Given quite a bit of time to fill while waiting for this hip surgery required lots of preparation. So, as I noted earlier, a bit of retail therapy was prescribed. Or, to rephrase — what better excuse to buy more art supplies. Saturday Jer dropped me off at Columbia Art Supplies and ran errands, so what could I do to fill the time but fill a basket?
Here are my new acrylic inks (upper left), my box of colored pencils, and my somewhat new brushes and new micron pens (2 for 1 sale) sitting on the glass table that will serve as my art station while I recover. The Sketchbook Project has a temporary Bo leaf, also new (I can scarcely resist those leaf skeletons, but I only bought one packet) hiding the cover drawing. Papers of various sorts are at the back of the table, as well as a roll of strong mulberry paper that is just visible on the right.
And, of course, I needed a new art book to spark my interest, and since picture books are too heavy (and I have far too many that I haven’t yet gotten completely through), I went for an old “how-to” book:
Composition: Understanding Line, Notan and Color, by Arthur Wesley Dow was first published in 1899 but now exists as a Dover book (2007). It can still be found at various bookstores (I ordered from Powell’s, of course). Arthur Dow has a nice simple description of what painting consists of: line, notan [values], and color. Powell’s commentary says, and I can see why, that his precepts guided much of modern art, including that of Georgia O’Keefe.
Dow’s preliminary instructions on painting lines are to hold the brush upright, and practice, practice, practice, beginning with straight lines, then allowing oneself a few curves and finally moving into complicated architectural structures, all of which can be copied, at a larger size if one wishes. He says not to get too hung up on the quality of the line, which is good. My brushes are cheap and my abilities in drawing mediocre at best.
But before I began with Mr. Dow, I did some pencil drawings from An Atlas of Anatomy for Artists, by Fritz Schider, the book I mentioned in last blog I did. Here’s my first drawing in the Sketchbook, and tonight, I’m finding it a bit better than I thought it was when I put down the pencil a few days ago:
The Anatomy Atlas is at the top, and my drawing is at the bottom. I was concentrating on the ball and hip joint, the femur and acetabulum, when I drew it, but when I looked at the drawing again, I found the skull’s attitude most appropriate (click on the image to see it a bit better) –June