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SOSA June 26 meeting Featuring Sheri Dinardi

The Southern Oregon Society of Artists (SOSA) June 26 meeting at the Medford Public Library starts at 6:30. This month our guest Artist is Sheri Dinardi. Her subject is “Figures in Oil.”

Moon Dance, portrait in oil by Sheri Dinardi

Moon Dance, portrait in oil by Sheri Dinardi

About Sheri Dinardi

Sheri Dinardi lives in Jacksonville, Oregon, a small rural town surrounded by farms and distant mountains; a constant source of inspiration from the surrounding beauty. This quaint 1800’s gold rush town, rich in history with cottages, and original farms; inspires her to produce paintings that convey a sense of timelessness.

 

Dinardi’s subjects revolve around the female figure with young women and girls in landscape settings as well as intimate portraits. For settings, what could be lovelier than golden light across a newly harvested wheat field, fragrant lavender or rose garden with distant mountains in the horizon? She follows the rhythm of the seasons and aims to capture the fleeting effect of light as it changes throughout the day.

ARTIST STATEMENT

“Painting for me is an expression of life. Simple everyday beauty surrounds us. I am especially moved by light, whether it is the rising sun or light spilling across the form of a person. As primarily a painter of people, I enjoy the unique privilege of standing before a beautiful living human being. It is there that you observe the beauty of the colors of light, warm and cool tones spilling over the form. Beyond the imagery is the person hood of the model that seems to emanate into the room. How does one capture it all with mere paint on a blank canvas? Therein lies our life long challenge… to communicate life and beauty to our viewers.

As an artist I desire to paint images that bring joy, inspiration and a sense of hope to the viewer. Most importantly, I hope to express the beauty of creation in such a way as to honor our Creator who gives us life and breath; and inspires me every day with His amazing masterpieces.”

PRESS

Art critic Brian Sherwin commented on artist Sheri Dinardi’s artwork, remarking, “There is a soft quality in the way that Sheri Dinardi approaches oil painting — a certain radiance that projects a sense of spirituality in the way she captures her subjects.” Sherwin added, “These works convey a positive message… a reminder of the sacred simplicity, if you will, of the past.

Sandy Cathcart writes: “Watching the play of light on golden fields of grain prompts her to capture the effects of fleeting light as she paints women and children in a landscape scene. Viewers are lifted into a sense of timelessness and sacred radiance, as if they have been transported to another world of beauty and hope. You can almost smell the sweet fragrance of lavender and roses… viewers are invited to look deeper than the surface, sensing a soul that has been set free. Her love of creation and Creator are evident in every stroke.”

Exhibitions:

  • Oil Painters of America’s Salon Show Birmingham
  • Small Works Show at Howard Manville Gallery in Seattle
  • American Women Artists, Dallas
  • Best and the Brightest, Scottsdale Artist School
  • Oil Painters of America’s National Show Santa Fe
  • Oil Painters of America Western Regional Show, Couere D’ Alene
  • Best and the Brightest, Scottsdale Artist School
  • Great Christian Art, Pasadena

Study History:

  • 2013 Week long workshop in Dan Gerhartz Studio. Best Workshop ever!!!
  • 2006-2014 Masterpiece Christian Artist Conference: Chris Hopkins, Michael Dudash, Thomas Blackshear
  • 2009-2014 Ilene Gienger Stanfield: Pastel Portrait Workshop, Class Study, and Life Painting in her studio
  • 2010 Weekend with the Masters: Workshops with Dan Gerhartz, Carolyn Anderson and Sherry McGraw
  • 2009 Southern Oregon Academy of Art: Anatomy Studies
  • 2007 Scottsdale Artist School: Michael Malm
  • 2004 Plein Air Pastel and Oil Painting Workshop with Albert Handell
  • 1991, 1993 Academic Painting Workshops with Frank Covino
  • 1985, 1986 Class Study in Oil Portrait Painting with Richard McKinley

Awards:

