Sketching at the Bell Museum (I Even Use a New Red Pen)

May 10, 2012

See the post for full details and lots of images.

120506AHawkLeft: Sketch of a hawk at the Bell Museum, on pre-painted Nideggen paper.

Sunday was supposed to be a lot of things—then it wasn't any of those things—and then it was a whole other set of things that were quite enjoyable.

I was signed up to take a bookbinding class—accordion book; a structure I don't use, but I am game to learn new things. Sadly the class didn't fill so it was cancelled. I did a bunch of errands and then ran over to the Bell because I knew I wouldn't get there this week (which was going to be crazy) and wanted to go, and even better—MetroSketchers' location had been canceled (the parade, not the location) and so they went to plan B, which is the Bell, or was on this day, and that's a short walk from my home so it made perfect sense to go, even if I was 2 hours late. 

120506BMeaadowlarkLeft: My Meadowlark turned out pretty well, despite putting it right on the gutter! But you can see I didn't try much with the feet because I really wanted to get to the meeting! (Nideggen paper with a Staedtler Pigment Liner and gouache washes.)

I arrived at 2 p.m. and quickly said Hi to a couple friends and got to work. I did the first two sketches and then went to the lobby at 2:45 to be there for the "wrap up meeting" when you get to see what people do.

Despite the bad weather (which actually faded away in Minneapolis) and the change of venue 7 sketchers still made it to the Bell and did some fantastic work, which you can see at the MetroSketcher's Facebook page.

The group chatted for about 45 minutes and then LisaMarie Greenly and I carried on sketching until 5 p.m. at which time the museum closes and we had another wrap up meeting. I'd just met LisaMarie. She's very funny, she also laughs at my jokes, and she makes the most amazing tiny stipple drawings. She focused on small animals and also a rattlesnake skull. (Besides the link to her blog above, you can see a portfolio of her stuff on BlueCanvas, and you can also find LisaMarie on Facebook.)

Above: Sketch of a ring-tailed Pheasant at the Bell Museum, using a Montana Marker pen (fine point) which is filled with acrylic paint. The dark splotchy areas at the bottom left are where I pushed up too much paint from the pen tip and I thought I'd just smear it away, but this stuff dries quickly so it didn't smear far!

Liz Carlson (who runs MetroSketchers and works at Wet Paint) pretty much insisted that I get one of these pens. (No I'm just kidding. She told me she was working with one and she knows I love acrylic ink so it's a no-brainer leap to these pens—and she didn't have to insist at all.)

I have been doing some sketching with it lately, but not much painting over the sketching. I just fall in love with the lines—I only put in the orange eye.

I've got some more experiments to show you with this pen and should have some others soon because my life is going to get a little less scheduled now that my Atelier classes are over! Let's just say I bought a bunch of these pens in different sizes with different acrylic paint colors. I think I could probably go and do some graffiti with these pens?? But I'll just journal with them.

The acrylic paint they contain doesn't smell funny, flows nicely and has an airtight cap. The nibs come in various widths, including large flat ones that would be fantastic for large works. And the ink dries almost immediately and can be painted over with your watercolor or gouache washes.

Because the "ink" refill bottles come in a variety of colors you can mix your own custom color. How great is that??? 

120506DShoreBirdLeft: Shorebird sketch, Faber-Castell Pitt Artist's Calligraphy Pen and washes of gouache.

After using the red pen I had time for one more sketch, but this got a little fussy, it went from loose to fussy, but I'm glad I kept pushing it because I like the way it finally ended up. (I restated some of the ink lines which I don't typically do.)

LisaMarie and I got together after this. A former bookbinding student actually had already run into me and we saw her and her grandchild outside looking for bugs with the child's new bug-finding kit which included a magnifying glass and capture jar. I don't think the child knew what to make of so many adults talking about keeping journals at the same time! But I think she got the idea it was a good goal toward which to grow.

By now it was a lovely, sunny, crisp May day and I had a lovely walk home and stopped to sketch, but I'll show that sketch to you another day because I have something to say about it and now is not the time.

Besides which I don't know when my internet service will kick out again as it has been doing for the last week. If you read this but don't find a Project Friday on Friday, don't worry I'll get it up as soon as I can. Fingers crossed internet service will be "normal" by the end of Thursday.

And please forgive any typos of which I am sure this post will contain more than normal as I'm running on empty as I rush to get this posted for Thursday, before my internet service kicks out again. I'll try to fix egregious errors found when I'm not typing on adrenaline.

    • Miss T
    • May 10, 2012

    Marvelous sketches, Roz. I particularly love the Meadowlark!

  1. Reply

    I always enjoy your sketches and the things you have to say…and when life changes our schedule we can still make the best of it.

  2. Reply

    Thanks Dianne. I really wanted to do the other things, but you know what, it all worked out and I can’t complain about any day when I get to go and sketch at the Bell. If I hadn’t gone Sunday I wouldn’t have be able to get over there this week because the date I was going to go was clogged with other stuff.

    I hope you have a day where the changes that happen are good! Thanks for writing.

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