To Hurry or Not to Hurry…

I received an e-mail that I’ve been getting every Friday for quite a few months. It’s an e-mail I’ve thought about responding to, but never quite pulled myself together enough to sit still and work on it. Every week, Illustration Friday sends out an e-mail with a topic to illustrate in whatever medium you choose. It sounded like a really neat exercise to do… right there next to “Daily Painting”… so I signed up for the e-mails. And every week I’ve read the e-mail, thought about how it could be illustrated, and promptly filed those thoughts in the back of my head. But not this past Friday. I think I was still dealing with jet lag, and sitting still to doodle was pure therapy. My next-to-last math lesson is late, but I got the sketch finished. And even before they sent out the next topic! This week’s Illustration Friday topic is “Hurry!” and it is based on the quote…

All things will be clear and distinct to the man who
does not hurry; haste is blind and improvident.

~ Titus Livius ~

The quote is the antithesis to the topic, so I figured that I could go either way… To Hurry or Not to Hurry… if I claimed artistic liberty. So I pulled out an older papercutting design of mine and turned it into an ink & wash sketch… I’m going to try to link it in their “Pen and Ink” category.

Be still and know that I am God.
Psalm 46:10

Traditionally, Ink & Wash sketches are done with India ink, water, brushes, and dip pens with a variety of nibs. It can be a little messy, and take a little time…

But I tried out some new materials with this sketch…

One of my favorite new materials to use (at least new to me) is General’s Sketch & Wash pencil. It’s a graphite pencil with a nice charcoal gray line, but with just a dab of water, the lines can become an ink wash! It’s super portable, much less messy than India Ink, and if you’re sketching out and about, you can wait until you get home to add the water! This is a GREAT material for nature-sketching kids!

And my brand-new absolute favorite art supply is the Micro Pigma BRUSH pen! I’ve used the Micron Pigma pens for years in place of technical pens that have to be carefully cleaned and maintained, but had never tried out their Brush pen. I bought one recently, and it’s incredibly awesome. The point is extremely fine, but with a smidge of pressure, you can vary the width of the stroke…

Very cool. It helps me work a bit looser and heavier, since I tend to lean toward very fine, precise lines. And “loose and heavy” definitely helps in the therapy area for uptight artists. Waaay more relaxing. The Micro Pigma BRUSH would be a good material for older kids to use… they run around $3 a pen, so share them with kids old enough to understand not to put too much pressure on the brush/nib. I think it might squash easily under the control of a heavy-handed six year-old. I’d definitely recommend it for the “Twelve and Above” crowd, unless you have a very careful younger artist.

Happy Sketching!

In other news: Our oldest daughter Jordan is blogging about our California trip, and our young friend Kati did a post on our youngest daughter Kate’s Etsy Shop! If you get a chance, go check them out! You might even win something!

May Flowers

Since April Showers bring May Flowers,
I thought today would be a good day
to doodle some pretty blossoms.

Fraktur style.

They’re easy. Really.
Here are some sketchbook doodles…

And some step-by-step’s…

If Dr. Suess was going to draw flowers,
he would draw Fraktur flowers!

They really are just happy doodles!
If you try drawing some, e-mail them to
kim (at) thistledewmercantile.com
and I’ll share them on my blog!

Happy May Day!

Let’s Talk Turkey…

Back after a busy week…

…but it was nice to take a break from blogging after last month!

And just to get into a November sort of mood,
I thought it might be fun to do a quick
“how to draw a turkey” post!

Start with a few basic shapes…

Draw these rather lightly… most of these lines will either be
covered up or erased by the time your bird is finished.
It helps if you imagine the big “Pie-Shaped Wedge” as an
actual pie shape… draw the pointed end if you need to!

Then you can start roughing out the details…

Tom’s waddle is sort of lumpy and bumpy
and hangs down over his beak.
The leg that is closest to us is full at the top. Think “drumstick.”
Each foot has three toes that go forward, and one that goes back.
Start putting some directional lines for the feathers on his body,
and some guidelines for the color changes on his tail.

Next, work on his tail…

Separate the feathers with vertical lines, and
work on each tail feather individually.
In the top and bottom sections, shade in some color
with your pencil before adding feather details.
Leave the second section white, and keep the
detail lines very light in that area.
Add in some little scribbles for the grass.

Now use a thin black marker…
…my fave’s are Micron Pigma pens
found in the scrapbooking section of craft stores…
to ink in the details and define the feathers.
Erase any extra lines, and “smudge”
some of pencil lines around the edges
and in the turkey’s tail & waddle for shading.

He’ll suddenly come to life!

Have fun… and don’t stress  if your first
attempt doesn’t turn out so great…

Practice.

It really does make perfect.

(And now that I’m looking at this turkey on
my blog, I can see a mistake… I missed a
small section of his body under his
wing in the inking process!
See, we all need to keep practicing!)

P.S. If you send me your turkey drawings,
I’ll post them on the blog this month!

:-)

Creative Procrastination.

I have the Really Bad Habit of Creative Procrastination. That’s where you’re supposed to be doing something, (Or LOTS of somethings!) and something else more interesting comes along and sidetracks you a bit.

Like making homemade laundry soap when you’re supposed to be cleaning the house because company is coming.

Or organizing the spices in the cabinet when you should be painting picture frames.

Or sketching when you’re supposed to be cutting.

Or adding a new page to the blog when you have a bazillion orders to finish.

There’s not a whole lot there yet, but I needed a place to store some random ideas. So…..

This’ll Do

Sometimes you have to do some’ing
and be seen to do some’ing
and sometimes, just doing some’ing
makes some’ing  else ‘appen.

~Inspector Bucket, in Bleak House, by Charles Dickens~