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Raindrop
08-23-2017, 04:14 PM
I've started a brand new nature journal, in a brand new sketchbook, with brand new pens. :) (I'm not brand new.)

So this is the continuation of my first nature journal (http://www.wetcanvas.com/forums/showthread.php?t=1388854), which I'll keep using for nature studies (anatomy, copying photos, etc as opposed to live sketches).

My new victim: a cheap, but nice WHSmith A4 Sketch Book, Spiral Bound. 50 sheets of 135gsm paper, really white, and smooth enough not to damage my fineliners. It doesn't bleed, it doesn't show through even with my brush pen, and it even makes coffee. (Mind, I haven't tried watercolour or wet stuff on it. It might buckle all the way to Scotland for all I know).

Seriously, it's good value for money (at least for dry media), if you're willing to overlook the sticky-sticky-sticker on the back. I'll need to scrub that off with vinegar. That's not cool.

After leaving the first page well alone, I went at page #2 with my brush pen because, eh, what could go wrong? :lol: The stags were helpful and showed me their backsides, and also their side-side. Then I found some more stags, four does (further away), and a one-eyed Jackdaw.

I kept the Jackdaw company for a while, as he seemed to enjoy being talked to, but didn't sketch him. I felt a bit sad for him. I don't know if he'll be all right.

Anyway, my first two sketches! These were cross-posted in the pen&ink forum.
http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/23-Aug-2017/17300-2017_NJ02_0822_01_xH800.jpg

http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/23-Aug-2017/17300-2017_NJ02_0822_02_xH800.jpg

Scene Chaser
08-23-2017, 06:05 PM
Nice sketches, Raindrop. It's a real challenge drawing animals in life. If you can get citrus solvent, it removes sticky stuff left from stickers really nice.
Jackdaws are are a favorite bird of mine. We don't have them here.
Bill

Raindrop
08-23-2017, 06:34 PM
Thanks for the tip about citrus solvent, Bill!

Deer are all right to draw, as far as animals go. They always fall back to the same position. I struggle with their antlers, though; it's hard to see all the shapes from a distance.

It's such a shame you don't have Jackdaws. Clever little chaps, with striking blue eyes. I'm quite lucky, I get to see lots of corvids around here: Jacks, Magpies (a couple of boisterous teenaged Maggies turned the street into a disco club last month -- noisy but fun), Carrion Crows, Jays, and occasionally, Rooks. I'd very much like to see a Raven! I've never seen one.

I'm planning to draw a Jack, as soon as I can. It's a pity I couldn't this morning -- not just because I was feeling sorry, but I was a tad wiped out after drawing all these deer. Who would've thought sketching was so exhausting?!

eyepaint
08-24-2017, 09:47 AM
Well done! Your sketchbook makes coffee, hey, hmmm that sounds like a great book.

Where were you seeing these animals ?

Monastic Bat
08-24-2017, 09:56 AM
Nice sketches, enjoy your new journal.
Regards,
Greg.

Raindrop
08-24-2017, 10:14 AM
Thanks, Greg and Eyepaint!

Where were you seeing these animals ?
For the deer, I usually go to Richmond Park.
Crows, Jackdaws etc... down the road, really. :lol:


New one yesterday -- in colour this time!

http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/24-Aug-2017/17300-2017_NJ02_0823_xH800.jpg

Ocean-daughter
08-24-2017, 10:22 AM
I like your deer sketches, especially the bold lines of the first page. Makes me want to try that kind of pen.

Looking forward to seeing what else you sketch.

provenceaquarelle
08-24-2017, 10:32 AM
The way you detaile the quercus branch is very well made.

I am very much enjoying your naturre, Raindrop.:thumbsup:

Raindrop
08-24-2017, 02:06 PM
Glad you do, Maria :) I enjoy your sketches too.

