View Full Version : DK's Sketchbook #6 - 5x7

10-09-2010, 08:35 PM
I finally bought a new sketchbook to replace #1. While this one isn't pocket size it's close enough. I decided the pocket size was just too limiting, I want to work larger even when doing simple sketches at the park. This is a Canson 5x7 spiral bound with hardcover. I've settled on this as my format for sketchbooks. Spiral bound is much more convenient than hard bound yet the hard cover gives plenty of support. Even in small formats the soft cover sketchbooks just bend too much.

It's been some time since I've been sketching outdoors, I've been both lazy and focused on other things. So long in fact I forgot how much I love doing it. I've been meaning to get out for a week or so but the weather hasn't cooporated. Finally this afternoon we had some sun and bearable temps so I went out to Murray Park.


This was an experiment to try a different method to represent foliage. I beleive this is considered a form of tonalism. It still takes a fair amount of time but it does provide a reasonable albiet sketchy result. I could see doing something like this as an underdrawing for a detailed drawing, kinda like painters do when they block in the shapes before refining.


This is a quick study of a tree trunk and it's roots. There were a lot of complex shapes and I had little time so it came out quite sketchy. I used a little of the tonalism technique in this too.

Sorry I haven't been around and commenting much. Since the October Challenge started you guys have gone nuts, I can't keep up! :lol:

FYI, sketchbooks #2 and #4 have been officially terminated.....with prejudice. :lol: I have just come to hate the hardbound format so much I cut out the sketches in them that I'd like to keep and cut out the rest of the blank sheets to use as scrap paper. Sketchbook #3 is still active however, though I haven't done anything in it for a while. I have done a sketch or two in #5 that I haven't posted yet, I'll have to get on that.


10-09-2010, 08:40 PM
Nice sketchy trees. I can see the shapes and bark in your tree trunk. Good to see you back around.

10-09-2010, 08:48 PM
Good stuff David, interesting to see you trying out some different techniques - it can be so easy to get in a rut with what you are comfortable with (I speak from experience ;) ).

I feel sorry for #2 and #4 - officially terminated with prejudice!! :lol:

10-10-2010, 01:02 AM
Great tree sketches, I like the way you have bought out the feel of the bark, trunk and roots of the tree with the linework.

It does all sound a bit drastic for books #2 & #4, are you sure they could not be given a second chance!?!

I rarely try and work outdoors, it is something I must try more. I get easily distracted by the elements, people, dogs, birds, whatever is there really.

I know what you mean by being time poor to do art, this project has been great at keeping me focused and working.

Vivien Maloney
10-10-2010, 04:08 AM
Nice tree sketches. I know what you mean about hard-bound sketchbooks, I hate them too. I find that, after using a selection of sketchbooks, I like the spiral ones best, but it's just what we get used to I guess.

10-10-2010, 07:10 PM
Thanks for the comments guys.

Linda, you really should get outside and sketch more. It's one of my favorite passtimes and it's cheap! It will also do much to improve your drawing skills. Even though these are quick sketches drawing from life is so rewarding in ways you can't get from drawing from a photograph. It helps you to really see the world around you like you never saw before. As for being distracted, that can be tough. The more you do it the more you are able to block those things out, it just takes a little practice and discipline, as you'll read in my post about my sketching today.

Today the weather was perfect. Sunny, about 70* and only a light breeze, no way I was going to stay inside! I went to Wheeler Farm, a living historic farm owned and operated by Salt Lake County. Being such a nice day there was plenty of activity but I'm learning to block that out, today really, really tested me. I got three sketches done, 20-30 min. each.

First up is a wagon. I knew it would be a challenge to sketch something so geometric and complicated but it just called to me, and there was a perfect tree to use as a back rest in front of it. :) Also, there was nobody around it, so I figured I might get a little peace.......WRONG! Within two minutes of sitting down a couple familes walked up to the wagon and started posing their kids on it for pics. Luckily I didn't really need to look at it all the time since I had my work cut out just drawing circles and spacing spokes. By the time the wheels were done I was left alone....well, except for the roosters that were pecking the ground around me. :lol:


For this one I had a bench to sit on and relative peace, at least comparted to the wagon incident. There were always people walking around, talking, parents yelling at kids, roosters crowing, etc. but I did my best to tune all that out. This is the back of a building they call a garage built in 1904, I'm not sure the term "Garage" was in use that early.


I had a picnic table to sit at while sketching this one, and while it wasn't far from the garage it was much more calm in this area....except for the family at the picnic table behind me. :lol: They call this one "summer house" built in 1934, though it appears to be a one room shack to me. I guess home is where you make it. :D


I really struggled figuring out the perspective on this one, I don't know why, and I still didn't get it quite right, ( front edge of the roof in particular).

