Friday, August 29, 2008

August 29

Drawing with the fussiest toddler ever.

Thursday, August 28, 2008

August 28

This is one of the best things I've ever bought. It's been all over the place with me: NY, Santa Fe, Mexico, on a cruise, New Orleans.

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Monday, August 25, 2008

August 25

Today, a lazy sketch done while cooking dinner. I'm still recovering from my marathon colored pencil session the other night, so I didn't feel like being too ambitious today!

August 24

It's surprising how sometimes the sketches that start out the worst, turn out some of the best.

August 23

Prismacolor Verithin; not quite finished, but I stayed up waaay past my bedtime working on this and needed some sleep. It looks like her, but needs a little more work. I'd forgotten how long it takes to do a colored pencil piece!

August 22

Saturday, August 23, 2008

An honor


Thank you so much to Nadine, who sent me this award -- I am so honored! My first award for my very first blog, yay!

The rules for accepting this award are:

1. Put the logo on your blog.
2. Add a link to the blog that nominated you.
3. Nominate 7 other blogs.
4. Add links to those blogs on your blog.
5. Leave a message for your nominees on your blog.

So, I'd like to nominate some of my favorite artists and their fantastic blogs:

Andrea Joseph's Sketchblog
Broadhurst Street
Nina Johansson
See. Be. Draw.
Omphaloskepsis
Anita Davies
Jennifer Lawson

Friday, August 22, 2008

Some extra stuff





I seem to be on a watercolor pencil and water soluble drawing tool binge, so I thought I'd create some samples of all the pencils and things I own. It's helpful to be able to refer to them as I'm drawing, when I need a specific color -- like for purple coneflowers -- I can see exactly what I have and what the color will look like on paper, dry and wet.

It's also easy to stick the sketchbook (6" x 6") in my bag to take to the art supply store so I can figure out what colors I'm missing that I "need" (ha ha) to buy.

August 21 - and an achievement!


This is the very last sketch in my sketchbook, quite an achievement for me because I have never been able to finish a sketchbook in all the years I've been keeping them. I have dozens and dozens of half finished ones all over the house, on shelves, in boxes, on tables, etc.

This is a sketch of my favorite childhood toy from the early 70s, Coco the monkey. He does look a little creepy here... maybe it's the fact that, like the Velveteen Rabbit, he's pretty worn out! It's also EDM challenge #6, I think; my first official one. A fitting way to end the book, don't you think?

August 20


It's been a particularly humid week here, and looking out the front door, I can tell. The trees in the distance tend to change color based on the weather: gray when it rains, blue when it's humid, bright green when it's cool. I really like our view.

August 19


Another drawn from a photo sketch, another one I'm not totally thrilled with. I was trying to capture the way the sun streamed through the trees but it's not quite right.

I also was trying out some new art supplies in this sketch: Derwent Inktense. They definitely are brighter colors than the other watercolor pencils I have (Derwent, Daler-Rowney, Prismacolor). Not sure how I feel about them yet.

Though the Caran D'Ache Supracolor II pencils seem to be a nice blend (no pun intended) of the Derwent & Daler-Rowney and the Derwent Inktense. They're heavily pigmented but the color doesn't overwhelm the drawing.

Maybe it's only the almost-fluorescent green color of the grass that's bugging me here.

August 18

I'm not at all happy with this one. I think I'm actually starting to prefer drawing from real life as opposed to a photo, as in this sketch, even despite the difficulties that may entail (my short-attention-span 19 month old, for one!) It's just easier to see the subtleties in value and color, in person -- there's so much more to a scene than any camera can ever capture.

Sunday, August 17, 2008

August 17



First the ink sketch, then the watercolor pencil version. I really like this one for some reason.

It's interesting how much my drawing has improved this month. I've been neglecting it for so long, but I guess it's kind of like riding a bicycle -- once you know how, you never really forget! My drawing's gotten more confident and looser. I don't know if it's evident to anyone but me, but I can see it. And I'm liking it.

Saturday, August 16, 2008

August 16


I was going through some old sketchbooks the other day and came across a drawing I did years ago in a similar style, scribbled with a black ballpoint pen.

It's a technique that reminds me a lot of a great class I took in college from Michael Torlen, called Art in the Dark. Here's the class description from Purchase College:

"A drawing and painting experience, working from flash slides, master slides, and directly from observation. Concepts and processes are discussed in terms of the space-forming cues: position,
size/shape, overlap, figure/ground, and brightness/contrast. Exercises performed in a semi-dark environment encourage peripheral vision and a unified field response. Media include
chalk, pencil, brush, and paint."

In other words, drawing from blurred or dark subjects forced us to see the whole page, instead of focusing on the details. The lesson I learned is, pay attention to your drawing / painting, don't worry so much about slavishly recreating the scene in front of you (that's what cameras are for), and don't be afraid to exaggerate contrast to create a more successful piece.

