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Catching Up

Hello dear readers,

My, my, it’s been a great long while since I’ve made a post here!  It has been a busy, productive, and creative time for me.  I’ve been keeping up my new website, have started an Instagram account, have been completing several commissions, and somewhere in the background, have been working on creative writing.

But I would like to take a moment now to catch you up on some of my latest creative projects.

The Christmas Drawing.

As always, we made our annual Christmas card with a new drawing of mine.  We then went about making a card to fit the drawing.  That’s always great fun!  The original drawing is 10 x 10 inches drawn with Sakura Pigma Micron pens.  We did something whimsical this time, which was a lovely change of pace.

 

Snowman CR

The finished card:

Finished Cars Front Resized CR

I’ve also been working on commissions.  Below, you’ll see a pair of 12 x 12 inch sheep drawings that I recently completed.  They were drawn in ink (brush tip gray tones for the soft areas and Sakura Pigmas for the details) with white charcoal for the wool and highlights.  They were really fun for a change.

Pair CR

 

Portrait CR

 

I’ve also been working on a commission of a Great Dane portrait.  I love Great Danes – I hope one day to have one of my own.  This was such a fun portrait!  Her name was Lila, and sadly, she had passed away.  It was an honor to get to draw her.  This is 8×10 inches in my usual pen and ink.

 

Lila Finished CR

 

And, most recently, I was commissioned to create a Charging Bull wire sculpture.  Did I ever have fun making this guy!  I so enjoyed creating the sense of action in this piece.  It is made with dark annealed wire of gauges 16, 18, 19, 22, and 28.  The horns are embellishments I found in an art store.  This is a big fellow, measuring 12 inches long by 6 inches tall by 4 1/2 inches wide.  He weighs over 6 1/2 pounds.  What fun to make this piece!

There are probably other artworks I’ve done since my last post, but these are some of the highlights.  Next on my drawing board is a series of three sheep drawings that I’ve been commissioned to do by a friend.  It’s been busy, but a happy busy. 🙂

Be sure to visit my website to keep up with my latest projects.  Thanks for checking in!

 

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Norman Finished

My little monochrome friend is all finished.  Fortunately, I did manage to finish this drawing before my art show last weekend.  The show, I’m happy to say, went very well and I had a great time!  If you visited my booth at the Banbury Art Crawl, thank you very much for stopping in!

After thoroughly pushing the darks all over, as well as finishing the shoulder, thinning out the whiskers, and adding some other last-minute touches, Norman is complete.

Norman

– Measures 8×8 inches.  Drawn on Strathmore 500 Series Bristol Plate paper.

– Drawn with Sakura Pigma Micron pens.  005 was, as usual, the most frequently used size, as well as 01 and a touch of 03.  For the tiny changes in light and shadow in the white parts of the fur, I actually preferred to use a 005 pen that was mostly dried out.  It leaves much smaller dots since it is getting dry, yet it is still very consistent and trustworthy.  It helped a lot in those faint, tiny dots you see around the nose and mouth, as well as the throat and chest.

Norman Finished - CR

Here are some close-ups.

Thank you for looking!  I hope you enjoyed watching this drawing take shape, and would love for you to join me in my next drawing work-in-progress! 🙂

 
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Posted by on February 8, 2016 in All Artwork, Pen and Ink

 

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Norman WIP 3

Norman is continuing to shape up.  Not my actual cat, but the drawing, that is.  My cat is currently sitting on my printer, where he doesn’t belong.  I’d tell him to get down but…look at that face!! 😉

Anyway, I’ve gotten the nose, whiskers, cheeks and chin in place, and am working on the shoulder.  Since Norman’s fur is so stark white and deep black, it’s interesting trying to balance the values in this drawing.  The darks need to go further, and the whites are not as bright as my mind tries to tell me.  There’s a lot of shadow in those whites, and I need to keep going back to darken the shadows and keep it looking right.

