Workshop Demo

Large Raspberries, Small Fuzzy Peach, and Birdhouses
This page was done in my sketchbook on "Arches cover cream" paper.

Cathy Cohen and I just finished up a two day bookbinding/ journal painting workshop.  As always, it was fun!  It was a great group and their books are beautiful!  The weather was perfect for outdoor journal painting.

Oh, wow  -  this is the last day of August!  I can't believe how fast it has gone.  A couple of posts back, I said things were slowing down.  Maybe not.  I haven't noticed it anyway. I think I am filling in the spaces with other things.  If I slow down, I may feel obligated to clean up things around here.  This morning while I was trying to make the house a little presentable for my Wednesday class, I was finding blue paint and dust bunnies everywhere.  For some reason, I feel that the blue paint is a little more acceptable than the dust bunnies.  Am I right? 


Lucia's Coffee Cup

Coffee Cup and Cherries
The coffee that was in this cup was fabulous and the cherries were huge and very sweet.

I spent the morning with some painting friends on Walloon Lake. Although the lake was beautiful, it was too cool and windy to paint outside, and we were too caught up in conversation to paint the view out the large expanse of windows.

I purposely chose this coffee cup for its colors and pattern, and because I liked it with the napkin and the cherries.  While I painted this, we talked about paint colors, papers, brush shapes, refinishing floors and organizing closets.  We also discussed sugar-free diets while we ate the best pecan rolls and little sugary raspberry filled things.

On a cool, windy morning it was such a nice place to be  -  such a pretty, welcoming home, and fun friends to laugh and paint with.  I find it so inspirational to spend time with other people that like to paint.  The closet organizing thing doesn't turn me on though.


Bay View Street Scene

Wrapping up the Season
This journal page was done last week, the last week of my journal classes in Bay View.  I hate to see it end. I have plenty to do to get ready for fall classes and workshops, so I'll quit complaining and move on.  I also have a lot of fun things planned for the week  - a volunteer afternoon, two days with grandchildren, a day of painting with friends, my life drawing session, a watercolor class to teach .  .  .    Fun stuff.

Have any of you been doing thumbnail sketches?  I keep a stack of pages printed up with 2 X 2 1/2 inch rectangles right on my work table to remind me to PLAN PLAN PLAN before I start a painting. 

Our sketchbook journals are for fun  -  no planning required.


A Few More Value Sketches and Composition

Thumbnail Sketches
I'm still at it  -  doing thumbnail sketches.
 On the right are seven sketches done with various pens, pencils, charcoal, conte crayon . . .  This was just to show my students how each one worked in a very small (2 X 2 1/2) and very quick value sketch.  Although charcoal is a mess and I'm not crazy about the way it feels against the paper, I do like the way it blocked in the shapes and the lights and darks without any chance of time consuming detail.  It is the second one down in the right hand column.

The sketches on the left are various compositions of one subject done in Prismacolor pencil,  90% warm grey.  There are unlimited possibilities for compositions and the arrangements of light and dark shapes.

Things have started to slow down a bit, class-wise, but my brain hasn't received the message.  I have classes and workshops coming up really soon, so I have plenty to keep me busy,  but I thought it would be nice to "turn it off" for a couple of days before I start to re-group. 

Did I mention that I have joined a life drawing group that meets once a week?  My friends know what a big step this is for me  -  I don't like figure drawing.  I really don't like it. The things is, I WANT to like it, so I'm going to the sessions.  My right brain is working so hard, I can barely function when I get home  -  function, as in find something in the refrigerator to eat.  Now that's pretty bad for me.  My husband says this is good for me  -  it may be the way some of my students feel when they are just beginning, and now I know how it feels.  I apologize to any of you that I may not have shown proper sympathy.  I don't give refunds for lack of sympathy, but I do apologize.


Value Sketches

More Value Sketches
Value sketches are such a quick and easy way to plan a painting  -  lights, darks. mediums  -  there ya go, all planned out.  Maybe it's me.  Maybe I'm not making it clear enough.  Almost everyone wants to skip the sketches, or make them way too large, or way too detailed.  Someone in class that ended up with a beautiful painting said, "It took me fifteen thumbnail sketches to get that."  Good for her!  That means she could have gone through fifteen failed paintings before she did the one she was happy with.  She stuck with it and planned it out, and the thumbnail sketches really only took a few minutes.

Here's my plan  -  I'm going to hand out paper that has several two-inch squares on it and  felt tipped markers.

I do realize that the process that I find most helpful is not necessarily right for everyone.  However, I do think thumbnail sketches to plan the values and composition are important.  It's one of those things "if you don't know where you're going, you're not going to get there."  My whole life is "I don't know where I'm going" but at least I can control my thumbnail sketches.


Wesley's Lane

One of my Favorite Places to Paint

There is a little lane with cottages backed up to it, that runs along a park-like area where there once was a railroad bed.  On the front side of the cottages is the Bay.  I love it here.  I love the back doors and casual porches and the roof lines of the years worth of additions on each cottage.  There is no pretense here, just  some beautiful window boxes and laundry on the clotheslines.  If you stepped out of your time machine onto this lane, you wouldn't know where in history you are.  Well, yeah  -  the cars.

I'm catching up a little on sketchbook posting and am sitting on the back porch watching the humming birds. They come to the trumpet vine and phlox that are right by the back door.

This morning there was a six inch slug sliming his way around the porch.  I opened the back door into the garden, hoping he'd find his way out.  He didn't.  My hero/husband came to the rescue.  The slugs are just too big and icky to squash.  My husband has been known to take them on a shovel and dump them in the middle of the street, hoping they will get run over before they find their way back home.  I suppose we'll hear from some animal rights activists about this?  I guess it is more humane to let them drown in a saucer of beer.  Except the big ones don't drown  -  they just drink their fill and stagger away.  Ick.  They make me shiver!



A Little Bouquet of Cosmos, Asters, and Ageratum
Because I carry my sketchbook around with me I use it to store information like most people use their electronic devices. There is no "delete" in my sketchbook, so I glued some Aquarius II watercolor paper over some information that I didn't need anymore.  I hope I didn't need anymore.

The drawing on the left was done with a Pentel Sign pen, which is water soluble. The one on the right was drawn with a sepia Prismacolor colored pencil, which is not water soluble, and then I painted over the pencil with watercolor.

Someone in class today had a Tombow brush pen.  Now, of course, I think I have to have one of those. It was sepia and had a brush pen at one end and a regular pointy nib at the other.  She was doing some absolutely beautiful drawings with it.  Oh, wait.  Maybe it was her talent and not the pen that was making that magic.   Anyway, Beverly, if you're reading this, those were wonderful drawings!