Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Household Appliances in Colour

I bought a beautiful new watercolour journal in Toronto on a recent visit. I decided to get started with a quick sketch of our old singer sewing machine while I waited for dinner to cook. I was frustrated with the sketch itself but was able to pull it from the ashes by throwing some watercolour at it. I used my mini travel watercolour pans and a weird plastic reservoir brush. It was very quick and dirty. I liked the result so much that I had a go with the rice cooker. It looks quirky and slightly cartoony but I like it too. I think I'll devote my next pages to more household appliances.

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Don't Go Back

So this is Lesson 2 with Elizabeth Cox, Watercolour for Beginners. She says in the the beginning it is all about learning the techniques. Can not doing something be a technique? Let's call it a tip. DON'T GO BACK. With watercolour, paint fairly quickly, with intention and don't go back over things. Let the water and the paint do its work.

Elizabeth gives us our instructions in marriage vow increments; short little phrases so we don't forget any parts. She demonstrates one element, sky for example, then sends us to our paintings to give it a shot. Skies left to dry, we are back up to her table to watch Elizabeth paint the next small part, this time rocks. And so we move through the painting. How can something so apparently simple be so exciting? But I am not fooled. As pleased as I am with my first efforts, I can sure see the loveliness coming from a more experienced hand.

Sea View with an Alien Boulder

Crazy Pears

It is a very slippery slope. Watercolour has dazzled its way onto the See It Sketch It blog screen. What's not to love about vibrant, soft, flowing colours? But fear not. Sketching remains the queen, watercolour the not so humble servant.

I went to a watercolour workshop at the Harmony Arts Festival in West Vancouver over the summer. On that idilic day in a big open tent  behind the Ferry Building Gallery I was soothed by a warm breeze, the call of gulls and views of sail boats out towards UBC.  Elizabeth Cox, exuberant and creative, led the group through a series of very simple steps.  Paint, water, brushes and really, really nice quality paper. And voila! Crazy Pears.

Crazy Pears

Monday, September 26, 2011

A Quick Sketch

This was a really quick sketch of a man sitting facing me. It probably does not do him justice but I still like the essence of it with the shadow around his neck and chin. Working fast makes you look fast and not let things get too cramped. Just don't look at his poor hand. That was a little too fast!

Friends' Garden

Some friends asked me to water their lovely garden while they were away on holiday. The neighbours must have thought I was the laziest gardener because I just turned on the sprinklers, parked myself on a chair and sketched things that grabbed my fancy. Things started out a little tight and controlled but by the time the garden was good and soaked, I'd loosened up a bit. It always takes a bit of time to get over the perfectionist thing. The first few efforts made me want to rip the page out but I just kept adding flowers and seeds in. Things improved. I like the "no tearing pages out" rule of illustrated journaling. It makes me keep trying.

Giant Cedar

Who could resist the beauty of a giant cedar? I actually drew this from an sketch I saw in a book. Someday soon, I'm going to try one from real life. It has been pouring rain this week which reminds me yet again why these beautiful trees get so darn big here on the West Coast.

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Bike on a Ferry - Just Get Started

I was going to a family reunion last summer and was waiting in a ferry line up. There was a car with a bike on a rack ahead of me in line. I sat there in my car trying to decide if I should tackle a sketch with so many gears, spokes and crossing lines. In the end, I gave it a shot. But as a result of my initial dithering, the ferry line started to move before I had finished my sketch. I was enjoying the drawing and was disappointed not to get further with it. It seems to be my lot as a novice sketcher that my subjects move or disappear mid sketch!

But luck or fate was on my side because I was loaded onto the ferry right behind the same car! So there was a gentle lesson for me. Get started and work quickly. I actually think the quickest sketches are sometimes the nicest.

Bike Sketch in Two Movements

Burnaby Blues and Roots Fest

There's nothing like an all day music festival to give you the time and subjects for drawing. I sat on the grass at Burnaby Lake Park, enjoying the music of well known greats like k.d. lang and John Mayall. But who knew about the sparky bluesy Irish rockabilly talents of Imelda May. Check her out. Or the crazy guitar chops of Matt Anderson from the East Coast (of Canada that is).

All the while, I had plenty of people to capture in my sketch book. I tried to be discreet, hence the back and side views. I didn't want to freak anyone out by staring at them. You'd think that people would sit relatively still during a concert but I was amazed at how much people moved around. It was good practice for quick sketches.

Fans on the grass, and a few that got away.

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

This Time More Visible

One more time, only bigger. Wow!

Peony Pod, Tree Frog and the Sneaker

Well, it took a sixteen year old to help me get image to blog. And here it is.

I was having fun here, dividing my sketchbook into a grid. The sneaker and tree peony pod were from real life. The other things were from images I saw here and there. No, I didn't stare down a frog.

Now that technology has befriended me, there will be more sketches to come.

Thursday, September 8, 2011

How to make a blog - adding images

I do most of my sketches using a ball point pen. Hence the image. The benefit of using a ball point pen is that there is always one available. As a relatively novice sketcher, I also find a simple pen a little less intimidating.

Getting Started

I've seen a couple of these blog spots where people show samples of their sketch books. I find it very inspiring to see what other people are working on. So I thought, in the spirit of sharing and learning to be a bit more tech aware, I'd try a blog of my own. Perhaps this blog will spur me on to more sketching. Perhaps it will be a giant distraction. Dive in! Sploosh!