Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Doggie Toys to the Rescue!


Our lesson this week for Sketchbook Skool was about using a Grid as an aid to good composition. I hadn't tried that before, and enjoyed it so much!

I didn't have the suggested veggies n fruits, SO... Joey lent me some of her DOGGIE TOYS as "pretenders"!

It was so much fun. Loved the grid idea, and hummed the song "The Great Pretender" for hours. Then found it on youtube and listened to The Platters sing it while I sketched. Can't beat that for a great time. (can click image to enlarge)


"The Great Pretenders"
9 x 12 sketchbook; ink, watercolor,
colored pencil, watercolor pencils


Our teacher this week was Jane LaFazio. Such a creative lady! She not only paints and sketches, but turns those sketches into art quilts, does mixed media art and offers free Tiny Tutorials. If you enjoy artistic variety, visit her blog HERE. 


Happy sketching,

Retta

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Herding Cats!


Another week's homework done for Sketchbook Skool. Not being my usual medium, I find painting with watercolors a bit like herding cats! But it was fun.  

The assignment from teacher Prashant Miranda: Painting Watercolor Skies.

I kept running to my porch, trying to catch a colorful and "good" sky. Alas, mostly overcast, cold and/or stormy here in Southern Oregon.

Here is "My Neighbors Sky". Note, I am now an official member of S.T.C. (Sketchbook Typo Club). (can click images to enlarge)



"My Neighbors Sky"
9 x 12 sketchbook
watercolor and ink




The actual sketch is not really too 
detailed, as you can see here:



Happy sketching,

Retta

Friday, January 16, 2015

Retired Red Lady!

The red lady in this case is a wonderful old caboose! 

From Sketchbook Skool homework: Draw in Public.

Well, I tried. Went to the Railroad Park here in Medford, Oregon. It was foggy and cold. THEN it decided to rain. Snapped a reference photo, and headed back home to finish.

This is my reference photo; you'll see 
softened the bright green of the grass,
since I wanted the grand old 
Red Lady to be the focus.


But by at least starting on site, I still felt the cold, fog, and quiet of that old retired caboose even after I got home. 

As I drew, I thought of all the stories it could tell, the miles it had seen. So I didn't do my customary bright colors, but "foggy" and somewhat quiet colors around the old red Lady.  

I started with loose light umber colored pencil sketching. No pencil and eraser... oh so hard for me! But it was fun to experiment! (can click image to enlarge)




"Retired Caboose"

9 x 12 sketchbook; ink, watercolor, 
watercolor pencil, colored pencil 
and white gouache




Happy Sketching,

Retta

Tuesday, January 13, 2015

Dogs an' Ducks!

Just a shortie today. Homework from Week 2 of Sketchbook Skool. 

Assignment from teacher Koosje Koene:
Draw a simple object in colored pencil.

What was that squeak squeak sound I heard, as I looked around the house for a likely subject??

Oh! Joey was playing with her favorite toy: Squeakie Duck.





Thanks for sharing your duck with me for a while, little Miss Joey!

"Your welcome, Momma!"



Happy Sketching,

Retta

Friday, January 09, 2015

A Peek at my Week


Week 1 of Sketchbook Skool is at an end. Our 2nd homework assignment from teacher Danny Gregory was to "Document Your Week." Oh, and use no pencil first. Aarrgh...

Since my photo turned out less than sharp and the writing is too small, I'll tell you what it's about.

I drew stuff that caught my eye:

  • A dino model.
  • My 15 yr old Charlie plant I was watering. 
  • Christmas decor still to be packed. 
  • My studio hours sign (now just to get OTHERS to take me seriously!). 
  • A fav ceramic fridge magnet. 
  • A stuffed black & white tuxedo cat that guards my studio.
  • Sugar-free Amaretto DaVinci syrup right before adding to my chipped coffee mug. 
  • Two new rubber stamps that I tried out for the first time around the edges. 
  • A fav quote taped up in my studio. 
  • A mechanical pencil with Je Suis Charlie next to it. 
  • And that brown & white furball is Joey, my 4 year old Mini Schnauzer. She likes to take afternoon naps in my studio.
(can click to enlarge)


In 9 x 12 Visual Journal Sketchbook, Pitt pens, watercolor, watercolor pencils and waterbrush, and colored pencil. 

The hardest part, for me? No pencil first!

Happy sketching!

Retta







Wednesday, January 07, 2015

A Shiny New Year... with Cows & Squirrels!

It's a brand new year, and I've started a brand new semester at Sketchbook Skool. This course is called Beginnings.

While waiting for classes to begin, somehow a bunch of us got started drawing and painting cows. Yep, cows.

We rounded up all the strays and put them into an album we called the Cow Corral. Here is my contribution, just for the fun of it (can click images to enlarge):






And now my first homework from Week 1 of Beginnings. 
First assignment from teacher Danny Gregory: Draw & Feel. 

I've had this little squirrel for about 20 years, and it still makes me smile. 

Done in my 9 x 12 sketchbook; Inks, gouache, white paint pen and colored pencil.





Well, off to start homework assignment two for this week!


Happy sketching,

Retta

Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Virtual Paintout 20: Timeless Italy!


Last day of the last month of the year! Time for a photo of my studio workspace. Yes... a wee bit messy. And I confess, this is a neat day, ha ha ha!




On to my painting for Decembers Virtual Paintout. For this last month of 2014, we virtually visited Rome, Italy. So full of beauty and history! 

A sense of Timelessness.  Words fail me. 

The site I chose was at the Baths of Caracalla, the famous ancient Roman Baths. Built in the early AD 200's, they were huge public baths. Here's my original location (can click on any pics to enlarge):



Something appealed to me about the ancient ruins, beautiful sky, and green grounds.

And those trees.  
They looked as if they had been around for ages. 
Their height, their shape. 
Old trees that could tell a story. 

And my imagination went wandering, and I saw Others present. 

From an even more distant past. 
Like Time overlaying Time. 
Energy from the Past still interwoven with Today. 

So I played with it. :-)

In progress on my easel:





And the finished painting:


"Timeless"
Baths of Caracalla, Rome, Italy
9 x 12 acrylic on
wrapped canvas




A couple of close-ups... 
first the Triceratops Mama and baby:





And the Brachiosaurus:





My thanks to artist Bill Guffey for leading the Virtual Paintout. He takes us to a new location every month, and spends untold hours posting all of our paintings in our Facebook gallery. You can visit Bill's own art website Here.  Thanks, Bill!

I haven't mentioned it in awhile, but the monthly Virtual Paintout is open to anyone of all skill levels and almost all mediums. It's a lot of fun! For more info, check out his blog Here


Thank you for visiting and Happy painting - and Happy New Year!

Retta


PS: for the purists amongst us...
The Brachiosaurus was from the Jurassic era, and was first discovered in Colorado, North America in 1903 (not Italy, ha ha).
The Triceratops, on the other hand, was from the late Cretaceous era, and many skeletons have been found in North America and Canada. Oh, and the flying Pteranodon hung out in about the same timeframe and places as the Triceratops. 

Obviously, my painting is a work of fractured fantasy! :-D