I should have taken my camera with me. My art club meets at Wheeler Farm on Tuesday, maybe I'll go early and do some more sketching and take some photos.


Joan T
10-10-2010, 10:13 PM
I like your sketches. The wagon wheel is great. I guess the chickens didn't bother you too much. You did a good job on the perspective of the buildings. I use a Canson 5 x 7 wc sketchbook and I agree about them. They are a nice size and compact enough to take along.

10-11-2010, 03:10 AM
Hi Davkin,

THESE ARE FANTASTIC, each sketch is sooooo full of life and character. Great tonality and depth!!!!!!

Gentle Hugs, Stacey

10-12-2010, 03:00 PM
wow! love all the old buildings and great trees!

10-12-2010, 09:39 PM
Always a good idea to bring the camera when you are out sketching.

These are great sketches. I really like the wagon one.

10-13-2010, 12:15 AM
Thanks for the comments guys. What is it about old things that attracts artists? :D I didn't make it out today, just wasn't feeling up to it, been feeling quite fatigued since Sunday night.


10-13-2010, 12:29 AM
Oooh ... these are super!

10-13-2010, 04:15 AM
great stuff - the spokes of the wheel would drive me insane!

10-17-2010, 06:51 PM
Thanks for you comments EP and Jackie. Ya Jackie, I had to erase and redo the spacing of the spokes on the rear wheel several times. They front one wasn't bad with 12 spokes since that's easy enough to visualize. You can just put two perpendicular lines through the center, (well, almost perpendicular, you have to account for perspective) to represent the first for spokes and then you only have to worry about spacing two spokes between each of those. The rear wheel had 14 spokes, the same trick wouldn't work for that. Finally what worked was to draw one line through the center to represent the first two spokes and cut the wheel in half. Then I only have to worry about half of the wheel at a time.

Today I went out exploring, looking for interesting things to photograph for future reference and fall colors. I started by driving to a town about 1 hour South of here. I then went farther South and then West. I visited towns I've been to before, but I've never ventured off the highway in a couple of them, this time I did. I really enjoy doing this kind of thing, I'm always amazed to discover things I didn't know existed in the area I've lived in my whole life.

I did get one sketch in while I was at it. There's a railroad tressle that is no longer being used just East of an old mining town called Eureka. I've meant to go and investigate it closer in the past but never seemed to have the time, this time I did have the time plus the time to do a quick sketch of part of it.


I crawled all over this thing taking many photos from many different perspectives...I have no idea why. :lol:


10-17-2010, 06:54 PM
Lovely trestle. All those big bolts and beams. What's not to like? (It's a designer thing.:wink2:)

10-18-2010, 04:10 AM
I like the trestle sketch, it was well worth the effort crawling all over it to get the right perspective, you have got the texture of the wood so well.

10-20-2010, 08:59 PM
:lol: I can relate to taking weird pictures - one time my son said to me "Why are you taking a photo of a rusty, sagging, wonky fence mum?" because you never know when or how you might need reference photos or practice subjects!

10-20-2010, 09:42 PM
Yikes, I missed a whole new sketchbook while I was sick and not commenting! It's beautiful. I like your tonalist foliage, that sketch was spectacular. So simple and so effective. The old trestle is gorgeous. The stump is well done. All of these new sketches are great, keep going on this one!

10-21-2010, 08:37 PM
Thanks for the comments everybody. I'm glad you're feeling better Robert. I'm sorry I haven't been commenting much on other's sketchbooks, but this October challenge has generated so much activity I can't keep up! :lol: Hey, If I do 7 sketches a day I could finish this one by the end of October. At 20 min. avg per sketch that's only about 2 1/2 hours per day. :lol:

I went straight to Murray Park after work today to get some sketching in. I need to take advantage while I can, weather has been iffy lately though and the light is gone by 6:00 pm now. :( The forecast doesn't look too good for the weekend but I hope it will be good enough for me to visit a canyon for probably the last time this season.

Anyway here are today's sketches. First a little rock study;


A trunk study;


Another trunk study bit in ink and light wash, (very light, the paper is for only dry media) this time;


I'm planning on going to Wheeler Farm straight from work tomorrow and get a couple more sketches in, this time I'll take my camera!


10-21-2010, 08:39 PM
:lol: I can relate to taking weird pictures - one time my son said to me "Why are you taking a photo of a rusty, sagging, wonky fence mum?" because you never know when or how you might need reference photos or practice subjects!

