Sunday, July 24, 2011

My Creative Map

Bought Cathy Johnson's new book, Artist's Journal Workshop, when it first came out -- downloaded it straight to my Kindle. It's awesome! And while I like being able to carry it around on the Kindle, I'm also glad that I can read it in color on other devices. I've answered the first three questions about starting a journal, but don't feel comfortable posting them. The newest assignment (really, a suggestion) is to make a map of where you want to go and to include any roadblocks or obstacles, or motivators. I was astounded last night when I did this to see what came out.

Here's the upside-down version of the map as well, to make the other bits easy to read.

Sunday, July 10, 2011

Eatin' Indian

Dinner at the Palace of Asia restaurant attached to my hotel. I do love East Indian food, and the lamb vindaloo was particularly delicious! Sketched the mango lassi that I sipped while enjoying my meal. This one was somewhat unusual tasting, but very very good. Sorry I can't say the same for the dessert. I had been looking forward vanilla ice-cream with mango slices and a mango sauce, but they were out of it. I didn't fancy any of the other desserts so went for chocolate ice-cream. Mistake!! Very pretty in the dish, but NOT good ice-cream. Can we say, "so awful I had to leave half of it back"?


Spent a few hours in the Cincinnati airport yesterday en route to Philadelphia for a conference. I had hoped to take advantage of our layover to do some major sketching, but having had only 50 minutes of sleep on Friday night, I ended up dozing most of the time. I did manage to sketch the face of a woman sitting not quite opposite me about 2 rows away. I think that she realized I was sketching her, so occasionally I looked at another spot and then "drew". I wonder how others handle situations where people discover that they're under observation. Comments, anyone?

 Those airport chairs!! Never terribly comfortable, but sometimes an intriguing subject. The one above was part of a row of about 6 chairs. Luckily this one didn't have to stand on its own, as it has only one long "foot".

Saturday, July 2, 2011

The Night in Battle Creek, Michigan

Wow, what a day! Driving around in the hot sun makes for two very tired people. But clearly not tired enough. We shared information about the various blogs that we follow, techniques that we like, traded recommendations back and forth.
Yummy fruit. I was going for the highlights and darks, but of course made everything uniformly dark, so my overall effect was lost. Part of my problem was that in using complementary colors at the beginning, I probably put too much green in the apple, so it ends up being the same color as the mango, even though it was really a reddish-yellow. Fruits clockwise from the top: apple (in rear); mango (unreadable as such); two strawberries; pear.

Experimented with using a blender pencil and a white pencil (wax) as a sort of frisket, coloring over with both w/c and wax colored pencils. Nice technique... and it works. In fact, I was even able to lift the Inktense blue from the white just a bit!

Top sketch is an apple using a white wax colored pencil to protect highlights. It works well. And when I squint at the sketch, I actually see some roundness. That's encouraging. Vicki and I talked about the Adirondack chairs that she's working on, so I tried sketching a pair from memory. I guess it's not much help if they're facing AWAY from each other, is it?!

And what is this? An intriguing question... can you tone paper enough to be able to use a white pencil on it? Mixed up a thick darkish wash (using my travelling w/c palette) of prussian blue, alizarin crimson, burnt umber, with some green, and laid it on pretty heavily. After it dried, we found that several pencils worked very nicely on it, thank you very much. I did a quick sketch of my troublemaker Numa, though it doesn't seem to look much like a cat. Well, it's the thought that counts.

We finally went to bed around 3 am!

The Day in Battle Creek, Michigan

Spent the first day of July in Battle Creek, Michigan, on a sketchcrawl with Vicki. Such fun, and so glad that I met her at Kristy Kutch's workshop in May! We started off with lunch at Clara's Restaurant (great crabmeat and spinach), then sketched in various places as outlined below. Went to Horrock's and bought fruit to sketch -- and eat! I found Ambrosia apples, my favorite, so of course bought some. (They normally have a short growing season so I find them December-March in my local supermarkets.)

The first sketch at a river. Hmmm... doesn't look much like one, does it? If I did this over, I might make the bushes into a water fountain. And as for those lazy susans... hah! I pencilled in the reflections but didn't get around to watercoloring them in.
Done with w/c pencils and crayons.

The clock tower at Clara's Restaurant. This used to be a train station. I spent a lot of time working on this and plan to complete it later. The guy at left (notice the beard?) was someone who stopped to speak with us. When you sit on the steps of a library, people go in and out, and many are curious about what you're doing. A whole bunch of kids passed by and they were really impressed with our work! Go figure.

Who says garages aren't fun to draw? (No-one.) We drove around looking for a place where we could park and sketch without raising concern (!) or looking odd. :) This old storage barn was calling out to be painted. I should note that the side on the right is only about half the actual width. We did five-minute sketches here and it was a challenge to see what we could do in that time. My first one was the door, then the barn itself -- both in w/c/ pencil. The bottom sketch is with my new technical pen, to see what it would take to create DARKS in pen.