Friday, August 15, 2008

August 15

After breakfast my daughter and I drew together. I borrowed her Crayola colored pencils. Their quality is surprisingly good, though I did notice a faster waxy buildup than I get with my Prismacolors. It's been a long time since I've used this medium -- maybe it's time to break out the big box of 120!

Thursday, August 14, 2008

August 14

The view from my computer desk, drawn while drinking coffee and enjoying the silence before my daughter woke up. (Micron Pigma pen, Derwent and Daler-Rowney WC pencils)

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

August 13 - the worst sketch ever

I learned that paper with any sort of tooth just does not work with dip pens. The nib kept catching and I kept getting frustrated; finally I just gave up (can you tell?!) This looks like my toddler drew it... oh well. Next time will be better.

10 days late


Since I missed sketching on August 1 and 2, I'm doing them later. Here's one of them.

August 12


I'm not really happy with this sketch. The shape's not quite right, and the foreshortening is wrong so it looks like it's floating, though the shadows on the lower left side are pretty good.

August 11

I've been experimenting with blueberry muffin recipes lately. This one looked a lot better than it tasted.

Sunday, August 10, 2008

August 10


It's funny how I've lived here for almost 2 years and never realized there's so much interesting stuff in the house to draw.

Saturday, August 9, 2008

August 9


Looks better on the computer screen than it does in person! Micron Pigma pen and Daler-Rowney watercolor pencils.

Friday, August 8, 2008

August 8 - into the woods


We went to the nature center near us and I found this great little ravine in the woods with trees growing up the sides. Lots of tangled exposed roots and bright yellow-rust colored soil. Plus a nice boardwalk with a railing on which to set my supplies and sketchbook.

I had my 18 month old with me again, and so I had to draw reeeeeally fast, because the lunch I packed for her was quickly disappearing. When the food's gone, we have to move, or else somebody gets very upset!

I think drawing quickly is a good thing for me. What do you think?

Thursday, August 7, 2008

August 7

More drawing-while-exhausted. And in very low light, too. Makes it hard to see the details, like where exactly his eyes are. I am definitely way out of practice drawing animate objects.

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

August 6

Today I'm too tired to move, so I drew what I could see from my chair... one of many toys scattered all over the room.

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

August 5th's sketch

I like drawing the tangle of roots even though I don't particularly like the subject itself!

Portrait exchange

I keep forgetting to post this portrait I did of Nadine. I'm not very good at drawing people by hand -- the proportions are always a little off, the likeless not quite right, the drawing a little too stiff and labored-over, so I decided to do this one digitally. It's done in Photoshop CS3 and is unlike anything I've ever done before... not my usual style, but a fun experiment nevertheless.


And here's one I did several years ago in the traditional manner (pencil on paper). I think it's the most recent portrait I've done, so that shows you how often I draw people! It's not quite right, it looks a little awkward and messy to me.

Monday, August 4, 2008

Every day in August, August 4th

A herd of buffalo (really!) near our house. Drawn very quickly -- in less than 1/2 hour -- because my 18 month old daughter was getting very antsy in the back seat. Pitt Pen and Derwent watercolor pencils.

(Almost) every day in August

I decided to participate in the one of those sketch-every-day-during-a-specific-month challenges. And hopefully this won't turn out like my other art-related good intentions ("I'm going to finish a sketchbook this week!", "I'm going to sketch every interesting wildflower I come across at the arboretum!", etc.).

I missed Aug. 1 & 2 but one of these days I'll do two extra sketches to make up for it -- that counts, right?!

Here's the sketch from Aug. 3: a loaf of bread, in pen and watercolor pencils.

Friday, August 1, 2008

A little experiment...

When I was a little kid, as far back as I can remember, I wanted to be an artist. Even before I understood what that meant, that's what I wanted to be when I grew up.

After art school, however, earning money for rent and food became a priority, so I got into graphic design -- lots of work, decent money, and the chance to sneak in some "real" art every now and then.

So I've been freelancing as a graphic designer and illustrator exclusively since 2000... before that, I had a couple staff positions, but found that I really liked the variety and freedom of freelancing... the irregular paychecks, lack of benefits and paid vacation days, not so much.

Lately, since the end of '06, actually, I've been only able to work from home. That limits what I can do, of course, since so many companies want designers on-site. And with the economy, work has slowed waaaaay down, and even my stable clients are giving me fewer projects.

So I decided to try my hand at making digital scrapbooking kits. I love drawing and designing patterns, and I know Photoshop and Illustrator well enough to use them in my sleep (and in fact I think I have!), so why not?

I'm excited to say I have finished my very first scrapbooking kit, and it's now available on www.scraphead.com. Yay!

It's all based on one little doodle of a flower, done in ballpoint pen in a notebook... Amazing what software can do!