Drawing Trees In The Morning

I mentioned that I’m trying to get myself drawing at home rather than on the street.  It sure is a struggle and I’ve definitely got to get a place set up to do it.  But I’m pretty good at the clear-the-deck arm sweep that will shove a bunch of stuff out of the way and provide me a place for some paper.

That’s what I did the morning I decided to draw a clump of foliage.  Notice that I’m not setting my sites too high.  I have to convince my brain that it should be drawing in the morning while I’m having my morning coffee and I don’t want to discourage it.  I did upgrade my paper, though.  This one was done on Fabriano Artistico CP, which may be a bit to rough for my fine fountain pens but we’ll see.

Platinum 3776 SF, Platinum Carbon Black

Platinum 3776 SF, Platinum Carbon Black

One thing is clear.  It’s a LOT easier to draw and paint in a studio with the paper resting on a flat surface.  Heck, it’s not even windy (grin).

A Sketching Challenge: Chapel Altar

I love drawing the ornaments and carvings in churches but confess that I find most churches to be pretentious.  Still, there I was, in the chapel associated with the Musée d’Amérique francophone when I got the bright idea to sketch the huge, monolithic, altar.  Because of the complicated nature of it, doing a proper, accurate drawing would have required many hours.  I only had two.

So I “steeled” myself (i.e. tried to channel Liz Steel) and set to work.  My eyes crossed several times as I tried to draw all the bits and details of this 30-foot high structure.  It was both fun and tiring, and it humbled me a bit, which I guess is the goal of such structures.

Musee d'Amerique chapel altar

Fabriano Artistico CP (7.5×11), Pilot Metropolitan, DeAtramentis Document Black

Collectif Rendevous At The Museum Of Civilisation

The Collectif group in Quebec City held its annual rendevous at Quebec’s Musée de la civilisation last Saturday.  Unfortunately, a bunch of the regulars were playing snowbirds in one for or another and so turnout was down from previous years.  Nevertheless, we had a great time.

I started sketching in the Egypt exhibit, where I drew this pharoah mask.  I used Faber-Castell Albrecht-Durer watercolor pencils for color.  It’s hard to deal with color in that exhibit because it’s so dark so it’s hard to know what you’ve got until you’re done and eating lunch (grin).

Pharoah mask, Egypt

Fabriano Artistico CP, DeAtramentis Document Black, Pilot Falcon

I took a short break by wandering around a bit and when I saw this large Australian aboriginal totem I had to translate it to paper.  Pretty simple drawing.  Lots of fun.  It’s good to be back out sketching.

Australian totem

Fabriano Artistico CP, DeAtramentis Document Black, Pilot Metropolitan

Cruising Down The Nile

Egyptian culture was inseparable from the Nile River.  It was a source of water, provided fertile soils for agriculture, fish were a ready protein supply, and the bullrushes that grew along its banks provided material for baskets, floor mats, and other Egyptian stuff.

But heck, you gotta suppose that Egyptians used it for fun too.  Swimming might not have been a great idea because the Nile was home to crocodiles but how about hopping in the family yacht and going for a cruise.  Egyptians must have done that.  And one of the objects in our museum’s Egyptian exhibit is a large (4-feet long) wooden model of an Egyptian boat, complete with several people standing on deck.  It seemed that sketching it was the right thing to do.  Hope you like it.

Fabriano Artistico cold-press, DeAtramentis Document Black, Pilot Metropolitan F

Fabriano Artistico cold-press, DeAtramentis Document Black, Pilot Metropolitan F

What’s In The News Sketching – Quebec City Hall

I was still resurrecting our house from the recent construction and so couldn’t get out sketching, but I was desperate to do something other than quick doodles.  I was reading the newspaper over lunch when I came across a picture of the top of our city hall and decided to sketch it.

I don’t sketch from photos and other than quick doodles, I rarely sketch at home, so this was…what’s the word… err… uhm… oh yeah… DIFFERENT.  I was sitting at our kitchen table, in a real chair, with paper resting on a hard surface.  What a difference that makes.  It’s a lot easier to draw this way than perched on my tripod stool on location.  I can’t say its as much fun but maybe I should do it more often.  Anyways, here’s the top of Quebec City’s seat of government.  Tomorrow I’m heading to the museum.

2016-01-19CityHall_c

Fabriano Artistico cold press, DeAtramentis Document Black, Pilot Metropolitan F

Sketching A Bit Of Egypt

Our gang was back at the museum cuz, “baby, it’s cold outside.”  I decided to draw a stone guy who was making an offering at a funeral, or so sayeth the plaque associated with him.  Hope you like him.

Egyptian statue

Fabriano Artistico CP (7.5×11), Platinum 3776, DeAtramentis Document Black

Sketching Down A Different Road

Fabriano Artistico paper, Hero 578 w/Platinum Carbon Black

Fabriano Artistico paper, Hero 578 w/Platinum Carbon Black

My urban sketching has become pretty well-defined.  My ‘style’ is sort of cartoony with a heavy emphasis on linework as that’s what I like to do.  Color is thrown in as an afterthought.

But if I’m ever going to improved with color I’ve got to experiment and so here’s a couple baby steps down that road.  In both cases I’ve retained my penchant for fountain pen line work but I started by doing a wet-in-wet background.  Much to learn here but I had fun which is, afterall, the whole point of my sketching.  Hope you like these little guys, done from my imagination.

shot glass

Fabriano Artistico paper, Hero 578 w/Platinum Carbon Black

My First “Painting”

If you follow my posts you know that I’m a pen driver.  I draw a bunch of lines, hope they look like something and then, if I want to add color, I generally just ‘fill in’ the various pieces, using watercolors like crayons.

But I thought it was time to do a “painting.”  I’m not really sure when a sketch becomes a painting or whether you have to approach things very differently to create a painting.  Seems to me like it’s more the later than former so that’s what I did….that different thing.

We’d just gotten some snow and I was out walking, saw a “winter scene” to my liking and took a quick snapshot of it.  When I got home I took a 5×7 sheet of Fabriano Artistico “Extra White” cold press paper, and I made a few marks to indicate a horizon and the verticals for my fire hydrant.  Ya gotta have fire hydrants in paintings don’t you?  I do.

2013-11-27Hydrant_72Then, with considerable intrepidation, I started applying paint roughing out the tree and hydrant in light color.  Once I knew their ultimate shape I increased the color until it was mostly as you see it here.  Then I added a bit of ink just to emphasize things a bit.  I don’t know if this is an example of my demonstrating a willingness to learn new tricks or that I have no shame in posting my first painting.  Either way, here it is.