Little white pumpkins

A few weeks ago the kids brought home some mini pumpkins and gourds, ostensibly to paint cat faces on for halloween. But they ended up on my table being sketched and painted for a while. You might recall having seen some of these a few weeks ago, but here they are again, all together.

It’s really interesting to draw and paint something that’s white: the longer I look at it, the more color I see in it. And how it looks varies so much: with the light, or just with what I see it as that day.


The other nice thing with drawing something over and over is that I get to keep the same subject and vary the media I use. I’ve used watercolor, pencil, brush pen, colored ink, pastels and gouache the the pieces above.

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Little sketches: Inktober, Week 2

Another week of Inktober and I’m quite pleased to have stuck with it for 16 days. Hoping to make it through the end of the month, a little inking everyday. Are you doing the  Inktober challenge? If you are, what are your thoughts on it? Here are some of my sketches from this week.

Flowers in Iron Gall Ink.

A subject that appears often in my sketches: My daughter doing her homework.k_homework1.jpg

And one that doesn’t appear so often at all. Little doodles from my imagination. This one done while waiting for an appointment. I had no idea where it was going when I started working on it. Glad I carry my supplies everywhere.

It’s persimmon season. So fun to draw, I bet these fruits will make an appearance in my sketches for a while. This first sketch is entirely in colored ink. DeAtramentis Document Ink on watercolor paper.

And this one is brush pen and pastel on toned paper.

My skull (that just sounds strange!) arrived in the mail this week so I’ll be drawing studies of it for a while. Brush pen and Noodlers ink

And ink washes.

I’m also working on a larger project I’m really excited about (more on that soon) and I find that all this inking is influencing how I am working on my current pieces.  Here is a peek at some of what I’ve worked on this past week.

That’s about it for my week in little sketches.

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Figure Friday: All of it

I sometimes post a sketch or two from my weekly figure drawing session under ‘Figure Friday‘. Those weekly figure drawing sessions are many things to me:

  • A way to stay in touch with drawing what I find hardest: the human figure.
  • My weekly warmup session: miss a week and it shows in all my drawing.
  • A time to experiment with new media: (sometimes, not this week).
  • And a time to talk about art, seeing, what we’re working on with fellow artists.

Results don’t matter so much. Still, I usually select and post sketches that I think work. So this week I thought I’d post everything from one session. The ones that worked, the ones that didn’t and the huge majority in the middle, the meh ones. Much as I love it when things come together and work, I also just really, really love drawing. Drawing is hard, drawing means seeing so intensely it’s tiring. Drawing is frustrating. But I love the act of drawing.

We start with ten 1-minute poses. Charcoal on newsprint.

And then we move on to two 5-minute poses. I really struggled with the one on the right, so I drew, redrew, drew bits, but still didn’t get very far.

A 15 minute pose comes next.

And the last session is an hour-long pose broken up into three 20-minute sessions. Usually, I do a charcoal study or two in the first session, write up some notes for myself and then do some color studies in the next two sessions.

Watercolor Study #1
And closeups from it:

Watercolor Study #2
And closeups from study #2:

Alright, quick poll, just for fun:
Watercolor study #1 and watercolor study #2. Which one works better for you? And why?

Happy Friday!

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A little rain in Oregon

Last week, we did a quick road trip up to Ashland in Southern Oregon. I could swear the weather changes just as you drive across the California-Oregon border. Dry and sunny one minute and rainy and green when you cross over.

This might be my only sketch before we crossed the border. Black Bear Diner, where the food is awesome, and there is bear emphera everywhere.

The rain is never far away in Oregon. This is the duckpond at Lithia Park. What I love about urban sketching is that the weather becomes part of the sketch. You can see how the rain did atleast as much for this piece as I did.

And another quick sketch from the park.

Even when the rain holds up for a bit, it’s never far away. Downtown Ashland with the clouds rolling in.

The Allen Elizabethan Theater where the Oregon Shakespeare Festival is held is supposed to be an exact replica of the Globe Theater. This was sketched in the near-dark, just before a performance of Hamlet. 2.5 hours long+Nightime+The rain.= Frozen Toes. Even with blankets, jackets and hot cocoa.

Heading back home, with a quick stop and short hike at the spectacular Burney Falls. Spray on my book, and a photographer in the foreground.

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Inktober 2016: Week 1

Happy Inktober! Here is my first week in #inktober sketches.

These first few are done on the road, so they’re almost all with my Sailor Fude Pen.

At my local Starbucks one morning.. Dip pen, Hero Ink, and lots of finger-smudging. Messy fingers, but fun.

A quick little doodle-sketch with the Pentel Brushpen on a super-busy day.

And these from a series of white pumpkin drawings I am currently making (more on those in another post).

What I’m loving about Inktober is that just thinking more about ink and using it as a primary medium means I a looking at depending less on watercolors and am playing with different ways to use ink.

It’s never too late to join the Inktober challenge. And there’s 3 more weeks to go….


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Only in San Francisco

It was a super warm day in San Francisco. This first sketch is done during the People and Places workshop in the city , which was a day after the one in Berkeley. At the Ferry Building Farmer’s Market, a location that is always super busy.

I was ready to head back home after the workshop, but how could I not stop and sketch this event: The Body Art Show. The show came about to protest the city law against public nudity. You could tell that all the participants were really enjoying slathering themselves with sunscreen and hanging out in the sunshine.

And yes, where except in San Francisco would that happen?


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An afternoon in Berkeley

From almost anywhere in Berkeley, you can spot the Campanile. On a sunny Friday afternoon, campus is just the happiest place: classes done for the week, students finally meet up, chat and lounge on the grass. Makes for great people watching. And sketching.



Which is exactly what we did a couple of weeks ago in the People and Places workshop  in Berkeley.

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