Friday, February 5, 2016

Notes from the Sketchbook, and Words with Sonic

Sonic keeps reappearing in my sketches. There he is, however, I'm pretty sure I'm the one who ate all the candy.
Oh, and here he is again. Actually, the entire menagerie is in this picture. I won't be adding pastel to this one, really think it's done in spare ball point pen on white paper. Text reads "the 60's were a time of great hope and change".
And here he is, his first moment of defiance. I've been playing 'red light, green light' to his leash habits, ie, he pulls, I stop, he gives me eye-contact, I continue on my way. Worked great, he's all of 30 lbs, easy peasy, until today; he's figured it out and deemed it NOT FUN, leashes smeetches.

Notes from the Sketchbook

I probably listen to too many science podcasts, as I have all these words jumbled in my head, and they will come out.
I'm still finishing up my 'stone paper' sketchbook. It is full, but I go back and layer over things, and there are still a few pages that could use more explorations. Sometimes the finish is simple, though. This one only got a few bright spots of colour and done. Sometimes less is more.

Another easy finish. A few good words in permanent marker, some rainbow oil pastels, done. This is also the closing page of my sketchbook, which is a bit like a teaser for more to follow.

Friday, January 29, 2016

Worlds Easiest & Cheapest DIY Dog Toy

 Yep, that's it in the upper left corner.
Here's what you need.
One pair of clean (you'll see why next) track pant you no longer want.
Here's what you do with it.
1. tie a knot, nice and tight on the end of the leg.
2. cut off the extra. (you weren't expecting rocket science, were you???)
You're almost done.
Loading the toy. (this is the fun part).
Show it to your dog, then look at the toy, really look at the toy like it's the most fun thing ever. Look at the dog, sidewise even better, look at the toy. Open wide  and CHOMP the toy (remember, I said CLEAN pants), Yum, bite hard, look at the dog. The dog should be looking mighty curious by now.
Chomp again, yum! Give it a shake, yum! Tease your dog, and chomp & shake again.
And, when you're dog is really ready, (Sonic by this time had eyes big as saucers, and had is mouth open in an 'I want that, and I want to BITE IT' expression).
Toss the toy.
You're done, now you can make another. (oh, and make sure your socks are in the drawer. If you use a toy like this, socks are fair game)
So you can tell I'm pretty occupied still. Getting a bit more art done, but staying with the sketchbooks.  Upper image is the Moleskine sketchbook using pastel & pencil. And yes, I took him to the dog park to train on a 30 ft long line.  Stouffville has an awesome dog park, with a scenic paved (technically leashed) walking area around a reservoir (landscaped with trees), and two fenced enclosures for off-leash with double gate, and roofed sitting area.  I worked Sonic on lead outside the fenced area, and he was great with the two friendly dogs, and also good with an off-lead dog on the walkway.
Lower image shows a WIP in the Moleskine, using pen, will add colour another day, with my menagerie as the subject.  And a finished full colour work on Stonepaper (lower).

Tuesday, January 26, 2016

Notes from the Sketchbook

"don't be afraid of the animals--they have beautiful minds"

Just another mini-sketch, with the tools of the trade.  Alas, Sonic found one of them, yum, can you see which one?

I finished my mini-book, Yay!  It is the first ever completed sketchbook without a single page ripped or torn out.  This is a milestone for me. As a treat, I bought myself a Moleskine sketchbook, but I had no time for art store shopping (re: Sonic) so I picked up the only blank Moleskine available at Staples, which is bigger. I will try not to be intimidated.  I was surprised at how parchment thin the pages are, but already tried my layered and scraped oil pastel techniques and it seems to work just fine. I'll leave every other page blank as a 'protector' page, and that way the translucence won't reveal the page below.
I'd give you pictures, but my camera is still in the shop, and I'm finding using my tablet to snap and post pics to be a bit of a pita.
Life drawing tuesday posts suspended too.  My 'art' days are Sonic days.  So much to train and learn, and I don't take well to changes. But he is doing really well, and my shyest (Simba) cat is just beginning to come around. Sonic is snoozing on the couch, apparently playing "101 Things to do with a box", plus 'don't stare at the cat", plus, 'no, you don't really need to go ballistic when you see the neighbours great dane walk by the window', plus, 'don't worry, the deep voiced throaty growly German Shepherd is not going bust out of that there garage' really tuckered him out. Much to learn and be learned.
On the fabulous front, Sonic was PERFECT at the nursing home this weekend. PERFECT.  Unbelievably perfect, so I he gets to join us on our regular Saturday rounds.  He was also pretty fabulous meeting unleashed dogs in the woods as long as he has a full 30 feet of long line to manoevre. Sonic is a dog that spent the first year and a half unleashed, leashes suck.
That's it for now.

Thursday, January 21, 2016

Notes from the Sketchbook

Another page started during the Star Wars pre-show.

And another.

Purely Abstract.  Pure abstract art is always a great way to experiment freely with colour, technique and form.

This one is likely to change over time; will probably come back to it later.

The sketchbook is Stone Paper Terraskin, 3x5 inches, using sharpie markers, staedler permanent marker, oil pastel and more.

PS. new doggie is keeping me busy, more on that later

Thursday, January 14, 2016

Notes from the Sketchbook--The First Page & Onwards

The cover page. I actually did this month ago. I just could not get started. Blue pen.  Today I went back to it and added oil pastel, just rough things up.  It's a non-linear sketchbook. Start dates will not match finish dates.  If something doesn't work out, I'll layer over, even black it out (I have two blacked out pages thus far, waiting for the next step).  
This one is black fine liner pen, copic marker and oil pastel.  Yep, playing the numbers game again, because I couldn't think of where to start.
There was probably a dog in there somewhere...
This one got start in the theatre while I waited for Star Wars--the Force Awake to begin--seriously. I hate waiting for things, and I even more hate being a captive audience, so I brought along some toys. I first brought out my Android tablet, and my husband said, oh, your just like everyone else poking around on your device. Yikes, no! So I put that thing away and pulled out the sketch and a sharpie marker and work on 3 different sketches in the dim light of the 'pre-show'. Colours were added later.

BTW. Really enjoyed Star Wars. It was fun, and that's what I was there for.

Tuesday, January 12, 2016

Life Drawing Tuesday--New Male Model

We had a new model this week; the gallery is doing a great job in finding our inspiration.  Models and the poses they chose are an integral part of life drawing, one cannot happen without the other, and it is one of the best aspects of life, the synergy between model and artist.

I would think he would concur. He asked permission and took photos of some of our sketches. It is probably very interesting to watch all the differing interpretations of a pose that a group of artists come up with.

To be the model and creator of that pose, is probably a pretty powerful feeling.  

Posting this last pic as it was a materials experiment. The paper is stonehenge, and it was linocut misprint. I hate discarding good paper, so instead I overprinted with the roller until it was black (using the ink I would need to wipe off the plate anyway), and put it aside for life drawing. This one is oil pastel on matt black water-based ink.  I found it gets overworked very quickly, and is very intolerant of mistakes. You can't change or fix anything. You cannot increase a highlight after the fact.  It did, however, produce a fascinating range in layered colours. Jet black can be added in afterwards with black oil pastel. The size, 8x10, may have been part of the problem, being small for the combination of tools and subject.


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