Sunday, December 28, 2014


Will the seasonal busyness, daily sketching fell away. It feels good to be getting back to it.

Sunday, November 30, 2014

More Sketch-a Day Sketches for November and a Couple of Haiku

Most days this month, I managed at least one sketch.  These are some from my square Stonehenge sketchbook. I have about 24 more blank pages, which ought to do for  continuing on into December.
 I expect there'll be fewer leaves and gourds and more views from the inside of windows.

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

November Sketch a Day

 Here are some of my results of this year's sketch a day challenge.

Sunday, October 26, 2014


I've enjoyed making little books and stories...

so when I heard about an online class with some artists I've followed for a long time, I decided to sign up for the storytelling class in Sketchbook "Skool".  The classes are six weeks long with six different teachers. 
In the first class, one of the assignments was to illustrate a recipe. I used a recipe that we make every Christmas morning.

The next week, we drew people in action and I posted most of those last time. Here are a couple more, from the PSU Farmers Market....

One of the assignments for the third week was to draw a memory from the  first day of school.  I had memories from kindergarden, but there really wasn't anything I was interested in drawing. Then I remembered our bus driver when I was a first grader. I was very shy and didn't like to leave home to go to school. The bus stop seemed dangerous with kids giving "Indian Burns" and pelting each other with acorns. When I got on the bus though, we were in the safe care of our ex-military bus driver who taught us some raucous songs. I loved that and can still remember the verses to my favorite, 'My Gal's a Corker.'

This week, we had an assignment to draw people from photos quickly in pencil and then in ink. I'm not used to drawing from photos and always feel that it's cheating (it is for and Urban Sketcher), but I really had a good time. I drew from books in an accordion book.

Then I went to The Big Draw at PNCA and tried to draw people in action, on the spot. That was harder to do nicely, so it resulted in unfinished people and the need to cover up a mess-up with some origami paper.

It's really been an inspiring class and it makes me want to keep telling more stories!

Sunday, October 12, 2014

Apple Tasting Festival with a few of the Urban Sketchers

I'm taking the online Sketchbook "Skool" Storytelling class and this week's homework from Melanie Reim was to sketch people in action. Well, there were plenty of people and there was plenty of action at the Apple Tasting Festival at Portland Nursery.  Tucked in among the plants, with the smell of popcorn, pizza, and apple strudel wafting by, I tried to capture some of that action as people chose their apples. Some filled many bags and even some wagons! (I was eager to draw as much as I could, so I added the color at home.)

The post-its are another idea from Melanie Reim. She does warm-up portraits on little post-its. I find that they're also handy for covering up mistakes.

When apples were really popular, the customers had to dive deep to get their picks.

The line for the tasting went on and on, but it was still too quick for me.

It was a lovely day to be out sketching with our little group. I also came home with some tasty new varieties of apples and an increased appreciation for those who can sketch quickly.

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Focus on Trees

I've been trying out different methods of sketching trees.

Ink then watercolor...

Ink, watercolor, and then more ink until I realized I was overworking it, so stopped...

Watercolor first...

Pencil followed by ink and markers and colored pencils...

Watercolor, ink, then more watercolor with flat brushes...

 Watercolor, ink, water soluble ink, more watercolor, and then a background of markers for the windows...

Whichever method I use, I seem to have most fun when I try to keep it quick and loose.

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Stone, Plants, and Water

Last Friday, a beautiful day in Portland, I visited the Japanese Garden with friends. As I sketched in the 'Dry Garden', I overheard two different tour groups. One of the tour guides said that a Zen garden always has the three elements of stone, plants, and water. Here the water was represented by the raked stones that formed concentric circles around the larger stones.

Paints aren't allowed at our Japanese Garden, so that may have been what drew my eye to the more monochromatic  and linear stone patterns in the pathways.

On Sunday, I went to our family cabin and saw those same elements of stone, plants, and water repeated in the natural setting.

From my spot on the bank of the river, I could see at least three kinds of stone...

the smooth faced, broken rocks,

worn, rounded rocks,

and rough, gravelly rocks.

The summer is ending and the leaves are especially dry.

I tried something I don't usually do: I attempted a sketch of underwater rocks with six larger stones peeking above the waterline. Clearly, this needs more study next summer.

Stones, plants, and water
Elements of a Zen garden
And also, of here.