I’m always bringing home little things that can fit in my pocket from my nature walks. Although snow has come early to my neck of the woods, I have a shelf that’s littered with pine cones, acorns, rocks, sea shells, feathers and what nots. So today I felt like getting a little sketching practice in with something I could touch and feel, instead of using references images, so I picked out one acorn from my little nature collection. I wish I could do this with little animals but I sure the animals and my better half wouldn’t be too happy with me turning our home into a miniature wild kingdom. My hubby tends to shake his head but smile at me lovingly when I come in from being outside and dump out the contents of my pockets on the kitchen table. This makes me wonder, is this typical behavior of most nature artists?
This little doodle wasn’t only some practice in sketching something in person but also practice in sketching with a ballpoint pen, or as my fellow artists in the UK say, biro, which honestly, I prefer because it just takes less breath to say. So I hope nobody minds that I’m stealing this word. The wonderful thing about sketching in biro is that it forces me to let go of my perfectionism. There’s no erasing or covering up or even working things out in pencil first, so whatever marks I make, I have to live with them. It’s a bit freeing and since I was working with a simple shape it wasn’t particularly taxing to hatch out. I initially just did a biro sketch but then I looked at my pen jars and noticed I have a few brush pens that I keep forgetting about. So I put them to use and added some color to the sketch. I can’t say I’m particularly fond of the color but it does have a festive feel to it that’s suitable for the season.
Finished this little piece up earlier this week and now I’m turning my attention back to working on my Scarlet Macaw. I feel refreshed and ready to tackle this endless sea of red. But as I get ready to get back to inking, I’m wondering if maybe I should throw in a few blue feathers to add some contrast. What do you think, keep all the feathers red or throw in a few blue ones? I’m suggesting blue because, well, I have a limited color palette. Macaw parrots are pretty color creatures with red, green, yellow and blue feathers. I don’t have any green or yellow micron pens to go with the red but I do have an orange and a blue. What do you think? Feel free to offer your suggestions in the comments. 😌
In response to feeling a bit stir crazy from all the red ink I’ve been stippling on my Scarlet Macaw, I decided to take a brief break to work on a smaller project. I’m calling this piece “Butterfly Flowers”. It’s a drawing that’s actually drawn across two art cards. I don’t know why I hadn’t thought of using two cards before but I find it to be a neat little idea to create a diptych piece on art cards. I may even try doing triptych in the future.
Anyhoo, I was in the mood for something that involved butterflies and flowers. This was inspired by a few tattoo designs and has a more design feel to it. I’ll get back to the Macaw when I finish this one but I have to admit, this was a much needed break, I was starting to resent that red parrot for how much work it required. Ever get angry at your own artwork?
Layers, upon layers of red…will it ever end?
Just a brief update. I can’t say that I’ve gotten much done on my Scarlet Macaw. My other half, my dear hubby, had hernia surgery last week and well, I’ve been more focused on taking care of him as he gets better. Thankfully his recovery is going well and today I was able to get some inking done. This week I’ll be back to business as usual, so stay tuned for further updates. 😊
Originally I had planned to just do the head of this Macaw in red and use my artistic license to do the feathers in black. But as I was finishing up the head portion, I just said, “Oh what the hell, keep going with the red.” It’s more work to stipple in color, especially when you want those colors to look vibrant. A lot of layering is involved but so far so good. Unfortunately though, this piece will probably take longer to complete than I’m used to. This will definitely be a test of my patience but I’m in it for the long haul. 😊