Monday, April 30, 2018

Monthly Challenge - Boat In or Out of Water

The monthly challenge my friend and I set each month was our boats for April.  I wasn't sure I'd get one done as it's not exactly a subject that peaks my interest in sketching.  So it was a challenge in itself just to find the desire to do this.  Plus the first half of this month I was into making fabric journals and wasn't sure just how much sketching I'd get done.

Today rolls around..........last day of the month.........and I decided to go ahead and give it my best shot even though, initially, my heart wasn't really into it.  And rather than work in a sketchbook, I chose to sketch on my Ipad and I went outside early before the temperature got too high.   Funny but once I got started, it wasn't so bad.  :-)

Sunday, April 29, 2018

Morning Dove Waiting His Turn

Today's watercolor sketch is of one of the several morning doves that tend to hog the feeders.  This guy sat and waited until the blue jay that was there left and then made himself at home smack center of the flat feeder.  I was surprised that he didn't just move in on the blue jay but this one didn't.  The others are not as

After working with the Sharpie felt tip pen, I decided to use my Lamy Safari fountain pen.  I'm truly starting to appreciate the use of felt tip pens like the Microns and the Sharpie.  They dry fast even on sized watercolor paper.  My ink took forever to dry and even smeared and transferred by the side of my hand. 

Strathmore Visual WC sketchbook

We Have at Least Two Hummers

We've noticed there are definitely two hummers coming to our feeders out front of our house.  There's a female and a male that we've come to recognize as regulars.  The male is easy to distinguish as he has what looks like a damaged beak.

He's smaller than the female by a good 1/2 inch. 

Strathmore Visual WC sketchbook

Yesterday's Sketch Outing

Yesterday there were eight of us that met up at Yahala Bakery to do some sketching.  There was live entertainment and many of the bikers who are here for Bike Fest happened to stop by as well.

We had a bit of excitement when two bikers collided with one leaving the bakery parking lot and another coming in.  I don't think anyone was seriously hurt.  And no one had to call the police either because there were six officers who had come in on their bikes and had just sat down at one of the outside tables when the accident occurred.  They all went running as did several other people there.

I chose to try and capture some of the folks that sat down to eat......trying to be real discreet as I don't like anyone seeing that I'm looking at them and sketching.  I always have this fear someone will say something to me that might deter me from wanting to sketch in public.  I definitely prefer taking sneak shot photos and sketching people at home!!!  They don't move and they don't see me actively sketching them :-)

Although we had a great time, it was quite noisy between the music playing, people trying to talk over the music, dogs barking that were brought there, and the noise of the motorcycles.  It was such a relief to get home and hear the beautiful sound of silence.

Friday, April 27, 2018

Cardinal from 2016

I am a bird fanatic and can sit for hours watching well as taking photos.  I love hearing their song throughout the day as to me it's relaxing.

Revisiting photos I took back in 2016, I decided to sketch from one of them.  It was a family of five that regularly visited our feeder we had set up in the back off the sun or Florida room where I spent most of my time.

Initially I was just going to leave it as a pencil sketch but then I love the various colors that I wanted to try and capture them using watercolor.

Strathmore Visual WC sketchbook / Sharpie pen

And I thought to scan along the way for a change :-)


The last couple of days I've just been doodling.......paper and digital.  Started out by doodling a couple of palms on the back of our checkbook as I was listening to TV.  Then I played on the Ipad using Procreate.

Playing on the Ipad, I would scribble odd shapes or blobs of black and using the eraser tool would cut and mold shapes.  I found that to be quite fun and relaxing.  Definitely different :-)

One small palm that is growing in our front yard, too close to another, Terry cuts off the top but it just grows back.  Eventually, I think he'd like to have it moved.  I worked that in the Venezia journal.

Tuesday, April 24, 2018

Tackling a Busy Subject

Normally I stay away from busy scenes like this because my brain goes into overload and I often feel overwhelmed.  However, now and then I like to challenge myself and that's what I did tonight.

It took a little bit to focus in on one little area but once I was able to start, it wasn't as bad as I thought it would be.  I just took a small section at a time and built off of that.  On the page shows my starting point and the direction I worked.

Strathmore Visual WC sketchbook, 6B pencil, and Sharpie pen

After the Rain

This watercolor sketch is of one of the hummers that continues to come to our feeder out front.  We think there are two different ones but I'm not 100% sure.  At least the hummer(s) coming around do not have to fight others off like we're used to seeing back North.

It was after it rained and this guy came around to first drink the water droplets hanging on the feeder.  We've never seen that before and watched as he flew around licking up the water before finally settling down to drink the sugar water.  I was able to take several photos from which this sketch is based from.

Strathmore Visual WC sketchbook

Trying to Keep from Snacking

For years I've dealt with the need to snack after dinner.  I'm normally a night owl staying up way too late which adds to the problem.  My doctor claims it is "comfort eating" that I am plagued with so I try to occupy my mind and hands with sketching to help battle that.  Some evenings are better than others.  The plus side is that I've learned to snack on healthy foods but it sure doesn't help with my never ending battle of weight control.

