View Full Version : Rob's 2014 Sketches...

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01-01-2014, 12:47 AM
I'll make my new thread now, since it's less than 3 hours to 2014 here in San Francisco. Not going to make it for a month since I've been so slow the past few months, just call it 2014 and see how that goes for a while. I should sketch more. I've been tempted to daily sketching again but that went out the window this morning... so... set no deadline, don't worry about it, sketch when I do and see if I do more without worrying about when.

01-01-2014, 02:53 AM
Ari Sketches
7" square
Pigma Micron (sepia), watercolor, colored pencil, white pen.
Stillman & Birn Delta Journal
Photo reference for the large colored pencil portrait, my own from last night. The rest were from life.

Ari wanted to pose with his sketch page. First couple of tries he was standing on it, putting his head over it, getting in the way... he's a cat!

So naturally my first sketches for 2014 are really my last sketches of 2013, but I'd already made my new thread. So here they are.

01-01-2014, 01:09 PM
Puurdy boy Ari!

01-01-2014, 02:29 PM
Ari is darling. Glad to see you sketching him again.

01-01-2014, 08:44 PM
Purr thank you! When I'm uninspired... all I have to do is look at my Ari and I feel like drawing again.

It wouldn't really be one of my journals without at least one page of Ari sketches. Page seven this time... definitely on a roll with this one and enjoying the square format.

Marge Cameron
01-02-2014, 10:26 AM
These are great! Love the little wash of your kitty in the lower right. Best of luck with your new sketchbook.

01-02-2014, 04:16 PM
lovely Ari sketches, lovely Ari :D

01-02-2014, 06:35 PM
Purr thanks! The little wash on the lower right, he moved after about 10 seconds and I had to do him half from memory. Very tricky, and I'm happy with it. I need to try more often to catch him moving.

Purr thanks Kat!

01-02-2014, 07:29 PM
Ari Sketches
7" square
Pigma Micron (sepia), watercolor, colored pencil, white pen.
Stillman & Birn Delta Journal
Photo reference for the large colored pencil portrait, my own from last night. The rest were from life.

Ari wanted to pose with his sketch page. First couple of tries he was standing on it, putting his head over it, getting in the way... he's a cat!

So naturally my first sketches for 2014 are really my last sketches of 2013, but I'd already made my new thread. So here they are.
This is great. I can't 'sketch' like that. Must be fun :thumbsup: to be able to free sketch. :wave: Gorgeous cat too :)

Joan T
01-03-2014, 08:42 PM
I love this collection of sketches of Ari!!! You could probably do an entire sketchbook of just him. Keep them coming!

01-03-2014, 08:52 PM
I always love your sketches of Ari, and these are again just great! He is such a beautiful cat! Not to mention adorable on that pic… ;)

01-29-2014, 10:28 AM
Thank you! You know, you're right, I probably could fill a sketchbook with nothing but Ari and it'd be so much fun. I love him so much and he's such a joy to draw from life or photos.

01-29-2014, 01:19 PM
These are great. You have really captured the essence of him!

01-29-2014, 03:16 PM
Sounds like a great project Robert. You definitely should do it.

02-12-2014, 06:12 PM
Purr thank you! Ari is right on my lap while I'm posting.

I found one sketch from 2013 that I don't think I posted in this teeny tiny Moleskine pocket sketchbook - it's like an ATC size one, staple bound, quite small and I got a pack of them. One was in my pocket and so I did some sketching at appointments on different days. Today finally photoed what was in it because I got a new one done waiting for the van.

Pencil from life of that tree outside the front door of my building. Did it in January and may have already posted it.

Building sketched from life in December in Pigma Micron pen - gee this is my life sketchbook, isn't it? :D

Plant in ballpoint pen on same tiny sketchbook, from life no penciling before inking. Just pen sketch waiting for van.

Horse in Conte gray and black sticks on 7" Stillman & Birn journal same as the Ari pictures, proportions are off on it I'm sure. From photo by Loni Ice.

There we go. Today at last I've done some February art. It's coming up on Cheap Chocolates Day, all you singles out there who are getting shamed for not being picked can look forward to gorging on the Day After Romantic Public Obligations Day.

02-13-2014, 03:02 PM
Robert, good to see you posting. Great sketches utilizing your environment and opportunity.

Joan T
02-13-2014, 08:42 PM
Good sketches, Robert! A pocket sized sketchbook is perfect for when you have appointments.

03-25-2014, 09:23 PM
Purr thank you! Yikes, I have been out of it for SO long. Was basically way too sick for sketching so I have been busy catching up since the flu was gone, just haven't gotten into much of anything. But here are some new ones from March.

Shark tooth and Shell
Derwent Graphitints in square Delta journal, from life.

Life sketch in 6B graphite on square 7" Stillman & Birn Delta journal.

03-25-2014, 09:34 PM
Terrific portrait of Elgie, Robert. I agree about doing a whole sketchbook of Ari. Hope you are feeling a lot better now.

03-25-2014, 09:36 PM
Terrific portrait of Elgie. Glad to see you back sketching, Robert.

03-26-2014, 11:12 AM
Flu is awful, nice portrait

03-26-2014, 02:30 PM
Sorry you've been laid low with the flu. Hope you are on the road to recovery. The sketches are great.

03-28-2014, 12:03 PM
Hope you're back up to full strength now! Great sketches.

Joan T
03-28-2014, 04:02 PM
Great to have you back, Robert!!! Love the sketch of the shell and that awesome sketch of Elgie!

04-11-2014, 07:22 PM
Oh purr, thank you! Today I went out to get my shot, some confusion about getting my medication meant I didn't get it till yesterday so had to go in on a Drop In basis today. Which meant waiting an hour for the van to arrive, so I had an hour to sketch outside and another hour to sketch on my way and hanging out in the waiting room. So I did lots more sketching.

Also I did another sketch earlier but hadn't posted. I might have been offline unable to post due to the big AT&T outage that started in San Francisco. By the time I thought of posting it I was offline. So to start with, here's that Ari sketch in ballpoint, from life:


Then today:

Exercise from James Gurney's book copying one of his oil paintings.

Ari sketches based on lion poses in another book recommended by James Gurney.

Two flowers, rose and violet, also a fallen leaf in Prismacolor Watercolor pencils used dry. I keep thinking I'll wash these but sometimes I finish and like them as colored pencil sketches. Those are really versatile pencils.

So that was today's Sketching At Appointment. I had an insanely good day and the weather was perfect, seriously wonderful for my body energy and ability to function. I'm actually doing great for once and not passing out as soon as I came home. 3 pages is good, especially for how I've been doing lately, it's incredible. Winter is over and I'm back to myself again!

04-11-2014, 08:43 PM
Lovely flower sketches, Robert.

04-12-2014, 04:26 AM
good to know that you are so much better :) and so busy sketching, lovely Ari's too

04-12-2014, 06:56 AM
Lovely sketches, great to hear you in such good spirits! Bring on summer!

04-12-2014, 02:03 PM
Glad you had a marvelous day. Spring is a wonderful time of year. Great sketches.

Joan T
04-22-2014, 09:18 PM
Wonderful recent sketches. Glad to hear your energy and stamina are returning.

04-25-2014, 03:26 PM
Purr, thank you! The weather's been improving and I go out now every two weeks to get my shot at the hospital clinic - and I changed my pickup time. I now have at least half an hour, sometimes an hour to hang out sketching in the hospital's Memory Garden and the rose garden is in full bloom!

Wednesday, the gardeners were out there taking off the dead roses and one of them gave me a beautiful white rosebud barely starting to open. I retrieved a small dusty pink one that was off the side of a dead rose too, so brought them both home and set them up. Sketched the white one on the spot and finished it later with the same colored pencils.

Today's sketch of both roses from life, 6B pencil on Stillman & Birn rough paper Delta journal 7" square.

Colored pencils version of both roses from Wednesday, in Prismacolor Watercolor pencils with some washes and some dry over the washes in some areas. I love those pencils for sketching! Going to continue sketching the same flowers as they bloom wider, very glad the little dusty pink one survived. Color isn't exactly accurate on the pink one but some of that is my camera, it's become a very cool, dusty pink in person.

04-25-2014, 03:31 PM
Oh dang it, my post is lost. Well, here's two recent sketches of a couple of roses the gardener at the hospital gave me Wednesday:

Roses from life, Prismacolor Watercolor pencils on rough Stillman & Birn Delta journal, 7" square.

6B pencil sketch, the same two roses two days later on same journal.

04-26-2014, 01:22 AM
Beautiful colors in that white rose Robert!!

04-26-2014, 04:36 AM
Nice work!

04-26-2014, 04:31 PM
Robert, you post wasn't lost. WC has been having bugs again. :(

The roses are beautiful. So glad the weather is improving for you.

Joan T
04-28-2014, 08:56 PM
Robert, super job on the roses.

04-29-2014, 12:55 PM
Wow thank you! LOL that my post wasn't lost and both versions went up! Well, I did like the text of the "lost" one better.

The rose is still alive and here's my latest version of it, same journal!

White Rose from Life
7" square
Pan Pastels including Metallics
Stillman & Birn Delta journal rough watercolor paper.

I felt like using the metallics again and giving it a background to make it stand out as whiter. So much of it isn't actually white. It's starting to be just a little floppy now but has such beautiful form!

04-29-2014, 02:20 PM
Delightful rose.

05-02-2014, 04:07 PM
Thank you! I seem to be getting on a roll and back to pastels! This one is from the May Pastel Spotlight up in Soft Pastel Talk.

Spring Robin
9" x 12" (may be cropped in matting)
Color Conte on yellowish gray Artagain paper
Photo reference by DAK723

05-03-2014, 02:20 PM
Other than flowers, the red breasted robin is a definite sign that spring has arrived. Super sketch.

Joan T
05-09-2014, 05:02 PM
Nice flowers and bird. Glad you are getting out a bit!

05-27-2014, 07:09 PM
Purr thank you! I love how that robin turned out, he's on my wall. Also on my wall is this spring flowers pastel that I finished a couple days ago:

9" x 12"
Unison pastels on cream colored Canson Mi Tientes, smooth side. Photo reference by DAK720 for May 2014 Pastel Spotlight challenge. It's up on the sketch wall and I like it more the longer it's been up, though the lighting on the photo is because of the day being bright. I went near the window and so the left side is more shadowed and the bright daylight highlighted the right side more than the painting really is.

Then last Friday I went to a doctor appointment and had an hour to spend in the hospital's Memory Garden. I brought pastel pencils for life sketching.

I'm currently using a 7" square Stillman & Birn Delta journal for my art journal and doing some pastel pieces in it, Conte sketches and Pan Pastels and maybe even softer pastels later on, with SpectraFix fixative.

I did this beautiful white rose from life in Pan Pastels a while back, it's posted on this thread but here it is again:


Loved it, one of the best pages in my journal, a real showoff piece. I love doing roses and for decades had trouble with them. Once I actually got rose anatomy it was a thrill to be able to do them. So this was great. I also got to test my Pan Pastels on rough watercolor paper instead of coated paper with great joy in the background.

This one was intended as a botanical sketch in pastel pencils and it worked, it's very accurate and the colors are pretty darn close. Leaves are a lighter sketch because I didn't have time to work them longer but I liked their accuracy too. I used SpectraFix fixative on it. I had the small mister with me, used it outdoors and had it too close to the painting. It puddled. This sometimes isn't a problem if I just give it enough time to dry. And lo, it seemed to dry well and nicely on this side of the painting. But the back of it is the white Pans rose.


