26 Instax Packs - #20

Lomo photos with Lomo'Instant Automat using Little Twin Stars Instax Mini Film Frame. Experimenting on a Sunday afternoon at home with flash gels, double exposures,  selfies, with skeleton, cat and groovy lamp.

Prismacolor Aliens

Prismacolor Premier Colored Pencils - A brand new 48 color set that I received for my birthday. I used these to render in full color two alien sketches that I had originally drawn in my Sketchbook Summer sketchbook. For one of the drawings I also used Nicole Dual Tip Design Markers from A.C. Moore that I have in my collection. I used the markers as a base layer, blending the colors and then adding another layer of blended Prismacolor Colored Pencils. I created this drawing in a Strathmore Visual Journal with watercolor paper.

For the second drawing, I used just the Prismacolor Colored Pencils on a Canson recycled bristol paper pad.

Next up - Apple Pencil vs. woodcase pencil.

26 Instax Packs - #19

26 Instax Packs - #19 - Rilakkuma Instax Mini Frame in Polaroid 300. Brenda and I took a day trip to Lewisburg, PA and visited the Rollermills Antique Mall. The drive was easy, just following Route 15 north along the Susquehanna River and making one right turn on the road where Rollermills Antiques is located.

The mall was packed with vendor booths with too many things to take in at once. So much eye candy in every direction, on three floors of an old mill. When we were finished there, we drove five blocks to visit another building of Rollermills Antiques with over 350 vendor booths. We had lunch at what the cashier from the mill called a "greasy spoon" located inside. Just our kinda place to eat. 

We didn't buy much, but greatly enjoyed perusing the aisles and taking in the atmosphere, reminding me much of the antique malls at Adamstown, PA. I came home with an Argus Model A 35mm camera, which seems fully functional - another camera to test with my recent acquisitions.


Sketchbook Summer Completed!

Brandon Dayton threw out a challenge on his YouTube channel, which I subscribe to, for the month of July 2017 called Sketchbook Summer. The challenge was to fill and entire 8 1/2" x 11" hardbound 110 page sketchbook (which is 220 pages when filling both sides of the page) with sketches. I initially attempted to do this while also working on the World Watercolor Month Challenge for July 2017 of painting in watercolor everyday. 

I was able to get to day 14 of both challenges, when I simply could not keep up with the demand of working on both of them, so I put aside the watercolor challenge and concentrated on filling my sketchbook. I did finish the Sketchbook Summer challenge on July 31st, that is to say that I managed to put something down on every page of the sketchbook. It was difficult to think of things to draw everyday, and I did take a day off here or there when I was simply too exhausted to sketch after working a full day and an almost three hour commute. There were other days where I could unleash my creativity and go all badass on the sketchbook and burn through pages, and other days were a real struggle. This forced me to think of ideas, no matter how bad, and put them down on the page. As a result, I now have some good starting points for other sketches and drawings that I want to explore and create in a more finished form. 

I may go back and ink in some of the drawings or maybe just redraw them and ink them on other paper. This has prepared me for once again taking up the Inktober Challenge in October, coming up in a couple of months. I will use my 2018 Sketchbook Project Sketchbook for the daily challenge of drawing in ink and trying several techniques. I may also have an overall subject or them for the project.

Next up in Create-A-Thon 2017, a yearlong creativity project, I will be using Prismacolor Colored Pencils with Premieré Dual Tip Design Markers to create finished drawings from Sketchbook Summer sketches.

26 Instax Packs - #18

26 Instax Packs - #18 - Lilo & Stitch Instax Mini Frame in Lomo'Instant Automat. I needed to get Brenda out of the house, she had recent carpal tunnel surgery and wasn't able to drive. So we headed out to the Pleasant Hill Fire Company Carnival when I got home from work to get dinner (totally not good for you but delicious carnival fare). We filled up on fried vegetables, italian sausage, kraut dog, and cheesecake on a stick. Our carnival ride days are long over and we weren't really interested in playing any games (brenda was still having after surgery pain), so we headed out early to go back home. Needless to say, I passed out on the loveseat from carb overload, sketchbook in hand later that evening.

