Saturday, March 27, 2010

Dis, Dat, and De Udder Ting

Jollydog asked if the new journals I bought at Wal-Mart would take watercolor. I didn't think they would because the paper was thin, but I did a test for her to satisfy my own curiosity.

This is a Black n' Red casebound notebook with ruled, 90 gsm white paper, purchased for $5.00 in the clearance aisle. It has a yearly date planner, 3-year calender, Table of Contents, Contact list section, World Time Zone map, as well as paper, envelope, measurement, speed and temperature conversion tables inside the front cover. Inside the back cover is a map of Los Angeles and the United States, and maps of the New York, Chicago, and Washington DC metro systems.

This paper is so slick the ink from the Staedtler Pigment Liner smudged a little at the first blob of paint. I should have let it dry for just a minute. Thirty more seconds of dry time and no smudging on the rest of the drawing.

I slathered a lot of water on this trying to build the layers of color without letting it dry between colors. In some places it picked up the paint like WC paper. (I'm not used to that.) The paper crinkled a little bit but it wasn't bad enough to deter me from using WC again. Neither the pen nor the paint bled to the reverse side.

I was very surprised at how well this paper held up. It gets a double woot...Woot! Woot! That opens a vast new territory of possibilities on how to use this journal.

Next was a Mead Genuine Bonded Leather Graph Paper Journal, Product #88185, brown, with padded, top-stitched cover and ribbon bookmark, purchased for $9.00 in the clearance aisle. I searched for this on-line hoping they also made a blank paper version, but was unable to find even a mention of it anywhere. Maybe this was made exclusively for Wal-Mart.

Wow this paper kicked and screamed at the watercolor. It sucked up the paint, turned a nasty looking gray, and the surface came off with a few strokes of the brush. The paper crinkled badly and paint bled through to the reverse side. I might could live with the crinkle and bleed, but when the paper starts falling apart under the brush there's no hope. Copy paper performs better under watercolor than this stuff. Pen and ink only in this journal.

I was surprised at this performance too. Of the two journals I expected this one to take a light wash and the Black-n-Red to crinkle like a Ruffles potato chip. It was, in fact, just the opposite. Ya just never know until ya try.

It was luscious under the pen though. Gave me an adrenaline rush. Wanted to draw everything in sight and fill the pages. So I did, kinda, sorta.

I have a little game I play late at night when I'm brain dead but still want to draw. I go to Flickr's Most Recent Uploads and pick the photo three columns over and three rows down (3x3) and draw it.

I never know what I'm gonna get, but there are lots of drooling babies and wedding photos uploaded to Flickr. It's good to know the world is reproducing, or preparing to reproduce. The lighting on the subject is never good, composition is wonky, and more often than not the pic is out of focus. Camera phones are the bane of my drawing existence.

Guy at a Concert - Lighting was horrible, angle was worse. Messed up his eyes in a big way, but thought the foreshortening wasn't too bad. It was a challenging angle to draw.

Girl and her Mom on a Tram - Went quicky sketch caricature on this one. The big fat pen I was using doesn't do details well. I guess I should have changed to a smaller sized pen. I like the shape of the girl's face. Might recycle that into another drawing.

Self Portrait in Mirror - Once again the lighting and focus was terrible, but the subject was a very interesting composition. Broke out the drawing pencil to see if I could capture the delicate shading on the face. It looks a little wonky to me but an Asian face has a much different structure than a European face. The eyes appear wider and shallower and the nose bridge much flatter.

I need to learn to draw the Asian face if I keep playing 3x3 on Flickr. In the wee hours of midnight the majority of faces being uploaded are Asian.

Hubby at the Bank - Hubby and I were at the bank Wednesday waiting for the Customer Service lady to fill out a pile of paperwork. I suddenly noticed how awesome Hubby's face was bathed in the diffused sunlight. I snatched up a tiny 3x5 notebook and a ballpoint pen and started drawing.

He is almost recognizable. Woot!

And the journal page to document all this:

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