Wednesday, October 19, 2011


Having multiple gesture drawings on the same page provides an opportunity to find some abstract compositions by tight cropping.  Using an empty slide holder as a viewfinder, I am sure there are some paintings waiting to be discovered!

A brush pen with real or synthetic hair (as opposed to a felt tip) is a wonderfully fluid drawing instrument.  It takes some practice to get a variety of line from it but a joy to draw with.  Here I combined two poses into one composition.  A little weird but fun.
Wendy with a Flowered  hat

I have combined two poses again and added a little diluted ink wash and a bit of charcoal to the brush pen.

As I work, I like to try different combinations of materials to see what works best.

Here I started with the ink wash without line, laying in the shapes of the black leotard and adding the ink line last.  Walnut ink wash with black ink brush pen.

Friday, July 22, 2011


 We went to a wonderful concert in San Mateo's Central Park last night with a group of friends.  It was a gorgeous balmy evening and everyone was having a picnic supper while lounging on the grass or sitting in portable chairs.  Some even had low tables with cloths!  I had decided to do some sketching and painting.  When I pulled out my supplies, the tin with the paint brushes was missing (still sitting on my desk).  I had brought my iPad and the light was such that I could easily see the screen but the battery was too low!  How aggravating.  Still, I had my pen and sketch paper so I had fun sketching while enjoying the lively music.  At the intermission I decided to turn my chair around as I was tired of drawing the backs of people's heads.  I can't wait for the next concert!

Sunday, May 22, 2011


Today we went to the county fair grounds to an event called "The Maker's Faire"  Creativity, ingenuity, technology and individuality were everywhere!  This is becoming an annual event with a huge turnout.  My husband and I were like rubes in the big city with all the high tech displays.  The images above were created by a computerized robotic arm that held a micron pen and drew from a photo image in the computer.  It was fun to watch and I was struck how interesting the image was with just selective lines and areas of more detail along with lots of white space.  Of course, it would all be filled in with time, but I really liked the minimal image.  This is the ultimate "contour drawing".  

In another booth, there was a fine pen like stylus that you could draw with directly on the computer monitor (not a separate pad that displayed your marks on the monitor).  I asked if it would work on an iPad.  Sadly, the answer was no.  This pen worked with magnet technology and the iPad uses a different technology.  Right now, I have the best stylus available for the iPad.  

Friday, May 20, 2011


I didn't realize how washed out this image is!  Here is a detail of my latest painting which starts with an acrylic ink line drawing done with a fine nib dip pen on a very smooth gesso surface.  This is just 3 of the 5 figures in the piece.  I was able to get excellent detail with the dip pen but not much variation of line width.  Fortunately, I did get some variation in the depth of color.  Burnt Sienna is a nice choice for the line work as it isn't harsh like black but holds its own in a painting.  Check out my other blog to see the painting progress.

Friday, May 13, 2011


I was at the Sunnyvale Art Gallery where there is a fabulous exhibit of high school children's art work.  This is a very large gallery with tons of space, so there was a lot of work displayed, including ceramic pieces and other 3 dimensional things.  The work is so original and creative.  I think part of the reason is these kids are given challenging projects and concepts.  They aren't just copying photographs.  There should be a website that lists interesting challenges.  Maybe there is.  If someone knows of such a site, please pass it on.

There were a number of figurative images done with oil pastel on newspaper.  I loved the look, so I decided to try it myself.  I have these very creamy water soluble oil pastels called "Portfolio" which are available at Staples and very inexpensive but fun to work with.   This was a lot of fun.  I think I will do more in the future.

Sunday, April 17, 2011


While sitting at Gallery Concord I decided to try the iPad Sketch Club app. to create some thumbnail composition sketches.  I was able to save the first sketch, sending it to myself through e-mail then I erased the middle figure and tried a different image.  This is a great way to try out a number of different ideas without having to redraw everything.  I am also practicing using color with this program.  Trickier than gray scale values.

Sunday, April 10, 2011


Here are two more images I drew with the application Sketch Club.  The first was from an image in the in flight magazine on Delta Airlines.  the second was done from life of my son.  I had a few more but I accidentally erased them by pushing the wrong button!  I am slowly getting to know the ins and outs of this program.  I still can't find the undo button when you accidentally erase something.  Anyone out there know the answer ?

