Thursday, June 30, 2016

Trees in the Wild

Headed out into the woods as part of a class at my local nature center.  We carried pencils and ink and a brush.  Our goal was to get the main structures on the paper in about fifteen minutes, then to return to the classroom/studio and finish our sketches.

We worked with traditional Chinese ink (Yatsumoto) in various dilutions.  This was all new to me, so fun!

I found a lovely set of trees with exposed tangly branches along the side of a creek.

Here is what I achieved in my fifteen minutes "in the field."

 You can see I got a lot of it penciled in and the two main shapes inked, with the shadow shapes delineated.  Pretty good for only fifteen minutes!!

Then we worked for another half hour or so.  The goal was to achieve sketches quickly in ink.  Perfect for me and my scribbling attitude--new paper, new media, new brushes (provided by the class leader), new view...  let's see what we come up with!

I loved being outdoors, looking and scribbling and seeing what I could see because I was drawing.

The final.  Not sure about the spatter, but I wanted to see what it would look like. 

Tuesday, June 28, 2016

Trees in Ink

Messing around with Yatsumoto Traditional Chinese ink, to capture some images of trees at the local nature center.

In both cases, I started very abstract, with sponge work in light diluted ink. then came back in with more detail and darker values to capture the shapes I wanted.

Really liked these experiments!  Will try more soon.

I'd like to try with colored inks.  Maybe acrylic inks?  

Thursday, June 23, 2016

A New Bird (and Critter) Feeder

I bought a giant new feeder to hold black oil sunflower seeds this spring, something the woodpeckers and finches can cling to.  I can't wait to see all the birds who will come.

They will come!  Right?

I even followed a naturalist's guide (something I also observed at my local nature center) and built a brush pile for a safe habitat.

Well.  I got squirrels.  And chipmunks.  Dozens of chipmunks, actually.  Not what I expected.

Still, fun to draw.

This unusual angle is from my second floor window looking down on the feeder in the lawn.  I enjoyed using the ink to capture some of the details, and then adding to the sketch with watercolors.

We'll see what else comes along this summer that I might draw!

Tuesday, June 21, 2016

Sketches of the Spring Kitties

As soon as the weather gets warm enough (usually mid-April here in Michigan) my cats, Hattie and Tim, start clamoring to get outside.

They are indoor kitties through and through, mind you, but, like most kitties, they have a pretty active fantasy life.  So I let them out and sit and watch them.  This year, I took a fine liner and a brush pen with me.

I sketched quickly, blind one-liners, quick gestures, just capturing shape and fluidity and a little bit of light on Hattie's all-black coat.  It's a constant challenge to me, scribbling images of an all-black cat, so when I could, I tried to catch the sheen of April sunlight on her coat.  I feel like I am learning to see that a lot more clearly.

What do you see new today that you've seen, but not noticed, many times before?

Thursday, June 16, 2016

Spring Trees From Around Town

Took a few weeks off here in early June for vacation, painting, reading, and watching art videos (I love to watch art videos--I find them incredibly calming).   The trees are fully leafed out and shaped so incredibly differently than they were just a few weeks ago.

I spent a lot of time this past spring drawing trees around the town where I live.  I find studying the intricate, leafless patterns of the branches very soothing.

When I looked at these sketches earlier today, I found the a lot more interesting than the trees I'm looking at now, wearing full new green leaves.

I suppose that means I need to get out and sketch some summer trees and see what I can see!