  • 2015 Bold Brush Painting Competition FAV 15%: Mar/May: Sarah’s Spring, Jun/Jul: Crystal Earring,
  • 2014 Painting of the Year for Southern Oregon Society of Artists: Quiet Hope
  • 2014 Bold Brush Painting Competition FAV 15%
  • 2013 Bold Brush Painting Competitions FAV 15%:
  • 2011 Honorable Mention, Brightest and the Best, Scottsdale Artist School
  • 2009 Painting of the Year, Southern Oregon Society of Artists
  • 2008 Best in Show, Upper Rogue Artist Association
  • 2007 Best in Show, Upper Rogue Artist Association
  • 1988 Picture of the Year, Southern Oregon Society of Artists
  • 1986 Picture of the Year, Southern Oregon Society of Artists
  • 1986 Best of Show, Pelican Bay Art Association, Azalea Festival
  • 1986 Marshal’s Award, Pelican Bay Art Association, Azalea Festival
  • 1986 Popular Choice Award, Pelican Bay Art Association, Azalea Festival

Artists and folks interested in art are welcome. For more information contact BJ Mathis at 541-414-4993 or Judy Grillo at 661-609-5838

Southern Oregon Society of Artists May Meeting

SOSA February meeting : sosa logo southern oregon society of artistsThe Southern Oregon Society of Artists (SOSA) will have its regular May Meeting on May 22, 2017 at the Medford Public Library at 6:30 pm.
Our Guest Artist will be Doug Iverson, demonstrating  Abstracts on Yupo.  Everyone artistically bent is welcome. Free.
For more information call BJ at 541-414-4993 or Judy at 661-609-5837

Central Art’s Ann Ebert at SOSA March 27 Meeting

NEW TOYS for ARTISTS!

The Southern Oregon Society of Artists March 27 Meeting will be at the Medford Public Library at 6:30 pm.  We are excited to have Central Art owner Anne Ebert and employees Laura Strazdas and Adam Bunch for our March program again this year. The fact that they have been in business here in Medford for the past thirty-six years is a testament to their importance to local artists. There will be a demo on the use of colored pencil which has recently come into favor.  New products will be shown and there will be time to chat with them regarding all the various products.  The world is quickly changing, and the new products for artists are changing, too.  New Toys for Artists!! Come find out about it.

For more information call BJ at 541 414-4993 or Judy Grillo at 661-609-5837

SOSA January 2017 Meeting

SOSA January 2017 Meeting - The Southern Oregon Society of Artists (SOSA) will be starting the 2017 Season on January 23, at 6:30 pm at the Medford Public Library. : sosa logo southern oregon society of artistsSOSA January 2017 Meeting – The Southern Oregon Society of Artists (SOSA) will start the 2017 Season on January 23, at 6:30 pm at the Medford Public Library.
The SOSA January 2017 Meeting opening program is a Membership Art Critique with Kim Hearon, Executive Director of the Rogue Gallery & Art Center, acting as Juror.
Also at the SOSA January 2017 Meeting, the President’s Challenge will be B&W drawings, no bigger than 8×10 and hopefully incorporating “SOSA” and “2017” but not required. The winner will be used for the 2017 Directory/yearbook cover.
Questions? Call BJ at 541-414-4993

Southern Oregon Society of Artists (SOSA) October Meeting

SOSA February meeting : sosa logo southern oregon society of artistsThe Southern Oregon Society of Artists (SOSA) October meeting will be the group’s last regular season meeting of 2016. The meeting takes place on October 24, 2016 at the Medford Public Library at 6:30 pm. This is a critique meeting, which means all members are welcome to bring their completed, gallery-ready works to be critiqued by guest artist Lucy Warnick.

Non-members are welcome to come and observe. The meeting starts at 6:30 with refreshments and social time. Then the critique starts at 7 pm.

Lucy Warnick Bio

Lucy Warnick was born in the Chicago area and began her art education at the University of Illinois before moving to the northwest. 

While studying at Oregon State University under Nelson Sandgren, Warnick was introduced to painting outdoors, which is still the foundation of her work.

Lucy received a BFA in painting from the University of Oregon in 1974. She has worked as a teacher and arts administrator in Southern Oregon and  Houston, Texas, as well as exhibiting her work throughout the country.

Nature is the source of inspiration for Lucy’s paintings and prints. She paints outdoors year-round as well as working from models and painting still life.
Lucy’s work  is currently on display in the showroom of Cabinet Solutions at 315 N. Bartlett in Medford.

For more information please call Judy Grillo at (661 )609-5837 or BJ Mathis at (541) 414-492.

