Monday, April 30, 2012

Another small watercolor in Delta Stillman&Birn. Today is my Birthday.

I like perforated pages, it always lays flat and gives you an illusion of separate piece of paper. If you like the page could be removed without damaging the whole sketchbook. I was not comfortable with this before. The only thing is that materials used should be strong, not smudgy or it should be sprayed with fixative. I used watercolor(Bijou box) with water brush and Uranus pen for outlining.
Fire trucks on the road side.

Sketches in Delta book (Stillman&Birn).

I packed Bijou watercolor box and this new little (6"x8") Stillman&Birn Delta series sketchbook on my short trip Upstate. Paper is 180 lb with rough surface. I used watercolor and accented with Uranus pen, double ended. I like that paper takes water so nicely, strong and durable, takes eraser and rubbing with the brush. I like ivory color of the paper, it adds to the vintage feeling, sort of little nostalgic theme. So here my shaved dog and I curled up on the couch looking at flames. ( We shaved Yorkie and surprisingly she looks like absentminded kangaroo or that funny character from Ice Age cartoon, I think named Layla Zee or Sid).
Here another sketch. Stream.

Friday, April 27, 2012

Trying different pencils in Stillman&Birn Gamma sketchbook.

Tried "Sketch and wash" pencil and Palomino Blackwing 602 on the bottom. Thought again how wonderful would be to get that crazy fisherman vest with million pockets, I saw on that old lady coming out of that fancy Manhattan building, where I did glazed stony panels. I would have a pocket for water brushes and one for Muji pen, and one for few Kuretakes...
Here tried watercolor pencil and oil based Pitt, both were pleasant on this paper. First I felt bad to use such strong paper for casual sketches, but then couldn't resist the pleasure of scribbling with different tools on such friendly surface, it was gliding and nothing bleed on the other side, even strokes with pressure.
Spent few minutes in the park, sketching people with oil based pencil. So nice, cold, sunny and magically lonely. Wind dropped few small branches from the tall trees, I thought would be funny to be struck by a stray branch, especially after falling on the marble floor on spilled hand soup. So I decided to limp home.
I wish I had sharpener with me, but it is too bulky for the trip, so I used washable pencil unsharpened. Had so much fun with it. Conclusion: this Gamma book is excellent companion for a trip with any media, hope to try it soon with watercolor.

Thursday, April 26, 2012

Drawing on walls.

It is Supermarket scene and Fridge with dairy on the back. This awning made from wood and painted.

Here is sort of forest, for old people to take promenade, exercise. They old, on wheelchairs, it gives them illusion of being on a nature. Many told me very warm words. It made me happy.

A bit more to finish, add couple of light spots and few happier leaves. 4 days on trees so far. I love drawing trees.

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Bay Ridge, Brooklyn.

We had some errands to do in the neighborhood, so parked the car on the hydrant, so I stayed in and had fun. We checked on Iphone what Yelp has to say about this cozy "Yellow Hook Grille", some cool stuffed mushrooms,  and planned it for our next visit. After our home creation masterpiece: double baked creamy with fake bacon and scallion potato skins nothing seems good enough. (Drawing will follow).
 I got wild with Kuretake brushes over ink on Hahnemuhle Torchon paper. It says online that in the mid-seventeenth century Dutch settlers called this part of Brooklyn Yellow Hook because of the color of the soil.

Sunday, April 22, 2012

Ave C in Brooklyn. In Stillman&Birn Alpha series.

Ink in Stillman&Birn Alpha series sketchbook. Ave C in Brooklyn. I played with the texture a little bit, but tried to keep it simple, almost a silhouette. It is like looking through the eyelashes on the street, loosing sense of color, seeing little dots of distortion, deep in your thoughts, sinking in hidden emotions.

Saturday, April 21, 2012

Perception vs Reality.

perception vs reality

 I found this amazing site and watched video showing how our brain works, how we build our personal map of reality through subconscious processes in our brain. Information seems familiar, but still clearly explains a lot about understanding reality and our place in it.
I grew up in society where we were taught that the basic question of philosophy - the question of the relation of consciousness and being, thought to matter, nature, viewed from two sides: first, that is the primary - spirit and nature, matter and consciousness - and, secondly, it refers to the knowledge of the world the world itself, or, alternatively, whether the consciousness of being, whether it can truly reflect the world.   But my personal experience helped me to realize that if today's science didn't discover something yet, it doesn't mean it does not exist.
Anyway, this site is a treasure and I want to share.

Thursday, April 19, 2012


In this part of Brooklyn, in Orthodox Jewish community, despite presence of modern cars, you feel like in a different century. Time doesn't matter, only life and respect for life are present. Even sky was different. I passed by and was charmed for a while, appreciating our similarities and differences.
I used ink on Bockingford 90 lb paper. I even forgot to add bits of color.

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Sketching in Stillman&Birn and little Muji book.

Sketched from the office window with sepia ink and black Uranus pen (double sided) in Stillman&Birn sketchbook, Gamma series. I am still amazed how well paper takes layered washes. On the top drew Kuretake 13 brush pen. I want to get Pentel pocket brush and compare to Kuretake 13. One day.
Quick sketch in the dentist office in the little Muji book with Blackwing 602. Added bits of color with Muji pen and color pencil. I met interesting writer there and we had a little chat, exchanged numbers.