What's even worse is I used to be an avid model builder, you wouldn't beleive the photos I'd take for reference for that hobby! :lol:


10-21-2010, 08:41 PM
Great studies of rocks and tree trunks. Like how you used the ink.

10-21-2010, 11:32 PM
I like your use of contour lines in the trunk study "21." Good texture effect!

10-21-2010, 11:44 PM
Great rocks and tree trunks. I like the one you used the light wash on, that came out well. Very cool!

10-22-2010, 08:36 PM
As usual, thanks for the great comments guys.

I almost didn't go out sketching today. It's been a depressing, gray, overcast day all day and I wasn't feeling all that well, I also had to run to the grocery store for a couple items. I went the store and just a little bit of sun peaked out and being on my feet, (sitting in that office chair all day was killing me!) kinda lifted my mood a bit so I ran over to Wheeler Farm and got a couple sketches in.

I had to work this one fast because I knew kids were gonna get on this saddle, it was set up just for that purpose, and twice a kid did get on it while I was sketching but luckily they both lost interest real quick.


This was a junk shed. I decided not to wash it, it looks good as is;


Unfortunately it looks like there will be no outdoor sketching this weekend, the forecast is for rain showers all day both days. :(


10-25-2010, 08:39 PM
Bah! How dare the weather get in the way! ;)

I like the latest additions David, you have a nice touch with the pen and ink sketches - the inked tree is very lively and the shed will be good if you photocopy or scan and play with colours and keep the original as is.

Had a chuckle at the thought of how many photos you must have! Keep them though - cos you know if you get rid of any you will "need" them later :lol:

10-26-2010, 12:12 AM
That's so true Jackie. I really need to buy a large portable hard drive to back them up to, something I can keep at work in case this place burns down or something. I have literally thousands of ref photos I've taken over the years. Ain't digital great? :D


10-26-2010, 12:59 AM
Great pen sketch of the barn, wonderful wood tones and perspective there. Good drawing of the saddle too, even with the frustration of kids trying it. That's cool they have it out for them to do that, sounds like it'd be a fun place to hang out.

You've got a good idea getting a portable hard drive to back up your photos and images. I should do that too, I borrowed my daughter's and backed up a while back but it'd help to have my own and not have to go bug her for it. They don't cost that much - also if you have an older computer that still has a working hard drive, it's cheap to get a cradle to put it in. That's what she did to get hers, used the hard drive out of a laptop that lost its CPU.

10-26-2010, 06:26 PM
The saddle is great. Good job working around the distracting kids wanting to sit in it.

The pen work on the shed is awesome.

10-28-2010, 12:17 AM
Thanks for the comments Robert and Debby.

I already have an external hard drive made from an old computer hard drive, but I want something smaller and more portable. That old thing is a huge brick compared to what they have now! Also it requires an external power source. They have solid state hard drives now that will run off the USB power alone, that's what I want.


10-29-2010, 12:10 PM
Cool shed!

10-29-2010, 08:33 PM
So far I'm keeping with my challenge of at least one sketch from life a day. I did one yesterday and two today.

Yesterday I went to the last cruise night of the season. :( The cars usually overflow to the general parking area at this cruise night so I was hoping a car worth sketching would be parked where I could sketch it from my car. I'm not real partial to 70's Vettes but this was the most interesting subject I could sketch from my car;


Not too bad for 15 min. The biggest problem is the proportions at the rear, the rear fender should sit a bit higher and be a bit bigger.

My sketches from today probably won't make much sense. They were basically texture studies.

This is a rock with a lot of texture and I figured I'd so how detailed I could get my sketch of it;


This one is borderline abstract. I stood up after sketching the rock and turned around and was eye level with an interesting branch. I just started on one side of the paper and sketched as much of the texture of the branch as I could for 20 minutes.


It started out pretty good but got more and more sketchy as I went along until it just became an unrecognizable mess of lines. These exercises were more about learning to see "deep" than about getting something nice down on paper.


10-29-2010, 10:01 PM
Nice textured rock, the texture really came through well. Very familiar to me from seeing and doing rocks like that. The branch came out well too and so did the Corvette, though you're right on the proportions. I remember seeing one and that's one of the few cars I can recognize on its shape.

10-29-2010, 11:04 PM
Excellent that you are keeping up with your challenge. The vet is recognizable. Nice for only 15 minutes. Like the textures on the rock and the branch.

10-30-2010, 07:14 PM
Thanks Robert and Debby.

