I’ve been so busy these past couple of weeks, that the time has just flashed past . . . and once again I am falling behind in my posting here.
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DSC 140 – from imagination – graphite in 5.5″ x 8.5″ Stillman & Birn Alphas series sketchbook.
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As the secretary for the Pencil Art Society, a lot of my time this month has been taken up by managing the membership, which comes up for renewal on June 1.
DSC 141 – from my own ref – graphite in 5.5″ x 8.5″ Stillman & Birn Alphas series sketchbook.
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Usually once the membership drive is over every year, my time is pretty much my own again, but this year the 2016 PAS International Open Juried Exhibition closes on June 30 . . . and Yikes!! I haven’t even started a drawing to submit yet!!!
DSC 142 – from a stock ref – graphite in 5.5″ x 8.5″ Stillman & Birn Alphas series sketchbook.
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I finally came up with an idea of what I want to draw to submit for the show, and was supposed to meet with my model/daughter last week to get my ref photos . . . but her schedule has been even crazier than mine and she had to cancel at the last minute. So we’re supposed to meet tonight instead. Am keeping everything I have that is crossable, crossed, that I get the shots I need, as she is going out of town very soon and won’t have time for a redo.
DSC 143 – from my own ref – watersoluble graphite in 5.5″ x 8.5″ Stillman & Birn Alphas series sketchbook.
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Hubby and I decided to take advantage of the long holiday weekend here last week to steal some time for ourselves and get away to visit friends out of town, in London and Sarnia. We left early on the Friday evening, and because we didn’t want to do the almost 8 hour drive from Ottawa to London in one shot, we stopped overnight at the charming 1840s MacKechnie House Bed & Breakfast in Cobourg. We had stopped very briefly in Cobourg for an hour or so when on our way back from a trip to Toronto that we’d taken just before we got married, and it was such a lovely place that we’d always really wanted to go back . . . so some 35ish years later, we finally did! 😀
The sunset we witnessed before we arrived at the B&B was so spectacular that I just had to paint it before I went to sleep that night.
DSC 144 – from my own ref – watercolour in 5.5″ x 8.5″ Stillman & Birn Alphas series sketchbook.
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The owner of the B&B is an art lover and had a beautiful collection of eclectic pieces, but my favourite was in the dining room where we had breakfast. On the end wall, at the head of the table, were three huge graphite drawings, which had been mounted on wood panels. The owner told us that a man who’d lost both his sons in the (first or second? can’t remember now) world war had commissioned an artist to do the drawings as patterns for a stained glass window that he would have created to honour the memory of his sons — who are represented on each side by St. Michael and St. George, with the Christ in the centre, representing their sacrifice. It’s hard to tell from my crummy photo, but the drawings are highly detailed and just took my breath away! What an absolute treat it was to see them! Unfortunately they weren’t signed and the owner didn’t know who the artist was.
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After breakfast we checked out and drove down to the St. Lawrence, where we strolled along the rocky shore for a bit, before I sat for a while to sketch. I’d discovered this thin, pointed piece of charred wood that someone had obviously used for a beach fire, and couldn’t resist using it for an experimental sketch.
The piece of burnt wood / charcoal I found on the beach.
DSC 145 – from life – burnt wood/charcoal in 5.5″ x 8.5″ Stillman & Birn Alphas series sketchbook.
I followed my not so successful experiment up with a watercolour sketch of the same scene.
DSC 146 – from life – watercolour in 5.5″ x 8.5″ Stillman & Birn Alphas series sketchbook.
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Finally we said goodbye to Cobourg and arrived in London for a much too short, but sweet visit with my very dear artist friend and PAS Director, Darlene Jordan Pfaff. After a lovely supper and reluctant goodbyes, we completed our road trip up to Sarnia to visit with my other dear artist friend and PAS member, Manon Adams. We spent such a fun, relaxing couple of days together, and it was over far too soon.
DSC 147 – from my own ref – graphite in 5.5″ x 8.5″ Stillman & Birn Alphas series sketchbook.
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On the way home to Ottawa, we stopped to stay overnight at a Comfort Inn in Gananoque. After dinner we strolled down to sit by the water and I managed to get in this little sketch as the sun was just starting to go down.
DSC 148 – from life – watercolour in 5.5″ x 8.5″ Stillman & Birn Alphas series sketchbook.
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Despite how busy I’ve been, and consequently, how difficult it is sometimes to fit my Daily Sketch Challenge in, I am admittedly so proud of myself for not having yet missed a day! I really doubted I would be able to stick with it . . . and soooo often I have been tempted to give it up, as it can really be hard to fit them in when I am busy. I contemplated stopping them now, because if I have any hope at all of finishing something for the upcoming PAS show deadline, I know I’m going to have to devote every spare moment I have to completing a “serious” drawing . . . but, I must confess, at this point I think I have become somewhat addicted to my daily sketches and I just don’t want to give them up! LOL
However, as a compromise, for the next little while, at least until I can HOPEFULLY finish something to submit to the PAS show, I think I won’t be blogging. Instead, I will try as much as possible (but no promises!) to post my sketches on Instagram (and will share them to Facebook). I have actually come to really look forward to my weekly-ish blog posts and have gotten fairly good at posting pretty regularly, so am not really pleased at the thought of getting out of that habit . . . but it’s just so time-consuming to photograph everything with a decent camera and then blog about it. So, with all I have on my plate right now, I am going to be cutting myself some slack and taking a little hiatus from blogging for the next month while I focus my time on “drawing seriously”! LOL See you back here in a month! 🙂
Yesterday was my 35th wedding anniversary! 🙂 I guess in today’s world, Hubby and I are a bit of a rarity. My best girlfriend (who was also my maid of honour — and has been married as many years as me) teased me about my 35 years of wedded “bliss”! We had a pretty good eye roll chuckle over that one! For those not yet married, just a heads up: marriage is anything BUT bliss! LOL At least, my marriage certainly has not been what I would ever have called “blissful”! It’s been one growth-inspiring challenge after another . . . challenges that have taken a fair share of serious hard work , teeth-gritting determination, indulgent blind-eye-turning, along with plenty of mutual tolerance, acceptance, patience, understanding, trust, forgiveness, respect, laughter and a deep, abiding love to overcome. No, I definitely would not call my marriage “blissful” . . . but I certainly do think of it as a joy and a blessing, and am so very grateful for the partner I share my life with 🙂
That was then . . . this is now.
