For those who wish to draw more

Firewood in the drawing square November 3, 2006

Filed under: .Julia,Day 03,Drawing — juliaringma @ 3:35 pm
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I really do like the viewing square. It seems to impart some sort of discipline and it adds an air of abstractness to the drawing too.
firewood in basket through viewing square
Sitting in the armchair beside the fireplace, I saw this composition of pieces of firewood, with the handle of the basket to the left and a bit of newspaper showing in the bottom of the frame.


Oh. Well then. OR Ask the DrawMonauts! November 2, 2006

Filed under: .Margaret,Meta — Mgtei @ 4:32 pm
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So, just finished my drawing for the day (I’m hoping to post/flickr this weekend); I did it in Prismacolor colored pencils on two facing pages in my Moleskine. And . . . apparently you can’t erase Prismacolor from Moleskine paper. At least not with a kneadable eraser. Which is fine; I’m excited just to have actually used a colored pencil and filled two pages at one go. But if in the future I want to use more than one colored pencil and conquer my monochrome block, erasing might be good.

Does anyone know if another kind of eraser would work? Those PC pencils lay down pretty thick, which is why they’re so gorgeous, but I’ll have to learn to practice some restraint/planning (ew!) if I can’t erase. I hate to stray from the Moleskine it’s new! that works out to $.50/day because I love its creamy goodness, portability, and I’m comfortable with it. But if I become brave will PC colored pencils erase better from other kinds of paper? The Prismacolor website gave me nuttin’.

Questioning in Queens.


Pens, paper, and paint November 1, 2006

Filed under: .Dylan — Dylan Tweney @ 2:13 am
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I know Drawmo is supposed to be about drawing and not painting, but I was so inspired by Elizabeth Perry’s “Woolgathering” blog (and I enjoy watercoloring with my daughter so much) that I plan on doing some watercolor painting this month too. So here are my implements of destruction, from right to left:

  • 4×6 notecards (or really any index cards available — I’ve got lots lying around)
  • X-random ballpoint pen (my main axe)
  • Koh-i-noor drawing pens in a variety of tasty colors (favorite: graphite). These have the advantage of being cheap, and of drawing beautiful lines with ink that dries really fast. They feel like pencils actually!
  • Tiny 8-color portable watercolor set (cheap)
  • Portable #6 Utrecht watercolor brush (the end of the handle is hollow and slips off, then fits around the brush to protect it and to make the whole brush small enough to fit in my pants pocket)

And, at the top, today’s unintended splurge buys:

  • Moleskine watercolor sketchbook. $15 seems pricey for like 70 pages, and I readily admit I’m a bit of a Moleskine anti-snob, but I fell in love with the texture of the paper and decided what the hell. Serves me right for wandering into an art supply store. I will just have to chuck my plebeian pretensions and learn to enjoy it.
  • Bigger portable watercolor kit. This is just too nifty for words: It’s got 4 stacking disks, each with 6 colors, for a total of 24 different hues. Plus a lid. It was like $5 so I could hardly *not* buy it, right?

I was originally planning on doing all my drawing with just ballpoint and index cards, plus the tiny watercolor kit, but I have a way of getting seduced by new materials, especially if they’re packaged cleverly. Ah well. On to the drawing!

BTW, I am tagging all of my Drawmo posts in Flickr with the tag “drawmo” — might be a handy way to find stuff even if it hasn’t been explicitly sent to the Flickr group or blogged here.


Timely issue of Tin House magazine October 31, 2006

Filed under: .Susan — hylacrucifer @ 10:45 am
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The new Graphics issue of Tin House magazine is full of Lynda Barry goodness and other relevant artsiness.

I went “shopping” in the bottom drawer of my dresser last night but somehow can’t find my set of those Derwent pencils. Or my big box of colored pencils. But I now have a felt bag full of lots of markers and a Moleskine and another Moleskine and some vintage #2 pencils and Mars eraser. Ready? Well, here’s hoping!

Drawing exercise suggestion: While listening to a favorite album/CD/playlist, make a drawing for each song.


D minus 3: Are you ready? October 28, 2006

Filed under: .India — India @ 11:56 pm
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Today I took my newly assembled DrawMo!-to-go pouch out for a spin.

Drawing Bag

The bag is a Small Project Pouch made by Piddleloop. It’s intended for knitting, so there’s a pocket for notions, an elastic strap to hold needles (too tight for my phat pens, unfortunately), and a grommet in one end so you can thread your yarn out and knit with the top zipped shut. It’s exceptionally cute, and the ladies of Piddleloop were super, duper, duper nice. They offer many more fine products (including a cheaper version of this bag without the needle strap and grommet, for nonknitting applications), and you should totally go buy things from them. Once DrawMo! is over, I intend to put this to its intended use, and take up sock knitting. Anyone for SockMo?


