Friday, December 28, 2012

Last Three Days

Here's the last three day's of the 75 day sketching challenge. I can honestly say that I DID IT! It was fun but it wasn't easy either. I learned there are days that I don't feel like drawing and those days are very visible in those sketches too.  To do the drawings without the aid of a pencil or in my case, the eraser was at first very intimidating but after a week, I was able to loosen up some and enjoy my good as well as not so good lines and perspective. I'll definitely keep with a journal for this purpose, I just won't make it an every day requirement.
Thanks again goes to the artist who supports this challenge, Brenda Swenson. You can find the details here on her blog....

I highly recommend doing the challenge. 

Tuesday, December 25, 2012

3 day mix

Three days here and only three days to go. I can't believe I'm going to finish the challenge that begun 2 and a half months ago. It reminds me of the saying that "time passes" anyway, there's no stopping it and I might as well be doing something productive so in the end I get a sense of accomplishment.

Thursday, December 20, 2012

Berries, Sponges and Abe

Abe's face is from a jigsaw puzzle box top showing the art work of Stephen Fishwick. If you get a free minute, google the name and you'll see the unusual painting technique that Fishwick uses. I stuck with my ink fountain pen and water brush to do my rendition.

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

I See Flowers

I have to say that I'm having fun with this one picture of potted flowers. Maybe it's the colors from the window or the striped wall paper, there's something about the picture that is enticing me to keep drawing and painting the same.
My framed painting turned out okay until I realized that watercolors should not be displayed like an oil painting. One badly aimed shot from the water bottle (the dog barking deterrent) and I could end up with a much different painting. LOL. Another lesson learned. 

Sunday, December 16, 2012

Three more days.....

The flower pot was good practice for a painting I'll be doing on the same. I'm experimenting with a sheet of watercolor paper stretched and stapled onto a frame.  I did the set up yesterday and today, with the paper dried I'll begin painting and see how it turns out. Since I can't be where I'd like to be, camping in the middle of a snowy somewhere watching the aurora borealis, I'll take a short flowery vacation into my creative zone.

Friday, December 14, 2012

Challenge Update

I'm getting very close to the end of this challenge found here and supported by artist Brenda Swenson......
75 days is a long stretch but I'm finding out that using only ink to sketch out a drawing, even though my shapes are not perfect, I now have more confidence in my lines than I did 2 months ago when I began this challenge. 

Monday, December 10, 2012

The Perfect Place to Be.

Today was a all blue sky day with the temperature at perfect degrees. I found out the best place to spend some time sketching outdoors was at a local winery. Afterwards, sampling the product of the vineyard was an absolute necessity. We will return when the leaves are full on the vines for another sketch and more samples.

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Half Way!

Actually, a little over half way through to the 75 day sketching challenge. YAY!

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Cape Neddick - Nubble Lighthouse, Maine

After my one brother saw the lighthouse I did in water color class, he put in a special request for a painting done of the Nubble lighthouse that's located in Maine. He spent some time in the northeast area between collage and living in N.H. I hope he's going to like this painting.

Friday, November 9, 2012

Watercolor Class

Last week at the end of watercolor class the instructor asked us if we wanted some homework. Everyone went crazy with a yes! or we would love to have homework! LOL....when you love what you're doing, it's not a chore at all.
I've gotten a little bit behind in my daily drawing postings, maybe I can get caught up this weekend.

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

75 Day Challenge - Day 16

The past two days I've done portraits of my dogs. I'm happy to say there's only one more dog to go because this is the first time in the past week or so that I've really missed being able to make corrections with an eraser. BUT....that's part of the challenge.

Saturday, October 27, 2012

75 Day Challenge - Day 13

My go to camera when I want to carry less but still end up with a decent photo or video.

Friday, October 26, 2012

75 Day Challenge - Day 11

I think it's gotten to be a habit now and a good habit to keep going. I'm not worried about if I can finish all 75 days now and it's not like I'm going to run out of things to sketch either.  Yesterday I was running out of time to do my sketch so I picked my favorite pens to model for me.

Sunday, October 21, 2012

75 Day Challenge - Day 7

The rest of my travel kit and it fits into a pencil case.

And I made it through the 1st week of not using a pencil or eraser. I'm on my way.

Saturday, October 20, 2012

75 Day Challenge - Day 6

Coming up are some days filled with the stuff I'm currently using. Here's my ultra lightweight watercolor pallet that I made up from other peoples ideas on the internet. It's difficult finding a tin that does not have the impressions of the name stamped into the top lid. I found this vintage sucrets tin on ebay. I chose to use full pans on the primary colors and half pans on some of my other favorite colors. You could get up to 12 different colors by using all half pans but for now, this set up is working for me. Next time I just have to remember to wait long enough for the freshly squeezed paint to set. The yellow traveled around the tin on it's first outing. Live and learn right?.