Anyway . . . that’s my excuse for being a day late with my weekly sketch post . . . because I spent yesterday in wedded “bliss” with hubby (who is, thankfully, mostly recovered from his kidney infection)! 😀 So, on to my drawings from last week . . .
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No idea where this came from . . . but it was fun to draw, and coming up with a haiku to fit was also fun.
DSC 133 – from imagination – graphite in 5.5″ x 8.5″ Stillman & Birn Alphas series sketchbook.
Alien creatures observe us curiously. They find us so strange!
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I don’t know why I persist in trying to do roses from my imagination instead of using a reference! LOL
DSC 134 – from imagination – watercolour in 5.5″ x 8.5″ Stillman & Birn Alphas series sketchbook.
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A couple of weeks ago, Hubby discovered a beautiful patch of woodlands secreted in the heart of the city. Known as Mud Lake, the area is home to hundreds of species of wildlife and birds, and is a bird watcher’s paradise.
We went for a walk around Mud Lake one early morning and were lucky enough to see this sleepy little screech owl hidden up high in a tree. He was barely visible in his hidey-hole! We also saw a huge wild tom turkey! I’m sure he’ll end up in my sketchbook some day.
DSC 135 – from a photo by hubby – graphite in 5.5″ x 8.5″ Stillman & Birn Alphas series sketchbook.
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On another day, we took the dog for a walk down by the nearby river and got to see so many fuzzy new goslings watched over by their very protective parents.
I was lucky enough to find a picnic table to settle myself down comfortably to sketch as the sun went down over the water.
We stayed long enough to see the spectacular sunset. My pale little watercolour doesn’t come close to capturing the stunning colours we witnessed that evening.
DSC 136 – from life – watercolour in 5.5″ x 8.5″ Stillman & Birn Alphas series sketchbook.
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This was a bit of an experiment using my Daniel Smith Watercolor Ground for the white areas in this sketch. It’s difficult to see in the photo, but the ground gives a lovely raised texture.
DSC 137 – from imagination – watercolour and white watercolour ground in 5.5″ x 8.5″ Stillman & Birn Alphas series sketchbook.
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More watercolour experimentation.
DSC 138 – from imagination – watercolour in 5.5″ x 8.5″ Stillman & Birn Alphas series sketchbook.
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And my final sketch from the past week is probably my fave, a crow, from one of the photos I took while at Mud Lake.
DSC 139 – from my own ref – watercolour in 5.5″ x 8.5″ Stillman & Birn Alphas series sketchbook.
Crow sits in the sun beautiful shades of night in bright light of day
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I will very likely be late next week with my blog post, as Hubby and I are going out of town this coming weekend to visit friends and likely won’t be back til next Tuesday. It’s still been quite chilly here in Ottawa, so I’m keeping my fingers crossed that it will be much warmer by the time we’re back. Have a wonderful, creative week! 🙂
It’s been another super busy week, but again somehow I’ve managed to keep up with my daily sketching, and am even on time with my Monday blog post for a change! Yay!
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As I mentioned in my last post, I was down to the last two pages of my Strathmore Visual Journal, so decided to finish it off with two little watercolour pieces done from photos I’d snapped on my visit to the cemetery last week. I like the paper in this little journal, but I really dislike the spiral binding, because it’s bulky and tends to get caught on things (or, since I carry it in my purse, maybe I should say that things get caught in it!). So, I’d decided long before I finished it, that I won’t buy any more spiral bound sketchbooks.
DSC 126 – from my own refs – watercolour in 5.5″ x 8″ Strathmore 140 lb Watercolor Visual Journal.
I still get too excited by the simple pleasure of being able to close a sketchbook for the final time, label it with the date and stick it on my shelf with my few other completed sketchbooks. I’ve finished so few over my life that it’s really a thrill to have completely filled my third sketchbook in just four short months! 🙂
DSC 127 – from my own refs – watercolour in 5.5″ x 8″ Strathmore 140 lb Watercolor Visual Journal.
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Though I still have a few other sketchbooks to fill, I have none that are small enough to fit in my purse and that are also good for both pencil and watercolour, so I wanted to get something that would accommodate both needs. After a bit of research, I finally decided to try the Stillman and Birn Alpha series sketchbook. Designed primarily for pencil media and light washes, a lot of artists nevertheless use them for heavier applications of water media. Unfortunately, my local art supply store doesn’t carry them, so I had to order online from Curry’s. Imagine my delight to discover that Curry’s also carries the Strathmore Tan-Toned sketchbook I have come to like so much — in a size small enough to fit in my purse!!! LOL I ordered two of each sketchbook, so I should be set for a while! 🙂
New sketchbooks from Curry’s.
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An artist friend of mine has started a Haiku Project, in which she takes a daily photo and writes haiku to it. I have enough on my plate with my daily sketch challenge and don’t want to commit myself to anything else right now, but because I used to really enjoy writing haiku, I thought I might also write some to go with my sketches every now and again 🙂 I filled the first page of my new SB sketchbook with a drawing based on a photo taken by hubby of a little chickadee that was actually perched in his hand! It was fun trying to come up with the words to fit. I am definitely rusty when it comes to haiku!
DSC 128 – from a photo by hubby and imagination – graphite in 5.5″ x 8.5″ Stillman & Birn Alphas series sketchbook.
chickadee in tree
dangling starry lantern —
beacon or warning?