I like your deer sketches, especially the bold lines of the first page. Makes me want to try that kind of pen.
Do eeeeet! :evil:

They're great fun. First, they're black. They're very very black. It's just awesome how stark the line is. I think you can do tidy and accurate paintings/drawings with them, but they lend themselves so much to gesture drawing that I haven't tried slowing down with my brush yet. I'm having too much fun just going all confident-like on the paper (even though I don't feel confident, lol!)

eyepaint
08-24-2017, 08:22 PM
... First, they're black. They're very very black. It's just awesome how stark the line is.... they lend themselves so much to gesture drawing that I haven't tried slowing down with my brush yet. I'm having too much fun ...

Woo hoo! :clap:

Raindrop
08-26-2017, 04:57 AM
Woo hoo! :clap:
Indeed! Would you believe I'm the same person who couldn't draw a mark darker than a very very pale grey, a few years ago? :lol:

Munin Raven
08-26-2017, 10:14 AM
Those deer sketches are lovely and expressive. Glad to hear you're a fan of the corvids too. ;)

Raindrop
08-27-2017, 12:34 PM
Thank you, Munin Raven. ;) To be fair I can't think of a single bird I don't like.

OK, next... was an odd experiment. I found a patch of small balsam, which is an invasive species in the UK. I learned that this plant is edible, so I'll now have a nice way to keep it from spreading further. :lol:

The experiment part: the colouring was done with Stabilo 68 felt pens, watercolour style. Mostly I rubbed the pen on plastic, then used a damp brush to apply the colour onto the page.

http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/27-Aug-2017/17300-2017_NJ02_0825_xH800.jpg

Result: first, I'm really quite impressed by that paper. Reminder: it's still a cheap WHSmith sketchbook. It's not primed or anything... but even with my incompetent colouring, there wasn't a hint of show through, let alone bleed through. The paper buckled, as I expected. Not a big deal.

As for the Stabilo... well, it was fun to try, but I probably won't do it again (unless I want to go for a cartoony style). It was difficult to get the right amount of colour on the brush. On the plus side, I'm now willing to give proper watercolour a go, which wasn't even an option a couple of months ago.

Next, something I hadn't done in a long time: a cylinder tree. The sun was too harsh for me to draw any proper details, so today was ideal for this. I really like this particular Oak; it's one of my personal landmarks. It stands at the start of a small natural reserve, in the sunniest spot of a bog. That tree's been dead for a long time. There's not a single hint of bark left on it.

http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/27-Aug-2017/17300-2017_NJ02_0827_xH800.jpg

ETA: LOL a couple of magpies are exchanging words out there! And a Crow croaked quite fiercely, probably to tell them to shut up. XD. :lol: I LOVE THEM!

eyepaint
08-27-2017, 01:02 PM
The sun was too harsh for me to draw any proper details, so today was ideal for this. I really like this particular Oak; it's one of my personal landmarks. It stands at the start of a small natural reserve, in the sunniest spot of a bog. That tree's been dead for a long time. There's not a single hint of bark left on it.

...

ETA: LOL a couple of magpies are exchanging words out there! And a Crow croaked quite fiercely, probably to tell them to shut up. XD. :lol: I LOVE THEM!


LOL! Way to go :)

Munin Raven
08-27-2017, 02:25 PM
Super nice leaf shapes and colour. I like how you chose a cluster with some nibble damage, haha. :thumbsup:

Scene Chaser
08-27-2017, 02:51 PM
Lovely botanical drawings.
Bill

Raindrop
08-29-2017, 12:04 PM
Thank you! :)

Super nice leaf shapes and colour. I like how you chose a cluster with some nibble damage, haha. :thumbsup:
It wouldn't be me if it wasn't at least a little bit wonky. :p

Nexxxxt... some temporary moorhens. I call them Temporary rather than "OMG adorable fluffy chicks", so I don't get too attached to them... We have pikes in the pond, and my, some of them are massive. This couple of moorhens have already lost their first chicks, back in July. I wasn't expecting them to try again. Although I'm excited to see the new chicks, I'm also really anxious.

