A Busy Summer!

Summer is always a busy time for us.  We spend most of the time going back and forth between our boat in Portland and our home in Lyons.   So while I was tired of the winter cold and rain sometimes the heat of summer also makes it uncomfortable to sketch outside.

I have filled my Fabriano Venezia sketchbook.  The paper was great but I found I could not move the pigment around when doing a watercolor wash.  Not sure if it was the paper or the high temperatures we have experienced in Oregon lately.

I have just started a Stillman & Birn Zeta sketchbook.  I need to give it more time.I should just stick to my favorite sketchbook, Stillman & Birn Alpha in 9 x 6 landscape.

I have tried to focus on two things in the last couple of weeks – brush pens and waterfowl – ducks and geese.  Two self portraits in brush pen. Pentel brush pens and some waterbrushes filled with ink washes. Yes this is the same person…just on different days!  Click on the images for a closer look.

brush-pen-portrait carmelbrush

Ducks and geese can be found in Lyons at the beaver ponds and at the marina in Portland.  I decided after a couple of attempts to look at them more closely and to understand the anatomy of each bird.  I spent hours  on John Muir Laws’ blog  where he has some hour long video workshops posted along with good information on sketching birds.  Birds, ducks or geese don’t stay around too long to be sketched!


The first sketch is from the beaver ponds in Lyons and the second sketch from the marina in Portland.

Here is a very messy spread in my sketchbook where I made notes on how to draw ducks and geese. I have no sense of layout sometimes! I was amazed how beautifully the paper in the Fabriano sketchbook took colored pencil.  The drawing of the heads are in black Verithin colored pencil.

ducksI found the odd person here or there.  Some were fishing, at the marina and in the dental office and one gentleman at Harbor Freight!  The last one was a 30 second sketch!


I took my art stool across the road and found a shady spot so I could sketch the local Grange Hall in Lyons.


The following are some random sketches.  One night we had salsa and corn chips on the boat.  The salsa was not the best. My husband, Dwight, reads his Kindle each night while I go walking and sometimes sketching in the evenings.  I do pay for it with sore feet!


feetI am sorry my feet are a little scary at times.  Until next time.


6 thoughts on “A Busy Summer!

  1. Your “messy layout” sketches are wonderful! I especially love the ducks. I remember the beautiful foot drawings you worked on and posted in Scribble Talk. Your sore feet above have the “sore” look, so they are perfect.


  2. Obviously you overcame the elements to do your very detailed drawings. Geese autonomicly correct, people so expressive I can feel their emotions, and feet pulsating from fatigue and over use! It all shouts from your pages beautifully!


  3. I really like all of your sketches. And you do everything from life, right, even yourself? That’s impressive all on its own. Fabulous ducks, would love to see more of these and as always, I admire your work with people. Keep it up, and have a great rest of the summer!


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