Saturday, January 14, 2012

Postcard Challenge - Card 2

"My Natalie,

They wanted me to go and see the bull fighting but I told them no.
I could not go and watch that and then come home and look you in the eye, knowing what I had seen. Not even for research or however they decided to call it.
I went to see Flamengo dancers instead, so I got my bit of culture for this trip.

Yours, M. "

Friday, January 13, 2012

Illustrated Journal (2)

So I did a few more pages, drawing every single day and loving it.
It's funny to notice that you never really looked at a banana until the moment you started drawing one.

Two blind contour drawings that.. well.. I did tidy up a little bit:

My poor backscratcher that I had to stick back together with ductape. Can't live without it...

Crackers with cheese and chunky bits of cucumber:

Now I already posted this yesterday, but I wanted to tell you the story that goes with this drawing:

It was the day before Tye's birthday, which sadly he had to work so we decided to celebrate it a day early, and we went out for dinner with the inlaws.
The dinners were brought to the table and I took a quick picture of my plate, thinking I would draw it later. The waitress gave me a funny look, and my mum-in-law told me while we were eating that the bar staff and the waitress were standing behind the bar, looking at us. A minute or so after that, the chef even opened his kitchen door...

I think they thought I was a mystery client or something, ordering food to critique it later. I wonder what they would've said if I had actually got my sketchbook and paints out there and then......

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Review: Fountain pen Revolution and Serwex pen

Just before Christmas, there was a Tweet floating around about almost-free fountain pens. As I knew Father Christmas was getting me ink, and I wanted to try out drawing in fountain pen and ink, I of course very interested.

All I had to do was 'like' the Facebook page for Fountain Pen Revolution Facebook page and they would ship a pen for $2.50!

I sent them an email to make sure this amazing deal would be available to people in the UK too, and within half an hour I got a lovely reply back from Kevin Thiemann- he was more than happy to ship to the UK! So I kept my fingers crossed for smooth shipping and waited patiently for the sillocone grease and syringes I had ordered on Ebay so I could fill the fountain pen without having to worry about it leaking.

The Serwex Special 101 arrived pre-greased, which was very nice of them, and I had no problem filling it, but for some reason, it was difficult to get the ink to flow after not using the pen for even as little as a few minutes.

I mentioned this to Leslie and she explained to me how some pens have 'breathing holes' in the cap. Sure enough, my pen had one too. This can cause the nib to dry out, making it more difficult for the ink to start flowing when you first start to write or draw. Her tip: put some wax in it.

It worked! I now have no problems getting the ink to flow, even if I haven't used the pen for a couple of hours.

Here's the first two page spread I did using the Serwex fountain pen:

Even though it took me a while to fall in love with my Serwex fountain pen, I do love it now and have used it for all my drawings since. And Fountain Pen Revolution gets my vote too. They are an American family-run business in India, The shipping was incredibly quick, communication was perfect (so important when you have a few questions and a company actually replies!) and their website says ' Join the revolution and declare independence from overpriced fountain pens!' Can't go wrong there! ;)

Please make sure you check out their Facebook page as they keep coming up with great deals you don't want to miss out on.

Saturday, January 7, 2012

Postcard Challenge - Card 1


We were hoping for an unusual hotel for our stay in Austria - well this is it!
Sleeping in a sewage pipe is a lot more comfortable than it sounds.
Would recommend!

Nat. x "

(no stamp yet but I'm hoping to fix that soon.)

Thursday, January 5, 2012

Illustrated Journal

I have decided to call my sketchbook-with-drawings-and-writing an 'Illustrated Journal', which makes it more clear to me that it's not my Art Journal, even though it's art. I know it seems a bit confusing maybe, but it works in my head so I'll stick with it.

Annyyywayyy.... I've done some more pages that I'd like to share:

I don't think I'd ever done a drawing of my art supplies before, so it was about time. My Koh-i-Noor paints, a Pentel waterbrush and my Cotman Sketcher's set.

My clock and the tablets I take every day. I'm hoping to cut down this year. Fingers crossed!

My breakfast this morning. Because the Cotman Sketcher's Pocket set has a limited pallet, I had to be creative about my shadows. I really like the way this came out.

I'm really enjoying this new experience, finding little things to draw and using my watercolours to add more interest to the drawing. So far I've used my Micron 03 pen, but today I received the sillicone grease and syringes I ordered to fill my fountain pens with ink. I'll be playing with them for the next few days to see what I prefer using. Watch out for more Illustrated Journal pages.