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Hubby got suddenly and unexpectedly sick with a very high fever this week, so I took him in to emergency on Thursday . . . where we spent 12 hours 🙁 I’m so very grateful for Canada’s free medical system . . . but could definitely do without the horrible wait times. Ah well. I’d brought my sketch stuff with me, knowing I would have plenty of time to sketch while we waited, but I ended up too worried and distracted to get anything done. At long last, after blood work, xrays, IV fluids and IV antibiotics, they sent us home with a tentative diagnosis of a kidney infection. I was too tired to do anything too fancy in my sketchbook that evening, so just did a little very wet watercolour experiment to test out my new sketchbook paper. I must say, I am VERY please with this paper! It works wonderfully for pencil and, though it does buckle a bit for watercolour, it’s very strong and doesn’t come close to tearing, not even when very wet!
DSC 129 – inspired by something I saw on Instagram, as well as from imagination – watercolour in 5.5″ x 8.5″ Stillman & Birn Alphas series Sketchbook.
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Definitely enjoy how this paper works with pencil. It reminds me a lot of the paper in my old discontinued Deserres sketchbook, except it’s whiter and a bit smoother.
DSC 130 – from imagination – graphite in 5.5″ x 8.5″ Stillman & Birn Alphas series Sketchbook.
“Smell me,” Flower said.
Little mouse’s whiskers twitched —
Breath of sweet perfume.
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Over the past several months I’ve been watching 5 years worth of the old fantasy series, Merlin, on Netflix. I really enjoy the twist on the usual King Arthur story line. It’s been too long since I did any 5 minute movie/TV sketching, so decided to do a few scenes from Merlin while I watched it. I almost always do these scenes in pen, then add the watercolour (or not) at a later time.
DSC 131 – 5 minute sketches from paused TV series scenes – micron pen in 8.5″ x 11″ unknown brand sketchbook.
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More experimenting with watercolour — this time I used the watercolour over graphite to depict this little Nuthatch that hubby captured with his new camera while out exploring some nearby woods last weekend. Am very pleased with the results. (ooops!! Only noticed once I’d uploaded the photo that my count is off . . . this sketch should be 132-366 . . . I forgot I’d sketched the night before in a different sketchbook.)
DSC 132 – from a photo by hubby – watercolour in 5.5″ x 8.5″ Stillman & Birn Alphas series Sketchbook.
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Despite the disruption and worry this week with hubby being so sick, I have so much to be thankful for. Instead of going out for Mother’s Day dinner with the family as had been planned, hubby didn’t feel good enough to make that effort, so my daughter had us and my son over for a delicious chicken dinner with sweet potatoes and salad and my son provided a decadent chocolate caramel cake. I’ve been (mostly) on a gluten-free menu for a while now, but allowed myself the sweet treat . . . after all, it was Mother’s Day! 😀 And the best Mother’s Day gift of all — though a day late — hubby’s fever seems to finally be under control and he’s feeling a bit better than he’s been since last week 🙂 It truly is a wonderful life! 🙂
Mother’s Day blessings from my kids — a dozen beautiful roses, a colouring book, a novel and the best personalized card EVAH from my son! LOL
Hi again. To those of you who have been following my sketch posts and encouraging me with your comments, either here or on Facebook, thank you!! Knowing that even just a few people actually take the time to read what I write here and/or enjoy my sketches enough to comment is very encouraging to me, so really, my sincere thanks! 🙂
This past week has been a super busy, but a really fun and wonderful week! Between running errands, hosting my book club meeting, attending my local art society’s Open Studio and then closing the week with a 2 day personal growth workshop, I’m not sure how I managed to keep up with my daily sketching, but I did . . . and this post now catches me up to date, so hopefully I won’t fall behind in blogging again.
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In this sketch, I wanted to try and capture an elderly look . . . but I think it doesn’t work so well when you don’t use a reference photo! LOL
DSC 119 – from imagination – graphite and white charcoal in 7.75″ x 9.75″ Strathmore Toned Tan sketchbook.
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In this sketch I was trying to get a translucent effect with the veil, but again, without a ref photo, it really didn’t work so well. And her eyes! UGH! LOL
DSC 120 – from imagination – graphite and white charcoal in 7.75″ x 9.75″ Strathmore Toned Tan sketchbook.
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This was a little better, using a photo of my daughter as ref.
DSC 121 – from my own ref – graphite and white charcoal in 7.75″ x 9.75″ Strathmore Toned Tan sketchbook.
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I happened to be in the area that day, so decided to take a little detour to the old Notre Dame cemetery, which is where most of my relatives are buried. Being old and Catholic, the cemetery has a lot of religious statuary. It’s also got a lot of squirrels and crows and very quiet lanes lined with really beautiful old trees.
A tree-lined lane in one of the less lonely parts of the cemetery.
I really don’t know why, but despite the somewhat neglected and desolate feel to it, I never get a sense of creepiness from this cemetery, and it has long been one of my very favourite places to visit and just spend quiet time sketching. After a quick “hello” to my Mom and Dad, I parked myself in front of this statue (I literally parked the car in front of it, as it was a bit too chilly to sketch outside that day), and played with my watercolours. It was hard to resist the urge to overwork her, but I think I managed . . . and I ended up very pleased with my results. 🙂
DSC 122 – from life – watercolour in 5.5″ x 8″ Strathmore 140 lb Watercolor Visual Journal.
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I used one of the photos I snapped of one of the tree-lined lanes as a ref for my sketch the following day. I went a bit crazy snapping photos of the statuary, so I’m sure lots of stone angels will be popping up in my future sketches. 😀
DSC 123 – from my own ref – watercolour in 5.5″ x 8″ Strathmore 140 lb Watercolor Visual Journal.
