Tuesday, September 30, 2008


A wash of colors and a bit of ink, just makes me happy.

W/c and Faber Castel brush pen on Moleskine w/c paper--cropped.

Monday, September 29, 2008

old excellent sketchpaper

I found an old Mead sketchpad, marked $1.75, that has paper as heavy as today's Aquabee Superdeluxe paper. Not as heavily sized, but it took layered w/c really well!

Just an indication of how thin today's "sketch" paper is for much higher cost.

$1.75 for 50 sheets of 12x9. Sigh. Wonder what year that was?

Sunday, September 28, 2008

on the magic carpet

Chaucer is sailing away on his magic carpet here.

The process was to practice w/c glazing, and to create bloom. Glazing takes waiting and going back to the piece, which I usually avoid doing.

But when I painted the green around the rug fringe (I did the background last, which was not a good thing), I saw the surreal floating effect and kept it.

If only we could develop magic-transporter rugs. Think of the fun and convenience!

W/c on

Saturday, September 27, 2008

a flea market find

An excellent brass music stand for $20. I'll be using it as a simple easel for sketching while standing.

Charcoal drawing, then w/c, on 140# Arches.

Friday, September 26, 2008

another innocent victim . . .

. . . of a drive-by drawing.

I didn't do her face right, but it's a first attempt. She held really still though, much better than cats or husbands!

Fountain pen inked over the original light pencil sketch, on Superaquabee Deluxe.

Thursday, September 25, 2008

a stock image

This cat has become one now. After I've drawn something several times and can do it from memory, I use it for those times I want to play with new art supplies or have minutes to fill while waiting, but not enough to do a new scene.

In this case I didn't do a pencil/pen pre-drawing. It was practice drawing from memory with a brush, direct sketching with w/c.

Layering doesn't work too well on the Aquabee Superdeluxe. It takes a couple light washes, but then the surface starts to break. But this isn't necessarily a subject I'd commit to better paper.

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

a cat who holds still

When the real thing just gets too frustrating, I can turn to a nice wooden cat for practice.

Copic brush multiliner and w/c on Aquabee Superdeluxe.

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

unsteady on his feet

This stuffed dinosaur is nose-heavy. But I didn't reveal that in his portrait.

4B pencil on Superaquabee.

Monday, September 22, 2008

chiminea redux

Another attempt at this model. With background and penciled shadow. An ink shadow just seemed impossibly harsh.

Fiber tip on Superaquabee

Sunday, September 21, 2008

capturing the town

So many great sketchers/bloggers do cityscapes. I'm always fascinated and impressed. I want to get better at capturing those building/car moments we all pass through.

So many straight lines! Windows! Doors! Wheels! Agh! And to get it down in 10 minutes!

But expanding my themes is a good thing.

Pencil on Aquabee Superdeluxe, w/c added later.

Saturday, September 20, 2008

trying layers

Glazing in watercolors takes a lot of waiting and careful color mixing. I'm giving it a try.

Going back to layer on reds and then lift highlights--gee, that's what the real painters do!

Not sure I'm cut out for it . . .

W/c on Aquabee Superdeluxe.

Friday, September 19, 2008

making it mine

On the cover of the Aquabee sketchbook--gesso with blue acrylic added, then sketching and painting on top.

I have to make the covers of my sketchbooks more interesting than corporate logos and company colors.

Gesso, acrylic, fibertip and w/c.

Thursday, September 18, 2008

quick and flowery

Three sketches in 30 minutes fills 3 days of posting. Efficient practice, I'd say.

Especially when I can set them up for pre-posting while I'm out looking for new subjects.

Tech pen on Superaquabee.

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

a nice stationary chair

So much easier without people in them!

But I did the floorboards from memory, and they're all wrong.

Tech pen on Superaquabee.

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

sketching people in action

I'm practicing first drawing all the non-moving parts of the person I'm observing, then trying to catch and remember the moving face and arms, and make it look not TOO awful.

Practicing, merely!

Tech pen on Superaquabee.

Monday, September 15, 2008

smears, brush and digital

I did some streaks and smears, wet on wet, then some digital warping.

After awhile, even I won't remember what the changes were. But I appreciate the undo element of the process.

Sunday, September 14, 2008

mainly tortillon

Smuding the 8B pencil makes a great way to shade cat stripes.

On Strathmore drawing paper.

Saturday, September 13, 2008

always near, but nearly always sleeping

Wherever I am in the house, there's a sleeping cat. He transports through space to each location, often without being visible in the time/space continuum between.

4B pencil that turned into a w/c sketch when I needed color. On Raffine sketch paper, which is gorgeous heavyweight stuff.

Friday, September 12, 2008

smudgy jumble

Sometimes I just have to draw, whatever is closest, with whatever paper and media is closest.

Doesn't mean it turns out at all, it just relieves the drawing pressure.

Drawing can be an addiction.

4B pencil on Aquabee Superdeluxe. No eraser nearby. That might have helped.

Thursday, September 11, 2008

making a path through the chaos

W/c and tech pen on 140# Arches.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

top side

Standing over Chaucer as he ate, capturing an aerial perspective.

Fountain pen and w/c on Superaquabee.

Tuesday, September 09, 2008

9 houses

I started doodling houses and it turned into this.

W/c on Strathmore drawing paper.

Monday, September 08, 2008

nothing obvious

Enough representational stuff, time for an abstract!

W/c and w/c pencil on Moleskine w/c paper.

Sunday, September 07, 2008

the comfy chair

The best tv chair at my friend's cottage. It has broad arms for drinks and drawing supplies, lots of afghans and pillows to arrange for comfort, and a lovely, shlumpy feel.

W/c on Aquabee Superdeluxe

Saturday, September 06, 2008

8B pencil and tortillon

I've been skimming through Fast Sketching Techniques by David Rankin. He recommends using a 9B pencil and a smudging stump (the hard rolled tortillons) to have a range of values and quick application.

As a professionally trained artist, he had to work to relax into, and accept, fast, wonky sketching. Funny to think how he teaches it now, when most of us are trying to go the other direction!

I like the method, 2 simple things to carry that provide a large range of values with a painterly feel, no crosshatching.

And as Rankin says, using the tortillon to add values makes the technique something like a dry, single-hue watercolor sketch.

P.S. I used 8B graphite instead of 9B. 9B is relatively difficult to find!

Friday, September 05, 2008

cat and chair

Two of my regular themes.

W/c on journal paper.

Thursday, September 04, 2008

towel rack

A convenient in-room towel storage and rack for that down-the-hall bathroom. I did just a partial coloring of the wall, not sure that worked.

Tech pen and w/c on SuperAquabee Deluxe paper.

Wednesday, September 03, 2008

more wicker

I found another cool wicker chair at a place I stayed in Maine. This chair was the most gorgeous lavendar wicker, didn't look painted. And the cushions were deep maroon.

I'm no longer intimidated by all those little wickers crisscrossing in front of my eyes. Progress!

Pencil on SuperAquabee.

Tuesday, September 02, 2008

granite everywhere

An attempt at a close-up of one of the millions of rockwalls everywhere in New England. This one happens to be in Maine--can't you tell?

A mere impression of moss and lichen-discolored boulders. But fun to try to catch all the planes and shadows.

Done while sitting on the wall, juggling w/c pens. (I always say that, it's exactly what it feels like.) There's some graphite and w/c pencil in there, too.

Monday, September 01, 2008

contours of little treasures

Just the outlines, of fish in the bathroom. They sit, rather than swim.

Tech pen on pre-painted background, SuperAquabee.