View Full Version : Rob's October Sketchbook Challenge

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10-01-2010, 12:58 AM
Here it is - the sketchbook I'm using. I labeled it before midnight and I'm making the thread, but I won't start drawing till midnight. Which is in about four minutes. But I have time to make the thread and put it in the Index.


I labeled the cover with a statement of intent as a commitment. I'm going to do this. I've never tried to fill a sketchbook in one month before. I mean to do it! Thank you so much to everyone else who joined the challenge! Your support gives me so much optimism!

Two minutes to go, time to go put this thread in the Index!

10-01-2010, 02:08 AM
Congrats to the start of what will be an amazing challenge/journal/ and journey!!!!!

10-01-2010, 03:26 AM
Thank you! Here's my first page - it took a couple of hours, mostly with letting paint dry between stages. I washed one area at a time and let it dry, then had to let the whole page dry well. It cockled a little but not badly. I love this sketchbook, that heavy paper is so good about taking anything I throw at it!

Still life is still the same one on my tabletop. I simplified the table though, didn't put in any of the stuff sitting around the setup.

Apples and Pitt Pen Boxes, Large
8 1/2" x 11"
Derwent watercolour pencils and wash
Pentalic Nature Sketch 135lb heavy cream drawing paper.

10-01-2010, 05:46 AM
good start - I'm using a much thinner book as I simply won't have the time to do too many pages. This looks like a good one.

10-01-2010, 08:19 AM
A wonderferful beginning page Robert and a good example of making art from the simplest everyday things around us (except of course nothings REALLY simple, the art is making it look as so!) :clap:

10-01-2010, 08:22 AM

LOVE the subtle colour changes, the shadowing is perfect, and the background simplification makes the still life pop!!!!!!

10-01-2010, 11:05 AM
Thank you! This still life has fascinated me for days. I brought up the apples, put them on top of the Pitt pen boxes and realized I had an accidental still life. I might eventually incorporate it into a larger still life with some of the other objects I draw often.

10-01-2010, 12:33 PM
Robert, thanks for showing your sketchbook front- this gives me a better idea of what to do- at this point I have no direction, but have the book - now if I can stop thinking it over, and get busy LOL! The still life looks great!

Joan T
10-01-2010, 12:35 PM
Wonderful start, Robert!!! Love your shiny apples and the boxes.

10-01-2010, 01:33 PM
wonderful start to your book, robert. Love those contrasting apples . . . are you going to munch on those soon, they look so juicy, how can you resist :)

Vivien Maloney
10-01-2010, 02:05 PM
Wonderful still-life Robert! You certainly do great work with those Derwent watercolor pencils!

10-01-2010, 02:14 PM
Love the illustration on the cover. Great first page :)

10-01-2010, 03:51 PM
Great start, Rob! :) I love how you use the pencils. I hope to practice more with my prismacolor pencils eventually... right now I'm focusing on markers. :)

10-01-2010, 04:09 PM
Great start! I'll be cheering you on!

10-01-2010, 05:11 PM
Robert - how many Pitt pens do each of those boxes hold??????? They look huge!!!!!!! (or are the apples tiny) LOL!

10-01-2010, 07:45 PM
your apples always look so delicious!

10-01-2010, 08:15 PM
Yay! Not that I expected anything but..... you're start to your sketchbook is lovely - vibrant colours :) Thanks for getting us so enthused Robert!

10-01-2010, 08:38 PM
Great start! Those apples look delicious! Thank you so much for throwing out the idea and then getting this whole thing started. The turnout is great!

10-01-2010, 08:40 PM
Love the colors and.. what Stacey said

How many pens come in those things???

10-01-2010, 08:41 PM
Great still life right out of the gate, Robert!

10-01-2010, 11:57 PM
Wonderful start. The apples look delicious. Apples around here had a bad year. :(

10-02-2010, 03:21 AM
Wow, thank you! I only managed one page on the first day but I had a lot to do offline too, plus kept up the Index. After midnight I got started on a second page.

I went shopping for groceries at Wal-mart and picked up some toy dinosaurs for still life objects (so that I don't steal my granddaughter's and so that I have some around late at night when she's asleep). I picked up one for her too, and some marbles, and a lot of food. So here's one of the dinosaurs and some other still life objects I had sitting around.

I've got lots more fruit too, will get to some of the other fruits tomorrow when it's light out!

Life Sketches, Page 2 of October Sketchbook Challenge
8 1/2" x 11"
Derwent Graphitint and wash
Pentalic Nature Sketch 130lb heavy unsized cream drawing paper.

10-02-2010, 03:34 AM
yummy apple start, and great dinosaur apple page!

10-02-2010, 08:50 AM
Those graphitints look good - you are much braver with the colour strength than I am! ;)

10-02-2010, 12:09 PM
I like the idea of one for you and one for her!

I've got childrens books like that - the illustrations/story are so gorgeous that I bought another for my grandson - he wasn't having mine!

It's a very autumnal page with the nuts and apples

10-02-2010, 12:20 PM
Thank you! I love Graphitints for sketching, they show up well on a scan and they wash brighter after I draw with them. Vivien, I can understand why you bought a book for its art and got your grandson his own copy. Loved books tend to look a little mangled after a while.

I bought a package of marbles too, more variety to my still life stuff. Plus a bag of colorful autumn gourds and a lot of fancy fruit that'll probably go bad if I don't draw it and eat it fast, so watch for fruit sketches to come soon!

10-02-2010, 12:34 PM
I love it when books start to look a little used - I don't worry as much about keeping them in pristine condition. I buy used books normally for that reason, and because it's so much cheaper! :)

10-02-2010, 01:37 PM
wonderful page two Robert. . . toy dinosaurs is a neat idea, better than picts as three dimensional! So you STILL didn't eat those lovely apples? :)

Thanks for making the listing of journal month pages, that makes it so much easier to find them all.

10-02-2010, 02:39 PM
Thank you both! No, haven't eaten those two apples yet. They're still good. I bought a lot of other fruits last night on a grocery trip, so I'll have to eat those soon - but also the peaches and plums and pears won't last as long as apples. I want to draw all of them before I eat them though.

Basking Cat and Other WDE Images
8 1/2" x 11"
Derwent Graphitints and wash
Pentalic Nature Sketch 130lb unsized cream drawing paper.
Photo references by KreativeK for October 1-3, 2010 Weekend Drawing Event. (http://www.wetcanvas.com/forums/showthread.php?t=716551)

Vivien Maloney
10-02-2010, 02:49 PM
The WDE drawings are terrific - just knew you'd do the cat! Great use of the graphitints and wash. I bought more of these pencils the other day, but as yet, haven't tried them.

10-02-2010, 03:53 PM
I saw that cat in the WDE thread and new you'd go for it :) Cat's always find the most awkward positions comfortable. But that's what makes them so cute and adorable!

10-02-2010, 04:27 PM
I love that cat pose...cats are just so funny, that's why I love them :cat:

and you did a wonderful job on the coloring/lighting on that kitty...I really need to try out some of those pencils!

10-02-2010, 05:20 PM
Thank you! Here's another page with some Scavenger Hunt sketches.

Scavenger Hunt 194, Items #12 - #15
8 1/2" x 11"
Derwent Graphitints and wash
Pentalic Nature Sketch 130lb heavy drawing paper.

10-02-2010, 06:47 PM
I don't know what looks more delicious. The apples or the dinosaur? Mmmmm.... Food.

10-02-2010, 07:28 PM
Thank you, Denyalle! Yeah, cats are strange that way. They bend in ways we don't, get comfortable in the oddest positions and are too cool. I had to do her. Lissa's one of a kind basking under her lamp.

Epoh, thanks! Try the Graphitints - they are one of my favorite sketching tools ever. I get such good results from them, they're soft and colorful. Comparable to 8B pencils going down dry and then the wash brightens them.

Crystal, thanks. LOL, the smell of baked parasaurolophus is probably better than turkey! They are related to birds after all.

10-02-2010, 08:02 PM
Is that a plum in the last post? The colour is so rich and magnificent (and also one of my favourite colours, have a few soft furnishings in that colour in my lounge room!).

10-02-2010, 09:04 PM
The Parasaurolopus is GORGEOUS!!!!!!

Fantastic rendering and colour depth and variation on ALL the SKETCHES!!!!

Lissa "basking" is just ADORABLE!!!!! LOVE HER!!!!

Amazing outsie, beautiful and lush!!!!

Gentle Hugs, Stacey

10-02-2010, 09:10 PM
What can I say? These are all so awesome. However, my favorite has to be the dinosaur.

10-02-2010, 09:52 PM
I don't know why, but I think I love that origami crane the best

10-02-2010, 10:34 PM
Everything is super as always Rob! I sure can't get anything I remotely like to come out of the Graphitints, maybe I'm not laying down enough color or maybe it was the book I used. I did pick up the smaller size Pentallic at Hobby Lobby today. Decided it would be fun to try since you are enjoying yours so much.
Marbles...I hadn't thought of using them, I have a box of very old cateye marbles sitting in plain site right now. Off to draw.:cat:

10-03-2010, 01:28 AM
Wow Robert! Your sketches are great, I'm liking those Derwent Graphitints, how you do your washes... The toy dinosaur is an excellent ideal... I've done the same thing with those toy Marvel characters, spiderman etc.. great way to practice still life.

10-03-2010, 03:01 AM
Great pages Rob, the colours you use add so much life to your sketches, I hope I get my use of graphitints down half as good as you do by the end of the month.

10-03-2010, 03:09 AM
More nice sketches, Robert! My favorites are the acorn and apples...and the cat, of course.

WC Lee
10-03-2010, 04:27 AM
wonderful sketches :) love that cat basking sketch ...

10-03-2010, 05:04 AM
Ah! Folded paper! Love the page with the Basking Cat!

10-03-2010, 07:09 AM
What gorgeous little snippets of life! The graphitints look like such fun and given the nice effects like you get with them, I may have to save up for a set!

10-03-2010, 09:28 AM
Wow, thank you all! Today's first page is a response to some of your comments - anyone who's looking to get more of a handle on using Graphitints. I did a demo to try to show how I get the effects I do.

