This is what kind of day it was outside today. Post-scanning, I realized that one of my feet looks like I’m wearing clown shoes. Ah well… this is what I get for diving in with an ink brush all come-what-may!
Jeans courtesy of PB60, Indanthrone Blue which I added to my palette this weekend. Painting on location demands speed, and I have come to rely more on using paint direct from the well (vs. mixing precise hues before applying to the paper). This might limit the hue range to whatever’s on hand, but drastically reduces the amount of time spent before brush hits paper. It also means there’s been an awful lot of people in my book wearing Prussian blue pants because I didn’t have a good “jeans” color on hand! As of yesterday, problem solved. Indanthrone is the best blue-jean-blue I know of, and makes a nice neutral with orange/brown as well. It gets a workout here, by itself and in combination with PO62 for the socks and shoes. Jadeite and Green Apatite were used for the lawn.
Is heaven any sweeter than Blue Jean?
There’s magnolia trees outside at at work. There was also a magnolia tree next door to the house I grew up in. Without my realizing it, that aroma seeped its way into my memories each year and became the olfactory theme for for late spring/early summer.
The first spring at this building I walked out the front door and immediately found myself feeling like school was about to let out. It’s a wonderful feeling, even if I only get to enjoy it for a lunch break!
Thought I would take a break from the courtyard people and sketch this restaurant at lunch. It’s a sit-down place with a quick-serve sandwich shop off to one side – this is the door to the shop. I found a lovely shady spot on the open patio and soaked up some fresh spring air, and painted away.
Just for grins, take a look after the jump for my take on the same shop from early 2012. Read more
This has been on my list for a while now. It’s the corner of the industrial property where I have studio space – the management recently saw fit to install a new fence with razor wire around the top. This amuses me to no end, because it’s really not a bad neighborhood at all. It looks all dystopian and prison-yardy though, and ensures that nothing short of birds, lizards, or very determined commandos can possibly be invading from that side of the property. Add some sun to create fabulous swirly shadows, and I can’t resist!
There’s a few people around here taking Casual Friday seriously! The two dudes on the concrete bench were not kids (one of them turned out like one) but they were barefoot and in shorts. Nice day for that sort of thing for sure. The guy slouching on the bench had the right idea.
Elsewhere in the courtyard I found a pensive gent hanging out on the water feature. He also looks like a kid and really wasn’t – although he was sitting in the posture shown. Pitfalls of being new to drawing people: some days they just don’t turn out the way I intended.
The local park gets plenty of traffic for interesting sketching. Recently we saw a large group of costumed folks gathered for a photoshoot. Among the participants were black and white witches, women with ethereal flowing satin dresses in blue and violet, a young lady in a beautiful monarch butterfly dress (complete with wings!), and one guy as Robin Hood. (A passer-by remarked, “Oh, look at the Green Giant!”)
More usual park denizens include people walking (both for exercise and strolling), running meets, families with kids and of course all kinds of folks with dogs. Most of them move through too fast for more than gestural sketches. Once in a while someone sticks around: the gentleman on the left was soaking up some sun for a while by the pond.
I do almost all my painting with a waterbrush. The vast majority of my work is outside on location, and waterbrushes are perfectly suited for that kind of habit. Thinking about finding a nicer waterbrush led me into the world of brush pens, and just for grins I bought a Pentel Color Brush with black pigment ink, to try out the concept.
Results? I’m in LOVE.
Here’s a sketch from my lunch break. The Platinum Carbon pen has been fascinating me, suddenly watercolor seems so much better with ink!!
Saw this guy in a food court, and his hair was a character unto itself. Fortunately he was also waiting for food, so I had time to sketch and paint him while my Pad Thai was cooking. One of the first faces I have attempted to draw in any detail.
Here’s some folks enjoying the early spring sun that was trying to break through the marine layer. I forgot my brush – roll to ink! Added color at home.
The ladies were deep in conversation for a good 20 minutes, enough for a nice detailed sketch. They were both dressed in silvery grays but I decided later to brighten them up a bit.
After they left, the gent with the phone arrived and sat in their place. He was head-to-toe in black except for one mad streak of blue provided by his collar.
I’m very happy with how these turned out – starting to like pen and ink more and more.
The beach at dawn, my favorite time to go. It’s deserted and the sky is almost always at its best! Today a band of mist masqueraded as virga, and the rising sun washed everything in pastels. Also spotted a Heerman’s Gull, unafraid as I stared at him. Did not know which gull this is until I looked it up at home, but the field marks were obvious enough to ID him later.
Painted across the spine in my sketchbook. Green Apatite, PR101, PB35, Jane’s Gray, PO71, Raw Umber. Ridiculous amount of pigments there!
Both painted at lunchtime, from memory.