Wednesday, March 29, 2017

JC Nichols Fountain in Ink

There is nothing as invigorating as first strokes on a new,  decadent paper!   This special paper just arrived from the UK - and I am going to reserve it for Kansas City's historic fountains!  This paper is thick, rough textured, and feels velvety to the touch!  If I leave my pen touching the surface,  the ink absorbs to a deep,  rich black.  I wonder how it will behave with watercolor.....dare I try it?  The edges are so beautiful,  it really should be framed floating,  for all to see the handmade artistry of this paper.  There are times when pinching pennies may be practical,  but skimping on paper is not one of them.  You definitely get what you pay for.  I love these 100% cotton khadis from India!  Drawing number 1541 in 1541 days.  So many fountains,  and only 20 sheets of paper.....

Tuesday, March 28, 2017

Looking Across Broadway

Finding a scene where there are plenty of cars is harder than you might think - especially if you live in the country!   I tried several local grocery stores, but the view just didn't strike me as "painting worthy".  The Country Club Plaza,  however is a mecca for this subject matter, and the backdrop is always amazing.  I have started hiding a tiny plein air artist (me) in these pen and ink street scenes!   I may be talking to people, or maybe I'm alone,  but I'm always standing in front of a painting on my easel, with my hat on!!  There are 24 cars and 50 people in this drawing......can you find me?  Drawing number 1540 in 1540 days :)

Monday, March 27, 2017

Rainy Day Redbuds

Dark,  rainy days are the perfect backdrop for spring flowering trees!  The redbuds almost glow in such a landscape!  I added permanent rose to my limited palette today,  solely for the redbuds.  I think the color is more true,  with a touch of ultramarine,  to the actual bloom color.  Alizarin alone is not the right shade,  although I have used it when no other color was available.  Spring is definitely the time to pull out my regular palette.  I didn't even miss it most of fall and winter,  but now the color is calling!   It's going to be a little tricky to get all that color on my tiny Altoids palette!  Painting number 1539 in 1539 days :)

Sunday, March 26, 2017

Starry Night on the Plaza batik

I really like the way this batik method works with cityscapes! As always,  the results are unpredictable and paint moves freely on the rice paper,  but oh the rewards are many!  The striking thing about batik is how dramatic it can be!  In a few steps,  a simple scene can become magical.  The stars are knocked off the tip of a bristle brush dipped in hot wax at the very beginning!  I can't wait to teach these upcoming workshops!   Painting number 1538 in 1538 days :)

Saturday, March 25, 2017

Barnes and Noble on the Plaza

I find I'm wanting to draw constantly!  Michaela is home for spring break,  and we picked up some sweet drawing supplies!  I LOVE drawing journals from India!  The quality is superior in all materials.  I can't wait to start them!!!  But for these study works,  I am using my original sketchbooks (which I once bought because they were so cool).  Just like every other media,  once I really dive into what I'm doing, I zero in on the tools I really love.  This smooth paper is well suited for this kind of drawing.  I'm using a medium sepia Pitt pen, only because the fine and superfine are running low on ink!  It actually works well as long as I use a light touch.  These cars are still a little forced,  but the lines are getting a little easier.  I love how this challenge makes child's play out of hurdles!  Drawing number 1537 in 1537 days :)

Friday, March 24, 2017

Artists Painting the Plaza in ink

Painting cars in the landscape has always been a challenge.  I tend to avoid them,  or better yet,  ignore them completely.  So,  they are my self imposed challenge of the week.  100 cars in one week.  I begin by drawing them,  because the media is less forgiving than paint.  I need to be held to the line!   Even though this is focused study,  I want it to be strong compositionally, not just 100 cars lined up hood to bumper.  What better place than the Country Club Plaza for an amazing backdrop for all the mundane cars?  I look at the shapes that make up each car individually,  and draw just that shape.  I start with front of car,  then the angles of hood and wheel,  next the roof,  finally the back,  treating it like I would a figure.  All figures are angles,  get the angles right and the figure is right.  It's a struggle,  but I'm hoping it will be a breeze by 100!  Drawing number 1536 in 1536 days :)

Thursday, March 23, 2017

Food Line at Rozelle Court

Time is not a thing to be squandered,  so when I saw how long the lunch line was,  I took my sketchbook with me!  With limited time,  I had to make fast decisions,  and the first was my composition.  It did seem a little crazy to draw the whole scene - but that was exactly what caked to me,  so I did it!  The first few marks were the central hall, people ahead of me,  and then the structural lines spreading out to the right.  Loose and fast,  I dropped in people,  tables, plants,  until the composition was finished - and it was my turn to grab a tray!  After enjoying soup and a croissant,  I added the color.  I think this very fast piece is my favorite of the day!  I love getting together with fellow artists at the monthly Art Mob event!  What better way to improve your skills than with friends?  Painting number 1534 in 1534 days  :)