I don't even fill in the light areas. I only shade the dark and medium dark areas on a Graphitint drawing, and I go very bold on outlines and darks. I press hard with the soft pencils and then wash, using the waterbrush with the point toward the darkest area of the shading. The color pushes toward the end of the brush naturally. I noticed that and started using it deliberately.

At the top is a chart of my new Interference colors set. They don't show up on the scan at all when they're on white, under each swatch is another swatch on white but you can see that came up blank. Still, I think they'll rock over a color or black.

Graphitints Demo, Page 5 of Sketchbook Challenge
8 1/2" x 11"
Derwent Graphitints and wash, Daniel Smith Interference watercolors, Pitt Artist Pen black Big Brush
Pentalic Nature Sketch 130lb heavy drawing paper.

10-03-2010, 09:39 AM
thank you for the Graphitint demo! I'm hoping to be able to get some of these soon...and you've just made me want them even more! :D

I plan on going to the store tomorrow to see if I can find them

10-03-2010, 09:54 AM
the graphitints really are fun

10-03-2010, 12:07 PM
I'm enjoying all your sketches - great work! Love the Graphitints!

10-03-2010, 12:55 PM
you've been BUSY!

I like the folded paper

Vivien Maloney
10-03-2010, 02:06 PM
You've been extremely busy Robert! Your sketches are terrific (they always are). The Graphitint sketches are very interesting as I've just bought a few of these to try them out, so thanks I'll try your different suggestions on them.

10-03-2010, 05:07 PM
Thank you! I'm still going with the Graphitints but on this page I've done a couple of dry sketches to show how they look when they're not washed.

Scavenger Hunt 194, Items #16, 17, 18
8 1/2" x 11"
Derwent Graphitint
Pentalic Nature Sketch sketchbook

10-03-2010, 07:24 PM
Thanks for the tutorial Robert! I've been seeing everyone's using these pencils and want to try them when I get home, so I'm excited to see how everyone uses them so I can figure it out later. Your new sketches look great!

10-03-2010, 07:52 PM
awwww Ari is adorable (as usual :) ) lovely colours today Robert! (appealing to my earth sign!)

10-03-2010, 08:31 PM
Gosh you are on a roll. You gave us all a month and you'll fill yours in a week :)

10-03-2010, 08:42 PM
Thank you for your demo. Great seeing just how you achieve the work you do.

Ari is so cute!

10-04-2010, 12:13 AM
Ari must be the most sketched cat on the planet...! :)

10-04-2010, 12:21 AM
Thanks! So glad the Graphitints tutorial is useful, I had fun doing it. LOL John, yeah, he may well be the most sketched cat on the planet. I love drawing him and the more I do, the better I get.

I took a long time with this page because it's watercolor. I used a lot of glazes and had to let it dry before I put the next layers on, again and again.

Scavenger Hunt 194, Items #19 and 20, plus butterfly design
8 1/2" x 11"
Pitt Artist Pen Big Brush, Pigma Micron pen, watercolor
Pentalic Nature Sketch sketchbook.

10-04-2010, 12:31 AM
Robert thank you ever so much for the demo, and all the great pieces you did after. The marbles are very cool. I will give the graphitints another try or two before they fly in the trash or out of the door.:D

10-04-2010, 02:06 AM
I was wondering if you used a brush on the washes... very good examples, excellent sketches too, your lines are well placed...great job!

10-04-2010, 02:14 AM
Those interference colors are classy. Nice use of them on the subject matter.

10-04-2010, 02:21 AM
Another beautiful page.......

10-04-2010, 03:00 AM
Ari, marbles and the mussel shell are really great :)

I bet the marbles would be interesting in a clear glass, half under water with all that lovely distortion to play with

note to self: get some marbles!

10-04-2010, 09:19 AM
OMGosh, you have done so much just during the weekend while I had limited access! WOW. . impressive. Love the marbles. Ari is wonderfully done as always. Thanks for the graphitint demo. I really should use my 12 more often.

10-04-2010, 11:42 AM
wow! You have been busy since the last time I looked. I like the wde work. I visited there as well! just to get some ideas.

10-04-2010, 01:03 PM
Thank you! Today I did something completely different - a pastel challenge that got posted two or three months ago by Deborah Secor. It intrigued me but I didn't feel ready for it and eventually the thread slid away. But I tried it today when I looked at the Pastel Spotlight challenge photos. One of them seemed perfect for it.

20 Stroke Pastel Landscape
8 1/2" x 11"
Art Spectrum pastels
Pentalic Nature Sketch sketchbook.
Photo reference by Paula Ford for October Pastel Spotlight challenge.

Joan T
10-04-2010, 01:07 PM
Robert - Thanks for the demo. Your sketches are always so well done and full of life!!!

10-04-2010, 01:19 PM
We are on the same wave length Robert. I went to a hands on demo at Jerry's on Saturday for pastels. There wasn't enough time to finish our paintings but I finished a bottle which I sprayed and cut out and glued in my sketchbook. Which by the way I finally finished stitching and gluing yesterday so now I can scan or photograph and post! I like how your piece turned out, the trees are quite nice. How do you like the art spectrum pastels?

10-04-2010, 01:23 PM
cool exercise, Robert. love the results.

10-04-2010, 01:25 PM
Poochemio, thank you! I saw that bottle, it's beautiful. Yay for finishing your homemade sketchbook!

I like the Art Spectrum pastels a lot. They're my favorite medium soft pastels with Rembrandt a close second. I like having hard pastels, medium soft pastels and super soft ones all available. Art Spectrums are firm but soft enough to allow the kind of loose effects I just got with them.

10-04-2010, 04:17 PM
I love Unison pastels

but hate framing them :( what a nightmare pastels are to frame! there is always a bit of dust that attaches itself to the glass or gets between glass and mat, time after time after time :crying: :evil: :crying:

10-04-2010, 04:32 PM
Rainy and Vivien, thanks! Sounds frustrating, Vivien. I haven't had a problem with it though - I bought a pastel painting from Colorix and when I matted it the dust didn't spring off onto the glass.

10-04-2010, 04:35 PM
It's because I like not to fix it and so even though I tap it there will still be moveable bits :( and I don't smudge it much, so the strokes are sitting on the surface.

10-04-2010, 06:16 PM
I tap mine and do use Spectra Fix, so that is probably why I have less trouble. But I don't think Charlie used fixative on the painting I bought from her. It came through fine. Some artists will steam pastels to help keep them secure, apparently that can work as well as using fixative without changing the colors - it makes the pigment particles swell and stick together more.

10-04-2010, 06:18 PM
Lovely colour choice Robert! Vivien's right - I used to work for a picture framer and detested framing pastels and charcoals that were not fixed - what a nightmare for the framers :lol:

10-04-2010, 06:22 PM
Very nice, I like the pastel sketch!!

10-04-2010, 06:22 PM
Thanks! I'm working on another page now, but this one may be slow - watercolor and pen. I started with a nectarine in watercolor pencil and then started doing little pen and wash color explorations of my 66 Try-It Dots from Daniel Smith. They won't all fit on this page, but they're more fun than swatches. Just sketch whatever the color makes me think of and then paint it.

10-04-2010, 07:08 PM
Delightful landscape.

10-04-2010, 07:57 PM
nice pastel work, I really like the colors you used...pastels is one thing I have yet to try

now, I have to tell you the story of what happened today, because I think you will appreciate it--since you are the one who made me want to go out and buy some Graphitints....
I went to Michaels because the last time I was in there I saw a set of the Graphitints on clearance..24 pack, regularly $59.99, on sale for $29.99. When I went today (had to wait til I had the extra cash to get them,) I hoped and prayed the whole way to the store that they would still be there. Yea me, they were. Took them to the checkout, and they rang up for $0.01. Yep, one cent! The cashier looked at me, raised his eyebrows and I did the same to him. A manager standing there noticed and looked at the register and told him he could sell them to me for $0.01, but that when something rings up at that price it means it's been recalled (I guess they are discontinuing them) and needs to be pulled from the shelf...and though he could sell it to me at that price, I could not go get another one. (it was the last one, so I wasn't worried about it.)
So, (sorry to have such a long story...) I now have Graphitints to play with!!! :clap: ...and I had extra money to buy a few more things I was wanting...THANK YOU Robert for introducing the Graphitints to me. :D

10-04-2010, 08:55 PM
I love pastels, you did such a good job

10-04-2010, 09:45 PM
What a lucky deal Epoh! I'm so jealous! I wish retailers would make mistakes like that with me :)

10-05-2010, 01:16 AM
Great work on the pastels Robert - I'm enjoying all of your work!

10-05-2010, 01:18 AM
Nice pastel piece, Robert! Boy, I hope that Derwent isn't discontinuing Graphitints, and maybe it's just a Michael's stocking decision. I'm really liking them...

10-05-2010, 09:49 AM
I think Graphitints may have to be on my list of "want to try"! These are great! The pastel is lovely as well, nice colours and quite bold even for a quiet scene!

10-05-2010, 12:23 PM
John (and anyone else who's wondering..)
I don't think that Graphitints are being discontinued all together. I got the 24 pack, those were the ones on clearance...they still had smaller packs at regular price. They may just be discontinuing the large pack. And, honestly, who knows if that was the real reason they were ringing up like that. :)

10-05-2010, 12:26 PM
Hope, that is so great! You really lucked! A full set of Graphitints for a penny? Super deal! Enjoy them! Not all the colors are lightfast, but they're great for sketchbooks. My guess is that Derwent is going to be reformulating them.

Thanks for all your comments on my pastel painting! I had fun with it. I wanted to try that 20 stroke challenge from the point Deborah Secor posted a thread for it in the soft pastel talk forum a couple of months ago... and I'm so glad it worked. It surprised me how well it worked.

I'll be doing a wide variety of mediums this month. Today I went back to watercolor pencils and then pen with watercolor for some Color Explorations. I have the 66 Try-It Dots from Daniel Smith and these are paint outs of the colors, little pen doodles colored in monochrome.

Color Explorations and Nectarine
8 1/2" x 11"
Derwent watercolor pencils, Pigma Micron pen and watercolor
Pentalic Nature Sketch 130lb heavy drawing paper.

