It’s Fude Nib Time!

A little over two years ago my friend “M” sent me a package. Inside was a gorgeous and ornate fountain pen.

My initial thoughts on this pen was how wet and how broad this fude nib was! At that time I was into Extra Fine and Fine nib fountain pens. As you can imagine I was thrilled, but also a bit curious about this nib.

The Fude nib or bent nib

I’ve inked and tried this pen a few times. Initially, I found the pen to be quite slender. I think this is the skinniest fountain pen I have in my collection.

Platinum Prefounte, Duke Ruby, & Platinum Preppy

The pen weighs about 35 grams. The cap and body appears to be made of brass with a black lacquer finish. It’s a snap-cap pen which I prefer to use for my artwork as I can quickly remove the cap and start sketching.

It took some time for me to really appreciate what a fude nib can do. I follow a few artists on their creative adventures and found they keep a fude nib pen in their art bag.

With renewed interest, I pulled out my Duke pen and filled it with Smokescreen. I was feeling a bit creative and wanted to use this fountain pen to sketch with. I left my pencils and permanent fine tip pens on my studio desk. I went outside with my sketchbook and my fude fountain pen filled with ink and started sketching.

It took me about 15 minutes to complete this piece. This turned out to be a loose sketch as the Smokescreen ink with the fude nib had no issues laying down color on my paper. I literally went with the flow in my sketch.

I’m enjoying the broad strokes this pen creates. The line thickness reminds me of my TWSBI stub nibs. This pen can also create fine lines when I hold the pen between 45 to 90 degrees over the paper. The line is even finer when I turn the nib upside down and write with it.

Here’s my writing sample and a look at the different line variations this pen can produce.

At around a 40 degree angle or less, the line width reminds me of a Stub 1.1 nib. At 45 degrees and higher, the line width gets narrower and close to a Fine nib. At a slightly less than 90 degree angle, the line reminds me of an Extra Fine nib. When I turn the nib upside down, it produces a consistent and slightly narrower Extra Fine line.

There is a learning curve to handling this pen. For me, I had to be cognizant of how I was holding the pen in my hand. For sketching, I found if I held the pen like a paint brush (around the top of the section) I could control the stroke sizes easier. The key here was holding the pen loosely. The other thing I had to think about is what angle the pen & nib was over the paper. Did I want to create a broad stroke or a fine line? After a few inky refills and some practice sessions, I finally became one with this pen.

Overall, this is a smooth nib to write and sketch with. It’s a sturdy nib and well made. The smooth grip area has a slightly textured feel that I hardly notice in my hand. It does keep my fingers from sliding down the section.

Now that I understand the Fude nib’s capabilities, I’m having a blast sketching and writing with this pen.

The decorative filigree and a man-made ruby bling on the cap

Thank you “M” for introducing me to this wonderful and gorgeous fountain pen. Sorry it took so long for me to really appreciate how well this pen sketches and writes.

Note: I have an inexpensive Sailor Fude nib pen arriving soon. I am looking forward to seeing how this light weight pen performs in my sketching adventures and how it compares to the Duke Fude pen. Stay tuned!

Pen: Duke Ruby with Fude nib

Ink: Robert Oster Smokescreen

Paper: Rhodia

Journal: Canson Artist Mixed Media sketchbook

Watercolor Epiphany!

I’ve been struggling with watercolor painting. I was not getting the instant gratification like I would receive when I completed a pen & ink sketch. My watercolor creations were just mediocre and appeared lifeless. I felt as though I was in an endless loop of creating some paintings and then never completing them. I would also fall back to creating my artwork using my trusty fountain pens and inks.

Today I had an overwhelming desire to do a watercolor painting. Several things came into play with this desire. First, I had received the new Franklin-Christoph watercolor journals and could not wait to try this paper out. This new journal can be used with watercolors, guache, and pen and inks. I thought I would start out testing this paper with my watercolor paints and then do another test using my fountain pens and ink. A review will be forthcoming later this week.

