Sunday, February 17, 2019

January Calendar - Part III

My January 2019 daily calendar is finally finished! I chose cool blues and purples for the borders and the spaces between the blocks. It seemed the perfect choice for a month filled with every kind of cold, dreary weather you can imagine.

12" x 9", ink & watercolor in an American Journey watercolor journal

It took awhile to do all that detail work...



I think I'm ready to work on something big and splashy next. (Well, maybe after I finish the February calendar I'm working on, which has 28 more little shapes to fill!)

I'm off to Florida tomorrow to teach in Bradenton and Sarasota. Can't wait to soak up some sunshine! I'll check in when I get back. Meanwhile, click on the image below for a larger view of January, in case you want to see the individual entries....

Click to enlarge


Thursday, February 14, 2019

Taking a Chance

As I painted this sketch yesterday, I thought about all the chances I've been offered in my life, the ones I took and the ones I didn't.

Watercolor sketch in a 5-1/2" x 8-1/2" Stillman & Birn Delta series sketchbook

And as my thoughts meandered back to younger days and decisions I'd made that impacted the course of my life, I knew with a deep certainty that the best decision I'd ever made, the one chance I took that affected my life more than any other, was to say "Yes!" to this man...


He's been with me through the ups and downs, the joys and the tragedies, the days that were filled with happiness, and the ones that left me reeling. He's a good man with a good heart, and I'm so thankful to have him in my life. He's the solid foundation of my life that has made all things possible.

Happy Valentine's Day
to my one and only, 
Fred!

Wednesday, February 6, 2019

January Calendar - Part II

My January calendar still needs a few finishing touches, like a border on the outside edge and some color between the boxes, but while I'm working on those, here's a step-by-step explanation of how I drew the elliptical layout for the 12" x 9" calendar page.

31-day elliptical calendar layout

1 - Use a pencil to draw the layout, then ink the final lines.
     Mark a 1/2" border on all four outside edges.

1

2 - Connect opposite corners with diagonal lines.

2

3 - Use a clear plastic ruler to mark a line on both sides of each diagonal line. (I used a Westcott ruler with tenths increments. The spaces between my boxes are 1/10" wide.)

3

4 - Draw center lines vertically and horizontally to divide the rectangle into equal quadrants.

4

5 - Use an ellipse template to trace half of an ellipse shape onto the center of the page. Be sure to align the template with the horizontal line.

4-1

The center ellipse should look like this...

4-2

5 - To make a border around the center ellipse, use a ruler held perpendicular to the ellipse line and make tic marks equidistant from the line all the way around. (Hint: Don't try to use a larger line on the template - the proportions won't match up with your initial ellipse.)

5-1

Use the tic marks as a guide to draw a solid line. The border space around the center ellipse can be embellished any way you like.

5-2

6 - Make tic marks to allow for a 1/10" border just inside the outside border line on the page. Divide the space between those marks and the center ellipse in half. Make tic marks on both sides of the halfway marks. (You're marking the 1/10" space that divides the boxes.)

6

7 - Lay a piece of tracing paper over the page and use a pencil to lightly sketch an elliptical shape to connect the marks you just made. The new ellipse should echo the shape of the center one. You only need to sketch the new ellipse in one quadrant. Use the tracing paper pattern to transfer the design to the other three quadrants. Be sure to draw a double line with a 1/10" space between the lines.

7

8 - Repeat Step 7 to draw a larger ellipse between the middle ellipse and the outside edge of the page.

8

9 - Add more equally spaced division lines to the outside ellipse. The lines should appear to radiate from the center, so align a ruler with the center point on the page and rotate it around the page to draw your lines. Make sure the quadrants match, except for the lower center box which is larger, to give us a total of 31 days.

9

10 - Ink all the layout lines, as shown in the image below, then erase the pencil lines.
    
10

You're ready to start filling your boxes with daily sketches!



Saturday, February 2, 2019

January Calendar - Part I

Occasionally I get the urge to keep a sketched daily calendar for a full month. Last spring I did three months in a row in MarchApril, and May, and that was enough to last me for awhile. I figured I would do another month whenever the mood struck, and eventually I would have a whole year's worth.


On the first day of 2019, the mood definitely struck, and I decided to dive in and do another month. I was inspired to use a different layout than the other calendars I had done last year. After all, who says a calendar has to have five rows of seven boxes each? I decided to base my layout on an ellipse rather than a rectangle.

Unfinished January calendar, 12" x 9" American Journey Watercolor Sketchbook with 140 lb. cold pressed paper

Each day I designed a little box filled with simple sketches and text about what I had done that day, where I went, who came to visit, etc. The process I used for getting the images down on the page enabled me to test various ideas before committing to ink and paper.

Here's the process ...
  • Lay a piece of tracing paper over an individual box and tape it in place with painter's tape.
  • Design the images and text on the tracing paper. (Lines are so easy to erase from tracing paper, and you don't have to worry about messing up the page with lots of erasing.)
  • Flip the tracing paper over and retrace the lines on the back side with an HB pencil.
  • Position the tracing paper, right side up, in place over the box. Tape in place.
  • Rub over the image with your finger or fingernail to transfer the pencil lines to the paper.
  • Remove the tracing paper.
  • Ink the lines. I used a black Sakura Pigma Micron 01 pen.
  • Erase pencil lines with a kneaded or white plastic eraser.
Alternatively, you could transfer the images using graphite transfer paper.

Here's a closer look at the 31 days...



I'm planning to leave the squares/boxes black and white, but I'll add color to the borders between the boxes and also add an inked border around the outside edge of the page to frame it. I'll be sure to post when it's finished.

Would you like to see how I came up with that crazy elliptical layout? Click here.


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