View Full Version : Rob K's Michigan and Other Sketches

10-20-2013, 09:41 PM
Sketches done pleinair while traveling mostly around Michigan.
These were done using Faber Castell Pitt artist pens.
Mostly in Moleskine, sketchbooks, although I'm still experimenting with various sketchbooks. Sizes 5x8, 9X12, 8.5x11.5

10-21-2013, 01:06 PM
I really like these!

10-21-2013, 04:01 PM
These are gorgeous. Thanks for sharing.

10-22-2013, 12:23 AM
Thanks for looking and the nice comments Carol and Debby.

10-22-2013, 12:38 AM
I loved the look of this great old Feed and Grain in Webberville MI.
I sketched it from the comfort of my car using a 9B pencil.

10-22-2013, 07:04 PM
Great job on the architecture. But the star is the tanker truck.

10-23-2013, 12:12 AM
Sundown at the elevator.
Another sketch while sitting in my car.
I was trying to quickly capture the mood as the sun was going down.
Used a mini Moleskine sketchbook and 9B pencil.

10-23-2013, 09:47 AM
.... wow... very nice sketches...

10-24-2013, 04:51 PM
Definitely a moody piece. Good job.

10-24-2013, 05:56 PM
One of my favorite places to visit and sketch at is the Henry Ford Museum in Dearborn Michigan.
It is an abundance of creativity.
I sketched his while admiring some of the cars in the museum.
9B pencil in Strathmore sketchbook.

10-25-2013, 02:05 PM
Great perspective on the car.

10-25-2013, 02:54 PM
nice sketches and good to see the changes of medium. I find I smudge 9b too much! It needs fixing really well too or time and the slight movement of the pages ruins your work :(

10-26-2013, 01:27 AM
Vivien I agree the 9B pencil is so easy to smudge without fixing. I like to use it for quick sketching and value studies.

10-26-2013, 01:36 AM
I tried to do a quick sketch trying to capture the foggy morning light.
These are trees in my yard.
Watercolors and gouache.

10-26-2013, 05:25 AM
Like it :).

Do you ever use charcoal? I like it lot for tonal sketches. I do like graphite though. And have you tried Derwent XL tinted graphite sticks? They are interesting to use and water soluble.

10-26-2013, 12:56 PM
Thanks Dr. Debby

10-26-2013, 12:59 PM
Thanks Vivien. I do use charcoal and I love the effects I can achieve. But I end up making a smudgy mess when sketching outdoors.
I love the Derwent water soluble graphite. I have gotten some great results with them. I will have to post a sketch using them.

10-26-2013, 01:11 PM
Vivien I just visited your blog and looked at your drawings using the Derwent XL sticks. Wow... awesome work. Love what your doing!

10-26-2013, 06:34 PM
Wow! What gorgeous landscapes. I like the way you use white pen with the Pitt pens. I love sketching with Pitt pens too and even bought a white pen, but haven't thought of using it over the Pitt pens. Now I've got to try that, it's so dramatic and powerful!

I was using it as detail with gouache or colored pencils but not very successfully. It'd work over Pitt pen so well! Great machinery and architecture too. You have an incredible eye and skill.

Joan T
10-26-2013, 09:11 PM
These are really great! I really love the first one. What kind of pen did you use for the white of the water? It it a Pitt pen also? I see you do a lot of sketching from your car like I do. I consider it my mobile studio.

10-26-2013, 10:14 PM
Thanks Robert for the nice words. I'm enjoying experimenting with the Pitt pens. They are becoming my replacement for graphite pencils. I like that I don't have to spray fixitive over them as they don't smudge. I also can't erase them so they are helping me to become more confident with my lines.

10-26-2013, 10:17 PM
Thanks Joan. The white is a Pitt pen also. Yes my car is my mobile studio rain or shine.

10-26-2013, 10:39 PM
Dug out the paints and did a small 3x5 oil sketch.
Sorry for the bad photo.

10-27-2013, 05:45 AM
Vivien I just visited your blog and looked at your drawings using the Derwent XL sticks. Wow... awesome work. Love what your doing!

Thanks :)

I like Daler Rowney FW white acrylic ink for drawing over stuff, it has a really good opacity. I especially like drawing with twigs as the lines are so much more varied and lively - you may like that better Rob S?

10-27-2013, 02:47 PM
Wonderful still life.

10-28-2013, 01:00 PM
Iím experimenting doing small sketches in casein paint.
I did this one in a Moleskine watercolor sketchbook.

10-28-2013, 02:35 PM
Lovely view. The reflections in the water are great.

11-01-2013, 12:26 AM
It seemed fitting to do my daily sketch on halloween at our towns small cemetery.
Sat in my car to capture this scene on this chilly and misty day.
I used Pitt pens in a Strathmore sketchbook. About 4x4 inches.

11-01-2013, 04:18 AM
Absolutely love your trees!!

