SNIPPET TIPS: TOOLS & APPROACHES ON THE GO

July 22, 2014
BAR STUDY. © 2014 ELLEN WARD. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. HYBRID TECHNICA PEN

BAR STUDY. © 2014 ELLEN WARD. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. HYBRID TECHNICA PEN

Brevity is the soul of wit.
WILLIAM SHAKESPEARE

Using ten or twenty minutes to draw has really taught me a lot in the last two years. The amount of time it takes to wait for my entrée is often enough to quickly describe the moment. Now I have a greater appreciation of what can be accomplished in small increments. These snippets add up on the page and in positive experiences at the end of a week, month or year. Whether drawing from observation or illustrating an idea, sprints of practice can show progress rather rapidly. IMPORTANT NOTE: In general I wait a bit to let ANY INK dry into the paper, if the paper is sized.

Below are some tools I like to use for snippets. Sometimes I combine all 3 tools in the same sketch.

AFTERNOON LIGHT. © 2014 ELLEN WARD. All rights reserved. HYBRID TECHNICA PEN.

AFTERNOON LIGHT. © 2014 ELLEN WARD. All rights reserved. HYBRID TECHNICA PEN.

PENTEL HYBRID TECHNICA GEL PENS
These pens have a roller ball and are water resistant once dry. They come in several point widths. I like them particularly for really fast, scribbled sketches. A ballpoint pen is a really humble tool and is capable of great variety. I like to use pigment ink for longevity, so I prefer to use these pens rather than the kind used in most office supply. The gel ink gives a really smooth line and rarely develops the dreaded BLOB-ITIS I remember from high school. BLOB-ITIS creates greasy wads of ink on the edges of the rollerball, landing unpredictably on a sketch in defiance.

A scribbled sketch generally takes only a few minutes. I try to create a condition of light and emphasize the overall shape of objects or figures.

KANNAPOLIS CITY PARK. © 2014 ELLEN WARD. All rights reserved. LAMY SAFARI with Noodlers ink

KANNAPOLIS CITY PARK. © 2014 ELLEN WARD. All rights reserved. LAMY SAFARI with Noodlers ink

LAMY SAFARI FOUNTAIN PENS
These fountain pens are great because they are rugged, easy to use, and are relatively inexpensive. The marks have an expressive quality that is difficult to mimic with a technical pen, and the mess of carrying a dip pen is not a factor. I use Noodler’s BULLETPROOF INK for permanence or completely compromise and use a LAMY cartridge. The NOODLER’s ink is waterproof so I often prefer to use it if I want to place wash on top.

KANNAPOLIS STUDY. © 2014 ELLEN WARD. All rights reserved. LAMY SAFARI PEN with NOODLER's INK

KANNAPOLIS STUDY. © 2014 ELLEN WARD. All rights reserved. LAMY SAFARI PEN with NOODLER’s INK

A fountain pen sketch really makes me conscious of the types of lines I am creating and reinforces the idea that all drawing is abstract.

DOWNTOWN CONCORD, NC. © 2014 ELLEN WARD. All rights reserved. PITT ARTIST PENS & HYBRID TECHNICA PEN.

DOWNTOWN CONCORD, NC. © 2014 ELLEN WARD. All rights reserved. PITT ARTIST PENS & HYBRID TECHNICA PEN.

FABER-CASTELL PITT ARTIST PENS
These pens are available in a full complement of gray tones, which are excellent for developing drawings on the go. I usually buy the BIG BRUSH pens because I like to cover a big area fast. The fine-line markers are really nice to render detail. I always have a large black BIG BRUSH pen to fill in large areas rather than crosshatch into madness.

CABARRUS PARK. © 2014 ELLEN WARD. All rights reserved. HYBRID TECHNICA PENS WITH WASH

CABARRUS PARK. © 2014 ELLEN WARD. All rights reserved. HYBRID TECHNICA PENS WITH PITT ARTIST PENS

Gray toned drawings can really conjure a sense of place and light quickly.

WILMINGTON NC SNIPPET. © 2014 ELLEN WARD. All rights reserved. DEAD BRUSH WITH INK.

WILMINGTON NC SNIPPET. © 2014 ELLEN WARD. All rights reserved. DEAD BRUSH WITH INK.

THE DEAD BRUSH
When you have a brush that has died you have nothing left to lose: bring a small bottle of ink and work with the dried old crusty hairs. You can throw it away if you choose when you are done!

 

 

WILMINGTON LIGHT

July 18, 2014
detail, WALKING AWAY. © 2014 ELLEN WARD. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. watercolor on STILLMAN & BIRN DELA paper

detail, WALKING AWAY. © 2014 ELLEN WARD. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. watercolor on STILLMAN & BIRN DELTA paper

 WALKING AWAY. © 2014 ELLEN WARD. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. watercolor on STILLMAN & BIRN, DELTA paper

WALKING AWAY. © 2014 ELLEN WARD. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. watercolor on STILLMAN & BIRN, DELTA paper

 

A little color injection in a summer of B/W sketching.  A view of WRIGHTSVILLE BEACH, just under Mercer pier as the sun nears noon.

