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Old 08-31-2010, 04:11 AM
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Re: Too Good To Use... Hardbound 2004-05

Thank you! I hope the next one comes out even better - with the leaves shown in the same perspective as the flower. Right now it seems a little surreal to me. But the flower did come out just right. I might work from the sketch next time, it's detailed enough.
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Old 08-31-2010, 08:46 PM
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Re: Too Good To Use... Hardbound 2004-05

It's like you found an old friend! I like your drawing from imagination/fantasy pics, and your dragon looks fine to me. Sorry to hear the hands were shaky - it must be frustrating for you but the work looks great - go with the flow and we might see a whole new style from you (am thinking about Degas and Matisse how their later works changed )
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Old 09-02-2010, 08:47 PM
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Re: Too Good To Use... Hardbound 2004-05

Yep, it is like finding an old friend. Finding out I can draw so much better now has also got me loosening up and sketching in it. Actually using it for what it's for, not as a library of refined colored pencils paintings!

Today's Conte sketch isn't too bad at all. You're probably right about Degas and Matisse - I adjust to it and sometimes things come out okay after all... as long as I keep them simple and broad.


My Usual Breakfast
Scavenger Hunt 190, #1

7" x 10"
Conte crayons, black and sanguine
Hardbound sketchbook paper.
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Old 09-02-2010, 09:26 PM
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Re: Too Good To Use... Hardbound 2004-05

I am enjoying seeing the sketchbook art! Please tell me, what/where are the scavenger hunts? It looks fun, like a list of things to draw instead of find. Is it a thread here or does a person make it up for themselves?
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Old 09-03-2010, 12:53 AM
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Re: Too Good To Use... Hardbound 2004-05

Do you at least wash all that down with some fruit juice or tea? Great drawing, but not my idea of breakfast.
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Old 09-03-2010, 01:23 AM
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Re: Too Good To Use... Hardbound 2004-05

Oh Robert! I can relate to your breakfast to a certain extent But the positive is that the regime helps to have some semblance of "normal" life, right? Besides the sadness of needing these things - the sketch is a delight, the loose broad stokes have a certain liveliness and descriptiveness I think (plus I like conte and have always been a sucker for sanguine!)
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Old 09-03-2010, 11:06 AM
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Re: Too Good To Use... Hardbound 2004-05

Coffee, not tea or fruit juice. Got to have my coffee, it's part of making myself functional. To be honest, I don't usually eat breakfast because I don't usually get up in the morning! I'm a night owl. I stay up late and sometimes see early mornings because I stayed up late all night.

I hated breakfast when I was a kid or in high school because I'd get forced to eat it whether I felt sick or not and it was usually my favorite foods. It was such a complete waste to get sick after eating something I loved at a time of day it didn't taste good. What I really wanted was breakfast food at midnight. Once I was a grownup, I often went to Denny's for exactly that.

I never actually wanted to have a semblance of normal life. What I want is a rich, full life with as much good time as I can get. That means pacing it to what I feel and building the habits that give me more energy regardless of what the day-schedule world is doing. Back when I could work, I found it a lot easier working graveyard shift than "normal life" day schedule.

I was stuck with the symptoms for decades without knowing what caused them and honestly believed everyone dragged through life on the edge of desperation forcing themselves to get through that much pain. The pills are freedom to me. I literally had no idea what it would be like to have a day without pain until after I got proper diagnoses and started getting these medications. Now the milk thistle extract is doing a lot to knock back the chronic fatigue.

I've lost about ten pounds since I started taking it, all by moving around more and having the energy to stay awake longer. So these aren't that scary from inside, from inside it's like, wow, now I can do things I couldn't do before. Doing without them and being pressured to pretend nothing's wrong, that's the scary part, thankfully the worst is behind me.