Here's is today's life sketch;


I discovered a new place today. I knew about it but never had gone out and searched for it. The place is a small nature preserve called "Hidden Hollow" in Sugarhouse City. Found out it adjoins a parking area I've been to many times before, in fact I used that parking lot to go to Barnes and Noble today, right after I did my shopping at B&N I started searching for Hidden Hollow. The city's signs weren't real clear and I went around the city in circles until I finally saw the sign that must be the right one because it had no arrows on it......on another entrance to the parking lot I started out in! :lol: I guess that's why they call it "Hidden" Hollow. :lol: It is a nice little preserve along the creek right in the middle of a big commercial development. The sketch is of a portion of a huge tree that had unfortunately fallen, the trunk was easily 3-4 ft diameter, my sketch was of just a branch that apparently was at least 20ft in the air before the tree fell.

I meant to do more sketching in the afternoon but the weather got ugly. With some luck the weather will be good enough tomorrow I'll be able to take a trip up in a canyon to do some sketching there.


10-30-2010, 09:24 PM
Poor tree. So sad when they fall down. The branch has got character. Lots of little bits and pieces.

11-04-2010, 08:03 PM
Got out to the Parkway after work today for a couple quick pencil sketches;

First a detailed study of a chopped off root;


Then I decided I needed to sketch something I've never sketched before so I picked this leaf;


Actually I was going to do a group of 3 leaves but I quickly realized the subject was much more difficult to draw than it appears so I only had time to sketch one of them. It looks like a flower but it is a leaf, don't know what kind. I really need to study up on this stuff.


11-04-2010, 11:02 PM
The knot is gnarly. Great job.

The leaf does look like a flower, but not quite. Perhaps if the veining were clearer or a stem? Just a thought.

11-05-2010, 01:20 AM
Debby, I didn't mean that my drawing makes the leaf look like a flower, I meant that the real leaf actually looks like a flower. This was a very young plant, so the leaves were delicate and small, very little if any visible veining. I think I captured the look of this leaf fairly well even though the shapes aren't super accurate.


Joan T
11-05-2010, 01:23 PM
Somehow I missed the last few pages. Nice work...love the shed in ink, but your nature studes look good too.

11-05-2010, 06:11 PM
My mistake. Yes, young leaves do not have veining and are more delicate looking. I misunderstood your comment.

11-05-2010, 08:42 PM
I made pretty good use of my vacation day. I ended up spending more time than I planned running errands in the morning so I didn't get out to the canyons until after 2:00 but now tomorrow is free and clear so I'll get out earlier tomorrow, assuming the weatherman is right again. Today was almost perfect weather even up at the higher altitudes. I was perfectly comfortable in my sweat shirt and hiking boots. Though I didn't do any hiking, since I got out later than planned I wanted to spend my time sketching and taking photos. There was plenty to sketch and explore right off the road. It sure was nice to hear that water roaring down the creek again, I think it's been nearly two months!

First up is a fallen tree sketch in Little Cottonwood Canyon. I don't know what it is about dead trees and limbs, bark and roots but I sure love to sketch them. Maybe I'll do a series of full detail drawings of fallen trees some day.


It was sure nice to be able to take my time again knowing I had a few hours of sun....or so I thought.

This one is a study of a rock in the middle of the creek, (again in Little Cottonwood Canyon) not quite as successful;


About the time I finished this it was after 3:30 and I noticed it was getting a little chilly, then I noticed there was hardly any sun! I forgot the sun sets early in this canyon, especially at the lower elevations. I stomped around and took photos while I could then decided to try the other canyon who's opening is lower elevatuion and more open to the valley and see if it still had sun....it did! I stopped at the lowest picnic area so I'd have the chance for the most sun. I met an experienced plein air painter on the other side of the bridge, we had a good conversation for about 15 minutes. Can you beleive this is the first time I've ever seen anyone else painting or sketching at the parks or in the canyons?

I post this sketch only in the interest of full disclosure. :lol:

This is supposed to be some kind plant cluster in the middle of some rocks, good luck making that mess out. :lol:

Still in the same picnic area I did this sketch of a tree trunk with minimal foliage while having the convenience of sitting at a picnic table;


And finally from the same picnic table but looking in a different direction;


This tree still had about 1/4-1/3 of it's foliage so I tried a tonalist approach to representing it. It was about 5:30 now and I still had sun so I walked around and took more photos. If I get brave enough I might try sketching here during the winter since it's not far up the canyon, but that's assuming they leave any room for parking after plowing the roads.

I might take the 9x12 sketchbook tomorrow so I can do some larger sketches.


11-05-2010, 08:49 PM
Nice group of sketches, David! Texture is the attraction of dead trees and logs to me, often. For a non-color medium like graphite, they make great subjects. The fallen log here shows the areas with bark and without bark nicely.

