Monday, December 24, 2007

Books about Drawing from My Library

Some of my Favorite Books on Drawing:

Because I am a self taught artist, I've attended a few workshops but books on drawing were my main source of learning, and I still refer to them yet today. Over the years I have managed to build quite a library. These are great references whether you are Just beginning to draw or have been drawing for years. When possible, I've included a link to BOOK REVIEWS or PREVIEWS.

Books by authors who's work I personally admire...
Drawing Line to Mike Sibley
Drawing Realistic Textures in J.D. Hillberry
Advanced Drawing Matti Kataja
Beautiful Diane Wright

Good basic drawing knowledge...

The Drawing Sarah Simblet
Pencil Magic, landscape Phil Metzger
Drawing Albany Wieseman
Keys to Bert Dodson
Keys to Drawing with Bert Dodson
The New Drawing on the Right Side of Your Brain Betty Edwards

Drawing the portrait...
Painting and Drawing John Norton
Drawing Expressive Portraits...Paul Leveille
Life Drawing in Douglas R Graves

Drawing People, how to portray the clothed figure Barbara Bradley

More Advanced Books...
Learning to Draw, a Creative Robert Kaupelis
Experimental Robert Kaupelis

A collection of George B. Bridgman's Books...
Bridgman's Complete Guide to Drawing From Life
Heads, Features, and Faces
The Book of a Hundred Hands
Drawing the Draped Figure

As I find new books that are worthy of a place on my list I will update this page
PS...make a "Point"...leave a comment

Saturday, December 22, 2007

Watercolor Books from My Library

Some of my Favorite Books on Watercolor:

This is no doubt my second love...I don't show any of my watercolors but my daughter has them hanging in her home. These are some of my favorite books on the shelf. Since you know me as a pencil artist, I am sure you expect to see books with watercolor paintings exhibiting lots of realistic detail...I think you will be quite surprised. Links provided for REVIEWS.

*These are good for the beginning watercolorist...
Drawing and Painting John Raynes
Watercolor Planning and Alan Oliver
Watercolor..Simple, Fast, and Mel Stabin

*Watercolor Books that I refer to again an again...
Painting People in Alex Powers
The Figure in Mel Stabin
Painting the Unposed Figure in Ballestar and Sanmiguel
Paint Watercolors Filled With Life and Arne Westerman
Making Color Jeanne Dobie
Interpreting the Figure in Don Andrews
Painting Watercolor Portraits That Jan Kunz
Transparent Watercolor Jim Kosvanec
Painting Watercolor Al Stine

*A Collection of Charles Reid's books on Watercolor...
Painting What You Charles Reid
The Natural Way to Charles Reid
Portrait Painting in Charles Reid
Painting Flowers in Charles Reid

I hope you have found the resources listed here helpful and informative.

Friday, December 21, 2007

Blogging for Beginners... what is a blog?

So...What is a Blog anyway?

Darren Rowse of Problogger says it perfectly.."Blogs are usually (but not always) written by one person and are updated regularly. Blogs are often (but not always) written on a particular topic. There are virtually blogs on any topic you can think of. From photography, to spirituality, to recipes, to personal diaries, to hobbies...blogging has as many applications and varieties as you can imagine. Whole blog communities have sprung up around some of these topics...putting people into contact with each other in relationships where they can learn, share ideas, make friends with and even do business with people of similar interests from around the world."

A Blog is a Type of Website:
After I started my blog, I started telling my customers and friends about it. I soon discovered that many didn't have a clue about what I was talking about...they had no idea what a blog was. Darren Rowse, in his article, "What is a Blog", says it like this..."A blog is a type of website that is usually arranged in chronological order from the most recent 'post' (or entry) at the top of the main page to the older entries towards the bottom". Just for reference, you might like to take a look at these blogs. They are each quite different, yet all are aimed at the same audience..."The Artist."

Four Examples of an Artist Blog:
1. My Studio Blog...I am going to start with one of my own Blogs. If you'll recall from the previous article, I have a blog that is integrated into my website and powered by FineArtStudioOnLine. This blog is listed as one of my web site categories on the lower left side of the page. When you click on "My Studio Journal", a blog page opens on my website. On the left side of the page, between the Categories for my website (at the top) and the TOPICS list for my blog (further down the page), you will see an orange RSS feed icon (which we will discuss later), and icons for My Yahoo and Google, (used to add my blog to your favorites)...and then the Archives for my past blog entries. Each blog entry includes at the bottom of the page a list of topics for further reading and an opportunity to leave your comments.