Second, I had just completed a few pen & ink sketches of pumpkins and acorns and I wanted to see what I could do using my watercolor paints. That would require some color mixing techniques as well playing with different colors which I enjoy doing.

I spent less time thinking about the process (a good thing) and just started sketching with my pencil. Next thing I knew I was mixing paint colors and then applying paint to paper.

Somewhere along the layers of paint I was laying down, I experienced a huge epiphany in what I was doing. I used smaller round brushes like #6 and #4. I used less water in mixing and wetting my paper. My painting came to life.

Here’s a sneak peak from this morning’s session. I know it’s a partial shot of my painting. It’s still a work in progress.

At this point, I’m really happy about what I uncovered and I feel as though I can move forward in this creative adventure.

I had another realization this morning. I was mixing my watercolor paints and creating colors that I currently have in my TWSBI GO fountain pens. I am having too much fun!

An Ink Swatching Morning & Catching Up

I’m so happy to be busy with several projects. My mind is constantly on the go during the day and I’m sure it’s doing the same while I’m sleeping.

I’m taking a short break from my projects and enjoying some quiet time at my studio desk. I have several bottles of new inks to swatch and to try out for a few of my pen and ink wash artwork.

I was so excited about the ink colors and started swatching my inks quickly. I jammed up my ink swatching process. The ink swatches were so wet on the paper and I could not turn the page in my ink journal. I stopped what I was doing to let them dry. That’s when I decided it would be a great time to create this blog entry.

Oh my goodness! The Vinta Inks took my breath away! Besides my ink journal, my Col-o-ring cards are still drying as well. I’m enjoying the vibrant colors with some major sheen and shading. So far, they are producing some lovely ink washes on paper.

I was thinking of stopping my swatching process and fill a few pens with my lovely inks, but I will behave myself and continue on. Sigh!

A few things of interest:

  • I still have a few more flower pictures to post.
  • I’m still waiting to hear from Yafa about my Maiora cap replacement. Based on the tracking information, I know they received my defective and wrong size replacement cap 1-1/2 weeks ago. No news is good news, right?
  • I received an envelope with some lovely stationary from Robert Oster. A wonderful surprise and all the way from Australia!
  • I inked a few pens with some lovely Ink Institute inks. I created a few sketches and within an hour dumped the inks from my pens. The colors I selected are beautiful to look at. They were too light for me to use. This was a first for me to dump ink within an hour. Oh, maybe not. I did something similar with a few Ferris Wheel Press inks. So, there is a pattern here with me. Light and unsaturated inks are not my thing to write with or for sketching.

Looks like my inky swatch page has dried. Now to move on to the next brand of ink colors. I’ll be back!

Loosely

That’s how I’ve been practicing my painting skills recently. Trying to paint without thinking about the details too much. No initial pencil sketching allowed. Just starting with blank sheets of watercolor paper.

The lovely purple paint is a mixture of Quinacridone Rose and Ultramarine Blue.

My first two attempts below were just okay. It allowed me to figure out a different painting style and to paint quickly.

Unfortunately, I only had a few minutes of pure painting enjoyment before I had to go tackle a few other projects that are not art related. More to come!

Paints: Daniel Smith Extra Fine Watercolor

Paper: Arches Cold Press 100% cotton 140 lb

Brushes: Cheap Joe’s American Journey #6 & #8

Why Use Professional Artist Quality Supplies?

It was at the beginning of my watercolor adventure and my first class where I learned to use student-grade supplies and I developed some bad habits with using the cheap paints and cheap papers. I kept hearing buy what you can afford. At some point in my watercolor painting life I was miserable with what I created and could not get to the next level of seeing any improvements in what I was painting. My paintings were dull and lifeless.

I found a local artist who had a studio in town and she took me under her wings for a few weeks. I showed up for the first session and she told me to get rid of my student grade paints and papers and start using artist quality supplies. She mentioned there’s a huge difference in quality between student grade and artist grade. She let me use her tubes of Winsor & Newton Artist paint for my first lesson and I immediately saw a difference. A few weeks later my mentor saw a huge improvement in my paintings. This eye opening experience brought life back to my art adventure.

