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seejay
11-01-2010, 06:07 AM
Hi everyone,

This is a very busy forum. :wave: I've been lurking, decided to dip my toe in the water.

This thread is for my swamp sketchbook. I go sketching in a local swamp / environmental park near my house, sometimes weekly when on a roll and time permits. This book is the third one I have worked in over the last eight or so years - they can take a while to fill!:D

This book is A5 in size, and is filled with kraft paper. Probably around 60 sheets, I'll have to count them some time. Not sure of a brand, nothing on the book. I bought about six of them cheap. I like working on the toned paper - they may fall apart one day, but should outlast me. :crossfingers:

I use mainly black and white gel pens or black and white prismacolor pencils.

I have posted sketches from previous swamp sketchbooks in the Pen & Ink forum, here is a link to some pages from my second swamp book (http://www.wetcanvas.com/forums/showthread.php?t=588154) if anyone has spare time on their hands (a similar but different book).

Here is the front cover and a couple of pages from July this year when I started the book.

http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/01-Nov-2010/6409-cover.resized.jpg

http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/01-Nov-2010/6409-one.resized.jpg

http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/01-Nov-2010/6409-two.resized.jpg

Cheers

virgo68
11-01-2010, 06:23 AM
Welcome to the forum Chris! I've seen your sketches over at Pen and Ink, it will be cool to watch your progress here though. Great start..... ;)

Davkin
11-01-2010, 10:09 AM
Welcome seejay. Those are great sketches. I can see this will be a fun thread to watch.

David

RainySea
11-01-2010, 10:38 AM
lovely. . . I like both your cover and the style you used in the book. I just got a kraft paper sketch but have no used it yet. . . your book may inspire me to dip into it sooner than later.

I will look forward to following your book!

poochemio
11-01-2010, 02:26 PM
I like these pieces. Like Rainy, I have one of these types of books too. I think I bought it this time last year...not a sketch in it yet. I like the idea of 2 shades plus the background tone quite a bit!
Margo

Joan T
11-01-2010, 03:54 PM
Chris - Great sketches!!! What are you doing for the white?

robertsloan2
11-01-2010, 04:13 PM
Chris, this is beautiful! I love the black and white on brown sketches. Everything's so natural and well shaped, you have a good grasp of light and accurate drawing. I'm going to enjoy your Swamp Book, it's gorgeous!

vhere
11-01-2010, 04:59 PM
looking really interesting :)

DrDebby
11-01-2010, 06:32 PM
This is marvelous. Lovely ink drawings. Great theme too.

eyepaint
11-01-2010, 10:01 PM
Fun cover. Love the colours you used here :)

JTMB
11-01-2010, 10:33 PM
Very glad you joined the challenge, Chris! And I love the theme you've chosen - I have a couple journals going on specific places, trying to get a sense of nature's pulse over time in a given location. The brown paper here gives a really nice feel. I saw a video by a well-known portraitist - Jim Dine (spelling, name?) where his students drew on brown paper with charcoal and then white chalk as highlights...it was very effective. Looking forward to more of your posts.

seejay
11-01-2010, 10:56 PM
Thanks for the warm welcome everyone. Toned paper saves a lot of work I think.

Joan, mainly a white gel pen, or white coloured pencil, but sometimes I'll add white gouache or ink.

In these two I used three different inks (white, sepia, burnt sienna) with dip pen, brush, fingers....messy, I haven't tried again, but I liked the effect. Not a convenient setup out amongst the trees.

http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/01-Nov-2010/6409-hc_four.resized.jpg

http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/01-Nov-2010/6409-hc_five.resized.jpg

Cheers

JTMB
11-02-2010, 12:04 AM
Very nice light in the second one, and both have a great sense of place - a swampy place!

CandAlArt
11-02-2010, 02:05 AM
Love your style and paper choice. Look forward to admiring your sketches for the month.:thumbsup:

Chuckcamo
11-02-2010, 03:58 AM
Very cool sketchbook.... like your style too! I've been watching that show 'Swamp People,' very interesting life style... :)

seejay
11-02-2010, 05:16 AM
Never seen any swamp people, luckily.

Thanks for looking!:clap:

vhere
11-02-2010, 07:43 AM
lovely light :)

Blah
11-02-2010, 11:12 AM
Chris....I am glad to see that you are continuing your swamp sketches, and that you have taken them to another level. :thumbsup:
Blah

RainySea
11-02-2010, 12:03 PM
Way cool. . . I love that last one especially. Nice pen work and lines.

seejay
11-02-2010, 11:12 PM
Thanks again for your comments everyone.

Blah, have you recovered from the Tour de France yet? Not sure about 'another level' - they usually feel like they are sinking! :D The experience is what I enjoy tho', the result is not that important to me.

Two new ones from this morning, quite nice, not too hot.

The first one shows a young crow (centre left) - it was crying out, obviously couldn't fly. I could hear an adult calling in the distance somewhere, hopefully they will get together.

http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/02-Nov-2010/6409-hc_031110_03.jpg

The second is part of a healthy stand of young melaleucas. These are a major species in the swamp, and a lot of the old specimens have been dying from an extended dry spell. It's good to see some replacements.

http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/02-Nov-2010/6409-hc_031110_04.jpg

Not 100% happy with my scans, a work in progress...

