Thursday, June 05, 2008


Digging thru some of the old art projects that came in with the stuff from the storage area. I have always been a great one for tracing things. And if I can't trace it, make a drawing of the picture with pencil (so I can erase a lot), then do a dark outline with a sharpie, so that I can then trace a pristine copy. Tedious? Only if you don't enjoy it--hehe! People with more innate talent can draw whatever they want to themselves. Me--I am a great tracer.
I found a picture of two African Greys--this might be 10-12 years old--and I got this far but then was afraid to color it with watercolors.

These pictures were found and traced for a poster I made for the shop when I was an assistant manager at Pet Appeal in Maple Grove--maybe 1992? I saved the tracings, ran across them maybe 8-9 years ago, and traced copies on to blank watercolor cards. Again--afraid to mess them up with watercolors, so this was as far as I got. (See why I needed to finally find a fun, encouraging watercolor teacher up here a few years ago? The desire was there--hehe!)

Discovering my ink drawings made me dig out the oriental flower and bird paintings that I had started to play around with about three years ago. I found the paintings somewhere online and printed them off. Traced them in pencil. Then went over the pencil tracing in ink. I think I have about 8-10 that are done in ink on watercolor tablet paper like this and are ready to color. Cheating, I know! Believe it or not--this is what I do for fun--hehe! Wasn't sure what I would actually do with them--they are not my own artwork, after all. I let Jennifer pick out a couple of them and paint them. Only so many I can hang on my own walls, right? Wasn't sure why I was playing around with them--just was calling to me, I guess.

I did finish two of them. The originals are on the top, of course. Mine are the bottom ones. I was just using Lyra watercolor crayons and a Niji waterbrush. Small set of colors--just used what I had (not knowing how to mix colors, of course--another thing I want to learn).

When you don't know how to actually paint like this--well, I cheated--in admiration--hehe! Maybe now that I have actually gotten into the online Chinese brush painting group last year and am trying to slowly learn how to brush paint, maybe one day I can actually paint something like this myself?
Haiying has just been talking about books that teach the more botanical way of oriental painting--at the same time I have come across these!! There are no coincidences, right? She is going back to China again soon and is willing to look for instrctional books--(that can be mailed by her husband from the U.S. at the end of the month--less postage than from Australia). So, I want her to look for books with lots of types of flowers--and hopefully small birds like these. I love these flower and bird paintings! And if I have enough money--dragonflies! butterflies! Koi and goldfish! Love them all!
We'll see what Haiying can find for me. I think the detailed, botanical oriental painting might just be more my style--who knows? So I also need some rice paper with additional sizing in it so that it can take several layers of ink and paint. So exciting! :)
Meanwhile--I also found the assignments I did for the Concordia drawing class. They were boring assignments (to look at--not to do) and all the pages were stored inside of one plastic bag. They became covered with dust from the charcoal and pastels we used. One big awful mess--so they got thrown out. Too messy and dirty to even use for recycling.
I didn't like the class all that much because the professor insisted we had to use very large sheets of paper. I am used to doing small work, so I had a horrible time with perspective. I thought it might help me to "loosen up", as all my art teachers have always told me--but it didn't. Chuckle! I did take her voluntary two-day bookmaking class, though--and that was wonderful! Priceless! Made the whole semester worthwhile--hehe!
Back about 15 years ago I took three adult night classes. The watercolor class with the teacher who was so discouraging, a calligraphy class with a wonderful perfectionist who was a professional calligrapher, and a pastel class with a lady who was fun and encouraging. I found the pastel work from the class!

We did the apple the first night, then the oranges the second...
...and the last night we chose a photograph from lots of pictures she had cut out of magazines. I never finished it--and have lost the picture.

Funny how disappointed I had been with my work in the pastel class--and now it doesn't look as bad to me as I thought it did. But the stuff from the college class looked worse than I remembered--hehe! Sorry--no pictures. Didn't think of it until after they were in the trash and had wet coffee grounds strewn on them.
Anyways--that is what I have been up to. [Plus, I have two different types of secret projects I am working on--will take me quite a while--can't post anything about until they have already been given away. Shhhh!!!]

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