Wednesday, April 30, 2008

EDM 80 - Draw something that makes you happy

This is the iPod I got for Christmas. It makes me happy to have all the music at my fingertips whenever I want it. I like the shape and the size and the whole concept of digital music. I walk to work and with the iPod I don't have to make that difficult decision as to which few CDs shall I tuck in the backpack. All the music is there all the time. I can even change my mind in mid-song. One day as I came into the building someone said they had seen me walking and I was smiling. I replied "Leonard Cohen on the iPod makes me happy" and so became the logical choice for this challenge. Usually if asked, I would say that family and friends and a job well done and my health and food on the table and a roof over my head makes me happy. And they do, but they are also darn hard to draw! So I'm gonna face the dark side and admit that sometimes material things do make me happy. I enjoy this toy every day.

And yes, I did buy it a new blue dress and some soft earbuds, but it's just so cute!

This is Staedtler pen and watercolor pencil in the Moleskine sketch journal. I have in the past been unsure if I like the paper color, but the cerulean blue sure shows up and scans better on this color than on the white paper.

Thursday, April 24, 2008

EDM 168 - Draw your daily newspaper

This is the newspaper as it arrives at my house. Half of the time, we have to search for it. I believe they stand on the sidewalk and hurl it in the general direction of the front door, with massive disregard for any green, growing things. The other half of the time, the delivery person has exercised her option to simply not bother delivering the paper at all. We and the Herald delivery complaint department are on each other's speed-dial. Since when did doing your job become optional? It's been an on-going battle this year. This particular paper brought the news (that everyone already knew) that the Calgary Flames had been drummed out of the playoffs for the third year in a row. (Tiny voice:Go, Flames, go). Maybe next year...
This is done with Staedlter pen in Moleskine sketch journal. I think that this particular paper takes pen and watercolor crayon far better than watercolor paint. I kind of like the idea of using drawing and words. Mostly I have been a painting kind of girl, for me the drawing was just the bones and structure of a painting. But I might get used to just drawing. It's a stretch for me, and the color of the paper I still find a bit odd. I found I really enjoyed reproducing the lettering of the headlines and for that the pen was surely the best choice.

Monday, April 21, 2008

Sunlit Geese

I was a bit hesitant about posting this, even though I really like it. I had wanted to draw geese and especially the goslings for quite a while now. I had tried before to capture the glowing fuzziness of the little ones, but couln't manage to do it well. I got lots of advice and have been practising that technique. Then I got this book from the library with the a watercolor demo of geese and goslings that looked almost exactly like the photo that I had. The demo had 4 goslings, my photo had 3 and the positions were a bit different. But I feel that I must mention the book and the demo as this is similar to it. The book is called "Watercolor Workshop" by Glynis Barnes-Mellish.

The reason I wanted to paint this is that for the last seven or eight years, a pair of Canada geese has come to the outside courtyard of the college where I work, to nest in one of the large concrete planters. It's a good spot because it juts out over the lower courtyard, and can't be reached by curious bystanders. Once the goslings are hatched, the proud parents march them through the courtyard, down the steps, and out to the pond in the back. We are all quite protective of these geese, but unfortunately last year, the female was killed, probably by a coyote. This is the first year for a long time that the college community has not come together to look out the window at the nest, and marvel at the renewing of nature right in front of us. Perhaps the male will be back with a new mate, but I really hope not. There are two many aggressive coyotes around now, and I think none of the little ones would survive. So I will miss them, but I will remember them in this small way.

Sunday, April 13, 2008

EDM 166 - Draw a fish

This a Bull Trout, the official fish of Alberta. (Aren't you glad you read this blog so you can know terrific trivia like that?) It is a protected species as its numbers have declined, and the way they teach us that we must catch and release this fellow is "No black, throw it back". It is the only trout here that has no black spots on its dorsal fin. It is also recognisable by the white leading edge on its lower fins. I think trout have such lovely, streamlined shapes and beautiful coloring (and no, I'm not being sarcastic, I really am a fan of fish). One of my favorite vacation memories is snorkeling in Parrotfish Bay in Mexico among all the fish there. Parrotfish are cute!

This is done in the Moleskine watercolor book with watercolor paints so I could get smooth washes for the fish and the water.

Tuesday, April 08, 2008

EDM 165 - Draw the front of your house

This is the front of my townhouse condo. It looks pretty sad, with an empty window box and dead perennials in the garden. There are some tulips poking up through the ground, and yesterday I saw a fluorescent orange nubbin of the rhubarb coming up. We have lived in this house for 16 years, and we have filled it with love and laughter, friends and family, tabby cats and books. It's been a good place to live, and I wish I could have done a better job portraying it.

I succumbed to the hype and bought a Moleskine sketchbook. I have the watercolor sketchbook which I like a lot. But this new one I'm not so sure about. The paper is very slick and smooth, the pen seemed to slip and dance across it. It's also quite yellow. It absorbed the paint quickly so it was difficult to get a smooth patch of color. I think it worked much better with the water color pencils and no water. The whole experience threw me off a little, I felt very hesitant and unsure how to lay the lines and paint down. (And aren't there a lot lines! )