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Another View of the Toucan

January 7, 2010

One more Stabilo Tone Toucan

091224Toucan
Above: Last time I sketched that TV Toucan. The background of metallic rubberstamp ink? Ink brayered onto bubble wrap plastic and pressed down onto the page and left to dry (it dries almost instantly, but I didn't get to this page for several days). Pentel Pocket Brush Pen Sketch with Stabilo Tones used over the ink. Magnani Pescia light blue paper. There is a strip of gummed linen tape running down the verso page, cutting into the head.

Here's one more view of this adorable Toucan who caught my eye. If you would like to see other versions of him and read more about how I use Stabilo Tones you can click on "colored pencil" in the categories list and scroll back. I started working with the Stabilo Tones in my journal at the end of the summer in preparation for possibly using them at the State Fair (something I ruled out because they were too bulky to carry into the barns). And, as with so many things in life, a flirtation turns to…

You get the idea. You can work with Caran d'Ache's Neocolor II line or their NeoArt line in the same manner. Stabilo Tones were discontinued and reissued in a 10- to 18-color line (depending on where you shop) which is sadly not the 60 colors I have. I don't recommend buying into defunct and limited art supplies. In fact I hope later today to visit a friend: while showing her the Stabilo Tones (she has some left over) side to side with the Neocolor IIs I hope to push myself back to the mainstream—well at least start going that way as several of my Stabilo Tones are now stubs! We'll see.

    • E-J
    • January 7, 2010
    Reply

    I love my Neocolors, but am saddened to read the Stabilo Tones are being discontinued, as your beautiful journal birds had recently piqued my interest about this medium.

    I finished that sketchbook of mine, Roz, though not quite in 2009. I have posted about it on what I think will be my final blog entry (in the interests of stripping stuff away to make more time and mental space for what I need to do): http://tinyurl.com/yl2h7hp The inspiration for much of what was fun for me about this sketchbook came from you, Roz.

    Cheers
    E-J

    • Roz
    • January 7, 2010
    Reply

    E-J, Stabilo Tones are already gone, have been for years, it’s just the limited Woody line that’s available. But never fear, if you love Neocolor IIs you can use them in the same way! (They have some slightly different properties and not quite the move and finish of the Stabilo Tones, but hey, I used them before STs and I’ll use them again. There’s quite a color line for NeoColor IIs!)

    Congratulations on finishing the sketchbook!

    I read your blog post at the link you sent and loved seeing your mosaic of pages and your final page in the sketchbook. (Especially the dog noses!)

    I understand about your need to scale back and focus. We all need to constantly reassess where we are putting our energy and our time.
    I hope that you carve out the time you seek. Have a great time in 2010 with your visual journal and other art projects!

    • elizabeth
    • January 10, 2010
    Reply

    Roz,

    I have been looking at your Stabilo Tone journal images and was wondering if you used something else for the white parts (especially on the eyes)? I have some of the Stabilo Tones and the NCIIs and cannot seem to make a white as “WHITE” as you have done for the eye reflections, etc.

    Cheers,
    Elizabeth

    • Roz
    • January 11, 2010
    Reply

    Elizabeth, 99.9 percent of the time I simply clean my brush out and then with a moist brush I stroke the clean tip of the white Stabilo Tone until it is packed with very heavy pigment (not very dilute at all, i.e., very little moisture on the brush) and then use that, over the highlight areas that I typically reserve (so I’m not painting over anything but paper, and not picking up pigment from beneath).

    That’s the way I did the highlights in the above sketch you’re asking about.

    The other .1 percent of the time it seems I can’t quite get the white bright enough and then I’ll dig out some white gouache. I typically have a tube of Holbein’s handy, they call it and am assuming that it’s Titanium white though my tube doesn’t say. Or I use M. Graham’s Titanium white gouache, which I also have around in the large, economy size tube.

    Again, I use a moist, not damp, brush, and suck up as much thick pigment as I can without compromising the pointing ability of the brush, or the flow, and then apply it.

    I also do the darkest darks—if they are thin lines, using the loaded brush from the tip of the color stick, as opposed to trying to get in there with the fat tips, even an edge.

    But I also work up so that I leave dark lines of color as I add lighter ones, so there isn’t much touch up to do (in a perfect world).

    A combination of approaches.

    Hope that helps.

    Oh, if you do use gouache you want to use titanium white because it is more opaque than zinc white which is actually a translucent paint and has its own special uses. I really like the M. Graham or Holbein whites.

    If you get yourself in a pinch and need a heftier white still you could try a jar of ProWhite or Dr. PH Martin’s Bleed Proof white. Use them just like gouache.

    If your highlight isn’t white-white you can always mix any of the whites (the stick color or the gouache paints) with a bit of color to create a tint to use as your highlight.

    Hope this helps.

    • Roz
    • January 11, 2010
    Reply

    Elizabeth, while we are on the subject, the highlighted areas on the face and bill and throat were made by rubbing the now damp and soft end of the white stick on areas where I wanted a bit more white. So the vertical line down the red part of the beak or on the face ridge just behind the bill, or at the throat.

    A DRY white stick was used to slide along the red area of the upper beak just above the opening (purple area). and then this was partially blended in with my finger.

    Again, whatever works. There are a lot of different ways to get color off these sticks.

    • elizabeth
    • January 13, 2010
    Reply

    Roz,

    Thanks so much for explaining this to me in great detail. I really appreciate it! 🙂

    Cheers
    Elizabeth

  1. Reply

    Just wanted to tell you that although I don’t comment I enjoy your blog so much. Your art is inspiring.

    • Roz
    • January 14, 2010
    Reply

    Thank you Sandy. Thanks for stopping by. I appreciate the comment.

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