Friday, February 25, 2011

75 Day Sketch Challenge - Day 26

Bass Haven

This is from a photo taken while out fishing last summer.  A wildlife management area with large pond that is loaded with bass as well as blue gill and crappie.  The pond is maybe 4 feet at the deepest area and very shallow in other areas.  All around are dead trees sticking out of the water and little islands that geese have chosen  for breeding.  Later in the summer the algae growth is such it's difficult to maneuver through and cattails line the edges of the islands.  We take our kayaks out here as they are perfect in very shallow waters and perfect to get back in tight areas that boats could not get to.  Most people who go out here to fish will do so from the banks....although they struggle with tangled lines that easily get hung up in the undergrowth of trees.  That's where it's nice to have the kayaks. 

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

75 Day Sketch Challenge - Day 25

We've been teased with Spring like weather and now it's turned around again with areas getting freezing rain, sleet, and more snow.  Fortunately for us, we only ended up with about a dusting.  It was north of us with reported snow fall of around eight or so inches depending on location.

So for the kiddos both big and small, they had another chance to play in the snow.

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

75 Day Sketch Challenge - Day 24

Was sitting relaxing after a day at work and took notice to a stack of piano books that was given to me from a friend in the United Kingdom.  Looking at the top book, I sketched a small portion of the cover design.

This next one comes from an exercise in the book Drawing in Pen and Ink by Claudia Nice with the addition of another piece of railing.  Still using the Micron 01 pen.

Monday, February 21, 2011

75 Day Sketch Challenge - Day 23

Spring Fever - been spoiled by the nice weather we've had the last several days.  Unfortunately it is only a tease with winter weather moving back in for a little while longer.

Sunday, February 20, 2011

75 Day Sketch Challenge - Day 22

So far today the live eagle cam at the Norfolk Botanical Gardens is not streaming so I am watching the camera set up in Shepherdstown, WV.  I switch back and forth but prefer the other one because the web cam controllers zoom in now and then whereas the one in WV does not.

Here is what I sat and quickly sketched around noon today.  Not sure if male or female since we can't see in close to view the eye and beak area.  As I was sketching this, the parent got up and moved clockwise facing to the right.

Saturday, February 19, 2011

75 Day Sketch Challenge - Day 21

While sitting and watching a TV series program.  These are little speakers hooked up to my laptop.

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Norfolk Botanical Garden Nesting Eagle - Graphite

Throughout the day I have sat and watched the male and female eagle take turns sitting on the nest.  I've just been so intrigued - so captivated by this that I felt like sketching a little in pencil.

Top two are the male and the bottom is the female.

These were done on cartridge paper and a #2B pencil.

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

75 Day Sketch Challenge - Days 18, 19, and 20

Day 18

Day 19

This is from viewing a live web cam that has been placed watching the nesting of a Bald Eagle.  From what I understand, she's laid three eggs.  My boss and his partner were blessed seeing this event plus they have witnessed where she has stood above turning the eggs. 

Tonight after work, the first thing I did was go to the site to see how she was doing.  Unfortunately, it was pretty dark except the white of her head close to the camera lens.  This was the direction she was facing.  

I think it's incredible the fact a camera lens has been placed where the public can view live on the internet. 

2/16/11 - Actually as of this morning, I've learned more.  It was the male eagle who turned the eggs.  Also learned the mom and dad take turns sitting in the nest.  The male is more observant and moves around more than the female from what I've been reading.  This live viewing is wonderful.  Learning how to tell the difference between the male and the female as well as how large these birds can get.  I never knew they were as large as they are.  What is nice about this is the fact you can observe all of this live and to the right is a live chat where people get a chance to ask questions and someone is moderating to answer.  
If you get a chance, go check it out.  Live - Bald Eagle in Nest

What is showing next were done on what I had handy to draw on at the time.  A plain writing tablet. The above are from my dedicated notebook for this challenge. 

This first one was where I was thinking about landscaping once Spring arrives.  I'm always thinking of things like this about this time of year.

This next one ........ I'm supposed to be dieting or trying to and had fruit on the mind. Of course I ended up going with a krispy kreme doughnut instead :-)

Sunday, February 13, 2011

75 Day Sketch Challenge - Day 17

Here lately I've been doing some studying of birds and anatomy.  I will probably do a few more sketches like this one during the course of the challenge.  Will help me with my bird drawings and future paintings I hope to do.

