Wednesday, January 31, 2007

January 31 sketches for 31 days!!!

I can't believe I actually have done 31 sketches for the month of January. Yeah!!!! It was challenging at times and mid-way I thought I might have chucked the buildings, but I pushed on. And I'm glad I did. I know I just peaked at the top of drawing buildings and I still have a way to I'll continue to trying to master drawing buildings at different angles, work on my perspective, and work on more detail.

I'm ready to move on to February, which will be the month of portraits. I've already have got a head start, but won't upload until tomorrow...see you then.

Monday, January 29, 2007

Just pencil

Today I found in a drawer, a brand new Montblanc classic .07mm pencil that I had stuck in my writing desk and forgot I had purchased it several years ago when Montblancs were all the rage to own. Who'd think that this pencil would get me so motivated and inspired to draw and that's what I've been doing all afternoon! Maybe I should look in my desk drawers more often and see what other goodies I'd find. I was so jazzed with the handling of this pencil that I went out and bought more pencil refills so I wouldn't run out as I'm sketching.

All three drawings were done in my moleskin 4"x 6", rendered in pencil.

Sunday, January 28, 2007

Seven more to go

I can't believe that January is almost over with. Seven more drawings for January and I'm done with buildings. If anything that I've learned this month...I really appreciate drawings that I see of architecture renderings. It's a science in itself.

It's good to get out of one's comfort zone and I've definately have been out of mine. Both drawings are 4" x 6" in my moleskin, using Faber-Castell polychromos colored pencils.

Saturday, January 27, 2007

A lighthouse or two

I did two more sketches of lighthouses. I'm trying to use more stippling,cross hatching,and lines to show where the lighthouse is in the shadows. These are both 4"x 6", in my moleskin, using Faber-Castell polychromos colored pencils. What I'm trying to achieve with these quick sketches, trying to work looser and use less detail. I think that has been what part of my hang up has been with sketching buildings. Trying to put too much detail and getting frustrated in the processes. I like the idea of less is better.

A few more

I'm still without a computer,but was able to scan these using my husbands computer. I will be glad when January is over with. Drawing buildings is hard. With each drawing I seem to be having a real problem with perspective and trying to work with a rather limited palette. I guess that's what this blog is work out some of my drawings skills I lack.
This is a side street in London, that I happened to come across. I was taken with all the various building challenges this picture has.

This is a church in Santa Barbara. I was trying to capture the church bell, but the bell seems to be hanging mid-air.

Tuesday, January 23, 2007

A few buildings before I send in my computer

I guess the idea of not having my computer for a week is kind of scary, so I decided to upload these drawings before I pack my computer for fed-x to pickup. These are some drawing of various places I've been too. I first sketched in pencil, used my Faber-Castell fine point black pen. Finished by using Faber Castell polychrome colored pencils.

San Francisco painted ladies ...Victorian houses.

Santa Barbara Library.

Santa Barbara Courthouse

Santa Barbara buidling

Venice building

Monday, January 22, 2007

Off line

I will be off line for about 7 days while my computer is being repaired, but I will continue to work on my buildings and hopefully I'll have lots of building drawings to share.

If anything I've learned from tackling drawing buildings...perspective really plays an important part in really nailing the drawing down. Perspective was never a strong point for me even way back in college, so I've had to rely on my trusty ruler, otherwise I get shaky lines. It's also been so cold here in the Seattle area, so the idea of sitting outside is not going to happen anytime soon.

So, I'll see you all in a week!

Sunday, January 21, 2007


Illustration Friday: Super Hero
Over at Illustration Friday a new topic is posted and then anybody can post their interpretation of the topic. So here's mine...Sophie Super Hero

Wednesday, January 17, 2007

Venician Garage door and clock tower

When I think of Venice and the fact that there are no cars on the island, it's kind of interesting to note the canal boat garages. When I took water taxi's around the canals, it wasn't uncommon to see these type of garage doors and when the doors were lift, inside you might see motor boats. Interest way for the people to get around.

Tuesday, January 16, 2007

alleys of venice

This was a typical alley way in Venice. I used derwent watercolor pencils and prismacolor colored pencils.

Monday, January 15, 2007

Contour drawing of San Giorgio Island

As I was going through my Venice photo's I came across one of San Giorgio Island...the view I could see from my hotel.
This is a quick 10 minute contour drawing. I'm not sure I like the starkness of a contour drawing.

Sunday, January 14, 2007

Images of Venice

I guess I'm feeling better and was able to do these 3 buildings of Venice.

Basilica San Marco

Window on the canal

One of many canal bridges and buildings.
I guess this is the nice part of traveling and taking lots of photos that I can use as reference later. I had taken on my last trip over 300 pictures of Venice, and silly me, printed them all out. Now as I am able to use them, it doesn't seem as silly at all now.

