Sunday, September 27, 2009

Collections: Stones & Rocks - sketches in ink, graphite pencil and colored pencil


copyright Judith Nijholt-Strong
"Beach Stones from Étretat, France", 2009
Colored pencil in Moleskine sketchbook
approx. 8.5"h x 11"w when opened flat

I enjoy drawing/sketching stones & rocks - even more so when I've brought them home from different trips or vacations. They are full of wonderful memories for me and I guess, memories of ancient pasts too!
In the sketch above, I used regular colored pencils (Faber-Castell Polychromos and Lyra Rembrandts) in my large Moleskine sketchbook.

copyright Judith Nijholt-Strong
"Beach Stone from Criel sur Mer, France", 2007
Graphite pencil in plain paper Pentalic sketchbook
approx. 6"h x 4.25"w

It's another obsession, these rocks & stones. The above is a small sketch I did in the summer of 2007, while on vacation in the Somme region of France. This is a beach stone I picked up while walking on the beach at Criel sur Mer. The sketch was done with a 4B Conté graphite pencil, in a plain paper sketchbook made by Pentalic. I don't normally like to work in plain paper sketchbooks (too thin), but this one was in my purse at the time. It's "ok" for graphite sketches.

Wooden Mannequins - just what does one do with one of those little wooden mannequins? Well, try to put him to work cleaning up the studio - doing the heavy lifting, of course!
Meet "Mr. Woody", my studio assistant ...

copyright Judith Nijholt-Strong
"Mr. Woody Enters the Studio", 2009
Ink Brush sketch in plain paper Paperblanks sketchbook/notebook
approx. 7"h x 5"w

He's not so sure ...

copyright Judith Nijholt-Strong
"Mr. Woody Tries to Lift a Stone", 2009
Ink Brush sketch in plain paper Paperblanks sketchbook/notebook
approx. 7"h x 5"w


copyright Judith Nijholt-Strong
"Mr. Woody is Successful!", 2009
Ink Brush sketch in plain paper Paperblanks sketchbook/notebook
approx. 7"h x 5"w

:0) Just having some fun with the little wooden mannequin that someone gave me some time ago. Other than playing around making him lift things, I'm not quite sure what I'd ever use a wooden mannequin for. "Mr. Woody" just sits on top of a shelf in my studio, waiting around until I tell him it's time to move things about again. LOL

For the sketches of "Mr. Woody", I used two colors of the Pentel Ink Brush (black and brown) - they're fun too and free me up from being so tight when I draw or sketch. Unfortunately, the ink in them is not very waterproof so it will sometimes bleed or smudge..oh well. I bought this particular sketchbook in Troyes France, back in 2005 (or was it 2006?, I can't remember) - it doesn't get used much because the paper isn't too wonderful, but it's fun to play around in with the ink brushes.

I also fell madly in love with the cover design of the sketchbook - by Laurel Burch.
And here's why...

Had to have it!
It has an interesting closing - in that, part of the cover flap is magnetic so it seals shut when you flip it over.

I'll probably be sketching more stones & rocks next month, when I'm back in France ... you never know!

Tot ziens,

Friday, September 25, 2009

Collections: Buttons - Pen & Ink Drawing with Watercolor Pencil


copyright 2009, Judith Nijholt-Strong
"Buttons, Buttons and More Buttons"
7"h x 5.25"w
Pen & Ink, Watercolor pencil on Arches hp

Having some fun not being so realistic, for a change. Just spilled out my button tin on my desk (was actually looking for a specific button - can't find it...). Then I messed them all about, started drawing and took it from there. I also invented some buttons that weren't there ... I'm allowed to invent! ha!

I love the Sakura Micron pigment pens ... just love them - nice black ink, permanent, never bleeds when I do a watercolor wash. I've tried other brands of permanent pigment pens, but I always come back to the Sakura Microns.

The watercolor pencils I used were: Talens Van Gogh watercolour, Caran d'Ache Supracolor II Soft aquarelle and Faber-Castell Albrecht Dürer aquarelle. All three of those brands are my favorites and I mix & match them for various color combinations.

Now, back to trying to find the lost button ... button, button, who's got the button?

doei! (bye!),
Hmm, September has been productive.
If I keep this up, I'll have more posts this month than ever
(and no holiday posts either) ...
better try to control myself...
wouldn't want my friend Meisie to be expecting this level of posting.
*snigger* LOL

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Collections Nature - Seashells: Graphitints Pencil Drawing


copyright 2009, Judith Nijholt-Strong
"She Sells Seashells", 6"w x 7.5"h approx. (sold)
Graphitint pencils on Fabriano hp watercolor paper

Just another seashell drawing from my insane collection of nature items ... the baskets & boxes are overflowing with "stuff".

