Plants & Flowers
(see the teeth marks on left bottom corner?)
Ok, so I forgot to put away (or just did not) this card last night. And before I get a chance to send this to Jan M at SP, my cat already took a bite of the card. I assume he or she disagreed with my idea to send it to the SP. And I assume it is one cat out of six who did this and I think Salami or Bacardi did it….Hmmm… may be I should compare the marks with their teeth?
A (note) card with graphite and color pencils. Such a difficult paper to work with. May be I should send this card to Jan M. at SP. After all their logo is a (flying) tomato.
I totally abused my moleskine this time. When I finished it was very wet.
I was trying to follow the technique described in a book. Using a sketch I made last year as a reference, I drew the flowers using a bamboo pen and waterbased ink (Ecoline).Â By the time the pen, which was loaded with ink, hit the surface of my moleskine, the sketchbook sucked up all the ink at once. It was quite difficult to control. I then brush some water over the ink.The sketch is supposed to be a loose ink wash. But the ink didn’t want to spread at all. I soaked the page with loads of water, it didn’t help. Once the sketchbook absorbed the ink, well, that was that then. I then added some watercolor to soften up the sketch a bit. It helped.
This makes me wonder, what kind of paper actually is best for ink wash?
I used Conte Pastel Pencils for the first time and it was a messy business. I am wondering how other people can get their pastel drawings look so neat (no smears)? I am guessing that they may work on large papers, or they sharpen their pencil very often.
Added 29/01: If you happen to know the technique on how to use pastels or pastel pencils, could you please share it with me? I really appreciate it! Thanks!
I finally manage to take a day off today, after two crazy weeks at work. Last friday, in the afternoon, I thought for a moment that I was even going to pass out. All I could think of was ‘bed’ and ‘home’.
Today what I did was only grocery shopping, went to the pharmacy, and made a few sketches. Nothing too exciting, but it was certainly fulfilling. When you live far away from your work and at times when overtime is required, small activity such as grocery shopping at the neighborhood supermarkt can be totally relaxing. Imagine that!
So I bought some fresh flowers to draw later. At the pharmacy I picked up a bottle of eyedrops and nose spray after requesting a prescription from my doctor. These two are essential at times like now when pollen start floating around. I could sense the pollen on Thursday already, even before I could see them. My eyes started to itch. I started to sneeze a lot. On Saturday, we saw that cars around where we live were covered in a layer of fine lime green dust. So to prevent that my eyes irritation and the sneezing from getting worse, I quickly got a new prescription. This happens to me every year, around winter/spring depending on when the trees decide to produce pollen. Now I am well prepared.
An entry for the Everyday Matters Challenge #34. Autumnal equinox. I think I like Fall the best. It’s a bit gray and rainy, but it always feels cozy. I know that time moves in constant speed everyday, but somehow it feels like it moves faster in Fall. Probably it has something to do with the fact that the days are shorter. So it is now already the end of September. October is coming this weekend. Before I know it, it’s time again to plan a Thanksgiving dinner in Amsterdam (note: I don’t cook the dinner, but someone else. I just plan, arrange, etc). Then Sinterklaas and his Zwarte piet will be hailed here from Madrid (or was it Turkey? I can’t seem to get this fact right). Time for chocolate letters, yum yum I love dark chocolate letters. It’s amazing that letters such as Q, X, and Z are never sold out. Eating chocolate letters is a good way to wait for Christmas to arrive. After that it will be New Year again and I am so certain that by that time, time will move slower again….at least that’s how I will feel.
Autumn is coming! The air is fresher and getting colder. The trees are loosing their leaves. Stores are starting to sell fall decorative pieces, made of natural materials such as leaves, flowers, nuts, etc. They are very pretty. I’d love to draw them but that means I might have to buy them then throw them away. I don’t think that that’s such a good idea. Therefore I bought a few mags that can last all autumn, to use as resources for practicing sketching some autumn products that I can’t just easily pick up on the side walks or parks.
Oh, that eaten apple is obviously not an autumn item. It was something that I drew in the metro. Someone was apparently too lazy to throw it away in a garbage can and just left it on the metro’s floor. Quite disgusting, but it was quite interesting too draw.
Following the drawing that I made for a farewell card, there was a small farewell party. It was on Thursday night, after office hours. We went to a chinese restaurant (favorite of the person for whom we were throwing the party) on Warmoesstraat and had a set menu. It was ok, but I don’t think the food can be considered as authentic. It was more of international chinese food. The street was packed with tourists and strange people that night. We saw a naked man passed by at one moment, and a while later a man with a flower pot on his head walked by. He wasn’t holding the pot at all, and it was well balanced on his head. Bravo for him. Although he was clearly under influenced.
At the end of the party, the owner of this tiny restaurant gave each of the female guests a long stem pink rose. We were surprised, didn’t know where they came from. It was beautiful and it smelled so lovely. Well, unfortunately, my rose didn’t survive the trip home. It broke when I tried to get in my car. I was quite unhandy with it and completely forgot about the length.
NOTE: Click to enlarge.
Everyday Matters Challenge #24
As I have mentioned in one of my previous posts, the tree actually belongs to my downstairs neighbor. It does not have enough space to grow horizontally, as in a vineyard. So it decides to grow vertically and raids our balcony. One of the tips has actually reached another balcony, on the other side of our living room. It’s been growing really hard and I believe some parts of it has already reached its maximum length (about 20 m or so from the tree). Those parts are just growing new leaves and branches, but not fruit. The grapes are still unripe and very young. Hans, our neighbor, does not mind if we harvest the grapes hanging on our balcony, when they are ready. Very nice of him. So, Nor enthusiastically takes care of the plant daily. He acts like he really knows about grapes and the tree. Trimming and grooming it. I just hope that he does not overgroom it. Sometimes he’ll says, ‘Wow, it feels like we live in Provence’… Yeah, right! I told him that I needed some grapes for this challenge. So I would need to cut some off the tree. He turned and looked a bit surprised, ‘Are you serious??!!’ Of course not! . So my model is still free, very much alive and hanging from the tree, as you can see. He has about a month or so, before his time is up and then…
An entry for the Everyday Matters Weekly Challenge #15.
Today while walking around at lunch time, I found a beautiful park near my office. It’s a big grass field with a few picknick tables and benches, which is completely surrounded by trees. When I was in this park, all I could hear was the sound of birds, the movement of the leaves, and the wind. I could see very little of the apartment buildings right outside this park. It was so peaceful…..but then only for 2-3 minutes everytime, because I could also hear the sound of the planes coming ‘my way’.
My office is located ‘pretty close’ to the Schiphol airport. This should not be a problem. The annoying part is: the road in front of my office is aligned with the center line of one of the runways at Schiphol. I can see planes showing up in the sky every 2-3 minutes during rush hour and start their landing process right on top of our road. Thanks for the double glazed windows at my office! Most of the noise is blocked so we can work ok.
Today is Queen’s day in Holland. Almost everybody tries to get drunk in the cities. I don’t like it, I find it a bit claustrophobic. So I decided to sun on our balcony on the back of our apartment. And look! The downstair’s neighbor grape tree is creeping up to our balcony. Soon we will be able to harvest some real grapes. We’ve got an OK from the neighbor. Yipee!