The conservators have tried fishing the pikes out, but it's proving difficult because the hooks get caught in the water lilies / weeds at the bottom of the pond.

http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/29-Aug-2017/17300-2017_NJ02_0829_x800.jpg

I must say I didn't pay much attention to the size ratio between adults and chicks. I think I sort of got it right at the bottom of the page. Don't quote me on that.

Scene Chaser
08-29-2017, 06:59 PM
Charming drawings, Raindrop.
Bill

Raindrop
09-02-2017, 04:51 PM
Thank you, Bill!

I went back to the pond yesterday, and one of the chicks is gone already. :(

Joan T
09-12-2017, 05:33 PM
Nice nature sketches!!!

Raindrop
09-29-2017, 12:45 PM
Thank you, Joan!

Bad weather, a busy schedule and, uh, lukewarm health have made it difficult for me to draw in my nature journal recently. My plans of drawing stags this morning were thwarted by rain. I've still got a couple of new things:

First, a birch. Home of a squirrel that played in the leaves nearby; the little fellow was a bit too sneaky for me to draw. He was still good company.

http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/29-Sep-2017/17300-2017_NJ02_0912_xH800.jpg

Next, some ivy. I was going to draw a teasel that I had spotted a few days earlier, but I got lost. Some things never change. On the plus side, I found a new way to one of my favourite ponds.

http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/29-Sep-2017/17300-2017_NJ02_0926_xH800.jpg

eyepaint
09-29-2017, 10:52 PM
Sorry to hear you'd been ill; how interesting that you found a new route to your favourite pond. Great job on observing those leaves.

provenceaquarelle
09-30-2017, 09:17 AM
I hope you are feeling better, Raindrop.

I love your sketches. Do you think you will colour them, eventually?

Munin Raven
09-30-2017, 12:35 PM
Lovely observations going on here. The birch bark notes are great. Here's hoping you're feeling much better. :thumbsup:

Monastic Bat
09-30-2017, 07:04 PM
Love your nature sketches.
Regards,
Greg.

Raindrop
10-01-2017, 10:25 AM
Thank you for the lovely comments :) Please don't worry about me being unwell, it just comes and goes -- nothing bad, it's just annoying and sometimes keeps me from going out as often as I'd like to.

Eyepaint, I love getting lost! That's usually when I find cool stuff. Recently, I got lost, then saw a Lesser Spotted Woodpecker!!! The funny thing is, I always find my way home easily anyway. So I suppose I'm not truly lost... Yeah. I'll keep pretending that.

Maria, I don't think I'll colour them in -- at least not the ones I've already done. I must admit I've been watching a lot of reviews on watercolour sets, though. I can see myself getting a small set at some point. :D

eyepaint
10-01-2017, 11:31 AM
Eyepaint, I love getting lost! That's usually when I find cool stuff. Recently, I got lost, then saw a Lesser Spotted Woodpecker!!! The funny thing is, I always find my way home easily anyway. So I suppose I'm not truly lost... Yeah. I'll keep pretending that.




Oh yay :)

Joan T
10-01-2017, 08:58 PM
I like getting "lost" too...and finding new things where I go. Love how you analyzed the patterns on the birch tree. Love it!

Raindrop
10-02-2017, 02:20 PM
Oh yeah some top-notch scientific observations there... Ahem... To be honest, I usually pencil in my observations, then look it up on internet. :lol:

For example, the birch tree: I first wrote "horizontal slit-thinggie, uh why? Easy-peel system?"

And the ivy: "Leaves on that stem can't count. Why not three lobes? Lazy?" I didn't notice the *repartition* of the leaves.
I still wonder why the shape is different, actually.

I'm trying to be strong and keep my initial crazy-notes in. It worked in my old nature journal, but this one still feels a little bit too precious for it. It's getting a bit banged up, so I should feel more free soon.