It slightly softened it because it puddled but didn't lose too much detail and I was happy with the result. Just a quick botanical life sketch.

After it dried I flipped it over and saw the back.


The reason the SpectraFix puddle dried so fast was that it soaked right through the porous rough watercolor paper and carried pigment with it. The ghost of the bright pink flower is now staining my white rose painting. Even brighter than it was on the side where it's really there, it was the brightest pigments that migrated. Arrgh!

I debated how to fix it, my first thought was to try going over it with the white Pan and grays and complements to try to fix the damage, restore it even if that means the reworked version isn't as loose as the original.

But my home care worker Elgie had a different suggestion. He looked at it and said "Well, why not just go with it and work over what you have to turn it into a pink or maybe red rose?"

Wow. Duh. Yeah. That made sense. It will mean using Magenta and Red and tints but I could probably do that and just work in the pink shadowing into the highlights on a red rose, cool red rose, or play with both cool and warm reds in it to make it lively. Or a dark pink rose. Not sure what the final hue will be but that's the solution I'm now thinking about.

I can see that bright hot pink that seeped through will give some brightness to the highlights... but I've also learned painfully that I need to be really careful with the small mister and not use it outdoors but indoors where it's more controllable. It squirted rather than misted. Very frustrating but the big mister bottle worked better at home on many different pages without ghosting through. This is the first time it happened.

Anyone else have any interesting mishaps or surprising serendipitous fixes? I'll miss the White Rose painting but the red-pink rose will still be a good page in my journal. I'll post it once it's done.

05-29-2014, 03:37 AM
Oh shame about that but your solution is another challenge :)

A nice series Rob

Ialso did some roses recently and yes, you do have to work on understanding their anatomy , which you did successfully .

Joan T
05-29-2014, 08:50 AM
Nice florals...sorry about the bleed through, but maybe you can work it out.

06-01-2014, 02:35 PM
Sometimes all it takes is a different set of eyes. Turning your white rose into a pink one of some hue is a brilliant solution. Sorry about the bleed-through. Lovely flowers all around.

06-11-2014, 05:16 PM
Thank you! I think the redo should work. I almost started it today but got distracted by doing the June Spotlight challenge:

7" square
Girault pastels on unsanded 180lb rough watercolor paper, Stillman & Birn Delta art journal.
Photo by olika posted for June Spotlight challenge.

It didn't come out the way I planned but I like the drama of it. The photo had a fairly dark background and dramatic light, so I focused a lot on that. The white bits showing in the part that didn't get a blended underlayer, I wasn't sure I liked them but I think now I do. Rough paper does things like that.

Maybe next time I'll wash in an underpainting?

06-12-2014, 01:53 PM
Brilliant sunflowers. They make me smile.

Joan T
06-13-2014, 10:35 PM
Wonderful sunflowers!!! The darks really make it pop!

06-18-2014, 10:02 PM
Purr thank you! I loved doing them, they're one of my favorite pastels now because it did work to get that loose and wild with them.

Did some more sketching in between...

This was a few days ago:
Ari life sketches
Black and blackish pastel pencils on 7" Stillman & Birn Delta art journal

Ari portrait from photo
Black grease pencil on 7" Stillman & Birn Delta art journal (square)

Also today...

Watercolor Rose
Watercolor on 3" x 5" Moleskine watercolor journal
From my own photo.

06-19-2014, 01:21 PM
Ari is beautiful, as always. Stunning job on the rose.

06-19-2014, 01:36 PM
Thank you! I'm loving this journal. I like the little Moleskine too, I should work in it more often since it's so convenient to have with me when I'm out. Except that now I take the 7" Delta with me when I go to my appointments.

Today, this morning I did something I'd put off for some time thinking it through. I fixed the white rose by making it pink.

Rose Reddened and Pinked
7" square
Pan Pastel and pastel pencil on 7" square Stillman & Birn Delta journal
180lb Rough watercolor paper.

First I went over the white rose with the same exact hue of searing pink Pastel Pencil that had seeped through into it. I don't have a progress photo of it, but I lightly glazed over the entire rose and then rubbed it in with a Sofft tool, the fine tip small tool using small circular motions. Then I started with Magenta Tint over the highlights, smoothing it and restoring the Pans texture. I used Magenta mass tone in the darks. Shaded it monochrome Magenta in other words.

Then started playing with other tints and colors. Touches of Violet into the deepest darks. Yellow Tint made a prettier accent highlight than pure White, I'm not sure why but it did. Permanent Red Tint was warmer than Magenta Tint and harmonized them. A little Lavender and Ultramarine tint here and there gave shimmer. Permanent Red bridging the magenta and the pinks helped.

Finally when I finished reworking the rose itself, I went back over the upper background with Light Gold metallic again, much heavier. Happily this did block out the pink that came through on the background. The page is restored, it looks good. There's a bit less value contrast with the background than when it was white but enough to make it pretty - and the reduced value shift actually looks nice to me in person, like pink roses on gilded wallpaper.

So there it is, the newly pink and reddened rose. I like the final version. I used a different fixative, two light coats of Krylon UV Resistant spray fixative instead of the puddling Spectrafix. I didn't want this seeping through to break up the pink flower by reversing the process!

At last it's done and my art journal's presentable again!

Joan T
06-19-2014, 05:29 PM
Love the Ari sketches and the rose in the moleskin. Wonderful way of fixing the last rose! It looks great!

06-20-2014, 04:19 AM
Lovely sunflowers and Ari. You caught that loving expression well.

I prefer the S&B to moleskine any day.

I don't like moleskine watercolour paper and the waxy paper is fine for some media but limited in what you can use :(

Cindy Schnackel
06-20-2014, 01:29 PM
Very nice sketching, especially the cats!

06-20-2014, 03:15 PM
Really brilliant save on the rose.

06-23-2014, 07:00 PM
Purr thank you! I still like the Moleskine watercolor book, but S&B doesn't make one that small to fit in my pocket. I think I'd switch over on that if they did. I have a stack of pieces of S&B watercolor paper that size, but they're not bound. Might put them between a couple of pieces of mat board for a semi-pad sometime.

Today's work is very different!

Colourful Lemon
5" x 7"
Unison pastels on smooth side white Canson Mi-Tientes pastel paper
Photo reference by Ivyleaf from RIL for June 2014 Pastel Spotlight
Method from "Still Life the Colourful Way" by Colorix in Pastel Library.

I went all out and did all four Colourful way stages, the WIP is up in Pastel Studio. It's not that large but very intense and colorful. I really want to do more like these, though I will go on sketching too even in my sketchbook I need to pay attention to these color nuances.

06-23-2014, 07:14 PM
Love the light on the lemons.

06-25-2014, 05:23 PM
Purr thank you!

Today I finished up the pink-orange just opening rose that I took the photo last Wednesday. I opened my sketchbook to do something new in it, maybe in Pans, and saw it laying there perfectly sketched with the orange pencil. So I opened the photo reference again on my Kindle and finished it, washed it, got a good photo.

Pink-Orange Rose
7" square
Prismacolor watercolor pencils with wash
Stillman & Birn Delta journal 180lb ivory heavy rough watercolor paper.
My own photo, as follows:
Please feel free to use it as if it were in the RIL!

06-26-2014, 03:46 AM
What gorgeous colours you have in this Robert! That orange is to die for. I love it.

06-26-2014, 07:47 AM
Gorgeous coloured rose and the light and colour on the lemons is lovely.

06-26-2014, 01:34 PM
Beautiful rose. Great photo reference.

06-28-2014, 06:43 PM
These are wonderful drawings Robert.

06-29-2014, 01:54 PM
Wow, thank you!

My last June Spotlight pastel, the banana reference:

Colourful Bananas
5" x 7"
Conte crayon and Unisons soft pastels
White Canson Mi-Tientes smooth side
Photo reference by Dewi used for June 2014 Pastel Spotlight challenge

The color isn't quite true, the real painting is actually brighter but if I turned up the saturation to match I'd lose what detail I have. Also the yellow is brighter, there was no way to get the yellow, the green and the red all true in the same photo. But in reality they are. Also the shadows on the leaf are not pure Ultramarine, they're a blue-green shade and don't cut off as sharply in hue or even value. For some reason adjusting the color at all made those shadows come out almost pure Ultramarine.

It's a neat effect I might use on purpose in some other painting though, putting ultramarine right up against a green and maybe a turquoise. I always liked it with turquoise.

06-30-2014, 06:53 AM
Hey Rob!

The banana bunch is nicely done!


06-30-2014, 09:00 PM
Thank you! I sketched again today, and matted the bananas since I almost lost them to their crumpling and ALMOST creasing. Not a good idea leaving pastels out where I can bump into them.

Great Egret
7" square
Prismacolor Watercolor pencils on Stillman & Birn Delta journal 180lb rough watercolor paper. Photo reference by tyree for Weekend Drawing Event 6-27-2014. That's up in All Media Art Events forum, there's a new one every Thursday if you're not familiar with it. The host posts photos from their collection, usually a new location, they come from around the world. This one's based on Florida and still open. I might even do more.

06-30-2014, 09:33 PM
Glorious bananas. The heron is lovely.

06-30-2014, 11:51 PM
Purr thank you!

I wandered off and answered a message from a new member who wanted critique. Found a posted grass study and answered questions with this mini lesson right in the thread, which may have been a bit much but was still in line with the other suggestions in the thread. I do always post a volume and a half. Someday I need to do an art instruction book.

Green Grass
7" square, Prismacolor Watercolor pencils on S&B journal 180lb ivory rough watercolor paper. Lesson in response to a WC member asking critique on a grass study that looked a lot like the ones I did before I came to WC. Or even the first couple of years at WC, considering some colored pencils ones that wound up on my wall in Kansas. Hard to swallow concepts like "don't draw all the blades if it's that far away." Sometimes less is more. But I still like the clumps in landscapes when they're in focal areas.

07-01-2014, 12:51 PM
Yes, Robert, you do need to write and art book. :D

07-01-2014, 02:44 PM
Purr thank you! I've got the itch something intense this month, as summer rolls around it feels as if art's where my writing bug is headed. I might actually outline and start it this year! Huge project as nonfiction's not as flowing intuitive as fiction, it benefits from outlines.

Today's sketch of Ari in oil pastels!

Ari Cat
oil pastel on rough brown Bogus paper
photo reference my own, recent.

I am going to try for daily sketching this July. It may not be much but hopefully I'll have something to post every day.

07-01-2014, 04:55 PM
You captured Ari's contemplative look, just so cat like.

07-02-2014, 06:58 AM
Purr, thank you! Today's daily drawing was done at around what, three in the morning? I did a tree demo, same journal, same pencils as the grass.

Tree demo page
7" square
Prismacolor Watercolor Pencils
Stillman & Birn Delta journal 180lb ivory rough watercolor paper.

07-02-2014, 09:21 AM
Nice sketches, love the banana's texture. The cat as well.... The demo sketches are interesting and informative.

07-02-2014, 02:37 PM
Great tree demo. 3am is a great time to sketch. It's quiet and soothing if you are awake, why not?