Considering I can't get close-ups of various type birds and body parts (like the feet) or the fact I don't have a specimen to work with  to achieve my sketching goal, I searched out copyright free photos in which I can use as models to sketch from.  This little quick sketch I managed yesterday is from Arthur's Free Biology Clip Art (Thank you, Arthur).  How accurate these are, I don't know but they sure look convincing to me; and, my goal here is to try and capture exactly as the examples show.

Friday, February 11, 2011

My Favorite Shoes - Ink and Wash

After seeing one of my favorite art bloggers' pen and ink results with a pair of her most comfortable shoes, I thought I'd try my hand at capturing my own favorite.  Actually Nike flip flops are my all time favorites but I wouldn't exactly  recommend for winter wear! And, if given a choice, I'd prefer to go barefoot.

Everything I seem to place on my feet any more end up causing foot cramps either while wearing them or soon after I take them off.  This is the first type of shoe I've found I can wear that doesn't cause the cramping.  Might be due to the wider toe area or maybe because it's flat with no real arch.  I'm about as flat footed as one can be and might be why I experience the cramps even with high priced footwear.  No one has been able to tell me the whys either.

If I'm not mistaken, I think the company has come out with more stylish looking crocs but not sure they would be quite as comfortable.  Might have to check out the new line this year but in the meantime, if I have to wear shoes, this is the shoe of choice.

I even have a black pair with a fuzzy lining but cause the feet to get hot so I grab these instead.

Thursday, February 10, 2011

75 Day Sketch Challenge - Days 15 and 16

Day 15

Initial idea came from the book "Rendering in Pen and Ink, by Arthur Guptill with a twist of my own by leaving out components and keeping things simple (especially in the foreground).

Day 16

Same book trying to capture exact or close to the exact example in the book (except for the foliage).  This example jumped out at me just crying to be sketched.  I love anything to do with birds and especially loved the birdhouse anchored on top of a natural structure like the tree stump. that I've completed a few exercises from a book, I decided to go with something I've experienced first hand.  This is from a photo I had taken during one of our snow storms.  The kids were home from school and having a blast out in the snow.  Our house over looks this area through trees and other vegetation that grows down around the creek bed.  I had zoomed in from quite a distance to take these photos. 

I'm really skittish about drawing people and had to make myself at least give this a try.  I'm glad I did.  This challenge is definitely helping me to face some of my fears with subjects I'm not real comfortable with.....and in pen of all things!

This next one is from a photo taken during one of our outings at a river we like to fish for trout and walleye.  By the river is a place called Pricketts Fort which was built back in the 1700s as a place of refuge from Indian attack and as a trading post.  We've never been inside in all the years we've lived here.  After sitting and sketching one corner, I think come Spring I might actually visit the inside.  Normally historical things don't interest me but for some reason I'm sitting here thinking I'd really like to learn more.

Micron 01 Pen in Brown Notebook

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

75 Day Sketch Challenge - Day 14

These are just two quick sketches - one putting down images in my mind of paint supplies and the other was a Grant Fuller influence in sketch form.

75 Day Sketch Challenge - Day 13

After a long day, I still managed to get a sketch done.......just barely considering the time.  Rather than trying to decide on a subject of my own, I chose to grab one of my books by Claudia Nice - Painting with Watercolor, Pen & Ink.   I'm hoping by occasionally practicing examples from one I value highly as an artist teaching pen and ink, I may understand better the use of line for shading with my own ideas. 

Monday, February 7, 2011

75 Day Sketch Challenge - Day 12

So far I'm still finding myself hesitant in starting my pen on that piece of paper.  Still unsure of myself.........not only when starting but throughout the drawing exercise.  Part has to do with not sure how to work the shading and part has to do with sketching shapes I'm not accustomed to putting down on paper.

But it's only Day 12 and I have to say I am at least making marks with pen without the pencil....and I think most of what I've shared has been recognizable.        :-)  

Had I been asked to do this just six months ago, I would have no doubt tucked tail and run the opposite way waving my pencil saying "no I'll stick with this, thank you very much!"

Sunday, February 6, 2011

What We Had for Breakfast - Ink and Wash

Although I'm quite enjoying the pen drawings I've been doing, I have missed the Ink and Wash.  I decided to capture in my sketch book what we had for breakfast.

We've been trying various fillings with crescent rolls.  One of our favorites is stuffing with slices of pepperoni along with cheddar and mozzarella grated cheese (we'll have to try Pepper Jack sometime).  Next time we'll probably spread a thin layer of pizza sauce for added flavor. 

