Monday, January 29, 2007

Sketchcrawl 12.5

Sunday was the appointed day for Sketchcrawl 12.5. Here are the results (click on any image to see it larger):

I spent about two hours doing this sketch (I'm not fast). It was wonderfully quiet in the house, and I had a cup of coffee by my side. Life is good. The sketchcrawl served a dual purpose because it was also my Artist's Date this week for the WITW group. The stack of books on the end of the couch is my pile of to-be-read books. I'm currently reading both The Yellow House: Van Gogh, Gauguin, and Nine Turbulent Weeks in Arles by Martin Gayford and The Sea by John Banville.

Whenever I sit down with The Yellow House I picture Tim Roth as Van Gogh. I rented the movie Vincent & Theo not too long ago, and Roth was a wonderful Vincent. But I digress....

Here's a photo of what I was looking at:

Here's a detail I wanted to get to, but didn't. I'd even put a teaser in my datebook entry of this little hooter. I thought I'd at least better provide a photo to follow through.

I went to see Pan's Labyrinth with mom in the afternoon, and we went out for dinner afterward. When I got home, I broke out the new Winsor Newton watercolors and the new 5.5x8.5" sketchbook, and did this:

It was a wonderfully creative day, and very peaceful. I look forward to more, and hope the same for you.

To read about Sketchcrawls:

Thanks for reading!

DB 1-27 and 28

Saturday, January 27, 2007

Pleased With These

I'm very happy with the diffenbachia in the middle of this spread. Sorry it's a bit obscured by the shadow due to scanning.

I'm also very happy with my new W&N Cotman watercolors! I got myself the sketcher's set. Tomorrow's SketchCrawl 12.5 will be their debut event.

The pencil sketches were actually done today (Saturday), but I needed to find my muse (or just a few moments of quiet).

Thanks for stopping by!

Thursday, January 25, 2007

DB 1-23 and 24

I was sitting on my couch last night, watching a little TV, and pondering what to draw. I glanced up and saw a box from my collection. Not real pleased with the way it turned out. Looks like I need to practice drawing wood. Into every life a few clunkers must fall, and this spread seems clunky enough to me.

Monday, January 22, 2007

Artist's Date 1-20-07

I'm working through the exercises in the Walking in This World book by Julia Cameron. I've joined a group of people who are also working on the exercises, the idea being we are accountable to each other as extra motivation.

One of our regular weekly assignments is to take ourselves on "Artist's Dates." It's a bit of time you set aside to do your art—whatever that art is. I walked up to the mall on Saturday with a sketchbook in my bag and a digital camera in my pocket. I'll post the pictures later, but I've already scanned in the sketchbook page. Here 'tis in all it's glory:

The shops were the first things to go down on the page, and I removed my brain from the equation. I didn't spend a lot of time considering and studying. I just put the pencil on the paper and started moving it. This really helped get me through the doubt stage. It shut off the voice that was saying, "this isn't going to be good." The point was not to create a priceless work of art, the point was to "sketch" something.

The mannequins in the lower right corner came next. At this point, I started allowing myself to study the details. The mannequin at the top came next, and the last sketch of the day wasn't half bad (actually, I like it):

I would have stayed longer at the mall, but I had to get home to clean up and go to the Bull's game. They lost...sigh. But the Bears won! Yay! GO BEARS!!

Thanks for stopping by and reading!

Wednesday, January 17, 2007

Datebook Pages

The sugar cookie sticker came before the quote, "Marketing does not fool us, exactly; it hands us the lines we feed ourselves," by Benedict Eastagh. The cookie didn't have to work too hard marketing itself to me.

I acquired a new mechanical pencil at the office, and just had to draw it. The text around it reads, "My new Bic Velocity pencil decided to do a self-portrait. It arrived yesterday in answer to a broken sharpener."

Not much going on over the weekend. I did go to my dad's and I finished the last sanding on the valances, and stained them. Just a couple of coats of polyurethane to go, and they'll be all finished. I've enjoyed working on this project with dad so much that I've volunteered to help him with any other projects he might have in the wings. Woodworking is very satisfying.

