Wednesday, August 27, 2014

more dog park sketching

Hit the dog park again on Monday and while Maggie ran her legs off, I sketched the trees in front of my bench. Didn't have my paints with me so finished it off this evening using memory and artistic license.

I've realized that I'm a lazy sketcher. I don't wanna scribble in enough pine needles beneath the trees to make it actually look like pine needles. So after I did the tree on the left, I didn't even bother with the tree on the right, but it needs it so I may add them in.

My shadows need work too. It all needs work but I'm enjoying it and the more I do, the less I care about the small stuff like pine needles. And maybe shadows. 

So my work will prolly always look something like this and amazingly enough, I'm ok with that. Which is a huge step forward from where I was before Mary Ann's class.

I got impatient and painted over the letters before the ink was dry. <sigh>

Monday, August 25, 2014

you say face cloth, I say wash rag

Must be a my-generation mid-western thing but I grew up calling that piece of toweling that you scrub yourself with a wash rag. Sounds kinda tacky now that I'm older and have been exposed to more sophisticated terms, but I still think wash rag when I see one. Or maybe these are dish cloths.

Anyway, I store my knitting and crochet projects in small, handled gift bags. Lots of them. I had 10 or 12 several months ago, taking up space on my dresser. I whittled that down to 7 not long ago by unraveling things I knew I'd never finish, and moved them to the top of the dryer so they'd be more in my face. That got me to finish two scarves that I need to take pics of and blog about. Then a few days ago I grabbed the wash rag bag and finished one of the two half done ones.

That got me kinda back into it so I bought some more fun colors of cotton, dug thru my patterns and made a couple more. I gave them for Christmas one year and they were well received so may make another batch with that in mind.

The last one is a hodge podge of patterns that I just couldn't get my head around for some reason. I started one pattern, couldn't get the count right, winged it for a few rounds, then jumped into another pattern and manged to get the spiral pattern I'd been trying for in the first place. It's also the largest at close to 8" across. Love the colors.

Cotton yarn kills my hands and wrists cause it has no give at all, so I'm done for a few days at least, but the last two were each done in a day of crocheting at odd moments and short binges, so if I do one or two a week, I'll have a pile by Christmas.

Anybody wanna swap wash rags??

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

sketching at the dog park

So I signed up for Sketchbook Skool and wasn't super impressed with the first batch of videos, so signed up for Sketchbookery by Mary Ann Moss. Her goofy teaching methods are much more my style. And, throwing caution to the winds, I began to sketch willy nilly, not worrying about how straight my lines were, just kept going, as she instructed. I've posted a few things already, most of what I've done actually, and am really happy that somewhere along the way, I became pleased with what I was doing. Not too critical, like I usually am, just happy that my drawings looked enough like what they were to be recognizable, and that they had some character.

I'll do a more thorough review of both classes soon. Need to watch the last couple Sketchbook Skool classes to see if it got better. But for now, here's a quick sketch from the dog park. I had to take Maggie to the vet for shots and figured she needed a treat afterwards. I was sitting on a bench drawing while she ran around. The dog park isn't terribly interesting so I just drew the scene looking toward the back of the park.

It's in a small Moleskine sketchbook, so the spread is about 7"w x 5.5" tall. I water colored it after I got home. It got the most hearts on Instagram of any pic I ever posted.

Monday, July 28, 2014

friends & faux - who's next?

Friends & Faux has an ongoing wandering postcard project. I did one a month or two ago and Peggy recently sent me another. I drew a detail of a sunflower directly on the card, figuring if if I royally screwed it up, I could do something else and paste it over the top. But it came out fine. Used Pitt Artist pens and Copic markers.

Then Rhonda came down for an over-nighter and I talked her into doing one, so now I need to send it on to someone else. Any takers? No worries about having to make original art just for the card, you can isolate a scanned piece of art you made a while back and glue it down. Just has to be a neat little piece of art. And then you can mail it back to Friends & Faux, no need to find someone to take it next. Please reply to this post with a "yeah, me!" or email me at maugreall at gmail dot com.

The second from left in the top row was almost completely gone by the time it got to me. Really a shame cause it looked like a cool one. Hoping my drawn-right-on-the-card survives better.

Monday, July 21, 2014

Sketchbookery Class

As I mentioned last post, I signed up for Mary Ann Moss's Sketchbookery class and am really enjoying it. For the first time ever, I'm sketching and painting with acceptable results. The most useful part of the class (for me) are the videos where she shows an object and then films herself sketching it. Just watching someone draw something has been more helpful than anything.

I made a sketchbook for class, using the cover from a hardback book, reinforcing the spine with duct tape. For the first time I used hot press watercolor paper - which I had to order online, nobody around here had it - for the signatures. Started with 9x12 paper simply folded in half so my book is about 6x9, a good size. A Goldilocks size, not too big, not too small.

Quite like the smoothness of the hot press paper. First time I used it was for my hydrangea drawing. That was before I made the book, so I just bound it in as the first page.

I didn't use the binding stitch she shows for the class cause I wanted to try long stitch. I perused a bunch of pics on Google images and then played with dots and lines on a piece of scrap paper before binding my book. I wasn't terribly on center when I punched the holes but I like the basic idea.

I may rebind it paying more attn to the top and bottom rows of stitches. I wanted a thicker looking line there and meant to make loops instead of stitches, but forgot.
Inside front cover.
Not finished doodling, I don't think.
Love that turq and orange together.

Wanted to do some lettering but wasn't into finding a quote
so I just did the book I'm reading.
Then added a leaf from my coral bells out front.  

Testing the colors of the little box of pearlescent paints
I bought at Nasco when Julie was here.
So lucky to have that place nearby.
They have only 3 retail stores nationwide
and one of them is 30-40 minutes from me.
Will draw some more bugs, then paint them. 

Thursday, July 17, 2014

pink hydrangea drawing

I signed up for Mary Ann Moss's Sketchbookery class, in the wild hopes of learning to sketch and watercolor just well enough to satisfy my own fairly low expectations. Unfortunately, I'm not really patient enough to go thru the drill of many blind contour drawings, many more semi-blind contour drawings, etc, etc.

I just wanna be able to draw. Now.

But that's not how it works. That's not how any of this works.    (how I love that commercial)

But I forged ahead and last night sat down with a will and a purpose - to draw and paint something recognizable. I went slowly (sooo difficult) and drew what I saw, not what I thought I saw.

Then I painted it, again going slowly and really looking at my subject, changing my paint colors little by little as I layered.

And a crazy thing happened. I drew and painted something I'm happy with.


It's not a Monet but it's way the hell better than anything I've done before.

So thanks, Mary Ann! I may end up being able to sketch after this class.

Sunday, July 13, 2014

gelli printing on black

I've been a gelli printing fool lately. Pamela was over for that one day, then my friend Julie-in-July came for 4 days, one of which we spent cranking out gelli prints. And tomorrow I'm leaving for an over nighter with my friend Moneka.

Guess what we're going to do?

Yup. Gelli printing. Cause her 13yo grand daughter is visiting, so I'm taking all my gelli stuff, plus my book binding supply box, and we're going to make cool prints the first day, then make some simple journals with them t he next. Also going to show her how to make a zine somewhere in there. Should be a fun-filled 2 days. Supposed to be around 105F both days, so we'll be spending some time in her pool too. I haven't crammed myself into my bathing suit since 2005 when we snorkled the Great Barrier Reef in Australia. Should be... interesting.

Anyway, I did some gelli printing on black card stock and it came out kinda cool. Not sure why I haven't tried it before, but I'll be doing it again, for sure.