Sunday, April 24, 2011

Sweet Kitty?
...or so it would seem.  We call this pose the "Venus Hand Trap".  So soft and innocent as you reach in to stroke his soft belly.  Then, faster than you can blink an eye, the trap has SPRUNG! Your hand is trapped inside a kicking ball of claws.  B E W A R E!!  ;)
Drawn in Faber Castell artist pens, colored in Derwent watercolor pencils and Niji waterbrushes.

Sunday, March 13, 2011

Trace and Fill

I used the paintbrush to trace the lines of the photograph in white. Then I used the selection color tool, selected one of a range of colors inside the area, and then the paint bucket to fill the area. It was simple. I had my doubts though. After filling the first sections of the flower and losing all the exquisite detail that mother nature provided, I was sure this exercise would look hideous. But it doesn't. I persevered and really like the overall effect. The colors, the lines, the shapes....all pretty.  And, from a quilting perspective, I can totally see this as a quilt.  The quilting lines could stay simple to the concept, or you could pick darker threads and add the subtle shading that the flower started with.

Saturday, March 12, 2011


Wouldn't it be cool to be able to paint a flower like this? It is so beautiful! My style of art isn't realism though. I find beauty in lots of places and consistently am drawn to clean lines and nice colors, very graphic in style. I think I might try to play with an image like this in Photoshop and perhaps draw on top of it, fill it in completely, and then "disappear" the photo all together. I think it would be fun to play with it on real paper too, with pencils and maybe watercolor...dreaming until I get my cast off. At least the photography is fun to look at as well. ps. can't really hold a camera yet, so I am sort of cheating by posting this old photo. Enjoy!

Monday, February 21, 2011

starry nights
on real paper...with triangle shaped crayons between my ring finger and middle finger (right handed), my first post accident attempt.  it looks a bit sketchy to me.  ha, ha! i overpainted with dilute watercolor. it took a couple of days to complete- but it's a start.
this is also inspired by google art project.  i have been browsing the museums in my spare time.  van gogh, always a favorite.  i love that you can zoom in so close to the paintings, and see the brushstrokes. i miss being able to drive. i am happy that i can make coffee by myself-unassisted.  i am adapting.

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

well... i was sketching--a new fabric line, but i can't post that. it is unlikely that i will post at all this month.  setback.
bike crash. too fast around a corner.  this is after the er.  i won't show the before.  the right hand looks good, just soft tissue damage. i can't write or open jars.  missing the use of that wonderful opposable thumb.  i am learning new ways of doing things, but can't drive yet. grateful, so grateful to be able to walk, and no head injury. yeah for helmets, the kindness of strangers (who scooped me up and rushed me to the er), and pain meds. road rash is not for sissies, and i feel like a big one. bleahhh.

Saturday, January 29, 2011

Day 29
Today I have a guest blogger.  She is my daughter, Jane.  She happened to see my blog today, while I had it up and asked about the Sketchbook Challenge.  So I explained it to her and she wanted to participate. I told her the theme was Highly Prized and immediately she said "my cat"!  Of course! I thought she would draw with real paper and paint, or markers or something, but no!  She wanted to give my drawing tablet a try.  It was a bit frustrating for her, because she doesn't know anything about Photoshop.  So I started her off easy and showed her just a few simple things.  She started over a few times, but this is what she drew.  I am really quite proud of her for sticking with it!  And I LOVE her drawing!

Friday, January 28, 2011

Day 28
Well, it's day 28 and I don't have 28 drawings.  Darn it!  I am still in the first month and unable to make my goal.  Well, this is supposed to be fun and instructional by making it a daily habit.    And it seemed like the carrot danging at the end of the stick.....that is, while I wasn't working much on my art quilts.  However, I have now managed to carve out some time to do the work I love so much.  So all is good on the art front, but maybe not so much on the sketching front.  Too bad, I won't apologize for making time to create art quilts, I just can't go there. 
Meanwhile, today at the bakery, on my son's iPad, I drew another doodle.  He did save it, but that is NOT what you are looking at here.  His app is called ColorTilt.  It is FUN.  As you tilt the iPad, the colors change while you draw.  I must admit that it is rather difficult to draw anything on a constantly moving surface.  The app does allow for a LOCK mode, in which you can just draw with one color at a time.  I like that too.  Anyway, here is my rendition of the sketch I made on his iPad.  I drew this one on Photoshop.  This evening I learned how to draw a rainbow line.  How cool!!!