10-05-2010, 03:11 PM
nice page and glowing nectarine :>)

10-05-2010, 03:51 PM
wow, you are speeding along on this challenge. . . what page # is this one? I love what you are doing with those try it dots. VERY cool. Beautiful nectarine.

10-05-2010, 07:07 PM
Loving those colours! I like your little lizard, and that garnet genuine looks like a very nice red (as you may remember from past posts I shy away from reds but that looks stunning next to the greens!)

10-05-2010, 10:54 PM
very nice gem stone colors!

10-05-2010, 11:02 PM
Great page of sketches, Robert! I really like the nectarine, but the others are excellent as well. I'm a fan of Daniel Smith's Prima-Tek watercolors - they are a hometown company here of course, so I like to patronize them. The mineral pigments really work well for some subjects.

10-06-2010, 01:27 AM
Beautiful array of colors done as sketches.

10-06-2010, 02:36 AM
that last sketch is kewl... like how the pen works with watercolor pencils... makes me want to break out the watercolors..... great job!

10-06-2010, 12:16 PM
Thank you! Here's another page of color explorations, with an Ari sketch because I couldn't resist drawing him when he was in that pose. He's such a beautiful cat and I love sketching him. Maybe he is becoming the most-sketched cat on the planet!

Ari Sketch and Color Explorations
8 1/2" x 11"
Pigma Micron pen and 66 Daniel Smith Try-It-Dots watercolors
Pentalic Nature Sketch 130lb heavy drawing paper.
Ari is from life, everything else from imagination.

10-06-2010, 12:58 PM
Very nice, Robert! Love the cat sketch! :) I love how you use the colors so carefully..

10-06-2010, 02:18 PM
love the color exploration doodles...simple, yet beautiful! and Ari, as always, is wonderful...how she sleeps with so much vibrant color going on around her I don't know :wink2:

10-06-2010, 06:17 PM

10-06-2010, 06:44 PM
uhm, I hate to be ignorant, but what is a try it dot?

And the colors are to dye for :evil:

10-06-2010, 09:25 PM
Maybe Ari is dreaming all those lovely colors.

Great sketches instead of boring squares to test colors.

10-06-2010, 09:42 PM
I like your new method of doing color swatches Rob!:) You certainly have plenty of practice doing the regular ones. Of course Ari looks the star of the show as he always does.

I tried my graphitints again and I think I got a defective bunch, maybe the leads got left in the kiln too long. Mine are hard hard hard, more like a 3H pencil than an 8b, they don't smudge at all and no matter how hard I tried to scrub the color on they were a profound failure.

I will try to get my photos and thread up tomorrow at which point I will post the latest failed attempt at graphitints. They are officially going in the trash, I can't stand to even sketch with them.

I'm behind posting I know, I went to a pastel class on Saturday and did my first pastel! And yesterday I started a 4 week class/workshop painting plein air with Ron Rencher. Another first for me in a week, and that involved a 160 mile round trip so maybe I'll be back on track tomorrow. I had my daughters rescue puppy today after her being spayed yesterday and trying to keep her and my pit bull Beatrice from playing too hard consumed my whole day. :wave:


10-07-2010, 01:45 AM
What a great and creative group of sketches!

10-07-2010, 09:13 AM
another lovely page with all those great DS watercolors. I love that little bird, he's so cute and a somber color among all those brights. great curled up Ari

10-07-2010, 11:11 AM
Thank you! LOL the pun, Jen. Colors to dye for. Yep. The "Try It Dots" are a sheet of 66 dried dots of Daniel Smith watercolor that you can get for $4.95 from Daniel Smith at their website (the only place you can buy their watercolors) to try a lot of colors at once instead of buying 15ml tubes of expensive colors - happily they included lots of the most expensive colors I've put off buying, like Lapis Lazuli Genuine and Garnet Genuine.

I saw a sale on at Daniel Smith where you get the 66 try it dots free with any watercolor order, which is a great deal if they're still running it. I don't know if it's ended but it's worth checking out.

Margo, email Derwent and explain about your Graphitints. I had one pencil come out hard like that in my original set and all the others were quite soft. Once in a while there is a batch problem. Yay for your first pastel painting and the plein air group, that sounds like so much fun.

I'm still down with the cold that has lingered on, heading toward two weeks of misery now, sleeping most of the time so I know I'm commenting less on others' threads. Sorry about that. Right now I'm just desperately trying to keep up on my own challenge and get past this cold or flu or whatever it is.

10-07-2010, 11:48 AM
Sorry to hear you've been under the weather for so long, Robert! I'm glad you are at least able to do some of your own painting to counteract some of that misery.

As always, your work is gorgeous. I especially like your color swatch mini's. And Ari, of course - he's always adorable. And thanks for mentioning the Try-it-Dots. Will have to check into that!


10-07-2010, 03:24 PM
Thanks, Jean! Daniel Smith isn't doing them free any more, but does have free shipping on any size order till the end of the month. They're well worth the $4.95, give you a chance to try so many different colors. Watch for sets, if you like the Cadmium Hues they come in a set (and are non toxic), also there's several Primatek Sets featuring the various mineral colors and teh Interference Colors come in a set. They're usually a lot cheaper in sets, especially when they're doing free shipping.

Still miserably sick today, but I watched "Big Cat Diary" on Netflix and did some sketching from video, comes as close as I can to plein air when I'm stuck at home like this. Most are one or two minute gestures. I paused the screen to do the five minute lioness at bottom left.

Sketches from Big Cat Diary video
8 1/2" x 11"
Koh I Noor Polycolor drawing leads, russet, dark brown, yellow ochre
Pentalic Nature Sketch

10-07-2010, 04:10 PM
lovely big cat sketches

I love big cat diary - especially the cheetahs, they have such a tough time

Hope you are feeling better soon - if not maybe you should see your doctor? colds shouldn't last that long unless there is another underlying problem.

10-07-2010, 06:04 PM
The underlying problem is just that I have so little body energy. Colds last longer for me, they always do, and knock me out harder. Anything the kids bring home I'll catch it because my immune system is too busy beating up my nervous system setting off false alarms with the fibromyalgia. I know what it is and I hate going to doctors, so it has to get a lot worse before I'd call in. Thanks for the thought though.

Glad you like my big cat sketches. Three lionesses, two leopards, a cheetah and a tree. The only one I paused for was the five minute lioness.

10-07-2010, 06:13 PM
beautiful cat sketches. . . your drawing Ari all the time has sure made you a master of the cat form of all sizes to be able to capture it so well in a minute or two! Wow.

10-07-2010, 08:24 PM
Really nice cat page, Robert! The likenesses are really there species by species.

10-07-2010, 10:55 PM
Big kitties. So cool.

Feel better, colds are horrid when they hang on.

Vivien Maloney
10-07-2010, 11:38 PM
Hope you're feeling better soon. You can see the practice you've put in with drawing Ari - it shows in your big cat sketches, fabulous!

10-08-2010, 12:42 AM
Purr thank you! That's been some of my goal with all my Ari sketches - to get so familiar with the feline form that when I do any other cat, I'm looking at him or her as variations on Ari. I know his motions. Poses that I've never sketched him in still make sense to me with other cats.

I pulled a lot of big cat references out of the RIL too for doing another batch of cats, might take my time with some of them. Or go back for season 2 of Big Cat Diary and see what I come up with.

10-08-2010, 12:42 AM
Great job Robert, those big cats look great... think I might try to catch that vid... get well soon... take some vitamin D and C.

WC Lee
10-08-2010, 03:54 AM
great job sketching the big cats :) video is a wonderful source, better than photos though the only problem is that they don't keep the camera on the subject long enough.

10-08-2010, 04:02 AM
I like your big cats Rob, but your little cat Ari is super cute!

10-08-2010, 05:16 AM
Sorry to hear you are feeling so low Robert, I can't believe you still produce so much even when feeling unwell! I go into complete shutdown ;)

The big cat sketches are great - I am in awe you do most of it without pause!

10-08-2010, 11:02 AM
awesome job sketching from video...I love watching those kind of shows, and I know how quick a view one gets! I agree with everyone else, your practice drawing Ari really shows with these sketches! :cat:

hope you feel better soon!

10-08-2010, 06:15 PM
Great sketches on the cats - I'll have to see the video! Hope you are feeling better very soon~

10-08-2010, 06:43 PM
Thank you. I'm still feeling awful today, but the symptoms are changing in ways that mean it might be breaking up. I'm not sure if I'll have a page for today or not, pain is running pretty high right now.

10-08-2010, 07:44 PM
So sorry to hear that Robert. . . here is crossing fingers that you feel better soon. :crossfingers:

10-09-2010, 02:48 AM
Hi Robert


The Graphitints demo is fantastic - THANKYOU sooooo much for all of your effort!

Scavenger Hunbt #194 items 16-18, LOOOOOOOVE Ari (of course!), but the siplock bag is EXCELLENT, you have achieved great transparency and depth!

SH#194 items 19-20 are GORGEOUS, I could only imagine how beautiful those interference colours look in real life!!!!!

The 20 Stroke Pastel Landscape is very good and an interesting experiement!

The Nectarine is sooooo GORGEOUS and full of depth and richness in colour!!!!

The colour dot's experiements of various objects are just BEAUTIFUL!!!!

Ari is once again gorgeous!

Fantastic sketches of the Big Cats, especially the 5 min one - very well done and FANTASTIC details!!!!!

Gentle Hugs, Stacey:grouphug:

10-09-2010, 12:06 PM
Great "big cat" series. Feel better soon!

10-09-2010, 12:17 PM
Thanks for all your comments! I'll probably do something today - been sleeping a lot. This is good, because if I'm getting that sleepy my body's rallying all energy to throwing it off. Got an irresistible WDE image to sketch anyway.

Cat in Sink
8 1/2" x 11"
Charcoal (Cretacolor drawing lead charcoal)
Pentalic Nature Sketch sketchbook
Photo reference by artastic for Weekend Drawing Event 10-8

10-09-2010, 02:17 PM
oh, what an adorable drawing! love that. And the caption! :)

10-09-2010, 03:50 PM
our cat used to sleep in the bowl like that!

rest and recover

10-09-2010, 05:07 PM
Thanks! Yeah, I've seen it more than once. I think cats love anything shaped like that, they curl up in it and have real back support while they sleep. Also when it's hot the porcelain's pleasantly cool. I'm still coughing and wheezing, feeling horrible, but got in another page today. That'll help me keep up.