I don't know what these shells are, but they are very pretty and delicate in detail. The Derwent Graphitints pencils were perfect for them. I used Fabriano watercolor paper (hot pressed). I like both Fabriano and Arches hp papers for the Graphitints. Actually, I like both Fabriano and Arches for most things ... it's just personal taste. :o)

Yes, yes, I know some colors in Grahpitints fade and that's depressing (I wish that wasn't so, but it is), however, I'm told this piece will be forever tucked away..far, far away from any light. That's a good thing!

So today is the first day of fall/autumn ... I love it! I'll have to go "in search of" some fallen leaves now! More to draw or paint. :o) :o)
Tot Ziens

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Random Silliness: Sacha's Scratching Post post.

Sacha here - I'm just interrupting all this art stuff of late ...
You thought I forgot how to post to this blog, didn't you? lol

Me with my new scratching post (in dutch: krabpaal)!

I love it. :o)
My humans bought a new set of leather sofas , so they decided to finally break down and buy a new place for me to sharpen my nails.
How timely of them, eh? They're pretty smart ... for humans. LOL

Yes, I'm very happy with the new scratching post. Ik ben erg blij met mijn nieuwe krabpaal!
I'm also a good girl and I'm not scratching the sofas. You probably thought otherwise, I bet.
Actually, I never scratched the old leather sofas.

Sacha, the princess

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Collections Nature (shell and pansy): Watersoluble graphite drawings


drawing ©Judith Nijholt-Strong
"Turban Shell"
approx: 5" x 7", Arches hp watercolor paper
Watersoluble graphite & normal graphite pencils

I think that's a Turban Shell, though I'm not sure. It's just one of many shells in my shell collection and I don't have a clue as to the names of all of them. I just like shells. This shell happens to sit on my desk and I've drawn or painted it many times before. You might see it again - most likely in pen & ink. :o)

drawing ©Judith Nijholt-Strong
"Picked a Pansy" (sold)
approx: 8.25" x 5", Arches hp watercolor paper
Watersoluble graphite & normal graphite pencil

I did the drawing of the pansy a few months ago. We have a shady spot in our garden where the pansies from the springtime were still growing, so I picked one and brought it indoors to draw. I then pressed it between some wax paper and stuck it in the middle of one of my art history books (from university days long, long Yep, the pansy is now another part of my "collections".

The watersoluble graphite pencils that I use are made by Prismacolor. I don't own any other brand of ws graphite, so I have nothing to compare them with. I found them pleasurable to work with though, and I'd recommend them to anyone who wants to give watersoluble graphite a try.

I must say, trying to get a good digital photo image of a graphite drawing on a creamy colored paper, such as the Arches I used, is next to impossible. :o( I tried putting it in greyscale to see if that looked any better, but it didn't. I fiddled with the levels...looked awful. Eventually, I gave up. So there you have it, not the best images of my drawings but I'm not wasting anymore time fiddling with them. As we say here in Holland, "Niks aan te doen!" (literally translated = "nothing to do", sometimes used in a "I give up" sort of way.)
Tot ziens!
6 edits later and I think everything is correctly's hoping!

Friday, September 4, 2009

Collecting things vs. cleaning the studio


copyright Judith Nijholt-Strong
"Stuff", 8"h x 5"w
Gouache with pen & ink in Moleskine sketchboook

So, I've been cleaning my studio (ugh) and I have to admit, I sure do collect a lot of "things". Everywhere (every country even) I go, it seems, I find something of interest that I simply must have, pick up, take with me. And then store it, where? Good question - hince why I've been cleaning my studio, again.

The yearly "What should I do with this? I can't throw this out!" moments arise. Torture. All the rocks in one box, all the buttons in one tin (or two), all the postcards (antique and current) in files, all the small toys in one basket, all the colorful papers in a drawer with the bits of ribbons & doo-dads, all the strange earrings in a trinket box, all the nature bits (seeds, dried flowers, pinecones, feathers) in another basket ( right yes, I collect baskets too...), all the hair ornaments in another box, all the pencils & brushes in the souvenir mugs that I also collect, and the books (oy, the books!), and the art supplies ( let's not even go there), etc., etc., etc. The list is long. *sigh* I even have petrified (that would be "bone dry") cakes, cupcakes, breads and cookies - I'm not kidding. You get the picture - a nightmare. I'm am a dedicated "pack rat"... ha!

So, I thought I'd start drawing, or painting, some of my collections. No time to waste, as I'm not getting any younger and the collections won't stop growing. LOL . Good subjects, one & all, for many an art piece and a blog post to come (starting this month).

Tot ziens,


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