Seeing

Opaque watercolor and sharpie pen. Portland Head Lighthouse

Opaque watercolor and sharpie pen. Portland Head Lighthouse

Sketchbook Skool has started! This semester is called “Seeing”. First assignment for this week was to draw toast. Ugh. I can’t say that was really enjoyable, but I get it. The goal is to get you to see things as shapes that aren’t associated with labels. Just draw the nooks and cranny’s. I was lucky enough to have some homemade bread that was stale enough to qualify as toast. I drew it for as long as I could.

Second part of this lesson was “Fast and Slow”. I have to admit this was kind of right up my alley–but a different take on how to start a piece. The instruction was to use one or two colors of paint to “draw” simple lines indicating the subject, and quickly. No more than 60 seconds to start. After you get that down, you draw in the details with a pen and really look carefully at all the complexity and proportions–take your time, draw for about an hour.

The most difficult thing for me in this was actually choosing the subject. I didn’t have anything from life that I was interested in drawing, so I just decided to work from a photo I had taken last May. I love this composition with the lighthouse and the Big dog. Buildings are not something I would normally choose to draw, so that was an added challenge. Proportions aren’t perfect, but no one really knows that but me. Fun assignment, and I definitely learned from it. And, I am inspired to maybe to do a Big Dog sketch book–he is such a fun subject.

Bread: micron pen

Bread: micron pen

Art Journal Challenge Day 17

Minneola: inktense and colored pencil

Minneola: inktense and colored pencil

White ink pen explosion! Everything was going great until I decided to add some white! Yikes! You can’t wipe that stuff off either, so I had to figure out a way (quickly) to save what I had. I did the best I could. So, this turned out differently than planned, but sometimes that happens. #AJChallenge Day 17–draw a recipe. Minneola’s are in season, and I had one to draw from. This smoothie recipe is easy and delicious.

Thinking about a piece to start out with for my body of work plan. I think that I am going to do some dandelion sketches and then an 8 x 10 finished work. For the finished work I really need to decide on medium. I am thinking watercolor and ink pen. It’s so hard for me to think of just using one medium for a cohesive group, but it seems like the right approach.

Since I am headed to Hawaii soon I will have to work on a couple of pieces that are more tropical. Maybe I can make this a second body of work…one that might come together more slowly.

Art Journal Challenge Day 16

black prismacolor drawn in moleskin sketchbook

black prismacolor drawn in moleskin sketchbook

Black and White. #AJChallenge for today was black and white…I decided to try my acrylic metallic silver as a light wash underpainting and then black prismacolor for the drawing. I have always loved this image that I took of fallen plumeria’s in Hawaii…I think that we were in Maui. Even on the ground these blossoms are so beautiful. We were on our way out and these had fallen under the tree in the parking lot. It was the last photo I took on the island that trip. I think it would be nice to do a graphite piece of this, not sure about the acrylic ground.

Day 13 was a mythological character, I took a stab at a mermaid. Super fun to draw, but not great proportions. The great thing about the challenge is that even if I don’t have the time to do the day justice, it gives me great ideas for the future. Mermaids are a subject I will come back to for sure.

Mermaid: ink pen

Mermaid: ink pen

Day 10

Inktense and colored pencil

Inktense and colored pencil

This #AJChallenge day was fun because of the research involved. I learned about a few medicinal plants that I was unaware of. My goal was to find something that fit the category that I would have a photo resource for. I found it! Rose Hips. According to webMD: Rose hips are used for stomach disorders including stomach spasms, stomach acid deficiency, preventing stomach irritation and ulcers, and as a “stomach tonic” for intestinal diseases. They are also used for diarrheaconstipationgallstonesgallbladder ailments, lower urinary tract and kidney disorders, fluid retention (dropsy or edema), gout, back and leg pain (sciatica), diabeteshigh cholesterolweight loss, high blood pressure, chest ailments, fever, increasing immune function during exhaustion, increasing blood flow in the limbs, increasing urine flow and quenching thirst. Wow! Pretty cool.

This rose hip was found on Ram Island in the Penobscot Bay–from a wild seaside rose–not a rugosa, but a smaller native rose.     Tomorrow the challenge is to draw your lunch or dinner. I am not sure about how interesting that will be…I will have to really think about what I choose to eat now!

Challenge Day 9

Water-soluble crayon and ink pen

Water-soluble crayon and ink pen

So happy to get a resource photo for the turkish teapot from my friend Mallory. I really like to draw either from life or from my own photos, and it’s fun to include friends in my search! This is a great teapot, And, a challenge to draw. The great thing about the #AJChallenge is that every day I get an opportunity to learn about something new. So many of the subjects i would never choose on my own, I am really enjoying the discovery part of this project.

Today’s challenge was coin or paper money. I happen to be visiting my parents, so I asked if they had any interesting money. Turns out my Dad had a little box with some old coins and paper money from his Uncle Norman. He hadn’t opened the box in several years. It was fun to open up the paper money and look at the different coins. I didn’t enjoy the sketching part of this, but I really loved the discovery.

My Dad's box of coins

My Dad’s box of coins

Day 7

Single Lily inspired by Georgia O'Keefe. Ink pen

Single Lily inspired by Georgia O’Keefe. Ink pen

Plans change. #AJChallenge Day 7, re-interpreation of Georgia O’Keefe’s Single Lily. I do love this painting by Georgia O’Keefe. However, I had my heart set on Emily Carr. But, it just didn’t work out, mostly because at the time I did this drawing the reference material for Carr just wasn’t available to me. This reference is from my wall calendar.

I didn’t miss Day 6 of the seed and pod challenge, just not super happy with the results, so no need to share that. Maybe I will revisit that day in February.

On to the turkish tea pot today! I feel fortunate that one of my friends sent me a photo to use as a reference. I didn’t want to have to google.

Day 5

Water-soluble crayon and ink: View from the sailboat

Water-soluble crayon and ink: View from the sailboat

I am running a bit behind on the #AJChallenge. This was done for the 5th day, the subject was to draw a bridge. I knew this was the subject I wanted to do, but I just couldn’t get to it on 1/5/15, so I did this about 5:00am on 1/6/15. Yesterday’s challenge was seeds or pods–I am working on a Devil’s claw for this one (so also a day behind). Then I have to play catch up because today’s challenge is to do a rendition of one of your favorite paintings! Oh my! I was thinking Van Gogh, but many other folks have chosen him, so I think I am going to go for Emily Carr. Hopefully I can get that done today!

It’s great to have some subject matter that is so different from what I might normally choose.