Southern Oregon Society of Artists Monthly Meeting: SOSA Work-in-Progress Critique by Dixie Kinser

The Southern Oregon Society of Artists (SOSA) holds its regular monthly meeting at the Medford Public Library on September 26, 2016 at 6:30 pm for a work-in-progress critique, refreshments and in-person social networking. Meeting / Critique starts at 7.  All members are encouraged to bring in a work-in-progress.

This month is our SOSA Work-in-Progress Critique by Dixie Kinser.  Members are encouraged to bring their work early.

Dixie first became enamored with art by dyeing silk. She loved to see how colors bloomed into beautiful patterns. In the 90s, she began another romance, this time with watercolor. Again, colors blended with beautiful results.

Since then she loves experimenting with color, shapes, composition and values. Then she just had to try abstract.

At present, her work is primarily abstract and mixed media collage using watercolor and acrylic.

For most of her career, Dixie worked in education as an administrator and teacher; however she finds art even more fulfilling.

For more information contact BJ  Mathis at 541-414-4993

Southern Oregon Society of Artists meets the fourth Monday of each month – January through October – at the Jackson County Library at 7:00 p.m. The library doors are locked at 7 p.m., so come early.  Members may submit 1-2 paintings for the January, April, July, and October juried critique at the regular meetings.  The other meetings will feature demonstrations from local artists.  For the latest updates check out www.sosa-inc.org/.

January  24th- Juried Critique

February 28th

March 28th

April 25th – Juried Critique

May 23rd

June 27th

July 25th – Juried Critique

August 22nd

September 26th

October 24th – Juried Critique

November – Awards Banquet

After Action Review (AAR) of Watercolor & Ink Demonstration

Review Time!

Greetings!  Yes, it is time I did a review.  It has been about two weeks since I did my watercolor and ink demonstration (demo) for the Southern Oregon Society of Artists (SOSA) in Medford.  I had a wonderful time!  The organization treated me well and I had an enthusiastic audience.   It was an exciting and memorable event for me.  So much to think about!

Review of Watercolor & Ink Demo

Here I am in mid sentence; all set up and ready to go! Southern Oregon Society of Artists; August 2016

Thank You!

First, I’d like to extend a huge THANK YOU to the following:

  • Lori Garfield for all the coordination before hand; it was great and most helpful! Thanks for the introduction.
  • Marilyn Foreman, for inviting me to do the demo; what an honor!
  • To the members of SOSA for their warm and enthusiastic welcome.

After Action Review

My purpose for conducting this after action review is to put down on paper all those things I am thinking about (so much to think!)  The great thing is that next time I need to do a demonstration, I can review what happened this time.  Remembering what went well and where I might improve is important to me.  I hope to do more demos in the future!

After Action Review Format

This is the AAR format I used. Feel free to copy if you like.

What Was Supposed To Happen

  • The Society of Southern Oregon Artists SOSA) invited me to give a demonstration on watercolor and ink techniques. My audience represented artists of different media and different skill levels. I had roughly an hour and a half to show how I work with watercolor and ink.
  • My intention was to show how I create a watercolor & ink painting from start to finish. I divided my work process into three phases based on the media I use: graphite, ink and watercolor. Each phase was to take twenty minutes.
  • Throughout the demo, I planned to talk and explain the development of the painting. Talking points were to include ideas, materials, working with the media, etc.

What Happened

  • I was able to follow my plan of roughly 20 minutes per medium: graphite, ink then watercolor.
  • After a nervous start, I dove in and did my best. By mentally diving in, I was able to relax and get down to the task of drawing and painting!
  • Artist members asked questions as I worked.  I was pleased to answer questions as I worked, and even more pleased that I was able to keep my focus!
  • The audience was so warm and attentive that I had a great time!  So much fun to be with a wonderful group of fellow artists!
Review - Organic Grind Demo Painting WIP

First state:  Organic Grind Coffee at the end of the SOSA demo session; August 2016

