Toys Are Us!

As we come to the end of January I figured I’d share some of the art supplies I’ve been playing with. 

Remember my childrens quality multicolored pencil?  I like it so much I’m putting the artists quality Koh-i-noor Magic Pencil on my wish list. 


See how the colors run the length of the pencil… that means that you need to rotate the pencil as you draw to get color variation. The Koh-i-noor has the colors all swirled together. I’m betting that will be even more fun!

I also bought a new white ink pen… a Uni-Ball Signo Broad. I’ve had nothing but trouble with the previous incarnation Signo pen but this one is a winner!  The barrel on the newer pen is opaque while the barrel on the “inferior ” pen is translucent. It may be coincidental but I thought I’d mention it in case you’re thinking of getting one for your arsenal. 

Lovely opaque white ink. Here I’ve layered it over many layers of watercolor. 


We have a lovely new stationery, card, and art supply shop in the area… POST… in White River Junction, Vermont.



I bought myself a few Palomino Blackwing pencils to try and the corresponding long point sharpener. I’ve heard so many glowing things about them I just couldn’t resist. Now that they’re sharpened I need to make some time to test an experiment to see which level of hardness I prefer. 



And finally… I found out that it’s possible to sketch on my phone using only the Note app and my trusty index finger. 


See ya… gotta use some of these things and go make some art!

Learning New Tricks (Test)


Yesterday I learned a technique or two I’m hoping will streamline how I post my sketchbook photos.

Previously I scanned my pages and loved its bright, clear look… but my scanner has since stopped communicating with my laptop. The last time that happened I lost nearly a week of my life on the phone with tech support. I have no desire to experience that again. Over the years I’ve also found myself relying on my phone to handle more and more of my life. In fact, last October I started posting with the WordPress app for iPhone.

Since the scanner debacle I’ve only been posting photos of my work. They’ve been OK but I’ve had to do quite a bit of editing to get an acceptable image.

Enter Tina Koyama of Fueled by Clouds & Coffee. Tina did a test post in preparation for her July trip to Manchester, UK as an Urban Sketchers Symposium  correspondent. She’s testing various apps and methods for uploading photos and images of sketches to the urban sketchers blog. Her June 7, 2016 post, Green Lake Intersection (Test) prompted me to ask why she preferred to use a scanning app, in particular Cam Scanner. (available for both Android and iOS)

Based on her images I downloaded CamScanner and gave it a whirl. Fantastic! It saves me multiple steps as it brightens, straightens, and crops with just one click.

See for yourself… the image was done with carbon black ink and watercolor on Strathmore 500 Mixed Media paper.

Natural evening light… dusk, approximately 8 PM. 


Same, with Cam Scanner. 


Indoor LED desk lamp. 8 PM. 


Same, with Cam Scanner. 


Natural morning diffused light, west window. 


Same but with Cam Scanner. 

The mid-body yellow was burned out in both of the other attempts but the Cam Scanner image from yesterday  morning shows the yellow glow and came the closest to the true image in my sketchbook.

One more thing. The majority of this post was dictated!  Yeah, I felt funny talking to my phone but it worked surprisingly well. I need to brush up on the commands, like what to say to get the program to capitalize, but I think I’ll be dictating more and more. 

You CAN teach an old dog new tricks!

Last Day! Jinhao BOGO at Goulet

I needed more ink… specifically De Atramentis Document Black, and Goulet Pens has it on sale through midnight tonight.  Goulet also has this BOGO buy one-get one sale on Jinhao pens.  Buy one regular priced Jinhao that’s NOT an X750 Shimmering Sands and get a FREE X750 Shimmering Sands.  I’m usually not a sucker for these things but I looked.

OMG… they have an ORANGE pen!

Did I ever tell you how much I love orange?

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Yes… all mine.

I bought the ORANGE Jinhao 159 for the grand price of $12.50 and got the sparkly Jinhao X750 Shimmering Sands for free.  The photos don’t do it justice… it’s lovely.

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Here’s a visual comparison.  From the top… Pilot Metropolitan, Jinhao X750 Shimmering Sands, Jinhao 159, and Lamy Safari.

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Both the Jinhao’s are quite heavy (twice as heavy?) but even with my small hands I’ve enjoyed using them for drawing.  Both come with medium nibs installed and I’ve found they’re really smooth… haven’t had one skip since I’ve inked them up… De Atramentis Document Black is waterproof and the pens have handled it well.  If you find you’d like a finer or broader nib it’s possible to exchange the nibs and put in a Goulet Nib.  Both are #6 and from what I can see are easily exchangeable.  As you can see, the #6 nib is larger than the nib on the Pilot Metropolitan. I’m going to play with these a while before I decide.

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I know I’m not giving you much time to mull this over… offer ends at midnight.

Just thought you ought to know.

Antidote for Cabin Fever

I’ve got a bad case of cabin fever.

It’s been way too cold to even think of sketching or painting outside; temperatures have lingered in the teens for so long, I feel sure if I removed my heavy expedition-weight mittens for a minute, ice crystals would form!

But then my friend, Michelle Goldsmith of Pleading Quilty, gave me this gorgeous “Drawing Glove” she found on Etsy.  Incredibly, my spirits lifted as I put it on and imagined all the places we’d go.

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Funky isn’t it?  No, it’s certainly not heavy enough to use right now but it’ll be perfect in spring when there’s still a cool breeze… and it’s in my favorite color too!drawingglove4

 

Ahhhhh… spring.

Tomorrow, March 1st, marks the beginning of Spring… meteorologically speaking. I know it’s still three weeks ’till astronomical spring but I feel better knowing we’ve left the three coldest months of the year behind.

And I’m just that much closer to sketching outside again!