When I graduated to artist grade supplies, I had to re-learn or develop new habits with using better grade paints and papers. I went from paint fillers to pure translucent colors. In regards to paper, I went from cellulose paper to 100% cotton paper. It was definitely an eye opening experience and instead of frowning at what I created, it was pure joy to see beautiful colors pop on my cotton paper.

If I had learned to use artist grade supplies at the beginning, I would have immediately developed good habits right from the start.

I was thankful to have the basic small tubes of Winsor & Newton Artist colors and not go hog-crazy getting the rainbow of colors they manufactured. I learned to mix the basic colors of yellows, reds, and blues to create the secondary colors. For example yellow and red to create orange. Yellow and blue to create green. Red and blue to create purple.

I followed several watercolor artists on the Internet and noticed they were branching out into other watercolor paint manufacturers. One brand that peaked my interest was a US based manufacturer, Daniel Smith. I purchased a few small tubes of his paints and immediately fell in love with his pure bright colors.

A few years ago, I signed up for a refresher watercolor class at my local art center. I was glad to see the instructor’s art supply list included Daniel Smith paints and I was happy to try out new colors. I had a lot of fun in that class and enjoyed learning new tips and painting styles. It showed in my final paintings I produced.

Over the last few months I saw Daniel Smith had a watercolor “dot sheet” that contained almost all of the Daniel Smith watercolor paints available. The sheet is arranged by colors and the one I purchased had 4 sheets covering a total of 238 color dots. That’s a lot of colors from one manufacturer! Scroll through the following pictures to see the 8.5″x11″ sheets of colors:

I spent some time playing with the dots. I took my #6 round paint brush and applied some water to each dot. I painted out each dot in rectangle blocks of color. Most of the colors immediately reacted with the water and it was easy to pull the colors out. A few were so dry that it took some time to get the paint to react to the water and move it around the paper.

For the last 10 years, I have accumulated over 40+tubes of Daniel Smith watercolor paints in my collection. As I mentioned before, I used to mix the basic colors to get my secondary and some tertiary colors. Some colors like turquoise and teal take more effort to create. It made more sense for me to purchase a tube of the exact color I needed.

Did I mention DS makes shimmering paint colors? They are actually called Duochrome and Iridescent colors. Here’s a few close up pictures:

Beautiful shimmering colors!
The Duochrome colors are gorgeous! Reminds me of the Caribbean.
Here’s a close up of a few Iridescent colors

I have my shimmering fountain pen inks to thank for getting me into the sparkling watercolor paints. I never thought I would end up with tubes of shimmering beauties. Oh my! Daniel Smith is doing a great job with their paint offerings.

My paint bin is full of paint tubes. I had to create an inventory (spreadsheet) of my watercolor paint collection. Out of the 40+ tubes in my possession, only 5 colors were duplicates. Not too bad as they are the colors I enjoy using the most.

I plan on getting back into creating some watercolor pieces of art. I just need to carve out a few hours a day and just do it!

Tips/Tricks

Before I sign up for a class (online or in person instructions), I look for the instructor’s supply list to see which brands of paint they use or like to use. It’s not uncommon to see good instructors use a combination of brands like Daniel Smith or Winsor & Newton Professional. Artists/instructors will have favorites they like to use. That’s part of my art adventure and enjoying new colors I have not tried.

You may have heard the saying “a tiny bit goes a long way”. It definitely does with Daniel Smith or Winsor & Newton Professional paints. Artist grade or professional paints are made from pure pigments of color. Student grade paints are made with a small amount of pigment and lots of fillers and that explains why I used up so many tubes of the student grade paints. Student grade can also be opaque and not as vibrant in color.

Dot Cards are a good investment. Both Daniel Smith and Winsor & Newton have dot cards. As you can see from the previous pictures, the cards contain the actual paint dropped onto a card along with the name of the paint, lightfastness, staining/nonstaining, granulation, and transparency. The color dot can be activated with a damp brush. Remember I mentioned about a tiny bit goes a long way? This card makes swatching so easy. You can see what the colors look like and the consistency before committing to a tube of paint.