Cheers

virgo68
11-02-2010, 11:27 PM
Chris, I like those little bird sketches - capturing the "essence" nicely! Hope the little crow got sorted - got some rather large ones hanging about my garden and do they make a racket when they get going! Sounds like they are having a riotous party while the magpies sound like they are having a great chinwag telling yarns :lol:

JTMB
11-02-2010, 11:38 PM
Well, now that you've got birds here (and very well done ones!) I'm a permanent fan. I like swamps and birds - and love the style with which you are depicting both of them. :clap:

seejay
11-03-2010, 12:30 AM
Thanks for looking at my little birds etc. I enjoy doing these, but can only draw them as large as I see them, and they don't like me getting too close. Sometimes I capture a basic likeness, sometimes I fail.:D

Jackie, I prefer magpies walking around rather than swooping me. SInging is good too.

John, I have been enjoying looking at your birds. One day I want to make a study of these lively creatures, any tips?

Cheers

JTMB
11-03-2010, 12:38 AM
Chris - I do have some suggestions. The absolute must book for people who want to draw and paint birds is John Busby's 'Drawing Birds'. He is a draw-from-life proponent, and people who want to do guide book field illustrations down to the gnat's eyebrow might not like his approach - which really talks about trying to get the essence and life of a bird quickly. Obviously I'm still very much a novice at this - it is a long (but very rewarding) pursuit I'm finding. Another outstanding UK artist who is also an amazing bird artist, birder and sketcher is Tim Wootton. He has a book in the publishing pipeline, due to come out in February. I already have mine on notice when it's available from Amazon. Google him and look at his sketchbooks as well as his finished pieces on his website - you will be impressed. A couple of other amazing bird artists whose books are out of print mostly are Lars Jonsson, Charles Tunnicliffe, Eric Ennion and Keith Brockie - the latter three are UK folks and Lars is Swedish.

You will love any of their books, I think.

Hope this helps!

CandAlArt
11-03-2010, 01:09 AM
John - thanks for the bird artist book info. I have a growing interest in doing more than feed my feathered pals.

Chris your little birds have that quality I enjoy- the sketchy gesture that still captures their essence. I bought some binder rings today to make a sketchbook out of a selection of brown paper I have, but have underused. I like the black & white china markers I have tried with light brown paper, and your use of a variety of black & white media on it.

seejay
11-03-2010, 01:30 AM
Chris - I do have some suggestions. The absolute must book for people who want to draw and paint birds is John Busby's 'Drawing Birds'. He is a draw-from-life proponent, and people who want to do guide book field illustrations down to the gnat's eyebrow might not like his approach - which really talks about trying to get the essence and life of a bird quickly. Obviously I'm still very much a novice at this - it is a long (but very rewarding) pursuit I'm finding. Another outstanding UK artist who is also an amazing bird artist, birder and sketcher is Tim Wootton. He has a book in the publishing pipeline, due to come out in February. I already have mine on notice when it's available from Amazon. Google him and look at his sketchbooks as well as his finished pieces on his website - you will be impressed. A couple of other amazing bird artists whose books are out of print mostly are Lars Jonsson, Charles Tunnicliffe, Eric Ennion and Keith Brockie - the latter three are UK folks and Lars is Swedish.

You will love any of their books, I think.

Hope this helps!

Thanks John. I remember our local library used to have the Busby book, I'll have to borrow it again if it is still there.

cheers

seejay
11-03-2010, 01:31 AM
Chris your little birds have that quality I enjoy- the sketchy gesture that still captures their essence. I bought some binder rings today to make a sketchbook out of a selection of brown paper I have, but have underused. I like the black & white china markers I have tried with light brown paper, and your use of a variety of black & white media on it.

Thanks Candace. Enjoy your book when you make it.

Cheers

vhere
11-03-2010, 12:43 PM
lovely free sketches of those birds

seejay
11-03-2010, 07:56 PM
lovely free sketches of those birds

Thanks Vivien.

Here's a page from last month for you, a closeup of the fruit/seed pod of what I think is commonly called the peanut tree. These pods are a bright orange on the outside, really striking.

http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/03-Nov-2010/6409-hc_061010_peanuttree.resized.jpg

Cheers

Davkin
11-03-2010, 09:21 PM
I love these sketches! You are so good at showing the essence of the subject with few lines and very few colors, not easy to do with nature subjects.

David

seejay
11-04-2010, 01:12 AM
I love these sketches! You are so good at showing the essence of the subject with few lines and very few colors, not easy to do with nature subjects.

David

Thanks David. Colour is a work in progress for me,so I keep things simple. Easier that way!:cat:

Cheers

DrDebby
11-04-2010, 02:15 AM
Outstanding, all of them. The bird page is fun.

seejay
11-04-2010, 08:16 AM
Thanks Debby

seejay
11-08-2010, 10:14 PM
Here are two from the last month or so.

The weather is wet here at the moment. Tomorrow is my usual swamp sketching day, hopefully I can still get out there. :crossfingers:

http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/08-Nov-2010/6409-hc_061010_sheoak.resized.jpg

http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/08-Nov-2010/6409-hc_131010_trees.resized.jpg

DrDebby
11-08-2010, 10:16 PM
Wonderful tree sketches. Hope you can get out to the swamp.

