#world watercolor month

Participating in #worldwatercolormonth, here's a couple recent urban sketches of my neighborhood walk with watercolor added......

Drawn in 4x6 Pentalic sketchbook, platinum fountain pen, carbon ink, watercolors.

A local church that I drive by every morning on the way to work. A front yard swing on my evening walk.

world watercolor month


Join in! Begun by Charlie O'Shields of Doodlewash, he managed to get July officially designated as World Watercolor Month. To sweeten the fun, he's joined by The Dreaming Zebra Foundation, a charity supporting the exploration of art for children.

WWM (world watercolor month) can be found on instagram, twitter, and, of course, facebook.

Everyone is encouraged to experiment, to play, to try out, watercolor. Make one a day for the month of July, or one whenever you can. One or 31, it's up to you. The goal is to encourage people to connect with art and their own creativity.

I love watercolor painting. Sure, it's challenging and doesn't always turn out the way I'd like. That happens with ALL my art! :)  But, I love the way colors move and blend with the water. If you haven't worked in watercolor before, watch a couple you tube videos, buy a few inexpensive colors and give it a try!

Share your art in whatever social media platform you'd like - use #WorldWatercolorMonth so everyone can find you!

Looking forward to seeing your efforts (and I'll share mine here!)


week 2 of vacation

Our second week of vacation found us in Pompano Beach, a small community sandwiched between Boca Raton and Ft Lauderdale. We stayed at a Wyndham resort which was lovely - a beautiful room, gorgeous grounds and lots of on-site activities. We went to the beach once and it looked just like Myrtle Beach (long strand of white sand), so our  relaxing time was spent pool-side. Most of my sketching was done around the resort.......

Kind of practicing on all the variety of palm trees near the pool.....there are an amazing amount of different types of palms. 

This is definitely an example of how sketching helps you focus on your surroundings. In previous years, I would have admired a tree or two and gone back to reading. This time I really LOOKED at the trees, figured out how they were similar or different, attempted to capture them. I love that aspect of embracing sketching. 

Once again I attempted people - we went to see a horse race - trotters - one evening and between  races I tried my hand at capturing these guys..... You can see I gave up on one of the faces; but the bodies are okay....

the everglades

the everglades

he takes his gaming very seriously!

lots of funky trees in FL

It was very hot and muggy in FL - don't think we'll be going back.....we've been there several times and that's enough. There are more places to explore.


where does the time go???

It's been almost a month since I shared here.  Sheesh!  Where DOES the time go? Well, I was on  vacation for a couple weeks, so that might be part of it. And, I took my sketchbooks and pens. I did post a few things here and there on  FB while on the trip, but I'll share a bit more here for those of you interested to follow along.

Week 1 was spent in Myrtle Beach, SC. Our timeshare was on the beach which was good - just a trip down the elevator and walk on the short boardwalk to the beautiful white sand beach. Dan and I walked 3 miles every morning up and down that beach - alternating north one morning, south the next.

All of these sketches are from around our resort area - the beach umbrellas and chairs were set up every morning by the lifeguards about 8-8:30a. You could rent 2 chairs and an umbrella for $35/day. We went and bought 2 low folding chairs for a total of $25 and just left them at the end of the week - a much better use of $$$.

sitting on the beach, looking back to the row of hotels/resorts and umbrellas. Those stupid recliner chairs became the bane of my sketching efforts! Never did really get the figured out.

those stripey shapes going through the bottom right are supposed to be tire tracks from the early morning police check.

dan prefers no color, so I tried one with less color.

there are those stupid recliners again! Obviously need more practice.

Don't laugh.Okay, go ahead and chuckle. We had an hour or so wait between dinner and an  outdoor concert - so I sketched several pages of what I could see, which was mostly people. People are HARD! I kinda get the bodies, kinda sorta, but heads.....not so much. Do people really need to have heads?

We thoroughly enjoyed our relaxing week of sitting on the beach, drinking on the beach, sunning on the beach, talking and walking and relaxing on the beach.

We did take a day trip to the Georgetown area (about 1 hour away) where we visited historic homes and a historical rice plantation house (Hopsewee Plantation) and another half day trip to Brookgreen Gardens & Pawley's Island. The garden is the largest sculpture garden in the US with over 500 sculptures placed throughout a huge garden. Gorgeous!

Kaminski house in Georgetown.

Don't we look relaxed?  Vacation is great!


urban sketching at King St Station

I attended my second get together of the Seattle urban sketcher group on Sunday. We met at the King St train station which has been SO beautifully restored.  There's a wealth of detail, lighting challenges, and most of all, perspective challenges.

I sketched here for the first time a couple months ago at the end of my perspective workshop and it was SO difficult.  This time I knew what to expect and thought I'd approach it differently, maybe just focusing on a particular detail.  But, no, I was once again sucked into trying to capture some of the grandeur.  This time I challenged myself to include some of the ceiling.....

