Sunday, August 31, 2014

Fat Cat Lavender Farm

This was my result from the other day Judi and her friends and I sketched in the Sequim valley.  The ducks kept passing back and forth, giving us a sideways glance, wondering what the heck we were doing.  Maybe they'd never seen a sketcher before, and I had never seen a duck with a pompadour.  They were Peking and Mallard mix, and the one white one had a white puff ball of feathers on it's head (sorry, I added it after I scanned this image).  Strange, alien bird!  Judi had started quacking at them, and they each tilted their heads, like dogs, to listen.  After awhile, when I was done with the swing, Vicki came and sat in it.  I wish she'd done so earlier, as it would've been great to sketch a seated figure in the chair!  

When I sat to begin sketching, I decided that no matter what I did, that ancient, twisted, writhing apple tree had to be pivotal for the scene!  Judi is the silhouette under the tree.

This sketch was done with Daniel Smith watercolors in a travel palette, Staedtler black Pigment Liners, with a touch of Derwent Inktense watersoluble colored pencil details, on a watercolor Moleskine.  And some sweat.  

Thursday, August 28, 2014

Railroad Bridge Park Outing

A dear new friend and fellow Sketchbook Skool student, Judi Nyerges, spent some time with her fellow painter friends here in Sequim, last weekend.  They popped over from Whidbey Island, and stayed at the John Wayne Marina for a few days, a particularly gorgeous spot on Sequim Bay.  They were SO gracious as to invite me a couple of those days to hang out with them, all of us putting on to paper (or canvas) our impressions of some of the scenery this area offers.  It takes out-of-town artists, sometimes, for me to really see the place Jim and I call home! 

This is an hour's worth of my efforts of Dungeness River (well, not counting the time I worked on it at home), at Railroad Bridge Park.

Thank you Judi, Vicki and Chris, for a wonderful weekend!

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Not With Hands

The more I play with this wonderful kraft paper (stonehenge), the more I am in love with it.  Such a far cry from the paper bag material we used to wrap postal packages in, back when I was a kid!  I can even watercolor on this, though it does wrinkle a little bit.

This is another homework assignment for Liz Steel's klass in the second semester of Sketchbook Skool.  An object around the house that has meaning.  Most of the students were sketching and painting family heirloom china teacups, but as the ones my mom had disappeared decades ago before I could even inherit one, I used my stoneware sculpture.  This is titled "Not With Hands", as there is no door handle.   She is one of the few sculptures I hadn't sold in the mid-'90s, and is precious to me as a result.  She's become one of the family, now, and stands on the island in our kitchen, all 20 inches of her.

The sketch is done with watercolor, with some white gouache as an "opaquing" agent, mixed in.  Details were done with a Staedtler Pigment liner (black), and Inktense Watersoluble pencils.

Friday, August 8, 2014

Souvenirs Of Earth

This week of Sketchbook Skool has been especially taxing, but in a good way.  Our teacher, Andrea Joseph, is an amazing illustrator, and I just HAD to buy her book.  Truly something I have to keep looking at frequently.  Maybe once or twice a day.  This week she has pushed us to do intensive sketching with BIC pens, or any ball point pen, or whatever combo of implements we have on hand.  Our last assignment with her was to sketch a collection of objects we might have in the house.  I wandered around our place for a couple days, looking at all the things that might work for that: Jim's little cabinet full of wine corks, wine stoppers, etc., wine glasses, antique silver spoons, what have ya. Beautiful and interesting things. 

I got to thinking about what was important to me, and what I'd like to immortalize.  I know, it doesn't really matter, I'm making a big deal out of it.  Maybe just toss some pasta on a table and grab my pen, right? But knowing how I love to have a little bit of emotional or inspirational connection with my drawings, I picked up various little stones, shells and bits of the natural world that climb into my pockets and come home with me from time to time.  Some have been old friends for decades.  Others, like the peacock feather, remind me of our cat family so recently gone from our lives.  They all looked like what I would take back home with me from this planet as souvenirs.  Or "souvenenirs" as the Other Worldly version of myself misspelled!  

I didn't think I could do the luminous colors and textural surfaces on these justice with BIC pens, I seem to be pretty horrible at using those, and need more practice!  I used a beautiful array of colored pencils Jim's deceased wife had left behind.  Stroke by stroke, the whole thing took maybe four hours.  The journal I sketched this in is an old hand bound journal someone gave me years ago, with ivory-colored paper.  Not good for water media, but really nice for pencil sketching.  There is some pen work in it, too, but not much, sadly.