Sktchy and Me: 2017 Edition

You’ve heard me talk before about how much I like the Sktchy app I have for my phone but maybe you’re not quite sure what it is or how it works.

Here’s a blurb from the Sktchy website:

What is Sktchy?

Sktchy is an artist’s best friend. Find drawing inspiration in an ever-updating gallery of reference photos. Upload your own photos so other artists can draw you. Discover and connect with amazing artists from around the world. Share your creativity in a fun, supportive community. Bye-bye, creative block!

What if I’m not an artist?

Even if you don’t call yourself an artist, you have creativity worth sharing with the world, and Sktchy is a fun, no-stress way to get started. The Sktchy community welcomes and includes artists of all skill levels, from gallery-repped professionals to amateur doodlers. No matter where you fall in that spectrum, Sktchy is for you.

Sktchy is definitely my go-to site for artistic inspiration!

After a slow start I ended 2017 by creating sixty five drawings of human and animal portraits along with a few landscapes. I was inspired to make a slideshow of my entire 2017 Sktchy work after a few of my friends did the same.

Just under two minutes of fun… I hope you enjoy it!

If the embedded video won’t play please use the link to view it through YouTube.

It’s A Dog’s Life

Today I realized I posted only once in November and I was in danger of not posting at all this December. Just laziness I guess because I’ve been working in my sketchbook daily.

Lately I’ve been drawing dogs using photos people have generously provided through the Sktchy app. I sit on the couch with my sketchbook after dinner and relax with my pen and paints… a little added journaling and I’m off to bed, unwound and de-stressed… and dreaming of dogs.

A Parrot… from Start to Finish

After doing a whole month of ink work it was hard to let go. I started drawing a parrot on a pre-painted acrylic ink background, fully thinking I would do it all with my ink filled fountain pen.

Instead of having my subject looking off the edge of the book, I usually place it so it’s looking toward the center of the book as I do here.

I even put quite a bit of work into the shading and modeling of the beak but it didn’t feel right. I got up, made myself a cup of tea, and thought about why I was so hesitant to keep going. I finally realized I was missing color!

This parrot is red. No, not just red, but a screaming scarlet red! And he wasn’t about to let me portray him with a bunch of black lines.

OK… color. I could use red watercolor but because green is its complement in color theory the red would turn muddy grey against the green. Not what this parrot deserves.

I went in search of my gouache that has been languishing in a drawer since earlier this summer. Gouache has larger particles of pigment which in turn yields greater opacity. Just what I was looking for.

I layered the gouache thick enough to obscure the background, along with ninety-nine percent of my ink lines, but not so thick that the paint will crack as the page is turned.

As I was debating what to do on the verso page of the spread I remembered an overheard humorous comment on the current political climate… “What could possibly go wrong?”

It had to go in the journal!

I still chuckle every time I open the journal and see this spread… just one of the reasons why I create.

#InkTober2017 – Days 26 – 30

Yes, thirty days in and I’m exhausted from the nitty gritty of checking the daily prompt, searching the Sktchy app for a photo that speaks to the prompt, and on top of all that, is both something I want to draw and is achievable with my skill set.

Some artists love prompts. I tend to rail against them. Correction, I’m all gung-ho at the start but then, as the days click on, I become disenchanted. It’s a struggle. 

But today I’m happy! I have only one more prompt to consider and I’ve already picked the photo I’ll use as inspiration. By this time tomorrow I’ll have posted Day 31’s drawing and with any luck, the rain storm we’ve been having will have blown out of town and I can get ready for Halloween and the swarm of trick-or-treaters. 

See you tomorrow!

Day 26 – #Squeak

Day 27 – #Climb

Day 28 – #Fall

Day 29 – #United

Day 30 – #Found

#InkTober2017 – Days 21 – 25

Drawing crazed emotional portraits is the absolutely best part of sketching from photos I find on the Sktchy app. Like this gentleman… not exactly an expression we see every day. At least I hope not. 

Day 21 – #Furious

Day 22 – #Trail

Day 23 – #Juicy

Day 24 – #Blind

Day 25 – #Ship

Come back on Monday for the last group of five… and then Tuesday for the final sketch of InkTober. See you then!

#InkTober2017 – Days 16 – 20

#InkTober is still going strong and I’m nearly caught up with my posting!

I’ve been going through a lot of ink and my bottle of De Atramentis Document Black has been depleted. Never fear… I’ve stocked up and refilled my pen. I’ve mostly been using my Lamy Sarai with an extra-fine nib. I’ve gotten my finest, lightest hatching lines by turning the nib upside down. I forget who first told me that “secret” but whoever you are… thank you!

Day 16 – #Fat
Day 17 – #Graceful
Day 18 – #Filthy
Day 19 – #Cloud
Day 20 – #Deep
I’ll be posting the next five on Friday… see you then!