Weird Gourds – Colored Ink Art

Weird Gourds – Colored Ink Art

Oh, My Gourd!

I was in my local grocery store yesterday and spotted these weird looking gourds in the pumpkin section.

This is not a vegetable I usually prepare, cook and eat, but I thought maybe this time, as I wanted to add a drawing to my Perpetual Nature Journal, I would see what I could do.

Hello

Hi, I’m Alison and I call myself a hobby artist.

I am on a journey to get better at art and I’m doing this for self-care.

In a digital world I find that slow-paced activities which are creative support my drive for a slower lifestyle.

You can read more about my journey here.

Art Supplies

Get Your Stuff

I urge you to use the paper, sketchbooks, pencil, inks and paints which you have at hand.

I believe that artists already have what they need and there is no requirement to let not having the exact equipment I used to stop you from creating art.

No excuses here.

Look around and gather your art tools.

Specific Art Supplies

These are the exact art supplies which I used for this artwork.

 

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Part 1 – Drawing the Outside

Perpetual Nature Journal

I added this drawing to my Perpetual Nature Journal on the October page.

This is the first sketch I have for October as I only began this journal earlier in the year in May.

Pencil Sketch

Once I had handled the gourd and rolled it around to find a good side, I lightly sketched the gourd out.

I used my favorite pencil which has a 2H lead. The 2H describes light lines on the page which are easier to erase later.

I took care to get the knobby bits and the color changes as patches as well.

Colored Ink

When working with these inks you do need to shake the bottles beforehand, but you also must wipe off the screw tops before you close them otherwise the stick and you can’t get the lid off next time.

There is an art to looking after your Windsor and Newton inks pots as well.

Yellow

I began with some Canary Yellow ink in my palette and thinned it down quite a bit with water.

I like to keep the paper quite dry and not add too much water, but it is a balancing act.

It seems I prefer to work with the wet on dry technique and not the wet on wet. One.

This opinion may change, but for now it is my selected method of working with colored ink.

Orange

Next, I added some Orange to the palette and dabbed it in where the gourd was much darker.

Green

The green was the Emerald Green to which I added a little Canary Yellow to make it more like a sage or olive green.

I watered down the ink mix quite substantially and then slowly built up the color after each drying.

Layers

I let this artwork dry in between and then added more color with a light touch.

Pen

Finally, I went over the whole drawing with a 0.3mm black pen to define the main outlines.

With this pen I held it loosely and let it wobble a little.

The pen part does give this a flavor of an ink and wash piece.

Part 2 – Drawing the Sliced Half

Hidden

After I’d completed the outside painting of the gourd it occurred to me to look inside.

I struggled considerably to cut this vegetable in half.

I tried my main straight-blade kitchen knife, but to no avail.

Then I got out my big South African cleaver forged from one piece of steel and heavy, oh so heavy, and I managed to push the blade into the gourd.

Artwork

Next, I set about sketching and inking the sectional slice of this gourd.

To be honest there were some interesting seeds in the main cavity, but not much flesh on the gourd only about half an inch of orange pulp.

Cooking the Gourd

After finishing the painting, I tried to cook with the gourd.

I had so much trouble chopping this vegetable up that I gave up.

The skin is so tough.

In the end I had about six one-inch cubes of flesh which I added to the pan with my other roast red potatoes, onions and other vegetables which I was cooking that night.

A gourd is not a vegetable that I am likely to buy to consume again.

However, I am likely to buy them for still-life autumnal center pieces which I love to create and draw.

You can see this year’s Seasonal Art Group story here.

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Aspiring Artist Activity

Vegetables

This is an activity which can be done by anyone who has vegetable, which I’m assuming is everyone.

Get the kids involved as well.

Find a knobby vegetable that is interesting, perhaps with multiple colors or is a weird shape, which you want to draw.

In your Perpetual Nature Journal and on the appropriate month’s page please do the following:

 

  • On the appropriate month’s section find a suitable page.
  • Draw a light pencil sketch and remember that we are not engraving.
  • Color in or wash with watercolor, colored ink or your favorite art medium.
  • Pen over to add definition to your artwork.
  • Write the name of the plant in pen below.
  • Sign and date somewhere near the bottom left.

Reflection

Daily Life

This is not the most exciting painting you are likely to create.

Rather, it is a part of paying attention to the world around you and noting the details that go in to make up daily life.

Sketch Journal

This sort of activity can also be created in your sketch journal as a drawing about your day.

If you are the sort of artist who constantly draws your coffee cup in your sketch journal, then doing a gourd will spice things up a little.

Celebrate Seasonal Changes

Celebrate the changing seasonal with this type of painting.

It could be a part of your Phenology Wheel as well where you observe nature around you and, during Autumn, the fruits and vegetables ripening into maturity.

Thank You

Thank you for spending part of your day with me.

Love,

Alison

Alison Hazel

Author Bio

Alison Hazel is a mature woman who shares her ongoing journey about becoming an artist later in life. She creates simple art that anyone can make. She hopes to inspire you to reach your creative potential in the area that suits you.

Go here to read more about Alison’s story.

If you want to send Alison a quick message go here.

