Tuesday, December 30, 2014

Siberian Tiger Cub

Siberian Tiger Cub
pastel pencil on paper

Still continuing daily art, at least sketching. Robert Rongier, aka skappy on WetCanvas.com, hosted the Dec. 2014 Animals & Wildlife challenge with a lot of good cat photos among others. So I'm sticking with his references to finish out the month and the year. Thanks to that challenge I really have gotten back to daily drawing. 

Took a long time to get going again after November but it worked.

Monday, December 29, 2014

Mamul Kitten and Tiger Changing Directions

Mamul Kitten charcoal

Both the Mamul Kitten in charcoal and the Tiger Changing Directions in Pan Pastels and charcoal were done in my holiday drawing book, that plain paper 8 1/2" x 11" one that came with the kid stuff. It's still acid free drawing paper and the lightweight sketchbook is inspiring me to sketch large and loose.

Tiger Changing Directions
Pan Pastels and Charcoal

On the tiger, my challenge was blocking him in first with Pan Pastels and no details, then adding the charcoal stripes and bits of shading. That was difficult but what surprised me was how well it worked!

Mamul Kitten was Sunday's daily art, tiger is today's. So I'm definitely back to daily art, now need to get back to daily posting of it too!

Saturday, December 27, 2014

Pan Pastel Iris and Blue Heron Pen Sketch

Pan Pastel Iris
8 1/2" x 11" Pan Pastels on paper

Photo reference by DAK723 for the December Pastel Spotlight challenge on WetCanvas. So I actually painted yesterday, just still so wiped out by this cold that as soon as I did, I went back to bed. Repeatedly.

I've been sleeping and reading mostly, down with a horrible cold-bronchitis that I had most of the week. But my goal for December was to try to get back to daily art and lo, I'm starting to get back to it. Getting there at the end of the month instead of the start still counts.

Today's art: this pen sketch of a blue heron from a different WetCanvas challenge:

Blue Heron
pen sketch on Stillman & Birn Zeta journal

I might have gotten into daily sketching a lot sooner if I'd checked that Animal & Wildlife challenge for December. Not only did skappy post this awesome blue heron taking off across the water, he put in mamul kittens and cats, tigers, lions, various cats and big cats. I am going back to see if I can get in a good tiger sketch or something tomorrow, maybe try to do a bunch of them.

Tuesday, December 23, 2014

Tulips in Pastel

Tulips in Pastel
8 1/2" x 11"

Quick study of two tulips from a photo reference by DAK723 on WetCanvas.com - it's one of the featured photos from the December Spotlight challenge. I used the student grade Mungyo half sticks set of 64 on the Target drawing book that came in my Christmas box. Not the most high end supplies but as a test of these student pastels it was great.

They have a good texture and I can have fun with them on ordinary drawing paper. This isn't even pastel paper, just normal vellum surface but it held about three or four layers, that's not bad. I could easily work up from this to something better of course.

Saturday, December 20, 2014

Breaking Art Block with Crayons

Roses in Crayon on Paper
photo reference by Ronnier at WetCanvas

This month I've been in the artistic doldrums. I spent November writing a novel and a half, got all wound up in Writing Mode and couldn't stop after the month was over. So I was writing sequels to the silly backstory tripe thing I finished Nanowrimo with, essentially fan fiction on some previous novels.

I did one new painting on the 3d with my Winsor & Newton Watercolour Markers, the Trilobites one:

Trilobites in W&N Watercolour Marker

And then nothing till today. This morning the Salvation Army delivered an enormous Christmas box filled with donated presents from my wish list. A gorgeous deep purple velvetish throw blanket, a huge warm deep purple bath towel, a black hoodie, a couple of books - and a letter size acid free sketchbook with medium weight drawing paper plus a Kids' Art Set:

100 piece Kids Art Set

These are anything but artist grade light fast mediums. Crayons, colored pencils, little short markers, cheap oil pastels... but something about it broke the block to smithereens. 

They didn't have these kits when I was a kid. There were watercolor sets and most of those pretty small with 8 colors and a horrible blunt brush (those haven't changed, the horrible blunt brush in this kit will be ignored in favor of a waterbrush for convenience), and boxes of crayons, little packs of colored pencils. That was about it. Not these saturated spectrum colors either. Let alone laid out intense against black to make you want to paint with them.

The ranges are a bit different. Hot Pink never made it into the lineup unless you got the big box of crayons when I was a kid, or the huge watercolor set. Magenta didn't either. Mixing purple was hard back then when your red was always a red-orange and blue was green cast. You'd get gray with "red and blue make purple."

But seeing that, thinking of the people who put together that great gift, I just cut loose and relaxed. I sketched the roses and took the complementary colors challenge of doing them just in red and green. Bang, down went the block. I can now relax and get back to daily painting. That's a lot of sketch pages. I've used about one and a half now. On teh following page is something that's my own holiday present for my readers everywhere:

Ari Cat Coloring Page
pen on paper

The cartoon coloring pad had hippo, elephant, dog, horse, snake... circus animals and pets. But no cat. Not even a lion or tiger for the circus. So I had to try the little short marker pen and fill the gap. Enjoy the Ari Cat Coloring Page. His real points are black mask, brown-beige body, smoke-brown paws and tail. But you can color him any colors you like, why not a purple and yellow Siamese with orange eyes? Or a brown eyed blue-point Siamese? Have fun!

And yes, for the record, I usually do open presents on Solstice Eve. Tomorrow is the Solstice, tonight or tomorrow night is The Longest Night of 2014... after this days will start creeping longer, the quiet soggy march toward spring begin and San Francisco is thirstily drinking up a lot of good rain after a parched summer. It's rained day after day here and we sure needed that.

Purring at you! Hope to post more soon!