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Day 20
Fun with doodling.  I like the feature on Photoshop that you can select an area, in this case it was the orange background.  And then you can draw all over it without your drawing overlapping the flowers.  Kind of cool.  I added the white doodle lines on the background after the flowers were drawn in this way.

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Day 19
Did you notice the hiccup?  I missed yesterday.  Now what?  Give up the project?  Keep going and acknowledge that I missed a day?  Just not perfect as it turns out??

So, today's entry is a fingerpainting.  On my son's iPad.  He emailed it to me, so I am sharing it with you.  FYI, it does not look like him, though I was looking at him when I drew it.  It took about 3 minutes. And well, at least it is recognizable as a face, that's all I can say.  Oh, yeah, the app I used was Mirror Paint.  He has a lot of art apps.  I wish I had his iPad.  It's really, really fun.

Monday, January 17, 2011

Day 17
It is amazing how much time I can spend making a simple sketch and still get the angles wrong.  I am overly critical of this little red stool.  I looked at the darn thing while I was sketching, but the angles are still off.  Meanwhile, it does look like a stool, so that's good.  And I did attempt a small bit of shading, which is hard for me.  I didn't take time to add the shadows.  I also feel a bit frustrated.  Maybe a quicker sketch might have been more to my liking.  Maybe I will try that tomorrow. 

Sunday, January 16, 2011

Day 16
January 16.2011

I really did NOT feeling like sketching or playing today.  I would much rather be working on one of my art quilts tonight.  This sketching every day is turning out to be much harder than I expected. 
So, this one is really quick.  I played with drawing color boxes, and then stripes with transparent color.  Next, I tried playing with the hue option under the brushes tab.  There is so much there to explore!  Anyway, this sketch is an ode to my easy button, a toy on my desk.  It is much more fun to play with that I could have possibly anticipated, but there you are!

Saturday, January 15, 2011

Day 15
Inspired by Diana Trout's Jan 14 entry, the Doodle Game. She has a video showing her method.  It looked fun, so I gave it a try. I mostly followed her rules, start with a continuous line to fill the blank space, then go back in and add details.  Except, I did mine in color and I cropped it to make a smaller section to work on...  And it was fun and interesting!

Friday, January 14, 2011

Day 14
I think this butterfly is done now.  I started with some abstract stripes, which then became the body.  I distorted it to make it look curved.  I drew some outlines of the wings, then filled with the gradient tool.  I probably spent two days worth working on the silly white dots on the wings.  Then I drew the head and legs yesterday.  That was fun playing with more gradients and special effects on the proboscis and eyes. Today I drew in the veins on the wings.  And the background, which started a lovely mint green, but became blue when I overpainted and then played with special effects in the filters tab, (sketch-bas relief).  I loved the effect!  And am pleased with the overall result.  And it makes me want to try some different shapes, like differently shaped wings, and the butterfly from different angles.  Maybe!

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Day 13
Working on the head and antennae. It's not where I want yet, but made a lot of progress today!

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Day 12
Playing with gradient fill tool
I LOVE this! I didn't realize that the gradient tool had patterns. Everytime I try to use a Photoshop tool, I find more and more options buried within the tool. It is fun to explore. I spent some more time shaping my butterfly's wings, and playing with patterns today!  Here's a closeup.  At some point, I will show you the whole sketch.  I am continuing to add to the previous day's work.

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Day 11
Continuing on day 9 and 10, this is a closeup of my sketching today.  I have decided to make a butterfly out of the sketch, and have started working on the wings.  Not a lot of progress today, but hey, it did take a long time...ha!