What Went Well

  • I had prepared; I had a plan and it worked.
  • Having a time line set for the demo worked well for me. I had a watch with a timer so that when 20 minutes was up I could move on to the next stage of the painting development. This method of chunks of time ensured I didn’t get bogged down in one task.
  • To my surprise, I worked on one painting throughout the demonstration. I had “work-in-progress” type paintings prepared in case I became stuck or had problems. However, I was able to work on one painting throughout.
  • Having multiple “work-in-progress” type paintings prepared facilitated the flow of the demo. I used the “work-in-progress” pieces to emphasize points about the development of a painting using watercolor and ink.
  • I was able to adjust on the spot. For example, I started the drawing phase of my demo painting using an HB pencil, true to my normal practice. Unfortunately, I draw too lightly with an HB. Once the audience told me they couldn’t see, I was able to pull out an 8B pencil which was much easier to see.
  • Having prepared and rehearsed talking out loud while painting, I was able to speak without referring to my talking points, at least after the first few minutes.
  • Another surprise was that the audience appreciated seeing me go through the drawing phase with graphite.  I had almost decided to cut out the drawing, but the audience was glad I did the drawing.
SOSA Demo Review. Final state of demo painting - Organic Grind Coffee

“Organic Grind Coffee Shack”; final state. Completed after the demo. 2016

What I Might Want To Do Better*

  • Get more of the plan on paper ahead of time.  I had a checklist and a narrative typed out.  But, I could have been more detailed on paper; I relied on too many things being in my head.  It might have been a disaster if I had stage fright!
  • I still get nervous when asked to do a demonstration. Practice, practice practice!
  • I might want to consider something like adding a simple PowerPoint presentation to keep the audience and me focused on key points. This is a “nice to do”; equipment will be the limiting factor.
  • Timing. I kept to my timeline, though I did not plan for a question period at the end. I think next time I might want to allow a period for questions. Could it be I was a bit nervous about questions?

*Note: My husband video recorded the demo session. He is preparing it for my review. I may identify a few more things I want to do next time around!  I hope to post a link to the video soon

After Action Review Conclusion

Review - Keys to success

For me, reviewing my preparation for and conduct of a watercolor and ink demonstration was important.  By evaluating where I am now, I can see what I might want to do to improve.  Its also good to stop and acknowledge what a grand time I had thanks to the members of SOSA.

Your Input

Your insight and opinion is valuable to me!  If you would like, please share your experiences!

Review of SOSA Demo

Thanks!

Update

My husband video recorded my demo and it can be seen online.  Please see below!

SOSA Part 1

 

SOSA Part 2

Sit back with a cup of coffee, tea or… and enjoy!  🙂

Share

The post After Action Review (AAR) of Watercolor & Ink Demonstration appeared first on Margaret Stermer-Cox.

After Action Review (AAR) of Watercolor & Ink Demonstration

Review Time!

Greetings!  Yes, it is time I did a review.  It has been about two weeks since I did my watercolor and ink demonstration (demo) for the Southern Oregon Society of Artists (SOSA) in Medford.  I had a wonderful time!  The organization treated me well and I had an enthusiastic audience.   It was an exciting and memorable event for me.  So much to think about!

Review of Watercolor & Ink Demo

Here I am in mid sentence; all set up and ready to go! Southern Oregon Society of Artists; August 2016

Thank You!

First, I’d like to extend a huge THANK YOU to the following:

  • Lori Garfield for all the coordination before hand; it was great and most helpful! Thanks for the introduction.
  • Marilyn Foreman, for inviting me to do the demo; what an honor!
  • To the members of SOSA for their warm and enthusiastic welcome.

After Action Review

My purpose for conducting this after action review is to put down on paper all those things I am thinking about (so much to think!)  The great thing is that next time I need to do a demonstration, I can review what happened this time.  Remembering what went well and where I might improve is important to me.  I hope to do more demos in the future!

After Action Review Format

This is the AAR format I used. Feel free to copy if you like.

What Was Supposed To Happen

  • The Society of Southern Oregon Artists SOSA) invited me to give a demonstration on watercolor and ink techniques. My audience represented artists of different media and different skill levels. I had roughly an hour and a half to show how I work with watercolor and ink.
  • My intention was to show how I create a watercolor & ink painting from start to finish. I divided my work process into three phases based on the media I use: graphite, ink and watercolor. Each phase was to take twenty minutes.
  • Throughout the demo, I planned to talk and explain the development of the painting. Talking points were to include ideas, materials, working with the media, etc.

