I was hunting for something in my sketch bag and found one of those tiny Hahnemuhle fan-fold sketchbooks. I’d never used it. My first thought was of Vicky Williamson, a sketcher who has done some wonderful sketches in such a book and probably the reason I bought it.
Vicky has always been special to me. I’ve never met her but I’ve followed her sketching for years. She’s something of a “tiny” specialist. She owns half of the small palettes on the planet and most of her sketches are small. 5×8 is a large sketch for her.
Each of her sketches is a little gem and she always has a story to tell about them, whether it’s of a hospital scene, travel sketch, or just a flower or two. Each shines brightly.
And so I thought I would do a tiny sketch in her honor. We were putting some odd-shaped (at least to me) marigolds in our garden so the subject was easily chosen. Only one thing was missing, my Kaweco Lilliput pen. Vicky uses one often. Hers is copper and mine aluminum, but it seemed appropriate for the task. I loaded up some DeAtramentis Document Black into it and started drawing.
I used a Micro-Palette that I attach magnetically to my sketch bag drawing board and a simple clip to hold the sketchbook in place. This is my standard on-the-go system and it worked just as well with the tiny sketchbook as it does with my 8×10 S&B books. I can see why she enjoys sketching small. The results somehow seem brighter than if done in a larger size.
Vicky writes in her sketchbooks but I’ve always preferred doing that on my blog, so my sketch lacks the complete presentation like Vicky’s sketch pages. Nevertheless, I was happy with the result and it was fun to walk in her shoes, if only for a while. Here’s to you, Vicky, for all the inspiration you’ve provided over the years. Say hi to Bill, Tater and Tot.
As a street sketcher I feel more than a little lost in our modern COVID world. Our plein air group had to cancel its season of outings and the portrait group has moved to Zoom (my French isn’t good enough for that), and cancelled their outdoor sessions as well. I try, very hard, to get excited about drawing at home but I guess I’m just not built for it. Mostly I’m dabbling with watercolor, gouache and even oils, trying to learn something about paint while largely not producing anything of significance.
The portrait group decided to do monthly prompts just to get us doing something and this week the prompt was “chair.” Most of the time, when one of my pointy devices gets near paper, I draw something that is in front of me. Somehow, this time, this dripped from my pen. Maybe it was because I was using my Kaweco Lilliput that has a high cute factor. This was a lot more fun than I thought it would be so maybe I should do more of it.
Hahnemuehle Cappuccino sketchbook, Platinum 3776, DeAtramentis Document Black
You hear it all the time. Try a new medium. Draw something different. Use a different approach. Sometimes this advice is given to help kick start an artist who is struggling to find motivation. Sometimes it’s give in the name of developing new abilities.
For me, at this time, it’s good advice on both counts. I’m starting to get back on my feet, though some days are better than others. Drawing at home is a possibility but I’ve talked about how hard it is for me to be motivated to do that as I’ve spent five years doing most of my drawing on location. But I have other struggles, one of which is that I tend to use watercolors as crayons and my color applications flatten, rather than enhance the 3D nature of my sketches.
I started with this light pen drawing, done with a Kaweco Lilliput and Kaweco Stormy Grey ink.
So…I give you something different…really different. There are no such worms in Quebec City, though worms in my head is believable. This one was inspired by Dungeons and Dragons and a steady stream of fantasy characters that emerge from the brain of Daniel Potvin when he picks up a brush. My goal was to try to use watercolors to generate 3D surfaces and while far from perfect, I was pleased with the result. While it’s not urban sketching, it is certainly a new kind of fun and I’ll do more of it in my attempt to figure out watercolors.
Stillman & Birn Alpha (9×6), Daniel Smith watercolors
I bet you think I was calling Irma a perfect storm. Naw…it was a large storm. People use the term “perfect storm” to refer to several things coming together to create more than the sum of the parts.
What I’m referring to is a storm like that. My right knee was frozen up so that going out sketching was out of the question yesterday. At the same time, Irma, the great liberal hoax, was raising havoc on the people of Florida. Add to that my wife’s fascination with watching people stand in the rain while saying the same things over and over and over… and you have my personal perfect storm.
While I always like watching journalists make fools of themselves in these storms, I can only handle so much and eventually I got bored. I decided to quick-sketch the crazies, standing in the wind and rain while talking about how hurricanes work.
So I started doodling. I was using my new Kaweco Lilliput pen. I loved the young woman in the red coat. She was standing in heavy rain and 100 mph winds. She held one hand up against her face to keep the rain from stripping the skin off her face and her shoulders were scrunched up tight around her neck. Of all the people (mostly guys) who were doing this gig during the day, she was the more sane of the bunch.
I kept doodling. The guy in the orange jacket had his arm wrapped around a railing to keep himself from being blown away. I started being bored by weather people, or maybe I was always bored with weather people, so I drew a couple pine trees.
I continued to doodle but lost interest in the hurricane coverage as a subject. I started drawing steeples and such from memory/imagination. Here’s a few of them. I really am enjoying this pen for small pen and ink drawings.
I then turned my attention to a small (about 6″ tall) statue of a sitting Samurai warrior. I had fun drawing pieces of him. He was more fun than weather people. Probably smarter too.