Well I’m glad I made it to the end of Inktober, my latest online artistic challenge. But also glad that I restricted myself to 3 inch square drawings so as to not overwhelm myself. In reflection I think that I would do it & other similar challenges again.
One of these initiatives is Inktober which was begun by Jake Parker in 2009 as a challenge to improve his inking skills. The idea being that you draw one picture every day for the entire month of October, resulting in 31 ink pictures by the end of the month.
He guides us as follows :
1) Make a drawing in ink (you can do a pencil under-drawing if you want).
2) Post it online
3) Hashtag it with #inktober and #inktober2016
Note: you can do it daily, or go the half-marathon route and post every other day, or just do the 5K and post once a week. What ever you decide, just be consistent with it. INKtober is about growing and improving and forming positive habits, so the more you’re consistent the better.
He even provides a list of prompts for each year if you are lacking in inspiration.
This has also been reminding me of Danny Gregory‘s book Every Day Matters, in that it reminds us to look around and see the beauty and art potential in the objects that surround us. Like pocket change, if you look closely at the details there are history lessons, iconic animals and a little pocket lint 😉
As I have mentioned before, I am one of the co-coordinators the Victoria Urban Sketchers group. We meet bi-weekly around town to sketch together from what we see in our surroundings, not from photographs. Here a couple samples:
Months passed by and forgot about it when she came back to me and requested a scan of the image so that she may have it made into note cards. Today she brought by the finished results and I’m thrilled!
I am one of the organizers of the Victoria Urban Sketchers, our local chapter of the international Urban Sketchers organization. We meet every second Saturday morning in different areas around Greater Victoria to sketch as a group.
This is one way I have been able to regularly channel my creative energy. We all have busy lives, but even when I’ve been overwhelmed with everything the universe decides to throw at me I’ve managed to maintain this art habit.
The Cridge Centre is a great exterior to sketch. The grounds surrounding this turn-of-the-century brick building are filled with old oak trees, flowing shrubs and rock outcroppings.
The British Columbia Protestant Orphans’ Home had humble, unpretentious beginnings. As the need arose for more beds, funds were raised from the community to build the Taylor building high on a hill in 1893. It now houses Seniors and provides many other valuable services to families in our community.
I live on Vancouver Island in Beautiful BC just off the coast of the mainland & a little north of Seattle. Smog is (thankfully) something which we never need to contend with here. Unfortunately, there have been numerous wildfires on the West Coast of North America and the smoke blown our direction has changed the colour of the sunlight.
After a few hours of this phenomena I decided I had to try to capture some of it.
Making beauty of of tragedy! I applied a watercolor wash of pinky yellow aka orange 🙂 and let it dry. I then pulled out one of my new toys: a dip pen with a flexible nib and sepia India ink.
Then I grabbed my bag with art supplies and went for a walk up a nearby hill hoping to get a view. But everything just looked dirty viewing it from that altitude. 😥 So I sat down on a rocky knoll next to a small Garry oak tree amongst the dry grass for sketch.
Speaking of sepia:
These sepia colors remind me of a painting I did a while back. I had a favorite colorized photograph of my grandpa Jim, he was a real cowboy during the Depression. One night he got all gussied up in his best chaps and gear to go to a local dance. Our family had a farm in Fort St. John not far from where many of the current forest fires are.
I sketched these lovely ladies for the Summer of Color blog party, week 2. The color prompts for this week are Pink + Pink + Orange.
In my search for a subject that would reasonably translate to these colors I saw many works of girls and women with pink and orange peach skin, pink clothing and auburn hair. Bingo!
I have always admired the classic sketches of women by artists such as Leonardo DaVinci (indisputably a genius!) but I have yet to master his subtlety. I have made attempts to learn from copying his work before but decided to look a little farther afield when I came across a red chalk sketch by Edward Burne-Jones. Red, pink, orange. They’re all the same family, right?
Most of the models used by the Pre-Raphaelite Brotherhood had a very distinctly stylized look to their lips, nose and jaw line. I got close with the lips but I still have more practice ahead of me.
Sketch of a woman based of work of Edward Burne-Jones. Pink & orange pencil on orange paper.
While I still had the inspiration and not ready for bed yet I did another quick sketch but switched the colours around. In the hundreds of ladies I flipped past in the search results I found an older artist previously unknown to me: Phillppe Mercier. He was most well known for his portrait work.
I’m linking this post to Sunday Sketches where you can go for more “artspiration”
This past week’s location for Urban Sketching: Rock Bay, Victoria BC.
Modern day Rock Bay, Victoria
When I heard that or local urban sketching group was heading to a heritage/industrial district I knew that is be aiming for buildings, not people or flowers. I arrived around 10:30 a.m. on a sunny Saturday and remembered that I didn’t apply sunblock, oh well, sketching on the edge!
I plunked my tiny tripod stool down on the side of the intersection of Store and Pembroke Streets. I hoped my pink baseball hat would make me visible to the dump trucks and commercial vehicles going by.
British Columbia is a very young place in terms of (white man’s) history and the kind of man-made structures that survive many generations.
They say that in England 125 years ago was just like yesterday, where in BC 125 kilometres is a pleasant drive. Space? We have loads by European standards.
The Victoria area was colonized in & around 1850. So any building still standing from this time frame is REALLY old.
The Rock Bay area is very close to the harbour of Victoria and began as & has continued to be an industrial area. This unfortunately has resulted in alot of environmental contamination. They have been working for years to remediate land here.
After our days in the urban core of Amsterdam huddled winter clothes, we found some space to breathe. We spent 5 sunny December days in this hot spot of Spain rambling down and hiking up A LOT! but we made up for the exercise with generous amounts of food & wine.
Charming views were at ones disposal every other city block. For example, this time-worn church that reflected it’s warmth into the courtyard where we lounged over espresso & tapas.
14th century Catalan Gothic church in Barcelona, Spain
My Sketchbook came in handy many times during our European jaunt. Many hours were spent waiting for planes, trains & automobiles. I packed a travel size kit of art supplies for moments such as these.
Gaudi, Gaudi, Gaudi, & Gaudi. The Catalan architects influence is evident throughout Barcelona. It was underfoot in the walkways and countless buildings as well.
We couldn’t get around and see all of the sites but tackled as many as we could! I’ll come back.
Next stop: Bulgaria! Our objective there is to spend time with our friend Amalia who moved to Sunny Beach a few years ago with her husband Matt.