Category: Sketches

Almost Daily Sketches

I’m working on several things at once, but have to stop occasionally and get some drawing in.  These were drawn (quickly, I might add) on a 3 X 5 sketch pad using a brown Sharpie.  As you can see almost anything catches my attention when I’m in the mood.  If you can’t identify the flowers, don’t worry.  I took artist’s license to improvise as I went along.   Hope you enjoy

Sorry the film is so faint.  I should have stopped and made sure I had more light on the easel, but then there you are.

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White Clematis

I’m in the middle of completely redoing my “studio”  (2 small bedrooms) and have totally neglected my daily sketching!   Can’t have that!  So, here is this afternoon’s effort done on the usual 3 X 5 sketchpad in my lap.

I do have exciting news (for me, at least), and that is that on August 31st, I entered two digital submissions to a national competition being held by The Pastel Journal!   Boy, did that take a lot of anxiety calories….I must have lost maybe a half pound…………..

Anyway, although I have entered three shows sponsored by my local Lakewood Artists Guild, this is the first national competition that I’ve entered (could you tell?  Am I repeating myself?)  However, since I had years of entering quilts back in the days when that was my artistic endeavor of choice, I know from experience that the next one will be so much easier.  It’s always that first hurdle, right?

I don’t think they will be letting anyone know if they are even being considered until January.  These national competitions attract thousands of entries and the staff has to first make sure that what you are submitting meets the technical criteria, and then there’s the first go-round to whittle the final judging down to a reasonable number.

So, I’m now preparing to enter some others that still  have 2010 deadlines to take my mind off this one.

Oh, I think I didn’t say that I submitted the last pastel I finished “Coast Sentinels” and one done earlier titled “Birches”.  Both are in the landscape category, so I’m competing against myself along with the hordes of others.   Believe me, I’ll keep you posted when I hear anything!

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April Flowers

Unfortunately, I have no idea what these flowers are.   I was going through my collection tonight to choose something that might be done quickly, saw them, chose them and here they are.  I’ve been neglecting my daily painting,  and it really shows ( I think ) in the brush work and color, but painting is like learning to play the clarinet (that’s Chick’s thing), if you don’t practice, it’s harder to reach your goals.  I’ve read columns by writers that say the same thing.  Rather obvious, I guess.  I just realized that it applies to jumping rope as well.    So…….lesson learned (hopefully).

I’m hoping to have some pet portraits to show soon and maybe an announcement about them and the AIDS ride that my son, Thom, is part of, but I need to hold that for a few days.

My biggest pressure right now is getting some paintings completed for the Pan American Fiesta to be held here in Lakewood on May 8th and 9th. I’m sharing a booth with another member of the Lakewood Artists Guild.   I do have some pastels you’ve already seen, but I’m determined to get lots of new work (ok, ok, some work) done for it.   DESPITE the constant winds attacking my allergies, I have to say.  The weather is sunny during the day and beautiful…..I just wish I could enjoy the winds.  We’ll all miss them come August!!

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Flower Sketch in Color

Here’s yesterday’s sketch redone in color.  I’m still sorting pictures from our California Poppy trip last week, so I probably won’t have anything up for a couple of days.  In the meantime, enjoy!

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Flower Sketch

Just a quick sketch in my 3X5 pad to keep things going.   I think it’s going to be an busy year…..doesn’t that sound good?

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More 3X5 Drawings

Here’s another group of small drawings done on a 3X5 spiral pad of Canson with a Stylist ink pen.  I keep dreaming about color pastel paintings, but I’m still having fun with these.   I hope you enjoy them!

This is an oriental poppy called “Coral Sea”.  Guess the color?


Boots of Flowers

I saw this done somewhere, turning old boots into vase holders.  I love people with a sense of humor!

Drawing-Boots of flowers 1-6-10

Poodle Doodle

I just thought he was cute.  It’s probably a poodle mix since that’s the thing these days.

Drawing-Poodle Doodle-1-7-10

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No. 4 Completed

4-challenge-orange mountail Yes, I’m still playing around with weird color combinations!  This Facebook Challenge has been a lot of fun and it’s getting to be more comfortable with different pastels.  For those who are reading this for the first time, this is a challenge to complete 100 paintings using the same design, the same size and within a chosed time limit  (in my case 30 minutes).  There are three more below in the thread that constitute Week One….and this is the first for the Second Week.  If you are a Facebook member, you’ll find this in the Events under the name First Annual Autumn Painting Challenge.

