I bought the classic book on drawing Rendering in Pen and Ink by Arthur L. Guptill some weeks ago. This is one of the exercises. I used one of my nib pens, the Gillott 404. The goal is to learn to control the hand pressure for creating several line widths.
Today I just took one hour, thus there are not important differences with the previous day. The teacher told me I had to open some lights in the trees area. I added too much foliage the past day. Surely I will add some leaves the next day with the fan brush.
And as you can observe I finally painted the house. It does not have so much detail. I only painted some shadows under the roof area and added the windows.
We have decided I will not start a new painting. The teacher told me I would finish the painting today but I preferred to leave the reflections in the water area for the next class. He agreed with me and suggested I could add some lights in the grass area and many other things to improve the painting. The next class will be held in two weeks.
Supposedly I am in the photo. I am not able to find myself. My girlfriend, the photo’s author, says she knows where am I. By the bye, the blue balloons are the pacemakers: very experienced runners that set a pace. Usually to follow a pacemaker is the best way to ruin your race: if he fails in his pace, you will fail, too. Fortunately I chose not to follow my pacemaker today…
The organization did not publish the preliminary results yet so it is my own time (as my clock as myself are very experienced, we could miss a couple of seconds). When crossing the finish line my clock shown 3 hours 45 minutes and 31 seconds. I have met my goal! Yeah! I did it! Great!
I have improved my personal best by 4 minutes and 33 seconds. My previous personal best was on 2009 with the same course. I prefer to forget the 2010 and 2011 marathons. This result ensures a faster recovery.
I am happy. I am very happy indeed! But those 31 seconds…
I run my eight marathon tomorrow. I want to improve my personal record on five minutes. I already wanted to improve it on my last marathon and I was not able to do it. It is easy: I must run each kilometer in 5 minutes and 20 seconds. My training pace is under 5′/km. My pace in the latest 10 km race was under 4’30″/km. My personal record in a half marathon is 1h43′. According to these numbers, training tables and tests, I can do it.
So, what is the problem then? I have to maintain that race pace during 42 kilometers and 195 meters (or 26.2 miles). The initial 10 kilometers are easy. I run between 10 and 14 kilometers in each training at least. Even the first half marathon is easy. The main problem arises around the 30-34, the glycogen starts to run low and your body does not obey your brain. We call it the wall. You try to control that moment, you have an arsenal of things that you can apply, but you never are really ready for it. I have seen Paula Radcliffe cried like a child in the wall. Moreover, your brain starts to generate all kind of negative thoughts and you perceive pain in almost all your body. Your brain is lying to you (or not?).
The shoes, watch and the rest of the equipment is ready. I have also decided where to take the glucose gels. And the most important, we have decided the points in which my girlfriend and me will meet: each one of her smiles during the race refuels my deposits for several kilometers more.
All kind of positive thoughts are welcomed. I will need them.
I was using the small fan brush and one of the synthetic brushes for painting the leaves. Basically I followed the same technique than the earlier days with the fan brush. The rounded brush helps to add variety to the leaves shapes. Ochre and cadmium yellow for the leaves. I was also working on the trunks, I was applying light colors to get some lights.
Probably you remember I wanted to improve the right area between the mountain and the grass. It seemed to me like a wall. I talked to my teacher. I proposed to increase the mountain. He discouraged me from doing it and he suggested to increase the grass level, it was much easier and the result would be equivalent. I did it but the problem was not fixed. Thus, when I was working on the leftmost tree, I extended part of its foliage to cover that area. It is not exactly the Deb’s suggestion but it solves the problem and helps to give the field more depth looking.
I am not sure if I will go to the next class, I have to give my own classes the next week. Maybe I will take just one hour. Only the house and the water reflections remain.
A new attempt with flowers. This time I have returned to my dip pen. I was experimenting how the pressure modifies the stroke width. I have employed the Gillott 404. The lines in the vase could be thinner. For the colors I have used watercolors.
Today I was working in the field behind the grass. Basically I had to use dark colors in the base and light colors, almost white, on top. As usual I am not very happy with the result. It differs from the last day but probably I will modify the area close to the trees.
I was also painting the path and adding some contrast to the grass with the fan brush. Surely you all do not believe it but I like it! The path perspective seems a little weird but usually the paths are not perfectly defined.
Finally I was adding some branches to the trees. I had only painted the branches to the right of the trees. I followed the same technique: a thin synthetic brush and browns with a bit of medium.
I must keep working on the trees area. I have to add the leaves and to make darker the background. Also it is pending the water and its reflections and the house.
More flowers. It is pen and ink this time. I used the fine liners. I copied the sketch from an instruction book by Giovanni Civardi that I bought months ago. I liked the composition. I have preferred to leave the pencil lines that I usually employ for defining the space in the paper. They give an unfinished aspect to the sketch.