Sunday, March 11, 2018

Winter Workshop Day Two

Looking over the Great Wall of Art and final projects on day two.
If every expert was once a beginner, then these beginners will  be experts in no time. Just look at all the work they did this weekend! What a great group!
Congratulations, Krista! You won the drawing!

Saturday, March 10, 2018

Introduction to Watercolor workshop day one

Here's the classroom during lunch break after a morning of learning new techniques in watercolor at Kirkland arts Center. We are just  getting started in the Winter Introduction to Watercolor workshop.
Projects at the end of Day One

Thursday, March 1, 2018

Free Kickoff Event at Daniel Smith, Inc on March 3–Join Us!

I am honored to be teaching one of the workshops for beginners. 
For the second year, USk Seattle is taking part in 10x10, the worldwide initiative to offer educational workshops wherever sketchers live. Launched in celebration of Urban Sketchers’ 10th anniversary in 2017, the program brings a variety of courses on urban sketching techniques taught by talented local instructors in their home cities.

All workshops are on Saturdays, 9 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Registration begins Sunday, March 4, 2018, 9 a.m. The cost is $60 each.
UPDATE: My workshop May 19, 2018 (#8 First Steps into Visual Journaling) is FULL
Wait list taken. Please send your request to , and you will get a response regarding your status on the list. 

A free Program Kickoff Event will be held March 3, 4:30 p.m., at Daniel Smith’s Seattle store. (Although the kickoff is free, registration is required.) Meet the instructors, see their sketchbooks, and learn about the workshops before registering. The kickoff will be followed by an unhosted, informal “drink & draw” at a nearby location, which will be another opportunity to talk with instructors who attend this optional event. Hope to see you there!

Street corner sketch by Michele Cooper 
Please see the Seattle blog for workshop details and registration information. 

Tuesday, February 27, 2018

Snow, trees and the Stillaguamish River

I'm putting my dagger brush to good use in the studio today. Now that most of the residual snow has washed away, I want to preserve some of the winter beauty while the memory is still fresh in my mind. It just so happens that I haven’t done my “trees “ or “river” prompts for February World Watercolor Group Challenge yet. I’m almost all caught up!
The dagger works as a watercolor wash brush, yet has a fine tip for details and fine lines. I let the brush do most of the work. This is about all the preliminary drawing I did. I scanned it darker so it would show up but actually the pencil is very light.

Sunday, February 25, 2018

"Is this a dagger which I see before me?"

I doubt that Macbeth had to feel guilty about killing a good sketch, but that quote came to mind as I prepared to use my "dagger."

The brush with the shorter tuft is called a dagger, a longer one (also made for watercolor) is called a sword and the very long tuft but shorter handle seen above is a dagger striper. I have had the latter for decades. It's usually used by sign painters and car paint detailers for long, thin lines.
Douglas Fir Pine Cones
See my Instagram feed for a quick video of how I use the dagger brush for creating soft edges for snow shadows,
Trying out a new bleed proof disposable fountain pen.
I think my ink started to freeze while sketching out in the cold today, but it was the only viewpoint that I wanted for my pine cone sketch for WorldWatercolorGroup prompts. I'm all out of sinc with the calender now, so I'm just having fun catching up. Three more days to finish the February daily drawing challenge!

How's it going for you?

Sunday, February 18, 2018

Snowed in on Sunday!

It’s cold out there 
Just when I was looking forward to sketching in Seattle with USK Seattle, we got 4” of the white stuff over night. Snowed in in February! Winter is not over yet!

UPDATE: I am honored that my sketch has been Explored on Flickr and as of 12:13pm Sunday 2/25/18 has over 8K views!

Looking out the window to see about driving conditions 
The sun came out and so did the birds! Little Junkos hopped all around the seeds we put out for them.
So nice to see sunlight and shadows again. 

Monday, February 12, 2018

Beginning Watercolor Workshop

Not sure if watercolor is for you? If you have always wanted to try watercolor but been afraid to, or have tried it and become discouraged, take heart. This workshop will dispel your fears and help you begin to experience painting as an enjoyable and adventurous part of your life.

No need to go out and buy loads of expensive equipment. Pay a nominal lab fee and try everything out for the weekend. (If you used to paint and want a great way to get back into it, you come too!)        

Sunday, February 11, 2018

The fully loaded 2018 Compact Ambulator

My husband brought this home from the second hand store
Looks like this is the answer to making a commitment to fitness for senior citizens and orthopedic surgery rehab patients. Don’t forget to wear your helmet!

Although I wonder how it will fair in light of the new automatic safety features for next year’s model, such as automatic lane departure warning and the emergency sitz pillow airbag.

Monday, February 5, 2018

Short List of Sketching Pens

Last night I decided to see which of my sketching pens were water proof and which were water soluble. Then I wanted to determine which were the right ones for a minimal sketch kit, something that would work for a student just starting out in urban sketching.
Super Bowl Sunday art project 
All the pens listed here wrote well and there was no bleed through or ghosting on the back of the page. My test paper was a pad of 90 lb  Canson XL multimedia.
Waterproof pens  allow you to draw first with the ink and then paint over it with water color without  smearing the ink lines. Water soluble ink pens allow you to draw then selectively wet some of the lines with the water brush, pulling the ink away from the line to create shadows and contours. 
For beginning  sketchers or artists on a budget choose the blue starred pens. Red starred pens can be added when you’re ready. The Uniball Signo white gel pen is water soluble if you want to remove some with a damp brush. It is quite opaque when used over dry dark washes.

Saturday, January 20, 2018

Composition, Positive and Negative Space

Paul Brand uses "white space" in his composition to create movement, asymmetrical balance and direction