Saturday, January 24, 2009

Virtual Sketch Date - January 2009 - Clementine

Virtual Sketch Date - Clementine by Sydney Harper
5 x 7 inches, watercolor and gouache

This month's reference for the Virtual Sketch Date was a peeled clementine. I decided to do this one in watercolor with a touch of white gouache at the end for the stringy bits. I don't like to use masking fluid and gouache seemed like a better choice. I had fun with this.


See all of my Virtual Sketch Date posts.

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Week 3 Sketch Page

2009 Week3
Ink and watercolor in sketchbook

Last week's sketch page is kind of dull, I'm afraid. The only thing happening was the weather, but at least the sun came out. That's what everyone was talking about. I was going to enter the Different Strokes from Different Folks but I decided to abandon my painting before it was finished. I'm fascinated by buildings but I'm never happy with my paintings of buildings. Obviously I'm searching for a different look for them but I just don't know what it is yet. I'll figure it out one of these days.

Clint Watson has an interesting blog post by Keith Bond on making time for art. I know making time for art is always a struggle for me. Even if you never want to do art full time, there are some good advice and suggestions in there. It's easy to get caught up in things that aren't that important if you don't make a conscious effort.

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Katie Cat

Katie Cat by Sydney Harper

Katie Cat , pencil in sketchbook
by Sydney Harper

I've been wanting to paint our cat, Katie, for a while now. So lately I've been working on some compositions. This is probably the one I will use. There's not a lot of detail except in the face. Mostly I just wanted to get the primary lines down. The face is where I have the most trouble, so that's where I focused my attention. I drew the eyes several times before they looked right, where I could look at the drawing and say "That's Katie cat."

Sunday, January 11, 2009

Week 2 Sketch Page

2009 - Week2 - Sydney Harper
Ink and watercolor in sketchbook

I had a hard time getting back into any kind of routine this past week after my time off at Christmas. All of the rain we've had lately hasn't helped either. The week started with rain and ended with rain. The sun did come out for a little while. I went to the Army Surplus store and found a bag that should make a good sketching bag. It's 10 w x 10 h x 5 inches deep. It had pockets inside that look to be a good size for brushes, pens, pencils and such. When I went to purchase it, the guy at the counter said a lot of women had been buying them for to use as purses. I'm also very pleased with my little sketchbook. It's an inexpensive Daler-Rowney Cachet sketchbook with cream colored pages. I think it's the field sketchbook. It works well for pencil, pen and watercolor. It's not watercolor paper but it's not bad for a sketchbook.

I'm still going through my Photoshop Classroom in a Book and learning a lot. I don't think I would be learning this much if I was just trying to learn it as I used it. Right now I'm about halfway through the book. The examples used for the lessons cover a wide variety of uses too. I'm enjoying it and I think it will pay off in the long run.

Monday, January 05, 2009

New Year, New Start

First week of 2009, Sydney Harper
pen and colored pencil in sketchbook

Rick and I have been off between Christmas and today. It's been wonderfully relaxing and much needed. We've all been doing a lot of sleeping but I think we needed it. Tomorrow it's back to the routine, though. I'm starting to feel a little restless so I guess it's just as well. I decided that I would do a weekly combo sketch. I may not do it every week, but I like the idea. I'm ready to move on to a new year. Last year was an okay year and ended on a good note, but I'm hoping for a better one this year.

I'm taking
Christine Kane's advice and picking a word for the year. My word is Delight. I hope to find delight and give delight to others this year. Then to take it a step further, I decided to keep my goals simple too.

Be Creative
Make Money
Be Healthy

Obviously I don't have complete control over all of these, such as money and health, but my plan is to do my best. I have more specific plans for the year but I want to focus where I'm headed rather than specifics. One thing I want to do this year is learn Photoshop and Illustrator. I've already started learning Photoshop with the
Adobe Photoshop CS4 Classroom in a Book. The instructions are good and I've having a great time with it. I don't know how it compares to the other books that are available but this one has been easy to follow. I've been moving through the book at a pretty good clip since I've been on vacation. Once I finish this book, I'll move on to Illustrator.