Saturday, August 27, 2016

"Stretching" Week 3

Last week our assignment for Sketchbook Skool was to draw something with wheels - right up my alley.  Earlier in the summer I had taken a photo of this chunky green dump truck just before I went on vacation.  He had been parked in a field right at the end of our neighborhood with a "For Sale" sign in the window.  I wish I had a reason to buy him.  I wanted to go sit in the field and draw him, but it was scorching hot outside, and I am a wimp.  So I took pictures before we went out of town.  I am so glad I did because he was gone when we got back.
The assignment was to draw with an ink pen, using hatching for shading, and adding some color.  I loved doing this one. The second part of the lesson was to draw the same vehicle from a different angle with a different medium and to draw it fast and loose.  I tried to do a digital drawing over and over.  I have done digital work before, but I failed to do anything presentable. So at the last minute I grabbed a brush pen and drew it quickly on the paper. After all my failed attempts on the computer and the iPad I really really understood this truck.  I was able to knock this one out much faster than I expected.  And I actually fell in love with the brush pen.

Monday, August 22, 2016

Big Head People

Last week's assignment for Sketchbook Skool was from Lapin, a French Urban Sketcher who is living in Barcelona.  He taught us to draw big headed people with small bodies.  This was a fun lesson.  We were to draw from a live model.  My husband was my first model.  The results are very funny, but I didn't get his body small enough. For my second attempt I sat in front of a full length mirror and drew myself.  In this drawing I look sort of like Paula Deen .  I wish I were holding a pie or a piece of fried chicken.

Friday, August 19, 2016

Sketchbook Skool Part 2

I started another course at 2 weeks ago.  This one is called Stretching and the name describes it perfectly.  We are taking what we know and applying it to new techniques and new ways of thinking and doing.  The first week was with Jonathan Twingely.  Our homework assignment was to draw as much every day as we could - from our imagination, from our dreams, from our life.  THEN we had to cut all the pieces/objects out and glued them onto a piece of paper or to our sketchbook and make something new.  This was so so difficult for me.  Here is a photo of most of the pieces I drew.

I drew my dreams - an old bus, people getting on a bus, chairs, a Vespa, my parents when they were young.  I kept watching the instructional videos and drew the instructor many times because his face was so expressive, and he was so likable.   One day I was uninspired and drew the scissors sitting on my art table.  Then I cut them all out and looked at them for hours and days.  I was uninspired.  I arranged and rearranged and worried and got angry and fretted.  Little by little an idea grew.  I loved the face of the instructor and wanted to tell a story.  This is what I ended up with.

After gluing on the three faces of Jonathan I added a hand to the scissors and attached that then drew the arm, the background blinds and the light.  Then I looked back at my cutout pieces and played around with the words I had also drawn for the assignment and added "mistakes."  

But that is not the whole story, or even the correct story.  I did a larger collage first, hated it, felt it was too much, too busy, and trimmed off some parts of it.  Here was the original:

This lesson was a killer for me.  I don't even know how many hours I spent trying to come up with this arrangement, idea, story.  I worried over it so long that I don't even know how I feel about the final product. But even for the difficulties and the struggles, it was a huge learning process and makes me appreciate what my students go through when I give them an assignment that is difficult for them.

Thursday, July 21, 2016

Last Piece for My Class

This is the last week for my "Beginnings" class at This piece is another one done in the Tommy Kane "slo mo" method which I love - lots of detail, lots of layering, pen, watercolor, and colored pencil - media that I love! (Or is it mediums.  I think it's either and I like mediums better.  Media means TV news.)

 After I finished my kitchen drawingI knew I wanted to do the “Tommy Lesson” in my garden.  This has taken all week because I could only handle the heat for short periods of time. (Near 100º every day.)  I worked early mornings and late evenings originally but wanted better light for color and shading.  The sounds and smells were wonderful – bees, butterflies, lots of hummingbirds, nearby petunias and herb garden, sweat dripping off my face.  One hummingbird kept zooming around checking me out and then sat on a tomato cage and watched me draw. I hate the heat of summer in the south, but love having the flowers, the colors, and the smells.

Watercolor, ink, and colored pencil
5" x 7"

Sunday, July 17, 2016

Slo Mo Drawing

This week's lesson at is to draw our kitchen with all the detail.  Tommy Kane is the teacher and suggested we spend 3-4 hours on this piece.  So I followed his instructions and spent 5-6 hours on this drawing/painting.  I had to "mess up" the kitchen to make it interesting.  My kitchen is pretty tidy and free of clutter and was uninteresting.  (There is clutter elsewhere in the house but not in the kitchen.)  This was drawn in ink, painted with watercolor, and enhanced with Prismacolor pencils.  I also added a few spots of white paint. I wish that I had used a finer point pen and different paper. The paper was not friendly to the colored pencil.

Friday, July 15, 2016

Savannah College of Art and Design

Savannah College of Art and Design (SCAD) is my favorite college for the study of the visual arts.  I encourage all of my students to consider this outstanding institution when visiting colleges with their families.  I have just spent 6 days at SCAD participating in their Educators' Forum, a workshop for educators of any discipline, but expecially for art teachers. Participants choose 2 classes out of the dozens that are offered and attend each class for 8 hours over 4 days.  I took travel sketching and exploring temperature in portraiture.  Both were outstanding.

The sketching class spent two days at Forsythe Part, Savannah's most beautiful park.  We were given water soluble pencils, pens, and sketchbooks.  Here are a few of my sketches:


And a sketch of the apartment:

The portrait class was stretch for me.  We used pan pastels, which I have never used, as well as pastel pencils. We were only given a few warm and cool colors.  Also I do not consider myself a portrait artist.  We drew from a live model.  Here is my finished portrait:

Savannah is probably one of the most beautiful cities in America and has houses and corners and parks and porches and boulevards and alleys begging to be recorded in a sketchbook or on a canvas.  It is the epitome of "Old South" in style and in vibe.  But, surprisingly, it has a funky feeling as well.  I think the college has a lot to do with that.  SCAD buildings, both classrooms and offices, are spread all over the historic area.  They do not build new buildings.  They repurpose old buildings and do it very well. Many of their dorms are old hotels and motels.  I attended classes in two beautiful buildings, former elementary schools built in the early part of the last century. Both Savannah and SCAD are a great place to visit.

Wednesday, July 6, 2016

More Sketching

I can't stop!   Here are the ones I have done the last few days.
Giant Rudbeckia hirte

Preparing my paint pans for a class in Savannah, Georgia.

I bought a large mushroom?