Sunday, April 30, 2017

May Challenge Options for the Indecisive

I just have to post this option for those who want to join a drawing/painting challenge in May. Charlie O'Shields over at offers a set of unique prompts---textures. Something to capture the interest of the watercolor artist.

Hmm, maybe I will see how many of these I can combine with the ones Jutta Richter has on Flickr for EDM Every Day in May.

Can you do it? Be sure to add #worldwatercolorgroup if you post any of your efforts online! And have fun!

Friday, April 28, 2017

Every day in May 2017 drawing challenge

Can you believe it? It's almost the end of April and you know what that means! It's time for the "Every  Day in May" drawing challenge. Artists of all ages and abilities and from all over the world make a promise to draw or paint something every day in May. Then they share it online through Flickr, Instagram, Facebook and their blogs.

Jutta Richter hosts the EDM group on Flickr, where you can see the list of prompts illustrated above and where you can upload your daily drawings. You can also use #EDM2017 or #EDIM2017 or #everydayinmay2017 on social media.

Monday, April 24, 2017

A Celebration of Spring on the 10th Anniversary of USK

This year marks the 10th Anniversary of Urban Sketchers worldwide. As we met at Seattle Art Museum on Sunday morning, I knew several of my fellow urban sketchers would stay in the lobby to draw the new installation of John Grade's "Middle Fork". In the spirit of group reportage, I decided to make the short walk up to Pike Place Market and find something iconic and celebratory to commemorate the first weekend of spring. Winter was finally over in the city where Urban Sketchers was founded.
The Gum Wall, the Balloon Man, an abundant display of cherry blossoms--all seemed a celebration of the first  weekend of spring.
Everybody says "Ewwwww!"
The gum wall was my first destination. After a steam cleaning in November of 2015 removed 2,350 lbs of accumulated gum, for the first time in 20 years the brick walls in Pike Place Market's Post Alley were clear. I thought it was about time to see how the "mural of gum" looks now. Jackson Pollock would be proud. I doubt, however, that his work was usually greeted by exclamations of "Ewwww!" and warnings of "Don't touch it!" as people do when they first encounter the gum wall. But then you can't contribute to one of Pollock's compositions either. And it reminds me of a freeze frame photo of confetti and fireworks!

At the corner of 1st and Pike
 Farrell Thomas The Balloon Man, aka Twister Thomas, is one of the colorful denizens of the Pike Street Neighborhood. Balloon animals are quite festive aren't they? Thomas has a spot by the information booth. Brass hoof prints at his feet lead to another market icon, Rachel the pig. A few drops of rain fell from the overhang I was using as cover and blotted my sketch of his face a little, but I think it just gives more character to the quick study.

As it continued to rain, I retreated further under the shelter of the entryway of DB Laurenti's on the corner of 1st and Pike. I considered sketching the iconic news stand, but the full blossoms across the street looked like puffy pink kernels bursting out of the top of the trees like movie popcorn. A celebration of spring!

I finished my sketch of the cherry trees and the street corner. By now it was time for me to walk back down two blocks and meet with Seattle Urban Sketchers at the SW lobby of SAM to share our sketches. We covered the entire Pike Street Neighborhood, the museum and more.

As you can see by other posts on the subject, it was a great turnout for our first weekend of Spring!
I saw wonderful sketches of the installation "Middle Fork", the stone sculptures of camels on the stairs, street views up and down the block, the "Hammering Man" and examples from various exhibits that were personally chosen by each artist. It turned out to be a celebration of Seattle, urban sketching, reportage and spring!

Saturday, April 22, 2017

Earth Day

Finally finished my two page spread to record the planting of our new serviceberry tree. It replaced a tree that came down this winter. Varieties of this  tree grow everywhere and are called by so many names. 

I sketched all but the berries on location. I have to wait for berries this summer. I hope we get some this year. I guess they're like blueberries but a bit drier.

PS I posted a 40 second video on Instagram sporting my new flower pen while drawing the Earth Day lettering. See it here. The pen was a lovely surprise gift from a friend. 

Saturday, April 8, 2017

New YouTube Watercolor Tutorial

I was inspired by all the cherry trees in our neighborhood. They are just barely past their full bloom and the recent downpour of rain, hail and windy weather has already caused some of the blossoms to come sprinkling down
Naturally, I realized the emergency and got busy filming a video tutorial on how to paint a tree full of cherry blossoms in watercolor. I used the vibrant colors in the Prima Tropicals set. It's just freshly uploaded and you can see it right here!
Update: Uh oh, Saturday I tried using a feature on YouTube and now it deleted all but 5 minutes of my 14 minute video. Working on it! Sunday----Okay, Fixed!
How, you may ask did I come by all the lovely cherry blossoms in the video?
Since we haven't got a cherry tree of our own, I snipped a few branches off our star magnolia, also in bloom, and hustled over to offer our neighbors a trade!
I traded some branches of our star magnolia (r) for some of our neighbor's cherry blossoms!
Although I have this list in the description on the video, here are the (unsponsored) products I used:

Silver Black Velvet Voyager Travel Brush #6 round--squirrel and synthetic blend feels like sable
Richeson Grey Matters synthetic #12 round--made for plein air, non reflective ferrule

Fabriano Studio 140# CP, cut into 4x6" postcard size

Prima Tropicals Set
Two additional colors: Cobalt Blue, Manganese Blue (both Daniel Smith)

Friday, April 7, 2017

Urban Sketch Kit for Ink & Watercolor

Everything fits into a medium cross body bag or small backpack.
The new international series of urban sketchers workshops, Discovering Your City One Sketch at a Time, Seattle 10x10 is underway! I am looking forward to my turn to teach you how to combine your writing and drawing in Workshop #8: Visual Journaling.

Here's my pared down kit that I usually use when we have our monthly meetups in Seattle. That's my DIY Altoids mini tin open on top of the Prima Tropicals Watercolor Set.

Extras: The small pink stylus/pen on the left is for taking notes on my smart phone. I usually stand and sketch or find a nearby bench, rock or restaurant if I need to sit down.

Thursday, April 6, 2017

New pen, new periscope broadcast, fun day in the studio

I had a fun day, sketching live on while opening a package containing my new Seaglass pen. Fun chatting with you all, too. 
The finished watercolor sketch. Thank you to my students for the lovely handmade sketchbook. 

Monday, April 3, 2017

All Hail Broke Loose!

I had a lot of fun spoofing my Instagram friends yesterday about the patch of wild Kolinsky sable watercolor brushes. Loved the comments on both the still photo and the video. View 30 second video here.
No sooner did I have my deluxe outdoor setup ready for working in my nature journal than the temperature dipped and it started to hail! I had to duck into the studio for about 20 minutes before I could resume.

When I came back to the large pot that I was using as a stand for my sketchbook, there were little pin head sized ice pellets of hail speckled in the soil. So I added that to my three page spread.

I'm still working on the rest of the page spread but I think I might be finished by tomorrow. It's no problem doing the sketches but I have a lot of research to do on indentifying the specimens growing on the log.