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Perpetual Nature Journal 🌱 Setup and Cover Page

Perpetual Nature Journal 🌱 Setup and Cover Page

Inspiration

The idea of having a Perpetual Nature Journal which is different to a normal nature journal is that rather than starting at the front and working towards the back, depending on where I went and what I saw, I will be focusing on one or two nature features each month.

Then I can revisit the month next year at the same time.

You can start a Perpetual Nature Journal at any time of the year.

I’m starting mine in May 2022 and therefore my first entries will be in the May spread.

I won’t be filling the whole page I’ll just add one or two items in this month’s spread and then move on to June, July and August.

Later, when May comes around next year, I can come back to the May spreads and add something else.

Monthly Divisions

I decided to create a Perpetual nature journal which is one that goes on and on year after year.

I happened to have this sketchbook on my shelf which I had not used.

It is Fabriano with forty-eight pages which gives us twenty-four spreads well actually twenty-three whole spreads and two half spreads, with one half spread at the front, and one at the end.

I decided to give each month of the year, from January to November two spreads and December has one and a half spreads.

A spread is an open two pages.

I counted through and put little tabs out where each new month begins.

Philosophy

I chose to work this way for two reasons.

The first is because I watched the artist Minnie Small where she says in her sketchbooks she doesn’t start at the beginning and work to the end, instead she opens the journal at a random page and does a sketch in it there and then.

In this way when you do flip through the actual sketchbook there’s not this concentrated development of your style.

Instead, each drawing is randomly nestled in amongst everything else you’ve ever done.

In this way it’s a more a cohesive look at the type of work you’re creating as an artist.

Secondly, I took inspiration from Alex Boon of The Daily Nature Journal who has a beautiful nature journal, sourcing content from his local area, which I wanted to try for myself.

After I divided the journal the way I wanted it, with spreads for each month, I then turned my attention to the inside cover page.

Cover Page Design

I spent many days working out:

  • Whether I wanted to try nature journaling in the first place, and if so, how was I going to set up a journal?
  • Did I need to get another journal or not?
  • I didn’t want to buy anymore art supplies, so I dug around and found a Fabriano sketchbook which had not been used.

Naming the Journal

I thought that I wanted to call it “Nature Journal” (with the vanishing point on the word nature.)

To start with I did a sketch on my iPad with Procreate to lay out what I was thinking of as many ideas were percolating in my head.

I created this quick design just using a pencil brush in Procreate.

This is what I’m going to use as the guide for my Perpetual nature journal inside cover page.

Pencil Sketch

In my nature journal I drew some guidelines and wrote out the words “Nature” and “Journal” first lightly with a 2H pencil.

Then I went over with an ink pen which I think is the Faber Castell Artist Pitt pen 0.5mm, but you can use what you have at hand.

Pencil Crayon

I use Faber Castell Polychromas colored pencils.

I chose to color the two greens, because it’s nature.

The word “Nature” is a green called Olive Green Yellowish, and the word “Journal” is Juniper Green.

I did think afterwards I could have used markers, which would have made it a more vibrant cover page, and I may develop it into richer colors later.

Border

Then I turned to the border and decided to draw a 10mm, or half an inch, border around the page.

I just did this freehand and then I colored that in as well in the darker green.

It’s at this point I realized I hadn’t got the word “Perpetual” in, so I drew a couple of light guidelines and wrote the word “Perpetual” at the top.

Now it reads “Perpetual Nature Journal.”

On a side note, I lined up the word “Perpetual” to start in line with the left of the word “Nature” and its top to the “e” at the end of “Nature.”

In this way I believe it’s balanced within the page and aesthetically appealing.

I then went over the word “Perpetual” with a pen as well and finally erased all the pencil lines.

Completed

This is where my cover page is now.

I do envisage adding bits and pieces as I draw more stuff during the month.

I will add more to the front page, but at this point I just wanted to get it sorted out, so I could begin to use my Perpetual Nature Journal.

Reflection

I’ve never had a nature journal before and I think it’s going to be interesting book to work on.

It’s another sketchbook in my growing shelf of sketchbooks, as I’ve come to realize that one sketchbook is not the answer, because you do benefit from having multiple sketchbooks, and I’ll be doing a video about that soon.

I love the idea of the Perpetual-ness of this type of sketch book.

Let me know, in the comments below, if you have a Perpetual Nature Journal and how you lay it out or even whether you keep a Perpetual Journal or a Nature Journal or a Perpetual Anything journal.

I’d love to hear.

Love,

Alison

Aspiring Artist Activity – Create Your Perpetual Nature Journal 🌱

Create your own Perpetual Nature Journal which in time, will become a treasured family keepsake that you can share with your children and grandchildren.

  • Find a blank sketchbook with at least 12 spreads (one for each month of the year.)
  • Label each month lightly in pencil or with a Post-it note.
  • Create some inner cover art with the words, “Perpetual Nature Journal.”
  • Find the current month and draw something found from nature in your garden or local area. This could be flowers, leaves, berries, birds or insects.
  • Continue each month to add a small sketch or painting to your Perpetual Nature Journal.