#30 - One Year/100 Paintings - The Village - white gouache mixed with watercolor in pocket Stillman and Birn Beta series sketchbook. Study from a Morguefile.com reference photo on lunch break.
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.
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 theme 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.
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.
Week 12 - Painting doodles with coffee. I have seen numerous photos on Instagram of people painting with coffee and also painting at coffee shops, and I thought I'd give it a try. At the beginning of the week, I mixed up a batch of coffee paint using instant coffee at a super concentrated strength. I cracked open a brand new Strathmore Visual Watercolor Journal and began my coffee paintings. I didn't make any sketches with pencil, I went straight in with the coffee concoction and just made doodles roughly based on a few photos, with some of them just being images that came out of my head.
I mostly painted on my lunch break at work, able to complete two doodles a day due to the amount of time it takes for the sticky coffee paint to completely dry. Painting with the coffee was very relaxing, as the scent of the strong coffee mixture wafted through the air around me as I painted. The first painting of what appears to be a wild man, or as one of my friends described it, a rock star - developed after starting to paint a face. I tried to loosen up a bit on the next painting of my cat by adding some drips, but my painting doesn't really look like a cat, instead more like a cat/racoon. I looked on instagram and YouTube for inspiration and tips on painting with coffee, and there are far more talented coffee art painters out there than I could ever hope to be.
As I look over the paintings from this past week, I think that I should definitely have made them more loose with coffee drips, splatters, and a couple of coffee cup rings. I still have my coffee paint mixture, perhaps I'll go back and create a few more paintings using those techniques.
Next up in Create-A-Thon 2017 - Mixed Media art using Prang Professional Watercolor Pans, Derwent Aquatone Pencils, Pocket Brush Pen, and Uniball Signo White Gel Pen.
I've just completed my yearlong 2016 Film Camera project but I've been thinking about what I want to accomplish for 2017 for a couple of months now.
After years of being out of art school and with our children all grown, I've been sketching and creating projects with renewed artistic energy the past 2-3 years. The local newspaper took notice of my instagram postings and included me in a story early last year about artists carving out creative time while working full time jobs. I've been trying to squeeze in time to sketch and experiment with new art supplies or processes all year long while working on the the film camera project which brings me to my project idea for 2017 - a year long Create-A-Thon!
I will be trying out a new art material or process roughly on a weekly basis, depending on how much time I want to spend on each one, while blogging about my experiments and posting photos. My bipolar mind wants to try so many things and my studio is filled with no end of creative supplies that I've been buying like crazy with A.C. Moore and Hobby Lobby coupons. I have mounds of sketchbooks as I can't pass up a good looking sketchbook when we go to a new place to visit or I take my son shopping for art supplies for school (he's in the fine art painting program at MICA).
I still love film photography and will continue practicing it in the new year, but I would like to narrow it down to just a few of my favorite cameras, which currently happen to be ones using Fuji Instax Mini and Wide films. At some point during the year I will also try to get into my darkroom that I set up over a year ago.
Here is a list of materials and processes I will be using for Create-A-Thon 2017:
1. Derwent Graphitint pencils
2. Derwent Inktense pencils
3. Derwent Aquatone pencils
4. Peerless watercolors
5. Prang Professional Pan watercolors
6. Prima Decadent Pies watercolor pans
7. Prima Classics watercolor pans
8. Prima Tropicals watercolor pans
9. Coptic Stitch Sketchbook
10. Gelli Printing
11. Museum sketching
12. Urban sketching
13. One Sketchbook, one pen, one week
14. Watercolor Painting
15. Oil painting
16. Acrylic painting
17. Oil pastel
18. Mixed media
20. Live model drawing
21. Take a class
22. iPad drawing in Procreate
23. iPad drawing in Paper by 53
24. iPad drawing in Autodesk Sketchbook
25. iPad drawing in Concepts
26. iPad drawing in MediBang Paint Pro
27. Week of portrait drawing
28. Self portraits
29. Winsor and Newton Pigment markers
30. Faber Castell Pitt artist pens
31. Nicole dual tip markers
32. Grayscale Value studies
33. Line art with brush pens
34. Duct tape sketchbook
35. Dip pen and ink drawing
36. Hand lettering
37. Sketching people at the mall
38. Mono printing with 3D objects
39. Sun prints
40. Cyanotype printing
41. Darkroom printing with caffenol
42. Fuji Instax peel aparts
43. Print photo or painting on watercolor printer paper
44. Use Bristol board
45. Use mineral paper
46. Use canvas paper
47. Watercolor painting of cats
48. Loose watercolors
49. Fill one sketchbook per month
50. Toned gray sketchbook drawings
51. Toned tan sketchbook drawings
52. Christmas card art
54. Winsor and Newton Watercolor markers
55. Variety of Watercolor pencils
56. Tim Holtz Distress crayons
57. Tim Holtz Distress markers
58. Koi Waterbrush markers
59. Sketching with Carpenter pencils and lumber crayons
60. Make watercolor blocks
61. Drawing on the Iskn Slate
62. Drawing on Wacom Intuos tablet
63. Assemble Skilcraft Visible Head model
64. Assemble Skilcraft Visible Cow model
65. Assemble Lindberg transparent alien
66. Assemble Lindberg transparent woman
67. Draw the same subject in 5 different mediums
68. Copic marker drawing
And anything else that catches my fancy in the new year.
Last year I purchased a ZYLC leather pocket Traveler's Notebook from Amazon after comparing it to the Midori Passport. I had been researching the Midori Passport and watched a few YouTube videos to get more information about them when I found this version of the leather notebook having an embossed floral pattern on the front. I really liked the look of it and also that the elastic straps that hold the notebooks inside were in the center of the spine instead of the back of the notebook like the Midori. After looking at samples of the Midori on Instagram, I also found that anything other than a Midori was referred to as a "Fauxdori".
The ZYLC pocket notebook came with a couple of notebooks, but is also compatible with all Midori Passport notebooks and accessories. I ordered a Midori blank sketchbook and use that for light watercolor ink and wash sketches with a Uniball Micro Fine Point Pen and a homemade pocket mint tin of watercolors. I also found that the ScoutBooks brand fit inside very well and have used the blank journals prepared with a Gelli Printing plate to give the pages some texture and background color for my line art sketches and doodles. I use a Uniball Signo White pen, brush pen and a Uniball Vision pen on these.
I carry the notebook and pens with me always in my messenger bag or in my pocket if I'm not carrying the messenger bag. I use this to occupy my time while waiting at restaurants for dinner, doctor's appointments, car repairs, and even while at the ER with my mother in recent weeks while she waits to be treated. I feel this is more productive and creative than checking my phone for email and social media updates.