Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Virtual Paintout 19: Beautiful Luxembourg!

For the month of November our fearless Virtual Paintout leader Bill Guffey led us to a lovely place to visit: Luxembourg. It's a very small country bordered by Germany, Belgium and France.

I thoroughly enjoyed toodling around via Google Street View, and settled on this location for my painting:

Funny story: This is a small country, yes. But it was hilarious to me that as I traveled around randomly, I saw this SAME man walking his dogs FOUR times, in 4 different locations. I recognized his bright yellow shirt. 

Anywhoo... I thought I'd experiment a little with ink and watercolors on this one. And it turned out... well, not as I had expected. The good part is, I finally understood what some other artists had been talking about in Sketchbook Skool. They said: 

Either the Line leads, or the Color leads, but not both.

 I wanted the Line to lead here, but failed. So I kept adding color, trying to get the definition I wanted in the foliage. But then ended up too saturated, losing a lot of linework. After looking at artwork by others using both ink line and watercolor, I realized I could have re-stated some key lines again at the end. Well, live and learn. 

Anyway, here it is: "Over or Under?", a street in Luxembourg:
(can click on any pics to enlarge) 

"Over or Under?"
6 x 9 sketchbook
Ink, watercolor, gouache
and colored pencil

A close-up of the hilltop house:

Silhouette of MrYellowShirt walking
his dog through the tunnel:

Happy painting,


Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Sketchbook Skool &Remembering the Colors of Rembrandt

Oh no, say it ain't so!

This was the last week (of 6) of this session of Sketchbook Skool, called Storytelling.

I've enjoyed it SO much, so decided not to rush this lesson. I'm taking my time with the homework assignment, and thoroughly "sucking the marrow out of it", to paraphrase Henry David Thoreau.

I took my color scheme for the first page from some Rembrandt sketches I studied online. He's famous for the drama of his paintings, but Rembrandt also did wonderful preparatory sketches (ha ha, how's that for name dropping).

This is the first page of several to come. I'm loosely planning on 5 pages. This is the Intro page, with small sketches featuring our fearless leader, Danny Gregory. I took the reference photos from his road trip video he filmed for this Lesson.

First, the close ups (can click any to enlarge):

Mugging for the camera in 
Albuquerque, New Mexico:

His yellow sunglasses caught my fancy 
at the Grand Canyon stop:

And I couldn't pass up the cowboy hat in Texas:

Here's the whole Intro page for my homework 
project I'm titling "My Trip to the Moon & Back":

Intro Page from 
"My Trip to the Moon & Back"
Pitt pens, colored pencils, 
watercolor pencils, waterbrush, 
white gelly pen, on paper 
toned with acrylic

Happy sketching,


Sunday, November 09, 2014

Sketchbook Skool: I need Practice!

Week 5 of Sketchbook Skool: Gesture Drawings

Yikes, that was a hard week for me. 

I am NOT a fast sketcher, painter, drawer, anything-er. But I signed up for this Sketchbook Skool, plunked down my hard earned money, so by golly, I was gonna get my money's worth by giving it a try, ha!

First homework assignment up: Group Gesture Drawing;  Spend the afternoon in a local cafe sketching groups of people. Goal:  gesture, movement, a small "story", not a likeness.

Well... I couldn't go to the local Cafe and hang out (mobility/transportation issues), so I hung out with the singing group Train, recorded singing live on Letterman. They sang a favorite song of mine "Calling All Angels" (thank you, Mr Youtube). (can click pic to enlarge)

"I Won't Give Up"

9 x 12 sketchbook
Pitt pens Med and Brush
watercolor pencils

This assignment taught me several things:

I DO enjoy dancing lines, thick and thin lines, dashes and dots and squiggly lines.

I do NOT enjoy drawing just in black and white, nor do I enjoy drawing under a time pressure, in a hurry.

At first, I did NOT like my finished piece; it seemed stiff and gawky.

So I decided to just cut loose and have fun with it! I added some border lines, lettering at the top, a few of the colors I saw on the stage, and stage lights. Now I like it. :-)

Last line in their song: 

"I won't give up. You don't give up."

If you'd like to hear Train sing the song, visit youtube HERE. 


Next up: One Person Gesture Drawing.  Follow one person around and make gesture drawings of them.

This was HARD!
Me not LIKE it.
Felt rushed and stressful.
But me DID it.

My "subject" was available for this overcast
and chilly day in Southern Oregon.

He couldn't mow grass until leaves raked.
So I sketched husband while he worked.
(He thought he was working while I was playing).

Filled mower with gas.
More raking.
Chewed on bone (dog, not husband).
Finally mowed lawn.
By that time I was cold (and complaining 
"but he keeps moving").
Wimped out and went inside to hot tea.

There you have it, my homework for Gesture drawings. 
And I learned WHY I didn't enjoy drawing in a rush:
I don't like the results. 

And that's just lack of practice. 
I get better results when I go slow 
but it's not natural and easy,
like the teachers of this kind of gesture drawing. 

My take away: practice, patience and persistence!!

Happy sketching,


Saturday, November 01, 2014

My Favorite Homework Assignment Yet!

Jane Filer is one of my favorite acrylic artists, creating amazingly imaginative, wildly colorful and unpredictable paintings. 

So, I was excited when my latest Sketchbook Skool homework assignment was to create an imaginary book cover, done in the style of a favorite artist. Here's an example of her art (can click on any pics to enlarge):

Since my husband and I recently celebrated our 37th anniversary, I chose to make the imaginary book cover for our Wedding Photo Album.

My sweetie proposed to me all those years ago on a bridge at a park, in front of the children's wooden playground.

Doing this assignment brought back such memories. I enjoyed 
doing it very much!

It all started with a line drawing. 
I drew many of the shapes as an homage 
 to Jane Filer, such as pointed arms and 
feet, angel in the air, fish  seeming to 
hover, flower and tree shapes, and
the running rabbit with ears
streaming behind:

I scanned it and played with color 
schemes in photoshop:

And the finished colored sketch:

"The Proposal"

Done in 9 x 12 sketchbook, Pitt pens, watercolor pencils, 
waterbrush, colored pencils, white paint pen, 
and gold Pearl-Ex for the lettering. 

Close ups:

Thanks for looking, and happy sketching!