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Thursday, March 27, 2014

new drawing pens and pencils

Having found the best pens to use on this handmade paper ___the Uni-ball Signo UM-151 gel ink pens___ I ordered a couple more colors of them. They are waterproof when used with watercolor, and come in .28, .38, and .5 nibs.

At Jet Pens, I also found these two pencils. The long 2-pointed Auto Point Turnpoint Mechanical Pencil has a .7 graphite lead at one end and a .9 red lead at the other. I thought I would replace the red lead with a softer 2B graphite for wider, darker pencil lines. The Ohto Wooden  Mechanical Pencil Mini is very tiny! Fits easily inside my favorite watercolor palettes for on-the-go sketching.

Sunday, March 16, 2014

Finally, sketching outdoors again!

And ended up making a journal spread...

This is the finished spread...trying out new colors!

All I got done on the spot; my ink wasn't drying!  It was Noodler's Lexington Gray in a Hero bent-nib pen, and usually dries quickly.  Not yesterday!  So this morning I decided to take my time and mask off the little waterfalls and ripples!

I'm testing new watercolors from Golden--QoR paints, pronounced "core"!  You'll be hearing more about them...happily, I had an unused palette to put them in.
I decided to use a lot of wet-in-wet to keep it fresh...lots of Naples Yellow and Quin Gold in the rocks...

I used my little sprayer to soften the fore edge, and laid in the fish while the water was still wet.

Removed the mask and added a headline...strengthened some areas in the background...

I tried to keep the feeling of motion in the water...

Pleased with the fish!

I used a pen made from a honeysuckle twig for the pampas grass...

And my new Sharpie EF water-based marker defined the water a bit more.  It's acrylic, so I could paint over it when it dried...nice.
All in all, I was pleased with the spread for how it preserved the day--strong winter sunshine and a good day with old friends.  I'm a bit of an introvert (OK, understatement!) and spending a little time sketching in the midst of the party helped keep me focused.

AND I was pleased with the paints, which are strongly pigmented and re-wet nicely.  You'll be hearing more about them as I try out more things...

Thursday, March 13, 2014

bear-making and sketching

When our first grandchild turned 7, I made her a hand-made teddy bear with antique shoe-button eyes and real mohair fur. I used to make these to sell in the 1980s/1990s. So I made it a tradition by doing the same for each grandchild on their 7th birthday.

This year, it's Quen's turn. Because he loves wearing button-down shirts with real ties, and loves to sketch and paint, the style was obvious --- a wee artist bear. I only need to sew the ears on and he will be finished. And then sew a tiny sketchbook bound in leather for the bear (or Quen) to fill up with drawings. I used leftover bits of paper from binding regular sketchbooks for the pages, which will measure just under 2" when done.

I'm in more of a mood to sketch, so I took time to do so instead of finishing the bear yesterday. Sketching also helps me decide on facial expression and outfit.
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