Sunday, April 15, 2012

Card but late.

 I read that tweet online about call for artists to make a card for charity purposes to raise funds for The Women's Crisis Center in Moss, Norway, to support abused women and childrenI happily did the card in sepia ink and green Kuretake and only than found out that it is too late and exhibit is already open for 2 days. :-/ 

Creek, shadow.

Ink, Kuretake brush pens, Kuretake 13, Namiki Falcon on Hahnemuhle torchon paper.

Wednesday, April 11, 2012


This is my first page in Stillman&Birn Alpha series sketchbook. Size is 8, 5"x11".  I used ink and serious washes, Alpha seems a bit more delicate than Gamma with slightly more pronounced texture, but it took water easily, just a few dots from banging with orange Kuretake for paprika and green for dill bleed through, but new page is clean, I didn't put any paper underneath. I usually cut out sheet of thicker paper for the most sketchbooks to protect from accidental bleeding or pressed too hard pencil or pen. I think it would be a good idea for sketchbook companies to add insert protection piece of paper along with a sketchbook, a bit thicker and harder, but exact size. Color of the paper is white, Gamma is ivory. I love that jacket is black, so classy.
I drew plate with pieces of cheese, infused with Maggi sauce, dill and paprika and coffee. Somehow I came up with this idea to spice up my morning coffee. I get condiments in Turkish store on Brighton. I have a feeling that music and herbs have a huge impact on human's brain.

Monday, April 9, 2012

Van in Williamsburg.

I had very few minutes alone in the car, parked behind this van. Of course I spend it on sketching with my favorite Blackwing 602 in Stillman&Birn Gamma sketchbook. Then we hit some traffic, but it was fun to chat with my daughter, I didn't mind traffic (I was not driving and we always have interesting topics). On the top I drew my pencil, Blackwing 602. I really like this texture. I used Kuretake brush pens for it.

Green house.

Attractive house at Manhattan Beach in Brooklyn. I went for appointment and was surprised again by diversity of architecture and by new construction. May be it is my ability to see things in a new light, that makes me get charmed by the same objects, no wonder I love Proust so much, or may be houses do grow on Manhattan Beach like mushrooms after the rain.
I am running out of ink and using more and more not favorable leftovers and hesitate to throw art things out, so here I used old ink mixtures, Kuretake brush pens, Muji pen on Bockingford 90 lb paper.

Friday, April 6, 2012

Sketch in Stillman&Birn Gamma sketchbook.

Sketch from the car in Bay Ridge,  Brooklyn, while waiting. I tried that little black pen from the Muji store, really charming, it could be washed a little bit with water. Just $1.50 Really like it, should get few more colors just for fun.
Sketchbook Gamma series 100 lb paper takes water very well. When I drew this Muji pen, I kept adding wet into wet and nothing happened on the other side of the page, all like new, just amazing for 100 lb paper.

Another set of sketches in Muji book.

I used Palomino Blackwing 602 pencil. On slightly yellowish paper pencil glides happily and thankfully.
It is very interesting to look how people's nostrils and ear opening change in perspective. Thinking that each of us is the chosen one from 4 millions eggs, first formed in our gene pool, we are really the best we could be. According to Natalie Angier.
Here is not on the Subway. People busy with their work, wrapped up into conversations. They didn't pay attention to me.

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Boats on Bockingford paper.

I sort of gave up after painful battle with the scanner. Paper is too big for it and too crooked, so it is approximated version of that boats and canal near Kings Plaza in Brooklyn, made with Sepia ink, couple of Kuretake pens, white gel pen, Namiki Falcon pen on gray Bockingford 140 lb paper.
Paper, even seems so strong and excepting water start buckling in a process, but the good part its really easy to burn, hard not to burn completely.
Namiki Falcon is the most amazing pen created by genius.

Monday, April 2, 2012

Sketches on the train in a Muji book.

Today on the train with the Muji book and Blackwing 602 pencil.
This small book was $4.50 It is 7,5x5,5 pretty thin paper but good for the pencil. And I don't feel bad wasting it on people sketches.
This mother-and-a-child was such a simple scene, but so classic, it warmed my heart.
My uneasy day was highlighted by sketching on the NY Subway.

Sunday, April 1, 2012

City street in Stillman&Birn.

First sketch in Stillman&Birn Beta series sketchbook. For some reason scanner made drawing more pale than in reality. I am pretty impressed with thick and textured paper, I love square format, it is 7"x7".  For some reason most sketchbooks anything but square, meanwhile square gives enough space for sky and you can choose composition freely.
 It said Extra Heavy Weight paper and paper took my ink washes easily, would be really good for watercolor.
I like that holes are squarish, attractive. If using pencil I would spray with clear matte finish to protect from smudges, especially if carrying in my bag.
Because it is opens so comfortably I am thinking I could use both sides of the page, than it makes it 50!
I barely hold myself from dragging layer of venetian plaster over the sketch, paper will take it, not sure how sketch will feel. I will hold on to this idea for something more bold.

Got a parcel from Stillman&Birn.

Yes! I am so lucky, I got a bunch of sketchbooks to try from Stillman&Birn. So exited. Paper is so juicy and strong. Now I can embark on a new sketching journey-adventure.  Thank you!