Dino-mania!

In all my current zest for drawing and painting portraits there’s still an obsession I haven’t given up… Dinosaurs and their ilk!

Sometimes I draw from life-sized models as I did from one in the Birds are Dinosaurs diorama at VINS, the Vermont Institute of Natural Science.

… and other times from small plastic replicas!

Replicas are a lot easier to find!

I see you!

It’s A Dog’s Life

Today I realized I posted only once in November and I was in danger of not posting at all this December. Just laziness I guess because I’ve been working in my sketchbook daily.

Lately I’ve been drawing dogs using photos people have generously provided through the Sktchy app. I sit on the couch with my sketchbook after dinner and relax with my pen and paints… a little added journaling and I’m off to bed, unwound and de-stressed… and dreaming of dogs.

A Parrot… from Start to Finish

After doing a whole month of ink work it was hard to let go. I started drawing a parrot on a pre-painted acrylic ink background, fully thinking I would do it all with my ink filled fountain pen.

Instead of having my subject looking off the edge of the book, I usually place it so it’s looking toward the center of the book as I do here.

I even put quite a bit of work into the shading and modeling of the beak but it didn’t feel right. I got up, made myself a cup of tea, and thought about why I was so hesitant to keep going. I finally realized I was missing color!

This parrot is red. No, not just red, but a screaming scarlet red! And he wasn’t about to let me portray him with a bunch of black lines.

OK… color. I could use red watercolor but because green is its complement in color theory the red would turn muddy grey against the green. Not what this parrot deserves.

I went in search of my gouache that has been languishing in a drawer since earlier this summer. Gouache has larger particles of pigment which in turn yields greater opacity. Just what I was looking for.

I layered the gouache thick enough to obscure the background, along with ninety-nine percent of my ink lines, but not so thick that the paint will crack as the page is turned.

As I was debating what to do on the verso page of the spread I remembered an overheard humorous comment on the current political climate… “What could possibly go wrong?”

It had to go in the journal!

I still chuckle every time I open the journal and see this spread… just one of the reasons why I create.

Totality? … hardly. 

Total Solar Eclipse… yeah, but not here.

2:43 PM… 61% of the sun eclipsed here in the Upper Valley. I didn’t have acceptable eclipse glasses so I punched a few different sized holes in a scrap piece of cardboard as a makeshift pinhole device. It took me a bit but I managed to capture a photo. Not a great photo but it’ll do. 


I believe the light dimmed a bit and it certainly had a weird glow but how can you capture that on a page?

I didn’t… instead I chose to celebrate the day by painting what I think of as the essence of a total eclipse… the sun’s corona!


I’ve put April 8, 2024 on my calendar… I’d love to see totality!

Channeling Nora Ephron

I look at this and my eyes are immediately drawn to my neck. 

sigh.

If you’ve ever had the pleasure of reading Nora Ephron’s book, I Feel Bad About My Neck: And Other Thoughts on Being a Woman, you know where I’m coming from. 

  
This is another of my ink sketches on a pre-painted acrylic ink background… this one with a watercolor wash… and I see I need a haircut too!

Bird and Its Backdop

Last October I participated in InkTober and found  I really enjoyed working on pre-painted backgrounds. The added bit of color and pattern seems to really make pen and ink sketches pop. 

For this spread I used a mixture of shimmering FW Acrylic Inks sprayed over one of the dried oak leaves from the garden. I love the blue splatter!

  
What goes with oak leaves?  A bird of course!

  
Happy Spring!