Saturday, October 31, 2015

Fun with Leaves

I gave my demo as a door prize
I had a great time with brand new watercolor students today. It's Day 1 of my two day Introduction to Watercolor Workshop.

One of the lessons was practicing several color mixing and watercolor techniques while painting leaves. During lunch we picked up leaves outside and then came in to have some fun.
Here's what they did! Aren't they amazing students! Thanks, Kate K, for the photo!

After everyone left, I made my final Inktober sketch while cleaning up the classroom for tomorrow.
Inktober Day 31-Finished! Yay!

Wednesday, October 28, 2015

Light in the Autumn Trees

Can't forget those beautiful trees yesterday. So I went back to do a line drawing and demonstrated my ink wash technique and color sketch for classes today.

Tuesday, October 27, 2015

Country Mouse, City Mouse

The crows roost in a tree across our street, pumpkins are everywhere and I visited two farms on Monday
It seems that I am alternating my sketching days this week: a day on a city street, then a day out on a farm, then city, then country. It's a fun way to keep finding something new to capture. Each round trip is about 90 miles, though, so I have fallen behind in scanning and posting my Inktober sketches. These are the ones for days 24-27.
The sun came out and gave me great shadows today at the Arlington Municipal Cemetery.
I was hoping to enter an online painting challenge today, but although I spent the better part of the day on location at the Arlington Cemetery, I still didn't get my 9x12 plein air piece done. So far, all I want to show is the value study of one of the gravestones that I did to warm up. (Conveniently, it serves as my Inktober drawing for the day!) Most of this section of the cemetery had stones from the early 1900's, people who were born in mid century 1800's. Many of the markers were leaning, especially the ones set on a steep hillside.

The light came over the fence and threw beautiful shadows down the grassy hill, catching a carpet of fallen leaves and turning them into gold. I'm not giving up on the painting just yet. So I will let you know when it's ready and post it here when I feel it's satisfactory. The thing that's taking me so long is that I am working in gouache, an opaque form of watercolor, and it's a bit of a brain twist from my usual transparent watercolor.

Tuesday, October 20, 2015

Easy Turban Squash Recipe

Turban Squash, for all its dramatic color, is a scary one to cook. Why? Because you risk a tragic accident just trying to cut it! That goes for Acorn Squash, too! Once you have it cut in two and the seeds removed, just place the halves in a baking pan, cover 1/2 way up to the rim with hot water and roast at 375° F for 1 hr.

Wash the seeds, drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle with salt. Let them roast in a separate pan for about 10 minutes. Yum!

Sunday, October 18, 2015

The Craven Pumpkin Farm with Seattle Urban Sketchers

To really and truly understand the multitude of offerings at Craven Pumpkin Farm, you must visit their website and Facebook pages. Their Autumn Festival is in full swing: Birthday parties, 3D black-light presentations, food, gifts, animals, Minions, hayrides, pirate ships, duck races, and people pushing wheelbarrows full of newly purchased pumpkins!
Fall Festival at Craven Farm
The Seattle Urban Sketchers monthly meet up began at Craven's at 10 am. For the first 45 minutes, it wasn't really cold at all and the rain held off. I took advantage by sketching the front gate post for my Inktober Day 18 drawing . See earlier post today. By the time I finished my first sketch, the parking lot had nearly filled up.
I wanted to catch the steam rising off the two large kettles out toward the back of the Snack Shack where they were boiling corn on the cob.
I toured as much of the property as I could before the rain started, then stepped inside the gift shop, Mouseville, and the animal barn to keep my sketchbook dry. Every once in a while I would step out again to check on something I may have missed in the sketch I was working on.

The man with the "Hair Style of the Day", was
Dutch Bihary, the face painter working at a barber chair inside the animal barn. His calm and smiling demeanor and fast yet effortless skill attracted an unending stream of children, ready to have him paint butterflies, tigers and more on their upturned faces.

After we shared our sketches, I could see that the rain was letting up, so I decided to stay and wait it out. There was a wagon load of fresh fall flowers, some pink pumpkins and a bin of apples that I had my eye on. I only had to wait for less than half an hour before I could go out to finish my two page spread.
Families, sketchers and people of all ages were not deterred by rain or cold.

Inktober in Snohomish

I spent the morning with Seattle Urban Sketchers at Craven Farms in Snohomish. Right there at the main gate was a great spot to make my Inktober 18 drawing.

Each gate post along the exits and entrances to the farm has a distinctive finial made of metal.

Everyone was already in the main farmyard, but rain was expected at any time, so I wanted to be sure to capture this before any drops fell. My water soluble ink would smudge and smear if it got rained on, and not in a good way.

Inktober finished for the day. Now I'm off to join the others in the farmyard for more sketching.