07-02-2014, 06:31 PM
Purr thank you both! Marmsk, I'm going to do more of these demos, I'm enjoying it and exploring just what I do with watercolor pencils. I love them as a sketch medium.

Second sketch for today, I'm really on a roll! Here's pink flowers from a photo I took a month or two ago at the hospital clinic garden. I had my phone with me and I was bored waiting for the van, then finished on the ride to my appointment and washed it in the waiting room.

Pink Flower Spike
7" square
Prismacolor Watercolor pencils
Stillman & Birn Delta journal, ivory 180lb rough watercolor paper.
From my own photo taken at the SFGH memory garden:


As usual, feel free to draw from it! My go at a decent botanical.

07-03-2014, 12:33 PM
Day three of daily sketching and there's no stopping now!

Wild Hibiscus
7" square
Prismacolor Watercolor pencils used dry
Stillman & Birn Delta journal ivory 180lb rough watercolor paper.
Photo reference by tyree for Weekend Drawing Event 6-27-2014.

Last day for this WDE so naturally I had to do the easy flower. I could have shaded it darker but decided I liked the sheen, this is one I decided not to wash even though I sketched it for washing. So it's a little light in areas. Played with the photo artistically including shadow from an unseen branch across the petals while leaving out twigs that crossed the flower.

07-03-2014, 03:13 PM
Beautiful flowers. Great to see you on a sketching roll.

07-04-2014, 07:29 AM
Robert, I've subscribed to this thread! How you feeling?

07-04-2014, 12:21 PM
Thank you both! I'm feeling a lot better as the summer rolls on. Warm weather's much better for me than cold, though this is the very hottest part of summer in San Francisco and I'm likely to feel even better in August. Even here my health is seasonal. That's why I'm trying for daily art in July, when I have a decent chance of succeeding in it.

Here's today's first sketch:

Shading Demo
7" square
Prismacolor Watercolor pencils
Stillman & Birn Delta journal 180lb rough ivory watercolor paper.

I might also do more pages or a pastel or oil pastel later, it's still early.

07-04-2014, 02:05 PM
Second sketch page of the day! I started planning my Green Spotlight painting and decided it's going to be square.

Road Trip planning thumbnails
7" square
Indigo Prismacolor Watercolor pencil
Stillman & Birn Delta journal 180lb ivory rough watercolor paper.
Photo reference by DAK723 for July 2014 Spotlight challenge "Green."

Next page will probably be a color study for that painting, with lots of different greens in it.

07-04-2014, 02:51 PM
Glad to hear you are doing better. Great sketches.

07-04-2014, 03:44 PM
Fab work Rob, love em all. I remember painting Ari years ago for a WDE...

07-06-2014, 01:04 AM
Oh purr! I remember, that was fun! I loved seeing yours and all the versions of Ari in that WDE!

Today's art, a Pan Pastels botch.

UGLY color study that's not accurate and I won't use it.
Pan Pastels on Stillman & Birn 180lb rough watercolor paper. 7" square.

This is not what the real painting will look like. But experiments sometimes fail. It looks better on its side across the room though, weird!

07-06-2014, 04:57 PM
That's how we learn, making mistakes. Good for you posting it.

Joan T
07-06-2014, 06:29 PM
Robert - These are great sketches and practice pages. It always is a good idea to work out the painting for the format and the colors. Nice!

07-07-2014, 12:52 AM
Purr thank you! Wait till you see what I do to this tomorrow. Those colors aren't how this painting will turn out. Not at all! :D

Open Road Sketch Stage
8" square
Pastel pencil on Uart 600 sanded pastel paper.
Photo by DAK720

Yep, today I went to the good paper. Onward! But I want to do the underpainting in the light, see the garish colors clearly.

07-07-2014, 01:40 PM
Looking good. Watching the process and the finish.

07-13-2014, 01:07 AM
Catching up with two more stages of the pastel landscape and another Grass tutorial. Missed some days due to very hot weather affecting health, but still going pretty well all things considered. Lately I've only had 3 or 4 drawings in a month and that's a good month. So far this month I'm on a roll!

Open Road
Stage 1: Underpainting.
Cretacolor Pastels Carre hard pastels on Uart 600 paper.

Vivid flat colors intended to separate large masses and define major forms. Some run small in this one because I wanted color areas distinct. But mostly it's about big masses and underpainting that may not show at all (but wil affect color going over it). Blended to smoothness.

Open Road
Stage 2: Color correction on masses
Winsor & Newton soft pastels over Pastels Carre layer.

Not as blended, start shifting the masses over to the averaged color and value of the real painting. Broken color combines it with the underpainting. Sky was too dark in the underpainting, should be lighter than the sunlit road, so corrected that.

Third stage gets more complicated as variations within the masses get worked out, which creates volume and shading and form.

Then today, another demo for my new friend, follow up to the Grass demo page. I got a look at the results when my friend copied the grass demo and knew I should have explained in more detail, showing the stroke. It's a stroke I use for everything from grass to fur to rippling satin, so I had to go into more detail. Also the water adding part is tricky, very easy to go too far and wash out the strokes completely, creating a blob of watercolor instead of a grass clump effect.

I'm also going to have to show how those go over a gradated wash from the other half of Grass Demo eventually too. But that's its own page.


07-13-2014, 02:24 PM
Interesting color choices on the landscape underpainting. Very good explanation on the grass strokes, including color changes.

Joan T
07-13-2014, 09:27 PM
I like seeing the steps of what you are doing!

07-14-2014, 06:11 PM
Purr thank you! Today I haven't gotten back to the pastel painting and yesterday was a sick day for heat - weather does knock me over.

So I got in a page of sketching!

Sketch page
7" square
6B graphite lead in Turquoise lead holder
Stillman & Birn Delta journal rough paper.

I love this journal and I'm coming close to the end - think I'm well past the 2/3 point and maybe even the 3/4 point. I will have to get used to a new size and shape after it's full but I'm going to fill it completely before opening up another new one. Or picking up one that has a few sketches in and continuing, which is also an option. I've got several beautiful ones to choose from but it's been good to stick to one continuously.

07-15-2014, 02:54 PM
Great sketches.

07-15-2014, 03:41 PM
So glad you like them, Debby!

Worked on the painting today...

Open Road Stage 3.1
7" square
Winsor & Newton pastels on Uart 600 sanded paper
photo by DAK723 for July 2014 Pastel Spotlight "Green"
Yes, it's slightly curled up despite unbending to try to flatten it.

Sky's about done though I might make changes when the adjacent trees and mountains and road are finished.

07-16-2014, 02:57 PM
And here's another Watercolor Pencils Demo!

Branches and Foliage Demo on Blue Sky
7" square
Derwent Watercolor Pencils colors all within 24 color set.
Stillman & Birn Delta Journal ivory 180lb watercolor paper, rough.

I have the full range of 72 Derwent Watercolour Pencils, but I know some friends only have 24 color sets and those who want to try this without spending a fortune should know the 24 color set is big enough for most subjects, it's got a good color range.

07-16-2014, 04:55 PM
The sky is fabulous. Great idea to use the pencils from the smaller range to demonstrate.

Joan T
07-16-2014, 09:14 PM
Nice range of colors in the tree and foliage demo.

07-17-2014, 05:51 PM
...cool road paintings, I really liked the underpainting, jazzy and vibrant, always love yours sketches of Ari :D

07-19-2014, 04:17 PM
I don't like the heat either

another lovely series, especially the beautiful Ari

I've just come back from 2 weeks in Cornwall to my pair - I have someone feed and check on them at home as it's less stressful than kennels. The resident panther has been my shadow since I got home. The resident tiger has the bushy whiskers that say happy-to-see-you but she's growling her displeasure about being abandoned at the moment.

07-20-2014, 08:25 PM
Rob, thank you for making this post. It's lovely to see your workings out, and how you build a pastel painting, especially when bits don't work out quite as you had hoped. Also love the explanations and demonstrations you give, I find them really inspiring.

Hope you keep on going, and thank you for sharing.

07-20-2014, 08:28 PM
Ooh purr thank you! Debby, the questions that kicked off the series came from a friend who has the 24 color set, so I thought I'd do them all with colors she has rather than those she doesn't. And keep anyone else who gets intrigued from having to get a big set to match. 24 is enough for any subject.

Joan, wow, thanks! I had fun using the limited palette. Mildly frustrated not to have Water Green in the lower sky though. I love Water Green but it's only in the big set and maybe the 36.

Kat, purr, thank you!

Vivien, oh that so totally makes sense to let them have someone come over into their own home. Kennels are so disorienting. Cats can stand to be on their own for a while much easier than being caged. So cool your panther's getting clingy and tiger giving mixed messages. I can just hear the kitty scolding song from your description.

I'm still getting the Rowdy Cat Yells at least once a day even when it's this hot. More often at night now when it cools off a bit. Lately he's going for ambush and ankle grabs when he's getting playful. I have yet to capture him in one of his enormous yawns, but I'm still trying.

Today, yay, "daily" art again. I try every day, at least think about it. Got these flowers by surprise, on Monday the people with the food program gave me the purple ones and then on Wednesday the gardener was trimming the plant with the red-orange freesia looking ones. So I found this enormous long stem cut off and asked if I could have it, she said sure. I finished my Coke, filled the bottle from the water fountain and went home with this yard-tall stem with a cluster of flowers. Then trimmed it and put it in the same vase with the purple ones along with a half teaspoon of sugar - an old cut-flower trick my grandmother used to make them last.

It's Sunday and they're still there, the buds might even open when these ones die. I'm happily surprised the purple ones aren't dead either, the sugar really did the trick. It's almost a full week for those!

Red and Purple Flowers, Life Sketch
7" square
Prismacolor Watercolor pencils wet and dry
Stillman & Birn Delta journal 160lb ivory rough watercolor paper.

07-21-2014, 09:52 AM
Lovely sketches, Rob...Love these flowers...

07-21-2014, 02:19 PM
Great flowers. Have to remember the sugar trick.

07-22-2014, 09:20 AM
Thank you! I'd forgotten how good the sugar trick is - they are still alive and two buds have opened up! It's incredible. I'm amazed the purple ones from last week Monday are still alive too. It makes sense - if it was still on the plant, the leaves would be making sugars and those would go up in the sap so they're living as if they had roots.

It's been crazy hot here. I woke up at two in the morning and still sweating, got up, read for a while, puttered a bit and then did this red pear under artificial light from life. Just wanted to record it. This is sort of a color study I might develop later along with a reference of it.

The neat thing is that I layered as if I were going to pastel and then did the Colourist sequence of ever more definition and color shifts working loose to detailed with translucent colored pencils. Haven't burnished it but the last layers are fairly heavy - and it's on rough paper so there's paper texture too. Perfectly fine for a sketchbook effort!

Pear from Life
7" square
Prismacolor Watercolor pencils wet and dry
Stillman & Birn Delta journal 160lb rough ivory watercolor paper.
Left out the silly label and extrapolated colors under it.

07-22-2014, 11:48 AM
I didn't know the sugar trick. Will have to try it.

Resident tiger is talking to me again!

I wouldn't burnish that. I like it better as it is.

07-22-2014, 03:03 PM
Lovely pear. Sorry about your heat.

07-23-2014, 02:54 PM
Purr thanks Viv! Yeah, it's rough paper and I really don't want to do anything more to it. The subject is now gone as of early this morning, tasted wonderful and would have gone off - had the start of a soft spot, caught it just in time!

