Monday, December 30, 2013

More Walnut Ink, Please

The beginning of November, I got to go down to NYC to see the Rembrandt, Vermeer & Hals Show at the Frick Collection, as well as, attend the Open Painting/Drawing classes on Friday and Saturday afternoon at the Art Students League.  I did not bring oils, but I decided to draw, instead, using walnut ink (which is a lovely brown ink) and white gouache.  The first 2 drawings above were completed in Studio 7 (Frank Mason's old room, now Tom Torak's) on Friday.  Teachers do not come in on Fridays, and you are allowed to set up and use the models.  Studio 7 has 2 models on either side of the room, and it was fun to draw them both within the time constraints.  I mostly use a brush for the ink washes  and  gouache, and I add fountain pen and pencil to help model form or add accents. 

 The last head study was the second drawing I did on Saturday afternoon, also in Studio 7.  The first study was in watercolor, and I decided that it was getting overworked, so I drew this one very quickly, before I had time to over-think it.  

I have come to rely on walnut ink.  It is my "go to" for drawing supplies.  It is great for massing in the shadow areas, and it can be diluted with water for a lighter tone, or used full strength.  I use it for figures and also in landscapes.  It is one of the mediums I use in my Drawing on Nature class, too.  Layering with walnut ink produces rich tones, too, and it can be used with a brush, reed pen, or dip pen.

Monday, December 23, 2013

Difference between uploading with the Blogger App and the webpage...

I am curious to see if the drawings I just uploaded with the app will upload differently from the, here goes...It looks like the webpage upload shows the whole picture, which I like better than the picture being cut-off.  What do you think?
Here's the start...mapping in placement idea
Moving along and focusing on light and shade

Developing and modeling 

Saturday, December 21, 2013

Sequence continued...

So, after I lightly sketched, or mapped, in where I wanted the trees, barn, etc. to go, I began thinking about the light. Here is the second picture In the sequence.

I am going to attempt to upload 2 pictures using the Blogger App...

Plein Air Drawing Sequence

If I have the presence of mind, I will snap photos of a drawing in progress.  Here is a progress sequence for another plein air drawing in my gray sketchbook.

Testing the Blogger App

The Blogger App for iPods does not seem to work...I can't seem to upload photos.  Any suggestions?

Looking Back - 2013 - Drawing on Nature

Besides teaching Walk & Watercolor and Sunset Landscape Painting, I taught an outdoor drawing class called, Drawing on Nature.  Each student received a little sketchbook, and we used combinations of pen & ink, wash, and pencils, and heightened with white gouache or chalk.  My favorite sketchbook contained gray paper and was spiral bound.  Again, all of the supplies fit into a backpack, which made it a perfect medium for walks or hikes.  These classes were given twice a week at Smugglers Notch Resort throughout the summer and fall, with all materials included.  The following drawings were some of my demonstrations this year.  The sketchbook is approximately 6"x8", which is a perfect size for sketches.  All of these drawings were done plein air.  It is a wonderful way to appreciate the beauty of nature.  

Here is the little gray sketchbook 

Pen & Ink, washes, pencil and white gouache on light pink paper

6"x8" gray sketchbook -  pen & ink, pencil, white chalk & white gouache

Gray sketchbook - deciding to keep the drawings monochromatic 

Gray sketchbook - combination of pencil, pen & ink, colored pencil & white

Another demonstration in the gray sketchbook 

A little study in brown ink, washes, and pen, heightened with white gouache

Tan paper with pen & ink and brown and blue washes

larger drawing with washes, white, and pen & ink on tan paper

Tan paper with walnut ink, pen & white gouache

This drawing was in the last fall class..most of the leaves were down

Here I am with my little cart and seated on my little folding stool.  

Looking Back .... 2013

Wow! 2013 is coming to a close, and I have barely written a word.  So, what have I been up to?  Teaching, mostly.  I taught several workshops and classes over the past year, and a lot of them were in watercolor and gouache.  This is becoming one of my favorite ways to paint outdoors.  Portability is its greatest advantage.  No easel is needed, the painting supplies are lightweight and affordable, and the paintings can be transported without damage.  Here are a few pictures from a few of year's classes or workshops in Walk & Watercolor or Sunset Landscape Painting using transparent and opaque watercolor. 
Teaching Walk & Watercolor in Bonita Springs, FL

Students painting in Bonita Springs, FL

Demonstration from one of my Walk & Watercolor classes

I love having families take the Walk & Watercolor class

More demonstrations 

My granddaughter helped out :)

Demonstration from Sunset Landscape Painting class

Another demonstration from a Sunset Landscape Painting Class

Thursday, March 07, 2013

Part 3 of the interview...

