Saturday, April 18, 2015

Gouache Notes

Gouache on Various Papers. Various Sizes. Notes:

1. Gouache is opaque, but best to work from light to dark.
    It's difficult to go backwards, and try to lighten an area.
    The paint will pick up what's underneath, so almost impossible
    to cover and repaint any given area to a lighter shade.

2. Expect to use at least two coats for an even cover.
    One coat often leaves streaks.

3. Gouache dries darker than how it looks wet.
    Plan ahead, go lighter than you think you'll want.

4. Blending is possible, but best to blend starting from light,
    going to darker. Paint will pull from one place to another.

5. Smooth Paper like Bristol Vellum (meant for dry media)
    does NOT work well.

Saturday, May 17, 2014

Slow Down, Look for Details

Tommy Kane was the last week's teacher. His work is just delightful, and the REAL theme for the week was FUN! He demoed how to draw very slowly, but directly (mistakes and all) with pen, looking for more and more details; then he goes back and does watercolor and colored pencils overtop. The assignment was to draw our kitchen, but since I don't have one, I just drew around the townhouse. Outside from the deck, my view from the couch, sitting across from some of the townhouses. It's just a really FUN way to draw.

Tommy has a rule: always finish a drawing that you start. Warts and all. And judging from the homework that was tunred in, a lot of folks persisted on drawings they normally would have abandoned, and were delighted with their results.

Overall, the Sketchbook Skool was a huge success. I truly enjoyed every week of it, it went by SO fast.
There is a repeat of this course in July (class 1), and another semester starting the same day (class 2.)

Saturday, May 10, 2014

Sketching Live Animals

Coconut and Chelsea are the landlady's two dogs. Both white, both long haired. Carol (landlady and friend) kindly allowed me to spend part of an afternoon sitting with them, studying them and sketching. The dogs moved around a lot. The larger one, Chelsea, didn't like me looking at her, so eventually ducked under the table. Coco was more of a poser, but with all the hair in his face, it was tricky to get him down. But it was fun anyway, and the time went by so fast. Done in pencil in a cheapie sketchbook.

Posted in Sketchbook Skool.

Monday, May 05, 2014

Roz Stendahl, Sketchbook Skool

This week we have the inestimable (Merriam Webster: too valuable or excellent to be measured or appreciated) Roz Stehdahl as our teacher in Sketchbook Skool. (I must admit that it has my mind going in twelve directions at once. It's Spring and nice out so I want to plein air paint, I want to try gouache as a painting medium, I want to play with Schmincke paints, both watercolors and gouache, I want to....draw birds, animals and insects...there's just soooo much information in the blog and website from Roz, I want to read it all...) Oh, here's the blog URL: Roz Wound Up 

And from there you can get to the website: Roz Works.

Anyway, the demo was on drawing from a live animal, in this instance a bird. I watched the video a bunch of times, and studied the bird, did some gesture drawings, and then found a pose I liked and did that one with watercolor. Still want to sketch the upstairs neighbor's dogs this week.

 Doing the gesture drawings really helps with moving models. I numbered mine to remind myself of how much better my observations got as I went on.

Jane LaFazio, Sketchbook Skool

Week Four was Jane LaFazio, an awesome artist. She had us thinking about grids in our work, (and a lot of other things...rubber stamps, decorative backgrounds, printed fabric...) I was able to get two grid drawings done, but I'm not thrilled with either of them. Like the second one better. I need to go back and try the assignment with some cool looking veggies. I do like the look of the grids Jane uses, but I had some trouble getting a grid to work for me. The lines are actually straight, distorted by a fish eye effect in my camera.

I tried a background sponge pattern (watercolor stamping) in the second one, and it does add to the page.

Adding Watercolor to Our Repertoire

In our third week, we had a teacher named Prashant Miranda, and he did beautiful watercolor journals.
It was such a pleasure to see his flip throughs. Our assignment was to paint watercolor skies. I did a few and ended up posting just this one, done outside in my backyard, looking up our hill.
Posted in Sketchbook Skool.

Colored Pencil, Koosje Koene

In Koosje Koene's klass, we worked with colored pencils. And also did some exercises with working outside and in public. Yum on the colored pencils. I still had some Prismacolors, so got them out, sharpened them up, and did the strawberry. I wanted to show the layering, in the first one. The little highlights are done with a smidge of gouache. The onions are an older piece, also done with colored pencils.