Purr thanks Debby!

07-26-2014, 09:32 AM
Mmm, looks like it was tasty!

07-28-2014, 12:52 PM
Purr thanks!

Finished my month-long pastel painting today, thought I'd post here too. It's taped on the sketch wall for final changes before I frame it. Like the lemons and bananas it's getting framed.

Dang this was a lot of work!

Open Road Stage 4.0 (may get changes from critique)
8" Square
Winsor & Newton soft pastels and Cretacolor Pastels Carre
on Uart 600 sanded pastel paper.
Photo reference by DAK723 posted in July 2014 Pastel Spotlight "Green."

Some border shows on left side and top, sorry about that. While cropping it in Gimp, I couldn't exactly see where the lines were and guessed. When it's matted that won't be there.

07-28-2014, 02:35 PM
That came out fantastic. Good job.

07-28-2014, 05:13 PM
Thank you! I'm on a roll today - just finished this and took WIP photos on it because I was following a demo in the Pastel Studio.

Still life based on a demo by jackiesimmonds in Pastel Studio & Gallery, using her method on two bananas and a nectarine.

Then put the darks and a little color in roughly with the pastels...

A bit more color, working off your stage 3:

Thought it was done at this point...

But noticed looking back at the subject that I'd missed a couple of shadows and decided I liked the lines, so strengthened a couple of them.
Fruit still life from life
9" x 12"
Charcoal pencil and 12 Winsor & Newton half sticks soft pastels
on Bee Bogus Recycled Rough Sketch Paper

If I mat it I'll probably crop in like I did on the photo, I intentionally left myself pretty big borders. Also by the end I really liked using the paper as a background.

07-28-2014, 06:17 PM
Changed shadows after critique by Jackie Simmonds - my shadows looked unreal unless I gave it a blue background. So I browned them. The last layer is really a match for the paper or a hair darker but comes up looking light by texture difference or camera qurik.

Fruit Still Life from Life
9" x 12"
Pastels on Bee Bogus Recycled Rough paper.

07-29-2014, 12:10 AM
And one last sketch for "And the Next Sketch Is..."

Dawn sky sketch from imagination
7" square page
Prismacolor Watercolor wet & dry on
Stillman & Birn Delta journal 160lb ivory rough watercolor paper.

THREE in a day, for me that's really something. Not my best but I'm still glad I did it.

07-29-2014, 04:54 AM
You are on a roll!

The open road one gives me that buzz of starting a long journey to somewhere nice. The line in Tolkein of 'the road goes ever on' runs through my mind :)

(I wpuld have dulled the centre line as it moves away, to create distance/recession -what do you think?)

And the fruit is well done

07-29-2014, 05:58 PM
Great WIP on the fruit. No, not all experiments are successful. That's why we call them experiments. :lol:

07-31-2014, 04:12 PM
Viv, yes, that's a great idea. I'm already planning to slightly blue the nearest ridge to create more distance, dulling the center line as it goes would help too. I think I may need to use softer pastels for the tweaks, Unisons or Ludwigs, something I can touch up without disturbing what's underneath.

Debby, thanks! Yeah, I was happy to try it even if it didn't work, just knowing what happens makes me understand it better. Next one will be a lot better. I have certain cloud formations that I really want to get right and might sometimes use mixed media on too if something doesn't work. The experiment to fix it did work to a good extent, it was awful before I got the pink in to mute the green out. Sort of sick acid green clouds rather than pinkish blobby ones.

I might have done better doing a big wash and then pulling out the clouds with a Q tip before going in with cloud colors, that's what I'll try next time.

My latest effort - another experiment, the Unfinished Plein Air. I planned an hour to paint it but my ride came half an hour early. So here it is. ACtually a success, as far as it goes. The longer I look at it the more I like the parts that are done and how much I learned about how my new pastels handle.

Plein Air garden scene
9" x 12"
Townsend Terrages pastels on white Canson Mi-Tientes wove side.
Planned to take an hour, interrupted after half an hour.

I was happily surprised at how the white and then the red stacked opaque together with Townsend Terrages. The front row plants, the dahlia, the log are all pretty much a finish. Most of the rest would have been done loose but developed more, the bright blue-violet shadow area would naturally get some black and be darker and more muted, but with dark green branches falling in it from a plant I didn't even put in that's in shadow.

I could finish it but then it wouldn't be a plein air. So this is actually a working sketch to continue by starting over on another piece of paper, using the photos I took of the scene.

So there may be a follow up in a few days. I love the pastels and if I'd had the full hour would have had a very nice painting - it just needed a lot more color modification and I was using green for underpainting so it's sort of monochrome now.

Also before I started I sketched some orchids in the nurses' station as one of them asked me to. Gave the sketch to the hospital but forgot to bring fixative so I'll bring fixative and a mat next time I go.

Orchids from Life
9" x 12"
Sennelier soft pastels on white Canson Mi-Tientes smooth side.

07-31-2014, 05:20 PM
Not all plein air works out. What you did is lovely. I really like the simplicity of the orchid drawing.

08-01-2014, 11:46 PM
Thank you! Actually it did work out as what it is, a study for a later studio painting. I have the photo and could actually crop this to a smaller painting if I wanted it to work - Jackie Simmonds showed a couple of interesting crops, I could salvage two good ones out of it. I might do that to it later. Or just keep it as it is, a half finished sketch.

Glad you liked the orchid. I stuck my neck out with its simplicity but I like it too and will be doing more like that.

Two more pages from 7-30-2014 in a small pocket sketchbook I forgot to photo:

Bottle and Coke can in cup holder from life.
Ballpoint pen on 3" x 4" hardbound pocket sketchbook paper.

Tree and Van Driver from life
Ballpoint pen on 3" x 4" hardbound pocket sketchbook paper.

Did these two in the van on the way to my appointment, some of it while the van was moving. Driver was sketched while she was operating the lift manually when it got stuck and wouldn't come back up. Tree was outside the window at a stop.

Then today, the day's Daily Sketch of Ari in Pigma Micron, same sketchbook:
Yeah, he was from life too!

08-02-2014, 10:11 AM
I have missed some great pages here. Your journal seem so colorful and vibrant… love it!

08-02-2014, 02:01 PM
Great little sketches. And Ari is beautiful as always. :cat:

08-02-2014, 07:55 PM
Purr thank you Jenny! I'm having fun with it again and seriously trying to get back to daily drawing or sketching.

Thanks, Debby! He purrs at you!

Today I've got an odd little watercolor, more like Chinese painting than anything else. From imagination, a cat on a post and some evergreens that aren't very large, like it's in a garden. Faint hedge with bare trees coming out of the mist behind it are a little harder to see in the photo than the real painting. Limits of camera.

Tricolor Cat and Trees
7" square
Daniel Smith watercolors on Stillman & Birn Delta journal
No reference, all from memory and imagination.

I'm not sure if I love this or don't like it, but I'm fairly satisfied with it. I want to do more of this sort of thing and gain control of that kind of light fluid impulsive water-sketch. I'm fairly happy the cat is a cat, not entirely happy with the post, like the trees and the flat area of mud in front of them. I think of that as a mud puddle more than either reflective water or dry dirt.

08-03-2014, 01:56 PM
Interesting. I like the barely visible misty stuff behind the cat. That's clever.

08-03-2014, 11:23 PM
Thank you! I play with this style once in a while - and I love being able to use the waterbrush for it. It really grows out of having the waterbrush. Lazy man fake sumi-e.

Tree Demo !:
Dry Derwent Watercolour pencils on rough 160lb watercolor paper in Stillman & Birn Delta journal, 7" square, marked off for oblong format. Sky, hill and distant hill shaded with colors listed on the left.

Tree Demo 2:
Washed sky and hills with Niji water brush size large, scrubbing motion. Went back over hard edges in the sky to create some lighter layers. Lightened some darker areas by washing again and blotting out with absorbent paper. Washed each area separately. Deliberately softened edge of distant violet hill.

Tree Demo 3:
Tree trunks outlined in Copper Beech, showing anatomy. Dry work. Placement of base of tree is 1/3 down hill, 1/3 of picture width over to put canopy about 1/3 down from the top crossing a big white cloud, for compositional reasons of Rule of Thirds. This can apply within an element as well as in relation to the sides of a picture. Tree is not exactly at the top of the hill. Base tapers out slightly. Branches narrow as they split off and both trunk and branches taper slightly. Bent one trunk to give it character.

Tree Demo 4:
Foliage, grass clumps and the shadow of the tree laid in dry. Bush on the right goes off the side and helps make that side of the hill look better, almost regret that accent so close to the edge but it's still all right. Grass clumps spaced out at different intervals and different sizes irregularly.

Tree Demo 5:
Shadow washed smooth with tip of brush. Grass clumps washed very lightly, nearly dry brush, just dampen and pull in the direction of the strokes. Foliage canopy and bush wetted with tiny dabs of tip of brush leaving some dry areas, some spaces where the background shows and much of the dry texture but softening it. Touching very small dabs with the tip f the brush around foliage to extend it with softer lighter accents. Signed in Brown Ochre without washing signature. No reference used, this was designed in response to a friend's drawing who was having some anatomy and proportion problems with the tree.

I softened the annoying bush with more water to reduce its impact.

08-04-2014, 02:42 PM
Thank you for writing out your process. Great demo.

08-05-2014, 07:35 PM
Thank you!

Today was a great day. Actual sketching took place! IN a sketchbook! I went out to my credit union to change the PIN numbers on my debit cards, which went very fast. While waiting for my ride I sat downtown in front of some lovely buildings with this and that in front of me, so sketched two pages from life with a free ballpoint from the credit union. The tip of the pen is holding the sketchbook open.

Biro life sketches from San Francisco
3" x 5!
Ballpoint pen on pocket Moleskine sketchbook

08-06-2014, 02:18 PM
Pays to be prepared and take the freebies. :) Great sketches.

08-06-2014, 08:32 PM
Oh yes! I love this pen, it's nice and fresh and doesn't skip. Love my credit union too, they always do treat me so well. Banks aren't worth it.

Today sketched for the first stage of my August Spotlight painting, will do at least this one and maybe a seascape too.

8" x 10"
Charcoal pencil on light tan Canson Mi Tientes smooth side.
Photo reference by lisilk for August Pastel Spotlight.

08-07-2014, 01:18 PM
Nice sketches. I think credit unions are maybe like our Building Societies?

08-07-2014, 04:39 PM
Great shell sketch.

08-09-2014, 02:16 AM
Vivien, maybe so, if your Building Societies have checking accounts, savings accounts and everyday bank services funded by the members' assets going into car, small business and home loans for other members. It's awesome. It's sort of a bank but without the investors or ripoffs and scaled to real peoples' needs and funds. Solid because everyone's in it and if you're a member you're treated like a stockholder, not a customer to get fleeced.

Purr thanks both of you! I enjoyed doing the shell sketch. Here's today's pastel sketch.

Scavenger Hunt #370 items 1 and 2 (Ari and his favorite Catnip Carrot)
9" x 8.5"
Terry Ludwig Mystery Box (seconds) on Canson Mix Media 98lb paper

I like the paper in this big sketchbook and it's perforated so I can pull out pastel sketches to tape or pin them on my Sketchwall. I didn't do much blending on these two, just a little on the outer edges of his arms to soften them. But I might on some later items on this page. I might even do all the items on this Scavenger Hunt list because I can find things like shapes, colors, textures easier than things I don't have access to like "something from the living room" or "garden tool" and so on.

