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Old 05-23-2011, 01:00 PM
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Re: John's May Journal - Pen and Wash

Great work on the lions!!! Grrrrrrrr! I really like the thumbnail sketches...any of them would make a really nice painting!
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Old 05-23-2011, 10:06 PM
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Re: John's May Journal - Pen and Wash

Thanks Debby and Joan!

I have gotten behind in posting the small (6 1/2 x 5 inches) Watermark Bindery journal that I have been using to record the goings-on with the birds and critters in the back yard. So here are a number of them.

First a page on the month of May - the best overall month to look for birds in much of the US - and some comments on Rufous Hummingbirds (RUHU's).



The next page documents a new species for my yard 'life list' - a Eurasian Collared-Dove.



The next two-page spread talked about a single Peregrine Falcon seen from the yard - something that hadn't happened for a couple months. Also, a Black-capped Chickadee was seen catching bugs in mid-air - not something they usually do, although around nesting time they eat a lot of insects.



The next page shows sketches of a Purple Finch and House Finch (both females). These species are easily confused for beginning birders because they are both 'little brown birds' but are easy to recognize with experience.




I realized after posting that almost all the images are larger than the actual book, so all my mistakes show up very plainly...!
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Old 05-23-2011, 10:13 PM
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Re: John's May Journal - Pen and Wash

Here is one more bird journal image from this morning. The first Western Tanager of the year showed up - a female. The colors in the very quick sketch below aren't greatly accurate, but they give a general idea of the yellowish and gray-brown coloration of the bird. The male is much brighter yellow, with an amazing red-orange head.



The next two were also done today, in a plein air watercolor class. These are mostly watercolor, but I included them here because I did the preliminary drawing in J. Herbin Gris Nuage ink at least...! These are both in Arches 140# watercolor sketches, one 7 x 9 inches, and one 6 x 9 1/2 inches. Both these were done from Magnuson Park, looking east or northeast across Lake Washington. Each took about 45 minutes or so to do.



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Old 05-24-2011, 02:41 AM
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Re: John's May Journal - Pen and Wash

lovely birds and how great to have humming birds

The light in that second landscape really glows
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Old 05-24-2011, 10:36 AM
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Re: John's May Journal - Pen and Wash

wonderful birds, John... love the pigeon and the hummingbird. We have those in the yard sometimes and they are so interesting to watch flit around.
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Old 05-24-2011, 12:33 PM
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Re: John's May Journal - Pen and Wash

This is turning into an awesome journal. The ink and wash is coming out really well. The notes are enlightening and the birds themselves delightful. Your landscapes are just lovely.
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Old 05-26-2011, 09:29 PM
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Re: John's May Journal - Pen and Wash

Thanks Vivien, Debby and Rainy!

My Goulet order arrived today with the aquamarine Lamy pen and a couple bottles of ink. I did some quick sketches and found that I really like the Diamine Graphite - it writes smoothly and washes really well. The first page here - the House Sparrows was done with the Diamine Graphite and J. Herbin Cafe des Iles, a rich reddish chestnut brown that is a good color for the plumage on the House Sparrow.

The second one is a view of the bird feeders and garden from my workspace at the kitchen table. Inks used in that one were the Graphite, Cafe des Iles and J. Herbin Vert Olive.

The second page was photographed outside, but it started to rain so the House Sparrow was shot inside which provided some white balance issues. The journal is the 6 x 5 inch Watermark Bindery one with ivory/cream colored pages.



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Old 05-26-2011, 10:12 PM
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Re: John's May Journal - Pen and Wash

Yay! Happy to hear about your great ink/pen order. Isn't that Aquamarine Lamy gorgeous? I got mine today too!

There are many really fine gray inks out there. It's not easy to select favorites!

Wow, you've been really busy and I'm sorry I've missed a lot of your sketches. Seems I turned around and you posted a ton of them! That hummingbird is adorable. What ink did you sketch that with?

What a great collection of feeders you have!

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Last edited by JamieWG : 05-26-2011 at 10:15 PM.
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Old 05-27-2011, 02:59 AM
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Re: John's May Journal - Pen and Wash

lovely sparrow
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Old 05-27-2011, 10:39 AM
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Re: John's May Journal - Pen and Wash

John, your birds are so well done, even in flight!!! Love the gentle shading on them. Nice landscapes too!!!
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Old 05-27-2011, 11:34 AM
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Re: John's May Journal - Pen and Wash

what a wonderful little bird painting! very beautifully done.

Love the pict from the yard with all those birdhouse and feeders. Can't tell a bird lover lives than, can ya? Really nicely done drawing there too, nice washes.

Wow, you are amazing with these inks, John.
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Old 05-27-2011, 11:39 AM
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Re: John's May Journal - Pen and Wash

Wow! You've done a lot since I last looked. The birds are wonderful, all of them! I am so impressed with the ones in flight though. I've tried it, and managed to get one tentative line on the page before they were gone.
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Old 05-27-2011, 06:16 PM
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Re: John's May Journal - Pen and Wash

Thanks Jamie, Vivien, Joan, Rainy and Michelle!

Jamie - yes I love the aquamarine pen. I didn't even bother to use up the blue cartridge that came with it. After looking at my options and testing the new inks I got, I loaded it with Diamine Graphite, and I love how the combination is working. Very smooth, zero skips, enough saturation to use for regular writing, but not too dark for gray detail, and it washes very easily.

Oh, in the exciting news department - which I don't remember mentioning before, but my apologies if I did - I have a solo show coming up opening June 24th and running for at least six weeks. It is at the suite used by a local creative arts center for their concerts, poetry readings, classes, etc. - and also open a few hours each week as a gallery. I'm shooting for 24 pieces - have 19 framed up and ready to hang now - about half of which will be landscapes and half birds. This is my first solo show, and am a bit nervous about it, but looking forward to it as well.
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Last edited by JTMB : 05-27-2011 at 06:26 PM.
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Old 05-27-2011, 06:22 PM
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Re: John's May Journal - Pen and Wash

May I say I think you have quite artistic handwriting Lovely sketches, I'm liking the birds! Got some nice blending in that last landscape there too, the green in the bushes
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Old 05-27-2011, 06:31 PM
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Re: John's May Journal - Pen and Wash

Hi Aiylah,

I figure you must be joking about my handwriting being artistic. Semi-illegible is more what I would call it - ! Interestingly, I found and downloaded several articles on penmanship since I started using fountain pens to do the pen and ink work. I can type very fast (about 70 wpm) and so ever since computers came out, I have written very little and my handwriting, which was not good to begin with, deteriorated even more, sigh...! In shopping around for fountain pens and inks, I've found there is a little subculture of fountain pen people out there who keep journals in handwriting even if they're high-tech folks and use the computer as well. Theoretically provides a more relaxed and contemplative experience when writing something down. We'll see...! I haven't really started working on penmanship yet, but hope to improve at least a bit over time.
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