Tuesday, October 31, 2017

2017 Inktober - Final Day and Other

Another very late night where I was up till wee hours of the morning so I spent that time working on my final sketch for the Inktober Challenge. 

Day 31 - A small shelf sitter picked up a couple Saturdays ago when a few of us went to Fall in the Field at Renningers in Mount Dora, FL.




Last night late evening - Going back to working an exercise sketching birds from the new approach John Muir Laws is sharing with people.  He starts out with the outer top contour lines of the bird and adds the shapes of head and body to that line.


And here is one more I worked last night.  For over three years we had our living room in what's actually called a family room with fire place.  That room is in the center of the house so it stays fairly dark in the room.  Although we seldom use it now that the boys have moved out, to me it wasn't all that inviting for when anyone came over.  So Terry and I decided to move the furniture to the front of the house that is technically considered the living room (according to the realtor's listing).  

The front faces the North with plenty of natural light due to the two large windows, one of which is a large bay window.  

We moved the dining room table and chairs in the room with the fire place that sits in with a hutch and curio cabinet.  We very seldom use the large table as we have another smaller one in the kitchen itself for when we sit down to eat unless the boys visit and eat with us.




This daily sketching was a lot of fun and I've learned a lot with the Procreate app that I worked the majority of my sketches this month.  It's giving me plenty opportunity to get a feel for the pressure sensitivity of the apple pencil and adding and blending color.   Have also learned how to incorporate gridding as a method for more accuracy in drawing. 

When I first started using the app, I relied on a lot of "undos" but working daily as I have, I've noticed I'm not using that nifty feature hardly at all.  I might do a little erasing but to me no different than working with pencil and erasing something I don't much care for.

If working from a photo, I can view on computer screen (or laptop) while sketching on Ipad (just like I would if working in a journal book).  I get the initial line work down and then can move about (going to another location) and work the shading and/or coloring at my leisure.

Gridding is a breeze because you don't have all that prep work lightly drawing the grid on drawing surface.......instead just use an overlay of a grid scan, hiding the layer when done.  No erasing of the grid lines once done worrying about messing up the sketch itself (especially if using graphite).  And I really enjoy gridding......it's like putting together a puzzle which I love. 

I can now better understand why so many illustrators and cartoonists are going digital. 

Monday, October 30, 2017

2017 Inktober Challenge - Days 28 thru 30

One day remaining to complete the Inktober challenge.  This has been really easy to follow (for a change) sketching each day.  In fact some days I worked more than one as previous posts have shown.

Day 28 - Before and after color added..........finding myself missing winter with the chance of snow.  Although we don't care to drive in it, it was beautiful when falling and for several hours afterwards.  I don't miss the gray skies though.  Not good for my mental/emotional state.


Day 29 - Lantern.  I might add color to this later.


Day 30 - One of my favorite new plush bears.  And because of the autumn colors of my bear, I had to add color to the line drawing.  I LOVE this time of year because of the colors.........green, golds, orange, rust or maroons, etc.


Saturday, October 28, 2017

Exercise in Color Blending

This is one I worked on late last night (the line work) and worked all day off and on to finish it.

I'm using Procreate and to get the results, it took 25 layers. 

The most time consuming is the coloring.  I would apply color and then blend working small sections at a time.  Add more color and blend again repeating until I was able to achieve the values I wanted.  Working this way is very much like graphite work and using a paper stump or tortillion to blend.  And for lost highlights, I would erase and blend the edges to work into the color with no hard lines........again like you would using graphite.

I have included six screenshots each including several layers to create the animated gif. 

SS #1 - Three layers.  Line work; hatch shading; and the pattern in the clothing.
SS #2 - Three layers.  Blue color in the eyes; Nose and red stitching pattern on the face; and color of the face itself.
SS #3 - Two layers.  Undershirt and outer shirt.
SS #4 - Four layers.  Two layers for the corn cob pipe; square pattern light color; and square pattern dark color.
SS #5 - Seven layers.  Hat two layers; raffia two layers; wood base two layers; and strings one layer
SS #6 (Final) - Six layers.  Table two layers; lined box one layer; signature one layer; date one layer; and the sixth layer is not showing.  It included written notes on the brush tools I chose to use to work on this.