What's funny is that if they came up with a real cure for everything that ailed me, even managed to regrow my bones to come out symmetrical and I could do anything other people could... I would probably still not be a morning person or want a normal schedule. I'd still be a free spirit balancing solitude and socializing, late night writing and daytime art. The only thing that's drawn me into staying up during the day now is that I feel more like drawing when I've got better light.

Candace, here's a link to the Current Scavenger Hunt. A new one starts every nine days, with a one-day overlap in case anyone still wants to finish up things from the last one. Regulars take turns hosting and making up the list, if you participate once you can sign up to host one. They are a lot of fun. Get into the habit of doing them and your life sketching skills will start to explode.

I love Conte sketches but for some reason don't usually do them that often. Mostly I think it's that the Conte set is down in the drawer and not out on my drawing table in a pencil cup. I should leave it out so that I do more of them.

I've decided this sketchbook is now the heir to the regular ol' sketchbook thing - the one I'll scribble in, do Scavenger Hunt stuff in, draw and sketch anything that comes up or test new materials. If a few good drawings come up, yay and good. But if I use it up I can get back to the spiral binding ones that are easier to scan and fold the cover back around themselves.

I used to be so impressed with hardbound sketchbooks because they'd turn up in stationery stores for $20-$25 as this high-class thing that I thought you had to have massive talent and skill to use on top of a fat budget. The price comes in much lower online and I've come to value sketchbooks with higher quality paper more than the type of binding.

The main thing is that sketchbooks are no good if they never get used because I'm not good enough yet to fill them end to end with good drawings. The friends I knew whose sketchbooks were filled end to end with good drawings all started out filling a dozen of them with bad drawings, test swatches and the occasional spot of finite perfection.

If I keep my Conte crayons out, I'll break away from super-detailed realism and do more of that broad, loose sketching that comes out so well. It rests on getting the perspective right and the masses placed well, not so much on getting the wood grain of the pencil point and shading of the enameled barrel just right. Those are fun too, it's just a matter of which medium to use.

I'm also going to keep my Pitt pens handy, get used to sketching more with those Big Brush ones because they're great.
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Old 09-03-2010, 12:35 PM
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Re: Too Good To Use... Hardbound 2004-05

Hi everyone! I think I found a bargain sketchbook! Hobby Lobby has an art supply "house brand" called Master's Touch." My book is 8.5x11, classy textured black hard covers with double-spiral binding. 80 sheets of 70 lb. acid free paper good for most everything including light wash. I have used graphite, op's, pastel pencils, wc pencils, all nice. Don't know how to say it right but it feels "cottony" to the touch, not slick. Price is $7.99 but using the frequent 40% coupon, it is only $4.79! No shipping if you have a local store, so a pretty good deal! (And 5.5x8.5 is just $3.59 with coupon.)
I just filled mine after taking a Robert Sloan challenge from a hub site of his- to fill a book in a month. That has been marvelous for my sense of self as an artist!!!! Robert I posted to you there...
Thanks Robert also for the Scavenger Hunt info. I don't have equipment to upload at this time but will use the idea for my next sketchbook challenge!
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Old 09-03-2010, 02:06 PM
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Re: Too Good To Use... Hardbound 2004-05

Robert - I enjoyed seeing your sketches. That iris is gorgeous!!! Your writing about the apple made me smile. After looking at it and planning your sketch for so long, it must have been an altogether different experience to eat it!
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Old 09-09-2010, 07:26 PM
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Re: Too Good To Use... Hardbound 2004-05

Candace, that is wonderful! Have fun with that. I love finding something that's got a good price to begin with and then get a big coupon on it - - that's perfect for a sketchbook to fill in a month. I ought to try to do that myself one of these months - especially with a letter size one instead of cheating by using a small book with relatively few pages.

Joan, thank you! It was incredible. It tasted so good, it was heavenly. I've done apples that well again since then, several times, but that time was the first time I really got it accurate and it was after so many days of study that I've had no trouble with any of them since. It was wonderful.