"Duke" at work

At my friend's hairdresser. I tagged along, and got to sketch, while she got her roots done.
Another sketch in the grey journal, pen and ink, with wash added later.
Posted in Sketchbook Skool.

Pansy Play

First week, just playing.
And trying to work out how to balance work and play, since they have the same elements for me.
Watercolors, pen and ink, gouache.
In my handmade journal. (I didn't make it, someone else made it for me, some time ago.)When I talk about "showing," it's to post in Sketchbook Skool.

Back to Sketching, Sketchbook Skool

I am so fortunate, to be participating in the long awaited online class, organized by Danny Gregory and Koosje Koene, called (makes sense, right?) Sketchbook Skool. Every week there is a new teacher, with inspiring videos, instruction, ideas, a demo, some flip-thrus of their sketchbooks, some assignments and activities, and a bit of critique. We post our work and ask questions, and each of the teaching weeks, although different from one another, builds on what we have already been doing. All in all, marvelous.

Week one with Danny was all about inspiration, working with pens, and being immediate, but thoughtful.
I did this one after church at Panera Bread, in ink. Then added the wash and white gouache later.

Monday, March 28, 2011

Taking the DC Metro

During March I've been riding the Metro a few days a week for a temp part time job downtown, a nice chance to be a "working girl" in DC. Mostly that just means seeing the comuters moving through the streets, going to lunch, walking and talking on their cells, and yawning home in the evening. Me? Nah, I never yawn, LOL.

Metro Riding

A few more sketches from the Metro.

Metro Riders

It's been awhile since I've posted here, since sadly I don't sketch much just for the sake of sketching. What drawing I do is on a canvas, in preparation for a painting. However, since I've been riding the Metro to and from a temp part time job...Metro sketching again this past month or so. I'm rusty, but have gotten a few that I like.

Saturday, March 20, 2010

March Metro Riders

Another set of various Metro riders. Notice a pattern here? I've settled into preferences. There is a certain seat I like, facing backwards, avoiding the sun in my eyes, and with people very likely to sit perpendicular to me, so lots of clear profiles. I used up my first Picadilly sketchbook, and bought a Moleskine, but it just gives me the willies. The second to bottom sketch here was done in the Moleskine and it was over a sketch that didn't work. The paper is so "precious" that you don't want to waste it. I went back to a second Picadilly, and I'm much happier, feeling free to waste pages agan.

Saturday, February 13, 2010

Metro Riders, February

Metro riders, winter 2010. The Borders on the corner of our building downtown had both Moleskeins ($18.00) and this new sketchbook called a Piccadilly at $4.00. Hmmm, think I'll try the cheaper one, I thought. And even though the paper is thinner, and there is some bleed through with ink sketches, it feels so luxurious to not care much about how much paper you go through. I've been trying to do three or four sketches every ride, and the following posts are some that turned out well enough to post.

Metro Folks, February

The bottom one here is a quick gesture sketch, I really like the effect of a 30 second sketch.

Metro Folks February

People riding the Metro, winter 2010.

Metro Folks in February

My February Metro sketches, these are pencil.

Saturday, January 23, 2010

Metro Sketching

I have a new job. It's a FT temporary job, and it happens in the heart of DC. So I'm a Metro girl again. It took me a good week carrying my sketchbook around with me, before I got up the nerve to take it out and do a sketch, but now it's like: "pshaw, not a problem." I can now do about 3 sketches per ride, that's maybe 6 a day. They don't all turn out, so I'll just be posting some of the better ones here.
People are cool. They may see I'm sketching, and they may even get that I'm sketching them, but I've only ever had one seatmate comment that she liked my work, and nobody else has said a word. People really just mind their own on the subway.
The first sketch? I thought it was a girl with earrings at first, until I realized it was earbuds I was seeing on a guy. He really was enjoying his tunes.

These are all done with various pens and pencils, ink and watercolors added afterwards, or not.

Sketching on the Metro

Sketching on the Metro.
You'll be seeing some more of these, as I have gotten up my nerve, and am practicing sketching people on the trips to and from downtown. I manage to get about three sketches in on a "good run." (5 or 6 a day) That would be where nobody gets off the train before I can finish them, and nobody sits down in front of me while I'm only half way through. It also depends on whether I don't mess up the proportions too bad. Trust me, there are lots of sketches that I'm not showing too.
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