JTMB
11-08-2010, 11:08 PM
Two more nice pages of swamp trees! Hope the weather cooperates...up here in the Pacific NW, we really understand the issues of wet weather. We're in what I refer to as our monsoon season - which also coincides with very short days. It keeps everything clean and green, but it can get a little constricting in the rainy season.

Chuckcamo
11-09-2010, 01:54 AM
It's fun looking at your swamp sketches... bring an umbrella:)

seejay
11-09-2010, 09:15 PM
Thanks again folks.

Down to the swamp this morning, the weather was great. Here are three from todays lot.

These vines get quite large, this one is as thick as my legs in places.
http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/09-Nov-2010/6409-hc_vine.resized.jpg

gel pen melaleucas...
http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/09-Nov-2010/6409-hc_10nov2010melaleucas.resized.jpg

prismacolor melaleucas...
http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/09-Nov-2010/6409-hc_10nov2010melaleucas2.resized.jpg

Cheers

DrDebby
11-09-2010, 09:27 PM
These are so cool. You capture the atmosphere of a swamp so well.

dianapotts
11-09-2010, 09:55 PM
I like your drawings. It is a very refreshing style. Keep going.

seejay
11-09-2010, 10:00 PM
These are so cool. You capture the atmosphere of a swamp so well.

Thanks Debby, I'm glad it looks swampy to you. Cheers

seejay
11-09-2010, 10:02 PM
I like your drawings. It is a very refreshing style. Keep going.

Thanks Diana, this is my relaxation time. I like doing them, glad you like them too. Cheers

JTMB
11-09-2010, 11:56 PM
More great swamp studies!

seejay
11-10-2010, 02:29 AM
Thanks John. All done for another week.....

Cheers

RainySea
11-10-2010, 09:22 AM
Great sketches of the swamp. . . those are vines! Wow, they are indeed thick ones. . . I thought trees. Sounds like a very cool area to sketch in. Loving your method on the kraft paper. I really, really have to break out my kraft sketch soon. :)

CandAlArt
11-10-2010, 07:31 PM
Wonderful swampy trees! Lots of neat linework- makes it look easy but I know trees do not come easy to me!

seejay
11-10-2010, 09:33 PM
Thanks for coming by.:clap:

Rainy: I really, really have to break out my kraft sketch soon.

You won't regret it!:D

Candace: Lots of neat linework- makes it look easy but I know trees do not come easy to me!

It feels good when it works, if not I turn the page!

Cheers

Davkin
11-10-2010, 09:43 PM
These are great Chris! You are doing a fine job of making the ordinary special.

David

seejay
11-10-2010, 09:58 PM
These are great Chris! You are doing a fine job of making the ordinary special.

David

Thanks David. :thumbsup:

I can also make the special look ordinary, but the less said about that the better....:cat:

virgo68
11-11-2010, 12:24 AM
hehehehehe.......

Elain
11-14-2010, 02:34 PM
Lovely sketches. I like the addition of the white to help define the roundness and shape. Goes well on that paper.

seejay
11-14-2010, 08:21 PM
Thanks Elain. Usually I am happy with the white too, but this tonal stuff is a work in progress for me.

Cheers

seejay
11-16-2010, 09:25 PM
That time of the week when I head to the local swamp; here are some of todays efforts. Everything looked so nice today I'm glad I went, I'm feeling very relaxed at the moment.

These are all b&w gel pens, plus some purple coloured pencil....

1) water lilies flowering everywhere
http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/16-Nov-2010/6409-hc_swamp17nov2010_1.jpg

2) wonky boardwalk
http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/16-Nov-2010/6409-hc_swamp17nov2010_3.jpg

3) local residents taking it easy
http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/16-Nov-2010/6409-hc_swamp17nov2010_4.jpg

Cheers

DrDebby
11-16-2010, 09:44 PM
I really look forward to seeing your swamp sketches. The boardwalk is particularly well done.

seejay
11-16-2010, 10:19 PM
Thanks Debby. Here is a bonus just for you!:D

I took a photo with my phone today, not something I usually do. Poor quality, but it shows some of the lilies in flower. Other places have many more flowers than this.

http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/16-Nov-2010/6409-Image007.jpg

Cheers

JTMB
11-16-2010, 10:29 PM
More nice sketches, Chris! I really like your local residents - especially the 'bottoms-up' one. I envy your opposite season to here - we had a 60 mile per hour windstorm last night and lost power for ten hours. Plus it's been raining so much it's soggy when I walk the dogs.

Chuckcamo
11-16-2010, 11:11 PM
your pen work looks great, I like the loose style you have... what an awesome place to sketch.

RainySea
11-17-2010, 12:22 AM
great sketches. . . :thumbsup: your swamp looks lovely! so many lillies :)

CandAlArt
11-17-2010, 01:07 AM
I love your swamp works but the swamp scares me. Are you not afraid to fall in... or get eaten by something??? :eek:

WYSIWYG
11-17-2010, 02:42 AM
What a cool series of sketches... you have a real talent for capturing the moment with loose work! It's a weak area for me and I'm always impressed when I see loose work that captures that ellusive 'something' about a scene!

seejay
11-17-2010, 02:43 AM
Thanks everyone!:D

John, it's starting to get a bit warm for this now, I'll have to go earlier in the morning as summer approaches. I actually prefer our winter (nice and mild) for doing this, less sun, and better shadows.

Chuck, maybe sometimes I should slow down, but I'm enjoying this for now.

