Playing in a New Sketchbook

New "Dylusions" Sketchbook Journal from Ranger. Cover embellished with my own leaf design in ink.

New "Dylusions" Sketchbook Journal from Ranger. Cover embellished with my own leaf design in ink.

I have three or four sketchbooks going at the moment, including this new one from Ranger. It is similar to a Moleskine, but has thicker paper, and a sturdy Kraft paper cover with a button-and-string-closure pocket on the inside front flap. 

Although I have a few "Inky 500" sketches to go, I'm also going ahead and combining what I love best about the inky brush approach with other ways of drawing. The first spread in the new sketchbook is an attempt to marry the really loose expressive mark of the brush with a somewhat tighter and more regular mark of a micron pen.

First spread in new Dylusions sketchbook. Brush pen and micron pen.

First spread in new Dylusions sketchbook. Brush pen and micron pen.

Partly inspired by my previous village house work and partly by Lisa Congdon's newest video tutorial on CreativeBug, here I layered pen over watercolor, which is always fun to do.

A happy little village. Watercolor and micron pen.

A happy little village. Watercolor and micron pen.

I didn't know until I had completed this page that I was partly evoking one of the lighthouses we saw in Maine this summer. To reach it, we had to walk along for about half a mile on a narrow boardwalk over a rocky jetty. Mostly obscured is a large Nessie in the mid-ground, covered by tissue and gesso. Nessie often shows up in my drawings, but here she was stealing focus from the bits I liked best (the music paper collage).

Jetty House. Musical score paper collage, with torn tracing paper, watercolor (mostly covered), gesso and book paste.

Jetty House. Musical score paper collage, with torn tracing paper, watercolor (mostly covered), gesso and book paste.

Rabbit Rabbit and Happy New Year!

You can download a PDF of a (slightly prettified) version of this list by going here: http://lisafirke.com/s/THINGStoDRAW-LisaFirke.pdf

You can download a PDF of a (slightly prettified) version of this list by going here: http://lisafirke.com/s/THINGStoDRAW-LisaFirke.pdf

Rabbit Rabbit! And Happy 2015. My wishes and resolves for the New Year are pretty basic--to READ something, WRITE something, MAKE something, and SHARE something nearly every day.

To help with this I dedicated a sketchbook as a container to log my efforts:

A log book for my daily intentions...

A log book for my daily intentions...

So far today I have:

READ: Green Guide for Artists by Karen Michel (Quarry Press, 2009) (Great info in here, which goes along with another of my intentions, which is to purchase as few new supplies as I can manage and use more of what I've got around me right now.)

WRITTEN: These and other notes, some public, some private.

MADE/MAKING: Cut down double-walled cardboard and glued these together to make art panels. Will paper-mache over the top once the glue from this first stage has dried. Hat tips to artist Megan Holvany for the idea to do this, and to Carla Sonheim for featuring a class taught by Megan that I took over the holiday break along with my nephews.

SHARED: this and other social media posts. Do the same if you found something of value here. 

Four Bright Chicks

"Four Bright Chicks" © 2014 by Lisa Firke


"Four Bright Chicks" © 2014 by Lisa Firke

I recently had a customer visit the shop and have her fancy captured by my "Three Bright Chicks" watercolor from 2011.

The original "Three Bright Chicks" © 2011 by Lisa Firke

The original "Three Bright Chicks" © 2011 by Lisa Firke

My customer asked me to add a fourth chicken in purple so that the group could represent herself, her daughter, and her two granddaughters. What a fun commission!

I painted about ten purple chicks in watercolor, trying different poses until I found the one I thought went best with the others. Then it was a matter of separating the individual chickens in Photoshop so that I could reunite them in their new formation.

The final composition. Printed in a special large edition for my customer, but also available now in an 8 x 10 via the Etsy Shop.

The final composition. Printed in a special large edition for my customer, but also available now in an 8 x 10 via the Etsy Shop.

Sometimes all you have to do is ask! I have more commissions underway--will share when the time is right.