Tuesday, May 30, 2017

Practicing for Vacation

Before I left on a trip to the U.S. Virgin Islands this past winter, I visited a salt water fish tank in a building near where I work and watched the fish.

Drawing fish in motion is hard.

The only thing that makes it even sort of possible for me is the fact that most fish tend to repetitive movements.  They swim in a pattern.  So if you wait long enough, they'll return--even if it's just for a second--to the same position and you can nab the next detail for your drawing.

You'll see that in both of these pages below, I was studying the fish.  How they are put together, proportions, color patterns.

It made me very excited about my upcoming snorkeling trip!

Thursday, May 25, 2017

Neighbor Chickens

My next door neighbors have chickens and have invited me over to sketch them whenever I like.  And really, I should go more often.

Anyhow, one cold winter day, I went over to the coop with just a black pen.  My goal was first to watch them for a while, and then to scribble some fast and loose sketches of the birds.

You can see, in the center chicken of the second page especially, me using my pen to explore the hens' features.  How does the beak fit under the eye?  What does it look like at slightly different angles? What are the proportions?

I find chickens really hard to draw!  I think I know what they look like, and that idea seems to get in my way.  They really are much more complicated than I think they are!

Such a great way to look more closely and get to know my feathery neighbors.

Tuesday, May 23, 2017

Dogs in a Winter Blueberry Field

I wanted to try something in crayon.  I haven't played in crayon in a while.

I did the black lines, loosely, standing in place at the edge of the field while my Dutch Shepherds, Nik and Nora, ran around with their balls.

I added color when I got back to the house.

I like the energy of these scribbles.  The blueberry bushes really are a sort of purpley-wine color in the winter, against the blue-green background of the evergreens that line the field.

Thursday, May 18, 2017

Sketches from the Women's March Part Two

A few more sketches I did while participating in a solidarity march in January, 2017.

I really enjoyed the walking and drawing!  I wasn't sure I could do it, but I did.

Color and stamping added later.

Tuesday, May 16, 2017

Sketches from the Women's March Part One

I couldn't get to Washington DC for the women's march in January, 2017, but I attended a solidarity march from Douglas to Saugatuck, Michigan.

Here are a few of my sketches--and yes!  I was drawing and marching and talking at the same time!  All of these were done on the spot.

That was a first for me and really fun.  I love looking at the event reportage sketches of other artists (especially Veronica Lawlor), so it was fun to give it a whirl.

Thursday, May 11, 2017

More Color Tests

Here are there results of a few more color tests.

This first one, actually, is a digitally matted and framed version of the green sheet I made and included in my last post.  I did it turned horizontally, with the paint running down the page.

I turned in by accident and realized how much it looked like a stormy Lake Michigan!

Next, I took a bunch of colors and started playing with them in combinations.  Because I was anticipating a trip to a place with a distinctly tropical environment, and because I wanted to limit my palette, and I wanted the most versatile combinations of red, blues, yellows, and pink that I could get.  

This next one also started out as a was test, but I turned it into a landscape, just for fun.  

More color combo tests...

On each of the last three pages I tested one color of green paint (listed near the top) in combination with a bunch of other colors I thought I might take.  I really only wanted to take one green.... so which was the most versatile?

Though this might look tedious, I actually found it quite pleasurable to just push paint around and watch what happened.   I learned a lot about my paints!

Tuesday, May 9, 2017

Color Tests Before Travel

I haven't done any color swatches with my watercolors in a year, or more.

I have a book I keep and I add a swatch into it every time I get a new pigment.  But that's not quite the same as getting them all out and painting them side by side all at once.

Here are the results of some watercolor tests I did, as I prepared to go on a vacation last winter to the U.S. Virgin Islands.

I did them by color so I could see things side by side and think about which ones I wanted to take along.

I didn't think the final sheets would wind up being so darned pretty!

Thursday, May 4, 2017

View at Breakfast

Sitting at the table eating a few slices of bacon....

Nice view for me.

Hattie (the cat) reports her view would have been enhanced by the taste of some bacon!

Tuesday, May 2, 2017

Never Bored with a Sketchbook

I always tell folks at my workshops that if you take up a sketching habit you'll never be bored again.

Well, providing that you keep something to draw with on your person at all times!  Which I do.

Just a little sketch from a time when I had a few moments to kill.   Noticing the shadows of the headrests behind the darkened windows and across the body of the car makes the day more interesting.