Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Sketchbook Tuesday

Here we are approaching the Thanksgiving holiday already. I have been thinking about just how much I have to be thankful for this year. Family, friends, pets, a home to enjoy, the list goes on. But what I want to mention here is that I am thankful for you. It is because of your visits to my little blog, over here in my corner of cyberspace, that I am encouraged to keep creating. Your comments bolster me and keep me going. So in this time of year with its celebrations of the harvest, I am thankful to have found all of you. May you all enjoy a wonderful Thanksgiving holiday!
These are two more gouache studies in my hand.book journal. They are fun yet challenging to do, quick and spontaneous reactions to shape and value, without the aid of color for defining form. The second image is inspired by a photo taken by my friend Beth. Thanks Beth for the lovely image!

Saturday, November 21, 2009

You went on ahead

This is another one of my Neocolor II and colored pencil pieces on hot press paper, about 5 x 8 inches. A trail that we have hiked many times now since we moved to these mountains. Years ago, we would take our dog, Henry, hiking with us. He loved to run ahead but would always stop and wait for us to catch up. He was a dog that needed to go first. Always.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Sketchbook Tuesday

Some time ago I purchased a couple of tubes of gouache, white and burnt umber, to experiment with and do value studies. Here is my first attempt at that in my hand.book journal. I enjoyed playing with the gouache, which unlike watercolor, I can put light values on top of the darks, allowing for more push and pull of those values.

The Artist's Journal class has begun this week with an overwhelming amount of enthusiasm from all the participants. Inspired by others in the class, I decided to try making my own handmade sketchbook.
Here is my paper cut to size and the covers that I made. The paper is 140 lb. Fabriano hp. The covers are made from the back of an old sketchbook, covered with fabric on the outside and marbled paper on the interior side. Also shown is my hole punching guide. The marbled paper is some that I had left over from a craft project that Kiddo and I did a couple of years ago. The fabric is what remains from some very old curtains I had made for a long ago apartment. This part of the process was really pretty easy to do, especially with the help of class mates!
Here is the book stitched together. I followed this online tutorial in order to figure out how to do the stitching. Again, this was much easier than I anticipated. Although I did end up taking it apart and re-stitching it with different thread that I waxed first, which made the book feel more sturdy, but it looks the same as the picture here. I just may start making all of my own sketchbooks from here on out! Of course, I do have a few store bought sketchbooks laying around that I should finish working in first.

Over the top

I have been given this fun award by Alex. He is an amazing artist with a blog worth visiting. Plus I don't know anyone more insightful and generous!

The rules are:
I need to pass this award on to five people, post on their blog to let them know I left this award, and then I need to answer a list of questions in ONE word.
So here we go:

1. Where is your cell phone?…Purse
2. Your hair?… Unruly
3. Your mother?… Unhappy
4. Your father?… Angry
5. Your favorite food?… Cheese Fondue
6. Your dream last night?… Turtles
7. Your favorite drink?…Vernor's Ginger Ale
8. Your dream/goal?… Live by the sea
9. What room are you in?… Spare bedroom
10. Your hobby?… Reading
11. Your fear?… Peanuts
12. Where do you want to be in 6 years?…A real studio
13. Where were you last night?… Home
14. Something that you aren’t?… Performer
15. Muffins?… Blueberry
16. Wish list item?… A real studio
17. Where did you grow up?… Cincinnati
18. Last thing you did?… laundry
19. What are you wearing?… jeans
20. Your TV?… MSNBC
21. Your Pets?… Dogs
22. Friends?… Special
23. Your life?… Good
24. Your mood?… Positive
25. Missing Someone?… Indeed
26. Vehicle?… Garage
27. Something you're not wearing?… Shoes
28. Your favorite store?… Mast Store
29. Your favorite colour?… Blue
30. When was the last time you laughed?… 3:22pm
31. Last time you cried?… Nov.2
32. Your best friend?… Hubby
33. One place that I go to over and over?… Town
34. Facebook?… Yes
35. Favorite place to eat?… Home

Now I need to pass this on to five bloggers. Here is my list, in no particular order.

