Thursday, May 30, 2013

The Art of a Sketchbook - Friday

First pages ....

Are you usually intimidated to start a new sketchbook / journal?  I am.  I've tried a few different ways to start that help ease me into continuing to use my sketchbooks.  Since most of us find it difficult to start using those nice clean white pages, this week I thought I would share a few of the first pages of some of my sketchbooks this week.

I decided I would start the above sketchbook as if it were a regular book.  I felt I would use it mostly while we are off on our boat so I picked the word Journeys for the first page.  Then added a pencil sketch of a sail boat.  I liked this idea and by starting off this way I never did have a feeling of intimidation.

Obviously I must have started this sketchbook in the Spring.  I was going to use each page with this type of entry.  That didn't last.  I randomly started putting anything on the pages that suited me at the moment.

Because I usually feel intimidated when starting a sketchbook I thought I'd start right off with an affirmation  I had cut out of a magazine and a printed photo of one of my previous watercolors.  This was a good way to start also.

One of my handmade sketchbooks I've dedicated for travel.  We were going to take a cruise to Mexico and I started out the sketchbook with a colorful watercolor.

How do you start you sketchbooks?  do you just open them up and dig right in?  Have you ever done something more special for your first page?

Wednesday, May 29, 2013

The Story Teller, Revisited ...

Re-visited -The Story Teller, 6" x 6" oil, © 2012 Nancy Van Blaricom

Back in November (2012) I posted this painting of The Story Teller.  Although I had shared it with you then later after living with it awhile I thought it needed more work, so, I recently re-visited this painting.

I've worked on the coloring on the face, the eyes and added the hint of an eyebrow (I some how must have missed that the first time) I also worked a little on her mouth. Although you might not have been able to immediately see a difference in this painting I think you will now that I mentioned them to you.

I should have put in some close-up shots so you could see the changes I made better ... next time.

On another note: I've recently added a "Search this Blog" gadget to my blog ... you'll find it in the upper right hand corner.

I've always loved it when other artists have this feature on their blogs and I can look for a certain painting or subject I might have seen previously.  For instance when writing this blog post I couldn't remember offhand when I had posted this painting.  I simply went to the "Search this Blog" entered  The Story Teller and the information popped up immediately I could easily place the link from the original posting to this blogpost.

I hope if you've found something in a previous post you would like to see or read again so that you will use this new feature.  Enjoy!

Thursday, May 23, 2013

The Art of a Sketchbook - Friday

For my sketches this week I chose to share a couple of tubes of paint I had sketched.
This is a tube of Gamblin Titanium White. 

The sketch above is of a Rembrandt tube of paint.  
I didn't write down the color but I'm guessing its Permanent Red Medium.
Its always fun to try and sketch the dents and twists of a used paint tube.

If you haven't tried sketching older paint tubes them give it a try.  I find I
really need to concentrate on just what I am seeing.

This is a piece of sandstone rock I found a few years ago.  
Isn't it neat the way its shaped like a cat?  Isn't it amazing when you
can find things in nature that takes on the shape of something else?
On another note: I've been busy finishing a commission and now I'm organizing my oil painting photos into jpg's and tiff's in different sizes so they will be ready when I need to print or share on the internet. Even though I haven't been oil painting a long time this has proved to be a much larger project than I expected.

As soon as I finish this project I want to revisit some of my oils that I think need just a little more work to become better paintings.  I usually paint something then as time goes by I think "this is a nice start but it needs to be finished. "  I want to finish some older work.

Thursday, May 16, 2013

The Art of a Sketchbook - Friday

Looking through my sketchbooks I realize that most of my sketches are objects.  A hair brush, flower pot, some shells ....

This is probably because when I'm inside I am more likely to have a sketchbook nearby and I can easily find something to sketch that is close at hand.

Most of the landscapes and waterscape sketches in my sketchbooks are from when we are off boating or camping.  I don't seem to have many from outside around my home.   Maybe I'll concentrate on doing more local outdoor sketching during the next few months.   What about you?

