Recess at Sketchbook Skool

I had great plans for the winter holiday hiatus from Sketchbook Skool. I thought I’d take the opportunity to sketch a portrait of every teacher. There were only 14 instructors… 3 terms, 6 teachers each… and each term 2 of them were returning teachers, the founders, Danny Gregory and Koosje Koene.  No sweat… plenty of time.

HA! …. it’s amazing how time just evaporates.

I did manage to sketch all 6 instructors in the SBS – Beginnings class: Danny Gregory, Koosje Koene, Prashant Miranda, Jane LaFazio, Roz Stendahl and Tommy Kane.

Have you been wondering what Sketchbook Skool is like?  You can find out by taking a free klass. Get a taste of creativity, it may be just what you need to get you through the winter.  Beginnings starts again January 2, Seeing starts January 23 and Storytelling starts on February 13.

Don’t be too kool for skool!








Before the Rain

I came to watercolors 3 years ago when I took an online class with the fabulous Jane LaFazio. Her work is fresh and fun and she’s a marvelous teacher, generous with her time, knowledge and especially her gentle encouragement. I’m still a frequent visitor to her website and blog.

As I looked through her class offerings I saw her sketch of a Matilija Poppy blossom. Jane had captured this beauty with a minimalist line and a few splashes of watercolor… I was inspired! My garden has been calling to me… “paint me, paint me.” But where to start?  I snipped and floated one of my favorite peony blooms to be my first model!


You can see I copied… yes, copied!  … Jane’s sketch of her poppy. I knew that as I drew the lines she drew I would absorb the loose feeling she captured before trying to replicate that feeling in my peony. (Don’t fret, I gave her credit on my page.)

I’ve been experimenting with various pens but for this I returned to my tried and true favorites… my TWSBI fountain pen filled with Platinum Carbon Black ink.  To get the cool, icy pink of the petals I used multiple dilute glazes of Quinacridone Rose and deepened the shadows with Indanthrone Blue.

Since the forecasted wind and rain would doom the last of my poppies, this was my only chance. They’re so ephemeral. I stood in the driveway painting as the rain started to fall.   Whew! Finished just in time!


They’re gone now, petals scattered on the ground, just a bunch of seedpods ripening for next year.