It also opened my eyes to what still lifes of fruit really mean, or flowers - the ease in life of being able to have flowers and not just necessities, the pleasure of having enough food and enjoying fresh fruit. It's a wonderful, positive experience that it's too easy to ignore growing up in a country where supermarkets provide everything from all over the world all the time without seasonal shortages.

Did some Conte sketches for Scavenger Hunt in it again today. It's good for lightening up and sketching big too! Back when I did these, I hadn't gotten the knack for using a large page, now I've got much less problems with layout. I still used the lines that were on there but they're not such a big deal now.


Scavenger Hunt 191, #5-6-7
8 1/2" x 11"
Conte crayons
Hardbound sketchbook paper, thin white drawing paper.
"Sharp" is the end of the same short sword/long dagger/hobbit sword that I did in colored pencils ages ago for a Scavenger Hunt or two. Didn't have room for the whole thing this time. Plus a couple of rocks I have around for still life objects.
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Old 09-10-2010, 05:23 AM
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Re: Too Good To Use... Hardbound 2004-05

You make rocks look so effortless. (Then again you make a lot of this look effortless.) Great stuff.
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Old 09-10-2010, 04:46 PM
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Re: Too Good To Use... Hardbound 2004-05

Awesome, Robert! I especially like the orange flowers, the iris and the graphite tree. I was really reluctant to put things in my moleskines at first too. Now I just draw, paint or sketch in them with abandon. Some are stinkers and some are turn out ok. I was at a car dealership just today for car service and had my sketch kit and the watercolor moley with me. I did sketches of new cars in the showroom, chairs in the lobby, etc. When I was leaving, one of the salesmen asked me to show him my sketches and kit. Said his wife would love to have things like that so I gave him the names of websites to check out for supplies and of course told him to have her check out WetCanvas!

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Old 09-10-2010, 05:55 PM
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Re: Too Good To Use... Hardbound 2004-05

Debby, thank you! I think with rocks it's that I've literally done thousands of them. I started doing rocks when I was a little kid. Before I even went to school I was drawing pebbles and rocks because my dad was a paleontologist. I had a rock collection.

I was in awe of the way he could draw rocks - you had to be able to draw well to be a scientist in his day. He also showed me a lot about how to get texture and how to show the shape exactly by careful shadowing. I think rocks were the very first thing I could actually draw well.

Dena, that's so cool! I'm glad you're overcoming the "too good to draw in" feeling too. It's great to be able to sketch anything, anywhere. That's so cool you were able to sketch the showroom cars and chairs, those are some subjects I'm nowhere near as good at as rocks. But I'd try it if I were out there! Neat that the salesman asked about where to get your watercolor Moleskine. You saved him a fortune by telling him about the websites. When I see them in office supply stores they run a lot higher (though not online).

Three more Scavenger Hunt sketches today. I had this page marked off with great big margins so I just stayed within them. When I get past all the previously marked up pages, I'll use simpler margins, like half inch ones. Or just go back to laying it out to the shape of the page since the book fits on the scanner just fine.


Scavenger Hunt 191, Items #10, 11, 12
6" x 9" (on 8 1/2" x 11" paper)
Mungyo Gallery soft pastel half sticks
Hardbound sketchbook with about 65lb white drawing paper.
From life, like anything for Scavenger Hunt. Every nine days a new list gets posted by one of the regulars, the idea is to find objects that fit the descriptions and draw them from life in your choice of medium. It's a great activity for boosting your life drawing skills!
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Old 09-11-2010, 01:58 AM
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Re: Too Good To Use... Hardbound 2004-05

Splendid sketches for the hunt items.
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Old 09-11-2010, 04:17 PM
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Re: Too Good To Use... Hardbound 2004-05

Terrific sketches Robert! Interesting to see how your work has evolved with time. I saw some of these in the Scavenger Hunt, but always enjoy looking at your work and see something different every time I look.
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