Mission Statement

The Rocky Mountain Society of Botanical Artists is an open and diverse group of artists, collectors and admirers who share a love for the practice and perpetuation of botanical art and illustration with a fond focus on plants in the Rocky Mountain Region.
We encourage and participate in educational outreach, juried and non-juried exhibits, lectures, workshops and regular chapter meetings. The RMSBA is proud to be the very first chapter affiliation of the international organization, the American Society of Botanical Artists.

Thursday, February 27, 2014

Keeping a Sketch Set Handy

Minimal Perfection
            A good way to find time to draw is to make drawing easier, keeping drawing supplies immediately to hand. At a minimum, try these materials and supplies:

            2 B graphite pencil – the workhorse of the art world
            2 H graphite pencil – great for fine lines, paler shades
            Ebony pencil – facilitates laydown of dense darks
            A sepia Conte crayon or pencil – a nice mid-tone and a
            touch of non-black
            A white colored pencil – great to combine with darker
            tones, pump up highlights
            Hand held sharpener – keep your pencils sharp
            2 pens – Copic or Pigma Microns are great. .05 and a 1 are
            great - for super dark fluid lines and great for contour work
            White plastic Click eraser pen – to draw with. Don’t bother
            to erase extensively. Re-work lines on the fly, using the
            “wrong” line to steer you away from it to a more
            effective line.
            Spiral bound sketch book, white paper or with a selection of
            colored papers, or just one non-white paper – working on
            non-white paper allows you to proceed without establishing
            mid-tones, and asks you to look at things a different way than
            the usual every day sketch. Seeking new experiences is
            integral to good drawing exercises.

This kit, pulled together in a small case or baggie, can travel easily wherever you need to go in your home, office, or on the road.
I generally add a touch of color when I want to, or when I'm drawing something that has unique color and I want to remember it well. You can add watercolor to your drawing, or colored pencil, to create a more fully rendered drawing. I like to keep my drawings simple, so recently I set myself the task of using 5 colors only to create a drawing. I have a 'base' of graphite, and add colored pencils - Caran d'Ache indigo blue (very true color), sepia (any maker) or brown ochre and 2 local colors. Then, I use a white Gelly Roll pen for pops of white where I want them, or a white colored pencil. You'll be seeing the results of that plan here and there in our month of drawings a day.
So, pick out the materials that work well in your hand - graphite, wax or oil pencils, brush tip art markers, technical pens, watercolor...you name it! What works for you is the right choice. We'll start A Drawing a Day in earnest on Saturday, 1 March 2014. Remember, you can send me your scans HERE, by attaching them to an email. And remember, send your thoughts about the drawing too. Sharing technique enriches those who share their work as well as those who view it. 

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