Urban Sketching: Kannapolis ‘ Brew’ pub

July 18, 2014

I was always a sucker for the theme to CHEERS:

” WHERE EVERYBODY KNOWS YOUR NAME…”

BREW PUB: KANNAPOLIS , NC. © 2014 ELLEN WARD. All rights reserved. Pitt artist pens and Micron pens in a STILLMAN & BIRN ALPHA journal.

BREW PUB: KANNAPOLIS , NC. © 2014 ELLEN WARD. All rights reserved. Pitt artist pens and Micron pens in a STILLMAN & BIRN ALPHA journal.

A brew pub has been established in town and with good dinner specials it seems that a local crowd is gathering on a regular basis. So it is nice to revisit a setting  that reminds me a  bit of the local pub in my hometown.

Coming from a place that had SERIOUS IRISH, the pub atmosphere was a part of life.

SERIOUS IRISH means that:

• There is a brogue in your immediate family.

• Green beer on ST. PATRICK’S DAY is not a possibility.

• You know what the word ‘egit’ means because you were dubbed so more than once for good cause. The time you dropped your brother down the laundry shoot would be one such time, for example.
• TRIFLE is not a small thing but a gelatinous- love it- or- hate it blob.

• When you landed in really hot water, the entire HOLY FAMILY is invoked by name…ending with JOSEPH. Dad’s are always the last to know.

• Your mother has made her own BAILEY’s, with more strange ingredients than a witch’s brew.

• Irish soda bread is a fiercely guarded recipe, committed to heart and rarely written for posterity.

• Stew is a lifestyle.

• Ham is as important as air.

TR’s ALL AMERICAN is the hometown pub in NY. If I showed up there today I would find classmates from grammar and high school. Stories at the bar chase a person from first grade well into middle-age. Nobody ever forgets anything in these places: the room is dark and the memory is long.
The decor has changed little over time. It reminds me of a  funeral parlor with forest green wallpaper, lots of wood, and TEDDY ROOSEVELT memorabilia. There will be  SERIOUS IRISH there, despite the numerous changes in management and menu.

There is no SERIOUS IRISH here and now in KANNAPOLIS, but I expect by this point I take it as a ‘ TRAVELER’ and bring it along on my own. At least there is a local place than can conjure the ambiance if I squint.

 

 

 

 

Urban Sketching: Listening to Mr. Turner

July 18, 2014

If I could find anything blacker than black, I’d use it.
J.M.W.TURNER

BAR- B- Que Truck @HERBFEST, KANNAPOLIS NC. © 2014 ELLEN WARD. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.

BAR- B- Que Truck @HERBFEST, KANNAPOLIS NC. © 2014 ELLEN WARD. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.

 

URBAN SKETCHING: WILMINGTON NC 2014

July 17, 2014

JOHNNY MERCER PIER in the morning. © 2014 ELLEN WARD. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. Noodlers ink in a LAMY SAFARI with watercolor wash ( lamp black, davy's gray ).

JOHNNY MERCER PIER in the morning. © 2014 ELLEN WARD. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. Noodlers ink in a LAMY SAFARI , watercolor wash ( lamp black, davy’s gray ).

Sunscreen, umbrella, hat, water, towels, t-shirt, beach book ( THE BEST UNREQUIRED READING edited by Dave Eggers. I give it 4 stars ).

The list is lengthy if you are on the pasty side and heading for the beach.

When I looked at my fully stocked pencil case, the large fistfull of PITT artist markers & the full palette of watercolors, I realized that the experience of “BEING THERE” should be primary and not the experience of ” DRAGGING THERE” all the bits and bobs one might WANT but does not NEED to describe the moment. The length of that sentence describes the feeling perfectly. TOO MUCH.

THE SANDEATER. © 2014 ELLEN WARD . ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. Noodler's Ink in a LAMY SAFARI, with Watercolor wash ( lamp black, davy's gray )

THE SANDEATER. © 2014 ELLEN WARD . ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. Noodler’s Ink in a LAMY SAFARI, with Watercolor wash ( lamp black, davy’s gray )

Doubt Faber-Castell designed the markers to bake on the sand anyway.
I filled 2 LAMY SAFARI pens with NOODLERS BLACK ink, carried a tiny palette with LAMP BLACK /DAVY’S GRAY, and a single flat brush. A paper cup held water for the limited washes on the beach. Less was definitely more.