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It was an absolutely gorgeous, sunny and fairly warm day on Saturday, but I was inside most of the day attending a workshop hosted by Unity Spiritual Centre Ottawa and given by Martha Creek, called “Loving What Is”, based on The Work, by Byron Katie. In a nutshell, the workshop teaches that “Pain is inevitable . . . but suffering is optional!” Such a simple truth! It was really an amazing, fun, and thought-provoking workshop that I am so grateful to have had the opportunity to attend!! Definitely worth spending the beautiful day inside for!
Me and my sweet little joy angel, Flirt.
That same day, after supper, it was still so beautiful out that hubby and I took Flirt for a walk down by the river, where I sat for a little bit to sketch a man who was fishing from the shore.
DSC 124 – from life – watercolour in 5.5″ x 8″ Strathmore 140 lb Watercolor Visual Journal.
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On Sunday, the local Ottawa Urban Sketchers group that I belong to attended the Ottawa Symphony Orchestra Open Dress Rehearsal, where they had the opportunity to sketch the conductor and musicians as they rehearsed. I’d really hoped to make it, but as it turned out, part 2 of my workshop was continued on Sunday, so I wasn’t able to go. I look very forward though to attending the next time! So, instead of the musicians I’d hoped to sketch live yesterday, I used the photos I’d taken of the crows I saw at the cemetery for these little watercolour sketches. They were very fun and relaxing to do and I was super pleased with how they turned out.
DSC 125 – from my own refs – watercolour in 5.5″ x 8″ Strathmore 140 lb Watercolor Visual Journal.
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I’m almost done my Strathmore 140 lb Watercolor Visual Journal — only two more pages to fill! So I will be talking about my new sketchbooks in my next blog post, (hopefully) next Monday. Have a beautiful week! 🙂
Wow! I really don’t know how time slips away from me like it does! It seems like I just posted yesterday . . . yet here it is, over a week later! So, without any further time wasting, here are my sketches up til last weekend!
I’ve really been in the mood to do faces lately, so there are a few of them in this latest batch of sketches. I am still determined to get a sketch in every single day, but my time (or energy) is sometimes scarce, so I often find myself just doing something from my imagination so that I don’t have to spend time looking through references. This is also why many of the sketches end up being incomplete.
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This first sketch is a perfect example of one that ended up incomplete. Spent a little bit of time working the shadows on one side of her face, but was tired that evening so decided to leave the other side of her face rather ghostly LOL
DSC 109 – from imagination – graphite in 5″ x 8″ Moleskine sketchbook.
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LOL I’m not exactly sure where this one came from, but she was a lot of fun to work on! 🙂
DSC 110 – from imagination – graphite in 5″ x 8″ Moleskine sketchbook.
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Here’s another one that was a lot of fun to work on . . . and that has left some ideas dancing in my head.
DSC 111 – from imagination – graphite in 5″ x 8″ Moleskine sketchbook.
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It was a gorgeous, sunny and warmish day that Tuesday, so I decided to take the dog for a walk and then meet hubby after he got off work. I waited in a local park for him, and while Flirt soaked up the sun and watched the people passing by, I dug my sketchbook and paints out of my purse and got in a very rough sketch of the beautiful cathedral across from the park. As you can see, architecture is NOT exactly my forté! 🙁
DSC 112 – from life – watercolour in 5.5″ x 8″ Strathmore 140 lb Watercolor Visual Journal.
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At long last, after using it off and on since 2011, I closed my little Moleskine sketchbook on this final sketch. Felt so good to finally lay this sketchbook to rest! LOL
DSC 113 – from imagination – graphite in 5″ x 8″ Moleskine sketchbook.
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I have no idea what this is, so don’t ask! LOL Was just in the mood to play with my spirograph set and ended up with this bizarro face.
DSC 114 – from imagination – graphite and white charcoal in 7.75″ x 9.75″ Strathmore Toned Tan sketchbook.
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I still really enjoy working on this tan-toned paper. If only this sketchbook was small enough to carry with me! So sad that it doesn’t fit inside my purse. 🙁
DSC 115 – from imagination – graphite and white charcoal in 7.75″ x 9.75″ Strathmore Toned Tan sketchbook
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Since I started this sketch challenge in January, I’ve developed the habit of always carrying one of my sketchbooks with me in my purse . . . but now that my little Moleskine is finished, I have only one sketchbook left that is small enough to carry with me — my little Strathmore watercolour jounal.
DSC 116 – from life – watersoluble graphite in 5.5″ x 8″ Strathmore 140 lb Watercolor Visual Journal.
The 51st World Wide Sketchcrawl was held on Saturday, April 23 and Ottawa Sketchers turned out to sketch the beautiful Westboro area of the city. I had a lot going on that day so could only get out for a little over an hour in the afternoon, but my artist friend, Kathy, also came out to sketch, and hubby amused himself snapping pics with his new camera. I only managed to get two small sketches done, the one above, of an old woman relaxing in the bright sun under the spreading branches of a bare crab apple tree, and the little statue below.
Enjoying the 51st World Wide Sketchcrawl with my best friend and my hubby.
DSC 117 – from life – watersoluble graphite in 5.5″ x 8″ Strathmore 140 lb Watercolor Visual Journal.
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This was a very fast scribble. Spent just enough time to be able to say I sketched something that day!
DSC 118 – from imagination – white charcoal in 7.75″ x 9.75″ Strathmore Toned Tan sketchbook.
That catches me up to last weekend. I will post another blog post on Monday for this past week’s sketches, which will catch me up again completely. I think I may start to post more on Instagram (with a share to Facebook), just to prove that I really am sketching every day, but just don’t have the time to blog about it every week! LOL Have a wonderful weekend . . . and see you again in a few days! 🙂
At long last Spring has crawled sleepily from hibernation, donned her sunniest frock, smiled with warmth and shone radiantly upon us! Hopefully, she’ll get braver over the next couple of weeks and bless us with more beautifully warm days. 🙂
It’s been so nice outside this past week, that I’ve not been able to force myself to spend much time fiddling on the computer, so once again I am behind on posting my sketches 🙁 I have a feeling it will only get worse as the weather gets warmer. Ah well.
