Ballpoint Pen

Micron blue pen and zebra ballpoint black pen

Micron blue pen and zebra ballpoint black pen

Fun! Ballpoint pen is great to draw with. I worry that it isn’t archival and light fast, but it’s fun…liberating. Kind of like drawing with crayon–but better because it is a finer point. This #sbsseeing klass assignment was to use one color, but I didn’t listen well and ended up with black and blue. The most difficult part of this assignment for me today was subject matter. Drawing from life is always a challenge this time of year. So, I just looked at my desk and decided to do shells.

The black zebra ballpoint is a great tool. I am also working on 75 days of ink only drawings, so this assignment fit that challenge. And, today was the virtual sketch crawl for the Artists Journal Workshop, so the final shell drawing had to work for that as well. Even my Dad got into the act with a sketch (although he may have just been placating me).

Next lesson is hand lettering–which is super great because this is something I am not good at!

Zebra ballpoint pen drawing

Zebra ballpoint pen drawing


Graphite in journal: value warm-up

Graphite in journal: value warm-up

This is my warm up value sketch for #sbsseeing homework with Cathy Johnson. What a great exercise. This simple project really worked for me. It’s not that the sketch is great, it’s that all the sudden I stopped drawing shapes and started drawing tone. Exactly what I needed! I am terrified of the next part of this project, value in color! That will take even more concentration, and will involve some color mixing that will be good for me too.

More snow coming tomorrow! It just keeps coming.


Ink pen and water-soluble crayon

Ink pen and water-soluble crayon

This week at #sketchbookskool is with Cathy Johnson. I love her work and I really like her lessons. First homework assignment was birds (or a squirrel, or some little creature). Unfortunately there isn’t a bird in site right now due to all the snow we are getting, but luckily for me I take a lot of photos. These gulls were at the Searsport Harbor a couple of years ago, I have always admired them and thought they would make nice painting subjects. Gulls are not as easy to draw as one might think.

One thing I really like about this lesson is the idea of learning about your subject–drawing as if you were working on a field guide. There are a lot of different types of gulls. These are most likely Herring Gulls, but the one with the dark eye could be a Thayer’s Gull.

The gull in graphite is not as successful as the one I did in ink. I find it interesting that I seem to do a better job when I use tools that I can’t erase! Funny.

Graphite and water-soluble crayon

Graphite and water-soluble crayon

Last day in Maui


Back to homework for #sketchbookskool. This lesson was a challenge for me mostly because I just couldn’t find three items to draw. I finally decided on a couple of nice large leaves from the yard. I will redo this assignment when I get home. I also don’t have my watercolors with me, so used water soluble crayons…which work, but they aren’t the same.

Always sad to leave Hawaii, but I am ready to get back to Maine, my family, my Big dog and all that crazy snow!

Maui Lobster


I have sketchbook Skool homework to do, but decided to take the day off. John and I took a walk on the beach and I scored three nice beach finds. A lobster tail, a shell and a poor tiny dead urchin. Perfect drawing subjects. Tomorrow I will go back to homework.



Okay, Selfies are difficult! But, clearly the more you do the better you get. And, I like the fact that you always have an available model. I don’t think I can keep up with one a day, but maybe one a week!

This is me really concentrating in the mirror. Graphite on paper. Tense!

For now, it’s Friday and time to move on to the next lesson. Love #sketchbookskool

Art on Maui

My week here started off pretty poorly as I came down with the flu the first day here. Finally after 6 days of being sick, I feel better, not 100%, but considerably better. Between naps I was able to get one piece done, the Queen Emma Lily. I just could not concentrate on sketchbook Skool while sick.

This weeks lessons are selfies! Boy are they difficult, but good lessons. We are to do the following:

2 selfies using a mirror
2 selfies from a photo
2 contour “quickies”
1 from memory

I have only included my homework so that I can look back and see how I have improved in the future. This assignment has been somewhat painful. However, I want to get better at faces, and this is the way to do it!