Thursday, October 18, 2012

75 Day Challenge - Day 4

Day 4 and I decided to keep this one totally inked, no watercolors. I like buildings.

I really missed not having the preliminary erasable pencil sketch on day 2 of The Gorilla and day 3 The Pink Truck but that's what this is all about, right?

Lamy pens and Noodler's ink.

Monday, October 15, 2012

75 Day Sketch Challenge - day 1

I've been thinking about starting this challenge for the past few weeks and decided today would be a great day to begin for no other reason than for me to make the commitment and do it (otherwise known as sh*t or get off the pot).  So this it the first of 74 more of ink drawings. Besides the daily sketch the other requirement is no pencil is allowed allowed, only ink. It's already made me see the lines, shadows and space differently and slower too. I think I'll be getting a ton of experience out of this exercise. Done in Noodler's kiowa pecan in with a light water color wash.
Check out the challenge here..... the supporting artist, Brenda Swenson, provides a very cool incentive for completion.

Friday, October 12, 2012

Clouds and Reflections

Yesterday in Southern California we had rain showers off and on all day long. What came with the rain was some really magnificent cloud formations. Since we haven't seen or felt either one in over 6 months, our art teacher, Steve Allan thought it would be a great time to do an exercise on painting clouds. We learned it's not so much painting them, it's more like removing them from the sky.

 After doodling around with clouds for 15 minutes Steve took us to our assignment.  He has a way of showing us what we'll be drawing while he's telling us the "story" of the picture.  Then he puts us on our own but walks around and provides valuable input or even a helping brush.  What we worked on with the second painting was reflections....from the clouds, the trees or anything else you might have added to the scene.  He really gives everyone in the class a lot of encouragement.

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

The Korner Store

I spent about 90 minutes parked outside the Korner Market. I don't know how many times I've driven by the place and always thought it to be a good painting subject and finally. I think I'll be hitting up more of the little stores in town as well as some of the many tattoo shops.

Saturday, October 6, 2012

ADNW - October Challenge

A Day Not Wasted painting challenge for October was a picture of this lad in Dublin. I used my Lamy pen for the outline then tried out my Progresso colored pencils. I'm happy with everything but the face. I made the young man a few years older. sigh

The Lighthouse

I thought retirement would lend itself to days filled with little to do. Meaning I would have many hours available to do sketching and water colors. One month into this so called free time has given me a chance to do only two drawings and the latest one comes directly from attending a class. I need to re-prioritize my "to do" list and become better at the retiring part.
Instructor and water-colorist Steve Alan stepped the class through this painting and provided some insights on developing a sky and cutting rocks into the paper. It felt good to be back with the pallet.

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

good bye

I found another great challenge where you get a water color blob to doodle around. Go here and check it out Gab Collab

It's FUN!

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

A New Find


Firstly, I can't believe it's been close to 3 months since my last posting. Time really flys when you're busy. Hopefully, with early retirement only 11 days away I should have the time to do what I really enjoy which is photography and painting and a few other things too.
I have found a cool site here...
Maybe it's the fine photography that is done by Lee A Brown or maybe it's the title of his blog, "A Day Not Wasted" or a combo of both but I've spent some time cruising around the blog and decided to try his August challenge.
Cheers everyone!

Monday, May 28, 2012

Eat at Joe's

 This is the second in a series of three Grand restaurants for a friend.

Sunday, May 27, 2012


Every Tuesday a portion of the Grand street is shut down for the Farmer's Market and there's always large tables laden with delicious, locally grown fruits and vegetables.
(for this month's Sketchbook challenge)

Friday, May 25, 2012

Cubs and Fire

It was during my trip back home to Jersey when my older brother and I decided to go fishing at the pond that we encountered a big mama bear with her three cubs. Apparently, someone had thrown some left over bagels in the area, even sticking some up high in the trees and this family enjoyed eating them all up. It was fun watching them and taking pictures from the safety of the car. My brother and I decided to go try our luck fishing at the river instead the pond. 

The fire department at my home town still sounds out the 5 o'clock whistle each night.  As a kid, when I heard that sound I knew it was time to head on home. It's comforting to know that some things don't change.  I knew drawing the building was going to be challenging due to the different shapes and angles so this was a practice session for me because I'm planning on doing a series of watercolors of my home town.

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

The Last Class Assignment

I can't believe how 6 weeks has gone by so quickly in our drawing class. It was a sad and quiet meeting last night as our teacher gave us our final work assignment, working with pastels! That was a first for me. And in our 45 minutes I got as far as I got below before turning in the colorful pieces of pastels  (funny how the camera couldn't clearly focus on the fuzzy board). Now I need to add more things to my art's very different than sketching or working with water colors. But it was fun working from the dark to the lighter shades and seeing the form appear on the board. I'm hooked.

