"Three things in human life are important. The first is to be kind. The second is to be kind. And the third is to be kind". - Henry James

Friday, November 4, 2011

It's Been Such a Long Time!

Good heavens!  I haven't posted in forever!  But I have been making art.  I made some coptic bound books for a friend.  Of course to do that I had to make some paste paper...

I took a wonderful workshop in gelatin printmaking.  Thank you Linda Germain!

I've also been making some fun foam stamps.  Waaaaay fun.  Thank you Melanie Testa!

And drawing some.

And spinning some.

And knitting some.

And reciting sanskrit mantra two times a day.

And most recently I've been eating waaaay too much Halloween candy...

Monday, September 19, 2011

Two Donkeys Monoprint

Two Donkeys Monoprint
Originally uploaded by Deb Dugan

A monoprint card I made for a friend who runs a donkey and mule rescue organization. I did this from a drawing of two donkeys who live not too far from me.

This type of monoprinting is quite fun and does not require a press (a good thing because I don't have one...)

The thing I love about monoprinting is you never quite know what you'll get. I kind of like the uncertainty of it.

Friday, September 16, 2011

Picasso Dog

Picasso Dog
Originally uploaded by Deb Dugan

An experimental piece of art and an experimental blog post. I just learned that you can post to Blogger directly from flickr! Well that simplifies things.
This is Lab 19 from Drawing Lab for Mixed Media Artists by Carla Sonheim.  I used pen, pencil, colored pencils, and Copic markers.  I usually work more representationally so this was a real stretch for me.  Also using various media, especially markers, was a stretch too.  But I think it turned out rather fun.  And it looks very much like my dog!

Saturday, September 10, 2011

Junk Mail Artist's Book with Carla Sonheim

Summer Camp Dog Button
Originally uploaded by Carla Sonheim

Owl Cover
I'm working my way, albeit slowly, through the Junk Mail Artist's Book with the original and inventive Carla Sonheim.  It is great fun and a wonderful way to use all that junk mail that finds its way into our lives.
Page 2 - a work in progress...

Page 3 - the hind end of a lizard
Carla has devised an ingenious and imaginative method of recycling junk mail and brochures and such into surfaces you can draw and paint on.  After preparing the pages by rolling gesso with a brayer on both sides of the pages, which leaves lovely textures and patterns, and allowing them to dry, you add thin layers of watercolor washes building up two or three layers of thin color.  I have lots and lots of tubes of watercolor paint I'm so happy to finally be using up!

The pages are sewn into a small book of five or six pages ready for you to draw and paint on!  Sometimes the shapes and patterns suggest a design.  Sometimes I use a reference to help me along. 

Page 4 - Lizard and Egret

Unfinished Page 5 (still working on it)
Page 6 - Moon-Tree-Lizard
Page 7 Water Buffalo
Last Page - Little Owl

I thought I had a bird theme going on, but then the lizard and water buffalo showed up.  Still more work to do and pages to work out

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Another Everyday Object

One more everyday object.  My grandmother had one of these and my mother had one too.  Probably my aunts each had their own.  Of course, I had to have one as well.  I like to put cream in one pitcher and milk in another one.  The trick is to remember which one I put the cream in and which one I put the milk in...

Monday, August 8, 2011

Everyday Objects

Heey!  Back from vacation.  All rested up and exhausted from doing too much (and not enough drawing - grrrrr).

The Sketchbook Challenge  theme for August is Everyday Objects!  Thank you Jane LaFazio.  I love this theme!  Jane has a neat chicken-drawing thing going on in her sketchbook over on her blog.  Be sure to check it out.

Everyday Objects are so accessible.  There they are, right there, waiting for us to draw them.  You could even make it a series, say, to draw all the mugs in your house or at work or the ones at the coffee shop or in a meeting.  Or if you have a collection of vases.  Or whatever you have lots of.  Candles.  Pillows.  Art supplies.

As the great Danny Gregory says, Everyday Matters!  (This was the book that got me drawing on a regular basis.  Thank you Danny.)

And Happy Birthday Mike Dugan!  :-D There will be cake ~

Monday, July 11, 2011

From Art Journaling to Art DVD/Download by Jane LaFazio.

A work in progress following the instructions in From Art Journaling to Art DVD/Download by Jane LaFazio.  I'm having such fun both working in my watercolor Moleskine sketchbook and then using the images to create a whole new piece!

The video is divided into convenient chapters and Jane gives wonderful lessons in materials and techniques in the first couple.  I've been drawing a while and am fairly familiar with materials and drawing, but her pleasant and gentle instruction is a great reminder of good things to keep in mind while drawing.  I also like her way of working lightly in pencil first and then redrawing with a waterproof pen.  It takes a little of the angst out of directly drawing with a pen.

In the next chapter she uses a water-soluble Tombow pen, which I love.  The effect of drawing with the pen and then touching the line lightly with a moist brush or a Niji waterbrush can be really wonderful.  It produces lovely shadow and tone.  I've worked with a Tombow pen before, but I wouldn't have thought of adding color to my drawings afterward!  Really nice.  In that same chapter she talks about composing  and finishing pages and she shares more great techniques for doing just that.