A couple of weeks ago, when I was thinking about the various ways I have used my artistic talent to remain employed as an artist, I decided to see if any other fashion illustrators had gone into fine arts.  In doing so, I stumbled upon a blog called, Art Fashion Creation.  The blogger had asked a few times about sewing pattern illustrators in a couple of her posts.  Since I had done pattern illustrations back in the seventies, I left a comment.  This, in turned, inspired the blogger to contact me, and her 3 Part article about my illustration days are from a series of "interview questions" via email.

She needed pictures of my old work , so I poured through tons of old illustrations that I had tucked away for 40 years or so (yes, I am a pack rat), and I enjoyed seeing how the style of drawing depends on purpose, as well as audience.  You can read the interview.  Here is a link to Part 3.

Monday, March 04, 2013  Here is Part 2 of the article about my experience as a fashion illustrator.  Hopefully, I got the link right....

Saturday, March 02, 2013

Blog article :)

Here is a link to a blog article about my experience as a fashion illustrator for pattern companies back in the 70s.  Enjoy!

Thursday, February 28, 2013  I am teaching a workshop March 28-30, 2013 at the Art Center in Bonita Springs, FL.  All levels are welcome, and we will be concentrating on learning to mass, using still life as our inspiration.  Contact the art center if you are interested.

Also, I will be teaching a  Walk & Watercolor workshop April 1-2, 2013 in Bonita Springs, using opague and transparent watercolor, as well as ink and wash, on toned paper.  If you are interested in this one, please contact me directly.  We will meet at the Village Walk, but we will be painting in several different locations.  

Both classes are from life, and I do lots of demonstrating.   I hope you can join me!

Friday, February 15, 2013

Self-Portraits 2013

Looking in the small mirror

The start - finding my lights and darks

keeping it loose and getting the pitch

Adding a touch more color and going a little lighter in the lights and darker in the darks

Refining my masses and tightening my drawing

Checking the mirror

At this point...I was tempted to stop and leave out the glasses

Checking the painting in reverse in the other mirror

Added the glasses, but had to stop because the light was fading in the studio

Close-up at the end of the day

2 days later, I returned to the studio and began the print on the scarf

Finished the print on the scarf

Checking the painting in the mirror
I think I have been people-painting starved, because I did 2 self-portraits in February. This was the second one.   I set up 2 mirrors, one to look into for the portrait, and another to check the painting.  I am working on a small gessoed panel.  As usual, I start out very loosely.  This painting was done in flat light, with the whole front plane of my face in light.  The shadows are in the under planes.

Having the large mirror to check the painting is a great help.  I try to get the right pitch in my first pass, so I work my background in quickly, constantly checking to make sure the relationship to the light works.  In a description I read about Sargent's painting, it said:  ...Till the end there had been no features or accents; simply a solid shape growing out of and into the background, which is ONE.  I like that..and strive to remember it.

Most of the painting was done in one sitting, February 12th, but I did the print on the scarf two days later.  It occurred to me, after I was done with the print, that all those years of rendering fabric with patterns or prints for fashion illustrations helped.  

Plan B

around 1972 - marker and colored pencil illustration by Karen Winslow

around 1973 - watercolor and charcoal - part of 2 page spread

around 1974 - black & white illustration for  Butterick 

1973 - 2 page spread in watercolor & charcoal 

1975 - black & white illustrations for Butterick

1976 - Black & White illustrations for Butterick
Making a living as an artist takes various forms.  Drawing can take you in many different directions.  Before I studied painting at the Art Students League, I studied fashion illustration at the Fashion Institute of Technology in NY.  After graduating I became a staff artist for Simplicity and McCall's Patterns, and eventually, I freelanced for McCall's and Butterick, as well as JC Penney and Gimbels.  Freelancing allowed me to studied painting.  It was funny to switch gears....producing "cute" illustrations for a living, but studying Classical drawing and painting at the same time.  Back then, I avoided telling anyone in my painting class that I did commercial work.  Now, I look back with fondness.  

The truth is that everything we do and learn in life will help us.  The years of rendering prints and fabrics for the pattern industry helped in my painting.  Putting figures together for illustrations can help in figure compositions.  You can still recognize the whimsy that comes through in some of my toy paintings now.  We expand on what we know and love, but our personalities will emerge...but with more skill and taste (hopefully).

If you learn to draw, there are ways of making a living.  For me, back in the early seventies, producing illustrations for pattern companies was a fun way.  The children's patterns were the most fun, but I illustrated teens and misses clothing, as well.  

Having dug a bunch of these old illustrations out made me realize that I was much braver back then.  I had no problem just making things up and composing multiple figures, and seeing them has just inspired me to do this again...and I will be trying to concentrate on more figurative work in my painting.