On another note, I was able to get a few people from the class signed up to continue to do some sketching meet ups. Who knows, maybe we'll get a Urban Sketchers group formed in the future. Now that would be exciting!

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Vase Trio

More fun in the 1967 BSoA notebook and using the Faber-Castell Pitt pens. And guess what, I ordered more pens :D

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

More Fun

Another drawing with the Faber-Castell Pitt pens. Looks like I'm going to have to get more colors in these pens soon. :)
The right page on this drawing is the back side of my first so you can see, no bleeding occurred.

Last night's class was on values. Taking a b&w picture and using our value scale we practiced the many values of a 6B pencil.  

Monday, April 23, 2012

Fun Sketches

I picked up some Faber-Castell artist pens earlier this year. They're the B's which mean brushes I guess, normal size for the various colors and big brush size for the black and greys. It's really nice working with them. They dry quickly but not too quick so you have time to smear the color if you want. And they don't bleed through the paper. The flowers are done in a 1966 Boy Scout Leader's program 4'X6" notebook that I just started to use. Yes, I began in the middle which eliminates my first page fears. I can tell you none of the ink went through to either side of the thin paper.  The downside is, my pens will now be part of the to be packed list for me but the pluses out numbers though with using something new and something very old (pens and notebook).

Below is our drawing assignment for the week. I had to stand in front of a mirror while holding onto the wall or something with my non-drawing hand. Close my non-dominate eye and draw myself on the mirror with an erasable dry pen. You'll find you'll move a lot which is why you need to hang onto something. Once done, I then transferred the image onto tracing paper using a permanent sharpie type pen. I didn't catch why we needed to do this exercise but I have to say I learned one thing...I look mean when I'm into the zone. Holy Smokes, I need to smile a little! ;) 

Saturday, April 21, 2012

Missing My Dad

As I come across old photos, I'm enjoying sketching my Dad and remembering what we were doing at that time and place. This one is from a trip in TN. Next week I fly home with him to Jersey for his memorial and put him in his final resting place by my Mom.  It's going to be good to be with my brothers and their families and since I'm staying for a week, expect to see some sketches soon from my home town.

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Drawing Class - week 2

After a delayed start because the room with the mirrors was not going to be available then a podium was needed by the instructor as well as the overhead, we finally got to do some sketching. I should just get into the habit of sketching the teacher while she's in her flustered state. :D Anyhow, I did pick up a super sized sketching book (11" X 14") at a new for me local craft store. And at 5 bucks off I thought it was a good deal. This week's homework assignment is sketching your face on a mirror using the washable markers then tracing the results. One at the beginning of the week with practices in-between and one at the end of the week.
Here's some of last week's assignments as well as a in class exercise on two point perspective. I have to say I'm finding myself sketching a lot more and on every piece of paper that lands in front of me.  It's all good for me.

gesture drawings from a TV show....very difficult to comprehend and get the flow started but after loosening up, I actually began enjoying them.

two point perspective done in class without the help of a ruler too...this is good practice for me because I've had some perspective issues in the past.

Monday, April 16, 2012

Gdansk, Poland

Google maps can take you to very unusual places. I felt very lucky to find this spot that got hit with some interesting graffiti in Gdansk, Poland for April's Virtual Paintout.

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Drawing Class - 1

The first night of drawing class was this Monday. There was a great turnout with twelve people, mostly women but there were two guys there too which was nice to see. The teacher is a local artist and definitely an artsy fartsy type (all in a good way too). 

We started out going over the required supplies and did two contour drawing which always makes people very nervous to do. The last one was what she called a partial contour drawing where when you stop the pencil, you can take a peek at your paper.

I basically killed the lady from across the room from me in the 1st and 3rd drawing, she really doesn't look like that but I have to say, my hand came out pretty good for not seeing what I was drawing.

The teacher let us out 10 minutes early from class. I never thought early dismissal would bother me. Homework is doing more contour as well as some gesture drawings and she's asked us to draw at least for 10 minutes a day. I'm going to enjoy this class.

Monday, April 2, 2012

Back to Basics

I checked my calendar to see when the drawing class begins and I have one more week of waiting. I'm excited to again be with a group of people interested in sketching. My required supplies list is complete with the exception of "tape". I'm not really sure what kind so I'll carry a roll of masking tape with me for the first class. Yesterday I did some practicing with the very basic supplies, a sketch book (actually two) and a papermate silhouette 0.7mm lead pencil (with eraser). Between some unsuspecting souls, a picture of a man, the cat that wouldn't stay still and good old stand by plant I was able to exercise the right side of my brain.