24 March, 2014

All Good Things

Over the past several years I have enjoyed posting on this blog but today I am going to bring it to an end. There are several reasons but the main one is time.  

Thank you for joining me on my adventures to the beach and elsewhere in southern California. Join me, if you'd like to at my other blog, Jacqueline Price Art which is more art-related in nature.

22 March, 2014

There's the Rub

I have not made much progress on my seagull drawing (see prior posts on this here and here) but thought I would post what I have done so far.

The first thing I did was tape the drawing paper to a board. This gives me a solid surface to press upon and protects the paper from being damaged as it gets moved aside on my desk. As I start to work more on the drawing I will cover it, between sessions, with tracing paper as another layer of protection.
What I usually do is move it right away from my desk area so that my other desk-based activities don't impinge on it but that hasn't happened yet…

So far all I have done is colour in the black rocks. The black pencil I used is from Derwent's Drawing range. This pencil range is more like 'b' graphite pencils with a softer look and feel to them. I really like them but in tiny rocks like these, they leave too much white showing. So I went over it with another black from the Derwent Studio range. This range is more like 'h' graphite pencils which have more clay in them that the 'b's'.

This pencil filled in the small white areas without having to press very hard.
I don't like to press hard as doing so can warp the paper and will also damage the tooth of the paper.
The tooth is the texture of the paper which can be seen by lightly rubbing a pencil across the paper. The degree of tooth will vary between papers. Paper for office copier machines will have very little tooth compared with drawing papers. Some types of paper, like Bristol paper, come with a smoother finish (conveniently called smooth) and a more textured finish called vellum. 
The paper you choose depends on the look you want. That also goes for the weight (or thickness) of paper you want. There is also a wide variety of weights available as well. See it explained here.
There are no rules, it all depends on what you discover you like.

The paper I am using came from a 22" x 30" sheet and is more or less card stock weight. Sorry I can't remember what the weight is (it doesn't say it on the label).

There is another piece of equipment that can damage the tooth of a paper - the eraser. By rubbing out your mistakes with a regular hard eraser (and doing so in a vigorous manner) you can destroy the paper's tooth, as well as risking scrunching the paper and damaging the whole drawing.

In this kind of drawing I use a kneaded eraser.

With a kneaded eraser you press it into the graphite or coloured pencil to remove it. A light touch is required and it takes longer to remove the pigment.

When you are learning and want to totally remove your marks then use cheaper paper and don't worry about the tooth. If you working on a nicer picture then use light marks with your pencil so it is easier to remove them.

One of the benefits of the kneaded eraser is the ability to shape it to help you erase tiny sections such as these small dots.

I always keep a regular eraser around just in case, and for coloured pencil pieces, I use a pencil sharpener that is only used with coloured pencils. This is an item I use a lot in my drawings. I like to keep my pencils very sharp throughout the process as I feel that I have more control when I have a shape point.

I personally like these manual pencil sharpeners. They are around $1.50 - $2. This one is a KUM and has one hole with a spare blade. I have others with two holes with one of the holes larger than the other for bigger pencils. 
It is time to replace your sharpener when the blade starts hacking at the wood above the point.

19 March, 2014

Sandy Lawn

Every spring there is a covering of green on the beach at Doheny State Beach.

This plant looks innocent enough but has some spikes on it. Beware if in bare feet.

17 March, 2014

Fielding Colour

This is from a photograph I took when I was last in England. It is of rapeseed fields which are in full bloom in May.
'Springtime Fields' 8" x 8" acrylic on board.

14 March, 2014

On the Horizon

A couple of years ago I was given a Canson Montval art board when I attended a workshop. It won't accept oil paints so I decided to do a painting with my acrylics.
Probably because it was free, I decided to try something a little different and more abstract than usual. I also worked to be less slavish to my source photograph using it more for inspiration.
I am very happy with the result.

'Darkening Horizon' 8"x10" acrylic on board.

11 March, 2014

Golden Bowers

A few weeks ago, hubby and I took our first visit to the Bowers Museum in Santa Ana. It has one of the prettiest entryways, built in the Spanish style, I've seen for a museum.

This is a large mural which is mostly obscured by a tree.

I'm not sure what to make of this pruning work. Perhaps they were trying to create a pom-pom tree.

This is in a small garden off of a large hall.

This is a museum that covers a variety of subjects. We saw exhibitions on Beethoven's late works, art of the Pacific (specifically headhunters in New Guinea), early California settlers' artifacts, and 19th Century European paintings. 
I'm sure we will be returning there again in the near future.

10 March, 2014

Flowering Work

I've been painting again and here are the results.

'Solitude Awaits Below' 8"x10" Oil on Board.

'Gerbera Trio' 5"x5" Acrylic on Canvas.

07 March, 2014

Sea For Yourself

As I think I have said before, no matter how often I go to the beach (which is not as often as I would right now), there is always something interesting to see.

I love to look at the whole scene and see the various colours in the sky and ocean according to the weather and time of day.

This is one of my favourite spots to go to as there is always a wealth of bird life (during the non-tourist times of year)

There were the usual egrets and herons as well as curlews and sandpipers (not pictured) which I can look at time and time again.

I don't forget to look down as I walk (particularly since there are many rocks, pebbles, and seaweed at the shoreline which could trip me up). However, on this particular day I spotted some seaweed I've never seen before. It looked like it had escaped from a kingdom of snow and ice (such as that found near the start of 'The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe')

Once I noticed it, I realised that there were several different types.

Then I decided to focus on all the various colours and textures along the stretch of beach I was walking on.

I don't have a large expensive camera so I was really happy with the degree of sand texture I was able to capture.

From a distance the seaweed doesn't look particularly attractive but get up close and there is a world of beauty to see.