Saturday, March 28, 2009

Hotel Monaco Goldfish sketch

Hotel Monaco Goldfish, 5"x7"
(watercolor, Derwent Inktense wc pencils, Arches 300# cp)

The Hotel Monaco in Seattle provides a pet goldfish to each guest who would like one during the length of their stay. This little fellow greeted us in the elevator waiting area when we arrived on our floor. What a pleasant surprise!

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Different Strokes for Different Folks Week 27-28 Challenge

"Faraway Dreams"
(watercolor, micron 02 pen;
please click on image to enlarge)

This week's Different Strokes for Different Folks challenge features a photo of some people frolicking at the beach on a beautiful summer day. My eye was drawn to this man looking wistfully (or perhaps contentedly?) out to sea, which is why I titled this piece, "Faraway Dreams."

You can see the reference photo here and all the wonderful different interpretations on Karin's blog.

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Pike Place Peppers and Flowers

Hanging Peppers and Purple Statice
(watercolor, micron 02 pen, sketchbook)

While in Seattle last weekend, we went to the world-famous Pike Place Market. It was a riot of colorful fruits, vegetables, and flowers. The shop with the hanging chili peppers was especially vivid:

Hanging Chili Peppers
(please click on photo to enlarge)

There was an endless sea of tulips:

Tulips at Pike Place Market

Even the roofs were blooming with bright yellow daffodils:

Daffodils in full bloom
(please click on photo to enlarge)

I love Seattle in the springtime!

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

March 2009 Virtual Sketch Date: Two Birds and a Feeder

March 2009 Virtual Sketch Date
Watercolor, Micron 02 pigment pen

This month's Virtual Sketch Date was fun — I saw two birds with great attitude!

Please click here if you'd like to see the reference photo.

And here are the drawings and paintings from artists around the world on the VSD flickr site. It is always a treat to see the different interpretations people create from one photograph.

This is such an enjoyable monthly challenge. I encourage anybody who is interested to just jump right in and give it a go! Many thanks to VSD admins Rose, Jeanette and Stacy for making this challenge possible.

Monday, March 23, 2009

Coyote in Rainbow Socks

Coyote in Socks, side view

Coyote in Socks, front view

On Saturday, we visited the Museum of Glass in Tacoma, Washington. One of my favorite pieces was "Coyote in Socks", shown above.

The talented Hot Shop team at the Museum created this sculpture based on a sketch from 9-year old Marion Emme. Here is her drawing. She writes, "Coyotes are close to my house and I like thinking of them with rainbow socks."

Rainbow socks! I love it!

We watched the Hot Shop team in action as they turned a chunk of molten glass into a beautiful piece of art. Here is a picture of them at work:

Museum of Glass Hot Shop team

Outside, there is a pedestrian bridge filled with stunning pieces by Tacoma-born, master glass sculptor, Dale Chihuly. Here are a few pieces:

Glass by Dale Chihuly, Museum of Glass
(please click on image to enlarge)

This is a wonderful museum which I highly recommend visiting if you are ever in the Tacoma/Seattle area.

Friday, March 20, 2009

First Day of Spring - Daffodil Sketch

Watercolor and micron 02 pen on Fabriano HP 5x7 inch

It is the first day of spring, at long last! I was running around doing errands this afternoon and came across these bright, sunshiny daffodils.

Here is the initial sketch:

Micron pen 02 on Fabriano HP paper

And here is the reference photo I took. These beautiful daffodils looked like a burst of sunshine in our neighbor's yard:

Bright cluster of daffodils on the first day of spring

Happy spring to everyone!

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Knit-a-Square (Sketch and Photos)

Knit-a-Square Sketch
(pen and wash, sketch book; please click on image to enlarge)

Knit-a-Square (wool, size 10-1/2 needles; 8x8inches)

Knit-a-Square (goldenrod wool) and Crochet-a-Square
(cadet blue wool, size K hook)

Part of the fun of belonging to the online art community is seeing what other creative people around the world are doing. This week, I found a link on Creative Everyday to Melissa Langer's blog, Life is Art...Art is Life. She has a post about knitting 8x8inch woolen squares and sending them to a South African women's group that uses them to make blankets for impoverished babies and children. Every square that is sent will be used to keep a cold child warm.

It has been over a year since I've knit or crocheted, but I pulled out my knitting needles and crochet hook and gave it a go. Happily, it all came back to me and I really enjoyed making my first two squares. They're now tucked into an envelope and ready to drop in the mail.

If you'd like to know more about helping in this way, here is a link to the Knitting Squares for Charity website.

Thanks for your great post, Melissa!

Croissant Sketch

EDM #162 (micron 02 pen, watercolor,
Fabriano hot press paper 5x7 inch)

Here is Everyday Matters challenge #162: Draw your breakfast. This croissant is from my favorite local french bakery, St. Honore Boulangerie.

Here is a picture of the restaurant's sign I took last summer:

St. Honore Boulangerie
(please click on image to enlarge)

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Elizabeth Gilbert and Creativity

Elizabeth Gilbert sketch
(Lamy Safari fountain pen
in sketch book)
Lamy Safari fountain pen in sketch book

Yesterday, Camille Olsen kindly sent me a link to a TED talk on creativity. This talk featured Elizabeth Gilbert (author of Eat, Pray, Love) describing a different way to think about creative genius.

While I can't say I agree with her entire premise, there is some interesting food for thought in her 20 minute lecture. In my opinion, everybody is creative in his/her own way. I am less concerned with knowing the source of our creativity and more concerned with simply expressing the creativity that is inherent in each of us.

