Sketching the Big dog

Big in front of Lella's chicken coop in SW Harbor

Big in front of Lella’s chicken coop in SW Harbor

I am trying to work outside my comfort zone. One of those places is sketching or drawing animals. It really started with thinking about what makes me happy, and of course, my dog Big came to mind pretty quickly. I needed some subject matter for #sketchbookskool, and thought, well, he is always right here with me and I have tons of photos of him. Nothing to lose by trying. I am super happy to discover that I enjoy drawing Big! I will keep doing sketches of him and maybe turn some into little paintings. Its kind of amazing the joy that it brings me to capture him on the page… very different than a lot of subjects. Somehow I feel more connected to the process and the completed sketch. I will keep trying.

The sketch below was done really quickly. I have a photo of this one to use for reference. I am thinking that it would make a nice watercolor try (this our next assignment for klass). I think it has potential, even though I am not really happy with the sketch. I like the composition, the shadow and he was really loving the wind!

Big at the beach

Big at the beach

Week Two

Red Pear: colored pencil

Red Pear: colored pencil

As I write this I am on week three of #sketchbookskool, but I am showing week two as my homework for work three is not yet complete. This class is really great for me because I feel obligated to do my homework! And, even when the assignment seems like something I might not enjoy, I am pleasantly surprised and it turns out just fine. Working in only colored pencil is not something that I appreciate that much. I feel like I need to add something else…but I stuck with  it and build the colors up. This pear started out green! The complement of the red to get a nice rich base. I tried to work with red and green for the pear and blue and orange for the shadows…and variations in between. The subject matter was suppose to be simple but interesting. It took me a long time to choose because I hadn’t found anything inspiring…but all the sudden I saw these awesome pears at the grocery.

ink sketch of little pumpkin on the porch

ink sketch of little pumpkin on the porch

This week we are working on capturing personal histories and some watercolor practice.

Documenting My Week

Looking up at the tree tops during our mid-walk rest

Looking up at the tree tops during our mid-walk rest

Here is my #sketchbookskool homework so far. Really enjoying the thought process behind documenting part of each day. I think it will be nice to look back and remember some of these moments. They are quick!

Big dog taking a break

Big dog taking a break

I think that I would like to do more drawings of Big. He goes pretty much everywhere I do, and he is a handsome subject.

little clam found on the beach

little clam found on the beach

The Documented Week

Sunday bulb planting

Sunday bulb planting

The second homework assignment for #sketchbookskool is to document your week. I know that when Wednesday rolls around my life will get pretty busy, so I figured I better jump right in to the documentation. I was able to get three pages done today. The first two pages are pretty crappy…but it is what it is. You have to start somewhere. What I like most about it is the slowing down. You have to slow down for a moment when you draw something. So, I cut my breakfast pear and enjoyed the shapes. Then I ate it. I drank my coffee and then did a sketch of the empty cup. Enjoying the cup and remembering that it used to belong to my grandmother. I took my book with me on my walk, and the Big dog and I stopped mid-way to rest and I did a sketch of the tree. The ink is not waterproof!

I decided to plant my bulbs today. And then I thought, well, I will draw those first! So, I plopped them down on the picnic table and the sun was bright on them casting long beautiful shadows. I won’t see these bulbs again, they are going in the ground. I decided to look up the history of the Hyacinth and the Tulip so I could add some words to the page. I am hopeful that the mole that ate my other bulbs in the spring will not come back next spring and eat these!

warmupbulbs

I am looking forward to tomorrow morning and my next journal page.

homework2b

Sketchbook Skool

Beginnings: Page One

Beginnings: Page One

The Sketchbook Skool Beginnings class started yesterday. This is the first Klass I have taken in a long time! The first assignment was to draw and feel. The guidelines were to pick an object to draw that evokes some feeling (bad or good), use a color wash in the background, add an opaque color in the shape of the object(s) and then do a line drawing in ink over the color. And, add WORDS! So, for me, it’s really the words that are the challenge!

It was hard to decide what to choose, so I thought about that for awhile. I love the sea urchins and I find them challenging to render, so that is what I went with. Sea Urchins remind me of walks on the beach and also they bring to mind a couple of very special friends that share my love of beach collecting. I have gathered a lot sea urchins over time and I have tons of them to choose from. Most of them are from the Maine coast, but some have been given to me and some are from other places. These are from Maine. This assignment prompted me to learn more about the sea urchins…because I needed WORDS! That part I really liked.

As the time goes by I will get better at the word journaling part of all this. I like the idea of capturing your feelings or part of your day in an illustrated and written journal. I am looking forward to this Klass.

Below is my warm-up sketch for the journal page. Doubling as my #inktober drawing!

warm up ink sketch

warm up ink sketch

Dandelions!

Encaustic, oil pastel on cradled birch panel. 6" x 6"

Encaustic, oil pastel on cradled birch panel. 6″ x 6″

The week is going by so fast! I have so much that I still want to do, but there is plenty of time. I am pretty happy with this piece…I decided to limit myself (working on the discipline) to only using the brush. No drawing! No guidelines, just throwing it down. Trying to keep the spontaneity going. It was a good learning experience. I really like the encaustic and the oil pastel together. Oil pastel is great to work with this way, it melts beautifully on my griddle palate and with just a little beeswax medium added has a nice fluidity going on. The other nice thing about the oil pastel as opposed to the wax pigment is that it doesn’t “dry” as quickly and has some opacity. I like the way the brush stroke can be maintained.

I think that I need to get a few more brushes. The encaustic/oil pastel combination can get muddy if one isn’t careful. Mixing colors is something I would like to get better at. However, keeping the color pure and simple is forcing me to make serious decisions when putting the color down…so that is good.

On to the next project! And, I still need to get to the inktober work!

Art, Art and more Art!

Encaustic & oil pastel: 5" x 7"

Encaustic & oil pastel: 5″ x 7″

This is my week to devote just about every day to my Art Projects. This makes me so happy. I am going to have to counsel myself not to be disappointed that I can’t get everything done that I want to. Today started slow…it’s amazing how quickly the morning gets away from you. I took some photos and decided to just play around a little–the result is this little encaustic painting of a dandelion. This afternoon I am going to work on some ink drawings for inktober (I am behind on this) and do some planning for the week. I need to get organized so I can make good use of my time. And, I need to remember to eat and walk the Big dog!

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