Waterfall Book 21

Birds at a Fountain
Mixed media on paper, 7″ x 5″

This week it’s a different sort of waterfall. Originally it was just going to be ink and maybe graphite, but to correct various mistakes several other media were introduced. It didn’t really work very well, but I still like the idea. There’s only four more of these left now.

Waterfall Book 20

Sheep and Lamb Crossing
Ink on paper, 7″ x 5″

When you’re small, even a little waterfall can look like a big challenge. The patient care and encouragement of another can make many obstacles surmountable.

As I drew this I thought about Moses leading his flock while in the land of Midian. Long before that, when Moses first thought it was time to save his people from slavery, he wasn’t ready. He was too impulsive and his people needed more care than he knew how to give. To be properly prepared he needed to first tend to a flock in the wilderness for forty years. There he learned the patience, gentleness, and faithful reliance on God needed to guide an erring flock.

The materials used for this:
One of the wooden pens I carved a long time ago
Daniel Smith walnut ink
Noodler’s black ink

As I drew it became more difficult to control the ink flow because the tip of the pen was wearing down. After quickly resharpening the point with a razor the problem was fixed.

The lamb was referenced from Nicola B and the sheep from Angeline Rijkeboer of Paint my Photo.

Green Frog

Frog in a Pond
Watercolor on paper, 5.5″ x 5.75″

It’s a new week, still barely Sunday for me, and I’m hoping to get a lot done. First is a little study painting of a frog, referenced from Janina Suuronen on Paint my Photo. Should I put the link to the photo like I have been? If you don’t have an account then it won’t show you the photo, so maybe there’s no purpose?

Anyways the paints I used were just Monte Amiata natural sienna and jadeite genuine from Daniel Smith, as well as Verona green earth from Rublev. So just two earthy greens and an earthy yellow.

I started drawing the outlines with a sharp brush (Sceptre Gold II #4 from Winsor & Newton) and the green earth, which is very transparent and perfect for this task. Then I switched between that and a small unnamed Japanese flat synthetic before eventually settling on a da Vinci CosmoTop Mix B Quill, Size 0 for the majority of the details. Both that and the sceptre gold are natural and synthetic blends.

Waterfall Book 19

A Little Bird Catching a Bug
Colored pencil on paper, 7″ x 5″

One more try at colored pencil, but this’ll probably be the last time I use it in this notebook since the paper is so smooth that it doesn’t pick up the color well. I think I have a good idea of a material to use for next week though.

Notebook Ready For Drawing
Drawing setup

Here’s how I started, with the notebook clamped open on an old canvas board resting on my desktop easel and the sketch stuck above it using a little modeling clay.

Red Deer

Hillside with Red Deer
Acrylic on paper, 8.5″ x 6″

Here’s a painting from a couple of days ago. The reference photo is from Paint my Photo, here.

The colors used are just titanium white, ivory black, and burnt sienna. Early on some premixed neutral grey was used too out of convenience but it wasn’t necessary. Again the paper was just regular sketch paper, and you can see the buckling of it in the background, but I like how the acrylic paint feels on it more than on bristol board.

Sheep Study

Warm and Cool Sheep
Acrylic on paper, 5.5″ x 6.5″

A two color study painting I made last night with acrylics on sketch paper. The reference photo is from Paint my Photo, here.

The actual paper in this sketchpad is about 11″ x 14″ and is the same pad that I used for the last Draw a Bird Day, as well as the same 1″ flat brush used for everything. As before, I first covered a large patch of the paper with grey paint, this time mixed with white, and then after that used white and two premixed colors. The blue is about 1:1 ultramarine and ivory black, and the brown is the same mix of burnt sienna and ivory black. I was worried that without the black addition it would be too chromatic, but instead it’s much more grey than the reference photo so maybe next time less black will be mixed in.

Because this is only sketch paper it buckles and wrinkles a lot soon after the wet paint first touches it, but if you ignore that and keep working it mostly settles back down. The layers of paint eventually form enough of a barrier that additional wet paint doesn’t affect the paper much. While painting I kept the sheet in the paper pad to give it a hard backing for support and propped it up on a table top easel next to my computer.

The back and forth process of quickly building up colors and indications of shapes until they become increasingly recognizable seems to work well. The more defined the shapes become the slower and more deliberate the brushwork needs to be, but the focus at the start isn’t on the fine details. What’s important in this process is just getting something onto the paper so it can then be adjusted as needed.

Cows in a Snowy Field

Winter Plains with Cows
Watercolor and gouache on paper, 6″ x 8.25″

Here’s another painting of one of my old photos, taken out a train window in the high country of Colorado during winter.

I’ve added a gallery section to the right that displays on each page and shows some of my past artworks in random order. Does it look good and work well? Is there anything in it that isn’t good enough and just clutters it?

I tried putting all of the finished waterfall book pages in that section and I liked it but I was actually planning on making that its own page and gallery once it’s finished. Another idea was to sometimes upload new sketches there that shouldn’t have a post just to themselves but can still be shown as part of a gallery. I’ll try out a few things, but if you guys have any feedback on it that might help.

Deer and Sheep

Deer, Sheep, and Snow
Watercolor and ink on paper, 7″ x 5″

I made a few tries at this scene with different media each time. This third try started with pencil and micron pens followed by a mix of blue and reddish brown watercolor. Using watercolor over an ink drawing like this is something I don’t do often. The watercolor needed a lot of adjustments to fine tune it, such as lifting most of the background when it was all too dark, but I like how it worked. The reference photo is again from Paint my Photo, here.

Draw a Bird Day 2

Chiffchaff in acrylic
Acrylic on paper, 8″ x 6″

It’s draw a bird day again and this time I got the acrylics out. The previous bird day effort is over here and the blog to post these here. This time the reference is from the site Paint my Photo, here. There’s so many useful reference photos there that maybe I’ll start a new weekly series with an animal theme.

At first I was painting this just as black lines with watercolor on sketch paper, but copying the reference freehand was a little hard to get every line and proportion right on the first try. So, I painted over everything with neutral grey acrylic and then proceeded with just that grey, ivory black, and some student grade titanium white using the same brush. The paper wrinkled a bit, but it worked fine.

Chiffchaff in acrylic and brush

Here’s the brush, a 1″ Loew-Cornell 7550 wash. It looks like it’d be too big, but it actually worked great using the corners for details. For example, having one color on one corner and a different color on the other corner allows for fast switching between the two. Also, with just a little extra pressure the weight of the stroke can be greatly increased. Flat brushes are surprisingly versatile.

Draw a Bird Day

Zenaida Dove
Zinaida Dove, after John James Audubon
Mixed media on bristol board, 6″ x 4″

Last night I was browsing the blogs Create art everyday and Myr’s Bytes and noticed that today would be draw a bird day, and as you can see they already have theirs posted. Apparently the present bird hub is on Method two madness.

This is copy of part of an illustration by John James Audubon, original seen here. The beginning line work was done with a 7H pencil, followed by Daniel Smith walnut ink applied with a brush. Then the solid black areas were mostly drawn with a fine black felt tip pen but some of it was done with a brush pen. The part that took much longer than expected was adding the details of the feathers and some grey areas with a black colored pencil. I lightened the bird’s back by partially erasing the colored pencil, and the background is also colored pencil. A little white charcoal was used to add white lines on a couple of tail feathers that had too much ink.