Winsor & Newton has two lines of watercolor paints. One is their “Professional” artist grade paints. The other is their “Cotman” name which is their student grade paint.

I have not discussed watercolor paint brushes. For me, it’s a personal choice. I’ve accumulated several different brands that I’ve tried over the years. I still have a few of my student-type brushes that have served me well. I did try out a few real sable hair and squirrel brushes that I still have and use occasionally. I now prefer to use synthetic brushes. I enjoy the synthetic sable brushes for the lovely points they keep and the synthetic squirrel for the amount of water and color the brush can carry.

My Favorite Watercolor Supplies

Paints: Daniel Smith Extra Fine Watercolors

Paper (140lb/300gsm and 100% cotton): Arches Cold Press, Strathmore Series 500 Premium Cold Press, and Bee Paper Rag Cold Press

Brushes: Cheap Joe’s Golden Fleece, Escoda Versatil, Robert Simmons, and Princeton

Travel Palette: Art Toolkit by Expeditionary Art

Mixing Palette: Small 3″-4″ round porcelain dishes (Tuesday Morning or Home Goods)

Dip Pens and Calligraphy (My Version)

It snowed yesterday and we had sleet and rain overnight. This morning when I woke up it was a chilly 28 degrees. Our neighborhood roads were “crunchy” as I could hear our neighbors driving out. You know it’s bad when Hubby could not open the doors on his truck.

Yes. I’m having a late start this morning. Or I should say early afternoon right now.

I spent a few minutes this morning with my dip pen and Nikko G nib. Practicing my calligraphy or my style of writing. The last time I had a practice session was four (4) months ago. Needless to say, I was a bit rusty. This morning. I just went with the flow.

Here’s my writing sample from this morning:

My practice session from this morning and a few quotes

It was a quick practice session lasting about 15 minutes. I have to say it’s like riding a bike. My muscle memory was a bit rusty and my hand was a bit tired towards the 10 minute mark. Looking at the previous picture, I can see I have to work on spacing and writing straight.

Here’s a slide showing my previous writing session four months ago and the current writing sample:

I used the same dip pen and nib in both writing samples. You will notice that I used fountain pen ink. My practice sessions are more enjoyable when I’m writing with colored inks. Yes, I was bored with the black Sumi ink I used when I first started into this Calligraphy rabbit hole. For me, this is a great way to use up my bottles of ink.

Here are the brands I’ve been using so far and have had really good results.

I pour the ink into glass or plastic jars with wide mouths. I will then use these jars for dipping my nibs into the ink. That way I’m not contaminating the original bottles of ink.

I pour my ink into glass or plastic jars with wide mouths.

I keep mentioning jars with wide mouths. That’s because the dip pens I use are obliques. They have a brass angular nib holder:

Here’s a few empty jars I have on hand. Note the width/distance of my brass nib holder and the grip of my pen holder.

There are times where I can’t my nib into the ink. I will tilt my jar a bit just enough to get the ink to cover the nib and the breather hole.

Here’s a few of my dip pens that I use:

An assortment of dip pens that I use. Can you tell? I prefer chunky grips.

I originally started with a straight pen holder (white grip) like the one you see in the middle of the previous picture. After a few rough starts with calligraphy, I started to use the oblique holders. I found it was easier to control the pen. There’s also a slight spring or bounce when writing with an oblique. That has helped with my “rhythm” as I write.

I have tried out several different nibs. I’m still poking my paper with the finer and fancier nibs and hope to graduate to these nibs later. For now, it’s the “G” nibs.

These are the three popular “G” nibs (top to bottom): Nikko G, Tachikawa G, and the most popular Zebra G.

I started out with the Zebra Gs and found the nib did not hold a lot of ink. I was constantly dipping. Constantly stopping during my practice session. I did some research and found out there were two other popular “G” nibs available that hold more ink: Nikko G and Tachikawa G.