On a side note, I’m having trouble getting my scanner to work, so I’ve had to settle for photographing the drawing.  I love my camera, don’t get me wrong, but it’s almost impossible to photograph a piece of white paper without getting a shadowy part of discoloration due to tricky lighting.  The details look a little gritty and harsh, unlike the original drawing…  So the photos aren’t the best, but you’ll see how the drawing is coming along, anyway.

Two updates in one post today. 🙂

Norman WIP 6 CRNorman WIP 7 CR

As you might have noticed, there’s a very firm cut-off point on the right.  I’m debating cropping the drawing down to a square format of 8×8 inches instead of the original 8×10.  I think it would be more dramatic that way.  And Norman is very, very dramatic.

Thank you for looking!

 
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Posted by on January 22, 2016 in All Artwork, Pen and Ink

 

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Norman WIP

Happy New Year!

It has been quite a while since I’ve had a pen and ink work-in-progress to share, so at last, here is something new.  I’ve been meaning to draw a cat in ink for years.  I’m a cat person, but tend to end up drawing dogs.  Oh, I love dogs, too…but there’s something about the quiet presence of cats that I find so soothing and comforting.

You’ve seen me draw Oliver…twice in fact.  Both times, it was in scratchboard.  I felt it was high time that I draw my other lovely housecat, Norman.  Norman has been my pal for a few years now.  He is a gorgeous tuxedo cat with such beautiful, perfect markings.  He’s stately and beautiful…and yet, he is a complete clown that makes me laugh all the time.  There’s something in his playful actions and wide-eyed expression that makes me think he is just slightly insane.  I love this guy! 🙂

Here is my reference photo of him.

Norm

And here are the first three installments of this WIP.  I started with a pretty detailed graphite outline, and then began with the ink.

This is 8×10 inches in size, and I’m using Strathmore 500 Series Bristol Plate paper.  I’m using Sakura Pigma Micron pens for this.

Norman WIP 2 - CRNorman WIP 3 - CRNorman WIP 4 CR

Thank you for looking!  I hope you’ll follow along in the progress of this drawing.

 
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Posted by on January 7, 2016 in All Artwork, Pen and Ink

 

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Merry Christmas!

Merry Christmas, dear readers!  I am hoping you have a warm and cheerful season and remember why we celebrate this time every year – because Jesus was sent to save us from our sin.  That is truly the greatest gift of all!

Following my own tradition, I have done another drawing to use for Christmas cards this year.  I started in early October and finished it in mid-December.  It is larger than usual, so it took some real dedication and time to complete.  It also has a full background, which I don’t do too often.  One more factor that made this particular year a challenge is the fact that, aside from a few basic references and inspirations, this is hugely from imagination this year.  Was that ever challenging!  The details were slow coming to me since most of them had to be imagined up first.  It was a very good stretch out of my comfort zone.

Nativity

-Measures 8 x 14 inches.  I happened to have a nice frame of this size, and I really liked the idea of a panoramic shape for this drawing.

-Drawn on Strathmore 500 Series Bristol Plate paper.  I started by making a light but detailed preliminary sketch in graphite.  After several long sittings working on the graphite outline, I began to add ink.  As usual, this is mostly done with stippling, though hatching and some other marks were used, as well.  I used Sakura Pigma Micron pens for this drawing, mostly the tiny 005 size, but a bit of 01 was used, too.

Complete Drawing CR

And here is the finished Christmas card.  My mom and I work so hard on this every year, and it is one of the greatest traditions I can imagine having.  I am so thankful for this tradition!

The card-sized prints we made of my drawing were done in a slight sepia tone so it would draw all the colors of the Christmas card together.  The card has, as usual, several layers of card stocks and papers, and brads hold the banner with John 1:14 on the bottom of the card.

Christmas Card 2015 - CR

And here is the top part of the inside of the card, which is “There’s a Song in the Air” by Josiah G. Holland.

Christmas Card 2015 Top Insert - CR

Here is the lower part of the card, the greeting.

