Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Zen Stones

Zen Stones
graphite on paper
4.5 x 6.5 inches
©Ann Thompson Nemcosky
It has been a while since I worked on my graphite still life series. Some time ago I photographed several different natural objects specifically for this series. I had the image of these stones just waiting to be drawn when I saw Jeanette Jobson's Rock Challenge. That was the inspiration I needed to get going with this series again. This is done on Strathmore 500 Series Bristol paper. I look forward to seeing all the other interpretations of Jeanette's Rock Challenge.

Monday, July 27, 2009

Getting out

The Professor and I are trying to get a local nature sketching group going. We think it would be fun to get together with others for sketch outings. So we set up a Yahoo group and put the word out with emails and fliers. Yesterday was our first sketch outing with the group. We met at Bass Lake and had a wonderful time sketching and chatting. It was a very enjoyable way to spend a Sunday afternoon. Hopefully our group will take off and we can enjoy a few more outings while the weather is still nice.

The sketch above is in my Moleskine watercolor journal, sketched in pencil and then watercolor pencils.
This is a sketch of Kiddo sketching, in my journal, ink and watercolor wash, finished up the watercolor at home.

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Just one moment

Wave I
colored pencil on Rising Museum board
8 x 8 inches
©Ann Thompson Nemcosky

This is what has been on my drawing board lately. I am thinking of working in a series of sorts and have several ideas for where these could lead. At first I considered doing this kind of series on pastel board but then decided to try museum board again. I do like working on museum board with colored pencil and this will give me flexibility with sizes where pastel board is only available in limited sizes. This particular image is one I knew I could pull off on pastel board, which allows for light colors to go on over darks, but I wasn't sure I could make it work on a white paper surface. So for this piece I started with a grisaille of warm grays and then came back with color. It seems the grisaille adds a little depth to the color and helps to tie the color together in the composition. My ideas are about capturing these fleeting moments, as if I could plant a foot in time and say "now", this moment.

Sunday, July 19, 2009

Every once in a while

Every once in a while I have to try sketching an eggplant in watercolor. Maybe it's the challenge of getting that rich, deep, purple color. As I was working on this last evening, the light from the window was changing as the sun went in and out of clouds. So the eggplant was at times a bright, dark, maroon, and a cool, dark, blue at others. This was done, lead-free, in my watercolor Moleskine.

Diahn, over at Ottwork, is doing some intriguingly beautiful paintings of birds using gouache on toned paper that has been prepared with stamped designs. In preparation for opening her new Etsy shop (I can't wait!) she is having a give-away. Pop on over and check out her latest. You will be in for a treat!
Krista, of Hope in Every Day, has kindly given me this lovely award. So I am to share seven things you may not already know about me. It has been a while since I have done one of these, so here goes.

1. I am not a morning person. Not the get-up-and-go first thing type at all. I do like being up early but mostly my peak energy time is late afternoon and early evening.

2. I am usually shy and don't talk much. This used to bother me until I read in "Dear Abby" where she said, "Quiet people aren't the only ones who don't say much." Then I felt much better.

3. I grew up in the mid-west, in Cincinnati, Ohio. Cincinnati is a great place to be from. I never much cared for living there though.

4. The first rock concert I attended was a Deep Purple concert at the Cincinnati Gardens. The Cincinnati Gardens was like a big tin can. Oh, the joys of youth.

5. I once worked in a photo lab processing slide film. This job required sitting in a small room in total darkenss and feeding the film into the processing machine. If the film was inserted incorrectly it would jam the machine and destroy all the film. Other than that, it wasn't that bad sitting in complete darkness. I would sing quietly to myself while I was working to help pass the time. On cloudy, rainy days, even though there was absolutetly no light at all where I was working, I could feel the difference if the sun came out.

6. I have no interest in sports.

7. Lately I have been feeling that I would really like a nice slice of cheese cake. Haven't had that in years. Maybe with some strawberries or blueberries. I should go looking for a good recipe.

So there are my seven things. And here are seven bloggers I would like to pass this award along to:


Friday, July 17, 2009

Making it a habit

I played around again with my watercolor pencils the other evening. This scene is from the top of Rich Mountain, with watercolor pencils on cold press paper, about 6 x 8 inches. Having done almost daily practice with watercolor pencils for the 6 weeks of class, I find I am missing this activity. It was a nice, relaxing way to spend an evening.

I keep saying I am going to try to make drawing in my sketchbook a daily, or almost daily, activity. But saying that hasn't made it happen yet. So I try for as often as I can manage, which ultimately isn't as often as I wish.

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

The forest and the trees

watercolor pencil and colored pencil on paper
5.5 x 7.5 inches
©Ann Thompson Nemcosky

This is a little mixed media experiment. It is on Strathmore 500 Bristol Velum using watercolor pencils, washed with water, then dry colored pencil on top. This was a fun technique to do on paper and I had a little fun with the imagery too. It became more fanciful the longer I worked on it. I don't know that this is going anywhere though. I have lots of ideas brewing and have begun a new project that I will share with you all soon. Working this way, as with the image above, will just have to get filed away for now.

And for those of you who don't already know, the Everyday Matters drawing group has a new super blog and it looks to be really taking off. You can find a link to it on my side bar or here.

Thursday, July 9, 2009

Just a few more

I realized that it's been almost a week since my last post. So I thought I'd share a few more examples of the exercises I have done for Cathy Johnson's Watercolor Pencil class.

Taking this online class has been very motivating, and a great learning experience. As I mentioned previously, just like with any instruction, whether in person or online, you get out of it what you put into it. And it is a lot of work to show up and put forth the effort required, but the rewards are so worth it. I have had a wonderful experience with this class and would highly recommend to anyone considering taking one of Kate's classes - do it. She is a terrific teacher.

You can see from these examples some of the techniques I tried out with this "new-to-me" media. I wanted to try everything at least once. The beauty of taking a class like this is that you are free to experiment. The pressure is off.

There is also the added benefit of seeing the works done by the other students. Everyone trying out the same lesson in their own way, contributes to the shared learning experience. Something you can't really get from practicing solo.

And now that the course is coming to a close I will miss it. I enjoyed having assignments to complete and the freedom to play and learn a new media. Having spent these last several weeks intensely studying the use of watercolor pencils I now feel much more confident using water media. Confident enough that I do want to continue using watercolor pencils in some way. I guess this is where the real work begins, as I figure out how I want to put all of this new knowledge to use.

Friday, July 3, 2009

If you give a mom a muffin

She's going to want some coffee to go with it. When she gets some milk for her coffee she notices that the milk is almost gone. So she starts a grocery list but drops her pencil on the floor. When she picks up her pencil she sees something sticky on the floor and realizes it's time to mop. But before she can mop she has to vacuum all the dog hairs and crumbs off the floor. So she figures that if she is going to vacuum she might as well gather up the dirty clothes and do a load of wash. While vacuuming she decides to take all the throw rugs outside to shake them out. This reminds her that she also needs to dust. After dusting, vacuuming, mopping, and laundry are done she remembers she hasn't done her assignments for watercolor pencil class. So she sits down and paints a picture of the muffin. After she finishes her picture of the muffin her child comes in and says, "Are you going to eat that?"

*If you haven't read Laura Numeroff's children's books, Including "If You Give a Moose a Muffin", you should. They are all delightful. Yes, and Kiddo ate the muffin.


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