I also have a second blog, the one you are reading in now...called "The Extraordinary Pencil". This blog is powered by Google Blogger and is more full featured than the one provided with my site. In fact, I am still trying to transfer some of my if you see duplication between the two sites, that is the reason.

2. Karen Hargett's Fine Art Journal...Karen's Blog is listed on her website as "My Art Journal". Although this is another example of an integrated blog, this one is powered by Google Blogger...signified by the large orange 'B' found in the upper left hand corner of the page. As you look at other blogs you will see many different styles of "Blogger" blogs, most are free standing. I like the style of Blogger. Karen has kept hers clean and's easy on the eye and user friendly. You see a short biography, a list of her other websites, and an archive of past articles on the left. Her articles for the current month are well presented and easy to read...with each containing an area for your comments.

3. Jana's Journal and Sketch Blog...The art blog of Jana Bouc is a stand-alone blog. It is well organized with everything you're looking for on the right side. You will notice that she includes a short biography, her main website link, recent posts an archives...further down the page you see interesting reads, links (to her other sites), Flicker Photos, and her category list. As with Karen's blog, mentioned above, Jana has kept her blog clean, uncluttered, and concise...showing off her art work to it's best advantage. Her images are nice and large and her articles easy on the eye. Jana's blog is powered by Word Press. I'm not usually fond of the layouts that I see when people use Word Press...however, this is really quite nice, I may have to change my mind.

4. Making A an example of a stand-alone blog by Blogger. Making A Mark is the brain child of Katherine Tyrrell...and is packed with information for artists. Katherine writes about making marks with pastels, pencils, and pen and ink. She discusses the development of both artwork and art careers. You will find interviews with artists and information about resources for both artist and art lovers. This is a jam packed blog...yet I find my self wanting to read it all because everything is relevant to what I am doing and I return again and again, to soak up the information she so freely gives. THIS IS THE SECRET OF A GREAT BLOG...she updates regularly with fresh, pertinent, useful information. In fact, Katherine has a new lens on SQUIDOO called "Blogging for Artists" that I highly recommend.

OK...Let's see how you did...If you checked out the blogs listed above, you should have learned at least two things;
First...that there are basically two types of blogs, website blogs, which I referred to as integrated or dedicated...and stand-alone blogs, which function outside the parameters of your website.
Second...that blogs, although containing the same basics, (current posts, main categories list, and archives), can be expanded using additional specialized category sections and "add ons" them your own personal signature.

NOTE: "So...What's a Blog Anyway?" is the second in a series about basic blogging. I hope you found the information useful, please check back for more about Blogging for Beginners.

Marsha Robinett Fine
My Squidoo...drawing techniques

My Website Hosting Service:
Fine Art Studio Online...Easy Artist Websites
FASO requires No Technical Knowledge and offers
Positively Remarkable 24/7 Artist Support!

*Sign-Up...using this link or use the code (3209) and
extend your FREE TRIAL period to 90 days.

PS...make a "Point" a comment

Thursday, December 20, 2007

Blogging for Beginners... knowledge is power

Lack of Knowledge: equals lack of direction...
I am new to blogging myself, and I will be the first to admit that I began blogging without knowing nearly enough . The one thing that I did do was to look at some of the different blogs that other artists were using. I was more interested in the general layout of the page, what information they included on their page besides their main article, and how easy it was to read...I didn't bother to learn how a blog functioned, and didn't give a lot of thought to what I wanted to accomplish with my blog except that I wanted to promote my art.

What I learned was that I had two options...
I could use the Blog provided with my website or sign up and develop on my own one of the many "free standing blogs" that are out there such as Blogger and Wordpress. My first option...the blog provided with my site was still being developed and didn't offer all the options that the "free standing" blogs did...but I was familiar with the layout and I understood how to work with the pages. It complimented my site and my experience with the Technical Support Team had been fantastic. My second option...was to use one of the stand alone blogs...for me this was a frightening thought and I knew it was more than I was equipped to handle on my own. Since I know just enough about computers and the internet to cause permanent damage, I decided to use the integrated blog provided by my web hosting service, FineArtStudioOnLine. Their Technical Support Team was invaluable...but my blog still came close to failure because I did not properly researched the complete picture, nor had I set any goals. I ashamed to admit that I didn't even know that my blog entries would appear in reverse chronological order!

