spqrblues: (SPQR olc.net)
Felix swears, he really did have help in that battle that time.

(click to see larger...)

spqrblues: (White Rose)
I'm making my way through the pages of that Stillman & Birn Alpha sketchbook and, y'know, I don't hate it. It's ok. One good thing about it has been that, because it's been such a challenge to see whether it can live up to its hype, I've been filling the pages with test pieces, instead of being too timid to "ruin" the book by doing art wrong.

This sketch took me a while to figure out, and the pencils were erased many times before the page was inked then the light wash was put on. The paper held up extremely well to all the erasing, and although it seemed to buckle a lot with the water, it's flattening out. Not completely flat, but no worse than the previous pages.

I was going to watercolour the whole thing, add in more Felix-y details, and include Venus in the drawing, but started liking it as is. Of course, he might see Venus anyway. It's hard to tell with him.

Alternatively, he might be describing a fish that got away....

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Hmm. This just dredged up a memory. Once when I drew something and didn't completely define each finger, the editor said it looked like the character's fingers had been "fused together in a horrible industrial accident." I'm not bothered.
spqrblues: (arch scribe)
Today's warmup sketch is based on the "Antikythera youth" statue that was found in the same shipwreck site as the Antikythera mechanism. On Fluid cold-press paper; pencil, ancient palette watercolours, no subligaculum.

I'm sure I'll find all sorts of things to nitpick about the drawing in the morning, as I always do :)

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spqrblues: (arch scribe)
Stillman & Birn Alpha sketchbookI was planning to give a lukewarm-to-negative report on the Stillman & Birn Alpha softcover pocket sketchbook. A few pages in, the binding was fine, though the same could be said for the Delta sketchbook that after a few pages more cracked and tore between signatures. I tried brush pen and different types of pencils on the Alpha’s smooth white paper (there’s only the smallest bit of tooth to it), and the results were meh, both in the look of ink on the paper and the feel of working with it.

The Alpha is praised as excellent all-purpose (ink, pencil, wash) heavyweight paper (150gsm weight--but to quote artist Ursula Vernon (@UrsulaV): This cardstock is not "heavyweight." Heavyweight means I can beat a man to death with a pack.)

review and some artings )

spqrblues: (Ave Sweetums)

Yesterday's warmup: An ATC-size mini-painting using the ancient pigments. This particular paper (Strathmore cold press watercolor artist cards) started feathering at the underpainting, so I didn't try too much layering or detail, but I'm getting better at understanding how each individual pigment wants to be coddled.

I used all the pigments except the lapis lazuli blue. I'll save that for a fancier piece :)

Doodle of the day

Tuesday, 21 February 2017 12:01 am
spqrblues: (Antikythera hands)
Today's doodle was going to be a comic in the regular lineup, but the idea was just a little bit too silly :)

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This version was made with watercolours created by hand from some pigments I picked up a long while ago--all of them pigments used in ancient Roman painting: Yellow Ochres, Red Ochres, Brown Siennas, Lamp Black, Cinnabar (equivalent), and Green Earth. Which is close to the prehistoric cave-painting palette, except for the bright Cinnabar red. One thing I don't have on my palette yet is an ancient-style blue (which might be made from a pigment created by the Egyptians called Blue Frit, or made from Lapis Lazuli). It took a long time for artists to come up with a more vivid blue pigment that was stable and was not as hideously expensive as ground-up gemstones.

I don't know whether I made these watercolours well enough to last a couple of thousand years, but they do scan pretty nicely.
spqrblues: (Antikythera hands)
Like a lot of artists and writers, I have trouble with a blank page. Sometimes, that blank page is a beautiful, perfect sketchbook, an actual physical object I might ruin. I find having a new sketchbook to be encouraging at first--this or that paper or shape or size or heft looks inspiring, or the brand was recommended, or it was a gift...Then the sketchbooks lie in the art drawer for years. I don't have a nice little sitting room or atelier where I can display their prettiness to visitors, so the books stay unseen (plus I don't actually have visitors). Say someone asks whether I've used the gorgeous, lovingly selected drawing journal they gave me--I try to find a way not to say outright that, well, I did a little bitty drawing on the first page and the drawing wasn't worthy of the journal's beauty so I was too hesitant to sully more of the book's pristine perfection with imperfect nonsense.

Edepol! The cover's been creased and its perfection ruined! How will I bear to look at it now?

Sketches of the Day... )
Semi-Related Recommendation: If you love the love of history and archaeology and discovery, and are in the mood for a quietly (and sometimes outrageously) funny comedy, try Detectorists, created by actor/writer/director Mackenzie Crook (The Office, Pirates of the Caribbean). It's available in the US on Netflix. It gave me all the feels there are. It made me want to stick with something I love, even if it breaks my heart sometimes, even if it means ruining a perfect sketchbook cover. @detectorists
spqrblues: (arch scribe)
A random Egyptian night, some years ago...

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There's evidence from the wear and scuffing on mummies (of ordinary Graeco-Roman-Egyptian folks) that they were kept upright in or near the home, or else were brought out and set up for special occasions, until eventually being buried, maybe after a generation or two.
spqrblues: (Ugly Girl)
This is what my self portraits usually look like:

1073256 10732562 1073256

Well, that's what they look like when I'm in a charitable mood.

For some reason I decided, as long as I'm on a watercolour kick, to try a fancier self portrait. After I scanned it...

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Does it actually look like me? I dunno. Marginally?
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