After spending a chunk of time on the interior, I decided to head outside even though it was drizzly and wet (such a typical Seattle spring day).  I found this undercover waiting area and wanted to see if I could correctly capture the row of planters AND actually include a person.  Moved back inside to add the watercolor.

The sharing time is SO interesting as you get to see what everyone else drew.  There was everything from beautifully rendered interior sketches (including one that focused on the flooring pattern!) to grand outdoor vistas, to sketches focusing on the people in the station.  So much fun!

I loved this people sketch - unfortunately, I don't know enough of the participants to know whose it is, but isn't it great? There were LOTS of cool sketches!

If you have any interest at all in sketching with a supportive group (it helps reduce the pressure of sketching in public when there are others around), look for the urban sketcher group in your city - they are everywhere!


sketches for last week of April

I only did a couple on-site sketches this week - stopped at South Seattle College and wandered around & discovered this clock tower.  Man, it was hard!

The black smudges are because my fountain pen leaked and made a big black blob on the shirt I was wearing so I was trying to press some of the ink out.  Hopeless.  Ruined.  Oh well.....in the name of art, right?

Neighborhood house sketch done on my way home from work in my new Stillman & Birn book - that sure is great paper but I haven't decided if I like bound or spiral yet.  Also tried a new brush pen and discovered the ink isn't waterproof.
drawn from a photo  - Whistler Village from vacation  a couple years ago.

I purchased the book The Art of Urban Sketching - it's a wonderful book filled with contributions from sketchers all over the world, and so full of a variety of styles. Since copying is some sort of form of flattery, I thought I'd practice on some of the sketches from the book:

I particularly like the food truck on the top - it's the first time a vehicle drawing of mine doesn't look cartoony. I'll have to pick just the cars out of some of the others from the book to try to understand drawing vehicles better.  The colored sketch is a Cape Cod lighthouse from my photo.

I love that I'm continuing to work without penciling in anything first and yet shapes still seem to appear, mostly correctly!

This practice sketch is copying a Pinterest image - we'll be headed to FL in a few weeks for vacation so I wanted to get an idea about how to draw palm trees. This is one effort - more will show up next week.  I also want to practice a few ocean / water scenes since we'll be on the beach. I don't want to get there and have no clue about how to capture what I'm seeing. :)

thanks so much for checking in and browsing all my sketches. Hope you have a fabulous, creative week.


sketching continues

Didn't do as many sketches last week - will have to try to do better this week. I did finally invest in some artist quality watercolors for the first time so was eagerly awaiting my Dick Blick shipment this week.  I changed up my palette and added the new colors, then had to draw it!

I also ordered a couple of new sketchbooks - ones that seem to be favored by most of the urban sketchers I've been reading.  I got a Pentalic small 3x5 one (below) and then a larger one with heavier paper more suited to watercolor, a Stillman & Birn, alpha series (above).

I sat on my deck after work and drew this little sketch of my yard into the neighbor's.  We have a gorgeous red maple shrub that dominates this viewpoint.

We went to Virginia City to visit family - Dan's mom will be 93 in a couple weeks.  We stayed with his brother and wife and they have this lovely yard - tough to sketch, but I gave it a shot.  First time I painted on site in real time.  And, I did it all with no yellow - I totally ran out of yellow paint so couldn't get some of the greens I wanted, but.......the overall capture is fine.

Hope you're in the midst of a creative week!  Practice, practice, whatever your interest ---- do more of it!  :)


seattle skyline & taking a walk

Continuing my sketching.  After work on Friday, the weather was so pretty I decided to go to west Seattle and try a broader cityscape type sketch. It seemed like it should be easy cuz it's all rectangular shapes.  Well.......

then a touch of color & some darks

the reference photo:
 I cropped out the fence in the photo, but actually it was easily half my view. Also, I made a major error in scale calculation so totally ran out of room to get all the buildings.  However, the exercise was good, it was fun to do, and I was so engrossed that time just flew by.

Then I stood up and focused on a single element of the scene.

This weekend I went for a walk & did 2 quick sketches. My goal with both of these was to draw them quickly, while standing, pretending I was short of time but wanting to capture a view. I just read a Marc Taro Holmes blog post where he talks about the value of being able to simplify and sketching quickly that I found inspiring.      (this boat below hasn't moved from the yard in the 3 years I've been walking this route) The dark shadows are the blacks showing through from the other sketch.
(color added when I got home) - funny, I don't even remember seeing that arrow sign, yet I drew the tree behind it. :)

Marc also wrote about seeing & using darks which I tried to keep in mind with this sketch. By the way, his website has all sorts of tips and instructions about urban sketching - definitely a valuable resource.
Paint & shadows bleeding through from other side. Guess I shouldn't be so cheap and not draw on the back of the pages......

Hope you all have a fabulous and creative week!