Lockdown Reading and Free Bookmarks

A while back I made a some bookmarks for my own use. (I am always in need of these. If I don’t make some I end up using old envelopes and other bits of tat.) During the lockdown I have managed to find even more need for booksmarks than usual.

I often have three or four books/comicbooks on the go at any one time, but I realised that, at the moment, I have 15 books on the go…

Star Wars Heroes and Villains (above) is a set of short stories so I count these four books as one since they are a series. (In fact there are six books in the series as a whole but I finished the previous two ages ago.) I’m doing the same with Autumnlands and Middlewest because they are both collected editions of ongoing comicbook series and it’s still up to 15!

I’m afraid I don’t have process photos for my booksmarks, but I do have a high quality image which you are free to download to help with your lockdown reading needs. All four bookmarks are on one sheet which should print landscape A4. Each bookmark has a slightly wider border on the right hand side to allow for space to cut them apart from one another.

To download click here to go to the full size image, then right click the image and use “save image as”.

(Creative Commons Copyright information for this image is at the bottom of this post. Basically anyone is free to use and copy this image for non commercial purposes.)

Here are the individual bookmarks…

I hope you enjoy them!

PS: I wrote this post a few weeks ago. I am now having some difficulties with my breathing. No need to worry, my Doc thinks it’s a regular chest infection (possibly a complication from a procedure I had done in March) rather than Covid. But if the next round of antibiotics and steroids doesn’t fix it, or if my breathing gets worse, I might have to go into hospital. So I apologise in advance if I don’t respond to comments etc. I think it will all be OK in the end. I just can’t wait to get back to regular traditional drawing and painting!

Copyright Info – Normally I hold all rights reserved on the copyright for all images on this site (unless explicitly stated otherwise when they belong to someone else). I also limit the size of the images I post to reduce the risk of copyright infringement. However I have given the image linked above a Creative Commons Licence (CC BY-NC 4.0) and uploaded it at full size. Licence details below…

  • CC BY-NC 4.0
  • Creator: Jo Fox
  • File: jofoxfreebookmarks.png
  • Created: 20 Feb 2020

Orca

This week I painted a pair of orcas, a mother and her calf.

Here is my initial drawing design which I did on cartridge paper.  Initially I was going to make this a pen and ink drawing but I decided to paint it at the last minute….

 

Once I was happy with my drawing I masked out the white bits of the whales and went off to visit family for the afternoon while the masking fluid dried…

However, when I got back, and looked at the drawing carefully, I saw this…

They are scratches from my little kitty-cat, Leia.  I shouldn’t have been surprised really.  Despite being free to sit anywhere, she chooses to sit in various choice spots like…

…on my black work trousers, or…

…on the book I’m currently reading…

… in front of my PC monitor…

 

…and, more recently, on the clothes airer.  I think it is her life’s mission to cover everything of mine in little white kitten hairs!

 

Anyway, I decided to go ahead with the painting despite her best efforts.

I began by doing a couple of quick thumbnail sketches to give myself some idea of my colours.

I knew I wanted a restricted palette but wasn’t sure what colour scheme to use.  I decided on a variation of the left thumbnail.

First I put on some basic watercolour washes in Payne’s Grey and French Ultramarine.  I added some yellow for the sunshine and merged this in…

 

Next I used a similar blue mixture but with more Payne’s Grey and less ultramarine to put in the idea of some rocky land.  I painted the sun in Winsor Yellow with some Cadmium Yellow Deep and added a few reflections.

 

Finally I began to work on the more specific details and finished the painting…

 

I quite like the finished picture but it lacks precision.  I also think I could have managed my watercolour gradients better and more evenly.  I think I might have another go at this one sometime using proper watercolour paper and taking more time and care with the execution of each wash.

Simple Leaves

This week I gave myself a challenge. I wanted to paint some simple but beautifully shaped leaves, using only green hues (although I allowed myself to use any colour I liked to mix the greens). I wanted to do this in my watercolour sketchbook which is only 21cm x 13 cm, but still put in as much detail as I could. I really enjoy working on details so, since I’m now in the middle of the summer holidays, I just gave myself all the time I wanted to finish the picture. It was bliss!

I began with a drawing from a photo reference of a Swiss Cheese Plant (Monstera deliciosa). It’s a tropical plant native to Central America…

Then I masked out the stem and main veins so I could work around them more easily…

Next I did a variegated wash over each leaf using a mix of sap green and Windsor yellow for the light green areas and sap green and viridian for the darker areas. Here’s how the wash turned out…

Next I used a darker green shade made with Payne’s grey, viridian and Windsor green to add a series of lines across the leaves. I blended these with the two previous colours I’d made to allow them to get lighter but still be visible.. Next, I removed my mask and painted the main veins and stalks and corrected a couple of masking errors. Finally I gave the leaves a small amount of thickness which would show particularly at the edges and where the leaf has natural holes. Finally I used a damp piece of kitchen towel to wet the lighter bits of the leaves and then used a dry piece of towel to remove a little colour. This was to try to give the leaf a very subtle sheen.

Here’s the final painting…

It was so relaxing to paint this simple subject; with lots of careful, repetitive details I enjoyed it tremendously.

I was also entertained while painting this by the antics of the newest member of our family – a gorgeous, 9 week old, Ragdoll cross kitten, called Leia (after George Lucas’ Princess Leia of course!). She was mostly exploring the sofa and kept trying to climb up the back cushions, appearing for an instant, and then jumping down onto the cushions. She’s so lovely!

Here she is…

Elephants, Kittens and Art that I Love

I have a folder on my PC where I save links to work by other artists which I find inspirational, beautiful, or special in some indefinable way. Sometimes I look through these files (I have hundreds) for inspiration and more often for the pure joy of looking at the art that I love. When I save a link I put the artist’s name and web address (if it’s available) in a file too so I can look up more of their work. I also love going to local galleries and festivals where art is displayed. A lot of this art is really above my level in terms of me being able to paint something similar but I still have a go sometimes when an image particularly captivates me. It surprises me that the art I make turns out so different from the inspirational work I’m studying.  Anyway, here are two small watercolours I painted in my sketchbook while studying another artist’s work…

The original for this elephant portrait unfortunately came from Pinterest which very frequently doesn’t carry information about the artist who painted any given picture.

The original I was looking at is with this painting is the author of this YouTube Painting Video.

In both cases the art I was studying was significantly looser than the pictures I’ve made. I do find loose painting difficult to do but very beautiful to look at.

Star Wars Fan Cartoon

Having looked into just how much I have to learn about animation and cartoon drawing I thought I would try a ‘before’ and ‘after’ cartoon.  So, before Iearn how to do this better I’m going to make a cartoon strip.  Then I’m going to learn more about it and make up another one.

So, to my Star Wars fan art strip…

Well today I made the sketches.  It’s going to be three square panels with a simple, if quite juvenile, joke (which, along with ‘man fell over‘, ‘bird pooed on lady’s head‘ and ‘my accident with a rake‘ are my favourite jokes: (I removed the dialogue so as not to spoil the joke too much.)

frame1nodia frame2nodia frame3nodia

(BTW:  I came up with the basic idea for this joke, but it was my fabulous son who thought of the punchline in the last panel.)

(All Images unless otherwise explicitly stated are © Jo Fox, 2015)