Aug 22, 2011

American Goldfinch

American Goldfinch by teshionx

American Goldfinch, a photo by teshionx on Flickr.
I found out what they are called, after I clicked them, then drew them and colored them. These cute little birds are regular visitors around our apartment... They fly so fast and yet so gracefully, it is calming just to watch them glide up and down, around their partners.. I hope that's a partner dance and not a war dance; it is too beautiful to be a war dance.. They make a sharp yet not shrill musical tweet..

And what do you see up there? That was a dragonfly pair.. and their mating dance midair! We had stopped to sight some deer.. and that's where we saw these guys! I have never seen (maybe noticed) such amazing wonder works of nature!

Aug 19, 2011

Introducing.... My Sketchbook


Ready to be painted on..

Handbound sketchbook
New sketchbook meets my old sketchbook :)

Ah! My sketchbook is ready! Here is my new friend.. All hand bound – with some favorite cover papers. The whole binding journey was interesting! You would already know if you have ‘read’ about what I am up to these days and how I stumbled into an interesting bookbinding site.


Why did I decide to bind one? Hmm, because I was tired of looking around the house for one of the many sketchbooks I am using, because I didn’t have the right media at that time! I’ll pull out watercolor and then go looking for my watercolor sketchbook; or have just pen and wouldn’t want to waste a watercolor page with pen marks on it!

And because I was so totally in awe with the sketchbooks that other artists bind! They look so so yummy! I just had to try it!

I totally recommend anyone who’s been eager yet unsure of binding their own books, to just take the leap! It is not overwhelming – not at all if you do what I did. I combined steps from 2 different places and went ahead. And some reading of binding experiences by other artists through the last few months only helped me make some good choices.

Here’s what I did to get this book up:

What all did I use:

1.       Paper (or different papers) of your choice
I used
Drawing paper
Bristol paper
90lb watercolor
140lb watercolor
2.       Patterned/Colored Paper – For the cover of the book. I went by Dani’s suggestion (from Dani Draws) and bought some scrapbook paper. I used a construction paper strip for the spine.
3.       Heavy board –  from the back of a couple writing pads that were going to the trash anyway!
4.       Glue - Regular white glue
5.       Brush to apply the glue.
6.       Needle – Regular stitching needle
7.       Thread – I used thread from a new dental floss. Or you can use a strong regular thread with beeswax applied on it. I didn’t want to go through all that trouble with no idea what each thing was – but I read from one of the other artists that a dental floss works well since it is strong!
8.       Knife for cutting paper
9.       Cutting board – a must
10.   Ruler
11.   Awl / thumbtrack to make holes.
12.   Ribbon – optional; for a bookmark or so.
13.   Elastic band – optional; I didn’t use it – it can keep your pages together when you are drawing.
14.   Paper towels for wiping excess glue.

Method

I am just going to lead you to the sites I referred to:
Moleskine Reloaded
Dani Draws
Artist's Journal Workshop - You have some interesting links under the topic 'Bookbinding and Lettering Resources'

1.       Book Block – Either site
             1. Cutting paper – Moleskine Reloaded
             2. Creating Signatures – Either site
             3. Punching - Moleskine Reloaded
             4. Stitching - Moleskine Reloaded
             5. Trimming – Dani Draws

2.             Cover
             1. Cutting cover board
             2. Cutting Spine board
             3. Cover paper
             4. Spine paper
             5. End paper
             6. Gluing

3.             Putting them all together

Note: I followed the instructions given in Dani’s page for most part of the binding.  It is explained in a simpler fashion compared to some other sites that I had visited. She has some good pictures to support her steps too. So I cut my paper and created my signatures.  But I got confused when I came to the stitching steps. So I followed Moleskine Reloaded for the steps Punching and Stitching. There you have a lot of detail in explanation. Am I contradicting myself? Well, I needed some detailed explanation when it came to stitching the pages. But only for that.
I came back to Dani Draws for Trimming and the rest of the steps.

End papers

Ribbon bookmark

Handbound sketchbook
Sketchbook

Pages

Closing end papers

Good choices
1.       For the sake of simplicity, I just took papers of the size and bent them into half. I didn’t bother with making them into a 5X7 or so sized paper. This is only my first sketchbook after all!
2.       Kept it simple – bought nothing costly or fancy. Used paper that was there at home.

Bad choices
1.       Started with no cutting board but a soft board. In no time, my table was marked with a couple of scratches!

Hope it was all helpful :) and hope you enjoyed reading through it!

Aug 17, 2011

A Day to Ourselves..

Orchid

Flickr: My first charcoal attempt.. I tried this one as a pre-sketch for a value study. I would like to try out a watercolor of the orchid.

