Wednesday, January 29, 2014

still experimenting with still non conventional still life, working out elements in A4 moleskine

Carved wqoden cat in Crayola and Tombow pen in moleskine sketchbook

A probable element in the next still life painting - it will be based on the things on the shelf above the tv.

Done really fast with my grandson's Crayola pencils, some of which don't work very well on the waxy moleskine paper (but what's new!  so many things don't) and grey and black Tombow pen.

I'm wondering if the finished painting might be done in Artbars and Caran d'Ache Neocolor II.   I think the ability to use  coloured line and wash might work with this and the other objects.  I'm also thinking it will need to be a full sheet of watercolour paper to weave the different things together in the way I want.

Sketches to do and problems to solve ....

Another in the jazz in paint, still life series, watercolour. charcoal and ink.

A3 Khadi paper, watercolour, charcoal and ink, variations on a theme

I've done a series of variations on this theme from the same original objects. Using sketches done from life I've then simplified, moved things around on the paper, played with patterns and in different media, rather like the way musicians plays with a theme, creating variations and counterpoint.

I'm exploring the ways that still life can interest me as I don't find doing conventional set ups do.

This one started with tinted watercolour washes, in a variety of greys that I mixed, developed with charcoal and white and paynes grey acrylic inks, with a little white oil pastel.  It's fun to work within a limited colour range like this.

The Khadi paper is interesting to work on.  It's pure rag, heavy and quite absorbent so the paint doesn't sit on the surface as with some papers.  The paper is curling in the photo as it was still damp but it is actually square straight edged.

A previous variation (original arrangement was done by a friend, pretty but conventional, hence the lemon, which I would never have put in!   for colour it worked beautifully but was somehow so incongrouos ).  This one was done with Art Bars as part of my involvement in testing them during development, Derwent went on to buy it.  The colours have been played with a little but are close to the original.  After this I experimented further with moving the objects more, changing colours entirely, losing the lemon! and playing more with the patterns.

If you look at the Still Life tag in the right hand column, you can see digital experiments and other sketches where I worked on earlier variations and ideas.  Prints of these digital images went into my sketchbook,. along with original sketches and are now a useful base for the beginnings of this ongoing project.  Sketchbooks are gold mines!

So ... I've explored this series of objects enough for the moment and have started on another. so more later ....

Pleases feel free to comment.

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Jazz with paint - experimenting with still life in watercolour

Experimenting with still life - jazz in paint.  Watercolour and oil pastel

I meet up with a group of friends, fellow painters, once a month and we critique each others work, talk about art, exhibitions. artists etc and put on exhibitions ourselves.  We all work very differently.   We decided to challenge ourselves to tackle a subject we rarely do - still life - and each find an angle on it that makes it interesting to us.  We've talked about doing a project on it for some time and decided to stop talking and start doing :>).  We all have to take an A3 painting to the next meeting.  This is mine so far.

As usual, the photograph doesn't bring out some of the subtle colour changes :>(

This is based on sketches I did a year or two ago- you can see some of them here, here, here and here.

This one was done with watercolour on Khadi rag paper (A3) with some gold, copper,  orange and irridescent pale blue Sennelier oil pastel scribbles.   The paper is really absorbent and rather different to use.  I think I like it.

Originally a traditional still life had been set up but I don't really enjoy doing them.   So I decided to play by moving objects on the paper, playing with the rich patterns so that reality and pattern merged and overlapped, to create something different.  Working like this, still life began to interest me.

 The one below was one of the earlier experiments in charcoal and ink - I may play with this arrangement in colour next.

What do you think?  

Monday, January 06, 2014

Drawing with pens, Rotring, Lamy, ballpoint, Sharpie and Tombow

Sketches with a variety of pens, Rotring and Lamy fountain pens, a Tombow double ended brush pen, a Sharpie and a Parker ballpoint pen. In S&B Zeta A4 sketchbook, ideal for ink as it's smooth, heavy paper lets the pen flow.

Examples are for a forthcoming class, showing some of the marks each pen can make, alone or with a water brush to create washes of tone with the water soluble inks.  I simply drew items from my pencil case.

The last sketch, of scissors, uses a mix of fountain pen, Sharpie and Tombow. The grey Tombow giving varied washes of tone, the fountain pen with black ink for fine lines and the Sharpie for flat, even, intense black.

These are the pens I keep in my pencil case.  The Rotring pen I bought many years ago nd I've never had any problems with it.  I'm giving the Lamy a second chance, the first one started off ok but the the ink just refused to flow no matter how much I cleaned it.  It did not impress me.  Friends like theirs so I bought another to try ... so far so good but the jury is out until it stands the test of time.

The Tombow pens are a favourite, especially the grey as you can build up washes of tone and the dual ends give a good range of marks.

The Sharpie for me has a more limited use but when I want large areas of dense non-streaky black, it's perfect.

Biro (ballpoint pen)is another I like.  It flows across the paper and can be used to create delicate, pale marks as well as bolder line.  Here I've stuck purely to ink but biro is great with coloured pencil for a line and wash effect.

Of course all of these can be combined with other media, as I frequently do, charcoal, watercolour, acrylic .... anything.

Work in ink:

I don't particularly enjoy metal dip pens though I have a couple somewhere, not sure where though!  I prefer the lively organic marks of twigs, bamboo pens, brushes and sticks with bottled ink but that's for another day ....

Wednesday, January 01, 2014

Family cartoon in ink and coloured pencil

Cartoon of my eldest daughter, her husband and 2very lively children, a Christmas present, pen and coloured pencil

One that I couldn't show before Christmas.