Spring is slowly coming to the garden

This has been a wild week for weather in our garden. Tuesday morning the temperature was 16°F, by Thursday morning it was 49°F. This morning it’s a more seasonal 37°F.

I’ve started using AD Markers again with my sketching. I love these markers, best out there in my opinion. They do bleed through the Landland paper, but markers bleed through everything. It just means I’ll be buying more of these little sketchbooks.

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Everyday that I get to go outside I feel better. Just smelling the dirt and hearing the sounds is so nice. This morning I could hear several song birds. Knowing they have returned to the yard is a real treat, a nice change of pace from the usual chatter of the sparrows. Nothing against the sparrows, they are good for keeping the bug population in check, but they aren’t my favorite bird in the yard.

wren 021318This is a quick wren I drew over lunch. I keep a limited number of colored pencils in my pencil bag, I think just this blue and green actually. Mixing these with the graphite pencil and pen gives me just enough color variety to keep it a bit fresh. I could invest in another pencil bag, but my messenger bag is already heavy enough.

That’s all for today, thanks for taking the time to read my rambles…Erik

 

 

 

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The garden journal and a new project

The daily garden journal continues. To be honest I really picked a challenging time of year to start a garden journal. It’s cold, snowy, and not a lot is happening in the garden. But I also enjoy the challenge that adds. I’ve been using a variety of fiber tip pens and fountain pens for my drawings. The fountain pens are great when I’m using colored ink, but the fiber tip pens are my first choice for black lines. The Faber-Castell PITT pens have always been my favorite. Over the years I have tried several different brands and styles of fountain pens, but I keep coming back the Preppy pens from Platinum. The $3.00 price on these pens is also hard to beat.

020518 begonia020618 fresh snowfall020718 morning tea020818 redbud020918 cut flowers021018 wisteria arbor

I am now using a sketchbook from Landland, I’ll go over the details for this switch in a future post. But this is a great little sketchbook!

 

For several years I have been drawing an alter ego in various shapes and styles. I’ve named him Stan. I wanted to include a female companion for Stan, but I haven’t been able to come up with a figure I was really happy with. So Stan has a little bird. That’s his companion through life.

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Stan usually isn’t this angry, but he’s rather frustrated with the current weather conditions. I’ve decided to create a weekly comic strip featuring Stan. I haven’t decided which day I’ll post Stan, but my goal is to be consistent with the posting. I am a big fan of Field Notes pocket notebooks, those will be the notebooks I will be using for The Stan Files. The size and portability of the notebooks will really help me be consistent with the comic. I also think the faint grid lines will keep things a bit more free and organic. More spontaneous.

That’s all for this post, thanks for stopping by – Erik

A new garden journal

I’ve decided to start a sketchbook/garden journal this year. Starting this during the winter is proving to be a challenge, but I if I can keep this up until spring kicks in I will be golden! I am currently using a Story Supply Co. pocket notebook for this. I love the compact size of these notebooks and the faint grid. The paper is also very friendly to fountain pens, art pens, and pencils. This allows me to use both sides of the paper without fear of anything bleeding through.

For those who want to try Story Supply Co. notebooks, or refill their stash, feel free to us this link to save 40% off your order – http://storysupplyco.refr.cc/erikdavis

I’ve also started using bottled inks with my artwork. I’m finding the colors to be much more intense, and I like that the inks work great with sketch paper and Bristol Board. I was finding the watercolor paper to be very challenging when using pens and pencils.

That’s all for today…thanks for taking the time to read my post…Erik

Sketching with AD Markers and planning this year’s holiday card

I haven’t had time over the last week for watercolors, but I am trying to find time for some quick pen and marker sketches.

We are growing a cutting garden this year and one of the seed packets we bought was a mix of mini sunflowers. They look so fun in the garden, and they make great cutting flowers for bouquets inside! They will be making a return next year. Down the road from the office there is a large construction site, a bean field is being turned into a hotel. The other day I spotted these two surveyors walking the site, their bright orange shirts really stood out against all the piles of fresh rock. The Post It Note was from a coworker who thought I needed a task for the day. I’m glad she gave me the task!

I’m also working on new ideas for this years holiday card.

I am currently leaning towards drawing B, with the two figures walking in the snow. I haven’t decided if I will paint the finished design in a loose watercolor style or go with the pen and watercolor sketch. I will post all updates as I go along.

Thanks for stopping by…Erik

Sketching with fountain pens and AD Markers

I’ve been mixing the AD Markers with my fountain pen sketches again, and I’m loving the results. I was planning to do some pen and watercolor sketches, but I don’t enjoy the results I get with the fountain pens and watercolor paper. I have truly tried every watercolor paper and watercolor sketchbook out there, and I just haven’t found a combo that works for me. My favorite watercolor paper is Saunders Waterford from St Cuthberts Mill. The cold press is great for watercolor, but the texture is a bit too rough for my pen lines.

I’m still bouncing around between a few different sketchbooks, no one ever said you can only work in one at a time!

Each of the three sketches are in three different sketchbooks. The potted white zinnia is in a blank Leuchtturm1917 A5 journal, the tree is a Strathmore 400 series sketchbook, and the pink zinnia is in an A5 Paper-Oh grid notebook.

That’s all for today…thanks…Erik

A busy week for art

Last week was a very busy week for art. I had several request for custom Field Notes covers, something I really enjoy! I also squeezed in some time for sketching for myself. I’ve been using both the Field Notes and the Leuchtturm1917 journals. They both have their strengths and weaknesses. I find myself favoring the Field Notes because of their size, and I am a sucker for the  multiple cover options. The Leuchtturm1917 journals are very nice, the paper is great with pens and pencil, but I still find the size and thickness a downfall. I really doubt I’ll stick to one size or style of notebook, I honestly have a serious addiction to paper and notebooks/journals!

That’s all for today…thanks for stopping by…Erik

Daily sketching and looking for spring

We’ve had some unseasonably warm weather this week in NW Ohio. Last weekend the temperature climbed into the mid 60s, which led to several long walks. This week has also been warm. The forecast calls for more cold and maybe a bit of snow this weekend, but we know spring is coming. Our daffodils are pushing through the dirt and standing tall, the crocus are showing some green, and the snowdrops are blooming everywhere.

 

I took some time this week to make a sketch of our empty garden containers sitting on our deck. It’s been a while since I actually enjoyed a little urban sketching. I decided to switch to my Leuchtturm1917 journal for this one. I went straight with the pen, no pencil layout, just pen. There is something exciting about going into a drawing with a pen, you can’t erase, you can’t undo, you can only keep going forward. I like that. I also took a walk out in the yard this morning and decided to capture a little clump of the snowdrops. I used the Leuchtturm1917 journal for this one too.

I’d like to spend more time working on the observation drawing, or urban sketching. It’s fun to be creative and imagine something, but it’s also a lot of fun to actually be part of your environment while your sketching.

That’s all for this post, thanks everyone…Erik