Rainy, the swamp is looking good, the wettest spring for a long time is helping I think.

Candace, the water isn't very deep, and it's too far south for saltwater crocs. I look out for snakes, some of them are venomous.

Cheers

seejay
11-17-2010, 02:51 AM
Wysiwyg, thank you too. Missed you in my last reply. Most of my sketching is done from life; I try to get something down that will remind me of the moment...sometimes more successful than others.

Cheers

DrDebby
11-17-2010, 06:50 PM
Thanks for the photo. That looks like a beautiful area.

vhere
11-17-2010, 07:15 PM
really nice gestural marks - especially those ducks :) there is a lovely sense of movement

CandAlArt
11-18-2010, 11:50 PM
O! My last post crossed with your photo. I would call your swamp a pond here. It is quite lovely. I LOVE the ducks! Such small sketchy gestures and you really captured their essence!:clap:

seejay
11-19-2010, 02:59 AM
Thanks everyone, the ducks were relaxed and happy, so was I.

Candace - some people call it wetlands when they want to make it sound touristy!:D A lot of the swamp is man-made with small remnants of the original scrub forest. About ten years ago I was helping plant some of the trees, it's great to see it all take off.

Cheers

virgo68
11-19-2010, 06:50 AM
Hey Chris - nice to see the photo as well as your interpretation - interesting to see how artists "see" things and interpret differently. It looks like a very peaceful spot to go.

Warming up here too in Adelaide but nothing like what you guys get - dry and dusty rather than humid ;)

CandAlArt
11-19-2010, 01:03 PM
Thanks everyone, the ducks were relaxed and happy, so was I.

Candace - some people call it wetlands when they want to make it sound touristy!:D A lot of the swamp is man-made with small remnants of the original scrub forest. About ten years ago I was helping plant some of the trees, it's great to see it all take off.

Cheers

Interesting! Here, if it gets designated "wetlands" the taxes are likely to go up! :lol:

vhere
11-19-2010, 01:18 PM
here we've got floods in the west country - so wetlands means you won't get insurance on your house :>O

seriously we tend to call them wetlands or marsh

swamp seems to go with heat and mosquitos :D

Dougwas
11-19-2010, 04:40 PM
Love the sketches of the trees and your bird sketches are full of movement. What a beautiful area. It looks like a great spot to draw and paint.

I would love some of your sunshine right now. It is -18C here and we have about 6 inches of snow. Brrrrr.


Doug

seejay
11-19-2010, 05:44 PM
Thanks for dropping by!:wave:

Jackie - Warming up here too in Adelaide but nothing like what you guys get - dry and dusty rather than humid One good thing about being sweaty and smelly is that everyone else is too.:cat:

Candace - that would be a given

Vivien - we tend to call them wetlands or marsh I think this has been known as the swamp for a long time - we're not so posh here in Australia.:D

Doug - not a fan of cold myself, I can't imagine what that is like.

Cheers

sarales
11-20-2010, 09:21 AM
Chris, I've just browsed through every page and I LOVE your sketches!! Those water lilies just jump off the page, and the ducks are terrific. You have such a nice touch!

seejay
11-20-2010, 08:06 PM
Leslie, thank you very much.

seejay
11-23-2010, 09:05 PM
Off to a slow start today, the weather is overcast and windy, but finally got out there. Some attempted bird sketches, a paperbark tree being hugged by a vine (only a few centimetres thick, not a big one), and the base of a lumpy paperbark with some sanguice crayon (don't think I like that red on this paper).

There seemed to be a lot of cormorants standing aroung drying themselves off - no sun, it must have taken longer for them to dry off. I like the way they stand there, wings out, with there snake/whip like necks making all kinds of movements.

http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/23-Nov-2010/6409-hc_swamp24112010_1.resized.jpg

http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/23-Nov-2010/6409-hc_swamp24112010_3.resized.jpg

http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/23-Nov-2010/6409-hc_swamp24112010_2.resized.jpg

Cheers

DrDebby
11-23-2010, 09:09 PM
The sketches are so cool.

JTMB
11-23-2010, 09:35 PM
Excellent job on the cormorants! They are a fun species to draw because of their unique anatomy, plus as you noted their habit of spreading wings when perched for hours on end seemingly to dry out the wings.

sarales
11-24-2010, 12:50 AM
I love the cormorants!!

RainySea
11-24-2010, 10:27 AM
Hello . . . I had to google cormorants as I had never heard that word before! Cool sketches of them, reminds me of the my own duck studies. They look fun to draw, too. Those necks! :) Neat poses / postures.

JTMB
11-24-2010, 12:28 PM
Since Rainy isn't familiar with cormorants and others might not be as well, I can't resist jumping in with a bit of info about them. There are a few species of this family of birds in the US (in my area they are Double-crested, Brandt's and Pelagic Cormorants) - hard to tell apart if you haven't studied birds, although Double-crested is the only species that is found on fresh water frequently, the others tend to stay on the salt. They are diving waterbirds that catch and eat fish - thus the long, serrated bill. Like many diving birds, they are very ungainly on land because their legs are set far back on their bodies, which aids in swimming underwater but makes walking on land a challenge. Fishermen don't like them because they voraciously feed on young fish (salmon in our area, a fish that is at the center of many resource battles among multiple interest groups). The Japanese traditionally used captive cormorants to fish with. They would put a ring of the correct size around the bird's neck and the bird was tethered on a long cord which the fishermen secured to the boat. The birds would dive in the water, grab a fish, start to swallow it but the ring would prevent them from doing so. They would then come to the surface where the fisherman would retrieve the fish out of the cormorant's gullet and repeat the process. Clever, and effective...though probably a bit frustrating to the birds even though they were obviously kept healthy by the fisherman since they were so valuable to him.

seejay
11-24-2010, 04:58 PM
Thanks everyone, cormorants sure are interesting birds.