26 Instax Packs - #17

26 Instax Packs - #17 - Rainbow Instax Mini Frame in Diana F+ with Lomography Instant Back. Just felt like loading up the Diana F+ and going for a walk around Hanover, PA on a sunny, hot Saturday morning while Brenda was working. Thankfully I had turned the air conditioning on before I left the house. I had also intended to use my Holga 120IB instant back, but I have not been able to get it to work properly pretty much from the time I've gotten it. The first five frames of Instax Monochrome I shot with the Holga 120IB came out fine, but I haven't been able to get it to work since then. Hopefully they will come out with a new version. Maybe I could try using the Diana F+ Lomography Instant back with the Holga.

26 Instax Packs - #16

26 Instax Packs - #16 - Fuji Instax Black Frame in Diana F+ with Lomography Instant Back. Shot around Lake Marburg and Downtown Hanover.

26 Instax Packs - #15

26 Instax Packs - #15 - Minnie and Mickey Instax frame in Lomo'Instant Automat. I took the metro rail down to Washington, D.C. to visit Alan on one of my days of July vacation. He had just gotten a new car and happily drove us around to visit the Renwick Gallery, Rock Creek Park with the historic Pierce Mill, and then the Jefferson Memorial.

I shot most of the photos at Pierce Mill, trying to capture interior window lit photos, some of them turned out ok. I also tried the double exposure portrait on a texture technique, but my camera batteries died so I  wasn't able to print it out until I got home. 

26 Instax Packs - #14

26 Instax Packs - #14 - Alice in Wonderland Instax frame in Lomo'Instant Automat. Brenda and I drove out to Gathland State Park near Burkittsville, Maryland to visit on a Sunday afternoon. It was pretty hot that day, and the bugs were relentless, even after spraying ourselves with Off! I wanted to see the ruins and former estate of war correspondent George Alfred Townsend. We visited the museum there - what remains of the main house from the estate. The War Correspondents Memorial is a pretty impressive entrance to the park. The Appalachian Trail passes through the park, though is was much too hot for us to venture out onto it.

After visiting the park, we drove through the small village of Burkittsville, seeing many of the homes adorned with Rainbow Pride flags. It was a nice Sunday drive with a stop on the way home for lunch at Ledo's Pizza in Frederick.

Outdoor Sketchbook Class

Create-A-Thon 2017 summer update - Over June and July this summer, I took an Outdoor Sketchbook class at the Adams County Arts Council in Gettysburg. For this class, I broke out a new sketchbook and sketched in pencil almost daily for four weeks. I averaged about 1 - 2, ten minute sketches each day trying to capture the essence of the outdoor object I was trying to draw. Mostly trees and flowers, with a few urban objects thrown in.

This is very different from the way I normally sketch, usually drawing in brush pen, marker, or watercolor, mostly from my imagination, creating cartoon characters or making repetitive patterns. I learned some very good drawing exercises for sketching from nature using a light pencil technique - something that I definitely needed to work on. 

Another activity this summer has been attending my son Isaac's Portrait Drawing class on Thursday nights at Waldo's in Gettysburg. This class is also venturing out from my drawing comfort zone, though I have frequently gone to figure drawing sessions. When making figure studies, I usually focus on trying to capture the essence of the pose rather than a detailed portrait study. I want to draw something quickly, unable to focus on a subject intensely for a long period of time. This class gives me the opportunity to study the face and learn a thing or two from my son!

And lastly, I'm in the middle of another drawing challenge while also trying to complete World Watercolor Month. I'm participating in Sketchbook Summer, for the month of July where I'm working on filling up an entire 8 1/2" x 11" 110 page sketchbook (on both sides of the page). This has been challenging, trying to fill up an average of 7-8 pages each day to keep pace with completing the sketchbook by the end of July.

Over the past few months, I've been taking a break from traditional film photography, and focusing on instant photography, specifically Fuji Instax film. I'm in the middle of 26 instax packs - a six month Instax Mini film project. I'm shooting on different Instax Mini Films including themed Instax Mini Film character frames that I've bought from ebay. I use different cameras in my collection, mostly the Lomo'Instant Automat and a Diana F+ with Lomography Instant Back.

Stay tuned for upcoming Create-A-Thon art techniques that I will be trying in the coming weeks.