Scavenger Hunt usually reminds me how radically different my lifestyle is from most people's.

08-09-2014, 01:17 PM
WDE sketch today! I might still get to pasteling too.

"Gecko Girl" Cat from 8-8-2014 Weekend Drawing Event host Dewi
7" square
Pigma Micron pen size 01
Winsor & Newton Artists' Watercolour
Stillman & Birn Delta journal 180lb rough watercolor paper.

Weekend Drawing Event is up in one of the other areas, a challenge where the host posts 16 photo references and an invitation. Dewi is from Thailand and has some gorgeous scenes - and this lovely little cat looking up hoping the house gecko will fall down!

08-09-2014, 02:50 PM
Beautiful cats. :cat:

08-09-2014, 03:26 PM
Purr! Thank you! I couldn't resist Gecko Girl, she's so lovely. On a roll today, finished my page of pastel sketches for Scavenger Hunt too.

Scavenger Hunt #370 items 1-5
9" x 12"
Terry Ludwig "Mystery Box" pastels
Canson Mix Media 98 lb multimedia paper, very toothy.
Everything from life in a limited palette of 14 randomly chosen pastels.

08-10-2014, 10:03 AM
gecko girl is delightful!

Yes that's what building societies do too.

08-10-2014, 02:54 PM
Great choices for the shapes.

08-10-2014, 06:54 PM
Thank you! Vivien, that's cool that you call them building societies. It makes sense and is as descriptive a name. Sometimes the UK has far better terms for things, more direct and understandable. Took me a while to figure out what Credit Union meant.

Back to the felines again today as I went back to the WDE for inspiration. Knew I'd have to do the other kitty, the one from the invitation! Dewi even explained that Gecko Girl was pregnant - at three months old! She apparently had one kitten. Poor little darling, that's like a grade schooler getting caught. Sounded like they both survived okay though.

So here's the Invitation Kitty...

Background first by Negative Painting

Si Putih (The White One)
7" square
Winsor & Newton Artists' watercolour
Stillman & Birn Delta Journal 180lb rough ivory watercolour paper.
Photo reference by Dewi for August 8 2014 Weekend Drawing Event Invitation
I could not resist a kitten and my Ari is still up in my lap watching me post! He's purring while my arm rests on his silky head and I type. Some moments are so intimate and so sweet. I love my Ari. Need to paint him or sketch him again soon.

08-11-2014, 02:35 PM
Darling kitten. Glad you have Ari.

08-11-2014, 06:47 PM
Purr thank you! I'm coming close to the end of the Delta Journal. Only five empty pages in it now, I may have to put this one up and shelve it soon! Today I went back to the Scavenger Hunt again with watercolor pencils used dry. They're the handiest colored pencils I have.

Scavenger Hunt #370 items 6-11 from life
7" square
Prismacolor Watercolor Pencil used dry
Stillman & Birn Delta journal rough 180lb watercolor paper, ivory.

Had fun with the marbles and mean to do them again in more detail, possibly way oversized in pastels. This is just a quick study.

08-12-2014, 02:55 PM
Great hunt sketches. The marbles are great.

08-12-2014, 11:08 PM
AAh, your cats are always such a delight to see! You capture the expresses of their faces so perfect! I would love to have a four legged studio companion with whiskers to keep me company, but traveling as much as we do and planning not to stay more than a few years in one place makes it difficult to keep pets. But one day… ;)

08-13-2014, 01:37 AM
Purr thank you! Aww Jenny, I hope someday you can have a cat too. Cats sometimes travel well, but hotels don't always like them. Ari travels well, he's the one that goes to sleep as soon as he's in the car or on the plane and relaxes till we get there. He just can't tell "a hotel room" from "our new apartment or room" so he gets upset at having to Move Again the very next morning if we're on a road trip! He'll walk away yelling and meowing and not want to go back in the bag - but then settle down as soon as he's caught and put in the bag. We moved a lot during his first eleven years and he got used to it. When we moved here, he got to fly in the cabin with me under the seat in front of me and was a little furry angel as usual. All the air stewards loved him and kept complimenting me on how sweet he was.

Then again his very first interstate trip was at six weeks old, he went from the Big House with Scary Dog to living with me and being adored. His trips have usually had happy arrivals.

Here's today's Daily Art, last two entries on this Scavenger Hunt. Dangit, I'd wanted to do all of them but took too long on these to finish. They're from life of course.

Scavenger Hunt #370 items 12 and 13 blue and red marbles.
On 7" square paper (to be filled with more sketches)
Pigma Micron size 05 pen, Prismacolor watercolor pencils used dry on blue marble, Daniel Smith watercolor on red marble.
Stillman & Birn Delta journal 180lb rough watercolor paper.

08-13-2014, 02:58 AM
Great luminosity and volume

08-13-2014, 04:26 PM
Love the light on the marbles.

08-13-2014, 08:31 PM
Purr thank you! More life sketching today but I couldn't fit it into the Scavengr Hunt - the new list is full of stuff I don't have and nothing I drew is on it or could be shoehorned into it by substitution.

Marbles and Buildings Page
pen/colored pencils/watercolor, pencil drawings
Stillman & Birn Delta journal 180lb rough watercolor paper.

Apple and Leaves Page
Prismacolor Watercolor pencils used dry
Stillman & Birn Delta journal 180lb rough watercolor paper

08-14-2014, 06:50 AM
My gosh you have done well so far this month Robert and half the month is hardly gone yet. The roundness of the marbles looks like the first ones you did freehand so well done. I like the colour of the fruit as well as the 'chomp' out of the leaf.

08-14-2014, 12:21 PM
Thank you! I bought those a few weeks ago and am going to be doing more still lifes with them. I haven't even got to doing the opaque ones yet and they're fun too, the white parts are not as bright as their specular highlight (the bright white highlight reflection of light source).

Today I finished my Spotlight Conch! Yay, summer vacation theme!

8" x 10"
Unison soft pastels
Canson Mi-Tientes pastel paper, smooth side tan color
Photo reference by lisilk

I would love to visit a beach that actually has these washing up, I would so be rambling around at snail speed collecting shells and doing plein air beach sketches!

08-14-2014, 02:53 PM
Great sketches. The shell is so beautiful.

08-16-2014, 08:44 PM
Kitty Kitty
7" square
Prismacolor Watercolor Pencils used dry
Stillman & Birn Delta journal 180lb watercolor paper, rough
Photo references by oty for 8-15-2014 Weekend Drawing Event

Found more kitties in the WDE this week! I hope the trend continues!

08-17-2014, 11:21 AM
Purr thank you Debby! I loved doing the shell. Went back to the WDE today since it's still the weekend!

Red Hibiscus (WDE 8-15-2014 photo by oty)
7" square
Daniel Smith watercolor
Stillman & Birn Delta journal 180lb rough ivory watercolor paper
Painted with large round Niji waterbrush and my smallest watercolor pocket tin, eight tiny dots of color including Quinacridone Gold, Quinacridone Rose or Red (can't remember which but it's strong and cool) and French Ultramarine. A little Lemon Yellow, Pthalo Blue and Paynes Gray got in too in the dark center and leaf mixes but the yellow pollen is Quinacridone Gold dotted in first. There is a lot of negative painting in this.

08-17-2014, 01:59 PM
Lovely kitties and the hibiscus is awesome.

08-17-2014, 02:33 PM
I wanted to say something clever, you know, but ...wow :D It's beautiful.

08-17-2014, 06:36 PM
Purr thank you both! Nick, I'm warmed to the heart, that's pretty clever!

FINIS! It's done! I filled the Delta! It's so rare for me to finish a sketchbook. I tend to slow down toward the end and switch to a different one, set it aside, kind of poke at it, not take it with places because I might not have enough sheets, forget it's there... but I loved this Delta so much that I could not stop and it's actually complete now. The back of this page has some pastel color swatches on it, which do count as a used page but aren't really something to post. I tested my six color pocket Conte' tin - white, black, sanguine, brown, gray - and this year's 14 color Terry Ludwig Mystery Box pastels on account of that page already having the Conte' tin set in it.

Oddly I didn't sketch with the tiny Conte' set in it because I was always doing color and watercolor when I brought it out on plein airs at the clinic garden. But I had loads of fun with it anyway and did some color Conte' sketching in it. Loved this thing and looking forward to the 7" square Beta that I didn't start because I wouldn't start till this was done.

Scavenger Hunt #371 Items 4-6: Old and New Art Supplies, Purring "Rug."
7" square
Daniel Smith Watercolors and Pigma Micron pen size 01
All from life of course. This is the very last page of my Stillman & Birn Delta art journal, 180lb rough ivory watercolor paper. I love this journal. It's complete and I'll be opening a Beta the same size next, similar paper in a natural white color. I think I have improved in it from beginning to end and know the next one will be even better.

But if I put pastel paintings in it, next time the opposite pages will always be blank. Pastels don't get anything across from them or done on the backs of them and soaked with Spectrafix. They are better off left blank-backed. Watercolors can get something on the back but if a pastel follows it then it'll get something in pencil or something dry on the page facing the watercolor.

Of course I could just not do backs of pages till it's done and then go using the backs of pages that face watercolors etc. as themselves. Have to think about that. Maybe designate one S&B journal as a Pastel Journal, priming its pages and using only one side instead of mingling pastel bits with non-pastel mediums. It would help if that was one of the larger ones too.

08-17-2014, 07:14 PM
I'm glad you like the delta too :) such lovely heavy paper. I took one to Northumberland last autumn an Cornwall last month and they held up to everything I used :)

Great hibiscus. They aren't an easy subject.

08-18-2014, 02:27 PM
Congratulations on the finish! Looking forward to the next sketchbook.

08-18-2014, 04:02 PM
I love the "rug" :D

It must feel so great to hold the sketchbook in your hands. My sketchbook is just an ordinary book with plain papers. But it's good for my pencil attempts. And it's a big improvement because I used to draw on loose papers - and kept throwing them away.
I owe you for making me start the sketchbook. Thank you :)

08-19-2014, 04:31 PM
Vivien, that is so cool! I love your Cornwall sketches and you get rough on paper. I loved it for that too, anything I wanted to use on it worked and I had only one bleed through accident - caused by an actual puddle of Spectrafix alcohol/casein fixative going through by soaking the paper and carrying pigment to the painting on the back.

So this time I'm not doing art on the back sides of the pages in the Beta. I loved how the paper handled pastes. Delta and Beta are the same paper in different colors, so the Beta is my pastel journal now with tracing paper slipsheets over the pages. I also have a brand new Zeta the same size and plan to use that for all the pen and watercolor, watercolor pencil and other types of sketching I do. Sort of separate watercolor/ink/pencils and charcoal/pastels into two journals with different purposes.

Pastel Journal Page 1: Scavenger Hunt #371 items 7-9 from life
7" square
Charcoal pencil and color Conte' hard pastel sticks
Stillman & Birn Beta journal 180lb rough white watercolor paper.

