still sketching

Stopped after work last night and sketched my local Mormon church.....a couple of funky angles continue to show up, but it's looking pretty much like a building!

Then I worked on a couple more at home from photos....these were taken on a trip to Victoria Island, BC a couple years ago.  I use chromecast to put the images on our TV so they're nice and big and it's almost like I'm looking out a window at a view.  I get a little more sense of scale and distance than when I'm just looking at a real photo or my laptop.

Water is a bit challenging and will need some work.  

As my notes say, I drew these with pen (no pencil first!) ala Marc Taro Holmes and used his suggestion for adding darks for emphasis. Not entirely successful, but will work on it.  It's interesting to see such different styles between the classes from Stephanie and from Marc. Stephanie uses predominantly pencil and is pretty precise in her perspective representations. Marc draws only with fountain pens and markers and is more casual with his perspective treatments.  However, both are proponents of  "it doesn't have to be perfect, just believeable"!  I like that!

I signed up for Stephanie Bower's perspective workshop next week. I'm excited to go and see if some in-person instruction will help my "seeing"!


sketch from photo

Working on the 'homework' for my Craftsy perspective class by Stephanie Bower - sketch a door or window in elevation....So I went into my photo stash and came up with these:

Top sketch is a door from Montpelier, VT, the lower one is a Paris window.

This next sketch is from Art & Art Magazine on FB. Scrolling through my feed this image caught my eye and since I was in sketch mode, I gave it a try - took about 15 minues maybe.... fun to try some techniques I saw demonstrated on the video.  Dan was car shopping (came home with a new Rav4) and I stayed home sketching from FB.  HMMMMM.....

I feel flashes of understanding as I find my way....... Continuing....


urban sketching 3

Another Georgetown area in-person sketch. This is the Georgetown City Hall - I remembered this building from exploring the area years ago and wanted to give it a try. Perhaps too much perspective stuff going on to get it quite right, but......

Pencil sketch - about 45 minutes .....till I got too cold.

Watercolor added - the side columns are not really so gold - I need to work on my color mixing (sheesh, yet another thing to work on!).  The circle areas are problem angles that I'm asking my Craftsy instructor about. - In looking at the photo I realize I totally didn't notice the steps to the front door when I was there - I guess that's the "in the moment" stuff - more the impression than the exact replication - that would be a photo, wouldn't it?  I obviously simplified it a bit by leaving out all the signs and lightpost, but should have put in some greenery to anchor it.  Well - still learning.

A photo for reference/memory.

This is a challenging path for me but I'm thoroughly enjoying it so far - in spite of the frustrations. Thanks for checking in to see what I'm up to....


urban sketching 2

My second effort at on-site sketching - stopped on the way home and found another interesting building in Georgetown.

I saw something online about being sure to sketch/draw the thing that caught your eye in good detail for later project reference. So, I started with the window and the detail at the columns then drew the elevation view of the building.  Ran out of time to draw in all the bricks - might add them later.

Here's a quick photo of the building from my car across the street.

Here's the detail I can't figure out how to draw.....that pesky roof overhang corner.....

Urban sketching adventure continues................

struggling with perspective

My sketching last night was frustrating - trying a bit more difficult drawing (difficult for me anyway) with the arches and angles of the columns.  Gave up at this point and will go back and watch Stephanie Bowers' video lesson again.  I'm missing something......

Will repost when I get it right. :)


sketching chairs

OMG - I can't tell you how many times I've attempted to draw an Adirondack chair - they're HARD! That angled back, the angled seat, the slats - man oh man I've struggled.  I tried it again with my new-found knowledge and feel like I have a better result.  At least they look like chairs you could actually sit in!

It was a rainy day in Whistler when I took this photo so I tried to impart that with the paint spatters. Here's the original photo - didn't attempt the Olympic sculpture in the background.....

Dare I try to commit to a sketch a day?  I'm pretty close to doing that anyway, but do I need the pressure?  Maybe.


london bridge

My sketching efforts continue - from photos again this time.  London's Tower Bridge from whatever bridge I was standing on.....

First effort - Found I ended up with some extra space in the horizontal bridge sections - don't like that big white stripe. I do like the loose watercolor treatment. I didn't put any of the horizon detail in, the little buildings and towers etc - will work on that.... Dan didn't like the teal bridge elements.... so I tried again.

Drawn with Platinum carbon pen & filled with watercolors instead of my usual Inktense. It's fun working with watercolors again - another thing the urban sketching group has inspired in me!

Original photo:

This is Dan's birthday weekend and Valentine's Day, so we're kinda busy - but I'm going to take my sketching stuff with me as we go out and I'll see what I can manage to do......


urban sketching

I went out today for a walk and took my sketchbook with me for the first time. This time my efforts are park centered instead of buildings.  I leaned against a fence to draw.........

The sketch done on-site. I used MarcTaro Holmes' technique of using a single line to define my base with the rocks & stump.  It made visualizing SO much easier. From there it was easy to place the dominant trees (the house ended up too big; it's really farther away, but, oh well)

With color added with Inktense

I find it a little harder to blend Inktense than watercolors, but I drew on thin paper that doesn't hold up to watercolor.

Continuing on my walk, I went to the disc golf course and this giant triangle tree caught my eye:
Drawn on-site; Inktense color added at home.  Again I used Marc Taro Holmes single line horizon idea and it made a great top line to establish the rest of the sketch.

Sketching continues.........



urban sketching

Since I'm just starting my sketching journey, I bought a couple of Craftsy sketching classes:  Marc Taro Holmes teaches Travel Sketching in Mixed Media, Perspective for Sketchers by Stephanie Bower (a Seattlite), and Sketching the City in Pen, Ink and Watercolor by Shari Blaukopf.  I can highly recommend all 3 classes -  Absorbing the classes and exploring the internet for urban sketching has been a revelation.

For those who don't know, urban sketching is an international movement to sketch where you live and find beauty in your neighborhoods.  Sketching is supposed to be done only on-site, not from a photo or memory - you can use any medium and any subject as long as it's in the context of what's going on around it.

So after a little bit of practice from photos using some of the techniques picked up from the classes, I decided I wanted to try an urban sketch - something done on-site, in person.  Was it going to be easier or harder in person rather than from a photo?

I stopped on my way home from work to sketch this neighborhood bar (in Georgetown).  Of course, I wanted to pick a somewhat easy building to start with - still screwed up the perspective and had to kind of scribble correct the top, but overall I'm pleased with my efforts.  And, it was fun!  I can tell I'm definitely going to have to do some work on cars .... these look very cartoony and there's something weird about the perspective. And, since cars are all over the urban landscape, I'll have to figure it out.  Onward and upward!


a beijing sketch

I tried a few more sketches, most not worth sharing, but teaching me something each time. Tonight's sketch was a bit more satisfying, so here it is.....

Drawn from this photo of a neighborhood street while we were in Beijing

My efforts (obviously with some elements simplified)

Drawn with my new extra fine tip Platinum fountain pen (suggested by Marc Taro Holmes), colored with Inktense & watercolor.

Am thinking of trying to sketch something "out in the world" soon to see if it's harder or easier.......