Saturday, June 23, 2012

California Driving

My daughter was driving her son and four of his friends to a water park by Magic Mountain. It's about 35 miles away and took us an hour to get to because of the traffic. It was a Friday and I guess lots of people were heading north for the weekend. Just a few miles from our exit off of I-5 in Santa Clarita the police shut down the freeway for about 15 minutes because a car had broken down in the fast lane. I don't know why they shut the whole thing down and I sure don't know why they finally opened only one out of four lanes once they reopened it but that's the way this kind of thing happens. At any rate, I was prepared. I had coffee, cookies and my journal! I only got the pencil sketch done before we were moving again but it helped to pass the time. I painted the picture this morning at home.

By the way, I got to go pick up the kids because my daughter had another place to be in the evening. I stopped at Starbuck's to get my granddaughter who was my co-pilot and I a nice cold drink and figured on 70 minutes driving time. It took 76! One way, for the 35 miles! No time for another drawing though as this time it was me who was driving and I might be from California but contrary to public opinion we are not crazy!

I took the liberty of making a purple car versus another gray one! Hope you are getting where you need to this weekend without traffic jams or other problems. Still, if I had my way, I'd be living here and not in Arizona where I don't have any traffic problems since I don't live in the Phoenix area.

Monday, June 18, 2012

Drawing with My Granddaughters

As you all know, I am having an extended stay in California. I'm taking advantage of it by trying to do art with my granddaughters. I need to catch up on the classes I am taking and hopefully this week I will be able to do that.

The first two pictures were done because my daughter says the girls should do something while they watch TV. They watch the same shows over and over or at least that's how it seems to me, so it's easy to do something besides just watching it again. I suggested to one (while the other did a puzzle) that she divide a page in fourths and pick four objects in the room to draw. Her sister suggested she draw some items on the fireplace mantel so this is what she did. I gave her a gray Tombow (non-waterproof) pen and she drew straight in ink so she couldn't fiddle around. Afterwards I showed her how to wet it to shade the drawings a bit with the ink that blurs out when wet. I think she did great with her first straight ink drawings. The second picture is from the littler sister who gave it a try the next day and wanted to draw her dog and it's belongings. I am very happy they gave leadfree drawings a try and that they didn't worry about picking "easy" things to draw!

  The next two photos are collage pages I helped the girls with while they were at the allergists. After they get their 3 shots each (glad I never had to do that) they have to sit and wait twenty minutes to see if they react badly and its a boring time for them. I grabbed my art kit and they grabbed their journals and I showed them how to make a page to remember a holiday by. It just took some giftwrap leftover from the day and a copy of a photo. A few words and they had a nice addition to their books.

The last picture is a page I made from the sketches (1 min. max each) I did of some handy objects to show them how to draw with the pen and how to shade with the waterbrush.  One of the girls used their mother's cricut machine to cut out the daisies for me.  I played with watercolor on the page and tried throwing some for blotches.  I don't recommend using the water brush for this anymore for two reasons.  One, it gets the paint too light colored and two, the force of swinging the brush pulled part of it apart.  I was able to put it back together but won't use it again unless that's all I have handy.  I adhered the items on backwards from planned.  I would normally put something like a shoe on the inside edge of a page so it has some space to "walk off" the page.  I'll add a bit of writing when I figure out what to say.... and then I will get to looking at my art lessons.... just as soon as we get back from driving to Oxnard to drop off the ballerina for her dress rehearsal and get lunch and go grocery shopping and....

Hope you are having a productive and fun day!

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Loving California

This is a journal I keep in my purse at all times for the odd moment when I can fit in a sketch. 
The pencil drawing was done while at the beach.  My son was moving all over the place as he played volleyball.  I tried to just catch his pose rather than an exact likeness which I knew would be impossible right from the start.  I would wait till he got back in this stance to draw a bit more and would have kept improving on it but the game ended and it was the last game of the weekend.

The second picture was done yesterday.  I tagged along when my daughter took the kids to Tilly's where my grandson was looking to buy a couple of shirts.  We left with a couple of shirts, a pair of pants, a top for one of the girls and sun glasses for another of the girls and myself!  Oh, AND this sketch of one of the display tables.  It took me about 10-15 minutes as I really hurried to get done before the family was ready to leave.  One of the sales clerks was super nice and asked if I was a professional artist!  She was definitely more impressed than my family was.  When I got home I added one more layer of color to everything but the hats to help them stand out better and then I took the photo.  You can do this too and if you think you can't then perhaps you should take some journaling classes with Laure Ferlita of  as she will teach you how to do it well and fast!

Today I hope to get some class art work done but it looks like we might be very busy again!

Sunday, June 10, 2012

Mission Beach in San Diego Plus One

I am here in Oceanside, California at my son's house.  Yesterday we went down to San Diego's Mission Beach where he plays volleyball on Saturdays.  It was gray, breezy and cool but I had a sweatshirt to keep me warm.

 I took plenty of photos of my son playing as he likes to look at them to see what he is doing right or wrong but I still took time for myself.  I went for a long walk to find some coffee and started with a caramel mocha which was the worst coffee I've ever had so I tossed it out and got a plain cup of coffee at another vendor.  Then I walked back down to the volleyball area and sat down with my sketchbook.  It didn't take me long to put a few pencil lines down and add some paint especially after seeing my online watercolor teacher Laure Ferlita do a similar picture in class! 

This picture was done two days ago as I sat at my son't dining table using my computer and looking out the living room window.  I liked seeing the green bushes and the mailbox so did a quick sketch.  It's good to leave home sometimes and get a different perspective!  This was done with some of the lessons and thoughts behind them that I've gained from Jennifer Edwards on her blog.  I didn't draw the houses on the other side of the street as she recommends to draw just what drew you to the scene.  Laure says to simplify down to what gives you the essence of the place you are sketching so between the two I've had some good advice to follow.

Friday, June 1, 2012

Lessons and Memory Making

I've been busy doing mostly art for a couple of classes I am in but I also am drawing some other stuff in my journal.  Someday I hope to do some work outside my journal, something I can frame if it comes out nice enough.

I am reading and enjoying the lessons that Jennifer Edwards has been offering on her blog Drawn2Life and the top picture here comes from her lesson #9 which is about letting loose.  I don't know if I was all that loose but I did have fun and I made sure the page was done when it was done rather than leave it at a point where I could just use it as a background for something else.  I've done that a lot but that wasn't what I understood this lesson to be.

The other pictures were drawn to have the memory of Mother's Day in my journal.  This was done on a spread in my large 9"x12" Mixed Media Strathmore journal.  I actually used another of Jennifer's lesson with the apple tree which is Lesson #6 which is contour drawing.  I started the apple tree straight in pen and just looked and drew from one leaf to the next without worrying about doing each individually.  I started at the top and worked down.  This was not blind contour and I lifted my pen several times but it was done in the spirit rather than the rule of a contour drawing.  I certainly didn't try to get absolutely every leaf into my drawing!  Then I added the color and I rather like it!  What do you think?

The frog was done in pencil, then inked and finally painted.  I lost some of the pure, bright watercolor look when I tried to add a glossy topping to it which is a shame as it was more true to the frog's colors before.  It is still the frog though and I am pretty happy with how it turned out overall. 

At any rate, this is some of what I have been up to.  What have you been up to?