What Happened

  • I was able to follow my plan of roughly 20 minutes per medium: graphite, ink then watercolor.
  • After a nervous start, I dove in and did my best. By mentally diving in, I was able to relax and get down to the task of drawing and painting!
  • Artist members asked questions as I worked.  I was pleased to answer questions as I worked, and even more pleased that I was able to keep my focus!
  • The audience was so warm and attentive that I had a great time!  So much fun to be with a wonderful group of fellow artists!
Review - Organic Grind Demo Painting WIP

First state:  Organic Grind Coffee at the end of the SOSA demo session; August 2016

What Went Well

  • I had prepared; I had a plan and it worked.
  • Having a time line set for the demo worked well for me. I had a watch with a timer so that when 20 minutes was up I could move on to the next stage of the painting development. This method of chunks of time ensured I didn’t get bogged down in one task.
  • To my surprise, I worked on one painting throughout the demonstration. I had “work-in-progress” type paintings prepared in case I became stuck or had problems. However, I was able to work on one painting throughout.
  • Having multiple “work-in-progress” type paintings prepared facilitated the flow of the demo. I used the “work-in-progress” pieces to emphasize points about the development of a painting using watercolor and ink.
  • I was able to adjust on the spot. For example, I started the drawing phase of my demo painting using an HB pencil, true to my normal practice. Unfortunately, I draw too lightly with an HB. Once the audience told me they couldn’t see, I was able to pull out an 8B pencil which was much easier to see.
  • Having prepared and rehearsed talking out loud while painting, I was able to speak without referring to my talking points, at least after the first few minutes.
  • Another surprise was that the audience appreciated seeing me go through the drawing phase with graphite.  I had almost decided to cut out the drawing, but the audience was glad I did the drawing.
SOSA Demo Review. Final state of demo painting - Organic Grind Coffee

“Organic Grind Coffee Shack”; final state. Completed after the demo. 2016

What I Might Want To Do Better*

  • Get more of the plan on paper ahead of time.  I had a checklist and a narrative typed out.  But, I could have been more detailed on paper; I relied on too many things being in my head.  It might have been a disaster if I had stage fright!
  • I still get nervous when asked to do a demonstration. Practice, practice practice!
  • I might want to consider something like adding a simple PowerPoint presentation to keep the audience and me focused on key points. This is a “nice to do”; equipment will be the limiting factor.
  • Timing. I kept to my timeline, though I did not plan for a question period at the end. I think next time I might want to allow a period for questions. Could it be I was a bit nervous about questions?

*Note: My husband video recorded the demo session. He is preparing it for my review. I may identify a few more things I want to do next time around!  I hope to post a link to the video soon

After Action Review Conclusion

Review - Keys to success

For me, reviewing my preparation for and conduct of a watercolor and ink demonstration was important.  By evaluating where I am now, I can see what I might want to do to improve.  Its also good to stop and acknowledge what a grand time I had thanks to the members of SOSA.

Your Input

Your insight and opinion is valuable to me!  If you would like, please share your experiences!

Review of SOSA Demo

Thanks!

Update

My husband video recorded my demo and it can be seen online.  Please see below!

SOSA Part 1

 

SOSA Part 2

Sit back with a cup of coffee, tea or… and enjoy!  🙂

Share

The post After Action Review (AAR) of Watercolor & Ink Demonstration appeared first on Margaret Stermer-Cox.

Pen and Ink… Just Inking Around

Watercolor & Ink Demo

“Inking” – as in drawing with ink.

Hi!  I’ve been studying up on working with ink in preparation for my upcoming demonstration for the Society Of Southern Oregon Artists.  And, its coming up this Monday!  Note to me…that’s SOON!

SOSA Inking Demo

But I’ve been preparing.  And, besides, how hard can it be to stand in front of a room full of people and talk while painting?

Exactly; for some of us it might be easy.  Not so for me.  So I’m arming myself with knowledge!

Dip Pens

I decided I ought to know more about my materials and dip pens in particular.  “Old school” time – and its really fun!

The reasons I’m working with dip pens and nibs follow:

  • I had several laying around my studio.  Yes, several stylus (styli?) and nibs just laying around in my studio waiting to be appreciated and used.
  • I like how dip pens and nibs are sensitive to the touch and expressiveness of the artist.
  • I had ink, Higgins “Magic Ink” in black.  I also have some acrylic inks but am not using them for this demo.
  • So, you can draw the conclusion —  I didn’t have to purchase new supplies!  I like using supplies I have around the studio and house.
Working With Ink: Mapping Nibs

My Collection of Mapping Nibs; Comic Nib for Comparison.  Please note, the nibs are not in any particular order.

