Above: Finch sketch, see earlier stage later in this post. I was enlarging a study sketch made at the nursing home aviary weeks previously when I was getting out and about.
Back in January when I was recovering from the flu with a nice bout of bronchitis I started a new Japanese Lined Journal. It came from the same line as the ones I'd been using for the past two years, but it was smaller in size. (I actually bound it into a hard cover just for kicks, thinking I'd get well and want to carry it around. HAHAHAHAH.)
Left: The first stage of the drawing. All the pre-painted background bits are visible. The paint that appears "copper-ish" is actually rubberstamp ink that is two toned—red and copper. In the final scan above it looks the color it really is. The other background paint is Golden Fluid Acrylics.
What I noticed early on while working in this journal, was that the paper was not taking the media I'd always used in its larger "relations." Media like gouache and Stabilotones.
I had Dick get out his micrometer and sure enough the paper in the smaller sized journal was thinner too. It just wasn't working the same for me and that was surly part of the reason.
Left: Here's where I realize that the gouache and Stabilotones aren't going to go down onto this paper the way I usually have worked with them. (I have used all these types of media before on "this" paper in the larger journals). I change gears and come up with a drier approach with the gouache and ditch the Stabilotone, and because I was impatient I had to get out the heat gun and dry each layer so I could move on, finish and go to bed.
In past, larger versions of this journal line I was able to really play a lot with these media, but this paper wouldn't hold it.
Not to let the time be a total waste I used it to build up the head of the bird and play with the expression. (It's not a coincidence the bird goes from happily curious in the sketch to wary and disgruntled in the finished head.) I also experimented with different whites to do the dotted feathers on the bird.
Throughout the entire process one thing sustained me, and it wasn't my love of birds, it was that lovely branch the bird is sitting on. I kept looking and that and saying, "well that's working."
I am a true addict. I need to pick up the Pentel Pocket Brush Pen every day.