Friday, January 27, 2012

Sketching Frenzy

I seem to flow like the tide where my artwork is concerned; only my cycles are much more spread out.  I've been in a real sketching frenzy lately.  One of my personal New Year resolutions was to paint or sketch something each day or at the very least once a week.  I'm not real disciplined and the New Year started out slow for me.  Well here I am completing one sketch after another, so while the mood is with me, I'll just go with the flow and enjoy while I can.  I'm sure I'll hit another low tide before too long (hopefully not as long between low/high tides.)

The Christmas Cactus bloom is a flower I've so wanted to draw and paint for years.  Each year it blooms, I take all sorts of photos with the intent to do something.  And each year I would chicken out because it seemed too complicated and intimidating.

The various bud/flowering stages really grabbed my attention this year so instead of taking pictures, I forced myself to attempt sketching what I saw.

This first sheet took awhile to complete leaving the full flower last to attempt.  That took me forever and I kept getting lost with all the petals twisting and pointing in different directions.  When complete, I told myself I'd not be painting this or even attempting to sketch again because it was too mind boggling.  I did feel great upon completion.......FINALLY I managed capturing that flower (at least once) !!!!

Cactus Flower sketches done in Handbook



Next day the plant kept calling me to it.  Either I'm a glutton for punishment or I was feeling a bit more confident and up for the challenge to attempt it again.   In either case, I decided to work with one flower turning the pot so I could work with the different views.  Now mind you, I chose one not completely open so maybe that helped.

I found with this session not to be as tedious and I managed to fill the page in a much shorter period of time.  Not laboring over any portion as I did the previous day.

With this sheet, my goal was to capture shape/form rather than get into shading.  I felt really good with this one.  Maybe I was in a better frame of mind mentally for the challenge - hard to say.  :-)


I've been to England three times and one of the landscape elements that I absolutely love viewing are the many castles we just don't see here in the States.  I'm not one for drawing or painting architecture but castles, huts, or even old barns are an exception in my book.

This is a practice for a possible painting sometime in the future.  It's simple design is what captured my attention with this one.  I love the round portion of the castle worked in with the square and rectangular shapes.

Moleskine Sketchbook - 3x5" book (closed)


This next sketch was done in less than 10 minutes while sitting and waiting for my granddaughters bus.  Across from where I was parked was this stream with all sorts of landscape debris.  My goal was to quickly capture what I could in the time I had before the bus arrived.  Definitely not something I'd frame and hang on the wall but it was definitely fun to do.

Moleskine Sketchbook - 3x5"





Wildlife is a favorite subject I like to sketch/paint.  Pandas, to me, are absolutely adorable.
This was the first 2-page journal spread I've attempted.  (sketches are out of order).  I've seen so many people doing this and so I finally decided to give it a try.  At first I felt I positioned this guy all wrong for being spread over 2 pages but now it doesn't seem so bad.  I think it actually works OK.

Moleskine Sketchbook - 3x5"




From photo that had three buildings and it was late at night so I just did the smaller of the three.

Moleskine Sketchbook - 3x5"











Another quick sketch practicing where I use the side of the pencil to quickly rough in the shapes and then go back and define with point.

Moleskine Sketchbook - 3x5"









Added Note:

Normally I draw and paint on a small scale - 4 x 6 or 5 x 7 surface.  You'd think that working in a 3x5" book would be right up my ally; but it wasn't at first.  I found this small size rather awkward to work in.  Now after several sketches, it's not so bad.

All sketches are using a Derwent Watersoluble pencil - 4B and/or 8B (most often I grab the 4B and use it from start to finish)

Don't you just love how scanners and cameras have a mind of their own?  The majority of these sketches were done in the same book - same paper and yet the digital results from scanning them ended with different tones or coloring.   Funny part is that I never changed any of the settings.............thought just occurred to me..........I wonder if the difference is in whether or not the scanner lid is open/closed or placement of the book on the glass bed?  Maybe amount of light coming in along the edges????

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