Monday, January 10, 2011

Day 10
Today I have added on to Day 9's sketch.  It includes getting rid of some blue and green, copy and paste, repeat.  And learning the distort tool.  That was fun!  Quick 10 minutes took 20 minutes.  Hard to stop when I am having fun! Here's a detail view.

Sunday, January 9, 2011

Day 9 Graphic Doodle

I have decided to try just 10 minutes today, and then add to this doodle for several days and see what evolves instead of trying to finish an entire sketch in just one day.  This one is pretty simple, and this is a close up.  Of course you can't see all the things I tried and erased...

Saturday, January 8, 2011

Day 8  Brushes

Had a fabulous day working in my studio.  So much fun that I forgot I needed to sketch, until it was late.  So today's page does not have intent, or meaning, or even sketching practice.  I would have to say that here on day 8, I am starting to feel like my drawing tablet is a bit on the sterile side.  It doesn't have the tactile experience of playing with real paint and real brushes, and water.  I am also limited to drawing right next to my computer.  I need electricity for this thingy to work.  I can see how sketchbooks which are so portable would come in handy in many situations.  And as I continue my path of daily play, daily drawing, I suspect that I will want to try other materials than this digital land...though it does have many many conveniences, it also has it's limits.
Today, I am exploring brush tips.  It is not very exciting, but none the less, here it is.  I can say that in only 8 days of daily posts, I am getting much quicker with the blog posting!

Friday, January 7, 2011

DAY 7 Iterations
It is probably human nature to be fascinated with iterations.  I remember the first time I saw one.  A mirror on the wall with those little light bulbs all the way around the edge of the frame.  If you look in at the right angle, you see a reflection of yourself looking at a reflection of yourself looking at a reflection of yourself, and on and on until the images are too small to see.  It's amazing!
I know that you know what I know you know, etc...

Anyway, today's sketch is a sketch of my hand holding a Cintiq drawing tablet which is showing a sketch of myself holding a Cintiq tablet.  I stopped after one iteration.

They can also be mathematically interesting.  Check out this Menger sponge, also known as a hexahedron fractal.
Really cool, right?  I am not going to try to draw it though.  However, my son loves making models of this particular one on SketchUp.

Thursday, January 6, 2011

Day 6
Things Valued, my feet.

I love to walk and hike.  So, I really value my feet.  It is easy to take some things for granted, and I'd have to say that feet are one of those things for me.  I have long narrow feet, always, always hard to find shoes to fit.  I call them my "skis for feet".  Then I read about the story of Hugh Herr.  He has no feet.  Lost them in a mountaineering accident.  His feet literally froze as he was lost in a blizzard during an adventure in the mountains.  Hard to imagine going from an elite climber to disabled without feet.  But, not Hugh Herr.  At the time he lost his feet, prosthetics were in their infancy.  He was miserable with the technology and unable to walk.  So he studied and learned and eventually made his own feet, with specialized technology to reduce the pain of his weight on artificial limbs.  He revolutionized prosthetics.  And he returned to climbing, with his new feet.  Inspiring!

Thought you might like to see him...

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Day 5
Apple Slice

ode to an apple slice, I can not believe how much time I spent on this simple drawing.  Ah, but people wail about that every time they see my quilts.  WOW, How much time did THAT take?!  It doesn't matter, I needed to make it, express something, etc... So I should expect the same with drawing, yes?  I am in awe of people who can quickly sketch something.  I have found that my quick sketches are very different than the ones that I delve into.  Somehow this miraculous process is like being underwater for extended times.  It is quiet, very quiet, and I concentrate so deeply, I forget the world above, like a trance.  Time passes without my awareness as I struggle to capture something, or produce something-a sketch.   Here is today's....I played with shapes, colors, textures on the surface of the apple, shading, and shadows.

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Day 4 Flower
A hard day, I didn't feel like working hard at sketching.  So, instead, a doodle, and playing with coloring.  And, I had fun coloring the flower center, and the watercolor looking background.

