Going slow.

shell study: graphite

shell study: graphite

This week in #sketchbookskool is all about slowing down. It’s a really good way to end the class, Tommy Kane has been really enjoyable to learn from. I am not too keen on this homework assignment, but I get it. He wants us to take 3 to 6 hours to do a drawing, and the subject matter is “your kitchen”! Yikes. Again, I get it, he wants you to overcome that fear and challenge yourself to capture all those overwhelming details. I am working on figuring out how I can enjoy this, I think I am going to put some shells on the counter so that I have something I love to draw in the drawing. At the same time, I am going to work on a long detailed drawing of shells trying to incorporate the style of Georgia O’Keefe and Van Gogh. This should keep me pretty occupied.

Sketch above was a warm up for this assignment. A much more lengthy and detailed sketch…about 30 or 40 minutes, longer than I usually take. I did enjoy slowing down and really paying attention to all the variations in the shadow and in the shell.

Drawing Animals!

Opaque watercolor and graphite

Opaque watercolor and graphite

Loved this week’s #sketchbookskool lesson. This is one that I know I will go back and read through many times. A week was not enough time for me, but I will enjoy going back and doing these exercises again. The first part of the homework was to draw from taxidermy or from figures. I was lucky enough to find some nice little Panda figurines in the hardware store to use as reference. I am looking forward to going to either a natural history museum or to our Portland LL Bean for drawing from taxidermy. Next time I draw these I will make sure that my view point shows the other two feet–he looks a little flat without the other feet! Panda’s are hard to draw! But, they are super cute and I found myself really happy to be looking at these and drawing them. Bonus!

Next part of the homework was to draw live animals. Much harder. Thankfully I have a dog and a very handsome one at that. And, he is pretty slow and loves to sleep. Even with a slow and sleepy dog, they aren’t reliable and they move! I will keep working at it, it was a lot of fun. Really helped with observation skills.

Graphite on paper. Big dog sleeping.

Graphite on paper. Big dog sleeping.

Materials

Warm up assignment

Warm up assignment

I was a little behind on my #sketchbookskool homework, so I think that I rushed through a little to catch up. I don’t think that I should do that, I need to remember, its an online course! It’s not going anywhere! So, because I rushed I didn’t feel super great about the projects. I also didn’t really like the technique that we used. The assignment was to draw in pencil, ink in the outline and then color in with watercolor. It’s just not my thing…but, I can see that it can be a good approach for certain things.

This week the subject matter is more interesting to me, drawing animals! Looking forward to this, but I need to find some figurines to draw from for the assignment. The first step in this weeks class was to draw your art supplies. I see other artists do this a fair amount, it’s something I never really considered as a subject. However, once I sat down and really focused in on it I did find it fun. On to the animals!

Ink outlines and watercolor washes

Ink outlines and watercolor washes

Exploration

Graphite sketch in progress

Graphite sketch in progress

I have never been keen on working on landscapes. But, this sketch changed my mind a bit. I like the perspective…from way down low. I really like the charm of this perspective–but it might just be the mushroom! The Facebook Art Journal group I belong to suggests a little fairy creature under the mushroom is begging to be added. This scares me! I am going to try it, but I don’t do figures and faces so that adds some struggle for me! And, what to do, how to do it! I am looking at resource material and considering how this might be accomplished. It won’t happen fast though. I do think that this little sketch has shown me that I can enjoy a landscape drawing or painting, I just need to make the composition dramatic in some way in order to enjoy it. I will work on finding interesting and dramatic perspectives for landscapes. And, I will broaden my mind and think about magical creatures too!

We had a particularly beautiful weekend here on the coast of Maine. Really more like August weather. John and I took advantage of the sun and warmth, took Big dog and headed out on the boat to Marshall Island for an overnight camping trip. It was awesome. We had a nice hike on the island in the morning and then scooted over to Wheat Island for some shelling. It was especially nice for Big who is always on leash to be able to run around free! He had a great time.

