Back to the Drawing Board… Literally

I’m getting back into drawing on a semi-regular schedule and I’m so excited about it! While I have many, many, MANY ideas, I need to start buckling down and work on them.  This leads to my scheduling art days.
Anyways, here is a sample of a work in progress.  It’s a pen and ink drawing where I plan on using hidden text to help with the shading and texture.
Thanks for letting me share because there is more to come!

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A wash will be applied!

Still without wash, but with some additions.
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August challenge

Hey ladies! So sorry for the delay on the challenge, but as you know, I have been busy busy! Me and Adam close on our house the 28th of this month! So, I have been trying to get some organizing done, and lots of packing, and on top of that, I have been on the hunt for a new job! More news on that later!
So onto the challenge. I have been mulling over what I thought our challenge should be, i wanted to do another print making challenge, but with the packing and moving, I will be losing the space, and more than likely I’ll lose supplies (literally, cause I know I’ll mindlessly pack it away in a box for the kitchen somehow) so i thought we could go with something that would travel well in a bag, something that doesn’t take up much space, is affordable, and wouldn’t take many supplies…water color! Sorry Staci, I know you were thinking knitting, but water colors travel just as easy! 😉 I’m not sure if either of you have dabbled much with water colors, but I had the greatest professor (and hands down the craziest) so I would be more than happy to share some of my techniques! I have lots of paper, and lots of paints, but none of the supplies are very expensive. If you’re feeling froggy and you want to splurge a bit, I recommend you splurge on the brushes. Most paint mediums can do with cheaper brushes, but in water color it can make all the difference!
So, supplies:

Water colors
Paper
Water color brushes
Palette
Press-n-seal…yup…you can use it to reuse paints!
Blue tape
Board (I think we all have the giant clip boards, if not anything any size board to tape your paper to)

So, subject can be anything! If you want to do some sketching, thats great, or we can practice with some steal life action! No, I’m going to go do some practice…I did dream I couldn’t draw…

Logos and Life

Same outfit...new year!

Well, today began the first official week of school.  The first three days don’t really count – especially since the bells don’t work yet, students don’t know where they are going, and it’s just a hectic repeat of rules, rules, and more rules.  That being said, I don’t think it could have gone any better.  I haven’t been this excited about a new year as a teacher since I first became one oh so many years ago (6 for those of you counting at home).

I’m finding it a little difficult to balance my schedule though, which is proving problematic.  I could put some of the blame on not being hired back officially until about 2 weeks before school started, but that’s only part of it.  I have a tendency to put things off what I think are more important.  As I’ve mentioned before, I used to get so bogged down in things at school, that my life suffered…and then my work suffered.  I try to keep it all as balanced as I can, but that causes some problems from time to time – like now.  I’m in a bit of a limbo as to what I should do about it.  Do I work on jewelry for an hour, then go back to my power point for the class, OH! what about this cool project that I would love the kids to be working on…but wait, they haven’t gone over the terms in the standard yet…and so on, and so on, and so on.   It’s no wonder I’m having nightmares about not finishing anything!

This weekend though, I did accomplish some things.  I made some pendants and earrings – but the highlight, for me, was working on the Errant Easel logo.  Granted, I started off working on a logo for a friend’s blog (Joe, I promise, I’ll get something to you tomorrow), but I ended up working on something for our little blog here.  Actually, I did two different logos.  I like them both, and think they are reflective of what we are trying to accomplish here at Errant Easel.  It was fun trying to figure out how to represent all three of us in a subtle way in one logo idea, while taking the idea of an “errant” easel and having some fun with it.  For those of you not sure of the definition, errant, according to Merriam-Webster means “traveling or given to traveling; a straying outside the proper paths or bounds.”

First off, don’t get me started on “proper paths or bounds.”  What is “proper” anyways?!  To me, a better way of looking at being “errant” would be to view it as straying outside of conventional paths or bounds – which is what I believe we are doing here.

So, here is a sampling of my logo making abilities.  I’ll be working on them some more once a consenses is made between us.  These are really sketched out ideas for now.  I’ll try to be better about scheduling my time, which, by the way, puts me in even more awe of the working men and women who balance not only a career, but husbands and children as well.  I have a fiance’ and I can barely handle it sometimes.  Maybe this is just what I need though – something more to do besides work and home – that’ll make me be better about how I deal with my time during the day?  We can hope right?

Logo Idea Zwei

Logo Idea #1

Episode II: Linoleum Printmaking – After the idea

Pencil Drawing on Linoleum

Earlier this week, I began work on my first linoleum print in nearly a year. Having the idea and the materials is just the first part, now the drawing, carving and inking begins.

I’ve decided to do a reduction print. This means that I’ll cut out only part of the matrix (linoleum), print the lightest color, then cut out what I want to stay that color. I’ll repeat this process until all I have is the black outline. The upside to this process is that I’ll be making a limited edition run on the color prints. The downside is that I’ll be making a limited edition run on the color prints. Once I’ve cut away the various colors, I will only be able to print the image with one type of ink.

First, the drawing has to be put on the linoleum. That is done in pencil so that mistakes can be erased. After the pencil drawing is completed, I then use a Sharpie to go over the lines, and make which parts will be left solid at the end of the printmaking process. I have found that a Sharpie will allow the lines to be visible to make the reduction print easier to complete since I’ll be able to see the lines that I want to keep for the final product. To show a value change with this medium, I have to use hatching, cross-hatching, and stippling. These techniques also provide a variety of lines to make the artwork more interesting.

Drawing post Sharpie treatment

Once I’ve gotten all of my line work completed, I can now begin cutting away all the parts I want to remain white. I try to cut the linoleum in the directions I want to viewers eye to move. This is in case some “noise” occurs. “Noise” is when ink gets on the ridges left after cutting and appear on the paper. This isn’t something you always want to get rid of because it gives a nice effect, but you want the “noise” lines to serve the same purpose as the lines you’ve decided to keep – variety and direction(s) for the viewer to follow across the artwork.

Cut Linoleum, ready for first color

I can now ink the matrix with the lightest color I will be using. I could always hand color the image, of course, but that has a different look than printed ink. It’s not a bad look, and if you are afraid of how your registration will line up (making sure each time you print, everything prints in the correct space) I do recommend hand coloring. This can be done with ink, as if you are painting, acrylic paint, and even color pencils. You just have to be careful because the paper you’ll be printing on is usually really absorbent, so think applications of color will soak though. Below are some pictures of the process so far.

Tomorrow, I’ll ink the first few colors on – but that depends entirely on how fast the ink dries. Hope you are enjoying the process, I know I am!

Now, I’m off to karate class and then the Captain America midnight show.

Detail of first cuts

Outline cuts before using large gouges

V and U gouges used to cut large areas of linoleum