Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Sweet Treat Or Wicked Trick!?! A GIVEAWAY!

Download the witch file below!
Several years ago I bought a Halloween banner to adorn the outside of my office wall when I was part of the cubicle nation. I felt pretty witchy in those dark days and it suited my mood to a "T!"

I've always admired the work of the art. When I pulled it out of my trick or treat box a few weeks ago and hung it up, I found myself thinking about creating a witch of my own. (Incidentally, mine looks nothing like the original—as usual, I went for the details!)

Sitting down with my Stillman and Birn Beta sketchbook, this is what appeared. I googled images of old women and old hands and went to work with a pencil. I used eyes from one woman, a nose from another and the mouth from yet another. I later "inked" it with a Pentel black pigmented ink Color Brush.

Scanning the witch, I decided to offer it to you in two ways

First, you can download the file for your own personal use. Please, no commercial use and no selling the art. The original is here. Please right click to save image to your desktop.

Second, if you print out the art and add color, collage it into other work or use it in some new way, then scan or photo your artwork and send it to me via the email box in the side bar, you'll be entered into
Another GIVEAWAY!! 
(There's a clue up above as to the prize!) 

I will post all images I receive on the blog on Tuesday, November 5th. Please have the art to me no later than midnight EST, Monday, November 4th. I will reveal the giveaway "treat" and the winner* in the post. Please email me the art via the email box on the sidebar.

The original size of the artwork is approximately 5.5 x 8.5 inches.

*Prize will be awarded based on a random draw and not on the artwork. Regardless of number of pieces of art submitted by the artist, the artist's name will only be submitted once for the drawing of a sweet treat.

Wishing everyone a safe and 
Happy Hallow's Eve!

Monday, October 21, 2013

A Quick Sketch of Willis

Willis in the sunshine
Stillman and Birn Bound Beta Sketchbook
5.5 x 8.5
Pentel color brush and watercolor
We have a window seat for the cats in the front window of our living room and Willis, our new kitten, likes to climb up there in the late afternoon for a warm, sunny snooze.

Good time for a sketch of her, right?

Only if I'm super quick!

I sketched the line drawing with a Pentel EnerGel pen. This a relatively new pen on the market and is advertised as being unlikely to smear because the ink dries quickly. And it does. The pen tip is an 07 in size and what I like about is that it bleeds giving me lots of fun gray wash effects, but leaves a strong line even after the ink is hit with water.

However, I knew I was going to need a much stronger, larger black pen or paint to capture Willis' likeness quickly. I've been looking for ann opportunity to start sketching with the Pentel Color Brush and this seemed a great time.

I focused on the getting the kitten drawn first because I knew she wasn't going to stay in that position for long. (Animals never stay in the same position for long. They have some kind of radar that lets them know when someone is watching them!)

Before I finished with her entire body, she'd curled up onto her side and gone to sleep. It worked out because I didn't get a chance to get caught up in the details.

I then went back and added the shelf with the fuzzy cover, window details and a few branches from the outside to add a bit of depth to the image.

About the Pentel Color Brush:
The Pentel Color Brush has been around for a while, but I'm just now getting around to mess with it. The ink is not waterproof, giving ample opportunity to create fun washes and effects. It was like a very pigment rich watercolor and played well with the other watercolor I added to the sketch. I put a touch of red to her ears where the sun was lighting up the thinner skin areas.

It was a fun, quick way to get down a sketch of a kitten that is never, ever still.

It was fun to cover a lot of area quickly and created a neat monochromatic effect.

I haven't done any lightfastness tests on either product and so I can't recommend them at this time, but if longevity of your artwork is not of major importance to you in your sketchbooks, I would recommend giving either of these pens a whirl, especially if you like black and white sketching!

Thursday, October 10, 2013

How About A Fall Getaway to Greece!


As I'm getting ready for an Imaginary Trip To Greece starting next Tuesday, October 15th, I thought I'd share some of the cool, fun facts about this country. In no particular order:

  1. Greece is about the size of the state of Alabama with approximately 10 million people living there.
  2. Over 16 million people visit the country each year! Tourism is 16% of the country's Gross Domestic Product.
  3. The country has more than 2000 islands with 170 populated. Crete is the largest and beyond gorgeous!
  4. Greece is the world's third largest producer of olives...can you guess the first and second?
  5. When we think of Greece, many of think of the doors, windowsills, and church domes that are painted a beautiful turquoise blue. This paint color is used because of an ancient belief that this shade of blue keeps evil away. The color is called kyanos. “Cyan” and “cyanide” are derived from the word.
  6. The legendary home of Zeus and other Olympian gods and goddesses is Greek’s highest elevation, Mount Olympus at 9,750 feet (2,917 meters). The country's lowest elevation is the Mediterranean Sea.
  7. The Parthenon (from parthenos or “virgin”) was built almost 2,500 years ago and sits on the Acropolis above the city of Athens. It took 15 years to build. At one time, it featured colorful sculptures and a large gold-and-ivory statue of Athena. 
I hope you'll join me on this fall getaway and visit this beautiful country! To learn more, please visit here