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Daily don't work - part 2

Just over a year ago, I wrote my blogpost Daily don't work, a post which since I've written it I've linked to it in several other blogposts, including the one I wrote yesterday.

When I read my dear friend Blade's comment, I figured I needed to explain things a bit further.

Here's what Blade said:
"I keep seeing you say, "Daily don't work for me," but I know of tons of stuff you do daily. Sleep, eat, drink water... Make your art like that. ;) "


I do do art related things on a more or less daily basis. I draw, I paint, I stick stuff in my art journal, I journal, I write blog posts, I take pictures, I look for inspiration, I think of future projects. I might not do all of that every single day, but art is part of my daily life and has been for some time now.

So that's not it. The 'Daily don't work' comment is for all those 'create every day'-projects that you see so many of online. Creating an art habit after doing something for 20 or 30 days, not missing a day. And that's what the problem is. I can't do 'do this every day for 30 days'-things. I did do the Project 365 challenge and there were days where I really-honestly-Imeanrealllyyy had no idea what I was supposed to take a picture of. But because I did not want to fail, I had to.

And I did not like that feeling. And Tye sure did not like hearing me moan about it... ;)

So while I probably will end up doing my Everyday Matters-inspired drawings on daily basis for a while, I don't want to commit to a 'You Have To Do This Every Day For 30 Days Straight Or You Fail'-kind of challenge. Because I don't want to feel bad for missing a day or two or four.

Arting, or not arting, should not make me feel guilty. And that's why 'daily don't work for me'.

Monday, January 2, 2012

Creative License - a review of sorts

I am probably one of the last people to ever hear of or buy (been gifted) Danny Gregory's The Creative License, giving yourself permission to be the artist you truly are.
Now, it has to be said, the title made me rebel a bit. It's the 'permission' bit. I've always been 'permitted' to make art, but up until a few years ago I just never really thought of myself as capable of doing anything like that. The word just makes me itch a bit. But once you get over that part, it is an absolute awesome book!

Last summer I wrote about Gregory's book Everyday matters, and the same, if not more, is true of Creative License; it's a book that inspires you to finally get a pen and paper out and start drawing already! (Notice I said pen and not pencil, Danny Gregory feels that you learn more from drawing with pen than with a pencil you can erase.)

In this book Gregory talks about all the reasons people don't draw. They don't see the point, they don't have the time, they just can't do it. And then he explains how, even with as little as a few minutes a day (but hey, Daily don't work for me!), you can do simple drawings while actually looking at your objects instead of thinking you know what you're seeing. He shows you where in your busy day you could find the time to set aside a few minutes to do these drawings, and even thinks of what you could draw. And then a large part of the book is about keeping an illustrated journal and how that can benefit you.

Now I am currently working on my Art Journal number 10, in which I draw and paint and write in and stick stuff down in. It's not the same as a journal with just your own drawings. It's a completely different style. It reminds me a bit of Urban Sketching, which I am still working on from home.

The sketchpads I bought will be used for these drawings inspired by daily life, with some writing thrown in. I'm not giving up on Art Journaling at all, but I think this is something I want to explore for a while and see where it will take me.

And to start things off, here's my first drawing of the year:

Thank you Danny Gregory for being such an inspiration.

Sunday, January 1, 2012

This is just a test

Father Christmas brought me lots of art goodies, and for my birthday Tye signed me up for Sketchbook Delight 2, and the inlaws got me vouchers and money to spend on more art goodies... but by the time I got to the shop I could not really think of anything I wanted or needed. And yes, I know how spoilt that sounds...

On the market however I spotted some sketchbooks. Spiral bound, which I like because I have limited space, and the pages felt thick enough for what I want to do.
MIL did not understand that I spent some of my birthday pennies on what she thought look like cheap notepads, but they made me very happy, especially after I did a little test:

Using a Micron pen, calligraphy ink and Cotman watercolours, there was no bleeding, and the paper kept nice and smooth. I like it, I like it! I got myself 2 A5's and an A (see here if that doesn't mean anything to you), the bigger ones are my favourite size anyway, and the smaller one is perfect for just throwing in a bag when out and about. And they are cheap enough for me not to worry about 'ruining a page', because yes, I do suffer from that sometimes.

I can't wait to see these sketchbooks all filled up!