Wednesday, December 28, 2016

Sketching Some 'Murica!

Guns and knives, 'Murican stuffs.

I went to the gun range a while back with my father-in-law and my friend Brian. I took a pic of our pistolas in the firing booth. Finally got around to sketching it. I took the pic for just that purpose.

Watercolor pistols at Andy Dalton Shooting Range, Ash Grove, Missouri.

My recently acquired Opinel Slim N8, a French pocketknife that my wife got me for Christmas. My favorite gifts are always outdoor tools and items. This was sketched from life.

Opinel Slim N8 pocketknife

Tuesday, December 20, 2016

Art of a Different Sort

I'm not what I would call a great artist, but I would admit to being a fairly flexible one. I don't do any one thing in an amazing way, I'm not incredibly innovative or edgy, you'll probably never see my work in a gallery, but I'm able to work with some degree of ability above an amateur level in about any medium I find worth the effort. I chalk it up to better-than-average spacial awareness more than direct art talent.

Talking about art, even when trying not to come off as an ass, still sounds kind of arrogant, doesn't it? Anyway, here are a few projects I've done for the upcoming Christmas holiday.

First up, a project for my mom. She sent me some reference pieces in JPG form and I tried to improve upon the concept a bit. I took four clean pine boards and beat the crap out of them, poked holes in them with a drill, filed and sanded them and then stained them with a mixture of rust and white vinegar. I then painted some paper birches and a conifer tree in acrylic (paper birches abound where she lives in northern lower Michigan). I hadn't really worked in acrylic paints in maybe a little over 20 years and didn't feel like buying a bunch of materials, so I used three primary colors and white to mix the shades I needed. I keep becoming more and more obsessed with simple paint color pallets and might move to using a three or six color pallet in my watercolors sometime down the road.

I finished up my mom's Christmas present last night.

How it began life, fresh from the hardware store.

Distressed wood project.

Next up, a project for my wife. I took a couple of deer antler sheds and made her a necklace/jewelry rack from them. They'd been found by her aunt and uncle four years ago while walking their property up by Fair Grove, Missouri. They had a lot of wildlife up that way, they told us stories of deer, turkey, coyotes and black beer on their property. That's just 15 minutes northeast of Springfield.

A few years ago, my wife's aunt and uncle gave me a couple of deer antler sheds. They'd been partially munched on by animals, so weren't great for mounting. I made them into a necklace rack for my wife today.

abby's uncle gave me these. found on his property by the dogs. i'll think of something to use them for later.

A coworker of ours asked me to sketch her husband's father from a pic they took while duck hunting one morning, in a pond down in the bootheel of Missouri, somewhere. Pen and ink with a watercolor wash.

Duck decoys - a sketch for a coworker, as a Christmas present.

Saturday evening was our office Christmas party, my employer gave me a really nice set of travel watercolors from Sennelier. These are much higher quality paints than the Sakura Koi travel set I've been using. I'm pretty excited about these and their awesome little metal box they came in. Less worry about killing the set when chucked into a backpack. My employer also gave me a very nice field sketching/painting easel that can be chucked in a carrying bag and shouldered to walk down a greenway trail or well into a park with, easily.

New Sennelier travel watercolor set.

Before sketching the piece above on Sunday morning, I made a quick color key for reference. These are incredibly helpful.

New Sennelier travel watercolor set.