If you look in the previous picture, you will see the top two nibs (Nikko & Tachikawa) have ridges along the tip of the nib. The Zebra G at bottom is smooth at the tip. The ridges hold more ink on the nib.

For my practice sessions, I use my Rhodia Reverse Book. The paper in this book has a dot grid format. I found that regular grid lines in the other Rhodia pads were distracting to me. The “Reverse” in this book means I can use this book with the spiral on the side or rotate the book to use with the spiral on the top. I enjoy using this with the spiral on the top where it doesn’t interfere while I’m writing.

To keep track of my dip pens and nibs, I store them in a Sterlite plastic case. As you can see I can store a lot of pens in this case.

I know I covered a lot of areas and did not go into great detail. That will be for future posts. Just wanted to give you the basics and things to think about for your own use or further research.

Tips:

The “G” nibs are wonderful nibs for those who want to start learning Calligraphy.

Not limited to black ink. Colored inks are wonderful to use and brighten up writing samples.

I limit my practice session to 10-15 minutes in the morning and if I have time another 10-15 minute session in the afternoon. I personally have found that at the 10 minute mark, my hand will get tired as well as my fingers from holding the dip pen. My writing will also get sloppy. The shorter practice sessions are easier to carve out during a busy day. I like doing this first thing in the morning (after coffee) as the best time for me. I am alert and ready to start my day.

Practice lower case first. Develop muscle memory in forming each letter. Later learn to join the letters to create words.

Practice the alphabet. Practice writing favorite quotes, songs, etc.

I still have a ways to go. The important thing for me is to enjoy my practice sessions and my writing adventures.

What’s an EDC and My Research

Early on in my fountain pen adventures I was learning the lingo. Like NPD or NID. Then I heard EDC. At first, I thought it was a pen company name or a type of ink.

Every Day Carry or EDC. I learned that as one progresses through the fountain pen world (or called the infamous rabbit hole), certain pens become favorites. They can last a day, a week, or even months. Because new pens appear and replaces the old ones. I call it a cycle or pen rotation.

My EDCs tend to be the five pens I reach for consistently and constantly. It could change when I rotate my pens (clean and store) every two or three weeks. My worst case scenario was last year when I had 30 pens inked at the same time. There was no way I could write with every single pen inked everyday. Now, I will typically have at most 10 pens inked at one time. Five of them will be my EDCs.

My five EDCs will have one pen with an EF nib (to write on cheap paper), one with my favorite ink of the month, two will have my Masuyama italic nibs, and the fifth one would always be a TWSBI. So how, did I come about and develop my own EDC love? Please read on.

As I progressed from one pen manufacturer to another, I started to recognize my likes and dislikes for the way the pen looks, how it feels in my hand, and how it writes with my handwriting style. Let me say fountain pens are like eye candy. I have a lot of experience under my belt (a bit over 1-1/2 years now) and know what I like.

I will see new pens flash before my eyes and start drooling over the colors, the pen style, and more so if the pen has sparkles. I’ve learned to drool for five minutes and if my mouth gets dry, I move on. Sometimes a beautiful pen will get thrown into a shopping cart waiting for me to hit the “pay now” button. Then the pen gets removed from the cart. This could go on for several minutes. Add. Remove. Add. Remove. It could also happen over several days. Monday – Add/Remove. Tuesday – Add/Remove. Add. Remove. I agree. This is funny. It’s also very real.

I’m getting good at doing my research. There are several things I look for in a pen. One is the size of grip or the section. I have some joint issues (from gluten intolerance) in my right hand. More specifically in my middle finger. Occasionally I will have some issues with gripping objects. My favorite grip size will be pens starting around 10mm. I am a tactile person, but metal grips do not bother me. Neither do threads on a section.

Next I look to see the nib brand is. I prefer #6 JoWo nibs. The #6 size works well with my handwriting. The JoWo nib units can be swapped between different pen manufacturers as long as they use the same screw-in nib units. There is an exception that I know of from experience. Conklin pens with JoWo nib units can not be swapped with another pen manufacturer. The threads on the Conklin nib units are different. Plus if you look at the underside of the Conklin feed, it looks different than the standard JoWo nib unit.

