Relaxing and Sketching My Favorite TV Dog

December 26, 2016


Above: A Pentel Brush Pen of Swatch on Project Runway. Background texture—metallic stamp ink and stenciling. 8.25 x 11.75 inch Hahnemühle Nostalgie Sketchbook. Click on the image to view an enlargement—and look closely at the top eye, you can see Swatch looking.

After avoiding Dick’s cold germs for about 10 days they caught up with me on Friday night. I didn’t have time to proof today’s previously scheduled post so here’s something festive.

I have been making textures for one of my classes and trying to keep up with my journaling page quota so I can finish my working journals before the end of the year (something I think is not necessary, but it’s tidy, and I usually manage). So I grabbed my journal and started drawing with the Pentel Brush Pen (pigment ink, squeezy gray barrel) when Swatch came on the screen. It’s a quick sketch but I had to stop the show, because he was on screen for a flash. I miss having dogs about the house—melding into the floor as they sleep, keeping that one cognizant eye always slightly open.

I just love the Nostalgie paper more and more every day, every time I pick up the brush pen.

More posts later this week when I’m able to proofread.

You can see other sketches of Swatch in this recent post, click here.

  1. Reply

    My favourite TV dog (well Netflix really, we don’t have a TV) is Sykes. I watch him on Midsomer Murders (circa 2014 and beyond). He even has his own Facebook page:

    • cori austin
    • December 27, 2016

    Is there a visual journalers gathering this week by chance? I am in town and try to catch your meetings if I can. I know you no longer head the group, but I cannot find anything on the MCBA website.

  2. Reply

    Cori, I’m sorry you missed the December meeting on the 19th.

    It is always the THIRD Monday of the month. 7 to 9 p.m.

    The next meeting will be the Third Monday in January and it will start a little earlier than usual (6:30) because it’s going to be the yearly Portrait Party.

    Go to the Facebook site for the group and ask to join. (MCBA Visual Journal Collective) Then you’ll know what’s going on and when. Suzanne Hughes has just passed the leadership baton to two people and I’m not sure how they want to do the contact stuff since this just happened at the last meeting and I wasn’t able to attend.

    I hope you’re in town sometime on the third Monday.
    Also the third weekend either on a Sat. or Sunday (it rotates) is the Twin Cities Urban Sketchers. And on the First Sunday of the month there’s the MetroSketchers (but I’m not sure if they are meeting on the first Sunday this January because that’s New Year’s day. (I’ve got a cold and won’t be going anywhere so I’m not really informed right now.) Have a safe trip back to where you traveled from and come some time during the Minnesota State Fair and join the sketch out. Marty Harris runs that now and is doing a fabulous job!!

    • Nicole
    • December 29, 2016

    The dots around his mouth…with that brush pen, wow. I keep practicing but can’t get such detail. I’m to tight and hold the brush too tightly.

  3. Reply

    Thanks Nicole, that’s Dick’s favorite part of the drawing too. And it took the longest. (My favorite bit is that flopped over ear!)

    Here’s something you can try to loosen your grip up. Hold the barrel of the pen all the way back at the butt of the pen, so you are holding it more like a paint brush. And keep telling yourself to make your wrist loose and light so it will just float.

    If you need more control you can hold it like a regular pen at about mid barrel and rest your wrist on the page so your little finger and the outside edge of your palm on or the page and then rock your hand up and down to touch the paper with the tip. Your grip on the pen should be totally loose, it’s just holding the pen on your hand for balance. As you bring the pen back your little finger and side of the hand pop lightly off the top of the page and you pivot slightly so you don’t just put the next dot where it was before. Some people can leave the hand in place and move the pen by directing the fingers—but I think that will tighten you up again.

    Have something between your hand and the paper. (A clean sheet of paper.)

    Alternately you can get a drawing bridge that allows you to suspend your hand over the paper. Blick carries acrylic ones that are a bit tall for me (I had a color pencil student who made us all low-rise ones of WALNUT!!!!) That might help you too without hurting the paper and without the fatigue of supporting yourself.

    I’ve had decades of practice using technical pens in my stipple drawings so while it’s a little more precarious to do it with a brush pen my hand is still comfortable doing this. You can build it up with practice. Take small shapes and practice.

    But if you feel your hand is too tight on your brush keep telling yourself to loosen your grip.

    The loose grip actually makes you more accurate.

    Have fun.

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