Saturday, July 28, 2012

En Plein Air

En Plein Air means 'in the open air' and it refers to getting outdoors to draw or paint a subject.  Monet, Renior, Sargent and many others were enthusiastic about creating art in this fashion.

It's been a beastly hot summer here in the mid-Atlantic states, but we had a couple of tolerable days this week where I was able to get out and sketch en plein air over lunch.

As always, you can click on these for bigger.  They were all done in a 3"x5" Handbook sketchbook. 

This first one was from memory of my daughter's backyard, as seen out her back door. I was watching her critters last weekend, and spent a fair amount of time looking at this. The light and shadow through the trees caught my eye.  Done with a Pilot Razor pen and a waterbrush to wash the soluble ink. 

Did this one over lunch from a picture of a Scottish castle that I googled up.  This one, and the next two were done with the limited watercolor palette I've been playing with.

Tuesday and Wednesday were beautiful days, so I went walkabout over lunch. The first is the corner of a building on the George Washington University campus. Insane angles and perspective, so of course I ignored my pencil and dived right in with pen. The watercolor wash was done in about 3 minutes as it started to rain a little bit and lunch was nearly over.

And the other was this very interesting tree across the street. Again, the play of light and shadow caught my eye.

I'm ready for cooler weather to come back.  I have a mental list of things I want to sketch in DC once I can be outside without my brains broiling.

Sunday, July 22, 2012

More July

Still sketching and painting.  As always, click for bigger.  These were all done in a 3"x5" Handbook sketchbook.

This first one is from a photo taken last year on one of our backpacking trips. Phoebe is gone now, but she loved every second of our hikes.

These next four are experiments for me.  I found a link to a Spanish architect who did amazing sketches and used a minimal palette. The idea intrigued me, so I put together 3 half-pans and a piece of sponge in a mini-Altoids tin.   The colors are Burnt Sienna, Quinacridone Gold and Indigo (all Winsor & Newton). I've got a long way to go to really unlock the potential here, but so far I'm enjoying the ride.

More coming.  I know you can't wait.  Ha!

Sunday, July 15, 2012

More July Sketches

I've set myself the task to do 100 sketches in 100 days.  This will, hopefully, get me into the habit of doing the work, and even more hopefully, help me to improve my sketching ability.

This first one was a quickie cartoon done on a 3x5 index card with my fountain pen.  I've been thinking of this one since I heard the original fuss over the song "Friday".

This next is pure watercolor, titled "Calm".

Playing with my Pitt Big Brush pens, I got the greyscale set of four.  The picture itself is McAfee Knob in Southern Virginia, probably the most photographed spot on the Appalachian Trail.

More Pitt Big Brush pens.  I did a quickie of the package insert art.

State bird of Virginia.

These next several were done at the Dover Downs casino.  Liz gambles, I grab a coffee and sketch.

The lady on the left is making chocolate-dipped strawberries at the Godiva shop.  I was watching her through the window.

Below is the casino hotel lobby.  We didn't stay there.

And the grandstands at the Dover Racetrack where the auto races, including NASCAR, are held.

This is the view from our much more modest hotel room.

Lastly, I painted this one using a limited pallete of subdued colors.  As an experiment, I used only Indigo, Burnt Sienna and Quinacridone Gold.  The scene is a generic pretend city corner, just to play with color mixing.

Hey, July is only half over!

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

July Sketching

Here are three sketches I've done so far this month.  The first is just playing around with the ubiquitous Pilot Razor Point felt pen.  This pen is cheap, writes wonderfully, and when you hit it with a little water, it washes into this beautiful neutral gray.

Next up I was in the basement waiting for the laundry to dry, so I did a quick sketch of some of my rockets on their rack.  This is pencil, followed by Pitt artist pen, with watercolor wash.

And since that last one worked out so well, here's a couple of my high power rockets.  These are the big boys I fly.