Monday, January 3, 2011

Day 3
Things Valued.  This is the theme for January.  I like taking a moment to think about what I value and what I appreciate.  Number one thing is GROCERY STORES.  This is after trying to grow vegetables in my garden last summer.  I have a heightened awareness of my appreciation for farmers now, and the fact that the food is readily accessible almost any hour of the day.  AWESOME!!  But a sketch of my favorite grocery store?  Just not as interesting.
So today, I am drawing a leaf.  Maybe because I have spent the last 3 days raking.  Thirty seven trees, not all deciduous, and one is still dropping, took us a total of 15 hours....and 17 bags of leaves.  The job is too big!  But I love my trees.  They provide great shade in the summer.  Home to birds and squirrels (that we like to watch).  And they make oxygen, for me to breath.  Here's my leaf, sketched in Photoshop.  I had to add some color, see the aqua and purple leaf vein? Subtle.  And my first attempt to draw a shadow.  I like it!

Sunday, January 2, 2011

Day 2
I was happy to be sketching yesterday.  But, I knew the sketch was off.  For today's project, I decided to take the photograph, and add a layer in Photoshop.  In the new layer, I sketched all of Pearl's features on top of the photo.  It was like tracing a picture instead of drawing it yourself.  I thought it would be easy, but once you draw on top, it is hard to see what is under and whether you got it right or not.  So I started drawing with a more transparent brush, that helped, but ultimately, the sketch was way too light.  And as you can see from today's sketch, her nose still needs more shading. Then I made the photograph invisible and worked just on my sketch.  I found the Blur tool.  That is cool!   It blends the fine pencil lines to make it look more smooth, like watercolor.  Occasionally, I would view the real photo underneath to check my progress.  It was kind of fun. 
Then for my last trick, drum roll please.... , I copied today's drawing and pasted it on top of yesterday's sketch adjusting the scale as necessary.  It was SO EASY to see where my proportions got wrong.  Yesterday, Pearl's eyes were a bit too close together, and her left eye was too low.  I got her nose too long, her ear too big, and the shape of the top of her head was off.  It is easy when drawing faces to be tricked into drawing things the way your brain has labeled them and get the proportions wrong.  The right side of the brain argues with the left and vice versa, and I don't SEE the shapes and proportions as well.  Today's drawing is lovely, pretty, and looks close to real to me.  But it is what it is, a tracing.  Satisfying learning experience today! 

Saturday, January 1, 2011

Day 1 Sketch
Okay, this first one is more of a color doodle.  Just playing around.
 The next one is part of the challenge.  Things Valued.  Today is the anniversary of my dog's death last year.  I miss her a lot.  I did not get another dog, as I have 4 cats, but it is not the same.  She was a sweetheart.  And she was so incredibly beautiful! When I would take her for walks, people would stop in their tracks to cross the street and tell me how beautiful my dog was.  At least my sketch looks recognizable, like a dog's face, but it doesn't show her beauty.  The shapes are a bit off.  I still believe that learning to draw is more about learning to see than what happens in my hand.  I am excited to see if practice will make a difference.

Day 1

Fresh Start to a New Year
I have been anticipating the beginning of this project since I heard about it.  I have always wanted to sketch more and make a sketchbook, but my participation has been sketchy (ha, ha, please forgive the pun!).  I am inconsistent at best.  And, though, I normally HATE challenges, I decided to do this one and feel free to participate, but change the rules as it suits my needs.  You can see the full challenge here.  I am going to attempt to try to sketch and post every day.  I don't think I can draw.  However, my hope is that by drawing every day, by the end of the year, I will be better at it than I am today.  Simple, modest goal, eh?  I suspect the hard part will be the every day part. 

So, today, I have set up my blog, and gotten my materials together.  I noticed from the sketchbook participants, lots of art supplies.  I am going to try to learn photoshop and my new drawing tablet.  All my work will be digital, or not.  I may break out the markers, watercolors, and real pencils at some point.  But, the truth is that I just love my new drawing tablet, it forgives mistakes so easily, and it is so easy to play with color and design elements to just move them around at whim!  I get lost for hours in it, and that speaks volumes to me.  I think it is funny that my first post has no sketch yet.  I am off to rake leaves and will return to sketch and upload a photo before the day is done!