "most influential structure in the world of contemporary bookmaking."  I personally love to see the flags flutter into place as the book is opened and the spine is extended.
I just took a one day Paste Paper class with Lynn Gall at the Center for Book Arts and decided to use pieces of my paste papers to make the flag book - covers, end papers, and flags.  Now I will have a book of samples to play with because I decided that I loved making paste papers for bookbinding!!
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March 9, 2013

Elephant with Tsukineko Ink

I've been hibernating, recovering from my latest grandchild-transmitted viral infection, so I added another elephant to my series.

Gwen Diehn was visiting NYC this week and our group visited Galleries in Chelsea to see exhibits from The International Print Center, Jim Dine, Jean-Michel Basquiat, and Faith Ringgold.  I came home with no drawings, so today I'm posting one more in my elephant series. 

Elephant # 16

This Mom and Baby were sketched with Tsukineko All Purpose Craft Ink that I used in a workshop with Judy Coates Perez to "paint" on fabric.  The bug on the cover of my recent coptic book was painted with the ink, mixed with aloe vera gel. The ink comes in many colors and is water-based, and non-toxic.  I was generous with my lines, but still was shocked at how heavily pigmented and watersoluble it is.  All of the color in the painting was moved from the inked lines with water - and I had to be careful to get the light color gray on the baby elephant.

I paused the PBS Nature episode Echo: An Elephant to Remember to get this image.  The link is in my last entry and for reasons I don't understand, I can't insert it here too. 

This concludes my experiments with the inks and pens that I have in my stash.  I need to keep digging to see what other rarely used supplies I have to make at least 4 more in the series.  

 

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March 2, 2013

3 Drawings for Grandchildren

Neither my husband nor my own children ever open my sketchbooks and I doubt that any of them ever look at my blog.  But my grandchildren love to find their toys and can usually remember how to find the pages.   It is so nice to have them show interest, that I try to add sketches on a regular basis. 

I took care of Charlie, our youngest grandchild, several weeks ago.  While he was happily sitting in his infant seat - babbling and smiling, I sketched the dangling toys.  Then he became grumpy and I never painted them. 

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On another day, I was playing with his older brother, 3 year old Zachary, and he showed me his big cloth bag of wooden animals.  He requested lots of animals for his birthday last year and my daughter-in-law found some wonderful wooden animals from Australia.  I asked Zach if I could draw the elephant and he told me that he liked the "gray" animals best.  There were 3 gray animals total - so I had to draw all 3!

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This weekend we had 5 of our grandchildren for a sleepover and Zach brought 6 Beanie Boo stuffed animals to sleep with.  Six year old Callum was busy working with me on drawing exercises from Mona Brookes book, and inspired this drawing of the Beanie Boo lion.  Before the weekend was over even Sydney sketched and painted the Beanie Boo elephant, but I forgot to scan it before she took it home.

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