John - I think I saw four different species of cormorant yesterday (definitely three), and there may be another one usually found around here as well, I'll have to check with my birdwatching friend when I see him again. There seem to be plenty of fish in the swamp judging by these birds - occasionally a pelican or two find there way as well.

Cheers

seejay
12-01-2010, 11:25 PM
Due to rainy weather I didn't get to the swamp yesterday (yeah, I'm soft, I know:D), it's on my list of things to catch up with...

....here's a couple I prepared earlier!:cat:

http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/01-Dec-2010/6409-hc_271010.resized.jpg

http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/01-Dec-2010/6409-hc_swamp17nov2010_2.jpg

Cheers

JTMB
12-01-2010, 11:30 PM
You sure have a fertile source of sketches in your swamp, Chris! I like the technique used on the first one here the best of the two.

Artlike
12-01-2010, 11:45 PM
Chris....I really enjoyed going thru your sketches.....your swample must offer some really unique scenes...that probably change daily. Nice work!

Ed

seejay
12-02-2010, 12:04 AM
Thanks John and Ed.

It's the same old swamp, but on different days, with different tools and moods, I don't know what I will bring home when I go there. Sometimes it works, often it doesn't, but I always enjoy it. Pen is my old favourite, maybe that shows, but I am slowly trying to get less liney and more toney (if that makes sense :D)

Cheers

DrDebby
12-02-2010, 01:56 AM
More cool sketches from the swamp. Just great.

seejay
12-03-2010, 12:07 AM
More cool sketches from the swamp. Just great.

Thanks Debby.

Still waiting for inviting weather so I can do some new ones....

seejay
01-25-2011, 09:28 PM
Hmmm, been a while....:D

But at least I had an excuse - rain, rain, flood, rain, flood....you get the idea. The swamp was flooded twice in a space of approx. 3 weeks. Everything that was under water is brown, but signs of green are showing already. The sound of birds helped overcome feelings of wasteland.

I actually went for a quick look the other day while the water was still up a bit, but didn't hang around long...managed a quick pen sketch before the smell got to me...these trees are normally high and dry.

http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/25-Jan-2011/6409-hc_16jan2011_swamp.resized.jpg

Today I did a lot of looking, not much sketching. Here is one that turned out okay, black polychromos pencil and some white pencil. You can play spot the lizard if you like.:cat:

http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/25-Jan-2011/6409-hc_26jan2011_swamp.resized.jpg

Hopefully (weather permitting) I will get back into the weekly habit of visiting the swamp; watching it recover should be interesting.

Cheers

DrDebby
01-26-2011, 02:24 AM
Found the lizard. Great drawings. Things will recover. Nature is amazing.

vhere
01-26-2011, 11:35 AM
good stuff :)

seejay
01-26-2011, 09:55 PM
Thanks Debby, Vivien.

CandAlArt
01-27-2011, 01:05 AM
I spooted the duck but not the lizard. ?

RainySea
01-27-2011, 01:16 AM
I see the duck and the lizard :) Very nice . . . like them both but I always really love your pen drawings best

mhimeswc
01-27-2011, 09:28 AM
I don't think that I have looked at this thread before, but I love the effect of the black and white on the toned paper. I especially like your ink sketches, your loose, playful lines. This style would work very well for winter sketches - snow on the trees.

seejay
01-27-2011, 07:05 PM
Thanks everyone.

Candace, top of pic, just right of the middle (I know, it doesn't look like much!:D). Usually these lizards charge off into the water, but this one slowly crawled up the tree as I sketched, maybe because all the water plants and reeds etc are gone for now.

Rainy, I prefer the pens too, but they take longer when I want to get more tone....

Michelle, glad you found the thread (and liked it :D). No snow around here, but I'm sure it would work fine for that. My winter sketches look a lot like my summer sketches, but with less sunburn and insect bites!

Cheers

seejay
02-01-2011, 08:52 PM
Back to the swamp again this week; lots of green shoots, little water lily leaves starting to grow, and best of all some egrets, herons and cormorants are coming back - must be plenty of fish too, I guess.:)

I'm getting a bit sick of the black and white mediums, so worked with a couple of inktense and watersoluble graphite pencils, waterbrush and a little bit of white gel pen.

(This one still looks black and white, but there was a little bit of colour....
http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/01-Feb-2011/6409-hc_2feb2011_swamp.resized.jpg

Doesn't quite read right, this is a causeway with stepping stones, water falls over the other side and is a favourite fishing spot for egrets et al...
http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/01-Feb-2011/6409-hc_2feb2011_swamp_2.resized.jpg

large gum trees
http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/01-Feb-2011/6409-hc_2feb2011_swamp_3.resized.jpg

cheers

DrDebby
02-01-2011, 09:09 PM
Glad you could get back to the swamp and life is returning to it. Like the added color you are doing. The one with the egrets is my favorite of this bunch.

seejay
02-01-2011, 09:24 PM
Thanks Debby. It will be interesting over the next few weeks to see the changes.