Anyways.......last night I struggled and tried to sketch while watching TV.  Can't say it helped with the snack attack but I at least did a little sketching :-)

Saturday, April 21, 2018

A Memory from a Year Ago

This is from one of the photos taken while at Universal Studios last year. 

I decided to use the Venezia sketchbook I've dedicated to using pen only (plus color if I choose).  I've read where jumping in with pen frees people...........that it's liberating.  One day I MIGHT feel the same way but I think I'm a long way from feeling that sense of freedom..........ha ha.  Maybe by the time I reach the end of the sketchbook??? but I'm not going to hold my breath.  :-D

Comparing the Micron with the Sharpie Stylo

One of my good friends and sketching buddies here in Leesburg uses a Sharpie Stylo pen and loves it.  Finally I picked up a package and I have been using the Sharpie with several sketches to see what my thoughts might be.

I'm really liking this pen for a felt tip pen when sketching.  I've worked it on drawing paper and on watercolor paper with sizing in it.  I love the feel of the tip moving across the paper surface.  It just seems to glide across the surface.

I also like the fact it has more of a dark gray tone versus a stark black which I tend to stay away from.

On some papers, the difference in color or tone is not always evident unless you look real close in good lighting or zoom in with a scan.

This first example is working in the Fabriano Venezia which is a 90lb drawing paper.  There's no sizing in this paper.

This next example is from the Strathmore Visual Watercolor (140 lb CP) sketchbook which has a fairly heavy sizing (at least how I compare it to other papers with sizing).

What really was interesting to me was the experiment taking a wet brush immediately to the paper after scribbling marks with both "permanent" pens.  Just goes to show that the paper surface along with drying time allowed makes a big difference.  I did not bother trying this on non-sized paper since it grabs ink/pigment immediately without sitting on the surface for any period of time.  Testing this will hopefully help me to remember to allow some drying time before adding watercolor to the sketch.

And when the ink bled, there shows a major difference in the ink's pigment hue/tone

Before adding the water, I was able to visually see a difference in the tone between the Sharpie and the Micron.....although subtle.  It was much more apparent after the scan and I zoomed in to compare.


Sketching What's Right in Front of You

Yesterday was a day I just felt like moving pen/pencil across paper sketching whatever.  After the titmouse sketch, I decided to just sketch whatever my eyes landed on. 

On my desk sits Opal so I sketched him.  I was looking out the window and saw a clump of caladiums so I included them. 

Strathmore Visual WC sketchbook and Sharpie pen

Friday, April 20, 2018

Another Bird Feeder Visitor

At our feeders I've categorized the birds by how they eat.

We have the take out or grab and go:  Titmice and black cap chickadees;

The casual diners you might see once in awhile; wrens, finches, black birds, and wood thrasher;

We have those that come, sit long enough to eat, and then leave:  cardinals, blue jays, and red bellied woodpeckers;

and then those who think the feeders are all-you-can-eat buffets, linger around often overstaying their welcome:  Doves

One in a class of its own ....... the bullies:  Mockingbirds who don't like to share with others and guards the food from a distance even when not hungry.

One of our normal take-out visitors actually decided to sit and eat this morning giving me a chance to take several photos as he enjoyed his breakfast.

Thursday, April 19, 2018

A Place that's About to be No More

The trailer or mobile home park that sits off Lake Eustis near Ferran park now basically sits empty of their occupants.  I learned that the property is being purchased for a new gated community called Eustis Lake Club.  There will be 86 single family homes (what they are calling bungalows) built on 11.5 acres of land and will have a Key West style with soft colors.  They plan to have a pool/ club house and lakeside boardwalk, as well as cobblestone and sidewalks.

Thought I would capture this scene before it no longer exists.

Fabriano Venezia sketchbook and Sharpie pen

Tuesday, April 17, 2018

Crow? Blackbird?

After spending hours on the last bird, I worked this quick sketch of a black bird seen at Ferran Park.  It was about the end of our time out sketching when we walked over to the museum to check it out.  I didn't find it all that interesting so while the others were inside walking around, I went out taking photos.

I loved the cerulean blue look on the back of this bird.  Was it from a bluish sheen shining in the sunlight?  I have no idea but it grabbed my attention and I took the photo.  Technically you couldn't see the eye due to his head being in shadow but I decided to suggest one by lifting a bit of pigment.  I'm not even sure if it's in the right

Strathmore Visual WC Journal with Sharpie pen.

Anhinga Procreate Sketch

This one is also from our sketchcrawl at Ferran Park.  This Anhinga was sitting on a post right outside the Eustis Art Museum that is off Lake Eustis.

I tried adding a background of water lilies and didn't like it.  To me I just couldn't get the water lilies placed without making it look too busy and competing with the bird.  Next a created a layer of water behind him.  At this point I'm not sure which I like better.  Maybe blur the background a bit more but then maybe not.  I'll come back to this in a few days with fresh eyes and go from there.

Monday, April 16, 2018

Last Week's Sketch Outing - Ferran Park

I'm a bit slow uploading photos from my camera.  Finally got around to doing so this morning.