The real fun for me began in the chapter "Using Your Drawings in Mixed-Media Artwork".  She traced some of the images from her art journal using a waterproof pen (she covered the art journal page with clear plastic to protect it - good advice) on some art/craft tissue paper and then cut out the image leaving a small border.  She then took a separate piece of watercolor paper she had pre-painted a light background on and glued the tissue tracing down using soft gel medium.  Like magic the tissue paper disappeared and she had a lovely line drawing on her paper.  After the gel medium dried, she then went in and added color using colored pencils and watercolor crayons.  I imagine you could use regular watercolor too.  I haven't tried that yet.  This is how I did the piece above:  I used images from my sketchbook, colored pencil, and Caran d'Ache Neocolor II crayons.

She gives great instructions in this same chapter on carving stamps for printing on paper and fabric and shows absolutely lovely examples of how she combines her images and techniques on linens and quilts and all sorts of things.  She also shows how to make stencils from sketchbook images using freezer paper and how to use the stencils with paint sticks to add color to fabric.  Tons of inspiration!

I'm off to do some more drawing so I can have more images to play with ~

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Supermarket Daisies

Daisies from a supermarket bouquet.  I'm getting more accustomed to the watercolor paper in Moleskine watercolor sketchbooks.  I like the sturdiness of the covers and I don't mind the landscape orientation, which some people don't care for.  It fits in my bag pretty well too.  I have the 5" x 8 1/4"size.

Saturday, July 2, 2011

Friday, July 1, 2011

Cell Phone Dissatisfaction

Grumbling about my cell phone.  It's okay I guess.  But I really want an iPhone...

Monday, June 20, 2011

June 20th Moo Cards

I have to post something today, it's my birthday!  :-D  All I have to show are some images I gathered for my Moo cards.   Moo cards are half the size of regular business cards and you can have several different images on one order.

While working with the images in Photoshop I found that I really like the way some of the cropping came out.  I think they are kind of fun and that I'm going to enjoy handing them out.

Friday, June 17, 2011

Sketchbook Experiments in the Style of Jane LaFazio

Supermarket Bouquet

I downloaded Jane LaFazio's wonderful workshop, From Art Journaling to Art.  The idea is to work in your sketchbook, drawing and watercolor painting and to then use those images in your art.  Wonderful techniques and lots of inspiration!  I haven't quite gotten to use the techniques that incorporate my sketches into other pieces yet, but I'm looking forward to trying them out.
Meyer Improved Lemon
I'm still adjusting to my new scanner.  My old one was so easy to use (sigh).  This one does a pretty good job, but I find I have to do a lot of adjusting to get the colors more true to those in my sketchbook (which of course takes time and then I don't post...).  Scanned work is never really exactly the same as the original, but I like them to be as close as possible.
Apples in a Bowl
This page isn't quite done yet but the reds are so pretty, I just had to share :-D

Monday, June 6, 2011

Donkey Block Print

Finally getting to upload some images for my donkey project.  I've done some block carving for a possible illustration for the SYALER Donkey & Mule Show brochure and flyer.  The image on the right is a proof to check the carving and to see if I need to fine tune the image (or to start over completely...).  I like this one so far and I added some color with colored pencils to the image on the left.  I may remove some of the lines from the background, although I like the way they make it look like an old woodblock print.  I'll wait a day or two before I make that decision.

I have another drawing of a mother donkey and her adorable baby that I'd like to make into a printing block.  It's a little larger and slightly more complex, but I think it might make a wonderful illustration.

Saturday, May 21, 2011

I Have an Assignment!

The fabulous Ann Firestone of Save Your Ass Long Ear Rescue asked me to design a flyer and brochure cover for their upcoming benefit Donkey and Mule Show on September 11, 2011!  I'm so excited and have been roaming around gathering images for the illustrations.  My awesome graphic designer daughter has "volunteered" to help me with the technical aspects of layout and design.  It's all good.

Here are a couple of initial drawings I've done this week in preparation for getting down to the real design work.

Miniature donkeys.  Pencil in sketchbook.
Apparently donkeys are extremely curious and if someone shows up with a sketchbook and looks at them, they look right back :-D
Pencil in sketchbook.
I'm going to have to try to get more "candid" images of them I think.  It will involve making frequent visits to farms and spending time with donkeys.  More fun for me!

Saturday, May 14, 2011

Lab 12: For Your Eyes Only

In Lab 12:  For Your Eyes Only, Carla gives a reference photo of an eye and we are asked to render it in four different media:  pencil, pen & ink, charcoal, and colored pencil.  Even though I used the same reference for each one, they are all quite different.

I think the last three Labs in Unit Two will require me to find a life drawing class or an open drawing session somewhere.  I've been wanted to get back to life drawing and this may be the motivation I need to find a class or group.

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Lab 10: At the Coffee Shop

For Lab 10 I took myself out to Starbucks and got a tall Awake tea and a Salted Caramel Sweet Square.  I love the small treats they have at Starbucks.  They are good enough that they satisfy that urge for something sweet and delicious, but not so huge that I feel like I've really blown it (especially after having done Pilates for an hour).

Lab 10:  At the Coffee Shop we are instructed to get a cup of coffee or tea and to select a nice corner seat and take a good look around.  All the corner seats were taken so I sat at one of the tables.  The idea is to do some blind contour drawing of anyone that catches your interest.  After you've completed the blind drawing, you can go back and add any details that you want while looking at your paper.  I didn't get much of a chance to do that.

I wish I could have stayed longer and done more drawing.  I wasn't able to add any details to this one.  I can't wait to go back and try again!