Christmas Card 2015 Lower Insert - CR

And finally, here are some close-ups of my drawing.

Crop - CR

Crop 3 - CR

Crop 2 - CR

I certainly had fun with this, and I hope it will bring all of you some Christmas cheer.  Thank you for looking.  Have a Merry Christmas!

 
 

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Anniversary Present

Dear readers,

It has been a long time since my last post, but a number of unexpected things have happened that have kept me both from blogging and from artwork.  However, I am back again, and I am here to share with you something that I’ve kept a secret since I first thought up the idea back around March of this year.  My parents celebrated their 35th anniversary on September 13th.  Since it was a milestone year for them, I wanted to make some kind of artwork for them that would be meaningful.  I came across several beautiful poems that likened parents to the roots of a tree, the strong, steady foundation that holds everything together.  I liked that idea very much.  It inspired me to start working on a poem of my own, personalized to mean as much to my mom and dad as possible.  I had to work in complete, delicious, secrecy.  They are so involved in what I create and what I’m up to in my studio, so I had to go to great effort to keep this a secret.

It all started when I went to Junk Bonanza last April.  I went with my mom, but I had a secret agenda.  I wanted to find something with a 35 on it, or even letters to spell Happy Anniversary.  I knew it would be tricky to buy it when she was right there with me, but I was determined.

I came across a booth that had many small metal numbered tags, post office tags, cattle tags, you name it.  Under the guise of searching for “junk supplies for my sculptures”, I began to look quite thoroughly.  Luckily for me, my mom said she was going to move on to the next booth while I looked.  And then I found it!  A metal tag with a 35 on it.  And not only that, but above the 35 were the two letters H and W.  How perfect could it be?  H for Husband, W for Wife, and a 35.  Awesome!  Just so my mom wouldn’t wonder what I had bought, I purchased a few other little items so she wouldn’t single out that one tag.

And here it is.

024 CR 1

Early in the summer, as soon as the leaves were full on the trees, I went for camera walks, getting pictures of our trees to go with some sort of tree poem.  The tree that has the most sentimentality for our family is the enormous maple tree that is in our front yard, towering over our house.  It’s been a part of our lives for a long time.  My dad remembers stringing up a tire swing in it as a kid, and my brothers and I used to play in a tire swing from that very tree, and now, my parents’ grandkids have two tire swings hanging in that tree, too.  It’s a trusty old tree, complete with wooden board “steps” nailed onto it from my childhood.

As you can imagine, I decided that this was the tree to draw.  As I photographed it, I included the house, which was build in 1926.  My brothers and I grew up in it, and my dad and his brothers and sisters, and even his dad and his brother.  It’s got so much history and so many memories for us all.  I couldn’t draw that tree without this beloved house nestled beneath it, so my plans were made.

I started the drawing on June 17th.

The drawing is clayboard, just the second clayboard I’ve done.  It’s a big drawing, as I wanted it to be dramatic for Mom and Dad’s wall.  Keeping it very secret, I worked on it only when they were nowhere near, and I had to cleverly hide the drawing, the supplies, and all other evidence that I was working on anything in my studio.

Meanwhile, I spent several nights up late in bed, writing and rewriting the poem I wanted to give to them with the drawing.  I found some amazing tips on how to paint letters neatly on a wooden board, and I got started on that.  I mixed a couple of ideas I found online for sign-painting to get the result I wanted.  I painted the board black (just an old board that was in the basement…I sanded it fairly smooth first), and then printed the poem on regular printer paper in the font I liked.  I then took a white charcoal pencil and colored the backs of the papers generously.  After checking, re-checking, re-checking, and re-checking the alignment of the papers on the board (it took 4 sheets of paper to get the lettering big enough to fill the board), I taped them in place.  I then took a ball point pen and wrote over the words firmly, causing the white charcoal to transfer onto the wood.  When I lifted the papers, I was so surprised by how neat it looked!  I then took a cream-colored acrylic paint, diluted it quite a bit, and painted the letters using mostly a 00 paint brush.  It took quite some time, but I was really pleased with the result!

