Now You’ve Got Me Started…

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I enjoyed drawing the last beetle so much I went out and bought a field guide to insects and drew this guy. When we were kids I remember letting them walk on my hands leaving trails of yellow goo behind them. Jake’s grandfather’s house is full of them. The six foot five inch Jacob is always conscripted to gather the tiny beetles from around the ceiling fixtures into a plastic cup to be released outside.

Prionus Imbricornis

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I was inspired by Niff’s beetle drawing over at InkFinger to draw this guy. One of the great things about artistic communities is how we constantly inspire one another to try new things and see things differently.
I found the original photo for this drawing at the Living Jewels web site and after some reflection I decided that there were a number of things I didn’t like about the drawing.
* The apparent flatness of the image. Because the original photograph was from the top down the insect looks very flat and two dimentional.
* The color is flat and rather ugly. I’m still struggling with color in my drawings. Here I think that the pen and ink work was too distracting and took away the luster of the paint.
* The pen and ink work is too heavy handed.
* A good work of art always starts with a good drawing; I think I missed the mark here and didn’t give myself enough time to get a drawing I was happy with before i started painting.

Parking Meters

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On Saturday while I waited for Jake to get his Scantron forms for his class I began to sketch this set of parking meters that were planted in front of the car. Later, at home, I took the pencil sketch and inked it with my Rotring Rapidoliner and a diluted India Ink wash and finished the drawing using a photograph I took when I started the drawing as a reference. I think it turned out rather nice.

Any Scrap of Paper Will Do

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Sure, I could spout all types of excuses, but believe me when I tell you that I have been thinking of you and fretting over you.

Where have you been, Trish?

Well, I’ve been trying new tools, new paper, new techniques, reading a lot of books on all types of subjects, we’ve spent some time rearranging the studio so that it’s more usable and comfortable for both Jake and I. And while I’ve missed talking to you, some things get the attention while others don’t.

Man with Hat

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Since it has been asked – the man in the drawing is of Arthur Conan Doyle. Doyle has been on my mind lately because I’ve been reading an autobiography of the man. “Teller of Tales,” by Daniel Stashower.
My interest in Doyle comes by way of a long term love affair with the stories of Sherlock Holmes. I read these stories of dark alleys and intrigue set in Victorian London when I was little. My interest in things Sherlockian has waned in recent years yet I am still thrilled to catch an episode of the Jeremy Brett television show, read a book of fresh material about Holmes’ creator and still sometimes I’ll pick up my worn old copy of the “Adventures of Sherlock Holmes” and read A Scandal in Bohemia just one more time.

Washington Ferry Farm

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This past weekend we took a trip to the Washington Ferry Farm. This is the plantation where George Washington spent his childhood and where he supposedly chopped down the cherry tree and then admitted to the deed. There are no buildings from Washington’s time there left, but there are some archaeological sites where the buildings once sat. The building pictured here is a surveyor’s building from after Washington’s time.

Coke Machine

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Lately I’ve been boring, I go to work and go home. For me this generally leads to being creatively blocked. Today I took a small step towards breaking free of the funk and went to lunch at the small deli next door that don’t usually go to. I drew this Coke machine. Sometimes all it takes to break free of funks is to go somewhere new and out of the ordinary. It doesn’t have to be a radical change, but just a small change will usually do it.

Retro Gaming

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Jake has been finding his way back to the old Atari 2600 platform. He’s been buying old games, buying new games, and has been developing his own idea for a game. I don’t pretend to understand what this is all about; I know it must be cool, but in a really geeky way. I’ve been trying to draw an accurate representation of an Atari joystick with varying results.
The drawing is wrong, by the way, because the fire button should be in the corner of the base.

Sketching Yoshi with a Kuretake Brush Pen

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This weekend I decided to dig out my Kuretake brush pen and I did some sketching with it. I’d just finished reading Carnet de Voyage by Craig Thompson in which he talks about using brush pens, so I was feeling particularly excited by the idea of using a brush pen just then.
The pen itself feels very nice and flows smoothly across the paper and if you’re accepting of ‘mistakes’ and can work with them the results can be quite nice. The only drawback is that the ink in the cartridges isn’t waterproof so you can’t layer watercolors on after the sketch is done. So it really is a trade-off between a more complete painted drawing and a gestural sketch.