Finally warm enough to eat out on our balcony again! YAY!
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Just before the weather suddenly changed for the better, I was starting to feel that winter might never loosen her grip, and this little watercolour was an attempt to capture something positive about the lingering cold.
DSC 102 – from imagination – watercolour in 5.5″ x 8″ Strathmore 140 lb Watercolor Visual Journal.
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I’ve been enjoying spending more time with my pencils for much of the past little while and have been practicing faces. I am so very fortunate to have so many photos of my family, and especially of my daughter, to use as references. For sketching, I use these photos for very basic poses and ideas, but almost always use my imagination to change the features — unless I am trying to actually get a likeness, which I don’t usually bother with for sketches.
This was from a photo snapped on my phone of my 4 year old granddaughter with her mouth WIDE open to show me she had nothing in it! LOL I couldn’t resist demonizing her just a bit! 😛
DSC 103 – from my own ref and imagination – graphite in 5″ x 8″ Moleskine sketchbook.
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From a photo of my beautiful daughter. I turned her into a dryad.
DSC 104 – from my own ref and imagination – graphite in 5″ x 8″ Moleskine sketchbook.
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More faces . . .
DSC 105 – from my own ref and imagination – graphite in 5″ x 8″ Moleskine sketchbook.
DSC 106 – from my own ref and imagination – graphite in 5″ x 8″ Moleskine sketchbook.
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This is watercolour with ink done on a little square of canvas board! I first “painted” the canvas with white Daniel Smith watercolour ground. The WC ground makes any surface accept watercolour! It’s very cool! I am currently awaiting some transparent ground, which is on back order at my art supply store. I really want to try watercolour on a beautifully grained unstained/unpainted wood panel.
DSC 107 – copy of an old ink drawing of mine – watercolour and micron pen on white Daniel Smith watercolor ground on a 4″ x 4″ canvas board.
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Another tiny watercolour, this one without any ink.
DSC 108 – from imagination – watercolour on white Daniel Smith watercolor ground on a 4″ x 4″ canvas board.
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And finally I decided to work on a drawing that I had barely started some time back. Many, many years ago, hubby managed to capture (on a film camera, not digital) this wonderful underwater shot (through a clear-sided pool) of a polar bear diving into the water at the Toronto zoo. I’ve wanted to draw it for years, but that white fur has been intimidating me and every time I start to work on it I chicken out and put it away again. Maybe this time, I will complete it. 🙂
From my own/hubby’s ref – graphite on 5″ x 7″ Strathmore Bristol Smooth paper.
Will try to have my sketches from the last week up in the next few days. 🙂
During each of the past two years, I managed to complete 80 some sketches each year … but this year, we’re barely a quarter of the way through 2016 and I’ve already completed 100 sketches!! Wow! I must admit, I am pretty happy that I’ve been able to stick with this challenge so far! At the same time, I am not so pleased about the fact that we are already in April and I’ve not worked on a single serious drawing yet this year! Yikes! I am so tired of this slump I’m in! 🙁 Still, I am very happy that my sketching habit is helping to prod my imagination a bit and some ideas are starting to percolate. I’ve got something sort of vague in mind that I might try to develop and start (and hopefully) finish in time for the upcoming PAS show deadline. The clock is ticking and I am definitely starting to feel the pressure!
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Here are my sketches from last week 🙂
I really enjoyed doing this one of my daughter drinking from a bottle of beer. The perspective was a huge challenge. I am considering doing this one as a serious drawing.
DSC 94 – from my own ref – graphite and white charcoal in 7.75″ x 9.75″ Strathmore Toned Tan sketchbook.
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This little wooden mannikin sits on my drawing lamp above my drawing table. I snapped a quick photo of him on my phone, then drew him using the photo for the line drawing. I did the shading from life.
DSC 95 – from ref & life – graphite in 5″ x 8″ Moleskine sketchbook.
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Referenced this from a bad phone photo of my son, in which the lower half of his face was blocked by my granddaughter’s head … LOL Despite part of his face missing, I managed a decent likeness, so was quite pleased with this one.
DSC 96 – from my own ref – graphite in 5″ x 8″ Moleskine sketchbook.
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Playing with watercolour and trying out 300 lb paper! Love it! (oops, just noticed I uploaded the image before I rotated it! LOL)
DSC 97 – from imagination – watercolour on 5″ x 5″ scrap 300 lb cold press wc paper.
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I’ve not had nearly as many watercolour lessons as I would have liked this winter due to the poor weather/driving conditions, but finally managed to get there last week and we did a realistic rose. I think I need a lot more practice to achieve the realism I am after!
DSC 98 – from my own ref – watercolour on scrap 140 lb cold press wc paper.
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Very quick sketch referenced from a photo of hubby relaxing in the shade during our vacation last fall.
DSC 99 – from my own ref – graphite in 5″ x 8″ Moleskine sketchbook.
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I was very happy with the way the sky turned out in this little sketch.
DSC 100 – from imagination – watercolour in 5.5″ x 8″ Strathmore 140 lb Watercolor Visual Journal.
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Loosely referenced from another bad phone photo, this one of my granddaughter.
DSC 101 – from my own ref – watercolour in 5.5″ x 8″ Strathmore 140 lb Watercolor Visual Journal.
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That catches me up to the end of last week. I’m still having trouble adjusting the colours on this laptop, which is bugging me. Will have to try and spend some time to figure it out. Be back in a few days with this week’s sketches! 🙂
Believe it or not, I am STILL finding / making / stealing the time to sketch every single day….but, as you can see, I have gotten a little behind on posting them here to my blog. Life does tend to happen and often interferes with even my best intentions, so I fell behind. It was inevitable that I would fall behind sooner or later. This isn’t likely the last time it will happen, I’m sure 🙂
It’s been a super busy few weeks for me. As the Secretary (aka membership manager) for the Pencil Art Society, I have been hyper aware that the clock is ticking and membership renewals are due in June. Since 2013, I have been keeping track of the memberships manually — which means that every time someone joins PAS or renews their membership, I enter or update their information by hand into our Member Register spreadsheet. However, we’ve really grown over the past couple of years, and at over 250 names to keep track of now, we (the Board) feel it has finally become necessary to use a membership software program to help us manage things more efficiently and effectively.