Friday, October 27, 2017

One of My Birthday Gifts

This is worked in a large S&B Beta Journal.........pencil first, pen and ink, followed by watercolor.

One of two mushroom houses Neal bought for me for my birthday :-)



2017 Inktober Sketches - Days 25 through 27 and Other

I've been on a roll with sketching the last few days.

Day 25 -  Photo taken at an old abandoned cemetery.  A section of wall that's still standing.  Not sure what the wall went to.


Day 26 - Opal sitting in a miniature chair I found at Hobby Lobby.  Experimenting a bit with different brushes in Procreate.


Day 27 - was up through the night so I sketched.  I decided to try stippling in Procreate.


Other sketches I've worked on.


This one printed off onto Strathmore Texture inkjet paper (which is 80lb) and applying watercolor.  Think I like the Epson Presentation paper better.  Although a heavier paper, it still buckles and the paper grabs the pigment like the Epson Presentation paper does.   I worked wet in wet for this to help move the pigment around.  Once dry, it's down to stay.


A few of my miniature critters.  Still working to improve with pen pressure.  Procreate went through a major update and it seems some of the brushes have changed or the pressure sensitivity has changed.  Of course it could be my imagination too........lol


Another I worked on through the night.  


And here's one I don't think I posted that I did earlier this month.  A paper twist Halloween witch I made almost 30 years ago.  Back in my craft making days.


I've learned too how to incorporate the gridding method of drawing within Procreate.

I can set a photo up on computer with a scanned grid overlay.


Next I can import a grid scan (I made different size grid/blocks on acetate that I scanned) to work in Procreate.  What's nice is I don't have to worry about pre-gridding paper with a pencil before sketching and then having to erase those grid lines completely or taking care not to ruin the actual sketch.


Here I've added a layer that I tried working what is called a texture brush so that it might look like it was on textured paper.  I still need to practice with obtaining the look I want.   

I'll print this out and add watercolor to it.....one reason I didn't add hatch shading to this.



I am really enjoying the Procreate software app.  The biggest plus to using this sketch app ........... I love the pressure sensitivity of the pen brushes that I cannot easily get with the fountain pens I currently have.  The closest two flex nibs I have just don't quite make it.  My Noodler's Creaper nib doesn't flex like other people who have the same pen/nib.  And my Falcon with the gold semi-flex nib is more or less a medium flex but you have to really press hard to get the wider lines.  Then you have the problem of damaging the tines, if too wide of a spread or working fast, the ink railroads on the paper surface.  If I want true flex ability, I have to use a dip pen and then you have to worry about dipping into ink frequently throwing your workflow off (at least for me), knocking the ink bottle over, ink blobs/splashes, etc. etc. (although I do like facing those challenges once in awhile as well.)

Working digitally is most definitely a nice change of pace giving a different feel and facing different challenges I'm enjoying.  I'm printing off everything I do and placing in an Itoya Presentation Book to have a flip through book just like you do with a journal book or sketchbook :-)

Wednesday, October 25, 2017

2017 Inktober Challenge - Days 22-24

Day 22 - Large moth outside our front door


Day 23 - From a Fall still life set up at the LAL art center.  Sketch printed off on Epson presentation paper and watercolor applied.  This was an experiment to see how the presentation paper would handle color.

Pros:  Vivid color - takes the color beautifully.

Cons:  Wet in wet can cause buckling; if water applied first, takes a long time to dry; once color is applied to paper, it's there to stay....no lifting or moving of color like you can on regular watercolor paper.  The coating on the paper absorbs color and rather quickly.

Best not to use fountain pens on this paper as the nib picks up the coating and beads at the tip causing a build-up of ink.  Micron works better.

Would I use it again..........yes!  I can work with paper knowing to take care when applying color.  And I like the challenge as well as pushing the limits on any paper surface to include regular bond paper.  I love how the color shines on this paper surface!!!


Day 24:  Also from the still life that was set up at the LAL art center.


Extra sketch for the day..........my conure named Mango :-)


Saturday, October 21, 2017

2017 Inktober - Days 16 through 21

Day 16 - New miniature bear

UPDATE:  With Color added 10/29/17



Day 17 - Lone Oak Cemetery in Leesburg, FL.  Went on a sketchcrawl and we were to combine what we saw in reality plus adding a little creativity to it to fit the Halloween time of year.