Cats and Cactus Fruit, Page 13 October Sketchbook Challenge
8 1/2" x 11"
Derwent watercolour pencils, some sketches washed
Pentalic Nature Sketch 130lb unsized heavy drawing paper.
Life or video "Big Cat Diary" for leopard.

10-09-2010, 06:19 PM
Sleep is good when you aren't feeling well. Listen to you body and take the sleep. A lot of the body healing itself needs to be done while sleeping, hormonal changes and such. Don't worry too much about keeping up. Once you feel better, you are such a prolific sketcher you'll be able to fill your sketchbook in no time.

Love all the kitty drawings. Ari especially. The cactus fruit, is that a prickly pear?

10-09-2010, 08:24 PM
Thanks. Yeah, I think you're right about the sleep, at least it cuts the amount of conscious misery when I can actually sleep. I should be at page 16 to be on par for this so three pages isn't too far behind. Not if the bug lightens up anyway.

The supermarket listing was Cactus Pear so I presume it's probably a prickly pear. It's got very sharp tiny short spines on it that got into my fingers.

10-09-2010, 08:44 PM

gee, one sketch per page would fill that puppy up right quick!

10-09-2010, 08:53 PM
poor you - it's horrible feeling unwell for so long :( Sleep while you need it - it can't hurt!

however! I love the 3 min sketch of Ari, we can see so much detail of his face and the cactus fruit seems quite luminous next to the tonal work.

10-09-2010, 09:33 PM
Love the kitty drawings :) especially with the added caption on the WDE kitty. Reminds me of my cat who always hangs out in the sink when we're taking showers, and I get sooooo tempted to turn that faucet on. Have set it on a drip on occasion and she just gets confused. Water doesn't normally bug her unless it's a bath... then she's not such a happy cat.

10-10-2010, 12:38 AM
Love that cat in the sink sketch! Great pages.

10-10-2010, 01:38 AM
Purr thank you! I pulled some big cat references from the RIL and I've still got several seasons of Big Cat Diary to go through, so I may do some more felines tomorrow. Thought I was improving but then it got worse again - this is yucky. I wish the dang bug would just give up and go away, I've been sick way too long with it. Weather's changing a lot too and that doesn't help either.

Ari has been comforting though, he just came up and snuggled me.

Vivien Maloney
10-10-2010, 04:11 AM
Love the expression on the cat's face in your WDE one! He looks as if he's thinking "Just you try and shift me and see what happens".

10-10-2010, 05:36 PM
lovely cats :) and the prickly pear is great - I used to like them when I lived in Malta

I can never sleep when I have a cough so hope you can - if you can that was good advice, sleep lots, it's healing.

10-10-2010, 06:24 PM
Great work on the sketches - love the colorful prickly pear!

10-10-2010, 10:17 PM
More great drawings, Robert - especially the cats of course! I empathize with the hanging-on cold. I've been there - one time for several months following a really bad case of the flu.

10-11-2010, 03:32 PM
Funky cactus fruit :)

10-11-2010, 05:38 PM
Thank you! Today's still more of the same, not sure how well I'll do when I'm still passing out from the bug. I can't wait till this is done with, though maybe sleeping this much can help knock it out.

10-12-2010, 02:50 PM
great cats! looks like you have really been working!

10-12-2010, 07:48 PM
Thank you! Today I've got another page - yesterday I was just sleeping for most of it, this cold has been so bad for the body energy deficit. Seems like the longer it lasts the less energy I have. But today I got in a page, using an RIL image for my leopard.

Leopard study and Megalodon tooth
Page 14, October Sketchbook
8 1/2" x 11"
Sakura Pigma Micron size 05 pen, Daniel Smith "Color Map" set watercolors
Photo reference from RIL by stribb.

10-12-2010, 07:51 PM
Excellent leopard, Robert! So sorry to hear you're still under the weather. I've been there - hang in there!

10-12-2010, 09:19 PM
Really like the pen work on the leopard.

Sorry you're still feeling poorly.

10-12-2010, 09:36 PM
love your leopard. you have really captured an atmosphere about him.
hope you are feeling better soon. nothing worse than a bug that just hangs on.

10-13-2010, 05:18 AM
he looks full of curiosity :)

10-14-2010, 03:44 AM
the colors and shading on your last sketch look great, I had a childhood friend who found a megalodon tooth in the trinity river, he brought it to school, it was bigger than my hand... one of those never forget moments...

10-14-2010, 03:51 AM
All excellent but the kitty in the sink especially tickles my fancy! Such a very CAT thing to do!!!

Vivien Maloney
10-14-2010, 01:58 PM
Love the Leopard! Sorry I haven't commented for a while Robert. I'm finding it difficult to comment on all the threads in the Sketchbook Challenge as there's so many, and everyone's sketchbook is wonderful and unique.

10-14-2010, 03:44 PM
Thank you! Vivien, I know the feeling, since the cold got that bad I haven't commented on most of them except at random. Thanks for stopping by! Chuck, that's incredible - the one thing better than getting a huge Megalodon tooth would be finding it yourself, your friend was so lucky. Mine's small, only two inches long, but I'm planning on getting a big one sometime.

Wysiwyg, yeah, that made the reference of the cat in the sink irresistible. Some poses are so CAT, no other creature would even think of it!

Janine, thanks, yeah, that's exactly what it's doing. Feeling better today but still stuck with the tail end of it, coughing a bit, annoyed it's not just over. Worse, my granddaughter's now got something else with a fever and body aches so I'm a bit nervous about some new bug jumping in when I haven't quite thrown off the last one. This season's rotten for that.

John, thanks! I'm still fighting it - this page is half yesterday and half today. I did the leopard yesterday and today finished off the monochrome lions. I had meant to glaze over them with a warm color but decided I liked the evening blue look of them defined just by their shadows.

More Big Cats, Page 15 of October Sketchbook Challenge
8 1/2" x 11"
Daniel Smith watercolors, "Color Map" set plus Paynes Grey
Pentalic Nature Sketch 130lb unsized cream drawing paper.
Photo references by jerri_rose (lion and lioness) and scotch196 (leopard) from Reference Image Library.

10-14-2010, 08:07 PM
I had Sascha come hang out in my room to watch Big Cat Diary with me and paint this afternoon. So I got out my 12 color Koi set and used the same paints as she did. We painted dinosaur toys and other things from life. I'm getting her into life drawing and it's cool to see her progress.

Watercolor Life Sketches, Page 16 of October Sketchbook Challenge
8 1/2" x 11"
Sakura Koi 12 color Pocket Box watercolors
Pentalic Nature Sketch 130lb heavy sketchbook paper.

10-14-2010, 09:29 PM
Glad you are feeling some better.

The lions are superb, as is the leopard in the tree. How fun to paint with your granddaughter. (Tho' I do hope you didn't get a new bug from her.)

10-14-2010, 11:29 PM
More great work, Robert! Ari certainly translates to all other members of the cat family, for sure. The blue lions are really nice in monochrome.

For November's challenge - assuming we continue it, which it seems is in line with folks' interests - I'm wondering if we could suggest to people that commenting less frequently (say, once per week) is fine even if they are posting daily or almost daily? That would reduce the work load for folks on commenting. I am enjoying all the journals greatly, but the time between doing one and commenting means I've pretty much stopped adding to my other threads on the website. (Which isn't all bad, since the sketchbook is really fun and gratifying.) Just thinking out loud... :)

10-15-2010, 01:01 AM
Hi Robert,

My LORD Man, BLINKIN REST, if you need to sleep, then SLEEP!!!!!!!!!!

Your sketches of the big cats and other putty tats are just GORGEOUS, but I still LOVE your from life sketches..... soooo much character!!!!!

Gentle Hugs, Stacey

10-15-2010, 04:29 AM
the cats show a real understanding of attitude and form and that blue marble is really lovely - very transparent and the coloured shadow with the light coming through.

10-15-2010, 01:19 PM
Hello big kitties! Yay - dinoasaurs! :) :) :)

10-15-2010, 05:51 PM
Purr thank you!

John, that seems to be the pattern I'm falling into - not commenting daily but still keeping up a few at a time and at least trying to do and post art daily. I think it's working out to everyone's comfort levels and I don't mind commenting on several entries in a given comment if it's been a few days since I checked a thread. There are so many and they are all so interesting that it's well worth batching like that. I appreciate comments no matter when they're made, including friends who stop by to comment on half a dozen new posts instead of right away when it's posted.

Did it - today got in another page. It's halfway through the month and I'm nowhere near halfway through the sketchbook, but the bug's definitely on its way out. I'm feeling better today though not up to my usual par and still have a bit of a cough and some tiredness.

Amusingly, I did catch another bug from Sascha - her 24 hour fever may be helping to knock this one out by altering my body temperature. Yesterday had the waves of fever and chills, some nausea, a few rather nasty hours but today's been the best since all this started. So maybe that actually helped! Still napped twice already today but it's better, more restful sleep.

White Marble, Leopard and Lion
Page 17 of my October Sketchbook Challenge
8 1/2" x 11"
Koh-I-Noor Polycolor Art Set drawing leads (mechanical colored pencils)
Cretacolor leads travel set charcoal, sanguine oil and dark sepia
Pentalic Nature Sketch cream 130lb heavy drawing paper
Photo references: leopard by scotch196, lion by Crias, both from Reference Image Library. I'm enjoying all these big cat studies.

10-15-2010, 08:38 PM
Second page for today, a couple of charcoal life studies of Ari:

Ari Cat life studies
Page 18, October Sketchbook Challenge
8 1/2" x 11"
Cretacolor drawing leads set, charcoal stick
Pentalic nature sketch 130lb heavy drawing paper.

10-16-2010, 01:01 AM
Always fun to see when Ari decides to add to your artwork. Seems to be when you aren't drawing him. LOL

All the kitties are gorgeous. You do them so well.