I am looking forward to tomorrow. Tanush has his daycare and Manu has taken the day off for his physical examination.. So, barring the physical he has for most of the morning, it's going to be a day with each other. A long time since we had a day to ourselves.. Manu had taken a day off a few weeks ago, when Tanush had his daycare - but that day was to attend to some of our other errands - getting Tanush's documents done and some shipping and shopping errands. And before we knew, the whole day was gone and we were heading towards Tanush's daycare to pick him up.

As far as I can think of, there is really nothing on the plate for tomorrow - yeah, barring that doctor's appointment.. Thinking of that took me back to our days together in Bengaluru (it was Bangalore then). Not the ones immediately after our wedding; the ones when we used to hang out together, but we weren't really a couple yet! Why those? I don't know.. We knew we liked each other - YES, but we wouldn't be talking about it. We would meet up, go to Landmark or some place, where Manu would listen to the samples of his favorite music or something, and I would always be hanging out in the stationary section. Or we would meet up at a juice joint with another common friend Leya.. Or we would be walking up and down in MG Road just yakkety yakking about our work, want-to-studies, common and uncommon friends and the local food.. He was always a movie fan, I was always not! So we wouldn't go to the movies together always. The non-couple couple days!!

We still love to take quick walks - if we get a chance anymore. I don't know what we plan to do for the day - whether we would hit a movie theater together, or spend the day outside - him with his camera and me with my sketchbooks, but I am really excited about tomorrow. 

Aug 16, 2011

Learning Perspective

Learning Perspective by teshionx

Learning Perspective, a photo by teshionx on Flickr.
I have been looking for a good book on Perspective Drawing. I picked up 'The Art of Perspective' by Phil Metzger from the library. I found the book easy to understand - very straightforward and well explained. Metzger has put in demonstrations in different media to explain different types of perspective. I feel this is a great book for anyone who wants to understand how to implement laws of perspective in his art..

I followed the demo instructions in the book and just copied his demonstration. This is just the first exercise. I am looking forward to the next exercise...

Aug 15, 2011

Eggplant

Eggplant by teshionx

Eggplant, a photo by teshionx on Flickr.
Via Flickr:
..today, she is a budding fruit.. when I drew her, she was a lovely flower.. waiting for the eggplant..

It is a delight seeing the garden bloom and then change into little fruits and then they change their colors. Tanush and I keep track of the growth of the couple of plants that we have potted in our patio.. Strawberries have bloomed too, and soon we are going to be eating some of them - that is, if Tanush doesn't squish them before we harvest them!

Aug 13, 2011

Geese in my backyard

Geese in my backyard

Geese in my backyard, a photo by teshionx on Flickr.
One of the best views from my patio is these geese coming around every summer end.. in search of some bright sunlight.. They'll come in big groups and families and will bask around pecking at the grass.. They'll move with the sunlight until the shadow falls over the whole area, and then they'll fly off retiring for the day..

They'll be back again, the next day.. Until the whole of fall! Such a cheerful sight..

Aug 7, 2011

A Wonderful site for binding books...

.. and some more papercrafts..

Binding

Yes.. I am binding my own sketchbook! And I am pretty excited about it!!
But, this post belongs to someone else..

I was digging around to fill my artist's well, and I landed at this wonderful page called 'Stamphenge' by Jean aka “Kwen”/Queen of Inkland today. I am so glad I did, 'cause it has a wealth of information on papercrafts and bookmaking! Such a co-incidence that I had to stumble upon the site when I am binding my first sketchbook! I was looking at the accordion paper sketchbook construction, and here were 1000 other lovely book folding and binding ideas smiling back at me! Check out this page on making Minibooks for yourself!

Some books described there are so pretty, it just made me want to write poetry all over again! Did I just re-discover another part of me that went hiding into shadows? I went back to my eighth grade days when I started writing poems.. and when did I write my last one!? Where are they!? Are they still around or have they gotten thrown away!? I don't really know!!

Thanks Jean, for making a page like that. I especially loved going through the Explosion Box and Flag Book (where there are pictures of two little hands attaching the flags to the book; how cute is that..)! I have bookmarked the site for myself! :)

(Continuing with the update about Guess what I am up to now... I have just glued it all together, and am waiting for the end product - will be ready by morning... :)



Ah! My very first handmade sketchbook, with different papers like I would like for now!)

Aug 2, 2011

Makes me think...

Makes me think... by teshionx

Makes me think..., a photo by teshionx on Flickr.
... sometimes I go into this mode of "Am I doing anything important!? I am no longer getting a cashcheque home.. at least for sometime more... And I still haven't made a selling of any art piece of mine...Am I not wasting my life away?"

And then I remember - with the current scenario, I can't do much; but with whatever time I have, I do a lot more than many!! :)

Oh, and I like my changed color co-ordinates for my blog.. What do you think!?

Gadget

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