Of course, this is sometimes easier said than done. We all experience creative slumps at one time or another. If you'd like to share, I'd love to know what helps you get out of a creative dry spell and back into the creative flow.

Here's a link to the talk:

Thanks, Camille!

Monday, March 16, 2009

Boston Terrier Sketch

Micron 02 pen, watercolor, sketchbook

This Boston Terrier is another frisky little fella I met at the dog park last week. His owner was a young woman who had a youngster in her backpack, a toddler by the hand, this dog on one leash and a wiggly pug on another leash. As they walked along, it was like a merry, mobile 3-ring circus!

Saturday, March 14, 2009

Portuguese Water Dog Sketch

Portuguese Water Dog (pen and wash, sketch book)

I love sketching animals in general, and dogs in particular. I was running low on reference photos, so I took advantage of the beautiful weather yesterday and took my camera to the local doggy park. There were about 12 dogs scampering about having a wonderful time! The owners could not have been nicer when I explained the purpose of my visit, and I was able to get some great photos.

This Portuguese Water Dog was very sweet. His owner said she chose him because of her son's allergies. Her son has had no allergic reactions to him and they could not be happier with their family pet. And yes, she said, her pet has been getting a LOT more attention ever since the Obamas mentioned the possibility of getting a Portuguese Water Dog for Sasha and Malia.

Friday, March 13, 2009

T. Boone Pickens Sketch

micron 02 pen, sketch book

Here is another quick sketch done while watching television. This is T. Boone Pickens, as seen recently on Real Time with Bill Maher.

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Saffron Rose Cupcake

Watercolor, Noodler's Ink Bulletproof Lexington Gray, Fabriano hot press paper

This painting is based on the scrumptious-looking Saffron Cupcake created by Asa. You can see the original here on her photostream. It looks like a bouquet of yellow roses, almost (almost!) too good to eat!

I experimented with Noodler's Ink in Bulletproof Lexington Gray and a dip pen. Then I added watercolor and some random splashes of paint.

Here is another version. This one is a little looser. It is done on Arches coldpress paper with a micron 02 pigment pen and watercolor.

Watercolor, micron 02 pen, Arches cold press paper

Thanks for giving me permission to paint your lovely saffron cupcake, Asa! It was a lot of fun!

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Llama Sketch

Fountain Pen and non-permanent ink, pocket sketchbook
(please click image to enlarge)

Lately, I have been experimenting with different pens and inks. This sketch was done with the "Pen&Ink" sketching fountain pen with an Extra-Fine point and the non-permanent black ink supplied with it. This is a great, economical fountain pen that comes with 3 cartridges of ink, an ink converter, and a suede pen wrap, all for less than $20.

While not meant to be a Pen&Ink promo, I must say that their little pocket sketch books are nice, too. They are similar to Moleskines, except they seem to hold watercolor washes slightly better. Perhaps this is because they don't have the slick finish that Moleskine sketchbook pages have. They cost less than Moleskines, too. Don't get me wrong. I love my little Moleskines, especially the watercolor versions. It's just that it's nice to have choices.

I'll be sharing more pen and ink experiments as I try out a Sailor 1911 fountain pen and a Lamy Safari pen, among others. Meanwhile, I'd love to hear what your favorite pen and ink combinations are. And what is your preferred type of paper/notebook for pen and wash?

Sunday, March 8, 2009

DSFDF Week 25-26 Challenge: Sushi Cake

Sushi Cake (watercolor with a touch of gouache; micron pen; please click on image to enlarge)

This week's Different Strokes for Different Strokes challenge featured a photo of a plate of sushi rolls in soy sauce. My attention went directly to the front sushi roll, which reminded me of a sweet little cake sitting in a puddle of chocolate syrup.

You can visit Karin's blog to see the wonderful array of creative interpretations for this week's challenge.

Friday, March 6, 2009

Black Cat Watercolor

Black Cat (watercolor)

I spent several delightful hours yesterday with my artist friend, Jennifer Mark, in her studio. She is a fabulous watercolorist who gave me several hints and tips on working with watercolor.

She stressed the importance of using high-quality paper (this cat was painted on 300# Arches), spraying the paper with water and wiping it down prior to painting (this removes the starchy finish), and using a tough little brush called a "scrubber" to lift color and make highlights.

I drew this cat for my grandmother Margaret, who loves cats (but can't have pets where she lives) and is celebrating her 98th birthday tomorrow.

Thursday, March 5, 2009

Jed the St. Bernard Dog

"Jed," age 2 (watercolor - click on image to enlarge)

As I came out of my favorite French bakery last week, I saw this sweet dog resting by his owner's feet, soaking up some rays. His name is Jed and he is two years old. He is one huge pup!

Here is again, using colored pencil:

"Jed," (colored pencil - click on image to enlarge)

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

2-Minute Bird Sketches

Baby bird

Demure bird

Fat Robin

Spring is in the air and I find myself attracted to drawing birds. These three sketches were drawn from reference photos. The top two were done with a micron pen, in less than 2 minutes each. For the lower bird, I used a uni-ball signo ballpoint pen and smeared the ink with a light wash.

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Lamp Sketch: EDM #2

EDM #2: Draw A Lamp
(uniball micro pen; watercolor)

I drew my favorite table lamp using a non-waterproof pen so that I could smear the ink around as a light wash. That only got me so far. Then I splashed on some bright quinacridone rose and gamboge yellow watercolor and liked it much better!

Monday, March 2, 2009

Red Tulips on Aqua Background

Red Tulips on Aqua Background (watercolor)

I wanted to catch the bright energy of these tulips before they began to wilt...


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