Marshall Island Memories: encaustic, collage on stone

Marshall Island Memories: encaustic, collage on stone

 

Realistic, but abstract

Bird of Paradise: water soluble crayon and graphite

Bird of Paradise: water soluble crayon and graphite

This turned out pretty much the way I wanted it to. That doesn’t happen often. It was planned…but yet loose. I made myself put the color in loosely knowing that once the color was down, that was it, no going back in color. Just over drawn in graphite. I will try to do more of these, some in graphite some in ink. My goal is for the over drawing to simply have beautiful lines, even if that means changing what is in front of me. I am not exactly happy with the lower right corner, but the rest of it I am pleased with.

No place like home

Water-soluble crayon & colored pencil

Water-soluble crayon & colored pencil

This is our last day on Oahu, Hawaii. I am ready to head home. It’s been so nice seeing a different place, although I admit that Oahu is not really for me. I love the other islands and look forward to coming back to Maui in February. I am just not a city girl, and it really doesn’t matter that the beach is here and that the temperatures are warm. I like the slower pace of the other islands. I feel good that we came and better yet that we had a nice relaxing few days on the North Shore of Oahu. I did get some good photos for painting resources.

In progress: water-soluble crayon & graphite

In progress: water-soluble crayon & graphite

All over the place!

Rooster warm-up

Rooster warm-up

A sketch here, encaustic there, painting, drawing, waxing….a chaotic week with no discipline! No excuses for any of that other than I guess I haven’t dedicated the “time” to work on finished material. The Art Shed did get electric this week! That took me out of the studio and left me with the dining room table (which is fine). I am on my 4th Derwent Art Academy lesson–drawing a rooster with colored pencil. This seems like it will be a challenge, so I started with a warm up drawing of the rooster and then decided that I should do a warm up using colored pencil only. I should be warmed up by now, and now I am just procrastinating! I am not going to do one more drawing until I finish the rooster!

colored pencil warm up

colored pencil warm up

Because I got electric, I felt obligated to do a little encaustic. I am happy with the two dandelions. The photo was printed on tissue paper and then adhered to a found wood block, encaustic paint and medium over the image. I also did a piece on stone–round shell in casine, colored pencil and encaustic. Not as pleased with this one. I think that the stone needs to be smoother–and the color ran, which I would prefer didn’t happen.

photo-encaustic

photo-encaustic

On to the rooster!

Spring Time

sketch for painting

sketch for painting

It’s funny, I keep thinking that I will get back to my snow shadows (I have several that need to be completed!), but the spring weather is pushing me to the flowers. Especially when they are growing in my own back yard. Inspiration everywhere. I really like the sketch above, I am going to work on a water color and a casein painting for this composition. I am still finishing up the Iris painting, but almost done.

I found a little stretched canvas at the Goodwill for 99 cents, so I am experimenting with that. I am trying a casein painting of a seagull sitting on a granite wall. The layers will be really thin in order to make it work on this substrate. So far, the ground is really fun, we will see where it all ends up. So different to work on from paper.

light layers of casein on canvas

light layers of casein on canvas

Graphite

single spring crocus

single spring crocus

Less time for finished work lately. Sketching is quick and loose. Gives way to ideas for new finished work. My goal is to do at least one sketch a day, and then choose one to pursue finished work from. The graphite initially seemed limiting, but I think in fact it forces me to see more detail. Moving quickly allows me to have a fresh approach and make marks that are more intuitive.

crocus from above

crocus from above

This will be my next finished piece.

The bunny was just for a lark..but I might consider pursuing a more finished work with a bunny as the primary subject.

bunnysketch

Yellow Hibiscus

Watercolor, colored pencil & graphite: 4″ x 4″

Kauai hibiscus

Kauai hibiscus

This is similar in style to the trumpet vine, but instead of using the watercolor for the “background” I layered colored pencil in the same technique. I like it both ways. I think I will try and stick with the art nouveau style for a little while. I like the way it breaks down shapes more simply.