Monday, May 19, 2008

"New Chicks" 4-30-08

I was at the Farm Center where I go to buy corn for my chickens, hardware type supplies and new mud boots when I need them. Well, they had new baby chicks! What can I say? I have a barn, I have chickens, I love chicks and being the little kid in a big kids body that I am...ahem...I bought them for myself!! It was to cheer myself up because I'm still hurting from my car accident.
Usually I would put them directly in the barn, but it is still quite chilly and I don't have a heat lamp set up yet or a pen. So I put them in the 'old' bathroom in the bathtub! Ha, what a surprise when my boys saw them!
I looked at it like an opportunity to draw them and do some studies, the dedicated artist that I am!

So the first page was sketches with a graphite mechanical pencil...it's hard to draw things that are constantly moving! The other page is watercolors that I played with. At the bottom you can see where I wet the paper first and touched it with my color on my brush tip. It makes fuzzy blobs that are fun to play with, but you have to be careful as to "how" blobby it gets. Watercolor has a mind of it's own, but that's what I like about it. You can play with this technique, just wet the paper first...let it dry a bit to lose some sheen, then touch paint to it and let it go. It will grow on it's own. Experiment with this to see how it reacts when your paper is wetter or drier. Then let it dry totally before you try to add details or they will be fuzzy too.
Go here to see my new Nature Sketching Class schedule! http://marymcandrew.blogspot.com/2008/05/nature-sketching-classes.html
or there's a link in the right hand column for my classes.

"Marsh Wren and Wood Thrush" 4-26-08 + 4-30-08

I've told you before I'm not the kind of person to waste time when I'm waiting around. Well, I started this sketch of a Marsh Wren while sitting in Regal Cinema waiting for the live broadcast of the Metropolitan Opera to begin! I put my sketchbook, a mechanical pencil and a small book with photos (it's listed on my sketchbook page) all in my purse. It was kind of low lighting but I was able to get it started, then later I finished the details. I hope I can see one in real life soon, I've heard their songs on bird tapes and it sounds so beautiful, like something from Walt Disney!

The Wood Thrush just happens to be one of my favorite birds, oh how I love hearing them sing when I'm near the woods! Especially near evening time. This one I did using Graphitint Watersoluble Pencils, they're watersoluble graphite. I only have two colors to experiment with, cocoa and chestnut, this one being chestnut. I really like these pencils and have to pick up some more to play with. You can sketch then wet it to make washes or bring out the vividness of color, then rework into it wet will give you VERY intense value or rework over it when it's dry. It's a lot of fun to play with and I love working in monotones. See three of my Goddess paintings on my website that show this...Autumn, Twilight, Etain. Someday I'll do a finer painting with these watersoluble pencils...ahmmm...when I have more time!!
I've added a short video clip that I took while hiking on May 7th, you can hear a Wood Thrush singing as I point it towards the trees. (no, you won't see any birds, just hear them!). ENJOY!!

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" Evangola State Park" Brandt NY, April 25, 2008

Well I'm finally getting some pictures up from my day of exploring at Evangola State Park, in Brandt NY. (it's near Angola) My photographer friend Mark Baker and I are picking areas around Buffalo to go explore, he concentrates on photography while I grab some pictures and then try to sketch. It is nice to spend time with a friend this way but it is a little harder for me to settle down and draw things. I guess as we explore more together I'll get more comfortable with just saying, "I'll be sitting here for awhile while you go shooting". He got some neat shots of me working and I took the ones of my hand holding the palette in the creek bed and the cool "hanging by a root" photo.

It was a very overcast day, windy but pleasant enough. Sometimes that's a great kind of lighting for photography or drawing, no glaring sun to deal with. I sketched the covered bridge and wanted to work on it more at home, but never got time. That's why I waited so long to post this!, ah, the best laid plans of mice and women....ahem.
The picture of me standing in the stream, I'm sketching the scene very quickly using a permanent ink pen, then the close up of my hand holding the palette and pad shows how I hold it to use the watercolors. I just kept bending down to rinse my brush in the water flowing past me, no watercup necessary!







































Then I sat down on the bank to do a quick watercolor of the lake using my Chinese brush, the colors were really dull because of the type of day it was. But I wanted to experiment and practice painting outdoors. You can see in the picture that Mark took looking over my shoulder that I've spread my bag out in front of me, but all within quick reach in case I have to pack up suddenly and go. Um...rain, creepy men ...you ladies know what I mean! haha...another good reason to have a male friend on the exploration trip with you. A side note here to my painting, drawing, exploring lady friends, ALWAYS pay attention to what's going on around you!! Don't be naive, believe me you don't want to run into trouble out by yourself, better to be paying attention to who's around you.
Ok, back to more pleasant thoughts! I've also included an OK clip of the lakes waves. It was my intention to get a clip of the sound, but my friend Mark was diddling around next to me with his camera...made some noises. I'll shoot a better one next time!
Here's a link to Mark's phenomenal website www.mhbaker.com and Evangola State Park link: http://www.evangolastatepark.com/


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