Friday, August 31, 2012

Now For Something a Little Different

16x20, paper on wrapped canvas
email me for info
Back to the Paper Dolls - this was soooo fun!  Like last year's here to remember.   I keep asking myself, why don't I do more of this? Such a great value study exercise too.

double click on any photo for larger view

Sunday, August 26, 2012

Color Theory and Flocks of Pigeons

Another few pages from my sketchbook which began its life as a copy of famed French cartoonist Andre Francois's book The Tattooed Sailor.  Now dubbed The Tattooed Sailor & His Devoted Artist.  Click here to see how one became the other.  Click here to scroll through the pages.
Noodler's Habenero

I struggle with the whole color temperature concept... in every media.  I get it intellectually - I've read lots of books/articles on color theory, I've done these exercises a zillion times, I've stuck post-it notes on my easel and palette -- but it just doesn't click in practice.  Or at least I don't think it does... But, don't get me wrong. It's a fun struggle.
This summer I was reading Susie Short's posts about color... 

Saturday, August 18, 2012

The Tattooed Sailor: Flipflops and College

A tasty summer drink, my favorite shoes, an epaulette for a tail, and Shark Boy's gone to college. The pasted-in paper fragment came from an old recipe book that got paint on it... somehow. :)

Sunday, August 12, 2012

The Sailor and The Artist in the Garden

The background of this hibiscus page was splashed with Golden Fluid Acrylics several weeks before I got to the sketch.  The watercolors layered on top of the acrylics so beautifully... gotta love water-based media for how well they play with others.

Drawn with Noodler's Habenero... I love how it's not quite waterproof.  Yes, that's a big gully running down the middle - where two signatures meet.  Some people glue a piece of paper down to hide it... I might try that sometime.

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Thursday, August 2, 2012

The Tattooed Sailor and His Devoted Artist

What did you do for your summer vacation?

Andre Francois
I’ve always been a watercolor sketcher – partial to Moleskins, Lamy Safaris, Noodler’s Bulletproof black, Winsor Newton watercolors, and the odd bit of ephemera collaged in.  But I’ve never really shared my sketches on this blog… well, except for here and an oil sketch here and there.  For no particular reason – just not taking the time for all the blasted scanning and stitching.

But last spring I stumbled on this inspiration, took an old book that had belonged to my parents, dissected it, and rebound it with watercolor paper – thus making a new book that is part sketchbook and part bawdy, mid-century, French cartoons.  It’s been so much fun to work in and I must share.  If anyone reading this has ever been tempted to make a book or sketch or both, this is a grand adventure.

The original book was The Tattooed Sailor by French cartoonist Andre Francois (1918-2005), published in 1952.  I know Francois drew for some major newspapers and magazines back in the day but his subjects in this book were often artists and so, over the years, I’ve thumbed through The Tattooed Sailor many times and gotten good laughs. My hand-me-down copy was crumbling apart so, without reluctance, I committed it to the project.  I kept some of my favorite cartoons, which now live alongside sketches from our garden, our garage, and our travels.

No need for me to tell you how I re-made the book – I did exactly as I was told.  Shirley Levine of the Paper and Threads blog documented her process perfectly and even referred us to Martha at Trumpetvine Travels for the signature sewing. Both sets of directions are easy to follow. I haven't invested in bookmaking tools - just used what I had on hand and it worked fine.  Many thanks to these ladies for sharing so generously and making my summer!

Et merci aussi a M. Francois.

 My tattered copy of The Tattoed Sailor
Doubleclick any photo to enlarge.

Before glueing the signatures back in, I patched up the spine as best I could and glued a strip of muslin to the inside.  I used Fabriano Artistico 140lb. hot press watercolor paper in the off-white color which is still quite a bit whiter than the pages of the book. But I like it.  Some of the watercolor page edges are torn and some I trimmed with deckle-edged scissors.

I used some funny French-y advertising paper I had on hand for the end papers on both the front and back of the book.

I kept the first page with the original inscription. No clue who Dick was.

Francois's title and mine. :)
Cone Flowers drawn with Noodler's Serano.

Francois's ship is flying under the Texas flag!  And don't you love the Tattooed Sailor?
More sketches and cartoons to come.