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May 2, 2016

"Continuous Line Contour" and "Negative Space" Drawings

Continuous Line Contour Drawings and the Sketchbook Skool Seeing Online Class (2014)- Brenda Swensen's Class Demo was a Continuous Line Contour Drawing with a Tombow pen and a watercolor wash.  Even though I did these exercises, I spent much more time trying to keep my pen on the paper and felt as if this was a more laborious process than my usual drawing technique.  These are my homework drawings, and after doing a comparison, I rejected the technique for me.

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These are comparison drawings - the continuous line contour drawing in black and white and my usual method with a watercolor wash.  I got lost in the drawing and my usual method was also faster.

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Fast Forward 2 years to the Sketchbook Skool Polishing online class and Koosje Koene's demo of negative space drawing.  This is another technique that didn't work well for me in the past, but of course I wanted to try it again.  I put a complex kitchen stool in the middle of my kitchen and looked at all of the negative spaces.  I began the drawing with expectations that I could draw the stool more easily by drawing the open, i.e. negative spaces.  But I got lost in the process and had another failure.  So I'm again returning to my own drawing methods and that is OK with me.

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April 29, 2016

Comics: Out of My Art Comfort Zone

Danny Gregory taught me about comics in his opening week of Sketchbook School 6 - Polishing.  As a child I read about Archie, Veronica, Betty, and Jughead.  In college I read whole books of Peanut comics by Charles Shultz.  In my adult years I read random strips of Cathy and Dilbert.  Our first homework assignment was to draw a conversation as a comic.  I thought about this assignment for a week while all of my ideas were almost instantly rejected.  Then, as a second week began, I realized that the most important conversation was going on continually in my brain - between my Inner Critic and Me.

My Inner Critic is not a Monkey - like Danny's new book tells us (Shut Your Monkey).  Mine has always been an old lady - a very hypercritical old lady and many of the things she tells me definitely are based in comments from my Mother Marge and Mother-in-law Miriam.   My college roommate had a similar Mother named Mildred - so I usually call my Inner Critic Mildred, so my name for her is not so obviously from my own Family. 

I painted my Inner Critic Mildred for an Everyday Matters Challenge in 2009.  It is an old lady, and I called her a bag lady, with a bag full of scripts:  "Not Creative,"  "Not Perfect,"  "No Skills," and "Why Bother?"

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Fast forward to 2014 and another painting of Mildred, who says:

"Why do you want to make that?  What are you going to do with it?

You will mess it up, and the whole thing will be ruined.

It will never be perfect, so why try?

You need to look for more information before starting.

Besides, it isn't even an original idea."  

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So here is my recent conversation with Mildred in a comic format! 

 

Panels 1-4

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Panels 5-8 

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Conversation if it can't be read from my comic

Critic: You still haven't done Danny's Homework.

Me: I know.

Critic: What do you know about comics?

Me: Enough.

Critic: You don't have any ideas.  You are not original.

Me: I just need time to think.

Critic: You don't draw well from your imagination.

Me: Well enough to draw you!

Critic: Other Sketchbook Skool (SBS) students are drawing great comics.

Me: Mine will have meaning to me.

Critic:  Will they know who I am?

Me:  Inner Critic.  I call you Mildred for hypercritical Marge and Miriam.

Critic:  I think you are wasting your time.

Me:  I'm playing now.  Thanks for your concern. 

 

Our second homework assignment was to draw "a day in our life" as a comic. 

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I love the Sketchbook School homework assignments and after fighting my Inner Critic when I'm out of my comfort zone, I do them.  All except the original poster assignment from Jean-Christophe Defline.  I'm still  battlling Mildred about that one. 

All of the illustrations in this blog post are now the beginning of a book I hadn't used.  It should be fun to record my inner conversations and get them drawn on paper as a comic.  

February 26, 2016

Battery Park City Still Life Paintings

Still Life #1  We had limited props for our still life drawings yesterday, but some of the clippings from the Park Conservancy, including pussy willows, were lovely.  I decided to play by drawing the arrangement with a brown watercolor pencil and then painting with watercolor over the watercolor pencil.  Brenda Swenson sketched with a watercolor pencil and then painted with watercolor in her demo in Sketchbook Skool Seeing.  And I haven't used the technique since then. 

 

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Still Life #2:  My 2nd still life was set up with childrens' art tools from a supply closet, and two of my brushes.  This was another experiment - using glazing like Felix Scheinberger demonstrated in Sketching Skool Expressing.  I put water on my watercolor paper and then dropped in 4 colors to make the background.  After it dried completely, I sketched the "tools" in pencil and then painted them in their original colors as a glaze.

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I feel completely free to play when I'm at these art sessions and quickly get in the flow and experiment.  It feels great. 

February 23, 2016

Blotted Line Image Transfer

I was intrigued by Andy Warhol's use of this technique when seeing it in the 2015 Warhol exhibit at MoMA, and attended one of their art sessions to learn the technique for making these transfers.  Here is information and photos of Warhol's prints, and my transfers from the museum.

http://www.paperandthreads.com/2015/07/warhol_blotted_line_prints.php 

Last week, on Sketchbook Skool Semester 5, Penny Dullaghan, an artist illustrator, taught her technique for making blotted line image transfers as one of 4 print-making techniques, and she used a brush and India ink, instad of a fountain pen and water-soluble ink like I tried at MoMA. 

 

This was the image I created at MoMA using a disposable fountain pen - and tracing paper (left) and smooth Bristol paper (right) that were taped together for us in a packet.   The ink was soluble so I didn't add watercolor.

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Here are 3 images I transferred using a brush and India ink per Penny Dullaghan's method in Sketchbook Skool 5.  I used Canson Vellum tracing paper, Fabriano Atistica 140 lb watercolor paper, a #1 round brush, and India ink.  I like the expressive lines best when transferring the leaves.  The faces are more messy and would need more practice and probably a smaller brush.

Brush and ink - Leaves:  I like the random blobs of ink. 

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Axel: 

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Face:  The dots paper to the left side of the face are me experimenting with transferring dots, instead of 1/4" segments of ink with the brush.  I liked Warhol's dots (as seen in my blog link above) and think there are times when I might want to use them.

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February 5, 2016

"Our Blood" Infographic for Sketchbook Skool Homework

The 3rd teacher for Sketchbook Skool - Expressing - is Sabine Wiseman, a Dutch Illustrator.  She described infographic illustration and demonstrated the basic ideas.  Our first homework was to make an infographic on a topic of our choice.  I chose to write mine about Human Blood  with very basic information and illustrations. 

 

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The basic information is as follows, since I'm never sure if text on drawings is readable.

1.  When you centrifuge a tube of human blood it is separated into plasma and blood cells.  

2.  There are 3 types of blood cells. 

3.  Red Blood Cells (RBC) are full of hemoglobin which give blood its red color.  Hemoglobin carries oxygen to all the tissues of our body.  They are shaped like biconcave discs so they can squeeze through our capillaries which are smaller than the RBC diameter (7 microns).

4.  White Blood Cells (WBC):  There are 3 major types of WBC - Granulocytes, Lymphocytes, and Monocytes.  They are important in inflammation and infection.  Granulocytes are further subdivided,  based on their granules,  into neutrophils (most numerous), eosinophils (few), and basophils (rare).

5.  Platelets:  Very small "cells" that are pieces of the cytoplasm of their precursor cell (megakaryocyte).  They stick to the insides of damaged blood vessels and to each other to form plugs which stop bleeding.

6.  In one drop of blood there are 5 million RBCs, 5,000 WBCs, and 250,000 platelets (approximately).    

 

 

 

 

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