Sunday, October 23, 2016

More Sora and Rail

Sora, Virginia Rail and Mallard. Sumi brush painting by Ken Januski.

Sometimes I seem to want to go fairly deeply ( I will not say 'deep dive' thank you very much) into a subject. That's been the case with sora and rails recently. I can't explain it other than the desire to get familiar enough with them that I think I can eventually do a fairly spontaneous work with them as subject. Today's newest foray is seen above, a sumi brush pen and ink painting of a Sora, Virginia Rail and Mallard, all seen a few weeks ago at 'The Meadows' of Cape May, NJ.

Every time I return to sumi brush painting I'm reminded of how extremely little I know about it, how low my skill level is, but also how much I love the rich tonalities and vigorous brushwork that it can allow. I'm using an extremely old sumi ink, one bought back in San Francisco when I was a student and my guess is that the lack of true black in this painting is at least partially due to the quality of the ink. Once of these days I need to buy a better ink stick.

Sora at Heinz NWR. Watercolor by Ken Januski.

I've also been experimenting with more detailed works and you can see them above and below. They are both based on photos of Sora at Heinz NWR that I took last year. Both are in watercolor.

Sora at Heinz NWR, version 2. Watercolor by Ken Januski.

Sora at Heinz NWR. Watercolor sketch by Ken Januski.
Before I started the watercolors I did a quick watercolor sketch, seen above, and a couple more ballpoint pen studies. But there are only so many ballpoint pen studies I can do. At some point they just get too frustrating to me and I need to move to a looser medium.

Sora at Heinz NWR. Ballpoint pen sketch by Ken Januski.

And speaking of loose media, the sumi brush or sumi brush pen may be among the loosest. The synthetic brush pen, used below, seems to me to be mainly a linear medium. You can't use it like a sumi brush and ink to get both line AND tone. But that also means that mistakes, generally impossible to correct, jump out at you and the viewer. But the feeling of spontaneity that it allows is well worth the risk involved.

Sora at Heinz NWR. Sumi brush pen sketch by Ken Januski.

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