Next I will try and figure out how to play with the color. It should be fun.

Friday, March 18, 2011


Here is the latest sketch I created on my iPad with the Sketch Club application.  I am using a stylus and getting the hang of this program very quickly.  It doesn't seem as complicated as most of the others.  This is how the drawing started out.  To see the finished drawing, check out my other blog, Creativity Journey.  The next drawing I am going to try to work in color!  Loving the iPad!!!!

Wednesday, February 23, 2011


These are some of the drawings I created last night.  One of the other participants shared with me that she had seen some "Guru" of the New York Art Scene expounding on what sells!  The "expert" said that paintings with RED were the hot ticket.  I was inspired!  Any takers?   As most of you know, I am not very interested in what the latest and greatest is.  I work with images and materials that fire my imagination and get my heart racing.  If you build it, they will come.  Even if  they don't come, I had a good time building it.

The last two figures were short poses.  I work on newsprint.  This time I painted in the mass shapes with acrylic ink and then went back with a fine brush in black ink.  I think this is a good way to capture the gesture, mass and proportion in a short period of time.  I am saving all these quick drawings.  I may try to collage with them at some later date.

Friday, February 18, 2011


Tuesday night I went to Palo Alto for the drawing session.  The results can be seen on my Creativity Journey blog.  Last night I went to a drawing session in Sunnyvale.  It was a smaller room with fewer artists but the lighting was more dramatic so better shadow shapes and there were 3 different models, which made it interesting.  None of the models were professional but they did a pretty good job of holding a pose.   I decided to draw as accurately as I could.  If I got a good pose, I could always stylize or simplify it.  The female model was very pretty and slender but her clothing didn't work well for drawing the figure.  It draped oddly around her hips and was difficult to make it "read" properly.  The two guys were beefy and the foreshortened large muscle forms were interesting to draw.  This drawing group will try to meet once a month.

Thursday, February 10, 2011


Here are a few of the drawings/paintings I did today at the afternoon life drawing session.  It was a loooooooooong pose and difficult to get reved up about.  I played around with different ideas and materials.  I like drawing with the long dropper.  These long poses are too static for me.  I am going to have to find another venue for figure drawing.  Perhaps just sketching in active places.  Fortunately, Tuesday night is dedicated to short poses.  

Wednesday, February 9, 2011


I really liked the model we had last night at the life drawing session.  I like a model with curves or muscles.  Somehow being inspired by the model didn't produce great drawings!!!  This is my favorite for the evening.  Here is the first drawing of this pose where I threw in everything but the kitchen sink, with poor results.  I decided to draw it again keeping things simple.  This drawing was done by drawing with the dropper to the acrylic ink bottle.
Here are some of the other drawings with uneven results.  For the last pose I decided to do blind contour drawing with each liquid acrylic color and then do an accurate drawing on top with ink.  

Tuesday, February 1, 2011


I went to a life drawing session tonight, and dragged more supplies with me.  I wanted to try out the oil pastel resist idea.  I found the model very uninspiring and I think the drawings reflect that.  I did have a great time playing with a new combination of materials.  I am liking working with the oil pastels.  I have about 3 sets of very cheap oil pastels.  I decided to use them up before purchasing some quality ones.  They aren't very creamy, to say the least, but they do act as a decent resist.  I posted my favorite first but the correct order starts with the second image.  I put down a red pastel line, then went back with a black ink brush pen.  After that I used some ink washes.

The second painting I decided to use two different colors of resist, then the ink brush pen.  Lastly I added a little blue color along with the ink wash.

Next I decided to put a wet wash of color on the page, let it dry and then did  the brush pen and ink.  Lastly I added the pastel.  I wasn't thrilled with this order of applying the pastel.  

Next, several drawings with different colors of pastel over a washed background, then ink, then I painted stronger color over the body.  Starting to get somewhere here.  

The next idea was to strengthen the color around the body...that is my favorite.
Then I decided to strengthen the color on the body and the outside areas, leaving light forms around the edge of the figure.

The last idea I played with was to use all light pastel lines.  I think I like the more contrasting lines better.
Most of the lines were multiple blind contour drawings of the same pose.