Meanwhile, here’s what I crammed into it:

  • 6 Faber-Castell Pitt Artist Pens (the “landscape” set, with brush tips) — I’m not crazy about these, but I’m trying to get used to them. I just wish they had normal pen tips.
  • 1 fine-point brown Pitt Artist Pen — This is the kind I prefer, but I only have them in brown.
  • tin of 12 Caran d’Ache Supracolor Soft water-soluble colored pencils — This is what I ended up using today.
  • tin of 12 Derwent Artists Pencils — Somebody gave me these, and I’d forgotten I had them. They’re redundant, with the Caran d’Aches, so I’ll probably omit them from the bag on my next outing.
  • Moleskine reporter notebook — Now, with seven (sides of) pages used!
  • Muji pencil sharpener — The MoMA store is the only place I know of to get Muji in the U.S. This is from there, and I keep another one in my editing-to-go pouch. Not as if it matters what kind of pencil sharpener you use, but elegant tools make me happy.
  • Muji mechanical pencil — Got this from the Muji store in Paris, tra la!
  • Pentel Clic Eraser — These are The Shit. I keep them around for editing, but they’re great for all your eraser needs. It’s the same material as a white Mars eraser (my favorite—erases thoroughly without leaving a telltale pink smudge on the paper) but in an easier-to-handle shape.

That is all. I went to the Met, looked around a bit, then settled on a bench in the Indian sculpture area and did three sketches. Man, drawing really does make you have to use your brain in a different way. My first one—a nonblind contour drawing of a dancing female figure, sucked, right off. I made myself draw the whole outline, though, even though it looked kookity. Then I drew the same sculpture again, but this time roughing in the basic shapes first, to get them in the right positions. That came out way better, but I found that I’m very lazy about drawing detail stuff. Also, I had trouble getting enough of a range of shading. Finally, I started a third drawing of a smaller, simpler female figure, and that was going well, but then it was 8:30 and the guards started herding people out, so I was saved by the bell. Phew.

So. Good warmup, and I’ve already relearned some stuff that I’d forgotten.

Has anybody else who wasn’t drawing already gotten started? Are you ready to rumble?


Drawing tools October 20, 2006

Filed under: .Julia — juliaringma @ 2:37 pm
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Since I gave some of the who-am-I over in comments, I thought I would post about tools. Without having to buy anything new at all, I am ready for DrawMo with the following stuff:
Even though he says he can’t draw (and isn’t doing DrawMo because of other pressing commitments like NaNoWriMo), my husband really wants to draw and over time has bought more in the way of art supplies than I ever had. So I raided his stash and came up with two sketch pads that are small enough to tote around with me. One is 5.5 by 8.5 which is a little large for the small purse but then I found a teeny tiny pad only 3.5 by 5 so I have no excuses.

I can’t remember when I bought the watercolour pencils – perhaps around the time of my last drawing, about ten years ago. They’ve never been used and are still in mint condition. Maybe if I remain afraid of them, I will eventually be able to sell them on the Antiques Road Show.

The pencils in the plastic box are much better used and in fact, I have replaced the 6B and apparently have used up the 2B as it isn’t in there. Once I took a course from an artist who used a mechanical pencil and was struck by the convenience of not having to sharpen it. I tend to draw very small anyway so the fine point of a mechanical pencil works for me. Of course, the problem as always with pencil is that it smudges so I think I am going to dare to use a pen of some description – well, we will see.

Finally, the viewing square was introduced to me when I took a year long art class at Queen’s back in 1978. I had one about 4 inches square on the inside but I couldn’t find it and anyway, I wanted one smaller so I just made myself this one, three inches on a side (I made it from matte board – Peter frames his own photographs and we have plenty of matte board scraps to go around). The idea is that you look through the square at anything and it abstracts what you are looking at and isolates the pattern or the interest of it. I didn’t do many sketches with it and only ever did them as an exercise assigned by the teacher. But I liked every one I did so I thought it could help get me going on “what on earth do I draw?”


D minus 17: Drawing Tools October 13, 2006

Filed under: .India — India @ 11:08 pm
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If you’re planning to participate in DrawMo! and are not doing so because you’ve already got a ton of paper and art supplies that you never use, now is the time to start gathering some tools.

Or not. It would be perfectly cool to draw with ballpoint pens on napkins for the entire month—or on business cards, as Hugh MacLeod does.

But in case you do want to splurge on some art supplies, I thought perhaps we could ease the anticipatory tension a bit by talking about what kind of materials we like to use.

Me, I’ve always loved Caran d’Ache water-soluble colored pencils. You can use them dry, on dry paper, just like normal pencils, or you can draw on wet paper, or you can use a wet pencil on dry paper, or a wet pencil on wet paper, or you can draw dry and then brush all or part of the drawing with water, or . . . you get the idea.

The tin of pencils I just bought even came with a little multilingual booklet explaining the many ways you might want to use them. These pencils are not cheap, of course—a tin of twelve cost me about $23 at Dick Blick. But they also had another brand—Winsor Newton, maybe? Derwent—for way less. So shop around. Has anybody used a different brand?

Another medium I like is, perhaps not surprisingly, India ink. I used this a lot during the Pleistocene era (i.e., in college), with a brush and water. I really liked that it’s permanent—though this can be a hazard if you’re the clumsy type—and that if you mix it with a tiny bit of soap, you can paint just about any surface, no matter how slick. So you might want to play with that.

As for paper, I’ll be using a thus-far-mostly-empty Moleskine, because I have it already, and because I would like it to stop emitting mutation-causing Guilt Rays. But in olden days I used to like spiral-bound pads of watercolor paper.

Ye who already actually draw, what do you like to use? Elizabeth, I know, has a very interesting post on this: a few notes on my materials… . . .