Looking at these images on my screen now, they seem to have lost some of the colour, the darker bits are mainly indigo blue. Hopefully they look better for everyone else!:D

Cheers

JTMB
02-01-2011, 11:09 PM
Nice to see the incorporation of the egrets into the swamp landscape, Chris! :)

poochemio
02-01-2011, 11:54 PM
I somehow missed subscribing to this thread, sorry Chris. I did have a lovely time playing catch up. I'm so glad you are able to go swamp sketching again, it seems to be a major part of your week. Awesome work!

Jakesgram
02-02-2011, 02:53 AM
Chris, I too am just playing catch up with your lovely swampt sketches. I had no idea how beautiful a swamp could be. I love your style. Working with just the black and white on the sepia craft paper suits you well. Your love and enjoyment of the location shows through in all those lovely sketches!

vhere
02-02-2011, 06:15 AM
I agree and the herons really give a sense of scale there - it's really good to revisit the same place over and over

RainySea
02-02-2011, 11:11 AM
sick of your black and white!? I think they are cool. . . but I do like your little touches of color in these last ones esp. the water

dianapotts
02-02-2011, 05:58 PM
I enjoy seeing your style of drawing. It has such a softness to it.

Thinking of you and your loved ones during this cyclone.

Diana

CandAlArt
02-02-2011, 09:25 PM
Chris- Thinking about you & the cyclone! Post when you can so we know you are ok!!

seejay
02-03-2011, 12:21 AM
Thanks everyone for the nice comments.:thumbsup:

John, I'll be really happy when I see some spoonbills move back in.

Margo & Jean - I enjoy my swamp strolls and sketching, this is a special place for me (and a lot of wildlife). I'm sure it's good for my blood pressure too! ( :D NOT :evil: )

Vivien - it is good to revisit, but I'm feeling a bit "stale" as well.

Rainy - I still like the b&w, I'm just wondering how to add some variety. I feel "compelled" to stick with my sketchbook, but that is silly I think, because the lightweight paper and small size are limiting. I'll work on mixing things up a bit, but my pens and pencils will be close by I'm sure.

Diana & Candace - thanks for your concern. All the action is quite a distance north from here. Luckily no loss of life so far, and if the system keeps going as predicted it shouldn't impact on the central/southern parts which have just had all the flooding. :crossfingers:


Cheers

virgo68
02-03-2011, 05:39 AM
Chris, I like your pen work, you do look more at home with the pen (that's not to say your other sketches are not good too, but you have a certain liveliness with the pen). I do like the egrets with the gel pen, they glow!

I haven't been around much since the floods, it is interesting to read your updates on how the flood has affected the swamp. From what I've seen on the news, everything was filthy after the water receded, ultimately though the flood will be good for the swamp do you think? All that extra water may bring new life? Enjoy getting back into the swamp watching ;)

Joan T
02-03-2011, 12:16 PM
:clap: :clap: :clap: I am so far behind commenting on everyone's blogs, but I love this! Your sketches of the trees, cormorants, waterlilies, etc. are wonderful!!! Keep it up!

vhere
02-03-2011, 05:33 PM
Vivien - it is good to revisit, but I'm feeling a bit "stale" as well.


Cheers

maybe change scale from time to time? take home small branches or things picked up and study them at leisure in between the wider views? or look down at the floor or straight up at the sky?

seejay
02-03-2011, 07:02 PM
Thanks again for the nice comments.

Jackie, I have sketched with my pens for years, they are my favourite, and I won't be giving them up. The swamp will bounce back better than ever no doubt.

Joan, glad you liked catching up!:thumbsup:

Vivien, thanks for those great suggestions, I just need to remember them while I'm out there. I think the change of scale would be good, both in the subject and the paper I'm working on.

cheers

dianapotts
02-04-2011, 10:43 PM
Diana & Candace - thanks for your concern. All the action is quite a distance north from here. Luckily no loss of life so far, and if the system keeps going as predicted it shouldn't impact on the central/southern parts which have just had all the flooding. :crossfingers:


Cheers

Glad to know you are fine. Lucky!

Diana

eyepaint
02-04-2011, 11:33 PM
Cool swamp scenes. I could not find the lizard that Debby could see :(

seejay
02-05-2011, 03:52 AM
Hi Diana :wave: Lucky if I win lotto tonight!:D

Thanks EP - there isn't a lot to see!;) I would call it a vague suggestion of something that I know is a lizard because I saw it! (The suggestion is on the angled branch at the top, right of centre).

Cheers

poochemio
02-05-2011, 12:19 PM
Good luck on the lotto Chris, would be fab if we both won!

CandAlArt
02-10-2011, 10:59 AM
I think Chris won the Lotto and left for Tahiti... Where's Chris? More pictures needed!:wave:

seejay
02-11-2011, 05:29 AM
Hey Candace, I wish!:D I haven't been lucky, just a bit slack (plus my internet has been slow for the last week).

Here are a couple of sketches from Wednesday morning...I'm waiting for the first water lily bloom, but that could be weeks away, only small pads showing so far.

