Artists Statement

I paint as often and as much as I can. I take classes when I can afford it, but the money usually goes to buy more art supplies. This blog is to share the results with you! I am a Work in Progress.

Dianne Lanning Fine

Monday, October 31, 2011


With apologies to Target and the un-named photographer who took this picture. I couldn't resist trying to sketch it:
Angry Bee

The little model in the picture did a wonderful job of portraying the whole thought, no caption needed actually. She actually looked more like steam was rising from her in the photo. It was a challenge to try and capture the "child," the sweet innocence and the temper being expressed. It's easier when their faces are screwed up into a furious scream, nothing held back, but this burning dagger look, wow, this is going to take some practice and observation.

Recently I got some Faber-Castell pens, closer to markers, but with a lot of different tips. Also one Medium point in "warm grey" to play with. More toys! That said, now it's time to learn to use them to good effect. Practice! Observation! Application!
Yes, Mother. Don't let anyone tell you Life is not eternal, I can hear her saying "I told you so" from here!

This is what it's like to be raised by a violinist. Lesson learned. Since most of my study is self-directed (because I'm always broke) Blogging has been a gift, at least to me. How about y'all out there? It makes you less afraid, or let's rephrase that, it's helped overcome false pride, and helped get it out there, even the bad and mediocre, to get some feedback.

I find that once I've posted something I thought was finished, it's like seeing it through someone else's eyes, you can see what's wrong or missing. You may not be able to figure out what to do about it, but you can tell. That's a big help. As soon as I posted the little Bee Girl above I could see I missed the shading under her folded arms. And sooo many other things.
It's Halloween, and going to be warm enough for Trick or Treating, so, finished or not, Have a Happy Halloween, and try not to fight the kids for the candy. Swipe it when they aren't lookin'!

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Exploring the world of pen and ink...

Preliminary sketch
In searching for something else, I came upon a fountain pen with a fine point that was specifically for sketching. In a weak (one of many) moment I ordered it. I had not really played with pen and ink, since it is a bit unforgiving. However I found the deep black ink on white paper irresistible. In a hardbound sketch journal I sometimes carry I sketched this pavilion in our local Japanese Gardens. Thank heaven I also took a photo. A friend saw it in my book and asked for a larger version, so a journey began.
The results follow. Each time I do it some things get better, others get "flubbed." Here is the second attempt:
Second attempt
The pavilion is set on a pool with wonderful rocks and evergreens around it. Finally using a small straight edge to keep it from getting too sloppy I found my two main challenges were the inset part of the railings and how much vegetation to include. How much is enough and how much is too much? and it's so angular, and I'm not.
Then came this one:
Next attempt (3?)
 Is this too much background? Do you lose the pavilion in it? This time I find the reflections annoying. Maybe that can be fixed, or at least modified to be less odd?
And now there is this one:
Most recent attempt
OK, less background, reflections still not right. On this one I had just picked up some Faber-Castel Pitt pens with different points. The Medium and Brush ones were good for getting a deep black under the roof edges and shadows at the top of the pillars. The rail still comes out messy. Maybe I shouldn't have done this at noon?


Where do I go from here? This is when I want a class. I've spent hours and hours drawing, modeling in classes and going home and doing the assignment the students were given. Still not enough. I do like the pen and ink, though, no more dragging my hand through it and smearing grey all over my hands and the picture. With a dip pen I am really messy, I get it all over me, but with the fountain pen and these Pitt pens it's a lot cleaner, well, I'M a lot cleaner. But they do not give you much of a second chance. Since that's inherent in the medium, it seems to matter less, it's a "do the best you can" medium. I hope. It takes a better draftsman I guess.

Any comments?