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Where Do You Find Birds?

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Above: One of my favorite sketches from my 2009 Fake Journal (see it all in a video clip, and in posted scans here). Schmincke pan watercolors over Ziller Glossy Black Acrylic ink (dip pen), on water resistant pages in an Alvin Field Book. Click on the image to view an enlargement.

The other day, after seeing my bird-filled 2009 fake journal online someone asked me where I found all those birds to draw. (The person was from Minnesota.) I wrote back telling her my some of my favorite places to go and look at birds in the Twin Cities—places where I can always count on a bird being present when I need a bird fix, which is actually at least once a day.

But her question made me think about the issue of "finding" stuff a bit more. My friend Linda once told me about a part of the brain (can't remember what it is called) where you can actually input things you want to look out for and it will hold "that thought" and see that item EVERYWHERE. So maybe you are looking for 66 Mustangs, or fire hydrants, or odd typographical signs, or, in my case BIRDS. Because you have set up your internal spotting engine to see those things you'll find an abundance of them. (You can actually do this in a general way too, by just suggesting that your brain look for visual journaling options and voilà—everywhere you look!)

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It’s Full—I’m Finished

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Above: my fake journal kept to celebrate International Fake Journal Month 2009, finished today, the book contains exactly 30 page spreads, one done each day in April. The journal is an Alvin Field book with water resistant pages. I worked with dip pen and Ziller Acrylic ink (glossy black) and Schmincke Pan Watercolors. Click on the image to view an enlargement.

Well, it's over. For me anyway. Other folks have about 4 more hours until the end of IFJM. If you are new to this blog and wondering what the heck IFJM is you can click on the IFJM category in the category list, click on the appropriate page in the page list, or go to the Official International Fake Journal Month Blog and read more about it; as well as see postings of the images in my 2009 fake journal and the fake journals of some other folks too..

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Mining Sketchbooks for Inspiration (Again)

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Above: This is a cropped portion from a page spread I did during the recent SketchCrawl. The bottom right hand corner is the penguin sketch I'm interested in. It was the last penguin sketch of the day and the most successful, and I was sad that I'd run out of space on the spread, but the sketch was to have life in another way too. This sketch was made with a Staedtler Pigment Liner and Schmincke gouache, in a journal I made with Nideggen paper. Read about it below. Click on the image to view an enlargement.

Regular visitors to the blog will remember that for SketchCrawl on the 11th I went with a group of sketchers to the Como Park Zoo and Conservatory. (If you would like to see all my pages from this SketchCrawl they are posted at Twin Cities Sketchers.) I focused on the animals, which is typical for me. The above image is a sketch I made while at the zoo. There was one very sick looking penguin and he was standing still, so I sketched him.

090411BPuffPen Left: the entire page spread can be viewed by clicking on this image. The journal is approximately 6.5 x 9 inches. The top half of the page spread was used for puffin sketches. I then moved on to look at the pengiuns and those sketches are on the bottom portion of the spread beneath the dashed line.

When I am out sketching at the zoo I'm not worried about trying to get a finished painting of an animal or bird, I'm just trying to notice things about whatever it is that I'm sketching. I believe that everything I notice will be useful to me later when I try to make paintings of any of the animals or birds. I didn't have any plans to do a painting of a penguin anytime soon, but that very day these sketches were useful to me when it came time to do the next entry for my International Fake Journal Month journal.

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Commercially Made Sketchbooks: Hand•book Journals

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Above: ©2009 Roberta Avidor. This New York City view of water towers atop buildings is from the visual journal Roberta keeps in a Hand•book Journal. Here she sketches with a black Faber Castell Albrecht Dürer Aquarelle colored pencil and Sennelier pan watercolors. (This sketch is from a large-sized journal which is around 6 x 9 inches.) Click on the image to view an enlargement.

Today we have fabulous GUEST ART! Eye candy. The images in today’s post are by one of my favorite artists, my friend Roberta Avidor. She is an illustrator of immense talent. She has a quick sense of humor and is kind and supportive. She keeps one of the most visually stunning visual journals I’ve ever seen. Along with her husband Ken, she is great fun on sketch outs. (Ken also keeps an amazing visual journal. He was my first Profile Friday.) You can see more of her work at her website and here.

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