10-16-2010, 02:32 AM
Thank you! I'm on a roll with cats, I'm really enjoying drawing Ari and any big cat that shows up on the screen. I downloaded lots of RIL big cats so I've still got more, haven't even gotten to the snow leopard yet. Or gone back for cougars.

Here's the start of my Scavenger Hunt stuff:

Scavenger Hunt 196, Items #1 - #3
Page 19 of October Sketchbook Challenge
Cretacolor charcoal lead, Derwent watercolor pencils and wash, Pigma Micron pen, Tombow brush pen
Pentalic Nature Sketch 130lb heavy cream drawing paper.

10-16-2010, 03:04 AM
those sketches look awesome.... you are on a roll!

10-16-2010, 04:19 PM
lovely sketches

Your health theory could be right - I know they say you shouldn't reduce a temperature unless it's ridiculously high as it's the body's way of killing off the infection. High temperature and the bugs can't survive. unpleasant though

10-16-2010, 06:00 PM
Thank you both! Still got some tiredness and a slight cough today but it's nothing to how miserable I was last week. I think it's really on its way out.

Second page for today, I might try for three and start catching up.

Evening Clouds above Denali
Page 20 of October Sketchbook Challenge
8 1/2" x 11"
Daniel Smith Primatek watercolor, monochrome Lapis Lazuli Genuine
Pentalic Nature Sketch 130lb unsized heavy drawing paper
Photo reference by Jakesgram for October 15-17 Weekend Drawing Event.

10-16-2010, 07:30 PM
Did it! A third page for today, this time in Pitt Artist Pens regular size brush tip. They are still my favorite sketching pens, so expressive in so many colors. I love using the brush tips and do things that others might do in marker art with them, they handle easier than regular tip markers.

Snowshoe Hare and Distant Mountain
Page 21 of October Sketchbook Challenge
Pitt Artist Pens 48 color brush tips set
Pentalic Nature Sketch 130lb heavy drawing paper
Photo references by Jakesgram for October 15-17 WDE.

10-16-2010, 08:00 PM
Glad you're back in the game, Robert! This is a great group of sketches. I think my favorites are the gourds and the Denali landscape in DS Lapis Lazuli monochrome - fits the typical climate of that area.

10-16-2010, 08:58 PM
Interesting collection of images again :)

10-17-2010, 08:24 AM
good that you are on the mend :)

10-17-2010, 12:28 PM
Love those big ears on bunny :)

10-17-2010, 04:30 PM
The watercolour sketch of Denali really caught my eye, it is great, I like the mono-colour scheme, the blue is a very 'mountain' colour.

The bunny is a winner with me too.

10-17-2010, 06:29 PM
So happy to hear you are on the mend.

The sketches are fantastic. I really like your rabbit. But, nothing compares to Ari, of course.

10-17-2010, 06:33 PM
Robert I love love love all the amazing sketches you've been making. . I've just spent a long time just looking. I'll come back and comment on some particular things I like later, but for now a quick mention of your beautiful marbles, I love marbles and you're the marble master! My grandson has just received a present of some very lovely ones, but I don't think I could manage to capture anything near their glassy shiny beautiful spheres. You can just do it. How do you get such good roundness?

10-17-2010, 06:52 PM
Thank you! Xina, one of the ways I get such good roundness is checking and rechecking the edges till it's balanced. But about half the time I cheat - I use a circle guage and sketch in the circle before planning the shading inside the marble. It's okay to use a round object to do the circle sketch first on them, that just gives a basis to work from. Saucers, small plates and the bottoms of glasses work too. You can always erase the penciled circle afterward depending on medium.

Fossil group and gourds assemblage
Page 22 of October Sketchbook Challenge
Derwent watercolor pencils, Pigma Micron pen and Daniel Smith watercolors
Pentalic Nature Sketch 130lb cream unsized drawing paper.
Everything's from life, my small fossils are to scale with the gourds at the top of the page but larger than life in the second version below.

10-17-2010, 11:53 PM
Second page for the day, odd mix of mediums! Everything's from life.

Fossils, Sleeping Cat and Calcite Crystal
Page 23 of October Sketchbook Challenge
8 1/2" x 11"
Caran d'Ache Neopastel oil pastels, Cretacolor charcoal lead, Derwent Graphitint pencils with wash
Pentalic Nature Sketch 130lb unsized cream drawing paper.
The cat is Gemini, a little female tortie who's my daughter's cat. She and the objects are from life, collection of small still life objects.

10-18-2010, 02:12 AM
Did my first page of the day watching ArtistNetworkTV.com videos, the rest of Color Crash Course with George Durkee and Textures in Pen and Ink and Watercolor with Claudia Nice. Most of it's from the Claudia Nice video. I did the green tomatoes from memory to use up some green watercolor loaded on a brush from cleaning up a palette.

Claudia Nice Exercises and Color Stuff
Page 24 of October Sketchbook Challenge
8 1/2" x 11"
Sakura Pigma Micron pens and Daniel Smith watercolors
Pentalic Nature Sketch unsized 130lb cream drawing paper.
Inspired by Claudia Nice's exercises, but drawn/painted from imagination or life, that was my calcite crystal for the rock shading exercise rather than her rocks and I made up the shape of surf crashing on rock rather than doing her painting, also chose some different colors than hers.

10-18-2010, 08:39 AM
back in full flow! a nice series and your fossils are interesting to see - I don't know Claudia Nice at all

Joan T
10-18-2010, 12:54 PM
What can I say....wonderful big and small cats, great fossils, awesome wave!!! Hope you're feeling better. I wasn't seeing you posting anywhere and I was starting to get worried about ya!

10-18-2010, 04:22 PM
Fabulous fossils. Your Nice exercises are great.

10-18-2010, 06:35 PM
Thank you! I wasn't posting much while I was in the grip of that long-lasting flu/cold, spent two weeks mostly just staring at video when not sleeping - sleeping maybe 20 hours a day sometimes like my cat. I'm very glad to be back up to speed!

Here's my second page for today and another milestone - my October sketchbook is exactly half full now. 25 pages used, 25 to go on the 18th. So I'm behind - but only by two or three days. If I get in two or three days with three or more pages, I'll be caught up again and not just not falling behind.

That's a big relief to me because usually if I fall behind on anything from getting sick, there's no chance of ever catching up. This is one of those rare times when it's doable - a few good days and I can manage it.

Some more life studies of small still life objects for the grand Mid-Page, with a lot of text for some reason.

Fossils and Shells from Life
Page 25 of my October Sketchbook Challenge - midpoint!
8 1/2" x 11"
Pigma Micron and Pitt Artist Pen "Big Brush" with watercolor
Pentalic Nature Sketch 130lb unsized cream drawing paper.
All items from life.

10-18-2010, 06:50 PM
brilliant stuff!

10-18-2010, 07:14 PM
I seriously like the pen and watercolor style of work.

10-18-2010, 08:18 PM
very kewl sketches Robert, you must like collecting fossils...

10-18-2010, 08:28 PM
wow, I like all the sketches! And to think of how sick you have been, I am quite sure I would have packed up my sketchbook and just laid around like a lump

10-18-2010, 09:34 PM
Thank you! Debby, I love doing the pen and watercolor stuff. Every time I come back to it, that becomes a joy - and gets easier and smoother.

Chuck, yep, I like collecting fossils. I had some as a kid, lost every bit of that old collection, now I'm slowly picking up a few here and there to get all my favorites again. Some of them run expensive, like the $200 large Megalodon tooth that I don't have yet but plan to get from Steve's Fossil Shark Teeth. Others might be cheap but I have to find them somewhere online, like a good small trilobite or two and some brachiopods. Sometimes friends give them to me, that makes them even more special. Each new one, I draw it a lot until I'm comfortable with it and used to it.

loobyteacher - that's basically what I did while I was sick. This is more catching up now that it's gone down to a slight cough and basically gone away. I had several days back there when I didn't do anything but curl up watching documentaries.

Third page for today - another push toward catching up! I had fun with my sepia Pigma Micron pens and watercolor plus another Big Brush sketch.

More Fossils and Shells, Sepia Penwork
Page 26 of my October Sketchbook Challenge
Pigma Micron Sepia pen set, Daniel Smith watercolors, Pitt Big Brush pens
Pentalic Nature Sketch 130lb unsized heavy drawing paper.
I used some Duochrome and Iridescent colors in the ammonite shell that partially come through in the scan, it's even more shimmering in real life. The sepia pens were a lot of fun including the brush tip one, comparable to a small brush tip Pitt Artist Pen. Everything's from life.

10-19-2010, 12:32 AM
The colors on the ammonite are so cool. Liked your little pen lesson on the bottom.

10-19-2010, 12:37 AM
I had fun with the colors on the ammonite. First I laid in a layer of Buff Titanium over the penwork, medium wash since it's an opaque pigment. I shadowed it with Sepia while it was still wet, letting the edges blend to softness and putting a little of the Sepia into the darks on the shell, so I had a value painting in soft brown-beige hues. Then I started charging in the Duochrome Oceanic and Duochrome Aquamarine and Hyacinth, just swishing the luminescent colors into the still-wet Buff Titanium.

Even with the scanner, the Duochrome and Iridescent colors from Daniel Smith show up as shimmering and iridescent. It's one of the things I like about them, they can translate to the screen fairly well compared to other iridescent colors. In person, the Duochrome colors shift hue back and forth between two related hues - blue-green and golden-green on the Oceanic, pinkish-violet on the Hyacinth and more aqua-to-green on the Aquamarine. Interference ones shift to their complements but Duochrome go to analogous colors, right next to them on the color wheel - either way the effects are spectacular.

10-19-2010, 02:30 AM
Good to see you back to your normal prolific artistic self, Robert! Great group of sketches since my last look, and as others have noted, I'm particularly taken by the colors you used on the last ammonite fossil.

10-19-2010, 09:45 AM
Excellent sketches, as always, Robert. I so enjoy seeing your work, which makes me sorry that I haven't peeked in this forum for a while. The toy dinosaurs made me smile, and I always love your sensitive sketches of Ari. Your color studies are so vibrant and exiciting that it makes me want to try that will all my colors. And last but not least, your big cats are wonderful! Great idea suggesting the October journals. Sorry I wasn't around to start one.

