Saturday, May 29, 2010


It was a great movie! Well, not a great movie but certainly a very adequate midnight movie. Plus, it made a great sketch today! Cheers!

Done in my Moleskin sketchbook with Pitt pens and Derwent Inktense pencils.

Thursday, May 27, 2010

Experimenting with watercolor sticks and a new style – for me.

One thing that I LOVE about art is that it is so easy to be inspired by others’ works and then creating your own versions of what they have done. Recently, I have found my sketching style consistent, but not as inspiring as I’d like it to be. While on Flicker, I found two of Cathy Johnson’s recent sketches that were particularly inspiring to me. Both were essentially black & white bold brush & pen work, with watercolor tinting the background. I loved this approach wanted to try it for my next SIFF sketch.

Here is the sketch, using the Harvard Exit’s iconic ancient projector which stands in the lobby, as the focal point of the page. I can’t wait to try others in this style actually. I think it was really successful and am looking forward to further experimentation in this area. Very fun!

I think I also hit it right with the combination of tools I used to create this page. I used a watercolor Moleskin sketchbook, my favorite mechanical pencil, 2 black Pitt pens (one small and one brush nib), Daniel Smith watercolor sticks grated with a sharpener into my new palette with the HUGE wells for really juicy puddles. Here is a picture of my set up:

This artistic journey is just so cool! I can’t wait to see what inspires me at tomorrow night’s midnight showing of “RoboGeisha” at the Egyptian. *lol*

Monday, May 24, 2010

SIFF is upon us!

Matt and I are avid fans of the Seattle International Film Festival (SIFF) and yesterday we began our yearly pilgrimage to watch movies “’till we drop” for the next month. I decided to try and keep up a sketch journal from this year’s festival to record memories and other fun things.

By its nature SIFF tends to be a “slow down to hurry up” kind of affair. That is to say, there’s lots of waiting and then sudden frenzies of activity before, after, and between shows (we tend to see double and sometimes triple features!)

Here’s my first sketch of the year. It's of the Admiral Theater which is shaped like a boat inside. Very cute! The sketch was done in pen & ink and watercolor.

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Great Dane Puppy Continues

Here’s the next stage of the Great Dane puppy painting. At this point I’m deepening the colors and refining the drawing. It’s funny but I seem to be treating this piece as if it were a commissioned portrait! I’m laughing here as this piece started out simply as a test for my new watercolor pencils and has turned into something more.

I’m definitely getting the feel of these new watercolor pencils. I also seem to be getting back my feel for the watercolor brush. Interestingly, my instincts for painting seem quite different from what they were back in the day. What’s happening now is new. These new feelings and instincts are helping me create a brand new style, less literal and more adventure-filled. That's making me really happy.

I have little idea what my new style will ultimately look like but I think you’re seeing the beginning of it in this puppy piece. Anyway, I’m happy with the progress and interested to see how the piece finishes up.

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Back from my Cross-Country Trip

It was a marathon! My friend and I traveled across 15 states in 8 days and that included one entire day of down-time due to a needed car repair! Phew. It was a lot of traveling.

Despite all that time, I was only able to do one sketch on the trip (something of a disappointment) and that was early in the trip in Vermont. However, I did take lots of pictures that I’m planning on using for sketches and paintings later on.

Here’s the one sketch I did at the Vermont Pretzel cafĂ© in Bellows Falls, Vermont. This place was a local favorite of my Mom’s and she took me there when I visited in December ’09. The food was great and this image was iconic for the place.

Here are a few photos from the trip that I’m eager to draw.

The Building housing WOOL100.1FM, Black Sheep Radio, the station where my Mom had her radio program on Sundays.
Below are a few shots from Yellowstone including Bison. We were amazed at how unconcerned they were by the presence of the tourists. But then again, they have been known to gore people who bother them, and they know that people generally leave them alone so why would they be concerned? All the same, it was neat seeing them walking right outside the car. 



Glad to be home and eager to get back to ART!

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Watercolor Pencil Experiments: Adding Color to The Puppy

Here’s the Great Dane puppy with its color starting to be added. For the background I’ve been glazing some complementary colors to add depth and interest, experimenting with different brush sizes, and creating texture using both differing marks and sponging. Not sure which of all these techniques I like best yet. :-)

For the puppy, I’ve found that a small brush works best when smoothing the wet pencil. It helps create more evenness in the coloring.

So far, this is definitely a fun technique and an easy way to get back into watercolor. Clearly, it's also a wonderful technique in and of itself. However, I can already feel the urge to start laying down puddles of paint once again. That’s a good feeling. When it gets strong enough, I’m going to loosen up the controls and start playing with the “real stuff” once again! ;-)

I’m starting a cross-country road trip tomorrow morning and will be gone for a week so I’m not sure they’ll be any more posts for a few days. I’ll try to post from the road. If I can (and I hope I can) I will! But the puppy will officially be on hold until I return.

See you down the road!

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Watercolor Pencil Experiments: Great Dane Puppy

Yesterday I decided to kick things up a notch with my new watercolor pencils by creating a "test" dog portrait. I plan to use water as a solvent to try and create a very smooth, colored pencil portrait. I’m using a hot press Lana watercolor block as a support to encourage smoothness. Hot press isn’t normally my favorite for watercolor, I much prefer cold press. But so far I’ve really liked the way the watercolor pencils lay down on the hot press paper.

I’ve chosen a rather limited palette of pinks, cool greys, and cool blues for the Harlequin puppy, with a background of dark, cool aqua. The under-painting is done in Deep Indigo (another experiment as I usually do my under-paintings in cool purple).

 Here is the under-painting of the puppy before being wet.
The photo I am using is pinned above.

A closer look at the dry under-painting.

Here is the same under-painting after water was applied.

Here we go! Stay tuned for more Great Dane puppy coming soon!