Also very satisfying was the Bear's victory on Sunday, but it was a squeaker—had me on the edge of my seat.

Martin Luther King, Jr. had a dream, and he had a whole bunch of really wonderful ideas to share as well. What a loss, but his ideas will live on.

On a lighter note, just in case you didn't know: 4x4=16. You're welcome.

Have a nice day and thanks for stopping by.

Friday, January 12, 2007

The Links

Keep an eye on the links on the right, cuz I'm in the process of reorganizing and listing a whole bunch of my favorites. Maybe you'll like them too...maybe not.

Thursday, January 11, 2007

The Datebook 1-9 & 10

On Tuesday I received my copy of Young Guns 5 from the Art Director's Club New York. It's a feast for the eyes containing the work of up and coming, and some already well established, creatives in illustration, design, photography and sometimes "other". ADC Publishing, Inc. teamed up with Moleskine for the printing, so the book is presented in a pocket-sized notebook. If you're interested in taking a peek inside you can go to and click on the link at the bottom of the page. Registration is required to preview it, but it's free.

Yesterday was Erin's birthday! Happy birthday again! Many happy returns of the day.

Wednesday, January 10, 2007

New Moleskine Datebook!

I just can't get enough of these babies!

Got myself a 2007 dailly planner, and I'm havin' some fun with it.

Wide Mouth Frog

This started out as a random Mooleskine doodle. The full-spread horizontal lines with wobbles went down on the page, and I sat back to consider what I'd wrought. I believe I thought, "That could be a mouth, but if so a very wide mouth." Aren't you so pleased I'm sharing all this navel gazing with you? Well, as soon as the words "wide" and "mouth" came together, the most natural thing in the world was to tag frog on the end.

In case you're just dying to read the story again, PBS's Zoom has Wide Mouth Frog online.

Another Piece for Analysis

This is another little something out of my sketchbook that I did some time ago (last Novemberish) on the train ride home from work.

Go for it Aunt P...what was going through my noodle!?!

Mole End Sketch

As promised, the sketchbook rough with all the trial moles and some trial plants as well. In the final painting I pared down the pen detail for the roof and the chimney. I also vetoed using the mole in the painting because it felt a little too cutesy.

Wednesday, January 03, 2007

Watercolor Project

As a Christmas gift, I did a watercolor of my folk's cottage in Door County for them. I'm fairly pleased with the outcome, but of course, there are things I would tweak if I could. I took pictures, and scanned the piece as I went (with varying degrees of success). I experimented a bit in my sketchbook first, completeing each step as I thought I would in the final project to see if I liked the overall effect. I'll post it later (since I don't have that sketchbook with me today). Click on any of the pictures to see 'em bigger.

First, the final result (unframed and scanned) The scanning process increased the richness of all the colors, and I did some correction for that, but it could even be toned back a bit more:

The pencil sketch was very faint, but it's there (if you squint):

There was in intermediate step in which I penned in the cottage outline and some of it's details using a black Micron 005. I personally like the definition that the pen line gives to the piece. I was glad to have experimented in my sketchbook first, because it gave me an appreciation of how much pen could be too much and give the piece too much of a cartoony look.

In addition to my sketchbook rough, I also did a watercolor rough. I'd only ever used pan watercolors before, but had a set of tube watercolors I was itching to use. I tried them out on the rough, and although I liked the colors I got, I had a hard time adjusting to starting with a liquid instead of a solid. As a result, I reverted back to the pan watercolors for the final painting. The cottage ended a bit bluer that the blue grey it should be, and the chimney ended a bit redder than I would prefer. Paint goes on the page:

Here 'tis in its frame:

The cottage has been named Mole End as a nod to the Mole End of the Wind in the Willows series of children's books by Kenneth Grahame. I chose to incorporate my sign and mole into the "matte" instead of the painting itself because it certainly has a cartoony quality, and it's entirely my interpretation—which might be completely inaccurate since I never actually read the series. Personally, I think he's kinda cute (as far as any mole can be considered cute). Detail: