Tag Archives: drawing

In the margins (more or less)

It’s been a while since my last post. I took a summer art history course that ate up all my free time, and I let my blogging slip so I could concentrate on getting a good grade. I don’t regret it (I haven’t taken a serious college course since 2005), but I miss the process of picking a topic and art to talk about.

But then when I got back to my art journal, nothing seemed to go right. The words wouldn’t come, the art felt stiff…like I’d forgotten how to access that part of me.

I started with a shouting bird (redundant, I realize). Sometimes words have to be forced out, and the art reflects the strain.

Is shouting the serenity prayer counterintuitive?

Then I tried some Egyptian motifs, but my mongoose went poorly and I put the page in time out.

Egyptian motifs…not entirely successful

Finally, I just put random paint down on a new page and let whatever was lurking there decide what it wanted to be. As usual, I found weird creatures:

My next class starts in a few days, and I’ll be learning to write specifically about art. I’m excited! Maybe it’ll help me find my voice in this area…I feel like I’m still too stiff from all of my years as a tech writer. I wanted to take a drawing class so that I could have some formal training and learn some discipline, but the only classes I feel comfortable with are remote only, and I’d have had to attend an in-person lab session. Oh well. Maybe I’ll take some online workshops instead! If you have any suggestions on good resources on YouTube or CreativeBug, I’d appreciate it!

Trying something different (part two)

So I tried the painting again! Started with a sketch:

blue lead pencil sketch

I’m really proud of this sketch, actually. I don’t usually sketch realistic objects or scenes, and I wasn’t sure I would be able to do a good enough job. But I did! Hooray for me!

Once the sketch was done, I decided to work on the background first, instead of last (like last time). And I used Derwent Inktense watercolor pans so that each layer would stay fixed, and hopefully not get muddy looking. Once I got the background in, I worked on the leaves. I switched to Dr. Ph. Martin’s Bombay inks, and did multiple layers of greens.

After adding some frisket to protect certain parts of the flower, I started working on the reds in the blossom. I never realized how complex the red in a pomegranate are!

Finally the finish line was in sight! I’d started working on deepening the colors in the pod part of the flower when disaster struck! I knocked over a bottle of ink and it spread all over my desk…even worse, it splashed onto my painting:

jamming on the flower petals and all the many different shades of red, working on the pod, when OH NOoOoooOo

I am not ashamed to say that there was wailing involved. It was so shocking and distressing I could barely think of how to react to save it and the other art in the notebook. Luckily this painting was the only one that had any substantial damage, but even so, it took about three days for me to be able to work on it again and finish up some last details:

after three days of sadness and anxiety, I managed to go back and finish it up. final details on the (actual) branch, removed the frisket, dropped in the yellow pollen and pistil ends, and finished deepening the flower colors.

All things considered, I think I did a pretty good job. I’m thankful that the spill happened in such a way that it only barely touched the flower itself, and so it sort of looks like a weird branch.

What do you think? Have you had art disasters happen to you, and were you able to recover, or work the mistake into the image so that it didn’t stick out so much?