It was a gorgeous morning........sunny but a bit breezy.  Not so bad as it helped keep the bugs down.



Sunday, April 15, 2018

Another of our Feeder Visitors

Today's ink and watercolor sketch after finishing another fabric journal.  It's been stormy off and on today and after running out of eyelets to continue with my project, I decided to grab my journal and sketch.

Strathmore Visual Watercolor Journal and Sharpie Stylo Pen

Friday, April 13, 2018

Last of the Loquats for the Season

Thought I would work a sketch of our Loquats that grow in the front yard near the driveway and main street.  Most are turning brown or have been pecked at.  A few remain that are ripe and Terry brought in several for me to sketch. 

I've tried to like them but don't.  I find them bitter that causes my tongue to feel strange.  There is another growing in a neighbor's yard and there are a couple folks who have permission to take all they want.  They make preserves out of the loquats.  Maybe that tastes OK but I'm not exactly in a hurry to try it out. 

Frankly the birds can have at well as the squirrels as I've seen them up in the tree as well.

The tree itself is pretty with the dark green leaves and bright orange fruits growing in clumps.

Worked in the Fabriano Venezia sketchbook using the Sharpie Stylo marker pen (fine point).

Thursday, April 12, 2018

Today's Custom Fauxdori Cover

Today besides sketching, I also completed another fabric cover.  This one was special with my Leesburg "sister" picking out the material she liked.  We stopped off at JoAnn Fabrics after the sketch crawl and I came home and immediately got to work making it from start to finish.

Inside has an insert of regular paper (20 pages front and back) with a cover and a six-pocket folder.  I made an extra band for her to use to add her watercolor paper.  Inside I included a printout of how to cut her sheet of watercolor paper to fit this size cover.

I absolutely love the material and pattern on it and my dear friend loves the results.

Making these are

Today's Sketch Outing

What a gorgeous day today for meeting up sketching together at one of the nearby parks.  There were five of us this time out......Lee, Lyn, Susan, Shari, and myself.

The first page is in the Strathmore Visual Watercolor journal and I actually painted on the spot.  Normally I wait until I get home to mess with the paint.

This second is worked at home in the Fabriano Venezia sketchbook.  I didn't have quite the problem with pigment being grabbed like I did with the woodpecker.  I'm wondering if it's because the woodpecker was painted on the backside of a page whereas this one is the front of a page.  There might be a difference in how each side handles wet.  Anyways.....I prewet all my areas to help give me time to move the pigment around. 

Wednesday, April 11, 2018

Outside My Window

It feels great getting some sketching in after two weeks working on my faux dori journals.  I ran out of thread so that helped motivate me to pull out my sketchbook 😄

I sat and watched this guy trying to find a way over to the seed feeders.  He's tried climbing the shrubs but the limbs are too thin to hold his weight.  He tried getting up on a solar lamp but sticking in sand, it just fell over.  Next he came over to the hummer feeder pole which is only a few feet from the other pole.  He climbed up where the Shepard hook bends and stared upwards.......I figure trying to determine if he could make it without sliding back down.  He tried a couple of times and managed to get to the very top.  From there I watched him stare at the other pole.  You could tell with his body language that he was contemplating if he could launch himself over.  His tail flicked like I've seen them do before jumping; however, I guess he decided it was a no go and climbed back down......back to looking for fallen seed on the ground.

Watching him captivated me and decided he would be my next subject to sketch.  Worked in my Strathmore Visual Watercolor sketchbook using the Sharpie Stylo Fine pen.

Watercolor Sketch - Red Bellied Woodpecker

Today I worked from the same photo reference as I did with the digital sketch on the Ipad two days ago.  I'm using the  Fabriano Venezia sketchbook that has drawing paper in it.  I failed to add enough water to the background to keep the paper from grabbing the pigment.....resulting in brush strokes I couldn't work out.  Also used the Sharpie Stylo marker pen I'm checking out.

Monday, April 9, 2018

Sketch - Red Bellied Woodpecker

With me working on the journals, I haven't done much in the way of sketching.  I did manage this one yesterday taking a break from everything else. 

This guy has been coming around quite a bit here lately.  And what's funny, he doesn't let the bullies chase him off.  I watched a dove try to chase him off and he wasn't about to be intimidated. 

The one question I have that I've not found an answer to that satisfies my curiosity is WHY is this bird called a Red Bellied Woodpecker.  Red is on his head (and this guy had red eyes).  I haven't seen red on their bellies.

Sunday, April 8, 2018

Yet Another FauxDori Cover / Step by Step

With each one, it's getting easier and easier to include operating my sewing machine and how to line up the Crop - A - Dile Big Bite hole punch/eyelet setter.

Out of all the YouTube videos I've watched, this one is the one I found to be my favorite and the one I'm basically following to create my own covers.

For the video version on how to make these, I found this one to be my favorite and the one I'm basically following with the exception of how she folds the finished cover.    Brandy Michelle Plans  She's very thorough in her presentation.  She also shows how to handle placement of center hole and eyelet for those who do not have a long reach punch / eyelet setter like I am using.

For those who are interested, please feel free to right click on images and "save image as" for your own reference.

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