I Caved…

but no guilt… no excuses!

I wasn’t planning on taking the latest Sketchbook Skool offering, Let’s Make A Map, but after seeing some of the work on They Draw and Travel, an online map-art site, I’ve been inspired to do one of my own.

I signed up late last night and started in on the lessons. First up… drawing a compass rose.

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I still need to figure out WHAT I’ll be mapping but at least I’ll be able to show you which way is North!

Ottauquechee River Touch-Up

Just over a week ago I was able to spend a fabulous day sketching with 2 friends I found through Sketchbook Skool. We met at the Vermont Institute of Natural Science to sketch together and catch up on all our various travels, classes and workshops.

We enjoyed the raptor visitor program and toyed with the idea of sketching the eagles but instead, we settled on painting the lovely view of the Ottauquechee River just a short walk from the main exhibit area. Landscapes have never been my forte so I jumped at the chance to practice, especially in the presence of my friends who are both more comfortable and more proficient at capturing the terrain.

Having decided against using my trusty fountain pen, I loosely and lightly sketched the rough outline of the marsh before pulling out one of my travel watercolor brushes.  Sorry, I can’t remember which one; I only know I felt as if I was walking a tightrope without a net. Definitely out of my comfort zone!

1ottauquechee-preStillman & Birn Alpha 9″ x 6″, Daniel Smith Watercolors

The time just sailed by and only too soon we were saying our good-byes and scheduling our next get-together.  Once I got home and really studied my spread I saw a few flaws that I thought were “fixable” using a few of the hints I gleaned during the day.

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You can see that in my zeal to capture the reflections I totally neglected to draw the mountains that were reflected!  Sheesh… what was I thinking!  The other hint was to paint in a smudgy layer of color at the base of the rushes. Two small things that made a big difference.

Is it perfect? … far from it, but I’m pleased.  I only know I have more practice time ahead of me… and with my friends encouraging me, I’ll enjoy every minute of it!

 

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!

SBSBeginnings1DG

SBSBeginnings2KK

SBSBeginnings3PM

SBSBeginnings4JL

SBSBeginnings5RS

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Sketchbook Skool… art for me!

I’ve matrikulated into Sketchbook Skool!

This endeavor is a wonderful kollaboration of Danny Gregory and Koosje Koene, two artists I’ve followed for quite a while. They’ve put together a six week kourse, (adding the k is killing me… I’ll stop now.) each week featuring the art, inspiration and guidance of a different artist.  Danny took the first week and inspired us to draw the ordinary, the everyday… no special equipment, just a sketchbook and a pen.  Paint the page first if a blank white page makes you freeze… just start.

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140410 SBS2

Just yesterday, Koosje’s lessons, week 2, were posted.

I particularly appreciated Koosje’s intonation to “get over yourself!”… to just get out and draw… out in the open, in the community, even if… gasp!… people may be watching! This has long been one of my goals so I packed my sketchbook Friday evening when we went to a friend’s home for a Celtic music house concert.

140411 SBS3140411 SBS4

My apologies, portraiture is not a specialty, but I’m going to keep working on it!

Next up… Prashant Miranda.