Sepia ink, white gouache, white gel pen, dip pen, brush, finger tips....

bridge....
http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/11-Feb-2011/6409-hc_9feb2011_swamp_1.resized.jpg

... normally can't see far through these trees, all the undergrowth killed by the flood
http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/11-Feb-2011/6409-hc_9feb2011_swamp_2.resized.jpg

vhere
02-11-2011, 05:33 AM
it works well in the sepia ink :)

seejay
02-11-2011, 07:26 PM
Thanks Vivien. Balancing the ink bottle, book, pen etc is always a challenge, I need another hand!:D

DrDebby
02-11-2011, 07:30 PM
Marvelous sketches.

RainySea
02-11-2011, 10:36 PM
wow, you are using dip pen too!!! that is so cool. I like these . . . have to get some different color inks to try with my dip pen maybe. The sepia looks neat

dianapotts
02-11-2011, 10:54 PM
The top one is so expressive. You really know what you are doing.

Diana

JTMB
02-12-2011, 01:19 AM
Both of these are excellent, Chris! Floods really can do an amazing amount of damage...unfortunately I know this from personal experience. My family on the east coast of the country has had several bad floods over the years, and the valley below where we live gets flooded almost every year - although in the valley's case it's so common that the residents have adjusted to all but the most severe ones. We are showing a few signs of spring here - birds starting to sing and some early blooming plants starting to bud out. I can't wait to get outside and sketch in the woods again - your sketches are motivation for that.

seejay
02-13-2011, 04:05 AM
Thank you, kind art journalers.:thumbsup:

Rainy, I think dip pens are my favourite mark making implement, just not as convenient as others. I only ever take small amounts of ink with me in case I drop the bottle!

Diana - You really know what you are doing. I'll let the dip pen take any credit, it has a mind of its own!:wink2:

John - sounds like you will be out sketching soon.

cheers

seejay
02-15-2011, 11:05 PM
If I'm not careful this swamp thing could become a habit again.:cat:

Two from today, black pen, white gel pen, white prismacolor....

This causeway is flowing at the moment. I'm grateful for my insect repellent standing so close to mangroves. This is a view from the other side of the causeway shown in the 2 Feb sketch. There was only one egret, one heron, and one cormorant fishing there today, and I think I scared the heron away standing there.

http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/15-Feb-2011/6409-hc_16feb2011_swamp_1.resized.jpg

Moorhens preening, and water lilies starting to bloom. The flowers are smaller than usual, but lovely to see just the same.

http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/15-Feb-2011/6409-hc_16feb2011_swamp_2.resized.jpg

And to top off a great morning enjoying the swamp, I saw a pair of black swans - they usually breed here, and the way they were checking out the bank behind them, I think they will be nesting soon.

Bad phone photo...
http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/15-Feb-2011/6409-swans.jpg

Cheers

DrDebby
02-15-2011, 11:15 PM
Wonderful sketches. Nice habit to go to the swamp and sketch. Thanks for the pic of the black swans.

seejay
02-15-2011, 11:59 PM
Thanks Debby.

I saw something else today that made me happy - another artist at the swamp had an old sketchbook that belonged to her father, a small gem, full of wonderful, skillful pen sketches. Inspiring, makes me realise I need to take it up a notch! :D

poochemio
02-16-2011, 12:13 AM
Umm black swans, how wonderful!

So are your swamps like the ones I'm used to in the Southern US, filled with alligators and snakes and other scary things? Don't get me wrong here I lived right next to several swamps, the one in Florida had all the icky stuff, and regularly there was some sort of big poisonous snake curled up in my neighbors carport, I'd call to say I was on the way so her husband could check for me.

Cool story about the artist with her daddy's sketchbook. I never think about what someone may or may not make of them somewhere down the road. Or I should say I hadn't thought about it. I pretty much guessed they were only of value to me as I journey down the path.

I sure am ready for some water lilies to sketch, it'll still be a bit here, as we just had a really heavy freeze for our area. Enjoy having your swamp back it seems to be your special spot.

JTMB
02-16-2011, 12:06 PM
I, for one, will be very happy if you stay in your swamp sketching mode for a long time! Great subjects there, and you handle them very well. I'm going to have to get my kraft sketchbook and white gel pen out again here soon. Really pleasing results you get here with that combination.

Joan T
02-16-2011, 01:07 PM
Great job on the last few!!! You aren't lacking subjects.

seejay
02-16-2011, 11:54 PM
Thanks Margo. It is too far south for saltwater crocodiles to be a problem (THAT would keep me away from the water for sure!:thumbsup:). We have our fair share of venomous snakes, but if they leave me alone, I leave them alone. :crossfingers: I think the sun and biting insects are a greater risk - skin cancer and nasty viral diseases, I can do without those.

John, thanks for the vote of confidence. No plans to stop going for my swamp walks yet.

Thanks Joan, too many choices sometimes.

eyepaint
02-17-2011, 12:00 AM
Hi Chris, what do you recommend for someone who seems to be on the menu for biting insects?

"I'm grateful for my insect repellent standing so close to mangroves"

seejay
02-17-2011, 12:30 AM
Hi Chris, what do you recommend for someone who seems to be on the menu for biting insects?

1) the repellant I am using at the moment is called 'OFF!' (by Johnson & Son); the active ingredient is 92.8g/L PICARIDIN. The smell when I first apply it is a bit annoying, but once it dries I can hardly notice it. It does a good job for me; nothing else I've used has kept the sandflies / midges away so well.

