Some recent spreads from my sketchbook. It is not a Moleskine— I chose a knock-off for this trip, which was a little wider, and had white paper instead of the cream color of moleskines. Unfortunately, though the paper is nice and heavy, this paper lacks the clay coating or whatever it is that makes a moleskine so great for watercolor.
On these pages, the watercolor just sinks in immediately, losing its vibrance and its ability to move around, meander a bit before settling.
The only color here that is vibrant is the cadmium yellow, which is a different brand of half-pan than I’ve been working with, which is more like a gouache, really. (The red on the second spread is mixed with some of that yellow)
It lacks true transparency unless used with a lot of water. A problem, as I tend to paint over inked drawings, whose lines can get obscured beneath it.
A couple of mild disappointments— and lessons!
Apologies for the long gap in activity here. I did so well with a minimum of 1-2 posts per week for over two years, and recently dropped the ball! I was on a trip to my usuals over the past couple of weeks; Amsterdam, Berlin, and Paris— photos forthcoming as I go through my selects, and follow the threads of some stories.
I traveled with Z, and by younger brother, J. We had a wondrous adventure and spent lots of time with old friends, and some new ones. Above is a little cartoon I drew of us one evening in Paris. This is purely from imagination, not a true portrait, but I think it captures us on our trip rather well.
More posts to come very soon, as I find time here and there to process and unpack the many photographs (and thoughts, feelings) from my travels.
Just a little drawing I did yesterday at Halyard’s, where I stopped for a little while during my wander.
On Friday we leave for our trip to Europe! It’s been just over two years since my last visit, and I’m super excited. I still have some freelance work to do; drawings for the documentary— and of course my regular full time job as well. But no doubt this week will fly, as has this whole month.
Here are a couple watercolor studies I did last night involving compositions of overlapping shapes. I haven’t touched my half-pans in months, and it was nice to get out the brushes again.
These are related -somewhat- to elements of a small design system I’m in the midst of at work for an upcoming event. In particular the top one, where the colors are doing their natural combinations when overlapped.
This second composition was rather a departure or experiment that, while some interesting things happened, rather collapsed the visualization of the colors’ transparency. By removing the natural order of color interplay, the whole thing flattened out altogether to the eye. There’s no reason or logic to it.
Continue reading “On messing about with the interplay of color, briefly”
On offer today: some marker and pen sketches of folks from the last Friday night at Hope & Anchor. Officially closed as of Sunday, and as I understand they had a sort of second line jazz funeral for the beloved diner and karaoke joint of Red Hook.. It’s a place I’ll sorely miss; another casualty of the sweeping change that’s been a kind of secondary storm in the wake of Hurricane Sandy.
Spent some time in Red Hook over the weekend; went to say goodbye to that institution of a watering hole Bait & Tackle, followed by a visit into Sunny’s (where yesterday’s photos originated), and finally dinner and some time with friends who sing at Hope & Anchor, also soon to be no more.
This is a city that changes constantly, it’s true. But there’s something altogether too fast about it when three places at the heart of a small community like the Hook all disappear in short order (the third will be Ice House; not sure when). It’s going to irrevocably change the fabric of that area, and for the worse, I’ve no doubts. Especially judging from the new bits of residential real estate that’ve been popping up.
Development, left unchecked, will be the undoing of any kind of character or authentic qualities this town has left.
Here is a fox. This is a study or start of the character design process. He will appear in the animated short I’ve undertaken to create. I’ve still not done any story boards, nor have I a story set in my mind, but I do tend to get ahead of myself with these things.
Below are some scratchy starts of other potential characters; deer, and the horses (who shall be background characters, seen off in the distance where the farm is). I’m beginning to have grasp what a lot of work this will require, creating the whole thing of layered pencil drawings! But jolly fun.
At the bottom you’ll see two of the six sets of trees that so far comprise my introductory forest scene; dark trees are foreground, and everything pales as it recedes.
I stayed home last night; missed several parties, missed toasting with friends who I’ve not seen enough of. A head cold has been slinking ‘round the door for a few days (probably a few weeks), and by Midnight it’d overtaken me. I didn’t have any the past two winters, but I’ve been burning candles at both ends lately, so I can’t be too surprised or upset.
Despite feeling poorly, it’s not a bad thing to cross the threshold of a new year quietly and in solitude. I did this little drawing to mark the changing of the guard. (I added the snow on a whim, though clearly those aren’t winter trees, all clad in leaves.)
I’d hoped for a cold-bright wander on New Year’s Day, but that’ll have to wait for better health. Glad tidings, with a few sniffles! I’ll see what I can make of it. More drawing, whether for me or my freelance project, will make a fine start of things for 2018.
The day following the feast was sunny and mild, inviting of a long wander. Following lunch in a sunny local, we embarked on a meandering walk that included many stops along the way in a handful of neighborhoods.
Eventually we found ourselves again at the harbor, staring out at moon-glittered water in the early dark. We breathed in the salt smell of that black and brackish channel where the sea and river meet; entrance and exit of the city where boats are welcomed by la dame verte.
And the steaming bird, fresh from the oven, rested on the sideboard, waiting to be carved for the feast of giving thanks.