11-01-2013, 10:37 AM
I often see deer walking through my yard. They walk around the edge of my fence line and have created a path to the woods.
I took a break to sketch this after seeing a deer walk through.
9B graphite stick in Strathmore sketchbook.

11-01-2013, 03:01 PM
Marvelous drawings.

11-02-2013, 05:14 AM

11-02-2013, 05:25 AM
I love the variety of techniques you are using!

11-02-2013, 09:59 AM
Small watercolor sketch of some of the foliage in a nearby field adjoining my yard.
Watercolor about 5x4 in Strathmore sketchbook

11-02-2013, 02:23 PM
Gorgeous watercolor. You got so many greens in there.

11-02-2013, 09:54 PM
While trying to quickly sketch outdoors, I'm constantly trying to fight the urge to fit in all the detail. While at the grainery I wanted to simplify the scene I was seeing. I just wanted to try to capture the feel of the early morning light.
Don't know if I succeeded.
9B graphite in Moleskine mini sketchbook.

11-03-2013, 02:47 PM
Wonderful sketch. I get a fog lifting or misty. But, that may just be my perception.

11-03-2013, 07:34 PM
Most of the trees in the yard have lost their leaves. I did a watercolor sketch of one of my favorite trees I look at through my studio window.
I love autumn.
Watercolor. 8.5 x 11

Joan T
11-03-2013, 09:19 PM
Great sketches. The graphite one has such atmosphere.

11-03-2013, 09:30 PM
Lovely sketch of the tree with most of it's leaves gone.

11-04-2013, 02:40 PM
Nice negative painting on the green foliage, and I love the little touches of yellow still hanging on in the tree portrait.

11-05-2013, 01:57 AM
Thanks Joan, Debbie and Michelle.

11-06-2013, 12:04 PM
I had to limit myself to sketching indoors because it was raining to hard.
For practice I just sketched the Ball jar of watercolor tubes that was right in front of me.
I'm still experimenting with markers and trying to capture the reflections and subtleties of light on glass.
I used 4 Pitt Pen markers on this tiny 4x6 sketch.

11-06-2013, 03:11 PM
Nice job on the glass jar.

11-07-2013, 10:52 AM
Wow! I love the green foliage painting, the way that splash of sun highlights one plant and the rest drop off cooler and give it so much dimension. Beautiful negative painting in that foliage, it took my breath away.

Your foggy graphite scene is elegant. Yes. You succeeded in getting the atmosphere and also conveying that metal container so well. Gorgeous scene.

Beautiful autumn watercolor. I like the way you have that softer-edged more muted tree in background too. You're much more advanced in watercolor than I am, that's fantastic.

Last, your Ball jar of watercolor tubes is great. Perfect rendering. I love seeing still lifes of art supplies, something that makes "Art about art" make actual sense to me.

11-09-2013, 10:11 AM
I did another small sketch from my car. Trying to capture the mood before the predicted storm. I love the tonal range of colors in the fields across from me. The leaves are quickly falling from the stand of old trees.
About 3.5x5 watercolor and gouache in Strathmore sketchbook.

11-09-2013, 02:44 PM
Very moody autumn piece. The storm clouds look really good.

11-15-2013, 10:12 AM
Thanks Debby

11-15-2013, 10:17 AM
I had a chance to spend 45 minutes having a coffee and sketching at Panera Bread in Okemos.
This is the view from my mobile studio(car).
9B graphite in Moleskine sketchbook.

11-15-2013, 03:14 PM
Great coffee break sketch.

Terry Wynn
11-17-2013, 12:41 PM
I so enjoy your sketches and the variety of mediums you use. The autumn tree outside your studio is one that particularly caught my eye. Lovely effects you capture. Oh, the cemetery one was very good, detail but not too much!


11-17-2013, 12:44 PM

11-17-2013, 07:24 PM
Thanks You Debby, Terry and Vivien for the encouragement.

11-17-2013, 07:28 PM
I went to Howell MI. today to do some sketching and was inspired by the great light and the water tower in the distance.
This view is from the Howell Park peninsula at Thompson lake.
I know these beautiful weather days are coming to an end.An awesome day to be outside.
I painted this small 5x7 sketch in my Moleskine watercolor sketchbook using casein paints.
The colors are a little off. I used my ipad camera for the photo.

11-18-2013, 01:33 AM
The light you captured in 'before the storm' is marvelous!

11-18-2013, 02:57 PM
Lovely light on the water.

11-18-2013, 03:43 PM
Gorgeous work! So fantastic! Love the fallen trees in the river, and the shine on the jar of pickles.

11-20-2013, 04:40 AM
I agree , lovely capture of light

11-22-2013, 01:22 AM
I played with watercolors, gouache and pencil trying to loosely re-create my view while waiting for my better half to do her physical therapy.
Painted while in my car in a Moleskine sketchbook. About 4x6

11-22-2013, 02:06 AM
We have had some really tough weather the last couple of days. I decided to concentrate on an indoor sketch. Thanks to the model who made my sketch possible.
I used a 9B graphite stick. 6x8 in a Strathmore sketchbook.