For a dessert crescent, we've tried a thin layer of margerine on the dough, sprinkling mini chocolate chips, rolling, and baking.  Then when hot out of the oven, sprinkling with power sugar.  Mmmmmmmm!!!!

This morning we thought we'd try our hand using Jimmy Dean's Turkey Sausage Crumbles thawed with a little grated cheddar cheese.  Served them with scrambled eggs. 

I could really pig out on these various crescent rolls but I'm sure I'd blow up about 10 times the size I am right now!  To be deprived ........... such a shame. 


75 Day Sketch Challenge - Day 11

Wee hours of the morning and this is how my Day 11 has started.

Plop  Plop Fizz Fizz................the battle begins against the nasty cold that's coming on.

75 Day Sketch Challenge - Day 10

This first was done on tablet paper as I was trying to work out what I wanted with the bucket of notes.  Still using pen and no preliminary pencil work.  The second was what I did in my journal book.  All are using a Micron Pen either 005 or 1.0 tip.

The landscape exercise came from the book as noted on the page below.  I'm trying to get used to shading with the use of lines.

The last is from one of three plaques hanging in my son's laundry room.  I'm surprised I even managed what I did with a five year old jumping around me and wanting in my lap and then back down again.

Friday, February 4, 2011

75 Day Sketch Challenge - Day 9

So far I've completed two sketches for the day.

The first is looking at a stem with these silver dollar seed pods and the second was done from imagination.  Not sure I should be doing anything from imagination considering one of the goals is to improve on observation skills but with my memory or lack of, it might not be such a bad idea to include now and then.

Actually for me, the biggest goal with my doing this challenge is to gain confidence and not feel intimidated with a piece of blank paper staring at me regardless if holding a brush or a pen in hand.  And even though from imagination, I still have to think what I'm doing before placing the mark on paper knowing once it's down, it's there to stay.

Thursday, February 3, 2011

75 Day Sketch Challenge - Day 8

Here lately most evenings I've been eating mixed nuts.  One of my favorites being cashews.  It dawned on me that I didn't know how some of the nuts I like grew so I chose to study up on the cashew.  I was amazed at my findings.  Not only was I totally amazed with the fact the nut comes from the seed portion that hangs from a fruit, I learned about the toxins in the plant itself to include the casing that surrounds the seed or nut portion.  One of the toxins being what is found in Poison Ivy.  I'll probably never see a cashew in the same way again.

75 Day Sketch Challenge - Day 7

We've had a constant layer of snow on the ground for some time now.........especially after last week's snow storm.  Finally the temperatures went up and we had a good rain melting and washing the snow away............well most of it.  Winds came in and brought those temps back down and we woke up this morning with the ground completely white again.

I love snow but I think I'm ready for Spring now.  I'm looking forward to signs like crocuses popping through the ground and the Robins dancing around.

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

75 Day Sketch Challenge - Day 6

One never knows what I might decide to do next with regards to subject.  Just depends on what strikes me at any given moment.  Even I never know.  I think what grabbed me this time is the fact I struggle with daily food intake........often eating what I shouldn't.  My life is a never ending diet and right now my diet consists of eating everything in sight :-)

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

75 Day Sketch Challenge - Days 4 and 5

So far this is where I am with sketching.  Day 4 I completed one sketch and on Day 5 I managed several of various subjects.

75 Day Sketch Challenge - DAY 5

This first is my little dog, Miya.  She's a yorki-poo mix.  Before I started this challenge, I was hesitant in even attempting to sketch her because of her fur.  This particular instance she was brooding because I had stopped playing with her.  Without even given much thought, I grabbed my sketchbook and pen and completed this quick sketch without any hesitation.  

This next is trying my hand at continuous line drawing.  To help at the bottom, I added the grasses not thinking how low to the ground it would make the mailbox look.   This was an exercise I was hesitant in trying and learned how fun it can be once I actually tried it.

I find shading with pen to be very different.  I haven't had much practice with hatching or cross hatching or contour line marks to depict shading and shadows.  An area I personally need to work on.

This is a simple sketch of an oak leaf and a few acorns.  Probably more on the lines of contour sketching with a few extra bits to it.

This is my favorite out of the day's worth of sketching.  Outside our kitchen window we have this thistle sock.  It's easy for the finches to hang onto while feeding and not uncommon to see several at the same time hanging off the sides.  I wasn't sure about the netting on how to go about sketching but I just started with the lines and I found it was really easy and most enjoyable to do.

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