Friday, April 29, 2016

Get Ready for Every Day in May drawing challenge!

I know there are quite a few people out there who have committed to a drawing challenge where they are making a sketch a day for the entire year! Keep it up! You are already 1/3 of the way there!

For those of us who need a challenge a bit more within immediate reach, how about committing to a sketch a day for the month of May? That's 31 sketches more than you have right now!

That's the list from Janet Burns
Don't forget to check out the daily uploads at EDM Every Day in May on Flickr. Get a Flickr account, join the group and upload yours!

See you May 1st on Flickr! Follow the link and look back at my EDM for 2015.

Thursday, April 28, 2016

Artist's Model by Day, Salad by Night

My Periscope broadcast this afternoon was about red pigments in watercolor with a quick live demonstration of a "personal size" watermelon. 

And then I made a watermelon feta salad with fresh mint from the garden and homemade balsamic dressing!

Monday, April 25, 2016

My Haul from Pike Place Market last Saturday--And CSI

A day at Pike Place Market is full of treasure. My sketchbook, and a bouquet, of course.
And then there's the eerie parallel of my life with scenes from "Caddy Shack."
4.17.16---First, I noticed the decapitated tulip blossom on the deck. Then, the squirrel stared me straight in the face while he insolently consumed the entire stem like a stalk of celery. I've got evidence. CSI-Criminal Squirrel Investigator, Michele Cooper
The last day for my tulips from Roozengaard.4.16.16

Sunday, April 24, 2016

Saturday at Pike Place Market on WW Sketch Crawl Day

 Waiting for the elevator on the 4th floor at Pike Place Market parking garage.

It's the 51st World Wide Sketch Crawl Day and I'm meeting the Seattle Urban Sketchers up on the main level, outside by Rachel the pig.

A fishmonger shouts and a 30 pound salmon flies through the air across a mountain of ice and is deftly caught by the man behind the counter. A semicircle of onlookers holds cameras and smart phones overhead, capturing the spectacle. 

I had to sketch the "flying fish" action in increments: the hands and fish, the face, the swirl of the white lab coat.
The scent of fresh, hot sticky buns swirls in the air as a man in a silver white ponytail and a floppy hat rolls up his sleeves. He flicks his hands with a flourish and plays modern classical music at his piano on wheels.

Across the street a wide shadowy freight doorway reveals a technicolor display of spring flowers. A flower vendor's head seems to float among fragrant bouquets wrapped in white paper.
After sharing our sketches in the atrium and getting a group photo outside by the newsstand, some of us sketched our way through lunch at the Sound View Cafe. 
Upper right: Marvin and Tina sketching at lunch
We had our choice of all our typical Pacific Northwest seafood; salmon chowder, clam chowder, barbecued salmon, or the seafood pasta  extravaganza. The pasta extravaganza has king salmon, tiger prawns, halibut, crab meat pan sautéed and served over pasta with choice of marina, pesto or alfredo sauce PLUS soup and salad bar! Tempting, I know, but I wanted to stay sharp for more sketching in the afternoon. As you see, the barbecued salmon sandwich was quite sufficient. I'm having the other half for lunch tomorrow.
Adding the final sketches of the day to my accordion sketchbook over thick hot aromatic Turkish coffee.
I would say that Seattle provides more than enough inspiration to last all the way through this 51st World Wide Sketch Crawl Day.

Wait. Did I see that fish move?

While I was sketching the Pike Place Fish Market, I caught a practical joke in the making. One of the fishmongers hooked a long golden chain to the monkfish, then disguised it with a pile of ice and more fish. Unsuspecting victims got a jolt when they came in for a closer look.

Friday, April 15, 2016

SKOL2016 at Roozengaard

Although I shared this series of sketches live on Periscope after a morning at Roozengaard, a tulip display garden, it's always nice to see the work in progress. Scroll down to view my accordion book sketches in reverse order, from end back to beginning.
The finished sketches of the day. 4.7.16.  Individual sketches shown in more detail on the replay at the 57min mark. Here on Katch.
I want to engage in the Sketch Out Loud Project along with other artists around the world. The goal of SKO/L is to help celebrate Landscape Architecture and World Landscape Architecture Month with a wide audience of sketchers to promote on location sketching as a way to observe and document the landscape. Learn more about SKOL2016 here.
Final sketch of the windmill and a trophy shot on a warm, sunny bench nearby.
As I sat on a bench sketching in the northwest corner of the display garden, a bee came to view my progress. It hovered for a few moments, so close that I could see it pivot in flight left and right from page to  page.  After it buzzed away, I sketched it in place exactly where it had been, took this photo and continued my work in progress. 4.7.16

Thursday, April 14, 2016

Artscope today on Mixing Three Frequently Purchased Premixed Watercolors

Paynes Grey, Neutral Tint and Sap Green are three of the most frequently purchased watercolors that are premixed for you by the manufacturer. That's three tubes of paint that you don't need to buy. If you have Aureolin, Alizarin Crimson, Antwerp Blue and French Ultramarine Blue, you can mix all three of these for yourself. Watch my latest live broadcast on Periscope to see how!
The postmark deadline for the 2016 Sketchbook Project is tomorrow! So before I send it off, I'm sharing a bit of mine on Periscope today. That's my DIY watercolor paper accordion insert with the watercolor sketch of blueberry pancakes. If you miss it, watch the replay on or 

Friday, April 8, 2016

Great Fun with the Peanut Gallery on Periscope Yesterday

We covered quite a lot of information on watercolor brushes, how to test pigments for opacity and a bit about watercolor paper during the live broadcast of my free watercolor lesson.  It was such a lot of fun! Whilst trying to sidetrack me with questions about the condition of water in my rinsing jar and cadmium yellow, the peanut gallery kept up a steady stream of great questions and hilarious comments. You can still see the replay at after 4:30pm today.
I feel that the world standard for watercolor brushes is the Winsor & Newton Series 7. I checked after the broadcast and the cost of a #8 round Winsor and Newton series 7 sable watercolor brush is $175.00. That price is a bit steep for beginners! See a discussion of the source for sable brushes here.

The three recommended student brushes in the illustration above are the synthetic Simply Simmons line: 1" Flat Aquarel, #3 rigger, and #8 or #10 round. These are under $5.00 each and give a similar silky action. Add a Pentel Aquash waterbrush for sketching, the Yarka 12 color set of watercolor moist pans, and a DIY accordion sketchbook and you're ready for urban sketching.

I recommend Fabriano Artistico or Arches 140# Cold Press watercolor paper, purchased in whole sheets and divided for practice exercises taught in this free lesson. You can use both sides. If you plan to do mostly ink and watercolor work, then you may even prefer the Fabriano Studio 140# paper for practice. It has a smooth hard surface compared to the aforementioned paper.

Please let me know if you have any other questions.

Thursday, April 7, 2016

How to Use Your Watercolors and Brushes today on Periscope

Don't miss my live broadcast on Periscope this afternoon at 4:30 PM Pacific time. 

It's a free watercolor lesson on color mixing and how to use your watercolor brushes.

Drop in and say hi!

Tuesday, April 5, 2016

Edible Flowers Make Lovely Tea

I am stuck in a dilemma--garden or studio? Planting or painting? Oh, and I could use a cup of tea!
Well, who says you can't do it all?
I ended up racing the late afternoon light, so I'll stop for now. I decided to keep the teapot lighter than the actual subject. It just seems to suit the floral mood.

There's an additional photo of the subject with preliminary pencil sketch on my IG at michelecooperart