One toddler was a sand-eater. He seemed to alternate between throwing gobs into the air and filling his mouth. I yelled to his mother “SAND-EATER” and  she replied, ” Yeah. He does that.”  Can’t stop the tide. Clearly can’t stop a dedicated sand eater. With at least 4 or 5 other boys under her charge, I guess she would know. No doubt a lot of sand has worked its way through them at one time or another. Probably puts ALL-BRAN to shame.

THE WILMINGTON tour of port. © 2014 ELLEN WARD. All rights reserved. Noodler's Ink in a LAMY SAFARI with watercolor wash ( lamp black, davy's gray )

THE WILMINGTON tour of port. © 2014 ELLEN WARD. All rights reserved. Noodler’s Ink in a LAMY SAFARI with watercolor wash ( lamp black, davy’s gray )

A tour of the harbor was full of facts about the history of Wilmington, but I was more interested in spotting some of the dolphins and sea turtles seen on the earlier trip. At 3 in the afternoon it was incredibly hot, so I wanted to capture the feeling of being in a fully shaded interior with intense daylight outside. Just a pen was enough to commit the experience to memory.

STILLMAN & BIRN ALPHA AND EPSILON : INKLINGS

July 6, 2014

No pen, no ink, no table, no room, no time, no quiet, no inclination.
JAMES JOYCE

IMAGINARY WARREN. © 2014 ELLEN WARD. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. STILLMAN AND BIRN ALPHA SKETCHBOOK: pen and ink.

IMAGINARY WARREN. © 2014 ELLEN WARD. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. STILLMAN AND BIRN ALPHA SKETCHBOOK: pen and ink.

 NC EXTENSION GARDEN: WILMINGTON, NC. © 2014 ELLEN WARD. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. STILLMAN & BIRN EPSILON SKETCHBOOK WITH INK.

NC EXTENSION GARDEN: WILMINGTON, NC. © 2014 ELLEN WARD. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. STILLMAN & BIRN EPSILON SKETCHBOOK WITH INK.

Ink is a catalyst for seeing. It is definite and for the most part indelible. By drawing consistently with ink one learns to make clear decisions and develop better aim. I generally do not use a pencil underlay because it hobbles my responses and makes me lazy.

These drawings are done with ink but on 2 different papers by STILLMAN & BIRN.

ALPHA has a slight texture, which works very well when crosshatching. The paper helps to break up lines, and slow the movement of the pen. There are rabbits in the yard, so this piece was drawn in bits over time. Sometimes I will start one of these sketches and use it to focus, warm-up, or just meditate. It may be developed over weeks, with 5 or 10 minutes visits to build the image each time. Imagination comes into play combining different bits of landscape to develop a sense of space.

EPSILON has a smooth texture which I like a lot because it fosters a speedy line. The garden sketch combines marks made by both the PENTEL BRUSH PEN and a LAMY fountain pen. This is observational drawing. Navigating the chaos is the challenge when sketching. Challenging one’s skill level is the point!

 

BAMBOO AND BECKETT

June 30, 2014

WPbamboo_beach1

THE OLD BAMBOO: seeing with alternative tools

June 27, 2014

What I have not drawn, I have never really seen.
FREDERICK FRANCK

Here are some sketches using several monster big bamboo pens and a brush, with the old standard Higgins waterproof ink.

I think a paper that has some tooth and weight really helps, as the bamboo pen does not move like a felt tip or a brush. By really concentrating on mark-making it is easy to begin thinking more abstractly. Soaking the bamboo pen in clean water before drawing also makes the experience much more friendly for sweeping strokes and fluidity.

This summer I am concentrating on expressive rendering, trying to move quickly and let serendipity take the reins.
So I am working big or really tiny, because mid-size lets things get a bit ” too real and controllable”!

WRIGHTSVILLE PIER. © 2014 ELLEN WARD. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. DO NOT REPRODUCE. BAMBOO PEN AND INK.

WRIGHTSVILLE PIER. © 2014 ELLEN WARD. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. DO NOT REPRODUCE. BAMBOO PEN AND INK.

WRIGHTSVILLE BEACH , scape. © 2014 ELLEN WARD. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. DO NOT REPRODUCE. BAMBOO PEN AND INK.

WRIGHTSVILLE BEACH , scape. © 2014 ELLEN WARD. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. DO NOT REPRODUCE. BAMBOO PEN AND INK.

CODDLE CREEK. © 2014 ELLEN WARD. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. DO NOT REPRODUCE. BAMBOO PEN AND INK.

CODDLE CREEK. © 2014 ELLEN WARD. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. DO NOT REPRODUCE. BAMBOO PEN AND INK.

THE FINALE: INTERNATIONAL FAKE JOURNAL MONTH

April 29, 2014

Roz Stendahl invented INTERNATIONAL FAKE JOURNAL MONTH,  an activity which encourages participants to engage in visual journal work as someone other than oneself. Lots of information can be found here: INTERNATIONAL FAKE JOURNAL BLOG.

