Saturday, May 30, 2020

Visiting with Vincent in my backyard

Just grabbed some ink and pens and tried my best to channel Vincent. 

Ralph Steadman?

I love Ralph Steadman's work. I find his work funny, playful, serious, and skilled. I like platters and ink blotches and admire good draftsmanship.  I can do splatters and blotches and am working on draftsmanship. 
I have been taking Shari Blaukopf's Light, Shadow, and Color class.  There are lessons with bins and cars.

We have a portapotty out front for a few weeks while our house is being painted.  

I did two sketches. One inspired by Steadman. 
 The other  direct watercolor, no pencil/pen.

Virtual sketchcrawl - Embody the art you love

Today's challenge was to be inspired by and emulate some piece of artwork that you love.  I'd picked Hokusai's Great Wave.  

I used a limited palette and no blending to try to emulate a woodblock print, portraying a few leaves of the shrub beside my front porch.

51st and Sandy Blvd

The past week I have been working on a twelve panel Concertina (Accordian) sketchbook. Each panel is about 7.5" x 10", so the entire book is 7.5" x90".
 I made  the sketchbook and prepared the pages in this book in my studio, then took it out to the construction site down the street in the evenings.  It was quiet.  The workers gone home and very few people saw me juggle this concertina and supplies. I am experimenting with various new materials, new approaches and various ways to document this. Affinity Photo ( a photoshop alternative) has a panorama creating feature. My scanning bed is 11X17 ,so I scanned and patched!   
I am greatly inspired by two Karen Stamper's online Concertina workshops: How Wild is your Garden and Creative Concertina Sketchbooks 1 Buildings/Streets/

We are not happy about a six story, eighty-five unit, twenty parking space building goin up a block away, BUT it is quite the sketching opportunity!

Friday, May 29, 2020


I thought that I should document all the construction that going on within sight of my house.  Cause someday, God willing, it'll all be done and quiet on the street again.

The green dumpster is for my next door neighbor.  The structural work is all done now, and the electrical system and plumbing have been repaired.  They still have to re-assemble her kitchen, and repair the plaster and repaint in of the rest of the house.

The brown dumpster is for the triplex across the street, which has been vacant for years.  The original plan was to turn it into a five-story building containing three luxury condominiums.  That, thankfully, was scrapped.  It's either going to come back to life as a modest triplex, or have the apartments merged to become a single-family house.

And behind that, where the alternator rebuild shop used to be, a new condo building is going up. 

Wednesday, May 20, 2020

Sketching with alternative materials

Hi all,
I'm late to adding my virtual sketch crawl doodle but here it is. I painted my coffee cup with coffee. It was a little weird, and the coffee didn't stain as darkly as I wanted, but it was fun. (only down side is that the coffee bled through to the other side of both pages...bummer).

Sunday, May 17, 2020

Virtual Sketchcrawl #4, Saturday, May 30 - Embody the art you love

For our next virtual sketchcrawl, we'd like to lean on our fellow artists (current and past) for inspiration. As always we welcome your participation whether you choose to engage in the challenge or not, but if you would like to try it...

1. Choose a piece of artwork that inspires you or that you find beautiful
2. Identify some aspect of it to try to emulate: colors? rhythm? strong contrasts? delicate lines?
3. Set it up in front of you as you work, and try to capture something about that art that you love as you sketch your home or the view from your window.

Here are a couple examples of what a sketcher might try...

For this Van Gogh painting, you could use Neocolor II crayons or oil pastels in short rhythmic lines to get strong color and rhythm in your sketch, even while your sketch is of a houseplant, a cat, and a bookshelf.

If you are inspired by this painting from Charles Renee Mackintosh, you might choose a limited palette of muted analogous colors and compose your sketch to contrast strong blocky/straight shapes with curvy, natural shapes... perhaps your neighbor's house seen straight on with big curvy tree shapes around it.

We'll start sketching around 10am. After noon, or when you're ready, please post your sketches to this blog, to our email list, or in our Facebook group.

See you (virtually) then!

Saturday, May 16, 2020

Pen to Color Pencils

I am usually a pencil, pen, and watercolor guy. In that order. I'm always too scared to just start drawing with a permanent item. Enter color pencils. They're softer, more forgiving, and quick, but for some reason I rarely use them. In a lifetime I don't think I'll ever master blending them like I can with watercolors.

I found myself downtown today and I had to sketch fast. There were a lot of people passing by who kept me on edge. Looking back, now I see one facade of the building is slightly out of the right plane!

Change it up!

I tried some of my water color pencils, then went back over a little with my watercolor brush.  I like the combination of effects that comes from that.

I got impatient with my attempt to draw on my phone.  That can wait for another time when I find an Android app that can save to somewhere expected.  Or figure out how to capture my screen.  I know I can figure it out but it probably took me less time to just draw this second sketch.

Different Materials

I don't have much left of the materials I don't usually use. I've gotten rid of most of them in the effort to gain space. I use ink all the time but I always use the same tools. So this time I used a feather that has been hanging around my studio, a stick from the apple tree and a copper wire I found outside. I shaped the feather and stick and when at it. The wire delivered the boldest lines and quantities of ink.