Ah, but the wooden sign didn’t take long at all compared to the drawing.  A clayboard is essentially an un-inked scratchboard…it is simply white clay on a Masonite board.  You add the ink (or paint or whatever else you’d like) yourself as you wish.  I used Faber-Castell Pitt Artist Pens for this project, using mostly brush tip for the application of inks.  Anything on the board that is not white had to be inked over first.  I used a variety of grays and blacks to get the desired values in this drawing.

The house part of the drawing was by far the most challenging.  I definitely do not have a mathematical brain, and all of these angles and corners and straight lines were certainly out of my comfort zone.  I spent many hours (days, even) with a straight edge and a pen, drawing and re-drawing all of those squares and lines and shapes over and over until I finally felt things were in place.  I then got to work building values, which was done using shades of gray pens.  The beauty of clayboard is that you can draw in the traditional sense, but you can push it further by treating it like a scratchboard.  You can take your X-Acto knives, your blades, your fiberglass brushes, and you can scratch away the ink.  It’s a beautiful thing! 🙂

I am happy to say that my parents were both completely unaware I was working on anything.  I never thought I could keep this a secret all summer long.  I was so excited to give this to them, and they seemed pretty excited to get it, too. 🙂

Anniversary Present

– The clayboard drawing measures 16 x 20 inches in size.  It is made with a set of Faber-Castell Pitt Artist Pens (the Manga set of 8), some other very fine pens for detail and texture, a couple of different X-Acto knives, a fiberglass brush, some other scratchboard tools, and steel wool to remove smudges or marks in larger areas.

– The wooden sign is made with just an old board that was in the basement (note the hole in the upper left corner), sanded, and painted with black acrylic paint.  White charcoal, printer paper, and tape for the lettering, and cream-colored acrylic paint for the poem.  I sealed the board with a satin varnish.

Ok, at long last, here are the pictures.  Unfortunately, it is extremely difficult to photograph something this large without getting some shadow and lighting issues.  The photos do not do this drawing justice, but they were about the best I could do.  I did not take one single progress photo – I couldn’t afford any evidence to be found! 😉

The drawing.

001 EDIT - CR

A few close-ups.

016 - CR 017 - CR 020 - CR 022 - CR 023 - CR

The poem.  (Click to view larger.)

024 CR

And the finished, framed, and displayed artwork as it looks on the wall.

024 CR 2

Happy Anniversary, Mom and Dad.  I love you both so much!

 
 

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Rooster

Surprise!  I’ve been keeping this pen and ink drawing to myself, and now that it’s complete, it is time to share it here.

Whether it’s my farm girl roots or a coincidence, I seem to draw a lot of farm animals.  I love the legacy of farming, and the animals that go along with it are a big reason for that.  Plus, bonus, people seem to love farm animals, be it a horse, cow, pig, goat, dog, cat, duck, or chicken.  Thus, my rooster was a long time coming. 🙂

Rooster

– This drawing measures 5×7 inches, and is drawn on Strathmore 500 series Bristol Plate paper.

– Drawn with Sakura Pigma Micron pens, ranging in size from 005 (primarily), 01, and a tiny touch of 03 for those inky blacks.  When I first used Sakura Pigma Micron pens, I felt they were very inky and a little out-of-control feeling.  However, the rich, warm blacks they produce are unsurpassed by any pen I’ve tried so far, and I have a fair collection of different brands of pens.  These are great!

Rooster WIp Finished - CR

A short video of the work-in-progress.

And a couple of close-up photos.

Rooster WIp Finished - Copy CR

Rooster WIp Finished - Copy (4) CR

I hope you like the drawing.  Thank you for looking! 🙂

 
2 Comments

Posted by on May 22, 2015 in All Artwork, Pen and Ink

 

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