Friday, August 30, 2013

The Art of a Sketchbook - Friday

Hi, Happy Friday to you all.  

We've had a lot of rain in the last few hours and when I looked outside I saw that the rain had broken a couple of these beautiful pink geranium flowers off so I went and gathered them up and put them into a vase.  I thought they would make a fun contour drawing in my favorite sketchbook, (the one with smooth paper from Barnes & Noble) for this weeks blog post, (you can click on the photo to enlarge it).

So, tell me have you been sketching?  Have I encouraged some of you to get your pencil and sketchbook & try sketching more than you use to?  I hope so because that is why I started 'The Art of a Sketchbook - Friday'.  I've really enjoyed sharing my sketchbooks with you.  Showing you that you do not need to follow any guideline ...  just get that sketchbook out and sketch with your pen, pencil, pastel, watercolor, whatever you feel comfortable with. 

With this post I've decided to slow down on 'The Art of a Sketchbook - Friday's' blog entries. For the time being I will post my sketchbook pages once a month instead of my usual weekly posts.  Please continue to sketch and then share your sketches with people. 

Until the next The Art of a Sketchbook sometime in September, happy sketching!

Friday, August 23, 2013

The Art of a Sketchbook - Friday

Three Sketches from three different days ....

I have a little ceramic bird I found in a thrift shop years ago.  I sketch him a lot but I don't seem to ever get the proportions right ... but I keep on trying.

I found this little Disney Mickey Mouse on the Oregon coast years ago.

This salt shaker is always in my studio.  It is mostly used for watercolor effects on wet paper.

There ya have it.  Three different sketches, three different days all from the same sketchbook... my favorite one with the nice smooth paper.  It's the 6" x 9" I bought at Barnes & Noble.

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Mum's the Word ...

Orange Mum in a Spice Jar ...
 Orange Mum in a Spice Jar, 8" x 6", Oil on panel, © 2013, Nancy Van Blaricom

I think I mentioned to you that I was going to be doing more study where my oil works are concerned... Such as ... think about how to paint each subject as I paint it, how to use my brushes and what kind of brush strokes they make, etc.   

On this painting I set out thinking about brush strokes. How brush strokes in every direction suggest atmosphere.  Across suggests softness, down generally suggesting hard. 

On the easel ...

I set the little jar and a fake mum on a wood surface. Turned off the lights (in these photos the studio lights are on) in my studio and only had light coming from a window that was very near by, natural light.  When I first started the painting I had it on a little higher surface closer to eye level, but today when I re-visited it I just set it up on what was near-by.  I had to rework the glass spice jar and just a little work the background.

The easel and set-up...

I felt with this painting I have made a break-through.  I began this painting by focusing on brush work, I didn't try to finish this in one sitting, I accomplished most brush work by holding my brush at the end not close to the ferrel, which has been almost impossible for me before. I tried to focus on shapes I was seeing and colors as well.  

My favorite things about this painting: I like the reflections on the wood surface and the shine on the glass.

Friday, August 16, 2013

The Art of a Sketchbook - Friday

Harold Speed :

"It is not enough to drink in and remember the emotional side of the matter, although this must be done fully, but if a memory of the subject is to be carried away that will be of service technically, the scene must be committed to memory in terms of whatever medium you intend to employ for reproducing it - in the case of a drawing, lines and tones. And the impression will have to be analyzed into these terms as if you were actually drawing the scene on some imagined piece of paper in your mind.  The faculty of doing this is not to be acquired all at once, but it is amazing of how much development it is capable.  Just as the faculty of committing to memory long poems or plays can be developed, so can the faculty of remembering visual things."

This is a quote I read not too long ago and decided to see just how much of a small outside patio table I would be able to sketch from memory.

I chose a simple object for my experiment and took a few moments to try to memorize the table.  It was  a bright sunny day and I tried to remember where the light was hitting it ... and where the shade was on the table.  Then two days later I sketched it from memory.

I thought this was a great experiment,  I remembered where the light hit the table but not where or how the shadow looked as it hit the ground or the shape of the ellipse of the base. I had started to sketch one of the chairs but realized early on I had not given enough thought to the chairs to even remember what they really looked like.

I'm going make an effort to try sketching more often from memory.  This will require me to pay more attention to what is before me.  

I took this picture today,when it is gray and cloudy, but it will give you an idea of the size and shape of the table I attempted to sketch from memory.

Do you think this is perhaps what is meant when they say "learning to see like an artist"?

Give it a try and let me know how you do sketching from memory.

Friday, August 09, 2013

Taking the week off...

I'm taking this week off from blogging.  
I'll return next week with my regular 
Art of a Sketchbook - Friday post.

Enjoy your week-end ... try to squeeze some sketching into it.

Friday, August 02, 2013

The Art of a Sketchbook - Friday

"You can't do sketches enough.
Sketch everything and keep your curiosity fresh."
~John Singer Sargent                      

This week I have a couple of sketches I did recently.  I saw some sunglasses on my desk and sketched them in my  6" x 9", Aquabee Super Deluxe sketchbook.   Again, not my favorite sketch book ... you can see through the page that I have sketched something on the back of that page.  This paper is rough and not the smooth paper I prefer.

I'm still working on trying to fill up this sketchbook so I sketched my thumb on the same page as I had glued a sketch of an eye.

As John Singer Sargent say's ...  "You can't do sketches enough.  Sketch everything and keep your curiosity fresh."