Betty Locke Nov 22 & 23, 2008

I took another two day workshop taught by Betty Locke and wasn't disappointed. Each class I've taken with her gets better and better. This one was called "Evoking the Muse". All types of exercises that get the brain working in a creative way.

The artwork on this page are not considered finished pieces, only things created during the 2 day class.

Created: November 29, 2008



One of the exercises was using a very flat chisel edged brush. It's very important that it comes to a totally flat edge or your shapes will not be very nice. By manipulating the angle and direction of the brush creating some basic patterns as below we created this snowflake and the design in the circle.

   Basic brush strokes

I must admit I'm not happy with my circle design, especially after seeing some of the other designs created.

 exercise in circle

Another exercises was the basic bird body shape done in pencil, then character added to it with feathers and clumpy shoes etc. A name was monolined into the body. Fun

We were given the quote

"If it is to be it is up to me"

and said do something with it in black ink and to have a focal point. Well it didn't speak to me. So I plunked a 5.5 x 3.75 box smack in the middle of my 14 x 17 pad and started the graphic design. Surprisingly enough I like the results and my focal point is the design itself in the center of the page...

This was a fun one. Never heard the word "boustrophedon" before, but what it basically means is an ancient method of writing in which the rows alternate in direction from right to left and from left to right.

So the exercise was to write this word in a 3" column using various pen widths and black ink. You can notice my little "d" that I added since I left it out by accident. Big Grin. Almost left out the "u" in the second portion...

Love this one. We started out with our basic 14 x 17 pad and black ink. Told to put an "o" in the middle just below the center in any hand or size we wanted. Then told to put an "r" on the extreme right, again any type and size. Then an "i" on the left and then "r" next to the "o". Then we were given the rest of the word and told to fit it in... and then add the quote "don't be the best organizer be the best". I don't think we were allowed to decorate our "improvisor" but I did anyway.

Not happy with either of these either. We had to use a pencil and write the quote "the owl of sleep calls to you from his tree of dreams". This is another one that didn't speak to me. The first pic is my first attempt at it. I used the pencil both upright and on a totally horizontal angle as well as adding some shading. The second pic, starts getting a little looser with the doodling type of lettering. It might have more potential.

 For this exercise I'm not including a pic, because I really didn't like what I did.

We used the whole 14 x 17" pad. Drawing pencil lines 1/2" apart first on the horizontal. Told to write our Roman alphabet in proportion to the height. First row of letters starts from the top to the bottom of the page (so you could only fit about 5 letters across the page). Second row of continued letters starts one row down and ends one row up from the bottom and across the page. Third row and continue till you get to the last 1/2" row, continuing the letters one row down from the previous row and ending one row up from the previous row.

The work on your paper in the vertical, putting 1/2" pencil lines and working your letters across the page as above, starting the first row of letters at the top of the page and ending it at the bottom of the page and working across your paper. Second row starts one row down and ends one row up across your paper. So you end up with a concentrated pencil design working towards the center of your page.

 After the background was completed, you wer asked to write a quote in black ink in your best writing. There was a choice of 3 quotes, and I choose "seven zebras just prowl and vie for quick hot matings"

It has potential and one of the ladies (Lindley) did her background working towards the bottom edge rather than towards the center, which looked sooo good. Another lady (Ann) did her page towards the center like the rest of us, but then did focal words using a ruling pen that just popped of the page. Really well done.


Number cards: we were told to divide our card front (8.5 x 5.5) into rectangular and square shapes and choose a number (any number) and insert it in various ways into each block, decorating and coloring as desired. Boy there were some awesome number cards done. I left that bottom left square empty to put a quote or something in there later when I knew who I would give this card to. I could always give it to myself next year... Big Grin. When I was done, Betty gave me the challenge to do one in black and white, with no "texture". Definite challenge, so the one on the right is my attempt so far. Don't know if I'll ever finish it, but probably will one day. I like the start of it.


This exercise was an on going two day job. We cut 4 pieces of good paper (I used Arches Text Wove) into 6" squares.

1) first part was to sponge on some color randomly in a neutral tone and using the same colors on each square.

2) Split the paper with a diagonal line, not from corner to corner in black ink.

3) Then do some calligraphic lettering, monoline or whatever in black ink.

4) then we were given some architectural/graphic artwork and had to choose a design or portion as our drawing exercise. Practice it so we could repeat it on our squares in pencil. Then draw and enhance sections of it.

5) Then we cut out a stencil of all or a portion of our design from a clear plastic yogurt top and sponged using the same or similar paints from the original sponging.

6) we could add more lettering or more linear lines like curves etc in black ink.

7) The do a calligraphic letter as a focal item in black ink. I choose the split Uncial "Q" for all four squares (could have chosen different letters) since it mimicked my flourish ironwork designs.

8) Last we were told to put some colored brushstroke squares anywhere on the design.

I don't think I left out any steps, but there were a lot of them, so who knows...

See larger pics of the squares below.


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