Ink and Watercolor Wash: Back to Sketching


I had been neglecting my sketchbook so I got out my dip pen and did a bunch of sketches.   The best of the bunch is this cartoon of my husband.  I found a picture that I had taken of him more than ten years ago and took a few liberties with it.  I applied an indigo watercolor wash because coolness of the color seemed to match his expression.

It felt so good to just let go and not worry about the outcome or even finishing the thing. Coming back to my sketchbook is a lot like coming home after a long trip spent in too many hotel rooms.

Pencil Portrait Sketch: Emma Watson

Emma Watson
Pencil sketch - Emma Watson as Hermione Granger

I just realized how close we are to the end of the year.  I was looking back at the drawings I made this year and came across this sketch I did back in January.  I posted it on Flickr but never posted it here.  I wonder why, since I like this sketch quite a bit.   

When I first finished it, I was just pleased that I had managed to make the hand look plausible.  But over time, I really came to enjoy the expression that emerged here.  I think it’s a little more wistful than the reference I used. 

This is 8″x8″  and sketched with an Ebony pencil.  I think these are the best overall sketch pencils if you want to draw loose and let yourself go.  It’s a nice fat pencil that feels good in your hand.  You can get a good range of tone with just the one pencil.  I used to buy them by the handfuls.

Back to it: EDM 182 Draw a truck

pitt artist pen sketch

It’s been a while since I’ve worked on my Everyday Matters challenges, but on one of our walks I saw an opportunity to do one.  I saw this 1954 GMC flatbed truck.  I remembered that drawing a truck was on the list and this was a lovely truck to draw.   It’s not really very rusty and appears to be in good condition.   I’m definitely going back soon to do a more detail drawing and then try applying color.

It was so nice to have a chance to recharge a little. My husband had himself a little “staycation” and we hung out and had fun around town.   What he liked  best was sitting in the sun and taking walks around town with me.  He claimed he was practicing for his retirement.  It’s nice that he knows how to relax because I can get pretty wound up about things sometimes.

EDM 23 – Draw Your Feet

edm23 - Draw your feet

After weeks of drawing tiny faces on tiny cards it felt good to get loose and do some simple sketching. I was shocked at how well these feet sketches turned out. If I had carefully tried to draw these they wouldn’t have come close to looking this good.

I have been neglecting my sketching lately. I have absolutely no excuse. I read this great post by Anita Davies about finding time to draw. This woman is busier than I will every be, but she always finds time. Check out the post. She will inspire you.

On Loosening Up

John Cleese

According to the Flickr “interestingness” scale, this is the fifth most interesting picture in my photostream. I realized I haven’t posted it here. I did this way back in December 2007.

I really like this quick pencil sketch. I remember how much I enjoyed doing it. Looking back at this made me realize that I have really been trying too hard lately. I’ve been worrying too much about the result and not enjoying the process. Frankly, the fretting and fussing is really getting in my way.

I should loosen up and get back to having fun with this.

Maybe that doesn’t just apply to drawing. I’ll have to think about that…

UPDATE:  I didn’t mention it, but it is indeed a sketch of John Cleese.  I wish I could remember what I was sketching from.   Oh well…

Throwing In the Sponge – EDM 126


This must be the most unromantic and uninteresting subject under the sun. Well, one of them anyway. I think that is why I chose this Everyday Matters Challenge 126 – Draw a Sponge. I just needed to draw something that I didn’t care about.

For a whole week I have been going around looking at things and wondering whether or not I could draw them. Now I don’t know why I was doing this since I have proved to myself that generally if I sit down and focus I can draw most things. But for some reason I decided to sit and stew about it. It’s like I get drawing amnesia and suddenly I’m in remedial drawing sitting in the back of the class and staring out the window. Then my inner critic starts chastising me about not drawing. Grrrrrrrr.

Fortunately, the marvelous Sarah gave me the nudge I needed and I am back! Thanks Sarah!

What is this inside of us, this silent observer,
Severe and speechless critic, who can terrorize us,
And urge us on to futile activity,
And in the end, judge us still more severely,
For errors into which his own reproaches drove us?
~T.S. Eliot

Something To Be Thankful For


I’ve been gone for a while, but I’ve had a wonderful week! Birthday celebrations (mine), guests from out of town and a general sense of well-being that comes from looking in the mirror and realizing that even though I’ve grown a year old, I still don’t have any crow’s feet. YES!!! Life is good. Now back to drawing.

I’m posting some drawings I’ve done last week of my husband Michael. I’ve decided that should work for EDM Challenge 42 – Draw Something That You are Thankful For. Well I am thankful for Michael, my best friend and all-around favorite person. I could go on for quite a bit about all the wonderful things about him. But I’ll skip all that mushy stuff. He knows why I like him so much and that is the important thing.

The drawing above is an attempt to work with watercolor pencils. It seems that everything I’ve been trying lately has been such a struggle for me. While I like the drawing, I don’t like the muddy look of the shadowed side of the face. I also know that I would much rather use a hot press paper than cold press. The texture of this paper was really unsuitable and I struggled mightily with it. But you don’t learn if you don’t try, right?

This is a quick sketch of Michael I did while we were sitting outside having coffee yesterday. I don’t know why I like this one so much. I think because I feel I really captured his characteristic squint/frown that he gets when he’s reading the paper. I used my sepia Pitt Artist pens and then colored it with watercolor pencils when I got home.

Thanks for stopping by. Hope you come again.