Of course I could have just drawn a bar of white Ivory soap demonstrating I can do a 3D box shape and put shadows on a white object. But it was much more fun to declare Cat Spit as my top favorite hand soap. It really is. He gets so lovable when he climbs in my lap and grooms my hands and arm hair, it tickles and feels good at the same time. Sort of like scratching an itch, if I was itchy at all getting cat bathed is better than scratching. I just feel so loved when he does that.

Definitely a cat nut... but y'all knew that.

I used only a 12 color set of Color Conte and mixed colors quite a bit on this page to get the flame right and Ari's luminous eyes and his slightly orangy pink tongue. Even on the khaki backpack.

08-20-2014, 12:03 AM
And later tonight, after dark the way I did when I was a kid, I started the Zeta Journal with a page of memories. In a childhood mostly traumatic, the memories that surfaced with doing pen drawing on smooth good paper were happy ones. Art lessons from Dad, a pet that I loved as much as if he'd been a cat and some pens I loved to death...

Zeta Journal Page 1: Memories
7" square
Pigma Micron size 01 on Stillman & Birn Zeta journal, 180lb smooth white watercolor paper. No color yet but this is just a beginning! Cat and Pigma Micron pen from life, rat and old style Rapidograph from memory.

08-20-2014, 04:27 AM
A great start. We had a pet rat in the biology lab at school (Not) for experimenting on!)! It was so tame and friendly.

The only bleed through I ever had was with fixative. I was trying the casein one because people raved about it. I didn't like it, too wet with big drops of fluid :(

About working on the back of pages - the studies of shells and the computer experiment printouts get put there. I don't do the more finished work on the back, always on the right or sometimes a double page spread but still not usually on the back of a finished piece.

Ink and wash, with thinned ink, works beautifully in the zeta.

All I want now are some A3 books!

08-20-2014, 09:19 AM
Purr thank you! I'm not using backs of pastel paintings because I do still use Spectrafix - though I found out how that terrible accident with Spectrafix and the pink-white rose happened. The small misting bottle has a clogged opening, it emits a solid stream of liquid instead of a fine mist. I don't know how to clean it or if it can be cleaned. Do you think soaking it in Everclear pure might help break it down or has the solidified gunk ruined it? Do I need to replace the little mister?

The big mister worked fine on the Beta and acted like it's supposed to, gave a fine mist over the whole thing and then the tracing paper further protected it. But I think if I drew on the backs it sometimes impresses color from the painting onto the opposing page or even the insert, to the point that might damage it. Better safe than sorry.

I was doing that with the sanded page journals anyway in part so that if I wanted to cut out a page I could mat and frame it.

What's the problem with watercolor in it? The sample image shows some watercolor techniques that looked intriguing and one of the best ways I can get colored inks right now is with Inktense. I used to work on smooth bristol or hot press watercolor before for ink and watercolor, not always textured paper - is it just that you prefer the rough surface for painting or is there something specific about the Zeta paper that makes it react differently than ink would?

I do have Inktense and could dissolve scrapings to get some ink to paint with, or just pull color off with the brush since I'm so used to waterbrush and watercolor pans. Was planning on using a variety of liquid mediums on the Zeta and pretty much anything that'd work in it.

08-20-2014, 11:58 AM
Watercolour works on it ok but just behaves better on beta/delta. Slightly more inclined to back runs in wet washes because of the smooth surface.

With Inktense or watersoluble pencils it's good.

I'd do as you planned and use anything on it. You will then see which are right for you. It's such an individual thing isn't it? I have friends who love moleskine watercolour books and I don't like them because the paper cockles is you use wet washes, ruining work. I invested in a giant folio one on recommendation, not having tried it in a smaller size. Bad mistake! It languishes on the shelf.

08-20-2014, 03:40 PM
Great hunt sketches. I adore your pen and ink drawings in the Zeta.

08-21-2014, 01:43 AM
Purr thank you, Debby!

Vivien, thanks for the tips! That really makes sense - which makes the Zeta the place to experiment with letting backruns happen and trying to use them by picking them out later with pen work and negative painting. I have wanted to try that for a long time, especially on coral reef stuff where blossoms can look to me like corals or anemones or something. I don't often use a lot of heavy wet washes, my style tends to less water and more controllable. So I'll find out what it does and what I can do with what it does. That sample illustration really intrigued me.

Yay that it's good for the Inktense and watercolor pencils. I love those for quick sketching and it's still 180lb sized paper, good for scrubbing or scratching or lifting - it might make lifting easier to have the smooth paper. I've had two journals worth of working on the Rough Delta-Beta paper and just love that with everything I throw at it - but the Zeta takes me back to when I first started drawing and painting.

I hated, hated backruns as a kid. But even then would look at them and ask myself why, and whether there was a way to make that happen on purpose! They always looked cool but never went where they would enhance what I was doing. They'd happen by accident in the worst place. I know now that in theory it's possible to induce one by putting down stronger color and then dropping thinner color into it with more water.

Mingling might run all over the place too with smooth paper. It's just going to be fun and anything in it is an experiment - or the relaxation of today's cat gesture. So easy to do a quick cat gesture on smooth paper! I'll be having fun with the Tombow pens too. Miss the complete set of Pitt brush pens though, those would rule on smooth paper.

08-21-2014, 06:11 AM
Great ideas and plans :-)

08-24-2014, 04:02 PM
Purr thanks! Today I just played with pens, had fun finishing the page with Ari by going to the WDE -- and so glad I did. Eye posted so many good photos and two had cats! So I had to start with the cats!

Cats from Thailand - WDE 8-22 hosted by Eye, life Ari in SF
7" square
Pigma Micron brush pen and 01 pen
Stillman & Birn Zeta journal 180lb hot press watercolor paper.

08-25-2014, 01:19 AM
And I also did a pastel sunset for the same WDE in my Pastel Journal, the Beta. Did a better job taping the tracing paper cover sheet on too when I was done. Used the Krylon Fine Art (UV protection) fixative for its slight darkening effect, which made it look just right.

WIP photos of two preliminary stages!

Sunset (Underpainting)
7" square
Blue Earth pastels on
Stillman & Birn Beta journal rough White watercolor paper primed with Clear Art Spectrum Multi Media Primer (Colourfix primer).
Photo reference by Eye for August 22, 2014 Weekend Drawing Event.

Sunset (Progress 2)
7" square
Blue Earth Pastels on
Stillman & Birn Beta journal 180lb rough white watercolor paper
Primed with Art Spectrum Multi Media Primer (Colourfix) Clear
Photo reference by Eye for 8-22-2014 Weekend Drawing Event

Sunset in Thailand
7" square
Blue Earth Pastels
Stillman & Birn Beta journal 180lb white rough watercolor paper
Art Spectrum Multimedia (Colourfix) Primer, Clear
Krylon Fine Art Fixatif with UV protection (wanted the slight darkening)
Photo reference by Eye for 8-22-2014 Weekend Drawing Event

I'm not sure if I love these Blue Earth Pastels or hate them. The jury's still out. They're super soft like Ludwigs, quite smaller, a bit crumbly but the super soft ones tend to that. They blend very easily. I think I might need to get a white one though, or bring a white soft stick of some other brand when I'm using it. Also not sure if I like them better on the plain paper or on the sanded, they might be happier on the Beta paper bare.

Then again, I could always do something else with them on the Beta paper bare and compare now!

What I mainly want them for is going out plein air, because they're smaller I could pack more of them along.

08-25-2014, 05:14 AM
*Sigh* Rob, this is not a sketch, you know :D This is a painting I would spend ages painting and then I would proudly hang it on the wall. Thank you for making it WIP, I am going to try it :)

The pen drawing... very nice too :)

08-25-2014, 02:09 PM
Excellent sketches.

08-25-2014, 08:48 PM
Nick, wow, thank you! Actually I am posting everything in my art journals in these pages so yes, this is a small finished painting. Some of my journal pieces are. I won't take it out to hang because I don't want to dissect the journal, but I could.

Purr thanks Debby!

08-26-2014, 06:25 PM
A page of Scavenger Hunt sketches from the Zeta:

Scavenger Hunt #372 life drawings
2 - self portrait
3 - Outside of pill case
4 - Inside of pill case
5 - Fixative can from backpack
6 - Ari washing his bottom
Pigma micron brush pen on Stillman & Birn Zeta journal 7" square
I used my phone camera turning it to selfie mode and looking at it for mirror for the self portrait.

Joan T
08-26-2014, 10:12 PM
Robert, I've missed so many of your postings lately. That conch shell is gorgeous and so is the hibiscus!!! Love the sketches and pastels of Ai's photos from the WDE. Super job on these!!

08-27-2014, 02:37 PM
Great hunt sketches.

08-28-2014, 12:47 AM
Purr thank you both! Joan, I've just gotten active again lately, so glad to be trying for daily art again.

Today was my clinic visit every two weeks, so I sketched from life in the waiting room before and in the garden after. Not in order.

Rosemary Bloom from Life
7" square
Color Conte hard sticks
Stillman & Birn Beta journal 180lb rough white watercolor paper.

Hills and Rooftops in San Francisco seen from clinic window
3 1/2" x 5 1/2"
Ballpoint pen in pocket size Moleskine folding accordion paper book.

Kind of glad I had the little pocket book with me, since I didn't have my Micron pens in my pocket. Got rushed out the door when I left. I'd packed up my backpack yesterday for it and brought a lot more supplies than I used but didn't grab any Microns for the Zeta. Wanted to try watercoloring a careful botanical of the rosemary sprig, but that will have to wait for next time and I hope I can still find blooms on it. I forgot the sprig when the van arrived to leave, set it aside and I think it blew off into the planting at patient pickup spot. Eh, maybe it'll root there?

08-28-2014, 05:08 PM
Sorry you lost your rosemary snip. Great sketches of the SF area.

08-28-2014, 08:35 PM
Purr thank you! I love that view from the clinic window. There's hills and hills full of little houses and mostly rooftops and then these bare bald hilltops with scattered tree clumps and the tall electrical service or cell towers, whatever those things are. Very striking on the horizon.

I just skipped 98% of the hills-with-rooftops not having a good idea for overall texture of them.

Today's sketches are Scavenger Hunt life drawings. The doorknob's darker than I intended, possibly because I was drawing while sitting on the loo.

Life Sketches for Scavenger Hunt 372
Ballpoint pen on accordion fold pocket Moleskine sketchbook. No penciling.

08-29-2014, 01:30 AM
(edited for duplicity)

08-29-2014, 01:31 AM
:D :D :D lol, Rob, you don't waste any time.

08-29-2014, 05:15 PM
Splendid hunt sketches. I won't comment about the location while drawing.

08-30-2014, 01:26 AM
lol I commented about the location to get a good laugh. Considering nowhere else to sit in there, eh, worked!

Last sketch of that Scavenger Hunt, daily art for today, insane watercolor experiment. I did everything I never do while watercoloring and it took over an hour, much of it watching paint dry, just to do one apple. It was deliberate that little dark edge at the bottom where the shadow mingled with the darkest edge of the fruit with a soft edge.

Scavenger Hunt #372 number 13 - Fruit - Apple
Approx. 5" square including text, shadow and background
Winsor & Newton Artists' Watercolour on 7" square Stillman & Birn Zeta journal hot press smooth 180lb white watercolour paper. From life using all sorts of crazy watercolour techniques I almost never do like lifting, tilting, runs, backruns, thirsty brush, mingling, Chinese white highlights and no pen work because it was detailed enough without. Had fun with this experiment in transparent watercolour.

