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Tuesday, June 12, 2012

A progressive urban sketch

This is my sketch, using a Hero calligraphy pen nib in a Noodler's body--lightweight and handy for on the spot sketching when you want a larger variety of line weights!

I happened to have one of the original Noodler's flex pens on hand, so decided to give putting a Hero 86 nib in place instead of the one that came with it.  It's my favorite sketching pen now! 

You can find more information on how to do that down the page a bit on the Fountain Pen Network.  Definitely does NOT fit the Ahab, but it's fine in the Creaper--the original flex pen.


I was careful to keep the non-essential areas very high key so they wouldn't compete with the building. I painted the white room that extends over the deck with suggestions of blue to suggest shadows.

I wanted the trumpet vine's flowers to show up against the green, so I broke out my set of Crayolas--kids' crayons for those who aren't familiar with them.  A dot of waxy color here and there would repel the paint...
You can see how that worked!  I varied the greens, too, flooding in blues and yellows while it was still wet.

Raw sienna underwash worked for the areas that weren't painted white--that one room extends over the porches.  I let that dry and left some bits of white paper here and there.


Finally, I added the warm color of the bricks--burnt sienna and a bit of quinacridone burnt scarlet, adding ultramarine blue in the shadowing and encouraging variation in color.  I used more of the green mix where the potted plant was.  I decided to keep the foreground mostly unpainted except for the shadows to keep the focus where it belonged.

I love this crazy old building...just wish I'd caught it when there was laundry hanging on the impromptu lines and over the railings!

25 comments:

  1. Beautiful! Thanks too for giving us the drawing in stages. I'm curious why you put the Hero nib in the Noodler body, rather than just using the Hero nib in the Hero body? (And was it hard to make the nib switch?)

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  2. Thank you, Patricia! And the reason I switched was the Hero 86 is quite heavy, as are most of their pens, and rather top heavy to boot with a bulbous cap. Other Heros don't have that kind of cap, but they're still much heavier than most pens I have. It was uncomfortable to use, with my small hands and arthritis. Noodler's pens are very lightweight! No, it was easy. I kept the Hero feed and just replaced the nib, as I recall.

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  3. This is a wonderful demo! Thanks, Kate.

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  4. Wonderful post Kate. So very helpful to me. I love that you tell your thought process. May I ask what paper you used? Thanks, Sharon

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  5. Glad you both liked it! Sharon, it's Stillman & Birn Beta series sketchbook...nice paper, good and heavy.

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  6. Kate, thanks for sharing. This is excellent. I always enjoy seeing a step by step process!

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  7. What a fun demo Kate. Thanks.

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  8. Wonderful! Thank you for sharing the process in such detail.

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  9. Great post on your process, Cathy. The finished drawing is wonderful!!!

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  10. Glad you all liked it, thank you! I like step by steps too, and to read about the artist's thought processes...

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  11. Kate, your on-line Strathmore Workshop encouraged me to revisit my inner artist, however, I don't know where to find those wonderful oriental papers I used long ago. Some had beautiful textures and were translucent. Do you know the names of the papers or better yet know an on-line supplier?
    Janice Robinson

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    1. Glad you enjoyed the workshop, Janice! I don't know the paper names myself, but I've seen them in both Daniel Smith and Dick Blick's catalogs. Have fun!

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    2. Thank you! Dick Blick rings a chime in my memory. I'll Check out both resources. I can't wait to get back to the paints this weekend after a long dry spell.
      Janice

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  12. Kate,
    The color in this sketch is just MAGICAL!

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  13. The kind of place where neighbors talk to each other. Your feelings for the building came through. Wonderful.

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    1. Exactly, Molly. I wouldn't be surprised if some of them hadn't lived there for decades.

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  14. FABULOUS!! I LOVED this journey of the building. Thank you for posting.. So inspiring..

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  15. Thank you for the demo.
    As an indian character in "City of Joy" says: "All that is not given is lost...".

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  16. I LOVE all stages... good work!

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  17. Thanks all! I'm glad you liked it...I have SO many demos shot but not enough time to post them all or make CDs or...

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  18. I so love it when you show your work in stages. I learn so much. Some day I need you to teach me how to do washes around stuff (as opposed to typical demos where they're done over an entire surface). Did you use masking fluid on the verticals while applying the sienna washes to the brick? Thanks again...some more..and some more.

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  19. Thanks Larry! I just painted around, no masking fluid. (I hold my breath a lot.)

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  20. Wonderful to see all the stages, very inspiring, thank you for sharing.

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  21. Now that I have a Hero pen (*thanks!*), I might be tempted to try the nib in my Noodler's creeper body like you have . . . . but the creeper holds such a SMALL volume of ink! How does it compare to the amount in the Hero M86 converter?

    The weight of the Hero's body doesn't bother me, and I love the "little China man" look. But it might be bothersome to not be able to post the lid. Might loose it.

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  22. You're welcome! Yes, that's a problem with the Creaper, but as fast as Heros use ink when you're doing a broader line, seems like the smallish converter doesn't hold all that much. I'm looking for a large cartridge to refill! And that's the main problem with the M-86, yes...of course as big as the cap is, it would be a bit out of balance if you COULD post it. They sure do work well though!

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