11-22-2013, 02:55 PM
Nice view to paint while waiting. Great portrait.

11-24-2013, 02:17 PM
It's that time of year again.
I love all the Christmas tree entrepreneurs. I drove past this one in Okemos Michigan and I had to stop and sketch it. Used a pocket Moleskine sketchbook and a pencil.

11-24-2013, 03:11 PM
Cute sketch.

Joan T
11-26-2013, 04:43 PM
Your recent landscapes from your mobile studio are really good. I like that you do what I do if the weather isn't good. Keep these coming!

Munin Raven
11-30-2013, 10:16 AM
I love the way you handle trees and foliage. Beautiful stuff all round.

12-17-2013, 01:15 AM
Thanks DrDebby, Joan and Munin Raven.

12-17-2013, 01:18 AM
I love sketching snow. Took the opportunity while in East Lansing to draw this view from my car. I bought a couple of bikes from this store and have always likes the shape of it. So I parked in the lot across the street. Another great day to be outside. 9B graphite pencil.

12-17-2013, 06:16 AM
Brrrrrr chilly!

12-17-2013, 03:39 PM
Definitely got that winter chill going. Awesome how some of the ground looks icy.

Joan T
12-22-2013, 09:12 PM
This last one of the snow is great!!!

12-27-2013, 03:11 PM
A Christmas Eve freezing rain and ice storm wreaked havoc on our yard, trees, fencing etc. Some of my favorite trees sustained major damage. Limbs snapped off because they couldn't sustain the weight of the ice on them. I took my 6x9 watercolor sketchbook outside to try to capture some of mother natures dangerous but beautiful work.

12-27-2013, 03:13 PM
Mother nature can be fierce. Fantastic image.

12-29-2013, 08:35 PM
Great atmosphere in the tree painting!

12-30-2013, 03:32 AM
Sad about the damage but you caught the atmosphere really well

Joan T
12-30-2013, 04:11 PM
Oh, this last one looks so frosty!!!

01-26-2014, 11:57 AM
More experimenting with Strathmore toned tan sketchbook. Charcoal pencils, watercolor pencils.

01-26-2014, 12:01 PM
Playing with watercolor pencils and charcoal pencils in a tan sketchbook

01-26-2014, 03:10 PM
Wonderful experiments.

01-27-2014, 02:12 AM
Love the trees, I can feel the crisp air!

01-28-2014, 03:35 AM
...just found your super journal, lovely trees and foliage work - frameable sketches me thinks, super snowy scenes, that water tower brings back memories of my trip to Kentucky a few years ago, very good portraits to. Great textures achieved in you pics, always fun to experiment. Thanks for sharing your lovely pics....

01-29-2014, 11:20 AM
Thanks Debby, Jenny and Scatty.

Joan T
01-30-2014, 09:05 PM
I love the portrait and the tree. Nice!!

02-05-2014, 10:01 AM
The Visitor.
We are heavy in the throws of winter where I live in Michigan. With temperatures below zero it's a bit to cold to sketch/paint outside. This is a scene looking out my front window. Tried to capture a bit of winter. 9x12 in sketchbook. I used a graphite pencil and gouache.

02-05-2014, 10:58 AM

02-05-2014, 01:33 PM
Yup that's about what my vehicles look like. Great scene. It looks freezing.

02-06-2014, 04:27 PM
Brrr, yep, that's a bit of winter! Stay warm!

Joan T
02-06-2014, 09:05 PM
I love your winter snow scene from your window!

02-11-2014, 05:53 PM
Sketching our house from out in the field. Trying to get a few quick thumbnail sketches before my fingers freeze and fall off LOL.
Working on ideas for future plein air paintings.

Joan T
02-11-2014, 07:15 PM
Nice quick sketch of your house! Hard to sketch when your fingers hurt.

02-12-2014, 09:04 AM
nice one

02-12-2014, 02:49 PM
Great thumbnail. Watch those fingers, no sense in getting frost bite.

03-20-2014, 01:25 PM
As she read I tried to sketch her in my Moleskine. Because I do a lot of landscapes I tend to see everything through the eyes of a landscape painter. Her curly hair was fun and I imagined drawing trees, and bushes. Her oversized hoodie reminded me of of hills, valleys and other topography. I don't know if my sketch does her justice, but it was really enjoyable to do.
9B graphite in Moleskine sketchbook.

03-20-2014, 03:42 PM
Very successful.

03-20-2014, 04:10 PM
Looks great.

03-21-2014, 12:24 PM
Thanks DrDebby and Vivien.

Joan T
03-23-2014, 08:44 PM
Love how you compared the sketch of each part to a landscape. Great job on this!