Moleskine Fan… Not.

I’m baffled why I keep buying landscape sketchbooks as I’m not a fan. I must have either needed a bit of retail therapy or like a magpie I was drawn to the bright Moleskine brand and packaging.

The extreme horizontal format is great for capturing broad sweeping vistas but that’s not my preferred drawing and painting subject. Oh I do a few, but when I do, I tend to choose one of my larger sketchbooks.

This must have been one of the older Moleskine watercolor sketchbooks with inferior paper because many of my earlier pages were plagued with watercolors which bled through to the other side. I can put up with a lot of issues including buckling but bleeds are a deal breaker for me. I need to remember this experience and commit to never buying another.

But… once I start a book, no matter how uncomfortable I feel, I also feel compelled to finish it. I want to number it, shelve it, and pick another. So began my quest.

The model’s arm position worked well with this format.

The text block balances the sketch and fills the white space.

I’m pretty pleased with myself that I managed to draw her in the near darkness.

A few more sketches and then, magically, I had reached the last page. I quickly drew a modified contour selfie, added splashy watercolor, and a new favorite quote…

Done!

Color Me With Watercolor

I spent July continuing my watercolor portrait practice. These two were inspired by fellow Sktchy member, Lauren Arno, who challenged us at various times during the month!

And… in just over a week I’m also going to take her online watercolor class through Sktchy. I’ve always felt there’s no better way to expand my repertoire than by taking classes.

Color me happy!

Dino-mania!

In all my current zest for drawing and painting portraits there’s still an obsession I haven’t given up… Dinosaurs and their ilk!

Sometimes I draw from life-sized models as I did from one in the Birds are Dinosaurs diorama at VINS, the Vermont Institute of Natural Science.

… and other times from small plastic replicas!

Replicas are a lot easier to find!

I see you!

Portrait Retrospective

Where does the time go? This morning I realized I haven’t posted in over a month and yet I’ve completed 2 additional sketchbooks since then.

I guess I’ll start in by showing you a few of my favorite portraits from May and one from early June. All were drawn from photographic references posted on the Sktchy app by other creatives. You’ll see I often switch things up by sometimes forgoing my beloved ink lines and instead choose to sketch in pencil before I paint. There’s a different feel to each of these methods but I enjoy them both.

This month watercolor was my only constant.

A Chance for Redemption

Last October I drew a portrait of a Sktchy muse, Ania H. , for the InkTober 2017 challenge. After finishing I stepped back and noticed how far off I had gotten with my proportions, her eye in particular.

Today I was challenged to revisit a portrait and redraw it using the same reference image. Finally… a chance for artistic redemption!

After daily portrait practice, not only can I see facial proportions better but I can translate them onto the page.

I love seeing them side by side!

It’s all about her eye isn’t it.

Three Favorites

There are times when inspiration just isn’t to be found and you’re at a loss for an interesting subject. I know this intimately and I believe every artist goes through this at one time or another.

The essential question is how to escape the vortex. My tried and true models are always available to draw… I have three. My feet (slippered, socks, or bare), my hand (or hands), and my face (either a mirrored self portrait, from a photo, or from my imagination). Any one of these can spark an illustration and memories.

March was a month of reflection… but at least I wasn’t at a loss for a model.

Three Named Winter Storms

I know I’ve snickered at the Weather Channel’s recent habit of naming our winter storms but that hasn’t stopped me from documenting them in my sketchbook.

Here in New Hampshire, Riley arrived before Quinn. (Skylar was documented with written journaling and no drawings.)

I’ve been drawing from photos people upload to the Sktchy app I’ve referred to before. When the snow’s falling and you can’t or don’t want to go out it’s wonderful to pick an interesting photo and just play!

I thought we were finished with the winter thing as Toby, Uma, Violet and Wilbur went elsewhere, but I was mistaken. Along came Xanto. It didn’t fizzle out as I had hoped and instead inundated us with nearly an inch of rime ice.

Yes, Xanto got his own page!

Let’s keep our fingers crossed that I won’t need to document either Yvonne or Zoey.

I’m ready for Spring!

Favorite February Portraits

March has been packed and I realize I haven’t posted my favorite portraits I drew from Sktchy! No big commentary ahead… just a few quick notes.

I love portraits, especially when I can draw hands too… it’s a double challenge.

In this portrait I used watercolor pencils… steep learning curve but so much fun when faced with a model with pink and purple hair. It turned out better than I thought it would… I shut that inner critic up!

I’m also trying to work on figure proportions… now I want pink and black striped socks.

… and see… there’s a portrait in there too!