But I'm not sure I have the patience to do it that often!

08-30-2014, 07:10 AM
Creating the shine on apples still looks like a magic to me :)

08-30-2014, 01:01 PM
Purr thanks Nick! I did that two ways. The soft shine on the side is actually by lifting out, using toilet paper to pat an area dry before the color dried completely. I tried that for the two tiny ones too but didn't get the hard edged precision I wanted or the brightness, so used Chinese white paint for them. White watercolor is still watercolor.

Started today with a Scavenger Hunt sketch of who else? My favorite stuffed animal, who truly enjoyed his breakfast before sleeping it off.

Scavenger Hunt #373 item 1: Stuffed Animal (Ari sleeping off breakfast)
2 1/2" x 3 1/2" approx. on 5 1/2" tall pocket accordion Moleskine
Pigma Micron pen size 01, from life of course. I love the way he just drops like a stuffed animal with his legs falling wherever they do or bunched up under him sometimes.

Of course at some random time he'll be rested and turn rowdy banging around the room with his catnip carrot and yelling cheerfully at the top of his lungs. That's unpredictable when but so funny when he does it. I really should try for "rowdy cat" gestures sometime.

08-30-2014, 02:16 PM
Gorgeous apple. Lovely sketch of a "stuffed" animal. :cat:

08-30-2014, 04:40 PM
Ari sounds like great fun :D

08-31-2014, 07:59 PM
Purr thank you! He hid when I got out my sketchbook today for more kitty sketches, so today there's an WDE castle. And maybe more, depending on how the day goes.

Welsh Castle (and Ari from life)
3 1/2" x 5 1/2"
Pigma Micron 01 pen on Moleskine accordion fold pocket sketchbook
Photo reference for Welsh castle by JustJean for WDE 8-29-2014.

09-01-2014, 05:06 PM
And another WDE!

3 1/2" x 5 1/2"
Pigma Micron pen size 01
Moleskine accordion fold pocket sketchbook
Photo reference by madmum from WDE hosted by JustJean, caption in the drawing is a mistake. But I'll add the real credit to the actual art.

Everyone was doing the rooster so I had to do a version. Considered doing him in pastels but was too tired to get messy, so, Pigma Micron in the little sketchbook! Keeping it handy next to me seems like a really good thing, it's helping me get daily art so well!

I missed only 4 days last month and this month might succeed in daily art. Even on bad days I can do a doodle.

09-01-2014, 07:58 PM
The castle and rooster are great. Keep the simple tools handy and away you go. :)

Joan T
09-01-2014, 08:00 PM
Robert, I love the rooster in ink!!! Good job on the castle too!

09-02-2014, 08:10 AM
love the stuffed animal!

09-02-2014, 09:34 PM
Purr thank you! Today's subject is simpler still but it's a life drawing. And it's one of the best I've done. Everyone struggles with ellipses, right?

Scavenger Hunt 373 #2: Cup
Ballpoint pen on pocket accordion fold Moleskine, from life.

09-03-2014, 02:46 PM
I'll agree with you about struggling with ellipses. Great sketch.

Joan T
09-03-2014, 09:36 PM
Yes, we all struggle with those ellipses!

09-05-2014, 07:23 PM
Purr thank you both!

Now for something a bit different, WIP is in the Pastel Spotlight thread or in the Pastel Studio thread. A painting but I like throwing everything I do in here just like when I did the shell last month.

Lake Scene
8" x 10"
Assorted pastels on Uart 500 sanded pastel paper
Photo reference by DAK723

And here's how it'd look if I cropped by cutting a 7" x 10" window mat:

No pastel paintings were harmed in this demonstration.

09-05-2014, 08:25 PM
what a lovely pastel!

09-06-2014, 11:45 AM
Purr thank you! I love how it came out, wasn't so sure of it while working on it but now very happy.

Looking forward to WDE and Scavenger Hunt to do more sketching in the next few days, maybe some pastel sketching in the Beta too. Depends on how lazy/sick I am and whether I'm up to washing up afterward. Pen doesn't take any cleanup, watercolor takes washing brush if I used a real one instead of the waterbrush, pastel takes washing my hands afterward at the sink. Either takes standing at the sink, for which I have to ask permission of my back.

I had a breakthrough on the pastel when I set out all my pastels on the floor and sat in the middle of them painting instead of trying to find drop spots for the big pastel box and a couple of smaller ones. This may work out well in future, take a little room rearranging.

09-06-2014, 12:49 PM
I love painting on the floor. It's the biggest table I can get :D

Have you tried (baby) wet wipes? It could allow you to postpone the trip to the sink. Honestly, I can't imagine painting outdoors with pastels - because of the very same reason. Do people carry a wet cloth around?

09-06-2014, 12:54 PM
I used to have a large pack of wet wipes and used about 2/3 of them before mold grew on the remaining batch. I haven't bought any more of them again, went back to wet towels while working. But I still need to wash up afterward.

Today's sketch is swift and simple.

Cat from life in as few lines as possible
3 1/2" wide by about 2 1/2" tall, bottom of page
Chinese White watercolor and Pigma Micron brush pen
Moleskine accordion fold pocket sketchbook

As few lines as possible turned out to be difficult as Ari was laying under my chair looking up at me. But most of him is a single continuous line with some swoops and dips into dark feet. Tail and face and ears got separate lines. Unfortunately trying to get his eyes by negative painting in squiggles didn't work, so each eye is a line in Chinese white watercolor around the pupil.

Did this for "and the next sketch is..." challenge, so it's today's Daily Art and latest journal entry on the very handy Moleskine that I might just use continuously and keep at hand. Not my best Little Ari or my best continuous line little Ari but I did get his form - he actually blobbed out like that!

09-06-2014, 12:54 PM
Lovely pastel painting.

09-06-2014, 01:16 PM
Lovely successful pastel and as I said on the other thread, I like the simplicity of the Ari drawing. It worked well. Simple is difficult ... Over complicating? I can do!

09-08-2014, 12:13 AM
Purr thank you both! Vivien, I hear you! I love your overcomplicated drawings and paintings, they take my breath away - but must take a lot longer to finish than swift simplified sketches.

Today I tested the new pastels that arrived today. Charted them neatly and with a third of the page open on the side, did a drawing-style sketch and a painting-style sketch to test them on that paper.

I love them on that paper, this sketchbook may make it into my bag even though it's huge. Working on white lets me get some very bright colors!

Rembrandt 60 Half Sticks Chart and Sketches
9" x 12"
60 Rembrandt half sticks set
Canson Mix Media 98lb multi media paper, sized for watercolor, toothy.
Red tomato test from Charlotte Herczfeld's Pastel Brands Matter (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VQgXuMI1eKY) video demo on YouTube for texture comparison. Driftwood sketch from memory and imagination.

I have 60 pastel pencils that I often take along with me to sketch with. These half sticks may be more versatile and encourage me to speed up and get more painterly, considering I got five layers on that tomato including its heavy pressure final highlight and stem. The examples in the video by Colorix reminded me I don't have to be hard-edged or precise on something like that, a painting can look like a painting!

09-08-2014, 02:35 PM
Always fun playing with new supplies.

09-09-2014, 11:31 PM
Oh yes! I love doing that - and then plunging in with new supplies on a new painting. Since the tomato worked so well, I had a go with a couple of pears I got in my lunch from life!

Pears from Life
7" square
Rembrandt 60 color half stick pastels
Stillman & Birn Beta journal 180lb rough white watercolor paper
Krylon UV protective workable fixative.

This has a wet underpainting, I used the water brush to swish the underpainting scumble around and rub it in. Some light specks show up more in the photo than in person, camera just really picked them out. I could blend and paint again but I already used fixative.

09-10-2014, 12:12 AM
wow, Rob, that's very nice! Great job :)

09-10-2014, 02:04 PM
Hope the pears were as tasty as they are beautiful on your page.

09-10-2014, 08:36 PM
Purr thanks! They're still quite hard so I might let them have a couple more days and maybe even draw them again. Such beautiful form! ALso I have lots of plums, got to paint plums!

Today's art - pen and watercolor trees on the Apple page.

Apple and Trees from Life
7" square
pen and watercolor on smooth 180lb white Stillman & Birn Zeta journal paper
Pigma Micron 01, apple in W&N watercolor, trees in Yarka St. Petersburg watercolor Extended set.

I missed those Yarka watercolors. They are so strong and vibrant! I forgot how intense they are when they dry. I bought the Extended set to get Rose and when I charted it on the back end paper, the color leaped off strong and glorious - very close to Permanent Alizarin or a good Quinacridone Rose, goes very deep in mass tone and beautiful! Violet Rose looks like Quin Violet and is gorgeous too. The trees are in Glauconite and Raw Sienna trunks, Neutral Tint and Ultramarine sidewalks plus Russian Green and Hansa Yellow foliage. Very lively colors! Love that Russian Green - it is actually Hookers Green by another name but I love their version.

09-11-2014, 02:54 PM
Lovely trees. Just curious, did you use a waterbrush to paint the trees?

09-11-2014, 10:59 PM
Yep. I was out and used a water brush with the Yarka pans. I love water brushes with pans. Especially those very strong Yarka colors! I don't often use regular brushes when I'm out, the Niji waterbrush is my go to for being out in pocket even though I have some very good travel brushes. It's what takes the least trouble in a waiting room or waiting for van or something.

Today's sketch is for Scavenger Hunt #374 - "walking" and "Cold drink"

Ari Walking toward Water Dish from life
2" x 3 1/2"
Ballpoint pen in Moleskine accordion fold pocket sketchbook

I'll add more sketches on this page for sure, but today is a real low energy day since I went out yesterday. Managing a daily sketch was a biggie. Also of a Moving Model! At least he repeated the pose several times getting to the dish.

09-12-2014, 01:41 PM
Today's art, a color mixing demo in Blick student pastels.

Student Pastel Mixing Demo
9" x 12"
Blick student pastels on Bee Bogus Recycled Rough sketch paper

I'm happy with how it turned out and may do another demo in these pastels today, for the sake of everyone who hasn't got artist grade pastels and wants to try the medium with the cheap ones.

09-12-2014, 03:29 PM
Love your interpretation of hunt items. Great demo.

09-13-2014, 01:29 PM
Pears Demo (life sketches)
6" x 18"
Blick student pastels and Prang charcoal pencil
Strathmore charcoal paper

Same demo, second part, already described in the post in Soft Pastels Talk but I like how the drawing looked.

09-13-2014, 02:31 PM
Lovely pears.

09-14-2014, 01:31 PM
Purr thank you!

Today's sketch on mat scrap!

Life sketch Apple and Containers on Black Fridge
7" x 5"
Rembrandt pastels on black Crescent Rag Mat

09-14-2014, 03:48 PM
And a couple of kitties...

Two life sketches and WDE 9-12-2014 Cats Gus and Max
3 1/2" x 5 1/4"
Ballpoint and Pigma Micron pens on pocket Moleskine accordion fold journal.
Photo reference for Gus and Max by RubyRedDog2 for 9-12-2014 WDE

Finally finished that page! I like this little journal, keeping it right at hand helps with daily drawing!

09-14-2014, 04:19 PM
I keep coming back to the watercolor apple. Especially its top is so ... it's 3D magic :D And I love the green color.

