Working With Lines and Negative Space


Drawings from my current notebooks — I am honing my drawing skills by using as few lines as possible and am also relying on negative space for the effect of making the drawings stand out.

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Yesterday at Djerassi


Yesterday at Djerassi was:

foggy with lots of fog drip

windy and cold beneath the redwoods as well as out in the open spaces

filled with bird song and bird calls; the birds were loudest down by the creek

such a lovely day; not only was the outdoor art doing its thing (trying to fit in with the environment) but there were so many rabbits about (the ones with the white cotton tails) and I was even treated to the sight of newts in the creek and also to the call of one coyote somewhere near the picnic grounds.

Moleskine and Watercolors


It pays to know your supplies! A while ago I tried doing some watercolor sketches in my Moleskine sketch book. Even though the company bills this as a sketchbook that you can use with watercolors, it isn’t as easy as you would think. The sizing on the paper is resistant to watercolor and so instead of absorbing the paints, it leaves the pigments sitting on the surface. And if you use a fancy Kolinsky sable brush like I did in the beginning, that just compounds the problem. The brush just glides ocross the surface. I put the book away in exasperation.

A year later, here I am trying to do watercolors in the book again. Now I’ve switched to a round nylon brush (a sturdy one from Princeton that has a snap to it) and switched to a honey-based paint (I’m using Sennelier). Now I’m doing better though I am not totally happy with my pen (a Pentel Slicci) because the ink blurs when I add watercolor. I had to redo the lines with my Sharpie pen. 

After much trial and error, I am beginning to understand what makes this little book happy. It likes Sennelier watercolor paints and it likes sturdy nylon brushes and Sharpie pens. It pays to know all of your materials!

Here are some of the first few pages:

Traveler, Find Your Own Way

Machado’s poem:

Traveler, Find Your Own Way

 TRAVELER, THERE IS NO ROAD

Traveler, there is no path.

The path is made by walking.

Traveler, the path is your tracks

And nothing more.

Traveler, there is no path.

The path is made by walking.

By walking you make a path

And turning, you look back

At a way you will never tread again

Traveler, there is no road

Only wakes in the sea.

                                -Antonio Machado

  

2nd translation:

Traveler, your footprints

are the only road, nothing else.

Traveler, there is no road;

you make your own path as you walk.

As you walk, you make your own road,

and when you look back

you see the path

you will never travel again.

Traveler, there is no road;

only a ship’s wake on the sea.

 

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