11-05-2010, 08:56 PM
Yes John, texture is a big attraction....on just about everything for me, even with color.


11-05-2010, 10:16 PM
great sketches. I love the effect of the tonalism.

I can see the influence of a model builder in your detail on the architectural sketches and the railroed trestle.

I too love the dead trees and logs.

11-06-2010, 01:24 AM
Sounds like a great afternoon. Nice array of sketches. I think you took the right approach with that last tree. It's lovely.

11-06-2010, 08:11 PM
Thanks Elain and Debby.

I went back up again today starting with a hike, (see my post in sketchbook #5 for the story and sketches). After I came back down from the hike I decided to sit on a big rock at the bottom and recover for a bit. There's a very off tree at the bottom of the trail, I've been familiar with this tree for a long time but this is the first time I attempted to sketch it;


Yes, that is a fork shaped pine tree, and before you call me a liar or under the influence here's a photo;


After that I drove up the canyon did some exploring, attempted another hike but after about 200 yards of straight up climbing I decided I've had enough of that for one day and went back down. Then I stopped at a picnic area near the bottom of the canyon and sketched this;


I love roots almost as much as fallen trees, maybe I'll do a series of drawings of roots as well some day.


11-06-2010, 10:01 PM
You find the most interesting trees to draw. The photo is great to back up your sketch. Roots are just tree branches in the dirt and just as cool. Nice job.

11-07-2010, 06:21 AM
What a cool tree... I wonder what made it grow like that? It almost looks as if it had an injury at one point and three branches of regrowth survived! Reminds me of some of the trees which survived our bushfires, weird and amazing stuff how nature finds it's way sometimes. Roots are no different, just shaped by the earth instead of the wind. :)

11-07-2010, 10:56 AM
Nice job on the tree and roots, David! The tree is certainly unusual - it has some of the feel of the branching structure of a Joshua Tree or saguaro cactus. There is an odd maple tree in the natural area where I bird and paint that I want to draw at some point - one of the multiple trunks of the tree started out separate from the other trunks as that species (bigleaf maple) does, but then it grew in a direction where it contacted another main trunk - and the two trunks are now grown and fused together in that contact spot like they were welded. Very odd. It's going to be a tough subject though, because it's in the middle of an off-leash dog park - I love dogs, but every dog in the park would have to come running up to greet and 'help' me. :lol:

11-07-2010, 11:16 AM
nice work Dave - I agree about sketchbook size. I find little ones very difficult to work in.

11-07-2010, 06:21 PM
[/QUOTE]What a cool tree... I wonder what made it grow like that? :)

I don't know. I wonder of that darkened area is a clue, like it got hit by lightning at some point maybe?

[quote=JTMB]Nice job on the tree and roots, David! The tree is certainly unusual - it has some of the feel of the branching structure of a Joshua Tree or saguaro cactus. There is an odd maple tree in the natural area where I bird and paint that I want to draw at some point - one of the multiple trunks of the tree started out separate from the other trunks as that species (bigleaf maple) does, but then it grew in a direction where it contacted another main trunk - and the two trunks are now grown and fused together in that contact spot like they were welded. Very odd. It's going to be a tough subject though, because it's in the middle of an off-leash dog park - I love dogs, but every dog in the park would have to come running up to greet and 'help' me

Ya, if I didn't tell ya it was a pine tree you probably would have thought it was a cactus! :lol: Those maples sound interesting. I'd have a go at sketching it anyway, I actually kinda like it when dogs come up to greet me while I'm walking or sketching, as long as they are friendly anyway. I really do love dogs, but not sure I want to own one, they can be a bit of work and I can't have one where I live now anyway.

[quote=vhere]nice work Dave - I agree about sketchbook size. I find little ones very difficult to work in.

Thanks Vivien, and yes, I am enjoying the slightly larger size. 5X7 is about the perfect compromise between portability and enough area for useful sketching.


11-07-2010, 06:35 PM
Today wasn't so nice weather-wise, but I got together enough ambition to go out to a local park. It's been pretty windy today, overcast and a bit on the cool side. I went to Liberty Park, a place I haven't visited since I was a kid. This is the largest park in the Salt Lake Valley I beleive, and probably the oldest, unless the one near the capitol is older, I'm not sure. It's about 8 city blocks. It contains a large aviary that takes a full city block on it's own. There's also a historic house in the middle of the park that currently houses the Utah Folk Arts Museum. The house was built by Isaac Chase in 1853 and that's what I chose to sketch;


The thing was a perspective nightmare. :lol: As you can see I missed it a little here and there. I wish I had remembered to bring my camera.