Sketch from Anette Bay, southern gulf islands, Canada

 Do you sketch landscapes scenes from near your home or do you sketch when off on vacation mostly?
This time of year the sun doesn't always shine here in the Pacific Northwest. But, when I come into the room and sunlight is making shadows on the wall in May it always makes me smile.

Thursday, May 09, 2013

The Art of a Sketchbook - Friday

I'm not sure if this post is more about color or the sketch, but color definitely is playing a big part of this blog post.

Most of the time I sketch with pencil.  Just a plain ol' Ticonderoga #2 pencil we have all used one time or another. There are times I will use my drawing pencils but not as a routine.

With the sketches below I used the #2 and then used watercolor to emphasize certain things.

Living room sketch, with color, pencil & watercolor, © Nancy Van Blaricom

In the above sketch I used color on some things then left the rest alone.

Into the hall sketch, with color, pencil & watercolor, © Nancy Van Blaricom

Same as the second sketch with the sailboat  ... most of it is in pencil then just a hint of color.  
I like the look of color on a pencil sketch, it adds a little pazazz to a sketch I think.

Living room sketch, with color, pencil & watercolor, © Nancy Van Blaricom

This last sketch was just an experiment and it failed miserably.  I didn't like it at all.  The colors make it cold, and uninviting.  

If I were to re-sketch this I would leave out the lavender, a light shadow I thought.  Also I'd leave out most of the yellow that was emphasizing light and maybe concentrate my color mostly on the rug and maybe a pillow ... or maybe one of the vases along side the couch.

If you give this a try in your sketchbooks I think it may be wise to be selective with the colors you use as well as the amount of items you color.   

Even with an occasional mistake its still fun once in awhile to add just a touch of color here and there. Go ahead, give it a try.

Friday, May 03, 2013

A week-end full of art ...

This last week-end, April 27th, I was fortunate to see two exciting Seattle museum exhibitions.  The Seattle Art Museum was showing works of Gainsborough, Hals Reynolds, Romney, Turner, Van Dyke & Rembrandt, and The Frye Museum was showing works of Nicolai Fechin .  You can read more about Nicolai Fechin here on Matthew D. Innis very informative blog "Underpaintings.  

All the work was amazing but at the Seattle Art Museum I was most amazed at all of the Rembrandt etchings on display.  It was impressive to see so many at one time.

At the Frye Museum they are showing 55 paintings and drawings of Nicolai Fechin.  His work is also awe inspiring.  He used thick paint with purposefully placed brush strokes. If you get an opportunity to see his work do not hesitate.

I felt so fortunate to be able to see all this great work and to see it all in one week-end was amazing.

Thursday, May 02, 2013

The Art of a Sketchbook - Friday

Two sketchbook pages done in the same style where I have added a lot of words to the sketch.

On the top sketch I've written about how little I produce, what I wish I would have done to this sketch, and also what the weather was for the day.

In this sketch I wrote about my thoughts of how I would like to paint this scene ... also what this sketch was all about, and how I would sketch it next time.

There seems to be no consistency with my sketchbooks.  Sometimes when I look back through my sketchbooks and I see how different each page can be and it drives me nuts that there is so much variety in the way I use my sketchbooks ... but, it doesn't seem to make any difference, I keep doing each page different.  How about you?  do you work in your sketchbooks in a regular method?

Wednesday, May 01, 2013

A Class on Mastering Painting Fundamentals

An assignment on Values.

If you've been following my blog for awhile you may remember that I felt it was time I went back to the basics.  A refresher course, so to speak.  Along with my own study and reading up on the basics I also signed up for an on-line class that Elizabeth Floyd was offering awhile back on Mastering Painting Fundamentals.  Elizabeth made the 4 week class such an enjoyable way to refresh the basics.  She has made me realize more than anything that I need to pay attention to my work and take the time to 'see'. A goal of mine is to become more proficient as an artist and this class has reiterated that goal. Make sure and check out all the classes she is offering.