10-19-2010, 03:32 PM
lovely fossils, especially the delicate leaves - I must try to remember where my tiny ammonite is

Buff Titanium is a useful colour - I often use it for edges of box canvasses :)

10-19-2010, 05:51 PM
Thank you!

John, it's a vast relief to be back to being prolific - I got bored when I had the flu, that was almost the worst of it.

Michelle, a lot of folks want to do the "sketchbook in a month challenge" again in November, so there's still one ahead if you're tempted to try. It's doing wonders for my sketching ability. Half the month gone and a lot of things I had some trouble with are coming easier all the time.

Vivien, yes, try to find your tiny ammonite! I was surprised to find out how useful buff titanium is. I thought it was a color I'd never use but it's turned out valuable time and again.

10-19-2010, 08:10 PM
Today might be a really short day - I was up all night last night, then slept to 4pm or so, now starting to feel tired at seven. There was a big thunderstorm last night and that might've been what threw me off - but I might only have a one page day if I doze off before sketching any more. Still, here it is - the page I painted in watercolor. Took about three hours, both are from WDE references.

Raccoon and Tulips from Oct 17 WDE by Jakesgram
8 1/2" x 11"
Watercolors and Daniel Smith masking fluid, a little Pigma Micron detailing
Pentalic Nature Sketch 130lb unsized cream drawing paper
Photo references by Jakesgram from October 17 Weekend Drawing Event.

10-19-2010, 08:54 PM
I love the racoon, and the colors of both!

10-19-2010, 10:12 PM
The last drawing you did here gives the feeling that the freshness of the air breezes right at me.

Excellent work!


10-19-2010, 10:13 PM
Thank you! Here's something completely different - to my happy surprise I got started sketching a rock my granddaughter brought in and then just kept going sketching various still life objects and my cat with the same drawing lead.

Sepia Sketches, Page 28 of October Sketchbook Challenge
8 1/2" x 11"
Cretacolor Drawing Lead, Dark Sepia
Pentalic Nature Sketch 130lb heavy drawing paper.
All from life including sleeping Ari cat.

10-19-2010, 10:14 PM
Hey! Where did it go? I thought I was loking at the last page. The date of the drawing is October 4th. OK so now I will go enjoy the racoon.



10-19-2010, 10:24 PM
Oh dear! You were looking at this thread right when I was posting and you posted right when I was comenting on my comment.

Today has officially turned into "Racoon Day"

What happened is that last night on the way home from school or this morning on the way to school I saw a dead racoon on the road. Then tonight on the way home, I saw in the same place almost where I saw the dead racoon something round in the opposite side of the road. I saw the sad and silent eyes looking for an answer watching me pass by of a racoon which was the round something.

Animals mourn and my sense of the expression of this creature's eyes, was looking for why and how just like people do. He/she must have either seen the friend or relative die or found the dead body last night or this morning.

What really bothers me about road kill is that it is always the slow animals that get run over such as skunks and coons and porcupines.

It is interesting that you were born just days before me, are my best friend online and that you drew a coon on a day that I reflected more than just in passing about them.

What brought you to draw this and when was it drawn? Just curious.


10-19-2010, 11:36 PM
Very nice raccoon sketch, its great that your granddaughter inspired your sketching day! Wow 28 pages and you had a slow day!!!

10-20-2010, 07:41 AM
Thank you! Chuck, that's 28 pages so far for the entire month, not 28 pages in one day on a slow day. The slow day was just doing two instead of three, not pushing to catch up on the days I missed when I was sick.

Diana, what prompted me was deciding to do some WDE images before the week's over. I'd done a lot of small objects from life and decided to work from references. I saw the raccoon photo on Friday when Jean posted them and knew I wanted to get to him before the event was over. It was an experiment doing him in watercolor rather than pen and watercolor, but I'm happy with the fur texture and his interesting eyes. The reflection on them was a soft blue sky-reflection rather than the intense white catchlight of a photo light, that intrigued me too. I had fun with the leafy background again, still working on random leaf shapes and giving an impression of foliage.

It's sad about road killed animals. Armadillos are another common victim in some parts of the country. They do mourn and probably get confused too, since cars don't stop to eat their kills the way most top predators do. I also have a friend who's into raccoons the way I'm into cats, so painting the raccoon made me think of her.

10-20-2010, 09:09 AM
When I was a kid a local girl had a racoon as a pet. I think she brought it to school one day. Last year while housesitting for someone a coon would sit on the back porch hoping to let itself into the cat door for a treat. On a couple of occassions I was able to look into its face for a bit, we made eye contact and connected non verbally as beings. It was a pleasant experience. I really like racoons' personality.

Is that drawing in a sketchbook or out loose? I like it.


10-20-2010, 12:34 PM
Love the burst of colours in the raccoon and the flower pieces.

10-20-2010, 12:58 PM
Diana, it's in a sketchbook. Everything I'm doing this month is in the same Pentalic Nature Sketch, since I'm trying to fill it before November 1st. I chose that one because I could use so many different mediums on that paper.

EP, thank you!

Here's my first page for today, using Sennelier oil pastels.

California Coast and Rock with Gourds
8 1/2" x 11"
Sennelier oil pastels 15 color Cube set
Pentalic Nature Sketch 130lb cream heavy unsized paper
Photo reference for California Coast by halthepainter for October OP Challenge.

10-20-2010, 02:48 PM
really nice series :)

Sennelier oil pastels are so much nicer than any others aren't they?

I tend only to use them with other media, never alone, You've used them well

10-20-2010, 03:17 PM
Thank you! Yes, Senneliers are so much softer than all the rest. They're the most like painting. They're one of my two favorites, the other being Caran d'Ache Neopastel. Every time I use them, I rediscover how much I really like them. One of these times I'll invest in the full range set.

Gerbera Daisies in Blue Glass Vase
Page 29 of October Sketchbook Challenge
8 1/2" x 11"
Daniel Smith watercolors from Project Book Kit:
Quinacridone Rose, Pthalo Blue Red Shade, Hansa Yellow Light
Pentalic Nature Sketch 130lb unsized cream drawing paper.
Inspired by Daniel Smith Project Book, the first project. Rather than using the project sketch I adapted it by memory to correct perspective problems on the vase and rearrange the flowers to suit myself. These colors would make a splendid Primary Triad. Though I used up all the Hansa Yellow, I still have plenty of blue and rose left now that it's done.

10-20-2010, 06:47 PM
Third page for today! I might even make it to four, the sun's still up. I think that'd get me actually caught up for the days I missed - it'd be fantastic!

Actually I need two more pages to reach page 33, the 2/3 point for the book - and today is about 2/3 through the month. So I'm getting close to caught up anyway. I'll definitely go for four and see what happens. Got a good idea commenting on another thread. Meanwhile, here are some more creative paint-outs from my Try-It-Dots page of Daniel Smith watercolors. I have some of these colors but others are new to me.

66 Try-It-Dots Page, Daniel Smith Watercolors Paint-Outs
Page 31 of October Sketchbook Challenge
8 1/2" x 11"
Pitt Artist Pens, Pigma Micron pen, 66 try-it-dots sheet of DS watercolors
Pentalic Nature Sketch 130lb unsized cream drawing paper.
All from imagination or memory.

10-20-2010, 08:18 PM
Page four for today! With the Dewdrop on Leaf Veins demo, only a simple one with three or four colors.

4 last Try-It-Dots and Dewdrop on Leaf Veins lesson
Page 32 of October Sketchbook Challenge
8 1/2" x 11"
Pigma Micron pen, Daniel Smith watercolors and Raffine colored pencils
Pentalic Nature Sketch 130lb heavy, toothy cream drawing paper.
Designs from imagination and memory. Dewdrop on Leaf Veins demo requires three shades of leaf color plus yellow for crescent highlight, or a related extra light color like beige or cream. Colorless blender is optional, I just burnished with the light colors.

10-20-2010, 08:18 PM
Your work is getting very rich in quality. Lovin' it.

Busy night tonight. Will look at other artists later.


10-20-2010, 08:25 PM
continuing on with excellent experiments and sketches Robert!

10-20-2010, 09:57 PM
Robert, your Oct sketchbook is lovely. That red ochre barn is great. . . love the colored pencil dewdrop on the leaf. I love what you did with the Gerber Daisy project, making it your own as you did. BEAUTIFUL!

But I admit that the oil pastel sketches are my favs. . . I just adore that medium and love to see the works you do with it. Always awesome!

10-20-2010, 10:07 PM
Oh my, you are catching up! The raccoon is just gorgeous. Love the blue highlight in the eyes. Your little pictures to test colors are always a treat. The demo of water droplet on a leaf in colored pencils is great.

10-20-2010, 10:13 PM
I like the way you use pastels, the pencils and watercolor sketches look excellent too! I meant your slow day is one sketch, where as 1 sketch for me would be a busy day lol... I see now you had a busy day...Great work.

10-21-2010, 12:03 AM
Nice work on all these, Robert! You are the man of many media, for sure! The oil pastel landscape is great, and it's nice to see the irridescent colors in use. I bought a couple of them but they're still sitting unused at this point.

10-21-2010, 01:04 AM
The dewdrop is terrific! You note that Gamboge originally came from cow urine. I cannot help but wonder who discovered that and what possessed him to try....:lol:

10-21-2010, 04:09 AM
Thank you all! Today was a massive effort. Most of those pages weren't just quick sketches of fifteen minutes or so, they took two to four hours each. Starting with the good pastel painting of the seascape, that one itself was a good four hours and then a twenty minute painting of the gourds and rock because that was easy and filled the space using the same pastels. I probably spent about 12-14 hours sketching and painting all total, though some of that was watching paint dry and I took breaks during the oil pastel painting.

Chuck - yes. I built up to that slowly. For a long time, a slow day was "One sketch, it can be a two minute gesture sketch of my cat sleeping." Many times I'd have a bad day and wind up spending two minutes scribbling the shape of a round furry blob with an ear sticking out. I've kept up daily drawing for almost two years, with a few breaks for different things happening. About a year steadily now.

