Sunday, June 6, 2021

Every Day in May (EDiM) 2021

Once again this year, I participated in "Every Day in May", a Facebook page in which participants from across the world post sketches daily based on the day's prompt throughout the month of May. It's my 5th or 6th year now, and this has become a good yearly opportunity to stay focused on something I like doing for 31 consecutive days. A quick sketch before going to bed every night was a great meditative way to end each day. 

My personal policy has been always to sketch from real life (usually at the kitchen table with a glass of beer), but this year I made a point of using pen and ink only. 

Here are all 30 drawings from last month...


Monday, February 15, 2021

Tulips

A good friend brings three stems of tulips in a vase to share some Valentines joy with my family, and we are touched. 

It reminded me of the few weeks in the early days of the pandemic, in which sketching the tulips sprouting from the ground  every day brought a sense of calm and groundedness that I craved during an especially trying time in the spring of 2020. By the grace of God, extended to us through the kindness of friends like this, I am grateful in being able to say I am in a completely different place today.





a selection from April and May, 2020

Thursday, September 10, 2020

CN Rail Snowplow

I discovered the Alberta Railway Museum this summer while on a bike ride, and was intrigued by the rail cars that announce the museum's entry off the rural roadway, across the now-closed entry gate. But it's served as a great destination for some rides over the course of the last few months, and I've managed to sketch the lead car -- a CN snow plow -- on some sunny evening drives. 




Thursday, August 13, 2020

constrction site

 A construction site over the course of the last few weeks... this is the first series of urban sketches I have done in a while. The first one was completed by some rain drops... it adequately documents my experience that day.

Wednesday, July 1, 2020

Every Day in May: part 3

I participated again in the  "Every Day in May" Facebook challenge to post a sketch throughout the month of May based on a daily prompt. Here are some highlights! (Part3)

Day 20: shoes or some clothes

Day 22: a book, newspaper, or magazine

Day 25: "Towel Day"

Day 30: a home plant

Tuesday, June 23, 2020

Every Day in May: part 2

I participated again in the  "Every Day in May" Facebook challenge to post a sketch throughout the month of May based on a daily prompt. Here are some highlights! (Part 2)


Day 10: a pet (my daughter's stuffed seal)

Day 11:illustrate a recipe

Day 13: toilet paper rolls

Day 15: a view from your window

Day 16: a wire whisk

Wednesday, June 10, 2020

Every Day in May: part 1


I participated again in the  "Every Day in May" Facebook challenge to post a sketch throughout the month of May based on a daily prompt. Here are some highlights! (Part 1)


Day 2: a bicycle light

Day 6: a self-portrait

Day 7: a teapot (plus Day 1: a mug)

Day 8: favourite drawing tools

Day 9: a wall clock

Tuesday, June 2, 2020

woodblock attempts... #3

I happened to come across an online image of a woodcut by a favourite print artist, depicting a view that has particular meaning for my family's history. I decided I would work on a series of smaller woodblock prints depicting some scenes around the neighbourhood in question.

This was my first image. It was also my first try at multi-coloured prints, and although I enjoyed the process of planning for colour and carving four plates, I like the simplicity of the black and white version (and maybe the addition of grey), and will stick to that in the next one. I have a lot to learn...


Wednesday, May 27, 2020

woodblock attempts... day ?

1 The original idea sketch...
2 Sketched onto a piece of trace...
What started out as a project during a week off at the end of March got put on hold  but I have finally found the time (and materials) to further work on the woodblock print attempt during this week off. The first 6 images are from March, the last two from yesterday.

I was not happy with the paper (too small and too smooth) and the inconsistency of the ink in my previous printing, but some experimenting (and googling) using a block I carved on similar wood 15 years ago revealed quite dramatically that dampening the paper works quite nicely, and I feel like a whole new world has opened up. The resulting prints from yesterday are still not perfect but a great improvement to the previous version.

3 Working out black and white. and texture...
I have now washed the block to clear off some caked ink, as I am still not happy with the amount of detail that has been lost. I will probably carve some modifications and run a few more prints soon...


4 Carving...
5 and test printing along the way...
6 An early version at the end of March... too blotchy!
7 A test print using an old block and dampened paper (left).



8 Printing on proper Stonehenge paper... still not perfect but much better.

Tuesday, March 24, 2020

woodblock attempts... day 1

It's spring break for the kids and I have taken the week off.

I promised the kids that I would teach them woodblock printing, and I had a go at it myself for the first time in perhaps more than 10 years. Unfortunately I had a set of dull carving tools and wood panels for painting on (not carving), but it was a blast nonetheless.

 A couple of process photos in case I mess it all up: the source sketches and the drawings on the panels, ready to carve...



Monday, March 23, 2020

room refresh

My daughter takes the opportunity to refresh her room, getting rid of much clutter.
I hang out with her for a moment while she draws at her desk with her headphones tuned into some of her Youtuber heroes.
The few minutes here brings me much solace in a world that seems like an opening chapter of a dystopian SciFi novel.


Friday, February 28, 2020

a hospital visit




 My son gets sick... and we spend a day at the hospital getting him checked out. Fortunately, it is nothing like what happened to my daughter several years ago, and the tests prove to be negative.

Tuesday, December 24, 2019

"How silently, how silently... "

"How silently, how silently,
the wondrous gift is given;
so God imparts to human hearts
the blessings of his heaven.
No ear may hear his coming,
but in this world of sin,
where meek souls will receive him, still
the dear Christ enters in. "

Phillips Brooks (1835–1893)

Merry Christmas!




Wednesday, October 30, 2019

pumpkin

Three large, quick sketches as I try out new tools:

A newly acquired Duke 551 fude nib fountain pen, which creates some amazingly expressive, broad lines;
Daniel Smith Walnut Ink, which I've had sitting on my shelf for the last 4 or 5 years, finally put to use;
and a cheap 11x17 size sketchbook bought at Homesense, which really lets me be much freer and looser... the broader lines really benefit from this kind of space. Surprisingly, the paper handled the ink washes quite well.