Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Boo!

Happy Halloween!

This page was created on Calhoun Street in the Old Town section of Bluffton, SC.

I started with the flowers and sign post except I was so taken with the blooms and how the vine twirled around the post that I didn't even consider the original placement.... Oops! Ran out of room for the hanging sign :)  So it can go when sketching with pen.  But that's okay.  As we walked along Calhoun Street the sheet ghosts that Bin 55 had hanging on their porch caught my eye and I couldn't resist having it take center stage on the page.  I love how serendipity can save a page :)

Sunday, October 28, 2012

A Bit of Architecture

This is the last sketch I did during the Around-the-Town Sketching Workshop I conducted recently in Beaufort, SC.

We were making our way back to Coastal Art Supply and decided to see if anything on Craven Street spoke to us.  This church steeple did it for me.  The sun was out but storm clouds were to the north.  So dramatic!

I've often said sketching with pen is terrifyingly freeing and so it was while I sketched this subject that's not at all nature related.  I kept telling myself to be bold and trust that I'd get the perspective correct.  I'm pleased :)

This is an amazing church. The architect and builders really added some wonderfully unusual details. I must get back and explore this building in more detail.


Saturday, October 27, 2012

Around-the-Town Sketching Workshop

The first Friday and Saturday in October found me in Beaufort conducting a workshop at Coastal Art Supply.

Around-the-Town Sketching is one of my favorite workshop formats. Participants gain experience with fast sketching, sketching with pen, plein air watercolor sketching and lettering. We spend the mornings sauntering around the streets of Beaufort and sketching. Sometimes sketching with pen and adding color later in the comfort of the classroom and other times, we find a comfy spot to sit and sketch and paint plein air.
I used a Stillman & Birn Alpha Series hardbound journal during the workshop. The paper takes watercolor washes beautifully and is smooth enough to write with an 01 Micron pen.  The paper is opaque enough not to show images from the previous page.  A winner!

The workshop ran for two days, with the option of attending only one day. I am embarrassed to say that I didn't remember to take photos on the first day and two of my students are left out of the montage :( 




Thursday, October 25, 2012

The Ink and Exercise Challenge

I'm trying out yet another Stillman and Birn Journal.... this time the Epsilon Series that has paper suited for pen and ink.

This is my first entry and I've got to say writing on this paper with a Micron pen is dreamy. The greys were created with grey and black Pentel Sign Pens that I hit the tip of with a waterbrush, then added the ink to the page.  The water/ink combo spread like butter.

One thing I really like about using a waterbrush is that it dispenses just enough water to get the job done.  This is very useful when the paper being used is not necessarily meant for washes.

This journal has two purposes. The first being to get me off of my desk chair and moving about. That's a challenge in itself as I get lost in my work and time goes sailing by. The second, and most fun, is to explore ink.

I'm glad the journal has many pages as there are so many inks waiting to be tried :) Which leads me to the back of my journal where I create color test pages......
click to enlarge
I'm keeping this journal in my desk drawer, easily at hand.  I've been sitting too long again... time to catch lunch and take a stroll with my journal and pens :)




Saturday, October 20, 2012

Beaching It.... Again!

I don't mean to flaunt :) Actually for someone who only lives 15 miles from the beach, this is only the fourth time we've been this year!  Very sad, really!

This spread is the second in my new Stillman & Birn hardbound, Beta Series journal.  I've officially decided to designate it for all things water related.  This morning, upon waking, I was composing the title page in my mind. I will take my time to create it.  I want this page to be just right, no pressure to create,  and I want it to just ooze with the love I feel when around water; be it marsh, stream, river, lake or ocean and all the flora and fauna that lives in these environs.

Painting at the beach has its challenges. My skin doesn't handle a lot of sun exposure well, so when not walking the shoreline, I'm hugging the shade under the umbrella.  I'll just get deep into painting and the sun will have moved enough so the chairs need to relocated.  Then, working on you lap can be awkward... the threat of sand in your paint and on your brush, surrounds you! 

I love observing waves. The Uniball Signo broad tip white pen really helped me capture the movement of white water.  Not to mention the white trim on the umbrella!  I tried to leave the white of the paper but it was too much.  This is strictly a watercolor sketch... no pencil lines and keeping the shapes of the umbrella's panels and wire supports got away from me.  Much easier to paint it all blue, add shading and when dry, the white trim and support struts :)

I really like the quality of paper this journal offers.  I was able to lift the blue of the water to make room for the umbrella's pole without damaging the surface. It handles layering of colors well and is smooth enough to use a Micron 01 pen.  I used pan watercolors and a waterbrush.  My next adventure will be to use traditional watercolor brushes and see how the paper holds up to more water.  I've not painted pleir air with anything but a waterbrush so this will be fun!!