I think I enjoyed painting the blue one the other day, but this is weirdly satisfying.  I may go back, however to using more colors in a more natural way for awhile.  Haven’t decided….maybe tomorrow!

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Challenge Painting No. 2


Most of the artists have mentioned that they found themselves reaching for the same pastels for the same area in many of the pastels they did.  The idea really is to try everything, even if you don’t like the result, you now what those colors look like together….some were surprised at what they tried and liked.  So, I purposely went as far away from the original as I could get.   Ah, success…’s so bad, it’s almost hypnotic!    But, once again, it was definitely FUN!

1 Down – 99 To Go

First, I have to admit what I posted before as a Notan, wasn’t.  A Notan shows a division of value, so the picture should show light, medium and dark values.  That’s what I get for posting late at night….or maybe that’s what you get!   Anyway, the picture below shows the real Notan for the 100 painting challenge.  The drawing that I posted before would normally be done after the Notan.   Anyway, here it is drawn in the actual 5 X 7 size…..which I may already be regretting.  I thought they would go faster, but perhaps my choice of landscape is too detailed for this………never fear!   I am ready and willing to meet the challenge!

Real Notan 11-12

Now, below you will see two photos.  First, is the basic drawing lines  when I started and second is what I accomplished in 30 minutes.  BOY, DID I LEARN A LESSON TONIGHT!

Many of the artists had been talking about using up small pieces of various pastel papers….which sounded great to me.   And then I decided to get VERY brave and start out with black paper.  Many pastels are done on black paper and I had a couple small sheets, although now I’m not sure why I saved them because I don’t really enjoy working on black.   BUT the biggest surprise of all was learning that it wasn’t in fact pastel paper!

So, the 30 minutes were spent smushing pastel into this slick surface and covering up the black while trying to make the painting resemble in some way the landscape I had decided to use.  Consequently, there is very little detail in the painting.  I could have stopped at any time and moved to the proper paper, but I admit I’m stubborn and decided since the clock was ticking, I would do the best I could.

Who knows?  They may all turn out this way…..but, I hope not.

In each of the following 99 paintings, I will be shifting values, color combinations, etc., with the aim of learning what happens when you break the rules and just go for it.  (Seems like I already know how to do that, doesn’t it?)

Here are the sketch and Painting #1  (despite paragraphs above, IT WAS FUN!!!!)

1-black paper


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Autumn Leaf and Challenge Announcement

Fall leaf 11-10

This is a quick watercolor done this evening of a leaf collected while walking my dogs.  Fall in L.A. is a strange affair. Hot temps and very few beautiful leaves.  Most trees just go from green to brown and drop leaves when the wind blows.    The image is 4 X 4 done with Winsor & Newton watercolors in my sketch book.  Not really watercolor paper, but works ok.

And now for the challenge announcement:

I’ve decided to bite off probably more than I can chew, but I’m going to try.  There is a movement going around in the art world about a comment that has been attributed to several people over the years, so who knows….that to really know a medium, one needs to complete 100 paintings in that medium. In last month’s issue of the Pastel Journal,  artist, Maria Bagetta, wrote an article about her having achieved that goal.  In order to make this workable, Maria confined her paper size to 10 X 10 and decided to restrict herself to 30 minutes on each painting.

The photo of the 100 paintings is amazing!  Debrah Secor, a pastel artist and teacher in Albuquerque, N.M. challenged readers of the website, Wet Canvas, to do the same thing.  She opened up the challenge to any medium, not just pastel, and each person could choose the size of painting and time limitation.  She had a great response in October that has rolled over to November.  There’s one member that has completed something like 70 so far and is expecting to complete the 100 this month.

So………….I decided to pick up the challange (there is no time limitation, of course and many may not finish, but so far they are  having a great time of it.   I will work in pastel, 5 X 7 size and 30 minute time limitation.

The following illustration is called a Notan.  A Japanese word for simplified drawing of the values (dark, medium & light) of the proposed painting.   Unfortunately, I skipped the medium value, but you’ll get the idea.

That’s as far as I got today.   Let me know if anyone in Vegas makes book on my finishing!


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