Friday, October 30, 2015

Field Sketching Resumes, 'The Natural Eye' Begins

Male Wood Duck with Turtles on Log. Sumi Brush Pen Field Sketch by Ken Januski.

I wish I had been there but I was not and once again I missed the opening of 'The Natural Eye', the annual exhibit of the Society of Wildlife Artists in London. Examples of some of the work can be seen online at What's On at The Mall Galleries. If you go to page four you'll see my two works. I thought this year was finally going to be the year that I and Jerene were able to visit the exhibit and meet other artists but it just wasn't possible. As I've said previously it is the only wildlife art exhibit that I find exciting. The link above gives you a very good representation of the work on exhibit and a very good representation of the type of bird and wildlife art that I like.

Finally yesterday I was able to do some field sketching along the Manayunk Canal. I was hoping that a heavy storm the day before might have brought some unusual birds. But if they were there I didn't find them. I had however recently bought a sample pack of brush pens from because I've been so happy with the Kuretake Sumi Brush Pen that I bought there. I also wanted to try some of them out. A few are far too fine and stiff for my purposes. But others have a fluidity and flexibility that I like. An example of one of the pens is above. If I recall correctly it is a Pilot Brush pen. When I got home I added color with Caran d'Ache NeoColor II water-soluble crayons. I then used a waterbrush to make washes from the crayons. I know this sounds like an advertisement for these media, and you can certainly find plenty examples of such online. But that's not the case. I'd call it more objective reporting: these are the tools I used. In almost all cases here they are not the best tools but the best convenient tools. I could have used a sumi or watercolor brush along with watercolor. But that's less convenient, especially when out in the field, and unsure of whether or not I'll sketch. These tools allow me that possibility while carrying very little gear.

Great Blue Heron, European Starling, Northern Cardinal. Sumi Brush Pen Field Sketch by Ken Januski.

Above is another example of brush pen field sketches. On the right is a Great Blue Heron up in the trees also done yesterday along the Manayunk Canal. It's done with the Pilot Brush Pen. I also used that pen for the European Starling seen from my studio window. Above it a drawing mainly from memory of a Northern Cardinal that appeared momentarily in front of the same window. The Zebra brush pen was far too fine and stiff for my tastes, but others may love it. I guess it depends on how you plan to use it.

In any case it's nice to be doing field sketches again and I'm happy to be experimenting with these various brush pens.

Winter Wren in Leaves. Proof of Combination Woodcut/Linocut by Ken Januski.

Finally I'm continuing the combination woodcut/linocut of the Winter Wrens in Leaves. I've printed the black(Caligo Safewash Ink) on good paper(Shin  Torinoko Cream). The black is from the old linoleum block. I then printed an orange on a woodblock on top of that. This is a proof. I didn't rub the baren as hard as usual because I was afraid the black ink might not be completely dry. As a result you can see that the orange is spotty. It may also be a bit darker than I want. But I do like the brown that results from printing orange(Daniel Smith Water-soluble Ink) over the black. Once I've printed the orange for the edition I'll cut away some of the black and print what remains on top of the orange over black. Easy as Pie as they say.

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