A few of the boutique pen manufactures who custom grinds their nibs (Masuyama, Nagahara, etc) use JoWo nibs. I have taken my favorite Masuyama nib unit that I purchased from Franklin-Christoph and put it into my Esterbrook Estie fountain pen. It feels like I have a new pen. My shopping cart is still empty.

We all love a beautiful pen. We also would love to have a grail pen. You know. The one that you think might be the ultimate fountain pen. The one that others strive to obtain. That one pen that sits on a wishlist for months or for years. I used to think that a certain Visconti pen that had swirls of blue and teal (reminded me of the Caribbean Sea) was my grail pen. Until. I went to my local pen show. Saw it in person. Absolutely beautiful! Held it in my hand. Huge let down.

I walked away from that pen show with a lot more knowledge and became smarter about my pen acquisitions.

Any new pen has to speak to me. I do love a pen that can grab my attention and keep it. Like the Abalone I have and definitely the Sparkles pen from Esterbrook. They are both stunning to look at and mostly they write beautifully. For me and with my handwriting.

Functionality also plays a part in my pen acquisition. Can I swap nib units around? Can I purchase additional nib units for my pen?

I will still drool over a new pen. I let my emotions go with the flow for about five minutes. That’s how long it takes for me to recover and move on. Hahaha!

Here are my current EDCs:

Kaweco Black Crystal, Conklin Endura Abalone with Chrome, TWSBI Diamond 580ALR Prussian Blue, Esterbrook Estie OS Sparkle Montana Sapphire, and Opus 88 Omar

I think I have a theme going on with my current EDCs. At least colorwise. I do love my teals and olive greens.

Warm Thoughts for a Cold Morning

I am up early as usual. Before the crack of dawn. It’s a lovely 26 degrees outside. I have coffee in hand and I’m ready to start off our day with some artwork.

I have to caution you, my reader. I am all over the place with my hobbies. Everyday, I get to play with my fountains pens and inks. I am always writing about something. Writing out tasks in my daily journal. Writing about my fountain pen/ink experiences in another journal. Creating writing samples to share on social media. There is something wonderful about putting a beautiful nib with beautiful flowing ink onto a blank page or sheet of paper. Sigh!

I have days when I want to play with my watercolors. Or I have a need to sew a few masks. I have my tools within an arms reach and when the mood hits me I’m ready to go.

One day. Over the summer. I picked up my graphite pencils and drew this shell:

A sketch of a shell that Hubs and I found on a beach in Antigua. Faber-Castell Graphite Aquarelle

It only took a few years to get enough nerve and several attempts to draw a shell. From a picture. From memory, as well. The ridges. The shiny and smooth edges. The shadows. All those curves.

I squinted a lot when I created this sketch. My mind likes to play games. When I see something I immediately see all the beautiful colors and then scratch my head to figure out how put this on paper. Using a pencil.

I started with a quick gesture sketch to get the outline of the shape and placement using an HB pencil. I like using my Pentel Energize retractable pencil with a .7 lead. I have several of these scattered around my house. It feels good in my hand.

You can see from my sketch there appears to be some light washes over the shell. I used my Faber-Castell Graphite Aquarelle pencils to create the various shadings and lines. I took my damp watercolor brush and applied a bit of water to soften the lines and also to create the pools of dark color for the shading. While squinting all the way.

A few years ago, I had an art friend look at my sketches. He mentioned that I needed to be bold and go darker with my pencils. Make the artwork…pop! Hahaha! I’m still working on it.

I learned a valuable tip in my charcoal class I took two years ago. Do not erase my initial lines until I’m happy with placement, shape, and composition. I could not figure out when I tried to draw two same size ovals, one would be wonky. I would erase the bad oval and try again. Same wonky oval would appear. Erase. Draw. Another wonky oval. My teacher said to leave the wonky oval and sketch over it. Now, erase the bad lines. A second oval appeared. My light bulb moment.

Enjoy your day!