Overall this park is not real inspiring to my artistic sensibilities. It's mostly just grass and trees, all planted to a plan, all in all a very cultivated look, I prefer at least a little wild in my parks. I guess you could say it's a rather metropolitan park as well. The whole time I was sketching I was entertained by a drum circle in the background. I took a walk around the whole park, found a spray paint artist and a tye-dye shirt vendor. :lol: You don't see or hear that kind of stuff in the other parks I usually sketch in.

It also has a large pond, (well, they call it Liberty "lake") that unfortunately is a hazardous waste clean up site at the moment. An oil pipline broke in the creek that empties into this pond during the summer and much of the oil ended up on this pond. They decided that the pond and surrounding area was so contaminated that it all needed to be removed and cleaned so there's no access to that area right now. It was a fluke thing really. A metal fence had shifted or fell and was contacting the pipe causing galvanic corrosion. That would be a hard situation to foresee. This looks like an area that might be have some good sketching subjects but it was all fenced off.


11-07-2010, 07:08 PM
There are so many angles there, it's no surprise it was hard to get the perspective correct. It's a lovely building. Need to remember your camera.

11-08-2010, 02:38 AM
You have still captured the sense of the building.

Great tree work again and nice to see the photo of the tree. It reminded me of a cactus too.

Roots are always interesting. Nice how you capture the different textures.

Joan T
11-08-2010, 12:23 PM
I love the trees and fallen trunks and roots you've been sketching!!!

11-08-2010, 06:00 PM
I'm a bit the same, I don't like my gardens without a bit of wild in them but it's a lovely building and bit of history even if the too-tidy park wasn't terribly inspiring for you.

11-09-2010, 08:53 AM
I like wild gardens too - with all the plants tangling through each other

03-05-2011, 09:04 PM
Wow, it's really been a long time since I used this sketchbook....four months! This is my portable book I keep in my car but haven't had the ambition to sketch with it during the winter. Finally this week the weather was just good enough that I have three new sketches for you!

This first once was done Tuesday evening. This was at the parkway during a quick walk. It was still kinda cold and I was losing light and frankly I'm a bit rusty so it isn't great. Just a small pine tree near the picnic table where I was taking a break from my walk;


This one was done this morning at the Historic Ogden Union Station. I went there for an event and afterwards had just enough time to get a quick sketch in. There's a lot of old railroad equipment on display out there and this piece was next to the bus stop;


Lots of interesting shapes there, I might have to do a more refined sketch of it later. (I happened to have my camera with me so I actually took photos!). I was sketching from a bus stop bench. Shortly after I started a bus stopped right in front of me to let people off and didn't look like it was leaving right away so I moved one stop over, (there were like five stops all in a row here.) I was about 3/4 of the way through someone else came and sat on the bench and looked like he was waiting for the next bus, so I hurried up and finished before another bus came and blocked my view! The guy looked over at my sketch several times, I just ignored him and neither of us said anything. :lol:

This one I just did an hour ago. I won't go into the details but my Dad has had a real roller coaster month with health issues and they moved him to a different hospital that we think will finally give him the care and therapy he needs to recover from his back surgery. This hospital is near downtown Salt Lake City, lots of old architecture there and the front section of this hospital appear to be some old architecture that was preserve, has kind of a french chateau look to it, I could resist sketching it from my car after my visit with my Dad;



03-05-2011, 09:38 PM
David, sorry to hear about your dad. Wishing him better soon. The sketches are great. The one of the building is super.

03-05-2011, 09:50 PM
sorry about your Dad, Dave. . . hope he's better soon. that last sketch is my fav, great drawing of the building, you got the perspective great

03-05-2011, 10:47 PM
I think this is all new for me - a nice variety of subjects, including my favourite (trees). A good book, I'm glad you rediscovered it.

03-06-2011, 06:21 AM
good sketches - and hope your Dad is soon on the mend

03-13-2011, 01:22 PM
David, somehow I missed this one. Great sketches, wish we lived closer I could use your assistance doing trees! How cool is it that the hospital has a French chateau front on it. Good idea doing sketches when you go visit your father, probably calms you down, hospitals are so stressful esp when someone you love isn't doing well. No avoiding the lookers when you are out sketching, nice yours was quiet!

03-20-2011, 12:30 AM
Thanks for the comments everybody. Sorry I haven't been out with this sketchbook more, the weather just isn't cooperating and I rarely feel motivated enough to sketch from inside the car. My Dad's still in the hospital, (though now on the rehab floor) and there is a lot of interesting architecture in the area so maybe I'll try to do more sketching before or after my visits. Turns out this hospital used to be a Catholic hospital originally established in 1875 hence the interesting architecture though I'm not sure when that section of it was originally built.


