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sketches in an old book

A while back I bought this lovely handmade book. It has the look of an old book with handmade paper pages. The cover had me immediately think of ink sketches, particularly olf etch-like drawings…statues, architecture…all things I love to sketch. I’ve started doing some statues in it…the paper isn’t very forgiving and not ideal for sketching and it doesn’t take watercolour at all, but maybe it only adds to the “ancient” look that I’m after. In any case this book is not about art, but about a look – I am looking forward to see it one day when it is done, filled with ink drawings, thick and used! by then, it might be REALLY old…

I use only ink and a pen with nibs and afterwards I wash gently with a little ink and water to just add a shadow and a stain here and there. The book is 11.5 x 17cm and I found it at Les milles feuilles in Paris.

…an old touch…

…statue 1-St sulpice…

…statue 2-…

…statue 3- chateau de vincennes…

…statue 4-chateau de vincennes…

Ink exercises

I love inkwork and there are some beautiful inks around not to mention the artists that do beautiful inkwork.

I took my summer shoes to do some excercises with the inks and pens I have. Excercise 1: Summer sandals done in Gris nuage ink from J. Herbin, drawing the lines with a stylo à plume d’oie(quill pen) and afterwards I bled the lines and washed with some powerful blue Eclat de sapphire ink and a small brush. I just can’t help myself. I have to do a wash somewhere with a brush. It is an addiction. I would so love to do only beautiful lines and leave it. Maybe next time.

…the blues…

Excercise 2: A second pair of summer sandals, this time using a speedball pen and Cafe des iles from J. Herbin. Once again just dragged a wet brush over the lines to get a wash, and finished off with some black india ink hatches.

…summer swing…

Excercise3: A pair of Sperry’s…and could I explain the difference in size?  Maybe I have one big foot and one small foot…? Or could it simply be bad observation? Done in a reed pen and plume pen with Sanguine 270, from Sennelier. And after dragging a wet brush over the lines to bleed the colour, I decided to add some washes of Lie de the of J. Herbin. Finished off with some scribblings with a rotring pen, 2,5 .

…Bigfoot…

Excercise 4: Since I had now used up all my summer shoes, I had only my shoe blocks left. Linework in rotring artist pen and washed with a wet brush to bleed the lines. Then decided to splash in some colour with Sennelier’s Sanguine 270 and Lie de the, J. Herbin.

 

…in-and-out…

In the past, I have done a lot of calligraphy work, so I have many speedball pens and nibs that work wonderful for drawing. Added to that, are some reed pens(which I don’t like much), plumes/goose quill pen, which I love to work with, rotring artist pen(Fine), and rotring rapidograph pen, size 2.5.

I enjoy the inks of J. Herbin. They are rich, make for nice washes as well as lines and dry with a nice sheen. I have only recently started working with the J. Herbin inks and they are really beautiful! Wonderful for linework as well as doing bleeding with a wet brush and they are lightfast, can be sealed beautifully…in short, I have nothing bad to say about them! I haven’t yet found a nice dark burgundy red, but Sennelier’s Sanguine 270 is a nice dark red which comes close to what I’m looking for.  All the sketches were done in a spiral watercolour pad, 18x26cm (7″x10″) Fabriano Artistico CP. Below you can see part of my “ink workstation”. 

…hailing efforts…

Something that needs fixing

The ironing is always behind.

I have to iron. I have to see sharp folds and straight flat edges on shirts and linen and skirts and yes, T-shirts. Except of course jeans. No straight folds there. That makes them look nerdy. I learnt that from my daughters.

Sketches done with rotring artist pen and water wash in moleskine.

Like with a desperate diet, I start off every Monday with the determination to iron immediately when something comes off the line. Just to see my diligence fade into submission by Wednesday. The result is a growing mountain of washing and a leaking cup of courage. So I let the mountain run its course… after all, it is already there….and wait for the magical day when my cupeth runneth over again.

I’ll probably always have this habit that needs fixing.

The red tulip

Like last year, this single red tulip once again made its appearance in my all white and blue  garden. And like last year, I accept it and welcome it. It has become quite a game and I’m amused by the tulip’s proudness and dedication to defeat me. It reminds me of a guy I once knew at university who wouldn’t give up either.

 

He was madly in love with me, completely, head over heels..and yes, he was sort of cute too, I thought at that stage. I was staying in a hostel for girls on campus, fourth floor out of six, overlooking beautifully tended campus gardens. And he was staying in a hostel for boys, way off, on the other side of the campus. That’s how it was those days. No men allowed in the girls’ hostels and vice versa, which made for very exciting experiences! Except of course, for visiting hours in the lounge downstairs.

Very regularly, he would show up at my hostel, long after visiting hours, on nights when the moon was showing off in the sky and the stars were sparkling impatiently with anticipation. With his guitar and a red rose and his best friend, I would be charmed with unashamedly beautiful love songs from the garden under my window. Their strong, deep melodious voices, trained from years of singing, had every girl hanging out their windows along with me, losing ourselves in the charm and romance of “old world courting” from down below.  Beautiful beautiful brown eyes, would always be on the list of songs and their voices would fade away in the distance with Goodnight ladies. My red rose, always stolen from an overflowing garden somewhere, would be left on the windowsill downstairs at the front door, for the hostel had already firmly been locked up for the night.

And so it happened that he got caught one night while stealing my red rose. He unfortunately chose the garden of the Professor of engineering, with whom he was very well acquainted…! He was allowed the rose, but had to work the Professor’s compost heap for two weekends. For a while, it was slow on the rose-serenading-scene and we all missed it..all the ladies, that is. Then one night there he was again, with a stolen red rose and guitar and his best friend. The cute guy I once knew. And who I still know. He is my husband.