Monday, November 8, 2010

Tiny Landscape Nuts and Bolts

This is an answer to the questions from Petr and Vicki from the previous post (by the way, I appreciate all the kind comments, and the haiku, Dan!)

Anyway, the tiny landscapes were done with a mixture of watercolor and water-soluble colored pencils. I usually start with a quick lay-in using a brown Caran-d'Ache pencil. The watercolor is a Schmincke half-pan set.

Then I painted the sky with a flat watercolor travel brush. The brush is the gold metallic thing just to the right of the rows of paints. It divides into two pieces, with the handle acting as a cover and protector for the brush tip when stored. I also used a Niji water brush for softening some areas.

Then I painted the other big shapes of the landscape with watercolor, and added detail and foliage texture with the colored pencil. The notes are written with the blue Waterman Phileas fountain pen (filled with brown ink) that's just visible above the Moleskine watercolor book.

The rag is a scrap of cotton flannel, and the cup is a Nalgene plastic jar.

Sorry, the Mac iBox (upper right) is a prototype only, and is not for sale.
Previously on GJ: How to refill a fountain pen.


MichaelJA said...

By chance the travel flat you mention... would this be it or at least a pretty close cousin?

Romina said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Romina said...

sorry, my bad grammar slipped and had to delete the comment but here is error-free!

I always love your notebooks sketch tips :) little by little my sketchbook travel bag is becoming a little studio to go.

James Gurney said...

Michael, I'm not sure of the brand of the travel flat--it doesn't have any markings on it. I bought it in England a few years ago. I don't think it's real sable, but rather a brown synthetic, but it works nicely.

Glad you enjoy the practical tips, Romina, and I'll try to share those sorts of things from time to time.

John Fleck said...

Is Caran-d'Ache your maker of choice for all your water-soluble colored pencils?
I have been using Derwent, but they do not seem to like being highly sharpened.

(It almost looks like you turned them all so the labeling was not visible!)

My Pen Name said...

I use a filaes fountain pen as well - i love it.
James have you tried noodler's ink? its much more permanent, yet water soluble unlike most fountain pen inks, which are not lightfast.
it also one of the highest rated 'forge proof' inks.

James Gurney said...

My Pen: I hadn't heard of Noodler's ink. Thanks, I'd love to try it. And you're right about fountain pen inks not being totally lightfast. I did a test on all the brands I use, and all of them lightened on long exposure to sunlight.

JW Fleck: Yes, although I also have a couple of Prismacolors and Derwents, I keep coming back to Caran d'Ache. They do hold a good point while so many of the other kinds chip or crumble.

Petr Mores said...

Thanks a lot, James! I was not asking out of idle curiosity - I have started doing tons of plein art sketching recently, and those two posts of yours will have a great impact on my efforts next season! I can't say how much I appreciate your generosity in sharing those insights.

Rich Adams said...

It looks like you might have changed the colors in your watercolor kit. Am I just imagining things? I am a very amateur watercolor sketcher and struggle with what colors might make a good palette. I've ordered your new book on color so am hopeful to expand my knowledge and apply them to new projects down the road.

James Gurney said...

Very observant, Rich. I put aside the white and replaced it with sepia. I'm always juggling colors around and trying new things.

Daniel Silberberg said...

One thing I wondered about the pencils, do you draw on the already wet surface and let the color blend in naturally, or do you use them for accents earlier on and use brush to blend them in afterwards when completing the image?

James Gurney said...

Daniel, more often the second way. I don't very often draw into the wet surface, unless I wanted to make a very dark (and unerasable) mark.