Friday, March 16, 2007

Inkless pen

A stainless steel pen, 8cm long. However when you unscrew the top, the 'nib' is a solid piece of metal. There is no ink, yet this pen will write on virtually any type of paper. This is what it looked like when we tried it on a piece of normal paper...
I imagine this is something similar to silverpoint drawing, which I've never tried, but I would like to access one of these pens, if for nothing but curiosity's sake.

The sketch I did a couple of weeks ago. The face was appealing, as are most older faces which have character. I find drawing a young face almost boring at times as there is little substance to draw from and hold interest. Yes youth has its appeal, but an older face is so much more interesting to draw.


The 13th Sketchcrawl is on St. Patrick’s Day, March 17th!

WHAT: 14th World Wide SketchCrawl, drawing marathon/fund-raiser for Emergency
WHO: Artists of all ages and skill levels
WHEN: Saturday May 19, 2007
WHERE: Around the globe
INFO: Free registration and location information at
CONTACT: Enrico Casarosa, casarosa@gmail,com, phone(415)317-2731

All artists, whether they be professionals or just habitual doodlers, are invited to participate in the 14th World Wide SketchCrawl May 19, 2007. While the event is free, participants will be encouraged through their art to raise money for Emergency, a nonprofit international organization based in Italy that provides free medical care to civilian victims of war, landmines and poverty.

Thursday, March 15, 2007


I've played with this image for a few days. It started as a simple graphite line drawing, then I found a handful of watercolour pencils in my case so I added some colour. I didn't like the grainy texture it left on the paper so I added a wash of plain water with my waterbrush. Then my Rapidograph was in my hand and the rest is history.

Wednesday, March 14, 2007

Found supports

No, I haven't completely run out of paper, it just feels like I have. This was a test on the back of an envelope done in pastels and ink, while composing my letter to an art supply company.

I'm not one for complaining directly to companies unless I feel they're really provided awful service, but in this instance I think I am justified.

On March 2nd I placed an order with an art supply company in Toronto and after a couple of emails back and forth regarding items on my list that weren't in stock and my substitutions, I presumed the order was on its way. Silly me. They're an art supply company. They sell things to artists. Should I expect service?? Or even supplies?

Here is Monday's email from them. The fourth email on this order. Big sigh.

I am definitely so sorry for the mix-up concerning this order. It looks like the item that is out of stock is actually the sabretooth grey, not the previously mentioned sabretooth white. So as of now, the out of stock items are:

CP4 – Grey Cotton (Canal)

CP51 – Ontario Flax (Canal)

CP30 – Peat Moss (Canal)

SBGRY – Sabretooth Grey Light

Now that things are clearer, I just wanted to confirm with you which out of the INstock items you wanted to add more quantity of (or if you’d like to at all). Once I hear from you, I can make that change and send the order out as soon as possible.

Make sense to you? Remember now, this order was placed on March 2nd and its now March 14th. They haven't even figured out what is in stock or out of stock yet, let alone process or ship the order. Sigh.

I gave them one more kick at the cat with a substitution for the paper that I asked for with notification that if I have one more email from them about substitutions, I cancel the order and take my business elsewhere. I also asked for a shipping date and expected arrival date. And the store manager's name so I could inform them of the problems with ordering.

So tonight when I got home, I expected an email at the least apologizing for the delays, saying my order was on its way. Yeah, right....there was nothing. So I have no idea the status of this order. But tomorrow I will. I'll be calling them.

Tuesday, March 13, 2007

D is for...

Ducklings. I've made some initial sketches for the Newfoundland related alphabet book and this is one of them. Ducks aren't peculiar to Newfoundland but there will be something Newfoundland-related or farm related in the background for these little guys.

This was based on a photo of ducklings that hatched last year here. They were an assortment of Pekin and Pekin crosses, ending up with some unusual colours. They are funny, all moving in a group as if attached by invisible cords.

Monday, March 12, 2007


Its easy to slide either way, isn't it? You get into the habit of doing something - like the blog for instance - and if you miss a day or two, its easy to justify to yourself why you don't need to keep writing. But if I make myself write something every day, its as easy to turn the justification around and make it work in my favour. The momentum of life keeps me moving, drawing, writing and living.

Looking at the self portrait that I posted yesterday, I see flaws in it. The face length is out of proportion and too long. I won't redo it, it will stand as it is, flaws and all.

I have been following Dianna Pontings pastel class in WetCanvas, but haven't had time to do much with it. I'm waiting for new pastel paper and new pastels to turn up. I decided that I needed my own reference image to play with and dug out a Christmas box of licorice Allsorts and set up a few photos. Here's a sample that I may tackle. I'll keep Dianna's class handy as her colour choices and tips are invaluable. I had to sample a few of the candies while I photographed them but I don't actually like the licorice part, except for those ones with the little balls on them. They're yummy...oops, none left...

Tripod, being Tripod, supervised.

Sunday, March 11, 2007

Self portrait

Self portraits are often frank depictions of the artist at a particular moment in time. Artists do self portraits for any number of reasons - lack of another model or recording an event or time period. They also showcase the artist's skills and techniques. Rembrandt, Duerer, and Degas as well as many other artists throughout history have created self portraits that serve as a marker in history, culture and society.

So what is my reason for doing a self portrait today? Perhaps a little of all of the above, as well as simply feeling in the mood to draw a person. Its always interesting to create self portraits. Its it a narcissistic exercise? No, I don't think so. Its simply an exercise in technique and skill with the result being captured for the future.

I draw self portraits off and on during the year. This one can stand as the marker for my 53rd year of life. I'll do another midyear then another in the 54th year. A page of self portraits for comparison at the end of my life would be interesting to review. I'll have to work on the first half of my life a little more as there are gaps. Each portrait is slightly different, some radically different, but the common thread should be there.