The result was amazing. I look back at my older sketchbooks and everything I'm doing now is so much better, no matter what medium I do it in. It crept up on me. That kind of practice produces very fast results. But I got into the habit the easy way by allowing myself fast "Gesture" drawings that didn't have to come out well at all. I often use brush pens for those, or ball points, or something that doesn't allow much detail like charcoal or Conte.

One result of course was that by deciding "my sleeping cat" was the default, I got a whole lot better at cat anatomy and his markings and shape in particular because I drew him so many times. The fast gestures taught me as much as slow detailed drawings - more sometimes, because I'd get lively poses doing the gestures without worrying about whether I finished or detailed it. I got used to coloring in ears and mask after he moved anyway.

With this challenge, I can see that I'm improving fast just this month. Stepping it up to "a page" as a minimum day got me doing a lot more than just one sketch, or working really large which is its own benefit. Sometimes my large sketches look better on the page now, like Gerbera, it's easier to place them. Other times I just balance it by adding a smaller one like the gourds under the seascape.

But the bare minimum is still to spend two or three minutes drawing my cat with whatever comes to hand. That keeps the habit going - and teaches a lot that I had a hard time with when I paid a lot more attention to detail and textures and measuring. I'm better at eyeball measuring now after all those gestures, and it didn't matter how many dozens of distorted cats wound up in sketchbooks last year. The current ones look like him, better every time. So if you want to try that, pick something you really love to draw and will never get tired of drawing to be the "easy" one that you come back to and do a gesture of if there isn't time for anything else. It finally improved my grasp of lions, my raccoon, any animal I drew - knowing cat proportions showed me where the raccoon's were different.

Rainy, thanks! Oil pastels are one of my favorites too. I don't spend nearly as much time with them as I want to because they're not quite as clean and lazy as watercolor, they take some setup and I need to wash my hands afterward. But whenever I do them I come back to "These are great!"

Now I need to come up with a good article to write for my OP site and decorate with that seascape. Maybe something about doing water.

John, the luminescent Daniel Smith colors are fantastic - over other colors. They look great on black. They look fantastic as a glaze over a similar or related color or several related colors most of all. What I would love to see you do of all artists, is to paint a grackle starting with ink and brush, pen and ink wash grackle, then go in with watercolor and use your Luminescent colors to capture the iridescence of his neck feathers. I've always loved the grackle or pigeon iridescence, and those paints can capture it true to life in person. I actually bought the spectrum of them with things like pigeons and grackles in mind, as well as oil slicks - then used the blue ones glazing over a coral reef with fantastic effect.

Interference Green works really well over reserved white to do seafoam. If I don't leave any white bare, it stays light enough to keep the white appearance but sparkles like real seafoam switching back and forth between green and red-violet. Interference Lilac would work well with it for that, with some areas shifting one way and others the other, both colors glimmering. Got to try that now that I have the set.

Candi, that startled me when I first read it on the Winsor & Newton site, that the original Gamboge color came from feeding cows on mango leaves, then preparing their urine. A lot of traditional colors came from unusual sources. "Mummy" came from the asphaltum in cat and bird mummies from Egypt, mostly, though I think some human ones got ground into pigment too. Eventually it was duplicated without desecrating any sacred dead.

I think the idea for it must have come from people seeing the color of the urine after cows lived on those leaves just because they were local. India has many brilliant colors and uses that gamboge hue often in traditional art - if people had trouble getting the yellow stains out of barn floors or rags, they'd think of processing the urine for a dye or pigment. Urine gets used for a fair number of chemical processes to this day, in tanning and so on, so it wasn't that weird an idea to stain things by feeding animals a food that made their urine stain things.

None of the sites mentioned an inventor, only that gamboge as such was a historical pigment. So it was probably just used traditionally rather than invented by someone who got rich on it and became famous. New Gamboge is just as useful. I actually like it much better than Cadmium Yellow Medium because it's so transparent. Its "mass tone" - the color right out of the tube - is a good warm orangy-yellow about like Cadmium Yellow Medium. But thin it and instead of turning lighter orangy, it turns brighter yellow and leans cooler, more toward a spectrum yellow. That makes it so useful for shading and mixing.

I tend to like transparent colors more than opaques, though I'm learning to use opaque colors effectively. Having the same hue in three different degrees of transparency could be very useful - New Gamboge for super transparent, Cadmium Yellow Medium Hue from Daniel Smith for semi-transparent, and real Cadmium Yellow Medium when I want it as strongly opaque as yellow ochre usually is. That means I can control the effects, cover over what I'm painting or not, mix and keep transparency or mix and strengthen it.

If tomorrow I get a three-page day, I am completely caught up to where I ought to be to finish within the month. I'm just one extra page short of it now - and that's a narrow estimate, by a generous one I reached that point today with the big four page day. So naturally I want to have another big day so that I can start getting ahead.

If I get ahead, I might have the time to also do some things on separate sheets of sanded paper or aquabord or other stand alone surfaces as well as work on my sketchbook. I made the sketchbook a priority but I have some other temptations sitting around too, like a brand new unused set of 72 Unison pastels that I love and hesitate to use for the first time inside a sketchbook, rather than out on archival paper for a splendid painting.

Then again I could use them just to start getting used to them, maybe prime a page for them so I have the same surface. I've got oil pastels in it, maybe a good pastel painting would be great too. Or a sketch in Unisons just because I have them and can do it. Depends how I feel tomorrow.

Today feels like a vast relief - I know I'm more or less caught up, so I don't have to stress over whether I can finish in time. Just one more "extra page" day is very easy to contemplate. Anything more than that gets me ahead!

10-22-2010, 12:32 AM
Just one page for today, some freehand sketches of the pecan trees outside my window, their leaves and the somewhat dilapidated Virginia creeper on it that's starting to lose leaves. Normally it's five leaves to a cluster but they're turning red and dropping off.

Pecan tree gestures, page 33 of October Sketchbook Challenge
8 1/2" x 11"
Pitt Artist Pen "Big Brush" black
Pentalic Nature Sketch 130lb heavy unsized drawing paper.

10-22-2010, 11:38 AM
More with Pitt pens to start the day - today's going to be interesting because I'm planning a painting that's not going to be in this sketchbook, but I wanted to get some pages done and some practice with my pretty subject. Smudge is a beautiful cat. I've done her once before but now I've got a whole series of new great references from lonelm and I want to sketch as many as possible before embarking on the pen and watercolor final version.

Or pastels, I might use pastels for the final version. Not sure, will know when I do it. But here's the first three studies!

Smudge Studies, page 34 of October Sketchbook Challenge
8 1/2" x 11"
Pitt Artist Pens, 12 Big Brush, 48 Brush Tip
Pentalic Nature Sketch 130lb heavy cream paper.
Photo references by lonelm of model Smudge.

10-22-2010, 11:51 AM
Robert, I love the oil pastel sketches, and the sketches of Smudge. :-)

10-22-2010, 12:58 PM
Thank you! Here's another page of Pitt pen stuff - this time a short demo on using the Pitt pens. I just got the idea for it looking at my hand holding the pen and decided to do it.

More Smudge to come!

Pitt Artist Pens Demo, Page 35 of October Sketchbook Challenge
8 1/2" x 11"
Pitt Artist Pens, 12 Big Brush, 48 Brush Tip
Pentalic Nature Sketch 130lb cream drawing paper.
From life and imagination. Try this at home! These pens are fun!

10-22-2010, 01:00 PM
all nice but the water on the leaf and the inquisitive face of the cat are speciallly nice

10-22-2010, 01:06 PM
Loving the Smudge page. She says it is purrfect. Going through your pages it is an amazing adventure. I think it is such a great idea and great way to loosen up your style. I love the instructional part of it too, great learning possibility. Great work Robert.

10-22-2010, 01:10 PM
WONDERFUL Smudge drawings, esp. that last one. Man those eyes are really awesome. Love it.

And that shark is just too cute and FUN! :)

10-22-2010, 05:17 PM
Purrr thank you! I wonder sometimes if I'm overdoing it on doing demos - but then maybe not. I am so glad when people like them! That one was just fun. I'd meant to do some more Smudge studies but I looked at my hand with the pen and realized I had only just discovered how to get that broken color effect doing the plaid cushion Smudge is on. So I wrote that up and filled the page with other stuff about Pitt pens.

Here's another experiment I've seen friends do often - cover an area with charcoal and smudge it in, then draw with a kneaded eraser! So naturally I had to do a smudge portrait of Smudge!

More Smudge-y Fun!
Page 36 of October Sketchbook Challenge
8 1/2" x 11"
Pitt Artist Pens brush tip, Cretacolor drawing leads charcoal and chalk, General's white charcoal pencil, Blick matte fixative
Photo references by lonelm of lovely cat Smudge.
I scraped charcoal over the smudge area, smudged it in with my fingers, sketched a little more on it and smudged again. Then pulled out her light areas with a kneaded eraser molding it to a point. Then accented her darks with the charcoal lead and her whites with the chalk lead. I sprayed Blick matte fixative and that darkened her whites, so I restated them with a General's White Charcoal pencil that came out a bit softer and stronger than the Cretacolor chalk white. Smudge looks almost saintly looking up like that - she must have been up to something!

10-22-2010, 05:24 PM
Very cool Smudge studies. Like the pen demo too. I appreciate the demo's. There is so much I'm still learning about how to make the tools of art do what is needed to create what I want something to look like.

10-22-2010, 05:55 PM
Love the overlay of markers :)

10-22-2010, 07:43 PM
You are really capturing her character Robert. She is feeling pretty proud of herself to be sketched so many times in one day. Beautiful and the last one is so kittenish.

10-22-2010, 09:10 PM
Hey that's interesting how you gained experience in your art... I have an outdoor cat, but she only comes around for food... and my wife doesn't like me to draw her, she thinks I make her chin to big lol... might have to find me a manikin head to study...

page 36 is awesome....that pitt pen stuff is interesting too,.... great job

10-23-2010, 01:43 AM
Thank you! Debby, I'm so glad you like the demos. I sometimes think I overdo it doing them but I'm so glad they interest people.

EP, thanks! The 12 color Pitt pen set has very well chosen hues, I found it much easier to extend by mixingthan I thought it would be based on the original six color sets of Pitt pens.