Please don't tell me if this stuff isn't approved in the USA!:evil:

2) I wear a long sleeve shirt, and if it isn't too hot I also wear long trousers. Good for sun and insects.

Cheers

eyepaint
02-18-2011, 02:02 AM
Thanks, Chris. I'll hunt for it around here. I seem to be an all-you-can-eat buffet for insects :)

seejay
03-09-2011, 12:17 AM
Took my red chalk and white gouache, along with a waterbrush, to the swamp today. Added some touches of black and white prismacolors, and purple colouring pencil; quite happy with a couple of the sketches.

http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/08-Mar-2011/6409-hc_9mar2011_swamp1.resized.jpg

http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/08-Mar-2011/6409-hc_9mar2011_swamp3.resized.jpg

http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/08-Mar-2011/6409-hc_9mar2011_swamp2.resized.jpg

Cheers

JTMB
03-09-2011, 12:29 AM
Nice group of sketches, Chris! The first one is my favorite of the three.

poochemio
03-09-2011, 12:24 PM
The purple did something very interesting depth wise on these. I'm with John, although the last piece has a striking atmosphere to it.

DrDebby
03-09-2011, 07:25 PM
Great sketches. I am seeing swamps in a whole new way through your sketches.

Kema
03-10-2011, 01:49 AM
I'm really enjoying these - don't think I can commit to a favorite. I love places where water meets land, and your sketches are very evocative.

RainySea
03-10-2011, 03:51 PM
Chris, I really like that combo of the red chalk and gouache! Its working so good for you I think. That first image especially is wonderful. I can just almost FEEL the bark on that tree

seejay
03-10-2011, 09:28 PM
Thanks a lot everyone. :clap:

Joan T
03-11-2011, 01:22 PM
I love that one of the thick tree trunks. These are great!

We do have "Off" here in NY. I think that's what I have in the pocket of my sketching chair to spray and ward off the deer ticks that seem to be everywhere around here.

vhere
03-13-2011, 08:23 AM
these are lovely

robertsloan2
03-13-2011, 10:52 AM
Chris, I've just paged through the entire thread slowly with so much pleasure. I love swamps and wildlife. I used to live in New Orleans and sometimes got to drive through the bayous on the way to and from the city. These are incredible. I am not surprised it's your third swamp sketchbook. From the birds and trees and plants to the feel of the place before and after flooding, it's gorgeous. Loose, expressive and perfectly accurate in so many ways.

Thank you for including a couple of phone photos in among your great drawings. You are so lucky to be living near such a wonderful place! Insect repellant a must, though.

Elain
03-15-2011, 02:22 AM
Chris, like Robert I've just re-acquinated myself with your journal and sketches. There are some lovely pleases and armoshpere.

The mid-tone background is perfect with the darks and lights added. I feel like I have had a trip though the swamp myself

seejay
03-17-2011, 08:14 AM
Thanks a lot everyone. I'm getting a bit slack with this book, your encouragement is appreciated.

Robert and Elain, I'm glad you have dropped by.

Cheers

seejay
03-22-2011, 10:21 PM
Missed last Wednesday, but back to the swamp again today. I should have made an effort to get there earlier - some summer-type weather has returned, and I forgot to take water.

Three sketches from today....a mix of Inktense, prismacolor, gouache, red chalk (not all in every sketch tho').

1) paperbarks beside water...
http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/22-Mar-2011/6409-hc_23mar2011_swamp1.resized.jpg

2) Australian darter and little black cormorant (I think:cat: ) - The joys of using mediums that don't erase easily, no way to fix up dodgy bits that matter.:D
http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/22-Mar-2011/6409-hc_23mar2011_swamp2.resized.jpg

3) gum trees by water..
http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/22-Mar-2011/6409-hc_23mar2011_swamp3.resized.jpg

Cheers

Kema
03-22-2011, 10:30 PM
Beautiful, Chris! The darter looks like the herons we have here. They are very elusive, but I love to draw them when I can.

seejay
03-22-2011, 10:58 PM
Beautiful, Chris! The darter looks like the herons we have here. They are very elusive, but I love to draw them when I can.

Thanks Kema. I suppose there are similarities with herons in the neck and head department!:cat: I found a pic on Wikipedia of the darter (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Australian_Darter_2.jpg); my sketch doesn't really show much. These birds catch their food in the water like cormorants. Obviously the ones I found had already dried off in the hot morning sun, they didn't have their wings sticking out which a more common pose.

DrDebby
03-23-2011, 03:21 PM
These are just splendid. I like the paperbark trees with the bark peeling away.

Joan T
03-24-2011, 01:39 PM
I love the way you did the bark on that tree!!! Your sketches are so good.

JTMB
03-24-2011, 08:28 PM
Great work, Chris! I like the three-color combination. And of course, it's great to see a couple of your species of waterbirds that we don't have here - although they do look very similar to our cormorants and (less so) our Great Blue Herons.

seejay
03-25-2011, 04:58 AM
Thanks Debby and Joan, glad the tree looks bark-y enough - they are nice trees, but I never think I capture them on paper. Luckily I enjoy trying.:D

John, thank you too. Cormorants are well adapted to feed underwater, I suppose it isn't surprising they should look similar the world over.

Cheers

RainySea
03-25-2011, 11:03 AM
Beautiful trees and bark, Chris. I love that you are back to using the kraft paper for these. Very nice drawings