Saturday, October 17, 2015

Autumn on the Centennial Trail

My two sketches grew together and would not be separated.
Hikers, bikers and strollers pass over the one-car opening under the bridge
The Snohomish County Centennial Trail is a 30-mile-long rail trail in Snohomish County, Washington, connecting the cities of Snohomish, Lake Stevens, and Arlington to Skagit County along the corridor of Washington State Route 9. I've always wanted to sketch the narrow opening under the old railroad bridge where you can just barely see that there is a house hidden back there. Actually, more than one house, but the view I chose today just shows part of one of them.

Friday, October 16, 2015

Catching the Leaves as they Fall

I pulled over for a tree today. I needed my Inktober Day 16 drawing and I caught a glimpse of it in the rear view mirror as I was driving home from my watercolor class in Kirkland. So I parked and stood on the sidewalk across the street from my car to sketch.

Market Street is quite dangerous for pedestrians, so the city has provided crossing flags for you as you prepare to use the crosswalk. Add that plus back lighting, no pockets, no chair, no color and leaves falling as you paint them and you've got a pretty thrilling 10 minute Inktober sketch. *James Bond music playing in the background.*

Inktober, Day 16--Lamy Pen, Waterbrush, Bee Sketchbook

Wednesday, October 14, 2015

House Made of Brick

Yes! You were correct. My third in the series is something made of brick. I'm not literally telling the story of the three little pigs and the big bad wolf. I'm just using the materials from which they made their houses as the spark for inspiration.
Inktober Day 14--House made of Brick
I had a bit of a challenge trying to find something that inspired me, but this back alley in Arlington was perfect. There's a small engine repair shop in an original old brick building which has been painted over. The big door (out of photo) in the back alley is where they take in the items needing repair and where all the character lives. Eventually all the guys in the shop had to ask if I was an artist and come over to see what I was drawing.
Straw, Wood,  Brick--Final Sketch in Progress
The sun came out while I was sketching and I may have gotten a bit of sunburn, since I thought that possibility was over for the year and wasn't prepared. I didn't even have sunglasses on hand! I did have a wide brimmed hat in the trunk of my car nearby, but it seemed a bit formal for an alley.

Tuesday, October 13, 2015

A House Made of Wood

Inktober 13, 2015--A House Made of Wood
I'm on Day 13 and the second in a series I'm doing for Inktober this week. Yesterday I sketched a "house made of straw". In my quest for something a bit different while still qualifying as a "house made of wood", the driftwood structures that emerge on the beaches here in the Pacific NW came to mind.

I have taken photos whenever I encounter them, but my goal for today was to do this Inktober sketch on location. I spent an afternoon prowling along Marine Drive near where I live, but all the beaches I wanted to visit were private or on tribal land and not open to me. So I ended up at Livingston Beach on Camano Island. (The teepee style driftwood structure in the upper left section of this photo collage was also on the beach where I was today, but it was on private property.)

I wanted to wait for a sun break at the end of my sketch so that I could catch some dramatic shadows. But the tide was coming in so I had to be satisfied with the light I was given. (Progress shot lower right.)

Can you guess what the third subject will be in this mini-series?

Monday, October 12, 2015

House Made of Straw

I have a bird's nest given to me by a friend who cut the entire branch so the nest would stay intact. So much fun using line and tone with this! I usually let the first drawing on a page dictate what the rest of the drawings on the page will be. If I do a series of three, want to guess where I'm going with this?
There is a phrase, "a house of straw", meaning that it won't take much to topple it down. Well, for 12 days I have stuck to nothing but black and white ink drawings for Inktober. Today I did my ink, but I just HAD to capture the color out there before it all blew away! So I toppled.

I drove to our Cinema in town where I know that the entire parking lot is ablaze with red trees. Beautiful to look at, but not quite what I wanted after all. Then I came around the corner and there in all its glory was a white dumpster, a yellow fire hydrant and above all, a group of trees showing all the fall colors!
It had rained earlier and the colors reflected for a while in the puddles and wet pavement. Perfect!

Sunday, October 11, 2015

Inspired by the workbench

Inktober, 2015, Day 11: As I entered the garage today, my husband's workbench was back lit and the Kleenex box with tissue all  fluffed out caught my eye. Then there were his safety glasses and fishing hats hung on a peg, his 25 foot measuring tape on the window sill and an old "For Sale sign".
Gary's corner
Old fishing headgear and black safety glasses
Lawnmower upgrades for cutting our grasses
Pulleys and dead bolts and sprockets and springs
These are a few of his .............................

Haha, gotcha!

Saturday, October 10, 2015

Sipping Tea by North Light

It was a dark and stormy day......
I wanted to sketch by natural north light, so I took advantage of my remedy for a gloomy afternoon; tea and cookies! After I had heated the water, brewed the tea and had taken a few sips, and ripped the red strip off the package of cookies, I realized that it was already 3:45 and the light was going fast.