Judy, thank you so much. Since you have the Real Smudge there for comparison, your liking this warms my heart. They always have kittenish moods!

Chuck, thanks! It's something I hoped would happen but it's coming faster and bigger than I expected even with an optimistic view. It may help with your outdoor cat to take a camera out after her at first, work from your photos - cats do not pose very long. Even if you get her chin large, if you sketch her often eventually you'll get her proportions right. Also, I have seen cats with big chins!

Glad you liked the Pitt pen stuff. Give it a try sometime! I love those for quick sketching, even more than pencils or charcoal now. They're so bold and expressive, even though I can't erase it's much easier to get the essential lines and masses in with them. I started messing with brush pens just using a black and a gray Tombow brush pen for notans, but then the Pitt pens intrigued me being archival. Now I can't help reaching for them all the time. I used up an entire set of 48 recently and replaced it in a swap.

10-23-2010, 07:39 AM
Wow! I love the "smudge" sketch of Smudge. :-) We used to do smudge sketches in life drawing class, but I never really got any good at it.

10-23-2010, 11:10 AM
very saintly! :)

Joan T
10-23-2010, 11:22 AM
Robert, Great job on all the shells and teeth. Love that raccoon! You are such a pro at doing animal fur after all your practice with Air. Beautiful tulips. Fun and different look to the sepia sketchs...especially the gourds. Great pages of Try-It-Dots. Those sketches of Smudge are wonderful. My two favorites are the one with his open orange eyes and the one where you used the eraser, or as I'm now thinking of it as "St. Smudge." lol

10-23-2010, 02:08 PM
I absolutly love your sketch book Robert, beautiful layout, full of great sketches and also its something you can refere to in the future.
You have totally inspired me to start one.

10-23-2010, 09:38 PM
Thank you! Chloe, I'm so glad you want to start one. It's more rewarding than I can say - I can't believe how much better the loose sketches are getting now, how much more confidence I've built in only 20 days or so.

Michelle, I saw so many friends do smudge drawings like that but only tried it once. This time it worked! It's fun, it's a hoot to smear and smear and then start creatively erasing. Like drawing with white but with the messiness fun too. Thank you!

Vivien, thanks!

Joan, so happy to read your comments! Thanks for reading so far back to catch so many of them.

Tonight's page might be the only one, the weather turned nasty because there's going to be a thunderstorm tomorrow. Right before a storm my back and joints act up a lot, but when it breaks I feel much better and energized. So I might be doing a lot when the storm's actually going!

I wasn't going to wash the moose, but once I did I liked it better.

Moose and Gourds, Page 37 of October Sketchbook Challenge
8 1/2" x 11"
Derwent Graphitint set of 12
Pentalic Nature Sketch 130lb heavy drawing paper
Photo references by Justjean for Weekend Drawing Event starting Oct 22.

10-23-2010, 09:45 PM
Robert you really captured the moose. They are such regal beasts. I really love the gourds. Great job all around.

10-23-2010, 10:11 PM

The sketches of Smudge are extremely nice! I really like the character and expressiveness you got with the charcoal sketch - that worked out particularly well.

10-23-2010, 11:08 PM
The moose is so delightful.

The gourds are lovely fall colors.

10-24-2010, 01:20 AM
LOVE the moose. . . you got those antlers and face perfect as well as the grass. Is it all one color? beautiful textures and color on the gourds.

10-24-2010, 04:16 PM
I love the moose and the gourds are done so well. I love those graphintints

10-24-2010, 05:50 PM
The moose looks like you just ran into him in Maine!


10-25-2010, 12:30 AM
Wow, thank you! Rainy, yes, the moose and grass are all one color, monochrome Cool Brown. I used more colors on the gourds but didn't go back to change the moose, just washed him. Graphitints are fun in monochrome.

Today I almost didn't even have a page. The forecast promised thunderstorms but the front slowed down and never got here - the pressure craziness still set off the pain and fatigue so I slept a lot and hurt a lot, read a lot, didn't do much and then finally decided that one minute gestures counted. I watched a video on Discovery News with bison and tried doing the bison from memory a few minutes later, avoiding copyright problems with the reference but getting it fairly accurate even if I tilted it so it's grazing with its head downhill.

Then I tried Ari's face from memory and got that pretty well, did cat gestures, fast ones, if they're not all my best then they all taught me something. One thing is that even at the last minute on a pain day I can still do something.

Assorted Gestures, Page 38 of October Sketchbook Challenge
8 1/2" x 11"
Pitt Artist Pen brush tip (small)
Pentalic Nature Sketch 130lb heavy cream drawing paper.

10-25-2010, 02:37 PM
well done for painting through the pain

Have you tried to paint 'pain' ???????? I remember having to do that at uni. I painted what a migraine felt like (abstract). It was interesting to do.

10-25-2010, 05:07 PM
Who says bison can't graze downhill. ;)

Sorry you are in a lot of pain. Do take care of yourself. These drawings are just wonderful. The fact that you can work through your pain is amazing.

10-25-2010, 05:13 PM
Oh Robert so sorry to hear you didn't get your break in the weather. Amazing that you can work through the pain and still manage to create. Says alot about your fortitude. Hope things improve and you get some relief quickly.

10-25-2010, 06:34 PM
Thanks for everyone's comments! It's been a struggle, the past two days. Today is too, but at least I managed to get started before the sun went down. That was a biggie. This weather just will not let up.

Vivien, no, I've never tried to paint the pain. I've seen other people do it but I don't tend to think in that way - don't usually do abstractions. I might be able to do it easier as a photo manipulation - blur everything, go out of focus, turn the contrast down, turn everything gray and murky and hard to tell what's going on. I can't do that as something I'd draw, not and come out with something I'd be willing to look at as a painting anyway.

Managed a page to try the Plant Parade, but in two tries still haven't got the proportions right on the Cooktown Orchid. I'm going to try again on the next page, see what I can do with it. I usually like the Plant Parade but this month it's Australian flowers and most are very complicated - coming at a time when the weather's saying "stick to something simple, don't try for meticulous slow detail or accuracy."

Cooktown Orchid, Plant Parade
Page 39 of October Sketchbook Project
8 1/2" x 11"
Watercolor and Derwent Watercolor Pencils
Pentalic Nature Sketch 130lb unsized heavy drawing paper.
Photo reference from RIL for October Plant Parade

The weather is still doing me in. This is one time I'm dead certain that if the pain weren't as high, these would have come out better. The rain still hasn't come but it's still on that pressure-changing edge of fluctuation that makes it the worst. Back, hip, knees, ankles, hands, elbows, all joints are really feeling it and I've got less control of my hands.

10-25-2010, 07:37 PM
Cool gourds onthe previous page - the colours are so intriguing! Australian wildflowers can be quite complicated with fiddly bits, but I am sure you will master them when you are feeling up to the challenge ;)

10-25-2010, 09:43 PM
Well, three tries was the charm - I like this third orchid a lot better. Slowing down to pencil first, then ink, then paint was what worked to get around the pain. I didn't really have any more time to feel better and the thunderstorm front still hasn't arrived, but I got in this page by just trying to be careful. It worked.

Plant Parade: Cooktown Orchid, Protea, Waratah
Page 40, October Sketchbook Challenge
8 1/2" x 11"
Pigma Micron pen, Daniel Smith "Color Map" watercolors
Pentalic Nature Sketch 130lb unsized heavy drawing paper
Photo references from RIL for October Plant Parade.

I hope this weather streak changes, it'd be nice if I wasn't passing out. This is it for today, I'll probably be headed for bed within minutes.

10-25-2010, 09:48 PM
Robert lovely flowers. You certainly captured the orchid in all its splendor. Great job.

10-25-2010, 09:55 PM
Bravo - I think this is my favourite of your types of drawing Robert. You are a whizz with the pen and ink plus watercolour washes ;)

10-25-2010, 10:00 PM
OMGosh, Robert. . . those flowers rule! They are beautiful. . . I love proteas and the orchid is just perfect. I hope I can use my new Daniel Smith colors half as expertly as you do one day!

10-26-2010, 01:13 AM
Wow, thank you! Judy, I could not understand why I was getting it lopsided the first two times unless it was the pain, because I've done orchids more often than I've done roses. This one I got it with some hard work! Jackie, thank you. This style sometimes comes out better because it's got that correctable first stage, between the pencil and the inking sometimes there are quite a few erasures. I did something new on the Protea and Waratah by blocking in masses in the sketch and then detailing in the inking instead of drawing out all those little petals in detail.

Rainy, thanks! You'll surprise yourself with those Daniel Smith watercolors - they make it easier. Keep painting and you'll see. Also try the Claudia Nice stuff too - it helps to sketch first, get the proportions and masses right, get values sort of indicated anyway, then ink and then paint. It helps me a lot anyway to do that. Sometimes Claudia Nice does it the other way round though, does the watercolor first and then accents with the pen work. The pen stuff is a lot lighter if it's done after the painting but I like the heavy pen illustration style and always have.

Joan T
10-26-2010, 03:00 PM
Robert - Sorry the weather is affecting your health so badly. Hopefully sunny skies are ahead. The moose and gourds are great, but those flowers are so awesome!!! I love the richness of the color and the simplicity of just doing the flowers themselves, without backgrounds.

10-26-2010, 06:03 PM
Sorry you are still having weather pain. Hopefully the barometric pressure will ease up. The flowers in pen and watercolor are gorgeous. Thank you for showing your warm-up flowers too. Helps to see the not quite there sketches.

10-26-2010, 06:23 PM
Thank you! Today's a relief - still bad but nowhere near as bad as yesterday. I made a late start because I didn't get up till two in the afternoon, but I needed the sleep after I couldn't sleep last night. Hopefully I'll get more done today to help make up for those short days.

Here's a start, with four Scavenger Hunt items in a still life for the challenge.

Scavenger Hunt 197 Still Life Challenge
Page 41 of October Sketchbook Challenge
8 1/2" x 11"
HB graphite pencil and 4B Cretacolor graphite drawing lead
Pentalic Nature Sketch 130lb unsized heavy cream drawing paper.