04-16-2011, 10:12 PM
We finally had a weekend day and even though I had other things to do I found time late in the day to do some outdoor sketching.



I did something a little different this time. I took a 2mm clutch pencil with HB lead sharpened to a bevel point. I used that for the initial lay in and to do the initial toning with simple hatching. Then I took a .9 mechanical pencil and did some more shading and put detail in. The scans didn't come out real well, need to spend more time tweaking the scanner software apparently.


04-16-2011, 10:43 PM
Great tree sketches. Glad you found some outdoor time. It's raining here, again.

04-17-2011, 07:41 PM
Thanks Debby.

We actually had a nice day today, I can't beleive it a whole weekend of nice weather! I can't remember the last time that happened. The next few days are supposed to be rainy though, but at least not cold. I went out for a walk to the parkway and took my sketchbook with me. This time I wanted to use the Pilot V5 and do some ink and wash. I took my waterbrush with me so I could do the wash on site;


I just looked through all my previous sketches and noticed something interesting. Even if the sketch was not so good or distinct I recognized it instantly and remembered exactly where I did it and what that day was like even though I did the sketch a few months ago. How often do you get that from a photo?


04-17-2011, 08:41 PM
Glad you had nice weather. Great pen and wash. It was actually sunny this afternoon, tho' it rained this morning.

04-20-2011, 12:56 AM
Thanks Debby. This afternoon turned out to be pretty nice, though a bit chilly but I visited my Dad in the hospital so didn't have time for outdoor sketching. Rain is scheduled for Wednesday and Thursday unfortunately and while the weather will be nice Friday I'll be visiting my Dad in the hospital again, seems to be how that goes. Though Saturday is supposed to be nice and I have that day totally open, (though this time of year the forecast is far less reliable than usual!)

We're already having major flooding in Utah, two counties North of mine, but if we keep having more rain, (which the majority of the days in the forecast are for rain) and then a fast warmup, (which is most often the case here) we'll have some serious flooding in this county as well, quite possibly the worst we've had since the big flood of '83 where major city streets downtown where closed off, sandbagged and used for temporary canals!


04-21-2011, 12:43 AM
Okay folks, change of direction here. I'm switching sketchbooks but I'm going to keep it in the same thread since the new sketchbook is the same size and will be used for the same purpose. Thanks to Candace for informing me that Strathmore now makes sketchbooks with Bristol Smooth paper.....I'm now in heaven. :D I've never really liked the paper that comes in any of the sketchbooks I've had very much though the paper in this one has probably been the least offensive but it still has been rather frustrating trying to get good, dark edges on it. I found one of the 5 X 7 Bristol Smooth sketchbooks today and did this quick sketch for the WDT in it to test it out;


I'm in love now and no other paper will ever do for graphite sketching ever again! :thumbsup: I'll be replacing sketchbook #5 as well as soon as I can aquire a 9 X 12 version. In the future I'll only be doing outdoor sketching with this sketchbook as that's the intended purpose of #6. As a bonus, since the paper is thicker there are fewer sheets so maybe I'll start actually finishing sketchbooks before abandoning them now. :lol:

They had a watercolor version of this sketchbook as well and the paper looks to be about right, I bought one to do some ink and WC wash sketches, I'll resurrect the #7 thread once I get started up with that one.


04-21-2011, 11:28 AM
Hey Dave, Glad you like the new sketchbook! I agree on your comment about remembering the day better from a sketch than a photo- I agree! I even recall names of models from my group ( I write them on the pic) and I am lousy at remembering names--- other than the models I drew!

There is a free shipping day today for as low as $45 total at Blick. Stock up on your new favorites!

04-21-2011, 11:34 AM
Glad you like your new sketchbook. The still life looks great. It's always wonderful to find just the sketchbook or journal that is perfect for the way you work.

05-07-2011, 08:38 PM
Perfect sketching weather today. After finishing the roots sketch in sketchbook #7 I put that sketchbook back in the car and grabbed the 5x7 and went for a walk around the park. I ended up spending an hour sketching this little culvert;


There is just so much going on here! So many textures, it was a lot of fun. It may be going away, I think there are plans to "upgrade" the creek here due to flooding problems. I'm afraid that means they are lining the whole thing with concrete blocks. :( It's defiantely going to degrade the sketching opportunities in this park.


05-07-2011, 10:29 PM
that's always sad when they tear up the past and make way for concrete . . . but at least you have it recorded the way it is now. nice wood textures.

05-07-2011, 10:52 PM
Very cool textures going on here. Glad you had some decent sketching weather.

