Homework

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A study in my various pencils – this is a common thing to do to get comfortable with the tools for the current project.

The Natural History Illustration course has been fun and a lot of learning is happening. Some of the homework included unfinished sketches demonstrating the learning techniques.

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First activity was to work with natural items, breaking them down into geometric shapes, working their curves, etc. and this shell really showed me how rusty I am.

Week 3 Garvin

We then did field sketches of birds. Some people really finished them out. I need to spend time doing more of that, but part of my problem in the field is thinking things have to be perfect. I am working to let go of that and just get it down on paper first. Also, this was sketch paper and I knew better than to try watercolors, but did it anyway. It is a learning and reminding process.

Week 4 Flower Garvin

I learned about studying flowers and how to turn them into geometric shapes (not pictured), measure, and make notations. This lesson was interesting, but I found it a bit too detailed for me. I love seeing these types of illustrations. I hate doing them.

Week 5 Raccoon 1

This was about learning how to quickly capture form and essence of mammals. Now we are getting into my “love”.

We studied skeletal structure, which I actually found quite fascinating. I used one of our raccoons who was trying to get to our bird feeder as my model and tried 3 different gesture drawings for each pose. This lesson was real helpful and I enjoyed it immensely. I may be studying skeletal structures a bit more!

The preliminary blocking activities were very helpful. I normally jump right to this type of gesture drawing above, but doing the 2 preliminary gestures made doing this one so much easier and correct. That was an interesting ah-ha for me!

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This was a practice on how to block off parts of birds using circles, ovals, and geometric shapes – which is difficult for me to do. We also looked at how their skeletal structure is made.

I am going to have to practice this a lot more and, for once, I am excited about practicing!

 

19th Century Illustators

19th Century Illustators

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From The Dictionary of Sidney

I regularly try to take a course that inspires my art and creativity. I just started one from the Univ of Newcastle, Australia, on Natural History Illustration.

This morning has been an introduction to historical illustrators from the Hunter Valley area in Australia. I have fallen in love with Helena and Harriet Scott’s work from the mid 19th century.

Their work is exquisite.

NOTE: There is actually an ap of their work. Talk about making the old new again!

Resources:

https://www.theguardian.com/artanddesign/gallery/2018/dec/26/harriet-and-helena-scott-the-sisters-painting-butterflies-in-colonial-sydney-in-pictures

https://australianmuseum.net.au/learn/collections/archives/scott-sisters/harriet-and-helena-the-scott-sisters/

https://dictionaryofsydney.org/entry/harriet_and_helena_scott

 

2019 Calendar

2019Calendar

This year I finished my calendar in very good time and did not have to drag the project out through January! Yay! I made it easier on myself with large photos of Tennessee and photos of our ancestors from the Smokey Mountain area.

I have been doing this calendar for 14 year now (or was this 15 – I can’t remember!) For information on how they are made, you can look at an older post like last years.

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A Hummingbird Bulb

A Hummingbird Bulb

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I have broken out into a whole new phase of my ornament painting. Realistic nature!

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Remember the Inktober drawing I did of a hummingbird? The photographer of the “model” for that image contacted me to commission an ornament. Something I had not contemplated before.

I had never painted a hummer in oils, and certainly not on a curved surface. I started it then panicked, “I can’t do this!”

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However, I know my process pretty well by now and panic is part of it. So I broke state, went shopping, then came back and was in a much more steadied state to finish the first layer. I began to breathe again.

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After a couple of days to let that dry to a tacky surface, I began shaping the next layers, pushing paint around and making tiny little touches. Finally, today I finished it and feel like I have had a tremendous breakthrough in my art. This will always have a special place in my heart. I plan to use this little Rufous Hummingbird to help me push through some watercolor practices in the next month. He is very inspiring.

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Urban Sketching

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A commission for a graphite drawing of an office building as a gift for the owner turned into a watercolor, which they chose.

First I figured out which vantage point to take with this long, low building. Then I mocked up the basic lines to make sure I was good with that decision. Next, the pencil drawing. I am not a fan of my pencil work. So on to ink and watercolor, urban sketch style. I was happy and so were they.

Thanks, Moser team, for pushing me into doing some urban work in the middle of my oil and Christmas season. Fun!