Something Special About His Nibs

One of the most exciting things I found out about my supplies is that I have some “vintage” nibs.  Did you know that there are such things?   These nibs were my father’s – artist John Stermer.  I cleaned them up and they work great!  As a matter of fact, several looked almost brand new.

Working with Ink: Dip Pen Nibs

My Collection of Comic or Regular Nibs Plus one Calligraphy Nib.  Note, the nibs don’t necessarily align with the list of nib types.

Dip Pen Tips – For Using

I thought I’d share some tips for working with dip pens.

  • Keep your nibs clean; they work better.  The ink flows and it is ever so wonderful!
  • The nibs are designed to be held a slant, about 45 degrees.  They don’t work quite so well on the vertical.
  • Draw moving the pen toward you; the nibs glide.
  • You can wear out a nib going back and forth.  They work better when you draw in one direction – toward you.
  • You can dilute some inks as much as you like.  Even a little bit of water can enhance flow.
  • The nibs work better on smoother paper.  I have tried using dip pens on rough watercolor paper and the ink does not flow as well. Its all a matter of taste, though.  Whatever works for the artist.
  • When you’re done with your pen, remove the nib.  Store dry.

About the Ink

I use Higgins Black Magic Ink.  It is waterproof and fade proof.  That means, for example, after the ink dries, you ought to be able to paint over it with wet watercolor with out lifting.  However, I did manage to get a smear this morning.  I have no idea why; something must have been not quite right.  Generally speaking, though, it does work as advertised.

There are other inks that are not waterproof.  They can be great, but I haven’t been experimenting with them.  They are beyond the scope of my  upcoming demonstration.

Materials: Ink, watercolor, paper, dip pen and brushes

Supplies:  Ink, watercolor, paper, dip pen with nib attached, watercolor brush and ink brush.

My Process

Back to the demonstration.  My process for incorporating graphite, ink and watercolor is as follows:

  • Graphite:
    • Draw with graphite first.  This is the most important phase.  I have to resist the urge to move on to ink and watercolor too soon.
    • Its easier to make drawing corrections to graphite drawings.  And, if there is a problem with the drawing, so goes the painting.
  • Ink:
    • I re-draw my subject with ink, though I don’t need to re-draw every line.
    • I emphasize major lines or nodes (junction points).
    • I like to use ink to map out direction or movement in the drawing.
    • I cross hatch to ensure I understand the value (light/dark) pattern of the subject.  Sometimes this is a fast phase; sometimes I want the ink to be the focus so I am more deliberate.
  • Watercolor:
    • Poetry in color!  This is splishy-splashy fun time.  It can be the hardest phase too!
    • I concentrate and work on using the paint to enhance the image.
    • The trick is to use enough to capture a feeling; not so much watercolor as to kill the poetry.

Single Best Tip

The best tip I can offer:  if you have a dip pen in your studio, give it a try!  You might have loads of fun!

Ink study

Study, Watercolor & Ink

Assorted Links:

On cleaning and care of the nibs.

  • Care and Feeding of the Calligraphy Dip Pen.  Even though the author talks mainly about calligraphy (italic) pen nibs, the same principles apply to point dip pen nibs.  I found a suggestion to clean ink pen nibs with ammonia based glass cleaners in this article.  This is for pen nibs that have caked on ink.  Ammonia window (glass) cleaners work wonders!  Brought my nibs back to clean as new!
  • Guide to Nibs and Nib Holders .  Provides a good over-view of the types of nibs and holders.

 

 

Share

The post Pen and Ink… Just Inking Around appeared first on Margaret Stermer-Cox.

Pen and Ink… Just Inking Around

Watercolor & Ink Demo

“Inking” – as in drawing with ink.

Hi!  I’ve been studying up on working with ink in preparation for my upcoming demonstration for the Society Of Southern Oregon Artists.  And, its coming up this Monday!  Note to me…that’s SOON!

SOSA Inking Demo

But I’ve been preparing.  And, besides, how hard can it be to stand in front of a room full of people and talk while painting?

Exactly; for some of us it might be easy.  Not so for me.  So I’m arming myself with knowledge!