As it turns out, implementing this new software is a bit easier said than done! LOL Long story short, a lot of my time this past month has been spent gnashing my teeth and yanking out my hair trying to get our chosen platform to work the way I want and need it to, all the while battling an ornery, obstinate and cranky computer that chugs along in its own sweet time. Finally I hubby decided that I would be much more pleasant to live with would get a lot more accomplished in a lot less time if we replaced our sluggish 10 year old desktop with a shiny new laptop. And so, we finally did … and after an entire week of backing everything up, installing programs, transferring files, setting up multiple emails, and familiarizing myself with windows 10, I am finally back to my usual non-teeth-gnashing, non-hair-yanking, joy-to-live-with self (just ask hubby!)! 😛
And so, with tardiness excuses out of the way, here are the last two weeks of March’s sketches.
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Because I have been so busy, most of the sketches during this time period were done pretty quickly, without a lot of attention to detail.
DSC 78 – from my own ref and imagination – coloured pencil and white charcoal in 7.75″ x 9.75″ Strathmore Toned Tan sketchbook.
DSC 79 – from imagination – graphite in 5″ x 8″ Moleskine sketchbook.
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I spent a bit more time on this one, just exploring some thoughts about “connection”. This is a theme I feel very drawn to explore more seriously in future.
DSC 80 – from imagination – graphite 5″ x 8″ Moleskine sketchbook.
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Next to no time was spent on this, perhaps 4 minutes. Just enough time to say I got my sketch in that day! Though I’d say this is more a doodle than a sketch! LOL
DSC 81 – from imagination – graphite in 5″ x 8″ Moleskine sketchbook.
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Finally a day with enough time to enjoy the creative process a bit more. Don’t really know where I was going with this, just playing really … and curious to see what incorporating Spirograph designs into a face would turn out like. I just love the idea and plan to explore it more.
DSC 82 – from imagination – graphite and white charcoal in 7.75″ x 9.75″ Strathmore Toned Tan sketchbook.
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Watercolour poppies … a very relaxing sketch and so much fun!
DSC 83 – from imagination – watercolour in 5.5″ x 8″ Strathmore 140 lb Watercolor Visual Journal.
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LOL I don’t know fox anatomy very well, so probably should have used a ref for this, but was too lazy to look for one.
DSC 84 – from imagination – watercolour in 5.5″ x 8″ Strathmore 140 lb Watercolor Visual Journal.
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Another quick little watercolour experiment.
DSC 85 – from imagination – watercolour in 5.5″ x 8″ Strathmore 140 lb Watercolor Visual Journal.
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Spent considerably more time on this and really enjoyed it.
DSC 86 – from imagination – watercolour in 5.5″ x 8″ Strathmore 140 lb Watercolor Visual Journal.
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Another one that I spent more time on. I am really in love with this paper. Want to see if I can get it in a larger format, or possibly try some other tan toned papers.
DSC 87 – from my own ref and imagination – graphite and white charcoal in 7.75″ x 9.75″ Strathmore Toned Tan sketchbook.
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Another very fast little 3 or 4 minute doodle.
DSC 88 – from imagination – graphite in 5″ x 8″ Moleskine sketchbook.
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I am very close to finishing my little Moleskine sketchbook … yay! I love completing sketchbooks! There’s just such a sense of accomplishment when I am able to close the binding for a final time on the very last sketch on the very last page! I have a couple of other Moleskines, but in the larger size, which is a bit inconvenient to carry around. And, to be perfectly honest, I am not fussy about this paper. It’s wonderful for ink … and is very nice for CP too … but it’s just a bit too slick for my liking for graphite. I like smooth paper for graphite, but this is almost a plate finish (well, not really, but it’s verrrrry smooth!) and I just don’t much like the way the graphite works on it. I’ve also been getting an urge to experiment with less smooth paper for graphite, perhaps even cold-pressed watercolour paper, and might explore this more in future.
DSC 89 – from imagination – graphite in 5″ x 8″ Moleskine sketchbook.
DSC 90 – from imagination – graphite in 5″ x 8″ Moleskine sketchbook.
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I’ve drawn something similar to this little watercolour sketch a few other times, once as a serious coloured pencil drawing and a couple of times in graphite, but I have never been happy with the drawings . They’ve never turned out like I envision the image in my mind. I guess that’s why I keep attempting this little scene. It still isn’t what I am visioning in my head … and the colours are not at all what I was after … though they’re not so vivid in real life.
I am having quite some trouble adjusting colour in my images with this new laptop. I had a seriously good (and relatively new) monitor for my desktop that showed colours pretty much exactly as they are in life, but I am finding colours on this laptop a bit washed out, so I adjust them, but then they end up too vivid. Arrgghh! It’s driving me crazy! (yes, I keep telling myself to “Breeeeeeeeeathe!” Sometimes it works…other times, not so much! LOL) Anyway, I’m sure it will take some time getting used to … and in the meantime, please excuse if my images look a bit too contrasty or not contrasty enough. Will hopefully figure it all out soon! 🙂
DSC 91 – from imagination – watercolour in 5.5″ x 8″ Strathmore 140 lb Watercolor Visual Journal.
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Ugh! Don’t even ask what this was supposed to be! LOL
DSC 92 – from imagination – watersoluble graphite and coloured pencil in 5″ x 8″ Moleskine sketchbook.
