Sunday, March 31, 2013

Mail Art

I've been experimenting with mail art lately. I had a small package that needed to be sent and that plain old manila envelope just seemed to be begging for decoration. I don't know why, but using these kinds of 'throw-away' surfaces is so appealing to me. Maybe it's because it's not in a sketchbook and needs to be of a certain quality? As I worked on the drawing I kept thinking about what the rooster might be thinking, or at least my experiences with my own roosters, who seem to ALWAYS have a mind of their own. It was fun to imagine this guy stepping into the mud and tracking it across the envelope on his way to other adventures.

Back of envelope
Front of envelope
This started out as a pen and ink drawing then I added gouache, Inktense pencils and graphite. Fun.

Friday, March 22, 2013

More RITR and Inktense

I'm having still having fun with the Rite in the Rain journal and the Inktense pencils. I got out my Lamy Joy pen with the non-waterproof Lamy ink and did a few sketches on binder paper while I was on the phone the other day. It seems like these always come out pretty good for some reason. I like the way the Lamy ink bleeds when you add water to it.
Fluid acrylic background with Inktense pencils and gouache on Rite in the Rain.

Lamy Joy Calligraphy pen with Lamy cartridge ink and watercolor on loose-leaf binder paper.

Sunday, March 17, 2013

More 'Rite in the Rain'

Looks like this book is becoming a bird themed book, which is OK with me. I am really enjoying the Inktense pencils I got for Christmas. They work really well with watercolor and gouache and are especially fun on this super slick 'Rite in the Rain' waterproof paper. The quote is from the amazing artist Janice Mason Steeves. I read her blog regularly and this quote just struck a chord with me. So many times I start a work with an idea in mind, several hours go by and I then end up in a completely different place than I expected. It's really cool when that happens. : )

Click to make bigger.

Friday, March 1, 2013

When a Book is Not a Sketchbook

Recently I've been experimenting with different kinds of sketchbooks...some of them not really designed to be a sketchbook at all. One of these books is the 'Rite in the Rain' waterproof notebook. I was inspired by Roz Stendahl's 2009 fake journal in which she did some exquisite bird drawings in an Alvin Field Notebook, so I went to my local survey shop and picked up the closest thing I could find, the 'Rite in the Rain'. These pages are so waxy that my first attempts to paint on them were a disaster. The paint just beaded up on the surface and refused to dry. Once I added a drop of dish detergent to my water they did spread but the result was less than interesting. After talking to Roz she suggested I really layer on the paint in a thick, inky consistency and that seemed to work. The birds below were done as a test to see how different things would work in the book. The bird on the left was done with Derwent Inktense pencils which are really fun to work with on this super smooth paper. The washes were not quite as good as the bird on the right which was done with a Pitt Brush Pen, heavily loaded pigment of Daniel Smith Watercolor, some white gouache and random scratching with the tip of a bamboo dip pen. It's been a lot of fun working in this book and I plan to try to find one of the Alvin books to try out.

Click to enlarge