My Blogging History...
This is not something I am proud of...but it is out there for all to see, so I may as well admit to it and move on with the dedication and promise to do better! I started my blog in April of 2007 and made entries monthly through July. By July I was in the middle of my art fair season (my excuse) and because I had no goals for my blog (my reason) it simply dropped to the bottom of my priority list. I finished my 2007 show season with renewed enthusiasm and commitment for My Blog. I'm back and I'm ready to stay!

Knowledge is Power...
With my show season finished, I spent the next few weeks researching, researching, and doing more researching! According to Sir Francis Bacon..."knowledge is power." My research gave me knowledge, which gave me direction, which did indeed give me a since of power. I no longer felt incompetent...I knew what I wanted to say, (at least most of the time), I knew what I needed to do, and I had a plan. I started to seriously blog again in November 2007.

I am sharing this research knowledge with you, in the hopes that by alleviating some of your will also have the knowledge and confidence to enter this new fast growing blogging hemisphere. it is fun, it is exciting, and it makes you grow personally and professionally.

I hope you will check back to read additional articles..."Happy Blogging"

Marsha Robinett Fine
My Squidoo...drawing techniques

My Website Hosting Service:
Fine Art Studio Online...Easy Artist Websites
FASO requires No Technical Knowledge and offers
Positively Remarkable 24/7 Artist Support!

*Sign-Up...using this link or use the code (3209) and
extend your FREE TRIAL period to 90 days.

PS...make a "Point"...leave a comment

Saturday, December 8, 2007

Announcing 2008 Literary Contest Winners

The Extraordinary Pencil
"Sponsors High School Literary Contest"

I am pleased to announce the winners of "The Second Annual High School Literary Contest". It is always fascinating to see which pieces of art are chosen by the students and learn why they were inspired by the piece. As I have said before, there are two stories to be told...the one that inspired me, the artist, and the one that inspires the viewer.

First Place: Kelsey Dallas $50.00
Kelsey is a Senior at Lincoln Community High School and enjoys participating in soccer, tennis, and band...she is also a member of The National Honor Society, French Club, Fine Arts Club, and Scholastic Bowl. Kelsey is also active in her community as a member of the First Presbyterian Youth Group, LAMS, Community Orchestra, and the local staff of Dairy Queen. Kelsey was named the September Senior Student of the Month and was recently recognized as Scholar-Athlete of the Week by the Springfield State Journal Register. Kelsey hopes to someday be a writer after majoring in English in college.

Kelsey chose "Game, Set, Match" as the subject...because it related to her athletic life this fall. To quote Kelsey, "I was the number one player on the varsity tennis team and came just one set away from making it to state. By writing about this particular drawing I was able to heal emotionally after the heartbreaking loss. Tennis will always be beautiful to me no matter what my win/loss record is."

Second Place: Amanda Podbelsek $30.00
Amanda is a Senior at Lincoln Community High School and participates in girls tennis and softball...she is also a member of Math Club, National Honor society, Fellowship of Christian Athletes, and L.E.A.F. Club. After her completion of the fall tennis season, she received recognition as part of the All-Academic Conference Award. Amanda also holds the record for the most steals in a season for the high school softball program.

Amanda chose "Cracked on Black" as her of my personal favorites. To quote Amanda, "I was immediately draw to the drawing because of the different textures and the dimension created by the tones of charcoal. When I first viewed the drawing, it actually made me feel calm and peaceful. However, I delved into the state of the egg yolk emerging into a new world and immediately made the connection to a Senior emerging into the world of adulthood."

Third Place: Matthew Merreighn $20.00
Matthew is a Junior at Lincoln Community High School and is a member of the Creative Writing Club. He enjoys writing, solving puzzles, reading, TV, and video games. Matthew will be graduating high school next year and is still undecided about his plans for college.

Matthew chose "Midnight Rose" as his subject...because he likes roses. To quote Matthew, "Midnight Rose was my favorite of your drawings. People usually like roses for their color, and seeing a gray one was unusual, I found this interesting."

I want to thank all who took time to enter the contest. I enjoyed reading all your poems and descriptive essays...the quality of the entries simply gets better each year...we will definitely do this again.

Kelsey's poem, and the descriptive essays of Amanda and Matthew will be published in their entirety next month. Be sure to check back, I think you will enjoy reading them,

Congratulations To The Winners,
Marsha Robinett

PS...make a "Point"...leave a comment

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