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This one was really kind of cool to work on and I spent quite a bit of time on it. The whole thing was very experimental. Wanted to play with smoke/fog, which didn’t turn out quite as smokey as I was going for, but I’m still happy with it. I wanted a very kind of grungy appearance for the smoke stacks, so worked graphite over a glaze of greyish green watercolour. I was very pleased with how they ended up.
DSC 93 – from imagination – watercolour and in 5.5″ x 8″ Strathmore 140 lb Watercolor Visual Journal.
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That’s it for now. I have another bunch of sketches from this first week of April that I haven’t had the time to photograph yet, but will try to catch up and get them posted by the end of the weekend … before I sink myself back into figuring out the PAS membership stuff again next week 🙂
Every single day! I can hardly believe it myself! 😀
I’ve been a bit distracted and busy the last little while with some PAS stuff, so many of my recent sketches are fairly last-minute rough and quick ones. Honestly, there are a few I would not normally show or share publicly because they’re just THAT bad unremarkable … but, aside from keeping a record of proof that I actually am meeting the Daily Sketch Challenge I set for myself, part of the reason I am trying to post all my sketches here (including the completely unremarkable and even the downright bad / ugly / horrible / WTFisthat?! ones) is to show that even “real” artists have bad days and produce (at times) truly AWFUL work. By allowing myself to be vulnerable in this way, I really hope to encourage others who may be beginning or inexperienced artists or just feel too scared to post what they consider to be their “ugly” sketches, not to shy away from posting such work publicly anyway. It’s been a humbling, yet very freeing and good experience for me 🙂
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A beautiful bronze statue of Samuel de Champlain sculpted by Hamilton MacCarthy stands watch overlooking the Ottawa river at Nepean Point. I took many ref photos of the statue when hubby and I explored the lookout last summer.
DSC 67 – from my own ref photo – graphite in 5.5″ x 8″ discontinued Desseres brand sketchbook.
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Still, one of the hardest things about this challenge for me continues to be “what should I sketch??” … especially when I am tired and would rather be doing anything but sketching!! I was feeling fairly brain dead this night, so loosely based this quick little watercolour sketch on a painting I’d taught as a fundraiser through PN for Ottawa’s Freedom Dog Rescue a couple of months ago.
DSC 68 – from imagination/memory – watercolour in in 5.5″ x 8″ discontinued Desseres brand sketchbook.
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Wanted to experiment a bit with negative space, which led to this sketch.
DSC 69 – from imagination – graphite and watercolour in 5.5″ x 8″ discontinued Desseres brand sketchbook.
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At last I was not quite so distracted by other things, so I had a bit more energy to let my imagination out to play 🙂
DSC 70 – from imagination – graphite in 5.5″ x 8″ discontinued Desseres brand sketchbook.
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FINALLY, I reached the last page of my old Deserres sketchbook, so I decided to take my time and wrap it up with something I was happy with. Probably my favourite thing to draw is people … faces especially … so I was quite pleased when I was able to close my book on this.
DSC 71 – from imagination (my excuse for the overly large eyes! LOL) – graphite in 5.5″ x 8″ discontinued Desseres brand sketchbook.
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UGH! Definitely wouldn’t be sharing this one publicly if not for my commitment to share even the real-bad-uglies! LOL Complete fail on all fronts. Background didn’t work as I intended and the rose is just flat. I blame the failure on the fact that I fooled with (and way overworked) this during my Open Studio time, so was distracted by all the gabbing we were doing! 😀
DSC 72 – from my own ref photo – watercolour on 9″x12″ Canson CP paper.
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It’s been a while since I worked in my tan-toned sketch book and I’d forgotten how much I enjoy working on this paper.
DSC 73 – from imagination – white charcoal in 7.75″ x 9.75″ Strathmore Toned Tan sketchbook.
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At last, I get to start a new sketchbook made just for watercolour! I’d bought myself a Strathmore Visual Journal quite some time back, but wanted to finish all my “outstanding” sketchbooks before starting a new one. Thanks to all the sketches I’ve done due to my DSC, I got to crack open the wired spine on this lovely! Soooo much nicer to work in with watercolour!! This is a pretty quick sketch done at the end of an enjoyable, but long and tiring day trip out with friends.
DSC 74 – from imagination – watercolour in 5.5″ x 8″ Strathmore 140 lb Watercolor Visual Journal.
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It was such a beautiful, warm (for us Canadians!) day on Sunday, that hubby and I went for a little walk on Bank St. I stopped in at Planet Botanix to pick up my sinfully smelly Lemongrass Loufah soap, and saw this adorable little white china bunny just sitting there waiting for me to spot him and give him his forever home. I’d been looking for something to “Spring” up my meditation altar, and he suits just perfectly! 🙂
DSC 75 – from life – watercolour in 5.5″ x 8″ Strathmore 140 lb Watercolor Visual Journal.
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DSC 76 – from imagination – inktense and watercolour in 7.75″ x 9.75″ Strathmore Toned Tan sketchbook.
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Started on this sketch with the intention of just practicing more profiles … only to have this emerge … which started filling my head with lots of ideas that I want to explore over the coming months 🙂
DSC 77 – from imagination – graphite and white charcoal in 7.75″ x 9.75″ Strathmore Toned Tan sketchbook.
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If you like to draw but are discouraged or frustrated with your results … just remember that we all start somewhere and keep practicing … and, most importantly, neverever give up! Ohh! And a Happy St. Paddy’s Day to you! 🙂
1. a period of time marked by distinctive character, events, etc.: The use of steam for power marked the beginning of an era.
2. the period of time to which anything belongs or is to be assigned: She was born in the era of hansoms and gaslight.
3. a system of chronologic notation reckoned from a given date: The era of the Romans was based upon the time the city of Rome was founded.
