#StJames church - the view from my yoga studio on the second floor accross the street. This is the starry night prompt for #bringspring_challenge #skillshare_challenge. The sky should have been a touch darker but I used some alcohol to create texture - and that lightened the color. Dip pen and #noodlersink . I used a #raphael flat brush over ink not entirely dry..ooups... #instaart #instagramartist #montrealartist #sketchbook #sketchjournal #monaiordache
April 16, 2018 at 09:48PM
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The answer is simple: me!
I wanted to experiment wet on wet (adding bleach into a watercolour wash) and brushing first bleach and adding the watercolour wash after. This is what I did and here is the result:
Somehow, I thought I was going to get a bigger difference between the areas touched with bleach and the rest of the page. Note to self: ventilate the area and preferably work outside (not possible right now, we are still getting negative Celsius around here). This stuff stinks ...
After looking at the results for a while pondering what to do next, I saw something that reminded me of poppies at the bottom of the page. When I turned the page 180 degrees, I saw the head of a cute puppy. Now, that was an interesting conundrum - what to do?!
In the end, I voted for the poppies since they were the first ones I saw. Also, I thought this is a good opportunity to then cut the flowers digitally and use them to learn how to make designs in gimp.
Here are the poppies:
I enhanced the colours a bit and and then extracted few flowers and leaves to bring over in GIMP.
This part turned out to be longer and harder than I thought - because I never used GIMP or anything similar.
Removing the background turned out to be a long process, much longer than anticipated. As a result, I have less flowers and leaves than I originally thought. I used what I had to create a small flower arrangement and I played with different colour backgrounds. I also created a few repeating patterns - for the sake of the exercise.
I also extracted an abstract pattern from another sketch, but that one turned out impossible to convert - at least for me. The nature of the lines and pattern was such that it made removing the white a task that I was not going to undertake any time soon.
I did however convert another sketch of a peony done with a Chinese brush. This type of brush work is not great for converting in digital format. My opinion only, of course.
At least we hope that this time, the sun is here to stay!
I joined skillshare because I wanted to learn more about gouache painting and I found tons of inspiration for other things. I suspect I will hang around for a while.
Most tutorials are either short or divided in bit-size chapters. This works out great because I can fit them whenever I have a pocket of time. I found out tutorials on topics like pinterest marketing, opening and operating an etsy shop, self-publishing, blogging, writing and many more. Exciting stuff...I saved about 40 tutorials in my queue! I will have to start prioritizing the topics - or else I will fall down the rabbit hole of the net consumption!
One of the tutorials is about painting spring flowers, taught by Irina Trzaskos. It seemed appropriate, given that there was no sign of spring outside. I figured at least I can have spring in my sketchbook. My plan was to spend maybe 30 min or so going through the exercises - painting hyacinths, daffodils and tulips.
I was also doing my weekly challenge - 3 min sketches using the glass pen. So I started this way - sketched the outline of the hyacinth with glass pen and ink. I applied color first, planning to do a wet in wet flower. The scrap of watercolor paper I used was not of good quality, so my color mixing came out too flat. Note to self: use good paper....
But then I started wondering what would happen if....and I was down the experimenting path. For the next flower, I still used the glass pen and then applied the color. The third flower was done using the fude pen. From the first batch of experiments, the third one is my favorite. I find that the pen and color balance well, the pen created a bit of structure for the flower. The leaves however proved to be a challenge in all three of them. I ended up covering the leaves and bulb with collage paper and made vases for my flowers.
I decided to work in my good sketchbook with good paper. I looked up other reference images on the net. Did you know there are types of hyacinths that have less buds on the stem? The individual flowers are more defined because there is more space around them. Another note to self: one such flower could be used to explore negative space either in order to draw the flower or as an experiment with shapes that could be used in abstract painting. One of the benefits of exploring a subject like this is finding out new things about it. It would have been better to have a real flower, but the net offers a wide range of images from different angles.
I chose flowers that were in some kind of container and painted next one with less buds. Next image that caught my attention was of a bent flower. I thought it made for an interesting composition - different from the standard one. I am pleased with how this turned out, except for the leaves.
