Tuesday, March 31, 2009

sketching where I've never been

On Saturday I took a short "travel sketching" class at the local museum. Tips and pointers for what to take, what to look for, ways to capture the scene.

Then the teacher showed us slides from her various trips and gave us 2 to 5 min. limits for capturing the view.

These are two I did from her shots in Venice. We also drew people on a Maine beach, scenes from Hawaii, and boats of all sizes.

I drew in a 5.5 x 4 sketchbook with a .7 mm Staedtler. Practicing for a summer trip to England!

Sunday, March 29, 2009

spring skies

Those flying things may be approaching black flies, the horrible accompaniment to long-awaited spring in New England.

I'm watching Art City 1, 2 and 3, from Netflix--documentary/interviews of current artists working all around the US. It's inspiring as I doodle, to hear and see artists creating and talking about their work.

Friday, March 27, 2009


A wet sketch deposited smudges on this page. I liked the shape, so added some ink.

Dark images from the backside showed through the scan. So I cut around the shape and used the digital paintbucket to pick up and add some pale green as filler for the rectangle. The pink is actually showing through from red paint on the reverse side.

Process described so you don't think any of this was (gasp) planned.

W/c and ink on Superaquabee deluxe.

Thursday, March 26, 2009

longing for summer warmth

On Monday the high was still only in the 20s, with a chill wind. So a glowing orange square is a joy to create. These colors are like the glowing fire in my woodstove.

Where's spring? It even snowed a teeny bit on Sunday!

W/c on Aquabee.

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

seeing what emerges

Ignore the bad bird anatomy. I painted a background, then saw these shapes. I only darkened the smaller bird's form and that weird big wing.

W/c and pencil on Aquabee Superdeluxe.

Monday, March 23, 2009

brush marks

A full page of brush marks, enlarged, cropped, enlarged, cropped again.

Digital zoom makes a page of idle marks more interesting.

W/c on Aquabee.

Saturday, March 21, 2009

mere mark making

I love this term markmaking that artists use. It legitimizes random play that sometime crops to a piece I like.

Watercolor smears and Tom Bow marker on Super Aquabee Deluxe.

Friday, March 20, 2009

more blue green

The cat is real. Her surroundings are color, shape and texture play.

W/c on 90# Strathmore.

Thursday, March 19, 2009

cool oils

A palette knife in the hand of a beginner: erratic, unpredictable, and great for color play.

On gessoed paper. I'm not ready to commit to board or canvas yet.

Monday, March 16, 2009

bear back

An angle of the model you've not seen.

W/c on 11x14 paper, so this is a center scan of the larger piece. You're not missing anything.

Sunday, March 15, 2009

knifed profile

I don't think oils will pull me away from the spontaneity and flow of watercolors, but the intense hues (not here, but in yesterday's post) are hypnotic.

On gessoed paper.

Friday, March 13, 2009

color blocks

Playing with oils with a palette knife shows me what all the oil painters have been talking about. It's like spreading frosting.

Glorious and messy fun.

I cropped and scaled up a top edge block to show the strokes more clearly. Via Gimp on my computer, the closeups of the original scan are fascinating.

On gessoed 90# paper.

Thursday, March 12, 2009

practicing the knife

I make colorful grounds, then try to put something distinctive on top. Palette knife practice with black oil paint is one new exercise.

w/c on 90# paper, then oil.

Wednesday, March 11, 2009


Abstracts, blocks, random play. After I scanned it, Stonehenge came to mind.

W/c and colored pencil on 90# paper.

Monday, March 09, 2009

on hold

I drew most of this guy, a typographer whose picture is in a book on fonts, while waiting on the phone.

Drawing makes being on endless hold more productive!

Pencil on bond paper.

Sunday, March 08, 2009

patient model

Practicing fabric folds, with a model who endures all my setups.

Pencil, then w/c on Canson drawing paper.

Saturday, March 07, 2009

mini bunny

He's back, smaller than his real size.

I liked how his expression turned out. This one needs a caption--what's he saying?

Brush drawing with w/c and graphite added.

Thursday, March 05, 2009


I sat on the floor and drew quickly to catch Fen's expression.

On a scrap of drawing paper.

Wednesday, March 04, 2009

pig bank

I was given this as a child by a cousin of my Mother. He'd bought it in South America when he was there looking for new species of grasses. He found one and it was named after him.

I have no clue now what his name was, but I was thrilled he gave me this little bank.

W/c on 140# Arches.

Tuesday, March 03, 2009

more fabric practice

I have to practice drawing fabric just because it's so boring to me.

In mindfulness practice, we say, if something is boring, look at it more closely. If it's still boring, look at it even more closely. See the fine details, see the implications, causes, effects. Really look.

I think that's working just a little bit for me. At least I'm drawing what's actually there in the fabric.

Before, my eyes just glazed over and I scribbled in something like folds and layers.

Pencil on Canson drawing paper. Color added to add interest :-)

Sunday, March 01, 2009

Happy March!

I've been skimming some books about the 1950s and 1960s wave of Abstract Expressionists. This might be in that style.

Or it might be a splash of "thank God we're past February and there's hope for spring!"

W/c on Strathmore Aquarious II paper.