… and so, according to these brief definitions, I feel I have come to the end of an era. I started working as an Artist Instructor for Paint Nite in September 2014 and have finally decided to “retire”. I’ve been thinking about quitting since last fall, as it’s a very “high energy” type of job, and I’ve been finding it more and more challenging to meet the energy requirement. And with the Pencil Art Society’s membership renewal time just around the corner, as well as the International Open Exhibition coming up this summer, I know I will be extremely busy with PAS stuff over the coming months, and so, regretfully (because I do enjoy it), I made the firm decision to retire and have officially resigned from Paint Nite. My last event was this past Sunday, and was an absolute blast! Several friends from my Book Club came out to paint and help me celebrate my retirement with a night to remember! 🙂 I will miss it and it definitely feels a bit weird now, knowing that I don’t have to prepare for a PN every weekend, but I am so looking forward to having three full day weekends with hubby (who works a compressed work week), and am very happy about all the extra free time to enjoy my own pursuits! Freedom 55, here I come! 😀
Me and my “Bookies” at my last Paint Nite. I’m the short one under the “spotlight” that turned my hair to flaming red! LOL
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Due to being too busy, as well as undriveable weather, I’ve had to skip my watercolour lessons in February. I’ll be starting up again next week and want to learn how to paint roses, as I am not very happy with my efforts.
DSC 59 – from my own assorted ref photos – watercolour in 5.5″ x 8″ discontinued Desseres brand sketchbook.
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I also want to start painting faces / people, so decided to experiment with this sketch but, while the pages in this sketchbook do take a decent amount of water without falling apart, it’s not actually meant for wet media and the paper instantly absorbs the colour and doesn’t allow for much manipulation afterward, so it’s difficult to get the effects I am after. Still, I want to keep using this book for now because, after using it off and on as one of my main sketchbooks for the past five years, I have very few pages left to fill before I can finally close it permanently and treat myself to something designed specifically for watercolour. 🙂
DSC 60- from imagination – watercolour in 5.5″ x 8″ discontinued Desseres brand sketchbook.
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More unsatisfactory experimenting with roses.
DSC 61 – from imagination – watercolour in 5.5″ x 8″ discontinued Desseres brand sketchbook.
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I was getting more than a bit fed up with the way the watercolour was behaving in this sketchbook … and was also missing my pencils … so decided to do something a bit different.
Besides taking the time to photograph my sketches and writing regular weekly blog posts about them 😀 , the hardest thing about this Daily Sketch Challenge for me has been finding things to sketch. I’ve got hundreds and hundreds of my own reference photos, but since our move last fall, it’s very uncomfortable for me to sit for any length of time at my (desktop) computer to look at them (don’t ask … it’s a very cramped space! LOL Going to be getting a laptop very soon! … but in the meantime, making do with what I have 🙂 ). Anyway, finally I got the bright idea to put some of my photos on a flash drive … which I can stick in our DVD player so that my photos show up on the TV! Genius!! I wonder what took me so long to figure that out!! LOL It’s sheer Heaven to be able to sit comfortably on the couch and sketch from a large image, instead of perching on a very uncomfortable hard chair, while balancing my sketchbook on my knee and peering at my monitor … or putting the images on my too-small-for-old-eyes phone! So, sitting comfortably with the large reference (of my daughter) right in front of me, I enjoyed the time I spent playing with this.
“The Egg Sitter emerged from the warm darkness with a quiet smile. ‘It’s time’, she whispered.”
DSC 62 – from imagination and my own ref photo – graphite in 5.5″ x 8″ discontinued Desseres brand sketchbook.
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Hubby and I visited the Granby Zoo a couple of years ago, where I took literally hundreds of photos. I must have spent at least a half hour outside the meerkat compound just watching these little guys — they’re such adorable, fascinating little creatures.
DSC 63 – from my own assorted ref photos – graphite with watercolour in 5.5″ x 8″ discontinued Desseres brand sketchbook.
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A Crowned Crane with incredible plumage. My quick sketch does not do its beauty justice.
DSC 64 – from my own assorted ref photos – graphite with watercolour in 5.5″ x 8″ discontinued Desseres brand sketchbook.
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Sadly, White Rhinos are a designated “Near Threatened” species, with only about 20,000 of them left in the wild. Poachers hunt them relentlessly for their horns, which sell for tens of thousands of dollars per kilogram on the black market in Asia. 🙁
DSC 65 – from my own assorted ref photo – graphite with watercolour in 5.5″ x 8″ discontinued Desseres brand sketchbook.
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This Gorilla just broke our hearts. The expression on his face was so deeply forlorn. He had his back to the glass window of his enclosure, where a bunch of kids were knocking the glass and yelling at him, trying to get him to turn and look at them. He chose to ignore them. I’m glad that he at least had that choice.
As an artist, I appreciate zoos for the opportunity they afford me to get close enough to these beautiful animals to get my own reference material … but as an animal lover … as a humanE being, it’s just so tragic to see these magnificent animals confined in such artificial surroundings like this.
DSC 66 – from my own ref photo – graphite with watercolour in 5.5″ x 8″ discontinued Desseres brand sketchbook.
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I almost can’t believe that I have stuck with this challenge for so long and have already completed almost 70 sketches. Another month and I will have surpassed the number of sketches that I usually manage to do during an entire year! It’s admittedly difficult to fit the sketches in every single day … and often they don’t get done until just before bed … but they ARE getting done and the more I do, the more I am determined to keep the commitment I made to myself, to end up with 366 daily sketches by the end of the year!
I’ve been itching to draw more seriously lately, so was thinking that I might excuse myself from doing a sketch on the days I draw … but … every time I think of doing that, I cringe. I think, somehow, I will try to find the time for both 🙂
Here’s an interesting article that’s been making the rounds on Facebook, about the benefits of sketching, whether you’re an artist or not! If you’re intrigued by the thought, why not get yourself a little sketchbook (something small enough to fit in your pocket or purse, a pencil and eraser (or just a pen if you feel brave!) and try it out for yourself! Who knows … maybe you have an artist lurking deep inside yourself just waiting for the permission to come out and play! 🙂 9 Things That Happen When You Carry A Sketchbook With You Nonstop