Three Apples on Two Papers

I have taken a break from pastel painting.  Now that we have transitioned from summer and working our way towards the fall season, I have noticed I have shorter blocks of free time on my hands.  For now, I don’t want to deal with the setup and clean up while working with pastels.

I am back to working with pencils.  As in colored pencils.  I know I posted somewhere my treasured Prismacolor Colored Pencil set.  If not, here it is again:

art_supply_prismacolor_coloredpencils

When I received this set a few months ago, it came in a long box and the set was quite heavy.  I was surprised to see two trays side by side and then three layers deep.  I guess that it the only way to package 150 colored pencils…safely.  It’s a gorgeous set of colors!  Don’t you agree?

From this set of 150 colors, I’ve managed to pull out several colors I thought I would frequently use.  Do you know how hard that is?  Over a few weeks of use, I have added more colors to my collection.  There are a few that I have removed.

My colored pencil collection is kept in my Color It zip around case that I found on the Internet:

art_supply_colorit_case_F2699

My case holds 72 pencils in their designated elastic slots.  It can hold more…about a dozen more.  I’ve placed them loosely in the backside of the case.

art_supply_colorit_coloredpencils_F2703

As I have been drawing and experimenting with different types of papers, I’ve noticed the different results I’m getting with my artwork.  My favorite brand of paper to use is Canson.  If you look at my paper/pad stash, you will find 60% is made up of Canson, 20% is Strathmore, and 20% is other (experimenting with other brands).  My favorite paper weight is 90+ lb.  The heavier paper withstands lots of erasing (which I seldom have to do), but holds up to the many layers of color or graphite I apply.

Here’s an apple trio I drew in my small Canson Mix Media (5.5″x8.5″) sketchbook:

art_apples_coloredpencils_F2686

You can see a bit of the details from the paper showing through.  In this artwork, I’ve added several layers of colored pencils.  Some areas with a heavy hand.  This “mix media” paper has a bit of texture or tooth to it.

I decided to do another drawing, but using a different type of paper.  Here’s my drawing using Canson Bristol (9″x12″/smooth side) paper:

art_apples_coloredpencils_F2690

You can clearly see a difference in the outcome of my artwork.  My lines appear smoother.  Again, I have worked in layers of colors mostly with a light hand.  This is still a work in progress as I’m experimenting with coloring in shadows correctly.  Which I still have to do.

Here’s my portable sketch book that I mentioned I used for quick sketches or experiments:

art_supply_canson_mixedmedia_F2708

For my final drawings, I use my Bristol paper.  This is an old pad I’m trying to use up:

art_supply_canson_bristol_F2712

This Bristol paper is my favorite to draw on.  It has two sides, one is smooth and the other has texture or tooth.  I call it my all purpose paper.  If I don’t like my initial drawing I can turn it over and start again or reuse it for another drawing.  Cool, huh?

Color Explorations Class – Finishing with Oils

Tonight we have to finish our paintings.  My goal is to finish my oil painting and it’s also Emily’s goal as well.    

Tonight I worked on painting the lighter values or layers.  Still I was missing the “punch” in my painting and therefore the peppers were still looking quite flat.  Emily pushed me and made some suggestions on blending more between the values to smooth out the colors.  Also, to mix in some colors (medium values and light values) to make the peppers pop.  Better transition of colors.  I also worked on the two background peppers to make the foreground peppers stand out more.  That worked.  

Here’s my final oil painting:  

4_art_class_oil_peppers_9206

It wasn’t until I actually stood back and looked at my artwork that I started to get a bit of that “wow” feeling.  Then I took a picture and saw a huge difference from what I had done two night’s ago.

It will actually take a couple of day’s for this artwork to dry completely.  I plan on leaving it on an easel at home for a couple of weeks before I hang it on my wall.

My take away from class:  Of all the mediums I used in class, I thoroughly enjoyed painting with oils.  I enjoyed the smooth paint texture and gliding the brush over canvas.  I enjoyed mixing the colors with my palette knife.  Need to layer the colors from dark to medium to light and let dry in between those layers.  This is progress.  

Canvas used:  8″ x 10″