Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Dancing Dolls Red Sweater

I am so glad to finally have this post put together to publish!

This sweater was made only for its sentimental value. My mother made red crewneck pullover when I was younger. The sweater still fits me so I wear it occasionally. She gave me the leftover yarns last year. And I made this for my little angel. Her is more crayon-inspired, just so you know!

Now both of us can wear same colored sweaters made by our mothers. How cool is that!

Technical Details

This is a machine knit piece and the dolls pattern is taken from this with slight modifications. Sweater is my original design and the pattern is available for free to anyone who asks.

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Golden Gate Bridge

I am thrilled to type this as my 99th post. For the special 100th I shall have something equally special. In the meantime, I finished another sketch. Here it is -

This is Point Isabel regional Shoreline, Richmond. A former railway trestle bridges the slough feeding Hoffman marsh (foreground), one of the best saltmarsh remnants on the Central Bay, that I reproduced from the book San Francisco Bay Portrait of an Estuary.

Golden Gate Bridge
9" x 12"
Charcoal pencil on paper

General brand HB pencils #2, #4, and #6
Canson brand Premium Cream Medium Tooth paper
Prismacolor brand fixative

Side by side comparison

It caught my eye for its subtlety. I had been meaning to draw golden gate bridge for some time. When I saw this picture I thought its perfect giving quite unique perspective of the bridge. I was intrigued enough to draw it.

I cropped the reference picture to fit it to a satisfactory level of composition. Making sure the foreground leads to the railway trestle bridge, the focal point, I tried to induce the depth. To accentuate the warmth of the morning sun, made the shadows pitch dark. The golden gate appears in the far off background. So it was necessary to have the feel of distance & three dimensionality. Barring some (in)conspicuous omissions overall essence of the picture is recreated.

It was a fun exercise. I, however, spent little more time than I should. But I think, with practice, I will improve on that. Considering it was my first in terms of reproduction of a charcoal sketch from a colored picture it definitely gave me a few ponderworthy moments. We live for that, don't we?

Last words

I have changed the clouds since the posting of this entry to just a slight hint and that gives a better outlook. I will post pics when I can and you can judge it yourself.

Monday, May 18, 2009

The Kentucky Mine - Charcoal Sketch

I recently had a chance to revisit my oldest hobby. To draw with pencil on paper. As a child, I would sketch on my notebooks using HB pencils. Over the years, like for most people, this hobby diminished or lets say gave way to other creative outlets. Coming back to pencil drawing seemed very natural to me especially because this time I was well equipped with the inspiration, information, and the tools. Steve Allrich mentioned in his book to practice the drawing on an everyday basis and I finally took the advice last week on.

I used the picture below as the reference photo for the desired sketch

It's been taken from this book. Here is my rough draft where you can see the basic composition is drawn, negative spaces are marked, object of focus is shaded and the background is laid. The tree in the foreground is sketched to a basic silhouette.

This is the final drawing that I think is complete.

The Kentucky Mine north of Sierra City
9" x 12"
Charcoal pencils on paper

General brand HB pencils #2, #4, and #6
Canson brand Premium Cream Medium Tooth paper
Prismacolor brand Fixative

Side by side comparison

Overall I am happy with the output. The composition is right, however, the sketch has varied from the original picture. The mine structure has shrunk considerably. The tree has further moved to the foreground with obvious shade. The dry grass under the tree pushes the mine back into the center. But the idea is, if you hide the photo, and look at the work alone, you can see the mood of very sunny and warm afternoon is well conveyed. And that's all matters.

This was an experiment to judge the contrasts of light and dark and I think, I got that right!

Friday, May 15, 2009

All for the love for drawing

I just finished a charcoal on paper sketch. And gosh am I happy with it! My very first charcoal FO that I copied from a black and white picture. I will post the pics soon. I am on a lookout for a good quality fixative that won't darken my stuff. If any of the readers of this post have any info, please pass it on.

Info for self

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Love to knit in Public?

Well, what do you know -

And I thought I was addicted until I met crazier than thou crowds who would spend ridiculous amount of time and money on knitting. It was about time when I took a step back and reassessed the priorities. Wham! And I know there are other things too.

But I am sure for many this is a great opportunity to show (off) and tell.

Stash, Spring II, New Stuff

I am glad to report that all my knitted projects are complete with entire bulky yarn stash used up right before Spring. I have some left overs (that green yarn)and some chenille that I am saving for something in future. All things are well packed and put away in a box. I have moved on with painting and may return back to some fiber arts in Fall.

The current project is Spring II which is nearly complete. So another FO for a busy mommy! Yay...

Now I am waiting for the right concept for the next painting - all fueled up with the recently gained knowledge. I know I want some landscape or something like that to paint where I can describe the clear contrasts of light and dark. But first, have to make sure I am super clear about the concept so that it may be conveyed lucidly.

“Enthusiasm is excitement with inspiration, motivation, and a pinch of creativity.” - Bo Bennett

Monday, May 11, 2009

Oil Painting for the Serious Beginner - Take II

I finished the book. It's more than what I expected. Well written, to-the-point, compact, and definitely not just for a beginner! It has everything a serious beginner would like to know. Aptly titled, it's a great resource for the novice and experienced alike.

I almost fell in love with this one and wasn't surprised when I received my own copy as a mother's day gift.

I will recommend this book to anyone who has interest and asks for a reference. I also have thanked the author for this one and yet to hear back from him. In the meantime, I am working on the advice I received in the book about practice, experimentation and the sincerity of effort.

"The happiest people don't necessarily have the best of everything; they just make the best of everything they have." --Ari Berstein