1. Krista 2. Sandy 3. Teresa 4. Diahn 5. Deborah

Friday, November 13, 2009

Once upon an autumn

5.5 x 7.5 inches
Neocolor II and colored pencil on hp paper
©Ann Thompson Nemcosky

Just about one month ago it looked like this around here. Now the leaves are gone and the colors are softer. This is another of my Neocolor II studies, washed with water, then covered with dry colored pencil. And it's been sitting around for about a month waiting to be finished, so today I did. Just clearing the decks before the Keeping an Artist's Journal class begins next week.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Sketchbook Tuesday

Thought I forgot, didn't you. Here it is Tuesday again and I do have another page from my sketchbook to share. We picked up these lovely acorn squash from the grocery last weekend. I wonder what people at the store must think as I examine produce looking for interesting shapes and color. I chose three squash, cooked two and painted the one remaining. This one was painted in my watercolor Moleskine. It was the first time I had tried cooking acorn squash and found it surprisingly easy to prepare and very tasty.

Today I spent some time looking online at various sketchbooks, sketching kits and portable organizers for art supplies. I have collected a few different sketchbooks and have so many sketching supplies that I can get overwhelmed just trying to decide what media to use and in which sketchbook to work. I would like to be more minimal with all of this. Then there is the dilemma of what to put in my sketchbook(s). Should there be a theme? Different books for different themes and media, or everything in one sketchbook? Critical decisions to consider. I love looking through my copy of Danny Gregory's An Illustrated Life for inspiration. Also, I have signed up for Cathy Johnson's upcoming class Keeping An Artist's Journal. So I am getting myself ready. It will be lots of fun to explore this topic with a group of artists and Kate is such a great teacher. And no doubt there will be many more sketch book pages to post on Tuesdays around here.

Thursday, November 5, 2009


More Apples
colored pencil on Rising Museum Board
5.5 x 7.5 inches
©Ann Thompson Nemcosky

Remember the work in progress I showed here a while back? Well, I finally had some time to finish it. I was pleased with how this worked out, despite the fact that it sat for such a long time while I was doing other things. That kind of interruption can disturb the flow, but thankfully
I was able to get right back into this drawing without skipping a beat.

While I was finishing this up today I was thinking about Captain Wendy. Captain Wendy was a character on the Uncle Al show, a tv show that I watched when I was a little kid growing up in Cincinnati. I really didn't care for Uncle Al much. He played the accordion and sang "Zippity-Do-Da" while the children that were guests on his show danced around him in a circle. But Captain Wendy was amazing. She would "fly" in, wearing her super hero costume complete with a cape and she would give a drawing lesson on a magic drawing board. I'll never forget, that whatever she was drawing, she would always end the lesson with, "don't forget the shadow!"

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Sketchbook Tuesday

Looks like posting works from my sketchbook is turning into a regular Tuesday thing. And that's okay. Maybe it will inspire me to work in my sketchbooks more regularly, knowing that there is always another Tuesday right around the corner. Pears are becoming a regular subject for me too. I just love their shapes and the subtle gradations of color. I did this page spread while the Professor and Kiddo were out Trick-or-Treating last Saturday evening. It's all done with watercolor pencils in my hand.book journal.

Sunday, November 1, 2009

A little quiet time

Autumn Woods
5.5 x 7.5 inches
Neocolor II and colored pencil on hp
©Ann Thompson Nemcosky

The little ghosts and goblins have all settled and we are now preparing for our winter with warming soups, fresh baked bread, pulling the sweaters out of their storage boxes and planning creative time spent indoors. I am looking at all the projects started on my drawing table and really hoping to be able to spend more time with them this month, as all the festivities and work of the last couple of months is now mostly behind me. November is a quiet month and I am ready for it now.


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