Dip Pens

I decided I ought to know more about my materials and dip pens in particular.  “Old school” time – and its really fun!

The reasons I’m working with dip pens and nibs follow:

  • I had several laying around my studio.  Yes, several stylus (styli?) and nibs just laying around in my studio waiting to be appreciated and used.
  • I like how dip pens and nibs are sensitive to the touch and expressiveness of the artist.
  • I had ink, Higgins “Magic Ink” in black.  I also have some acrylic inks but am not using them for this demo.
  • So, you can draw the conclusion —  I didn’t have to purchase new supplies!  I like using supplies I have around the studio and house.
Working With Ink: Mapping Nibs

My Collection of Mapping Nibs; Comic Nib for Comparison.  Please note, the nibs are not in any particular order.

Something Special About His Nibs

One of the most exciting things I found out about my supplies is that I have some “vintage” nibs.  Did you know that there are such things?   These nibs were my father’s – artist John Stermer.  I cleaned them up and they work great!  As a matter of fact, several looked almost brand new.

Working with Ink: Dip Pen Nibs

My Collection of Comic or Regular Nibs Plus one Calligraphy Nib.  Note, the nibs don’t necessarily align with the list of nib types.

Dip Pen Tips – For Using

I thought I’d share some tips for working with dip pens.

  • Keep your nibs clean; they work better.  The ink flows and it is ever so wonderful!
  • The nibs are designed to be held a slant, about 45 degrees.  They don’t work quite so well on the vertical.
  • Draw moving the pen toward you; the nibs glide.
  • You can wear out a nib going back and forth.  They work better when you draw in one direction – toward you.
  • You can dilute some inks as much as you like.  Even a little bit of water can enhance flow.
  • The nibs work better on smoother paper.  I have tried using dip pens on rough watercolor paper and the ink does not flow as well. Its all a matter of taste, though.  Whatever works for the artist.
  • When you’re done with your pen, remove the nib.  Store dry.

About the Ink

I use Higgins Black Magic Ink.  It is waterproof and fade proof.  That means, for example, after the ink dries, you ought to be able to paint over it with wet watercolor with out lifting.  However, I did manage to get a smear this morning.  I have no idea why; something must have been not quite right.  Generally speaking, though, it does work as advertised.

There are other inks that are not waterproof.  They can be great, but I haven’t been experimenting with them.  They are beyond the scope of my  upcoming demonstration.

Materials: Ink, watercolor, paper, dip pen and brushes

Supplies:  Ink, watercolor, paper, dip pen with nib attached, watercolor brush and ink brush.

My Process

Back to the demonstration.  My process for incorporating graphite, ink and watercolor is as follows:

  • Graphite:
    • Draw with graphite first.  This is the most important phase.  I have to resist the urge to move on to ink and watercolor too soon.
    • Its easier to make drawing corrections to graphite drawings.  And, if there is a problem with the drawing, so goes the painting.
  • Ink:
    • I re-draw my subject with ink, though I don’t need to re-draw every line.
    • I emphasize major lines or nodes (junction points).
    • I like to use ink to map out direction or movement in the drawing.
    • I cross hatch to ensure I understand the value (light/dark) pattern of the subject.  Sometimes this is a fast phase; sometimes I want the ink to be the focus so I am more deliberate.
  • Watercolor:
    • Poetry in color!  This is splishy-splashy fun time.  It can be the hardest phase too!
    • I concentrate and work on using the paint to enhance the image.
    • The trick is to use enough to capture a feeling; not so much watercolor as to kill the poetry.

Single Best Tip

The best tip I can offer:  if you have a dip pen in your studio, give it a try!  You might have loads of fun!

Ink study

Study, Watercolor & Ink

Assorted Links:

On cleaning and care of the nibs.

  • Care and Feeding of the Calligraphy Dip Pen.  Even though the author talks mainly about calligraphy (italic) pen nibs, the same principles apply to point dip pen nibs.  I found a suggestion to clean ink pen nibs with ammonia based glass cleaners in this article.  This is for pen nibs that have caked on ink.  Ammonia window (glass) cleaners work wonders!  Brought my nibs back to clean as new!
  • Guide to Nibs and Nib Holders .  Provides a good over-view of the types of nibs and holders.

 

 

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