Thursday, June 28, 2012

The Art of a Sketchbook

The Art of a Sketchbook

Aquabee 9" x 6" Sketchbook, Contour drawing ©2012 Nancy Van Blaricom

My favorite way to sketch ... is (modified) contour drawing.  Nothing perfect, 
but you know what its suppose to be when you are finished.  Most everyone recognizes this as a Folger's instant coffee jar, right?  (What on earth was I doing with that! ? )

Aquabee 9" x 6" Sketchbook, Contour drawing ©2012 Nancy Van Blaricom

A gift from the florist of some beautiful white hydrangeas.

 Aquabee 9" x 6" Sketchbook, Contour drawing ©2012 Nancy Van Blaricom

And what about the above sketch, don't you think this is also a very
recognizable (modified) contour drawing of an umbrella?

Like I said, I love contour drawing.

From Charles Reid's Painting What You Want to See, he writes,
"Contour drawing is a valuable tool for several reasons.  First of all, it helps us later when we paint because it forces us to think in terms of shapes."  and also, "So just relax as you draw and don't try to be exact.  You're not a camera.  You're an artist trying to express what you see.  And self-expression and correctness don't necessarily go hand in hand."

So, what do you think ... wanna give modified contour drawing a try?  Go ahead and see if you like it as much as I do.

Until next time ... Keep on sketching.

Thursday, June 21, 2012

The Art of a Sketchbook

The Art of a Sketchbook

Watercolor journal-sketchbook cover, ©2012 Nancy Van Blaricom

Although technically I think this is a more a journal than a sketchbook I'm sharing it with you so that you can see another way you can sketch. Watercolor sketching.  I cut down 140 lb. cold press watercolor paper to a size of about 7" x 7 1/2 ",  the half inch was to allow for the binding,  then cut down some matt board the same size for front and back covers, then had Kinko's bind it into my own journal / sketchbook.  

I had three of them made. 2 this size and one 11" x 14".  In the photo above, in this journal I took a copy of a picture of me when I was little and glued it to the front.  Just an easy way for me to identify which book was which.

 Watercolor journal-sketchbook picture 2, ©2012 Nancy Van Blaricom

Because the paper is heavy there is no bleed through and I can watercolor 
and write on both the front and back of each page.

 Watercolor journal-sketchbook picture 3, ©2012 Nancy Van Blaricom

I'm not really picky as to what I choose to put in my books.  It can be anything that may be 
going on at the time.  Sometimes months go by before I pick it up to enter something in it.

 Watercolor journal-sketchbook picture 4, ©2012 Nancy Van Blaricom

 I sometimes will take it boating or camping with us.

Watercolor journal-sketchbook picture 5, ©2012 Nancy Van Blaricom

 Its just a nice thing to have if I get in the creative mood without having to bring too many supplies.

Until next time, keep on sketching ...

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Summer Hiatus

Summer Hiatus

In the beginning ... 

You can tell in this photo that I'm in the middle of a painting ... well in the middle isn't correct, I've got the block in done.  Darn, now that I have my painting blocked in I see I broke my own rule of 'thumb nails' first.  Hmm, realizing that I'm tempted to just leave it and move on to something else, but, I always feel I need to finish what I start, so I will.

I've been thinking lately that I spend way too much time on the internet.  Checking out other artists work, checking my e-mails, reading blogs etc. Anything but create, and because of that I've decided that I'm going to take a summer hiatus from the internet.

I want to develop my own personal style and checking out all the blogs I notice that so many of the artists work is beginning to look the same to me.  I'm not sure if that is because they have all studied from the same awesome artist or, my familiarity with the work, ... well, I don't' know why.   But, I want to develop my own style and need to get more painting behind me & not be influenced by one artists style for the time being. That, for me, means staying off the internet ...

Since I've been sharing my sketchbooks with youI want to:
  1. Do more sketching, and
  2. I'm loving my experience with oils and I definately want to do more oils, especially plein air painting. 
  3. Focus on my work and not the internet.
So, for the summer I'm going to take an internet hiatus.  Although, I may check in occasionally just to let you know I'm alive...

I have a few more Art of the Sketchbook posts scheduled for Fridays and then they will also take an internet break.

Until then keep on being creative ...

Thursday, June 14, 2012

The Art of the Sketchbook

The Art of the Sketchbook

The three sketches below are all dated 2001 from the same 12" x 9" hardbound sketchbook.

People Sketching, hardbound sketchbook, © 2012 Nancy Van Blaricom

I used sepia color watercolor in this sketchbook attempting to sketch a person. I wrote, "3 value silhouette ... Value change gives illusion of depth"   I didn't over try like I can usually manage to do.  It was a woman with long hair, she uses her hand to cover part of her face and I just caught part of her shoulder.

People Sketching, hardbound sketchbook, © 2012 Nancy Van Blaricom

 Gesture using a solid mid value tone.

Eyes Sketching, hardbound sketchbook, © 2012 Nancy Van Blaricom

Here I was trying to sketch some eyes.  Kinda spooky looking and the glasses are goofy with the furthest glass rim larger than the front one.  I'm thinking the sketchbook is a great place to practice eyes as well as sketching people .... don't you?

Friday, June 08, 2012

The Art of a Sketchbook

  Sketching tools ...

This week I thought I'd share with you some of the tools I use for sketching in my sketchbooks:

Sketches With Watercolor, 9" x 6", watercolor & pen, © 2012, Nancy Van Blaricom

The cute little bear was first drawn in pencil then watercolored, then outlined in pen.  This particular sketchbook allows watercolor in it without getting all wrinkled.  Aquabee Super Deluxe Sketchbook

Sketches With Lamy Safari Pen and Noodler's Ink, 9" x 6", © 2012, Nancy Van Blaricom

This was from the same sketchbook.  Its an indian Raven Mask on a stand and I sketched it using my Lamy Safari Pen and Noodlers Ink.  It makes wonderful thin lines with this fine tip.

 Sketches With Pencil, 9" x 6", © 2012, Nancy Van Blaricom

The above pencil drawing was a preliminary drawing for a watercolor I was going to paint but never got around to it - yet.  I mostly use a retractable lead pencil, only because I never have to worry about sharpening it, but upon occasion I'll use any pencil I have laying around.

 Sketches in Pilot Pen, 9" x 6", © 2012, Nancy Van Blaricom

On this sketch I did on 9/11 I used my Bic Pilot pen P-500 Extra Fine.  When moistened it leaves a nice smear that can be used for shading.