09-14-2014, 06:33 PM
Great sketches. Love the kitties.

09-15-2014, 02:56 PM
Purr thanks! I actually created a TOUGH list for myself with the Scavenger Hunt, didn't realize that till I started doing it!

Scavenger Hunt 375 #3 - Crack (in my wall that looks like a face)
3 1/2" x 5 1/4"
Pigma Micron pen on accordion fold pocket Moleskine

09-15-2014, 06:14 PM
Bluebird in progress sketch & background
7" x 10"
Charcoal pencil, Rembrandt pastels
Strathmore Artagain pastel paper
Photo reference by Dave Slaughter RIL (Sept. Pastel Spotlight)

STarted my birdie. Might finish later or tomorrow.

09-15-2014, 11:06 PM
Charcoal Pear from life
9" square (cropped in image and probably to mat if I ever do)
Charcoal and white Rembrandt pastel
Bee Bogus Recycled Rough Sketch Paper

09-16-2014, 02:14 AM
AND an Ari sketch! That's a lot for today actually, I'm doing good!

Ari cat life sketch
5" x 7"
Pastel and Charcoal Pencil
Bee Bogus Recycled Rough paper

09-16-2014, 03:55 AM
Both lovely. I like the way cats bodies flow and change shape - totally unlike the solid bodies of dogs.

09-16-2014, 04:43 PM
Great sketches. Super that you got to do so much art today.

09-16-2014, 07:11 PM
Purr thank you both! Vivien, yeah, cats are so fluid and change shape constantly, stretch and crunch up and fold in weird ways like living origami. Cats - nature's kneaded eraser anatomy!

Yeah, Debby, I think it might have been my biggest art day all year! Finished the Bluebird today. Hope I can build on this and keep going!

7" x 10"
Charcoal pencil and Rembrandt pastels
Strathmore Artagain paper, flecked yellowish beige
Photo reference by Dave Slaughter for Sept. 2014 Pastel Spotlight "Blue"

09-17-2014, 05:39 AM
living origami. Cats - nature's kneaded eraser

Wonderful description!

09-17-2014, 02:58 PM
The bird is beautiful.

09-17-2014, 05:46 PM
Purr thanks!

Today's my third Spotlight painting of the month. I think Blue must be one of my favorite colors. I used to live places that looked like this in the winter. Happily, it's all just a memory!

Snowy Pines
5" x 7"
Charcoal pencil and Rembrandt pastels
Bee Bogus Recycled Rough sketch paper, brown
Photo reference from Reference Image Library by PaintBoss posted in Sept. 2014 Pastel Spotlight lesson, "Blue."

But a pretty clear memory nonetheless! Weird how it all comes back to me. That kind of wet, gloppy, mounded snow was good packing snow, great for snow forts and snowmen and general playing-with, also it wasn't usually the coldest days it'd get like that. More like nearly warmish ones.

09-18-2014, 01:28 PM
I'm on a roll! Daily art again, a whole lovely page in my Zeta! I slowed down and took my time with it. Love the Claudia Nice book that I got on my Kindle. It really is awesome. Miss the ones I had in Arkansas but have at least one here to inspire me to pen textures and watercolor realism!

Scavenger Hunt #375 Items 6-10 from life
7" square Stillman & Birn Zeta art journal 180lb smooth wc paper
Pigma Micron pen size 01
Yarka St. Petersburg "Extended" watercolour set

09-18-2014, 03:25 PM
Waiting for the snow here. :) Looks great. Love the Claudia Nice books. I really like that style of drawing/painting. Great hunt sketches.

09-19-2014, 01:05 PM
Purr thank you! I might do some more today, I'm on a roll. Also want to try the Dick Blick "Zorn Palette Challenge" so I got out different watercolors to have a Cadmium Red to work with. I'm also hoping the black in that set is Ivory Black rather than Neutral Tint.

09-20-2014, 01:30 AM
Went back to my Pastel Journal, no primer, Pearlescent Pans!

Pearl from life in Pearlized Pan Pastels
7" square on Stillman & Birn Beta journal rough 180lb white watercolor paper.
Pearlized Pan Pastels, plus Coarse and Fine Pearlescent Mediums in both Black and White, even a touch of Colorless Blender not visible on the surface.

What better subject for pearlescent colors than a real pearl? I love how it came out. I think I could've done it with hues alone but I really like the pearlescent effect, especially the glittering background.

09-20-2014, 01:59 PM

09-21-2014, 10:19 AM
Purr! Thank you! Yesterday's daily art was just a pencil sketch, forgot to post it on daily painting blog but I will today.

Ari Cat Life Sketch
3 1/2" x 5 1/4"
6B clutch pencil on Moleskine accordion fold journal

09-21-2014, 10:23 AM
Another good catch of the way cats move and lie. The pearl does feel pearl llke with the luminosity they have.

09-21-2014, 11:09 AM
Purr thank you! I've been trying for that pearl effect for years, very different from either beads or clear things.

Ari cat Inked!

Ari cat from life, Inked
3 1/2" x 5 1/4"
Pigma Micron pen size 02, pocket Moleskine accordion fold.
Shading and hair direction from life, similar pose

09-21-2014, 02:46 PM
Love the pictures of Ari. :cat:

09-21-2014, 04:49 PM
Purr thank you! He is such a handy model sometimes! Love drawing him.

Another pretty Imitation Claudia Nice page, not as perfect as the last but I still like the style so much.

Scavenger Hunt #375 Items 13-16 from life
7" square
Pigma Micron pen sizes 01 and 02
Yarka St. Petersburg watercolors
Stillman & Birn Zeta journal 180lb smooth white watercolor paper.

Katie Marie
09-21-2014, 06:47 PM
I love the sketches of your cat! So adorable... and they always capture the whole "cat attitude" perfectly. :)

09-21-2014, 08:03 PM
Thank you! I love his personality. In fourteen years I've gotten to know him so well and he's such a perfect cat. The better I know them the more I love cats and especially that cat!

09-22-2014, 01:33 PM
Your hunt sketches are delightful.

09-22-2014, 08:34 PM
Purr thank you! New Scavenger Hunt, tricky one as it didn't mention animal, quadruped, cat, anything remotely feline. But I found a way! Charcoal sketching with white accents.

Scavenger Hunt #376 Items 1-5
9" x 12"
Charcoal pencil and white hard pastel
Bee Bogus Recycled Rough sketch paper.

1. Sub for a child plays with it - my cat plays with toilet paper rolls.
2. White - Staedtler eraser
3. Something I listen to - Ari Cat - Always! Siamese are talkative!
4. Used to Clean - pastels rag
5. Helps me see - lit candle

I only have six pages left in this pad so I'm definitely looking to use it up before starting the new one.

Katie Marie
09-22-2014, 09:11 PM
Awesome sketches. Love seeing Ari again. :) The shading in and around roll is perfect & simple. It's funny that even a toilet paper roll can be so interesting!

I have a cat who is part Siamese as well and he is VERY talkative so I know what you mean about listening to Ari all the time, lol. I might have to see how he takes to playing with a toilet paper roll because right now the only "toys" he seems to want to play with are the hair ties he steals from me!

09-22-2014, 11:40 PM
Oh definitely give him one then. Hair ties? Makes sense. They have your scent and Siamese get very clingy, they like anything that has your scent. Ari used to chew the armpits of my sweaters and tees, he outgrew it eventually but as a baby kitten he loved to stick his head in my armpit and then contentedly chew on my sweaters. Today he attacks toilet paper rolls, steals the paper towels and pulls one off to claw up and loves his Catnip Carrots. He likes more toys now than he did when he was young. But he won't play laser pointer, he keeps following my hand instead of the red dot waiting for me to toss the pointer to him!

Purr thank you for your comments! Your cat sounds lovable and fun. I usually talk back to Ari in cat noises even if my accent is terrible, he likes having whole conversations.

09-23-2014, 12:40 AM
WOnderful hunt sketches. . . I need to start that again to get into gear! Especially love the beautiful ivy!!

09-23-2014, 02:43 AM
Purr thank you! Oh do come back and get into it again, Rainy! It's a lot of fun and does so much to get me drawing.

Five more of them tonight. I'm on a charcoal roll!

Scavenger Hunt #376 Items 6-10 from life
9" x 12"
Charcoal pencil and white pastel
Bee Bogus Recycled Rough sketch paper

#6 Soft Ari
#7 On the Dresser bottle of olive oil
#8 Substitute watercolor kit for makeup bag, water bottle
#9 Store things in it - pill case (pills)
#10 Used for Exercise (by Ari) catnip mouse.

Well, the list didn't say who was getting exercise!

09-23-2014, 06:51 PM
On a roll with the hunt sketches. Very clever interpretations.

09-25-2014, 02:31 PM
Purr thank you! I have to get clever because my life is so different from most people's. I never realize how much till I do Scavenger Hunt. "Normal" houses seem so enormous to me. I never did get the point of a Dining Room as such.

White Curcuma flower
7" square
Rembrandt pastels and size 6 chisel Colour Shaper
Stillman & Birn Beta journal 180lb rough white watercolor paper
Photo reference by Dewi for 9-2014 Plant Parade "White Flowers"

09-25-2014, 02:53 PM
Pretty flower. The dining area in my house is being used for my sewing machine. :lol:

09-25-2014, 06:35 PM
Thank you! LOL - that's one of the top three uses for a dining room among people I know. "Studio" is another and "Computer center" a third. Awesome!

Started a second pastel painting today from one of my own photos, some red hollyhocks in the clinic garden.

Red Hollyhocks stage 1 (Sketch)
8" x 10"
Charcoal pencil
Brown Canson Mi-Tientes pastel paper, smooth side.
From my own photo:

09-26-2014, 01:44 PM
This is going to be stunning.

09-26-2014, 01:52 PM
Purr thank you! It's not hollyhocks though, it's abutilon or Flowering Maple, something I just found out. Still looks as cool, now it's even more exotic. Got to find real hollyhocks sometime!

09-26-2014, 09:15 PM
And the abutilon or Red Flowering Maple is done!

Red Flowering Maple
8" x 10"
Rembrandt pastels
Brown Canson Mi-Tientes paper, smooth side

Middle stage is posted in Pastel Studio WIP thread. It's basically with the background and greens in, no red into the flowers yet. The reds really make this work. Hard to get the photo to do the color true.

Katie Marie
09-27-2014, 01:39 AM
Really pretty! Love those bright pops of red.

09-27-2014, 12:50 PM

09-27-2014, 02:20 PM
Delightful. I knew this was going to be a good one.

09-27-2014, 10:36 PM
Purr thank you! I'm so glad it came out well - wasn't real sure about halfway through, this one did have an ugly stage. I should have photographed it - it looked awful when the flowers were half done. But they came out right, it felt like a miracle when the last few strokes picked it up!

I am having fun with these pastels. Let's see, that's actually four or five pastels this month. The snow trees, bluebird, lake scene, white Curcuma, red flowering maple and wow, maybe the apple with transparent containers too... yeah and I forgot the Pears Demo and the Two Brown Pears were also September. Dang. Eight pastels this month! I shouldn't be that embarrassed about a day with just cat gestures!

Two of these were yesterday's too, just wanted to wait till the page was full to post.

Ari cat sketches from life
3 1/2" x 5 1/4"
Ballpoint on pocket Moleskine accordion fold sketchbook