This month I explored imagery in panels using this year’s theme : ” NO EXPLANATIONS “.

I am no good at dating things.
Some days I did only one panel, other days I could do a page if the idea was clear.
My character drew her dreams, her family history, band posters, and ads for a local diner.

BELOW YOU CAN SEE THE RESULTS! In keeping with the theme, I’m leaving the explanations to a minimum.

IFJM 2014 P1-2. © 2014 ELLEN WARD. India Ink on paper.

IFJM 2014 P1-2. © 2014 ELLEN WARD. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. India Ink on paper. Do not reproduce, reblog or pin to respect copyright.

IFJM 2014 P3-4. © 2014 ELLEN WARD. India Ink on paper. Do not reproduce, reblog or pin to respect copyright.

IFJM 2014 P3-4. © 2014 ELLEN WARD.ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. India Ink on paper. Do not reproduce, reblog or pin to respect copyright.

IFJM 2014 P5-6. © 2014 ELLEN WARD. India Ink on paper. Do not reproduce, reblog or pin to respect copyright.

IFJM 2014 P5-6. © 2014 ELLEN WARD.ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. India Ink on paper. Do not reproduce, reblog or pin to respect copyright.

© 2014 ELLEN WARD. IFJM 7 and 8 .ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. DO NOT REPRODUCE REBLOG OR PIN.

© 2014 ELLEN WARD. IFJM 7 and 8 .ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. DO NOT REPRODUCE REBLOG OR PIN.

© 2014 ELLEN WARD. IFJM 9 and 10 . ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. DO NOT REPRODUCE REBLOG OR PIN.

© 2014 ELLEN WARD. IFJM 9 and 10 . ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. DO NOT REPRODUCE REBLOG OR PIN.

© 2014 ELLEN WARD. IFJM 11 and 12 . ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. DO NOT REPRODUCE REBLOG OR PIN.

© 2014 ELLEN WARD. IFJM 11 and 12 . ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. DO NOT REPRODUCE REBLOG OR PIN.

© 2014 ELLEN WARD. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. DO NOT REPRODUCE REBLOG OR PIN>

© 2014 ELLEN WARD. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. DO NOT REPRODUCE REBLOG OR PIN>

 

© 2014 ELLEN WARD. IFJM 15 and 16 . ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. DO NOT REPRODUCE REBLOG OR PIN.

© 2014 ELLEN WARD. IFJM 15 and 16 . ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. DO NOT REPRODUCE REBLOG OR PIN.

© 2014 ELLEN WARD. IFJM 17  . ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. DO NOT REPRODUCE REBLOG OR PIN.

© 2014 ELLEN WARD. IFJM 17 . ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. DO NOT REPRODUCE REBLOG OR PIN.

 

 

INTERNATIONAL FAKE JOURNAL MONTH: NO EXPLANATIONS…

April 6, 2014

Roz Stendahl invented INTERNATIONAL FAKE JOURNAL MONTH,  an activity which encourages participants to engage in visual journal work as someone other than oneself. Lots of information can be found here: INTERNATIONAL FAKE JOURNAL BLOG.

Last year I participated and my initial choices entailed too much work. You can see the my 2013 FAKE JOURNAL HERE.

The theme for 2014 is NO EXPLANATIONS.

I am keeping things very simple:

• The style is one I can do quickly, and is much more graphic than I would use in my regular journal.

• The tools are simply india inks and Pro-White.

• I am working in panels because this is an approach that is foreign to me for the most part. My journals are usually just collections of drawings, and can have a very random feeling in style and content.

• The images are stream of consciousness, generated by a character who is in her 20′s and sees the world through the format of a graphic novel. Anything can end up in her visual journal, including her friends, her work, her odd ball dreams, and  her old photos.

• I can accomplish a lot in 30 minutes with a brush and ink.

• I have no idea what will happen from panel to panel. The month will reveal what lies in store.

IFJM 2014 P1-2. © 2014 ELLEN WARD. India Ink on paper.

IFJM 2014 P1-2. © 2014 ELLEN WARD. India Ink on paper. Do not reproduce, reblog or pin to respect copyright.

IFJM 2014 P3-4. © 2014 ELLEN WARD. India Ink on paper. Do not reproduce, reblog or pin to respect copyright.

IFJM 2014 P3-4. © 2014 ELLEN WARD. India Ink on paper. Do not reproduce, reblog or pin to respect copyright.

IFJM 2014 P5-6. © 2014 ELLEN WARD. India Ink on paper. Do not reproduce, reblog or pin to respect copyright.

IFJM 2014 P5-6. © 2014 ELLEN WARD. India Ink on paper. Do not reproduce, reblog or pin to respect copyright.

 

 


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