By this time I was a bit tired of hyacinths and I painted a daffodil. For the tulips, I wanted to try negative painting. I ended up covering all the whites. I think that the problem was the initial wash did not have enough variety and the colors were too pale. If this wash is good, then I don't need many more glazes to cut out the flowers. Sometimes I get carried away adding colors and I end up losing the transparency of the watercolor, which is what happened here.
But then I saw an image with birds and I had an aha moment - how about adding a little bird? As if it was the bird that made the flower bend. I like the idea - cute, don't you think? I also painted some tulips on hot pressed paper. Not loving this paper. Good for pen and ink with some color, but not for mixing colors on paper. Can't even see the granularity of the paint.
And finally, I sketched again the flower and the bird on a separate paper. One last experiment - using the bamboo pen. I am pleased with the result, however more notes to self:
Happy Easter! Happy sketching!
... I am back in blogosphere.
A lot has happened since last post, some good - I visited Iceland and I went to Chicago for the USK symposium, some bad - my mom passed away, I had surgery and I lost my day job.
I post regularly to Instagram, but I want to resume blogging about my process and lessons learned.
A great spring day was at the rendez-vous for the monthly USK Montreal meeting. We met at the parc Lahaie at the corner of St, Laurent and Laurier.
I wanted to test the setup in preparation for Chicago. I am looking for ways to lighten the working surface so that I can work standing or sitting. Today I worked sitting and it was fine. I cut a piece of corrugated plastic - the kind used for elections stuff - 14 x 14. I have a smaller one, but I think I want to work on 8 x 10 or 9x 12 paper, so this bigger size is better.
I used clip-on water containers - I think they are meant for oil painters to hold linseed oil and such. I put the paint in an empty cough-pills container and attached it to the board with magnets, The container weighs next to nothing and has space for 12 colours. If I want more colours, I can easily add another container. So far, so good.
I chose to sketch the church instead of the firehouse. I also wanted to test the paper - it failed. I won't take this paper at the symposium. It is not white and it has to much texture for the pen to glide smoothly. I think this will be an issue because I had problems with my pens on other types of paper too. I made three attempts to sketch the church, trying to get the whole building on the paper. I still have issues simplifying the subject effectively because my building is missing various parts.
The setup is in the first picture - it works well with the paper landscape or portrait.
And my fellow sketcher Ludmila sketched me sketching the church - how cool is this? And I look 20 years younger!
That's right - week 10. The last one. Already. I am changing computers and all my photos are still on the old one. 'nough excuses now.
The topic of the week - make our own topic! Really. We were supposed to create out own assignment, with boundaries and all. I decided to explore pattern, but I did not define the assignment precisely enough. Just that - pattern. Pretty vague indeed. I did not have to time to explore the topic properly and I think it shows in the results. Having precise boundaries helps direct the flow and eliminate distractions. The more options there are, the more paralyzing things can become.
I think I did however came up with a few interesting pieces, worth exploring further.
Speed painting anyone?! This was the assignment of the week - cover the paper with color in 20 sec! Then add scribles and layers with opaque and transparent paints.
Needless to say, 20 sec are very short! In my case, it took about 1 min to cover the paper because of "technical difficulties" with the paint. But it was fun!
More appropriate would be to call them paintings or studies because drawings are not. But I digress...
Topic of the week: layering and line in black and white only. Vary the opacity of the layers. Do not stray into shape or pattern. Vary the lines.
As usual, I find it hard to work monochromatic. It is always a struggle to not drop some color somewhere ...
I tend to gravitate towards continuous lines that flow relatively smoothly. so I had to pay extra attention to make other types of lines.
I know ... 5 weeks into the new year it is sort of late. Suffice to say that the new year did not start in the best way possible and there are no signs that things will change soon.
At the moment, I am busy with the 100 drawings on cheap paper on line course with Jane. Week 3 already.
I also did the workshop with Veronica Lawlor over at Sketchbook Skool. So all in all, I've been plenty busy!
The first four sketches are from Veronica's workshop; the other ones are continuous line sketch of some stuff on the table, chocolates, more objects and portraits and selfie.
One of the three works in progress posted here is finished. At lest for now. Here are some of the intermediate steps.
I wasn't happy with how it was turning out, so I covered a big part of it. Jane calls this phase "monkey-ing" the piece. It means covering a chunk of the piece to force it to go in a different direction instead of brooding over something that is not going anywhere.
It might be done now ...