Sunday, May 31, 2009

Virtual Sketch Date – May 2009

Virtual Sketch Date - May 2009

14 x 11 inches, charcoal on paper

This month's reference for the Virtual Sketch Date was a photo of two sister's at a hoedown. I decided to focus on just one of the sisters. I also decided to do it in charcoal. It's been a while since I've used charcoal and I rarely do portraits. I ended up covered in charcoal so I must have had fun with it. I was nervous about it at first since I don’t often do portraits, but I’m kind of pleased with it, all things considered.


Sunday, May 24, 2009

Sky Studies

I was out of town at a conference, so I’m a little behind on posting these. Vivien Blackburn is having a sky challenge. I don’t get enough practice painting skies with watercolor so I took her up on the challenge. We’ve had lots of rain lately and I was afraid I would be painting mostly rainy overcast skies. But one day before I left, I decided to paint whether it rained all day or not. I did all of these from our front porch. Luckily, we had a bit of clearing and some nice changes during the day. It was good practice and by the end of the day, I had started to find my rhythm. I might have to make this a regular practice.

Sky 9may09 1pm

May 9 1PM, watercolor in Moleskine

At this point it was still gloomy and rainy but I could see a bit of clearing in the distance.

Sky 9may09 3pm

May 9 3PM, watercolor in Moleskine

Finally there’s a bit of a blue sky. I grabbed my sketch kit and rushed out to paint it.

Sky 9may09 6pm

May 9 6PM, watercolor in Moleskine

By late afternoon, there was a lovely, interesting sky with a nice sunset behind some dark clouds.

I’m hoping to get in a few more sky paintings. You can view all of the works of the sky challenge participants at Vivien Blackburn's blog.

Sunday, May 03, 2009

Backup Sketchbooks

The other day I wrote about my traveling sketch kit that goes almost everywhere with me. Sometimes I’m caught without my sketch kit when I want to get something down on paper or just fill up some time while I’m waiting. A while back someone mentioned buying a bunch of little notebooks and stashing them everywhere for jotting down ideas and notes. (I can’t remember who it was now. If you know, shout out in the comments.) It was such a good suggestion, I thought I would share it.

I ended up buying a pack of tiny spiral-bound notebooks (5 x 3 inches) at the dollar store. I put one in the car, one in my bag, and several more on desks and such. I use them all of the time now. I make tiny sketches. I draft out painting ideas and take notes of things I want to remember. If I need to write something down for someone else, it’s easy to rip out a page. I use them all of time when I’m talking to clients at work and need to make a quick note. The one in the car gets used all of the time for jotting down notes.

Here’s a couple of pages from two notebooks.

Backup Sketchbook

On the left is a sketch I did at the doctor’s office on an unusually busy day. On the right is a note of a color combination for a strong dark black (alizarin crimson, viridian green, phthalocyanine blue). I keep them in a ready available spot with a pencil or pen so there’s no searching around for a piece of paper and a pen. I don’t know how I managed without them.