Wednesday, October 31, 2012

shoe architecture

What a structure (and technology) on sturdy walking shoes now. Men get this, women get tiny stilt-points.

Well, not me. Haven't worn those in years and glad not to.

Pencil on the Bee Co-Mo sketch paper.

Monday, October 29, 2012

the many arching leaves

of a huge clivia. They have gorgeous big orange flowers.

Probably the most detailed leaved thing I've ever drawn, to actually come close to accurate leaf placement.

Pencil on Strathmore drawing paper.

Sunday, October 28, 2012

all 6B, sketching from a photo

Practicing, always practicing.

6B pencil on Strathmore drawing paper, but somehow it scanned much darker.

Saturday, October 27, 2012

the quilt and the reader

The stitching on the quilt called me to draw the scene.

Pencil in the Paperblanks journal.

Thursday, October 25, 2012

books on the bookprint chair

There are artists who make 3D drawings where the object rises off the page.

That would be a good thing to do here, where the books would emerge from the book-themed upholstery.

I just drew the moment.

Pencil in the Paperblanks journal.

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

always take a sketchbook

Mark Adams, Traveler-Cartographer with the National Park Service, quoted in an interview on

What is the one thing you never travel without, and why?

A sketchbook. Whenever I open the sketchbook I know I belong exactly where I am at that moment. My intuition is a perfect guide and I am rooted to the ground.

Not only does the movement of the pencil connect me to the place, the act of drawing brings local people to me through some wordless sense of shared interest and knowledge. I feel like the attention I pay through drawing is something I can give to the place.

More than once, drawing in a marketplace, as I broadened my focus I became gradually aware of a crowd -- glancing behind me, a gathering of people exhale and chatter, pointing at the page. We all laugh and vendors and cops lean over to see how I have treated them. Rickshaw drivers, shoeshine children, and monks sit down next to me.

I usually try to get them to draw or to just sign their names on my page. Chanting monks in a temple craned their necks to see my book. Schoolgirls at an Imperial palace in Kyoto wrote the characters of their names and drew a cartoon Snoopy.

What ends up on the page comes directly from the experience and is seen directly -- unlike a photo. Precision and accuracy are beside the point -- it's a first-hand account.

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Back to the Bee Paper

I'm really liking this Bee Paper, Co-Mo Sketch pad. The only "sketch"-labeled paper I've tried that is heavy (80#)and has a great texture for graphite.

Double sizing, too, so water works. Something about the sizing makes the graphite really stick and blend.

This company also makes the Aquabee SuperDeluxe sketchbooks. I'm going back to these as "always satisfying" standbys. (No affiliation with Bee Paper, just a happy customer).

I'd like it if they put this paper in something other than spiralbound, but the paper is worth it to accept the spiral. Sometimes I take the spiral out and put in a simpler plastic partial coil. Always fiddling with my art supplies!

2B graphite.

Sunday, October 21, 2012

most of the cat

I couldn't indicate the light on the back without making him look half-toned.

Oh, well, always practicing.

Cropped to improve the composition.

Vine charcoal on Strathmore pastel paper.

Saturday, October 20, 2012

Crayola colored twistup pencils

These pencils are actually very thin wax crayons (and *are* actually somewhat erasable with the special eraser).

I did a tiny closeup with the dark gray and really liked how the crayon handled. Most of the colors are relatively light, though, and you can't buy them individually.

On Strathmore drawing paper.

Friday, October 19, 2012

J. leaning on the chairback

I've been going to life drawing 2-3 times a week. We have 3-hour one-pose sessions (in 20-min. segments) because nearly everyone paints an oil in that time.

That's a total luxury and I've learned to slow down, or change positions to get a different angle for my drawings.

And I'm going to start painting too, just to take advantage of this special setup while it is still going. A rare opportunity to learn from the painters around me.

Pencil on Strathmore drawing paper.

Thursday, October 18, 2012

M. head

M is a storyteller and commenter on life. Sometimes we need to tell her to stop talking so we can draw her face in a still position.

Charcoal on Strathmore drawing paper..

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Anger and dejection, portrayed

J. really did have this expression, though it was not apparent that's how she felt.

When life models totally relax into the pose, muscles settle with gravity.

Pencil on Strathmore drawing paper.

Monday, October 15, 2012

R. in vine charcoal

Soft charcoal on mi-teintes paper. The hand is not what it should be.

Sunday, October 14, 2012

Co-Mo sketch paper, by Bee Paper Co.

This paper is really nice, 80# with good tooth and takes light water well.

Here, a bag on a chair, with a Papermate Profile 1.0 mm retractable ballpoint--the line it makes is more like a .7mm pen.

Saturday, October 13, 2012

a really old phone

No, not an antique, quite, maybe just vintage. But how long has it been since you've seen a heavy black touchtone phone on an office desk?

Duly noted and recorded!

Pencil in the PaperBlanks journal.

Thursday, October 11, 2012

cat yoga

This was such a strange position, I stood over Chaucer to draw it quickly before he moved.

That upturned underpaw is unique to him, and in case, was such a great counterbalance to the outstretched upper leg.

I drew this yesterday, and last night, he did it again. A new favorite sleeping position.

Pencil in the PaperBlanks journal.

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

The soldier from Far Pavilions

I read the novel by M.M. Kaye years ago, then found the DVDs on Netflix--a movie made long ago, too.

Paused so I could draw the main male character, whose name I don't remember anymore.

Charcoal pencil in the Hand Book artist journal.

Tuesday, October 09, 2012

G with a yellow earring

In vine and willow charcoal. Transportation home smeared it a teense, but practice was the point.

On Strathmore drawing paper, which is not great for charcoal. The paper gave up holding on to the charcoal so I had to quit sooner than I'd like.

Paper makes SUCH a difference, whatever the medium is.

Sunday, October 07, 2012

Saturday, October 06, 2012

T in simulated meditation

A modern Buddha, who can hold really still for drawing.

Pencil on Strathmore drawing paper.

Friday, October 05, 2012

make this a t-shirt

Boo Boo, without his arm sling.

Red pen in the Hand Book artist journal.

Wednesday, October 03, 2012

a blurry giraffe

I think he's leaning a bit, too. But still cute.

Charcoal in a Hand Book artist's journal.

Tuesday, October 02, 2012

unusual fall leaf

In the 35+ years we've lived in New England, this is one of the most unusual combination of colors in a fall leaf.

River deltas come to mind, and other branching found in nature.

Bright red maple leaves are beginning to show up on the street.