Sunday, 22 October 2017

Inktober 2017 - Week Three

It's the third week of Inktober and I'm still keeping my daily drawing habit up. In fact, it's becoming easier, and more and more day, I'm looking forward to the evening, when I can sit down and draw.

Day 15: Dip pen & ink


Day 16: Fineliner pens


Day 17: Pens


Day 18: Dip pen & ink


Day 19: Pens


Day 20:


Day 21: Dip pen & ink


Thoughts and insights:
  • Did I mention that I love dip pens?
  • Crosshatching is a bit like watercolour - it looks easy and simple, but it's not
  • I wish I was better at drawing from imagination and didn't have to rely on reference images
  • But then I guess that's part of trying to get into the daily drawing habit
  • Because of copyright reasons, it can be really difficult to find reference images for some subjects
  • Some drawings therefore just have to remain practice pieces only, without being shared
  • But then, not everything always needs to be shared
  • It's all about practice in the end
  • And about enjoying it


Sunday, 15 October 2017

Inktober 2017 - Week Two

Another week of daily drawing.

Day 8: Pen


Day 9: Dip pen and ink, and pens


Day 10: Pen


Day 11: Dip pen & ink


Day 12: Dip pen & ink


Day 13: Dip pen & ink


Day 14: Dip pen & ink


Thoughts and insights:
  •  I figured out how to change the setting on my scanner so that it now scans the entire page. Yay!
  • Stippling is so much fun with a dip pen!
  • Inks are so versatile, you can use them for drawing, washes and even mix them together
  • I love dip pens!
  • So many different nibs! I'm going through the ones I have, adding ones, and throwing out the ones that don't work for me. No point hanging on to them. I only want what works
  • An excuse to go to the art shop :)
  • Drawing every day is good, but finishing and posting a drawing every day is quite stressful.
  • But I'm not giving up
  • Done is better than perfect


Friday, 13 October 2017

A walk in the (Tier)park

A visit to the nearby wildlife park is always a great way to spend an afternoon. Many years ago, the park started to rebuild the outdated enclosures of the past to make them bigger and resembling the animals' natural habitat. This means that you not always see the animals. Which in turn means that there's always a good reason to go back again and again. Because you never know what you are going to see. All of the animals are, or have once been, native to this country.

The horses are some of the few animals that you always see. They are part of a programme that re-introduces the wild horses in Mongolia, where the became extinct decades ago. We were lucky to get to the fox enclosure at feeding time. A family of five, two adults and their three youngsters. Seeing a bear is always a privilege. My favourite anmials, though, are the moose, which this time were too far away in the woods for my camera this time.




But even if you don't see that many animals, a walk in the park (and a hot chocolate in the café/restaurant) is always a pleasure. There is so much else to see, if you look closely, and for every season, nature has a special display. And autumn is certainly one of my favourite, even if it was a bit early yet for the full autumnal colours.








Sunday, 8 October 2017

Inktober 2017 - Week One

I'm taking part in the Inktober challenge this year, for the first time. It's been around for a few years, and I've wanted to do it before, but something's always come in between. Usually holidays. Which, of course, is a nice thing, like last year, when I spent the first week of October in art retreat in Scotland (I can't believe that that was already a year ago!), and the second relaxing in lovely Dorset. But this year, there's nothing on in October, my holiday is already over, and it's high time to get back into a regular drawing habit.

I decided to start a new sketchbook for the challenge. I went through my (far too big) stack of new sketchbooks and found a Strathmore one, about A5 size, with thick mixed media paper that should take bottled ink and ink washes, and with enough pages for 31 double spread, should I decided to do that. To prepare for the challenge, I did a warm up page on the last day of September.

Front/Warm up page: Pens



Day 1: Pens


Day 2: Dip pens, brush, inks


Day 3: Pen

Day 4: Brushpens


Day 5: Dip pen and ink


Day 6: Dip pen and ink


Day 7: Dip pen, ink, pen


Some thoughts on the first week:

  • It's good to try out something completely different
  • Sometimes it takes a LOT longer than you thought it might, and it's perfectly okay if you don't finish it in time
  • Some inks just don't work very well on (certain) paper. It's worth taking a bit of time to try out what works and what doesn't
  • Bottled fountain pen inks make lovely washes
  • Even if it looks like rubbish at one stage, don't give up but keep working until it starts coming together. It usually does
  • Some days, it just doesn't work, and that's fine. Just splash some ink on a page play around instead
  • Dip pens are great to draw with, it's fun trying out the different nibs and inks
  •  Finishing a drawing, then scanning and posting it every day is had work, and sometimes it might just be too much
  • My scanner is driving me mad, it tries to scan individual images instead of just the entire page, and I don't know how to change that
  • The most important thing is to draw, and to have fun

Thursday, 28 September 2017

Happy - tidying up and using up stuff

I'm tidying up my studio. There's just so much stuff that has somehow accumulated over the years. Some of the stuff I haven't used in ages, as my style and preferences have changed over the years. I've been hanging on to all that stuff, because... you never know, maybe one day, they might be useful.... But enough of that. If I haven't used them in all those years, the chances that I am doing so now is very little. So it's all going out. Or most of it anyway.


Work in progress - first layers


I found these papier maché letters in one of the boxes, and I had this 20x50cm canvas board that I had bought for a project that I never got round to do. Not a very convient format, but - the letters fitted perfectly on it, so I glued them on to it and added paint.

Work in progress - more layers


I also have far too many paints. Some I've had for ages, but I've discovered new brands that I prefer so they have just been sitting around unused. I've recently taken them all out and painted little samples, and some of them have become all gooey. I've used all those gooey paints for this one, using them up as much as possible before they go into the bin.

Finished!


There really is just no point keeping all that stuff if you're never goint to use it. It might be hard to just throw it all away (good if you have arty friends nearby who would be happy to use them), considering that art materials aren't cheap. But hanging on to them might just be counterproductive. At least that's how it is for me. With my shelves full of stuff, getting to what I want often requires shifting other stuff first, and I easily forget what I actually have. And the result: I don't use them at all. And a cluttered space just doesn't work for me, there's no room for inspiration to blossom. Not that I want a bare, clinical kind of space, not at all. But there is a big difference between creative chaos and pure too-much-stuff mess.


Detail

Now that my holiday, sadly, is over, I hope to finally get some much overdue planning, organising and change making done. Not to mention more time spent in my little studio and with my sketchbook.

Friday, 22 September 2017

The magic of mushrooms

Finally, summer is over, and one of my favourite seasons has arrived. The gorgeous colours of the autumn, the softer light, the cooler, fresher air... Such a relief after the hot and stiflig summer. And I'm on holiday! A relaxing holiday at home with N, with long walks, day trips, lazy mornings, home made fruity smoothies and good food. 

The other day we went for a walk in the forest and there were mushrooms, or fungi, everywhere. And so many different varieties! They're so fascinating and magical. Just gorgeous, aren't they? Of course I have no idea what they are all called, but just looking at them, and taking pictures of them, made me happy.















Happy Autumn!