05-08-2011, 05:38 PM
that's always sad when they tear up the past and make way for concrete . . . but at least you have it recorded the way it is now. nice wood textures.

Thanks Rainy. It is sad, this is one of my favorite areas of the park. I certainly can understand why they are doing it though, but I question why it has to cost nearly half million dollars!:eek: There is plenty of other neat areas in this park though. I don't think there is any other park in the area with as many and diverse number of trees.

Thanks Debbie.


05-10-2011, 12:23 AM
Very nice job on the culvert, David! An unlikely subject turned into a very nice piece.

05-11-2011, 12:38 AM
Thanks John! It's interesting that I've passed this culvert a few dozen times without any real urge to draw it. I always thought it was interesting but never felt compelled to sit down and draw it until that last visit, now i'm glad I finally got that urge.


05-13-2011, 08:00 PM
Perfect day for a walk and a sketch, assuming you can sketch in the shade. Lots of sun today and getting warm. It's been a while since I've sweated like this. :D

Here's the sketch;


This time of year is perfect for sketching trees. A lot of trees still have little or no foliage so you can study their "skeleton" yet the weather is nice.

I finally found an adjustement in my scanner software that works well to get a good scan of graphite, it's called "histogram". It allows you to adjust the low range, mid range and high range independently, all I had to do after scanning was sharpen it just a touch.


05-13-2011, 11:14 PM
It certainly was a beautiful day. Nice change after all the rain. The tree is magnificent.

05-14-2011, 01:10 AM
Thanks Debby

05-14-2011, 10:14 AM
Nice job on that tree. I like sketching "tree skeletons" too, but don't like going out in the cold. The first spring leaves give them interest while you can still see what's going on with the branches.

05-14-2011, 03:29 PM
great culvert sketch - your interest in it shows :)

05-14-2011, 08:27 PM
Thanks Michelle, Vivien.

05-14-2011, 08:39 PM
Nice work on the tree, David. We've actually had a couple days of decent weather this past week as well, after what seems like an eternally cold spring. Yesterday and today were only the 2nd and 3rd days the entire year that the high temp in the Seattle area exceeded 62 degrees. Normally by this time we would have had numerous 70+ degree days.

05-14-2011, 10:45 PM
way cool tree! you've gotten all those little branches and leaves so well and those can be tedious to get in a way that looks so natural! bravo.

05-15-2011, 12:01 AM
John, thanks. The weather here has been rather frustrating as well. I had planned on going out to attempt some plien air with my new thumb box today. The weather was nice while I was out running errands in the morning, but when I went out in the afternoon it rained, and pretty hard too.

Rainy, thanks. I don't think I put in 10% of the little branches that were visible. The key to drawing branches is learning to minimalize realisticly.


05-15-2011, 12:24 AM
Nice tree work again! You make a good point about learning the tree skeleton in this season before they are all leafed out. Gives one something to challenge us while we wait for prettier summer days.

05-31-2011, 08:47 PM
The weather has not been cooporating around here at all, but things are looking up, we'll see if it holds. Luckily I was on vacation today and we finally got sun after three days of mostly cloudy and raining, that's right, the whole holiday weekend was shot. The first thing I did this morning was take my car in for transmission service. While they worked on my car I walked over to the parkway which just happened to be around the corner and did this sketch;


Spent nearly and hour on this one even though it's small. A .5 mechanical pencil isn't the best tool for drawing foliage. :lol:

I'm feeling guilty. I can't seem to find the time to consistently post to the other threads in this forum, you guys are just so active I can't keep up! :eek: Can you forgive me if I don't post in here often?


05-31-2011, 08:48 PM
Great use of your time. That's a stately tree.

06-01-2011, 06:43 AM
lovely - and of course you are forgiven! I don't always manage to keep up either

06-01-2011, 08:30 AM
beautifully formed tree and foilage

Joan T
06-01-2011, 11:11 AM
Love viewing your sketches. The trees are great, but I really like that culvert you skeched back a few!!

06-01-2011, 03:21 PM
Good job on the tree, David! Sounds like you're having the same spring weather as we are - 10 to 15 degrees below normal, and the wettest months on record. Supposedly on Friday we start a 5-day dry spell and actually make it over 70 degrees...I'll believe it when I see it. Isn't sketching great for making waits tolerable? I used to be very impatient waiting for anything, but now as long as I have pens and paper, there's always something to sketch and the time flies by.

06-01-2011, 07:31 PM
Thanks Debby, Vivien, Chris, Joan, and John. I hope to get out with the big book and full set of pencils Saturday or Sunday.