2019 Hopkinton State Fair – Part 6

Auuuugh! No Tunbridge World’s Fair for me today. Instead I’m home dealing with a leaking kitchen faucet and sink!  Looking on the bright side, I’ll have more time to write this wrap up and I figure I can always sketch my kitchen instead.

I love going to the fair and over the years I realized my sketching success is inversely proportional to how much stuff I lug.  Carry less – sketch more is my motto. I pack two inexpensive permanent ink pens, a small watercolor set, one short real watercolor brush, a small nalgene jar of water, paper towel and my sketchbook into my extra small Timbuk2 messenger bag (I have an older version) and tuck my wallet and phone into the zipper pockets on my lightweight vest.

I brought my current sketchbook, the A5 landscape version of the Arteza Watercolor Book. Now this book has quite a few issues which may prevent you from liking it but its price may just be the best thing it has going for it. Currently Amazon has a pack of two books for approximately $20 USD. At that price I’m willing to overlook a lot of its faults precisely because it’s inexpensive and not precious… perfect for doing studies. Roz Stendahl published a series of blog posts reviewing the A4 portrait version of this book. If you think you might like to try the Arteza for yourself, I urge you to read the entire series. I think there are 9 or 10 posts and they’re well worth your time.

My own issues with this Arteza book revolves mostly around its construction. First off, I prefer portrait orientation to landscape but they don’t make the A5 in portrait. A few of the spreads don’t have matching surfaces across the gutter, although most do match. The book is not bound with the stitching parallel to the paper grain and the binding seems to separate where the signatures are sewn together. There doesn’t seem to be any glue on the book’s spine for stability either. And finally, watercolor takes a long time to dry. This must be due to its sizing and it’s not inherently bad… it’s just something to consider if you like to work fast.

But the good thing about the Arteza’s slow drying time is the watercolor has time to move, blend, and basically do its magic thing. You can see this effect in yesterday’s Nubian goat images and the images of the Porcelain Bantam Pullet from Tuesday’s post. Those effects are what allows me to overlook the faults and keep using this book.

But will I buy more of these books?  Probably not. There are other watercolor papers that allow those wonderful effects and I’m fortunate to be able to bind my own books. I guess I’ll be binding more watercolor books as one of my winter projects.

Finally, next time I must make time to sketch the other mammals at the fair… you know, the two-legged ones. There are humans, big and small, short and tall, young and old, all over the place but you wouldn’t know it if you looked at my fair pages over the years.

Next year’s fair.  You heard it here first!

Arteza A5 landscape watercolor book

2019 Hopkinton State Fair – Part 5

Yeah… no wrap up.

Life got in the way and my poor planning left me with no more hours yesterday. Believe me, I have a hard enough time writing something coherent when I’m fresh much less late at night after a busy day.

So, I’ve saved my last images… and the elusive wrap-up… for tomorrow.

Gotta go… Tunbridge (VT) World’s Fair is calling… gates open at 0700 and it’s Youth Showmanship in the Poultry Barn!

Arteza A5 landscape watercolor book

2019 Hopkinton State Fair – Part 1

A week ago Friday I went to New Hampshire’s Hopkinton State Fair. The blurb on their website states “a Labor Day weekend tradition for more than 100 years.”

I’ve only been going for the last 6 years and I’ve learned from my past experiences that I tend to burn out if I hang around too long. Heat and humidity seems to exacerbate any symptoms I may have but this year we were treated with beautiful weather, partly cloudy and low 70s.

Nevertheless I didn’t overstay my welcome… I only spent a little over five hours on site but there were productive. I created 14 spreads (28 pages) of ink sketches with selective watercolor washes.

I’m going to share all my work over the next few days without commentary but look for my State Fair insights and takeaways when I wrap up my final images this Friday. In the meantime please sit back and have a peek at the creatures through my eyes.

Arteza A5 landscape watercolor book

Inktober… Days 5, 6 and 7

We were camping over these days but I brought my sketchbook and packed my pens knowing I could manage a few minutes to draw. I even brought a head of garlic so I’d have a model at hand once our tent was set up.

The pumpkin was soon carved into a jack-o-lantern while the grapes kept me from the chips and dip. Another successful camping weekend done!

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.

#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!

Sometimes Life’s Just Busy

Sometimes I’m just busy… it doesn’t mean I’m not drawing. I sometimes just get too preoccupied with other stuff that I forget to post!

My drawing sessions this month consisted of squeezing in a sketch or two whenever I had a spare moment like the week long stretch when I sketched portraits from an app called Sktchy. 

 





I think you can see how more confident I became with my ink line as the week went on.

I’ll share more about Sktchy soon but tomorrow’s October and… October is InkTober! I doubt I can manage daily posting so I’ll be aiming for weekly updates. Stay tuned.