Saturday, January 13, 2007

Just Checking in

I've been under the weather for the past few days, so I don't have any drawings to upload, so that means I've gotta get cracking and do 5 quick sketches. I've also spent a good part of yesterday organizing my studio. I don't think I'm superstitious but two things have happened with my computer. The first one being that my extra drives and card readers dropped off my computer; then this morning I spilled a cup of coffee on my ergonomic key board that I just love. Well my ergonomic key board died. To hold me over I found the original key board that came with my computer that I bought last year. It's OK and hopefully when the roads get dryer, I'll venture out to Best Buy to get a new ergonomic key board. It's these little things in life that sometimes I find so upsetting. I'm now just waiting for the third thing to happen...with me it usually does...or maybe it already happened and I just can't remember. When I realized my extra drives dropped off, I called HP, and believe it or not I'm still under warranty. The downside is that I have to make backup copies of everything on my computer so HP can walk me through re-installing my drives. If that doesn't work, then they'll send a technician to replace those drives...what a hassle.

While backing up my information, I can across a picture of me standing on a little bridge in Giverny, France in Monet's garden. As I look at that photo I can remember standing there and thinking life couldn't get any better.

Wednesday, January 10, 2007

windows and canal of venice

Yesterday blogger was done when I attempted to post, so here's my drawing for 1-9-07...want to stay on track!
Windows and canal of Venice...4" x 6", using Derwent colored pencils and enhanced color with Adobe photoshop.
Each day that I play around with Adobe photoshop in the layers mode I learn something new. I figure if I continue to do this, all the mystery of layers will disappear for me.
Next week I will begin a 10 week course at Gage Academy of Arts, in Seattle. The class I'll be taking Botanical Painting in Watercolor. I've was all set last year to take this class, but I got ill so I had to post-pone. I'm rather excited about taking the class with Louise Smith because she is well known in the Botanical world for her beautiful watercolors of botanical flowers.
And here is a course description of what I'll be learning!

Learn to identify and depict important plant features that make your work convincing as Smith guides you through a methodical introduction to botanical painting. You begin with basic skill-building exercises in watercolor wash and dry-brush techniques. You then progress to color-mixing exercises and an introduction to concepts of light on form. Once you master basic painting skills, you begin to focus on building your observational skills as you learn to identify the botanical features intrinsic to different plant species. The winter class focuses on seasonal themes: vegetables, winter branches, the winter pansy and evergreen leaf. Homework required. This course is part of a continuing botanical painting series, with each quarter featuring seasonal plant subjects as well as new projects for continuing students.

Sunday, January 07, 2007

windows of venice

I finally achieved something that I wanted to do for a long time...know more about...Layers in adobe photoshop!!!!
I first did a line drawing in pencil in my moleskin. Then I added color with my Derwent artist colored pencils. When I thought I was done I scanned my drawing into Adobe Photoshop. I didn't like the way the flowers in the basket looked, so I decided to play around by adding layers. So I touched up the flowers and then I got carried away with playing around with the other colors in my drawing. I used a paintbrush in adobe and just started adding different colors. I kind of like the way this turned out. It has a painterly quality too it. I know I still have a lot to learn about layers...but for my first try...I like what I accomplished.
This drawing is 4" x 6".

Saturday, January 06, 2007

Paris rooftops

One of the things I love about going to Paris is looking out windows and seeing the various rooftops. Depending on what floor I am in my hotel, sometimes I can see rooftops for miles.

Thursday, January 04, 2007

Windows of Paris

Everywhere you turn too in Paris are buildings with lots of windows. This is a view from the right bank looking over the Seine River over to the left bank of Paris.
I'm still trying to work out in my mind how I want to approach this month of buildings. I never realized how shaky my hands are while attempting to draw straight lines. As you can see, my lines aren't all that straight.
Since it's a little cold now in Washington, I'll probably be working from photographs that I've taken over the years of buildings. Hopefully as the month progresses my hands will become more steady, I'll get my perspective right, and I'll stop being so hard on myself about my drawings.

A Rose

A Rose...This started out as a contour drawing, then coloring with FC artists pens. Unfortunately, I discovered that some flowers don't translate well with artists pens. So after being totally frustrated, I decided to bump this up by using my watercolors. I probably will continue my study of flowers using watercolors and then adding any details that are lacking with the FC artist pens.
I also have a drawing of buildings from Paris,but I think I will re-do with less detail. Right now I'm torn between adding a lot of detail to my daily sketches or using few details and just going with a contour drawing.

Tuesday, January 02, 2007

Space Needle

Ok...I'll be the first to admit drawing from life is hard. I'm so use to taking pictures and then working from my photos. Trying to get perspective, unusual angles does not help either. Oh why do I always make things so hard for myself!!! I really need to simplify. So on day two...Seattle's Space Needle from the ground up. I rendered this in my Canson journal using a FC medium tip artist pen.
I've also have been trying to figure out layers in Adobe Photoshop. I bought a book titled "Adobe Photoshop Elements 3.0 classroom in a book" which comes with a working disk of lessons. So hopefully I'll be through the book and have a better understanding of how to apply layers. Wish me luck.

Monday, January 01, 2007

January the month of buildings

I now know why I've never attempted buildings...getting the right perspective can be a bear. I guess that's why January will be the month of buildings.
Seattle Woolworth building using FC black pen on Canson journal page. I dropped ultramarine blue, winsor red, and pale yellow on the paper before I even started the drawing. I poured water over the clean sheet of journal page, dropped the 3 colors and then took a paper towel to soak up any excess paint. I allowed the paper to dry for about an hour before I attempted to sketch.