The eagle carving was worked in my small S&B Beta journal with Edison pen and Lexy Gray.


This is the one I did to fit the sketchcrawl theme as mentioned above.



Day 18 - Started out as a loosening up continuous line sketch but I did end up lifting my pen off the surface a few times.  Still a looser sketch compared to what I've been doing.


Day 19 - Semi continuous line sketch


Day 20 - While watching TV (dvds)


Day 21 - Sitting up on a table top in my sunroom


Monday, October 16, 2017

New Toy - Custom Fountain Pen

Saturday before last, my husband and I checked out a store near us that specializes in miniatures called In a Nutshell Miniatures & More.  We went in to see what they might have to go along with my miniature bears I love using as sketching models.

While in the shop, we discovered they also offer custom made pens, razors, and other items where wood and/or acrylic is turned making the barrels or handles to various objects.

I had been inquiring if anyone knew of a person who made custom pens for some time.  I even started getting a catalog that offers the materials and tools to create them hoping my oldest son would take an interest as he loves working with wood and also creates various things out of plastic.  I'm sure if he had time, he'd jump on it but his job, family, and car restoration pretty much takes up all his time.

Anyways.........totally unexpected, I walk into a shop that offers exactly what I was hoping for.

Terry and I returned to the shop this past Saturday to meet Steve Kondo (In a Nutshell Pens and Turnings, Tavares, FL), who makes these pens.  He brought several in for me to see to include extra fine nibs I prefer to use when sketching.  Once I chose a pen style I liked, Mr. Kondo put in an extra fine nib in place of the one that came with it and I really liked how it tested out on paper at the shop.

This pen is different in the way the cap fits on either end.  The cap is magnetic and I loved the pattern on the pen barrel.  What's really nice is that no two pens are alike when turning the blanks for the finished bodies.  You definitely end up with a pen that is truly unique.




The pen comes with a plunger style converter I've never seen before.  All of my converters are twist piston converters.  I thought that was unique.  Plus the pen will take ink cartridges as well.  The nib I chose is a #5 EF two toned steel nib which is from a German company.

Once I got home, I took the pen on a trial run sketching in my Stillman & Birn Beta journal.  The nib feels good on paper but may need some time "breaking in" if there is such a thing.  I didn't clean the nib before using it so it might just be oils on the nib when manufactured.  For someone like me who uses a light pressure when sketching, this nib's ink flow is hit and miss but with any pressure the ink flows nicely.  I might need to change to a lubricating ink but for right now I'll continue with the ink I like most which is the Noodler's Lexington Gray ink.

As a sketcher, the hit and miss ink flow is truly not a bad thing.  I have a tendency to forget to use lost and found lines and a nib that does it for me can only be a plus........LOL  It definitely worked to my advantage when sketching the conure head :-)



Color version using Albrecht Durer watercolor pencils dry and wet brush to blend the colors.


I've already told my husband I'd like to have a custom made ballpoint pen as I enjoy sketching in ballpoint as well.  Plus I learned today that Mr. Kondo also makes dip pen holders.  Can't wait to get these various sketching tools and show off to my sketching pals !!!!





2017 Inktober Days 9 through 15

This continues my study on birds..........



New family member named Mango.  He's a Pineapple Green Cheek Conure who's 3 months old.  He's going to be quite the character presenting us with lots of joy and challenges. 



Those nights I can't find a normally scheduled TV show I like watching (or listening to), I'll flip through channels that air older shows like Ion and USA or turn to Netflix or Hulu.  Came across Chicago PD and thought I'd try it out since I enjoy shows like Law and Order, NCIS, and Criminal Minds.

Monday, October 9, 2017

Autumn Theme Sketching

Not specifically worked for Inktober but additional procreate sketches plus one transferred to journal and painted with watercolor.

The angel was part of a still life set up at our art center for Open Studio Friday last week.  The theme was Fall/Autumn.


These scarecrow figurines are from a collection I have here at home which fit nicely for a Fall/Autumn theme. 

Don't know where my brain was when I put the date on the digital.  I put the year for the day........ooops.


Stillman & Birn Beta journal / Lamy Safari / Lexy Gray ink



2017 Inktober Days 5 through 8

Continuing my bird study for inktober:

Days 5 through 8






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