Friday, February 04, 2011

Daily drawing page

Its always feast or famine with me.  

I have so many ideas in my head, I can't them onto paper fast enough and there aren't enough hours in the day to capture them.  I need to capture them because I know there will be a fallow time when nothing inspires me and nothing translates onto paper or canvas as I want it to.

I've found that very early morning tends to be my most prolific time.  My sleeping patterns change constantly and if I wake at 4am, I have learned not to fight it, but just get up and start drawing or painting.  This month, I'm doing daily drawings in addition to other pieces I have in progress.  I've created a separate page on this blog to record the drawings at least for this month.  It may last longer than that, but I don't want to bore people with my daily graphite scribblings or have them lost in the body of the blog.

Today this little dog was drawing on the back of a flyer with a felt tip marker at 6:30am.  Another early morning piece using whatever materials came to hand.  Sketches don't have to be on your best paper, and, Murphy's Law, often the pieces that you wish you'd used good paper for, come out to be your best. Its all good practice, no matter what the medium or what the support.  Just draw!

Thursday, February 03, 2011

More jelly...

Today was a snow day due to a storm that arrived overnight.  It tapered off in late morning but snowclearing then had to take place and I decided it wasn't worth life and limb to tackle the roads at that point in the day.  By the time I would have gotten to work, it would have virtually been time to come home again.

So I took advantage of the day to work on the jellyfish.  It is good to work on black paper in daylight.  The colours are so much easier to see.  With working, I only have daylight at weekends, but the daylight lamp I have does help when I have to work after dark.

I noticed today that there is a slight scrape across the surface of this board.  Its not an indentation but more a line that's slightly lighter in colour.  Its noticeable under certain angles of light and I may end up having to add something to that area to cover it as I can't think of any other way to get around it. I don't want to draw a background, I want the black to be the background only. 

Black is danger prone. It shows fingerprints and any movement of something hard on the surface.  I think it was my bracelet perhaps that may have grazed the surface, even though I use a hand guard while I draw.  I'll have to try some tracing paper to experiment with options and see what I can add there to mask the mark.

Wednesday, February 02, 2011


I'm keeping drawing foremost in my head lately and have had the idea for this piece in several forms kicking around for awhile now.

Jellyfish are so graceful and lovely floating and pulsating their way through the ocean.  Some are clear, almost glass-like, others have colours, some reflect the light as it filters down through the water.  They do come with a sting in most cases and are usually best seen from a distance in the water.  Often I've seen them from small boats, bobbing along next to it.

This is the start of a coloured pencil piece done on 16" x 20" Canson art board.  It doesn't have much tooth but enough to get the minimal colours needed to capture this creature.  I quite like drawing on black paper and love the contrast it provides.  I know there are some papers that seem to 'absorb' the colour, but I think its more a trick of the eye and lighting.  The dark paper does show through as much as white would in providing light but so far it seems to be working in my favour.

I haven't used this Canson art board before and picked up a few pieces in my last order of art supplies, both in black and white.  Its pretty sturdy stuff and can be used for most dry media and watercolour also.

Monday, January 31, 2011

February daily drawings

Drawing more is one of the goals I have for this year.  I adore drawing in all forms, but found myself pulled into printing and painting more over the last year, with drawing not as frequent.  Its very true that saying "Use it or lose it." and especially so with drawing.  Its a skill that needs daily practice to remain sharp.

I've decided to push myself to draw something daily during the next month.  It may not be a finished drawing or even turn into one, but it will be something that requires dry media applied to paper. 

Jonathan Manning (aka Blade) started a Daily Drawing Challenge on his blog The Artistic Biker.  He posts an image each day and people can draw it and post it optionally on a Flickr group as well.

The item for January 26th was a teddy bear.  I always have a soft spot for bears and they're lovely to draw, so this is the result of a lunchtime sketch. 

Anyone else up for some daily drawing in February?  You can use the Artistic Biker or other drawing challenges for inspiration or simply choose something close by to draw from life.  The important thing is just to draw and keep those skills honed. 

Sunday, January 30, 2011

Atlantic salmon printing

Weekends really need  to be longer, as I try to stuff so much into them, especially art, and this weekend has been no different.
Salmon prepped with ink and my hand to show scale

I've finally pulled out a very large salmon to print.  This salmon is about 3 feet long and weighs approximately 15lbs.  It was a donation luckily, otherwise it may have broken the bank to purchase a fish that big.  With large fish there are challenges, mostly of where to thaw it, clean it and print it.   The bathtub worked for the first two and I have a 4 foot folding table that works perfectly for printing and wet mounting.
 Salmon print hung to dry.  This sheet of unryu paper is 25" x 37"

I've done a number of prints of the whole fish as well as front and rear halves. Finding places to hang them to dry is my current problem.  I will set up a line in another room where I can peg prints while they dry.  The oil based inks take several days to cure completely before I can start adding the eye or any other colour.