So I grabbed my Lamy pen and waterbrush and got to work. No time for a bite of gingerbread cookies just yet!

4:28 pm-These cookies are yummy and the tea is still piping hot. Sip, sip, Ahhh!
4:28 pm.-Sipping tea by north light

Friday, October 9, 2015

Couldn't find Schnitzel

Ahhh. The last day of my "Julie Andrews" curse. (Let's just hope Dick Van Dyke doesn't start up with Chim-Chim-Cher-ee!)

I present to you: Brown Paper Packages Tied Up With String!
These are the kind of packages my grandmothers would send with gifts, cards, clothes, puzzles, coloring books, dolls, and homemade cookies in them. To keep things steady, they would pop up a pan of popcorn and use that to fill in the voids. When you opened the package, you saved the string, carefully folded the paper for later use and inhaled a big whiff of popcorn! (I wonder if anyone ever used real peanuts?)

Thank you, everyone from Instagram and who commented through email and here on my blog with great ideas from "My Favorite Things".  At the risk of going insane with that tune in my head 24-7, there actually are quite a few of those that I just may end up coming back to before the end of Inktober!

Thursday, October 8, 2015

Cursed by Julie Andrews

A bright copper kettle

Okay, I've succumbed. Yesterday, I unwittingly got bewitched by the lyrics to "My Favorite Things" from the Sound of Music. I accidentally sketched raindrops on roses. Now I can't get that song out of my head!

Look what it has caused me to do for Inktober, Day 8!

I realize the curse will not be lifted until I draw a third item mentioned in the song, turn around under the full moon with my arms outspread and shout "Julie Andrews!" three times at the top of my voice. What do you suggest I draw for Inktober 10?

Note: I will not draw a dog biting, a bee stinging or a sad face. Other than that, I'm open.

Wednesday, October 7, 2015

Sketching while holding an umbrella

I have the Sistene Umbrella. Not exactly like this, but similar.

It was wet out this morning and as I looked through my studio window, I saw the last roses of summer drooping in the rain. So I grabbed my umbrella, Lamy pen, waterbrush and sketchbook for today's Inktober.
Inktober, Day 7

Oh, my word! I just realized I drew raindrops on roses! (Got way too carried away with the raindrops.)
No, I will NOT be uploading whiskers on kittens tomorrow!

Funny anecdote: One of my Instagram friends wrote under the photo on Instragram:
        Hahahahaha, but that (those) are my favorite things........;)

Tuesday, October 6, 2015

Having fun with Inktober

This being the first week of Inktober, I thought I would offer a few more bits of encouragement to my students and sketching friends. It's not too late to join in! Catch up and keep going!

If you feel too much stress committing to a daily sketch for 31 days (it's still only one day at a time!) how about committing to once a week? or every Saturday and Sunday (that would be 10 for the month)?

Jake Parker, the founder of the Inktober Initiative, has some good suggestions and all sorts of helpful pages on pens, ink, how to draw. He says:
"Note: you can do it daily, or go the half-marathon route and post every other day, or just do the 5K and post once a week. What ever you decide, just be consistent with it. INKtober is about growing and improving and forming positive habits, so the more you’re consistent the better."--Jake Parker
Here's my sketchbook with Days 4, 5, & 6 for 2015. I upload each day on my Instagram
One way that I'm pretty sure will get you started is to buy a new pen/ink/sketchbook. You know you want to play with it! Ready? Set? GO!

Sunday, October 4, 2015

Virtual Paintout, Flower Market in Manila

Dangwa Flower Market on Dimasalang Rd, Manila, Phillipines- Google Street View here
I drew with my twig, Chinese ink and watercolor pencils in the Perfect Sketchbook.
It's fun to compare this one with a previous effort in Bangladesh, virtually of course. Here I used India Ink, twig, watercolor and white Signo pen.
Bill Guffey hosts The Virtual Paintout online, where you can visit a different location each month through Google Peg Man, walking the streets (virtually) and sketching. Then you upload your image and URL to share it with the other virtual painters around the world.
Update 10/5/15 My photo is now published on the Virtual Paintout website!

Friday, October 2, 2015

Inkwell? Nope!

Why is a raven like a writing desk?
Well, why is a pencil sharpener like an inkwell?

Just had a lot of fun shopping at the art store and got the Dux Glass Inkwell Pencil Sharpener and a Pilot disposable fountain pen. It's Inktober after all!

Got mine in Kirkland at An Artful Touch.

Thursday, October 1, 2015

Inktober 2015

Whoa! Almost forgot! Today is Day 1 of Inktober 2015. I'm going for the marathon-a drawing a day for the entire month of October. I enjoyed this so much last year that I want to do it again.

What's Inktober, you ask?  Follow the link and scroll down for the very lenient rules and an illustrated list of ink pens for your drawings and sketches. Come on, it's going to be fun!