A Different Palette!

In my last post I mentioned I have a Schmincke palette.  Last Fall I went to Germany to visit my son.  While we were there we visited Boesner, an art supply store that looks like Dick Blicks but with some very different supplies.  It was the first time I had seen a Lamy pen display.  My main reason for visiting the store was to look at Schmincke watercolors.  I came away with a set of 18 full sized pans in a nice metal palette at an unheard of price.

It has been a busy year and for one reason or another I have not used them until now.   I try not to go by names but by pigments which proves to be confusing at times.

The following is a sketch of the palette with the colors and pigments listed.  The page got a little messy!


There are some interesting colors and a couple that have me confused.   Venetian Red and Burnt Sienna have the same pigment PR101.  Burnt Sienna has PBk9 black added to it.  Both colors look very similar.   This is the same pigment in Daniel Smith’s Transparent Red Oxide and Indian Red.  SCH Venetian Red and DS Indian Red look so different.  SCH Cerulean Blue Tone and DS Cerulean Blue are very different.  SCH  Cerulean Blue Tone is Phthalo Blue PbK 15.3 and White PW4 and is a nice blue.  You can see some of the differences here. You read that you should go by pigments and not names.  I find all this interesting.  My guess is the process is different within each individual brand.


The best way to test the palette is to use it!  I gathered some of my people from my sketchbooks so I could play around. You can click on the images for a closer look.


I am going to follow the advice of artist Roz Stendahl. Roz suggests you evaluate new materials by working with them exclusively for a couple of weeks. So that is the plan!  After one day I am not too excited about Venetian Red or Naples Yellow. The rest I really like!


My Palette!

I spent most of yesterday looking at a new set of paints.  Well new in that I have not used them. A set of Schmincke watercolors which I will be taking for a test drive later today.

However, last night I had a question on my current palette I have been using for my people sketches.  It was fun to sketch my palette.  I hope the corresponding notes on the pigments match the sketch.  I try to use single pigments.  The only one that crosses the line is the Daniel Smith Neutral Tint.  A convenience color. I was playing around with this palette yesterday and  removed DS Monte Amiata Natural Sienna and replaced it with DS Quinacridone Gold.  I originally set up this palette when I was doing Liz Steel’s online class – SketchingNow Foundations last year.  I have gradually added a selection of convenience colors to the palette.  I was missing Quinacridone Gold.   I believe I have of two sets of primary colors – warm and cool.  You will see a light wash on the top of the page.  This is DS Perylene Maroon and the base color I use for most skin tones.   It looks very dark in the palette and it is!

I also included some of my sketching tools Platinum carbon fountain pen, Pentel pocket brush pen and a #12 Escoda Versatil Travel brush (synthetic not sable).  I am moving away from waterbrushes although you will see one in the photo of my sketching kit.  My security brush!


This is a photo of my palette.  Yes it is clean! I always clean it after every use. I keep a tidy ship with a place for everything so I can find it. It would probably make more sense to have the photo corresponding to the sketch!  So here are two versions so you don’t have to  stand on your head to look at the brush!


A little more information.  This is a  photo of my watercolor sketching kit that I take with me and should be using in coffee shops!  Two palette cups that slide onto a supporting 9 x 12 board, a large waterbrush, an old sock to put on my wrist, small water bottle and a Ranger Rick mini mister. Found in Michaels. I used a 50% coupon.  I think I paid $3 and got 3 in a packet.  The see through plastic container is Costco packaging (underwear)! I like to be able to find and see things quickly.  I have two containers for water which I will start to use shortly.  Very similar to the one in the photo but with a wider opening.

contentsI took two more photos to show the set up.  The first is of the board with the two palette cups.  The second is to show you how I attach the sketchbook to the board.   I really like these clips as they don’t damage the paper in the sketchbook.  I also clip just the cover of the sketchbook.  Either way works.   I did not think all this up by myself.  I follow Marc Taro Holmes blog, Citizen Sketcher,  and he has a similar setup.  Now if you look at his blog you will see a great set up for attaching his palette to the board and resting his brushes in office clips.   I use this system in my studio for my brushes.


I believe that is it.   More information then I originally set out to share.  But fun to do!

Yes, at the Mall again!

I went back to the Mall and found last week’s table. I arrived too early so it was not until the second hour that people started calling in for coffee and sitting down to have lunch. I had a nice conversation with one lady who sat near me. She said I had found the “Artist’s Table” . “You will always find an artist at that table”. There is a wall to the back and side of the table plus a great view!  Two hours was long enough, I hated to leave but I was really getting tired.

My first page was a warm up page of gesture. I could feel myself drawing down the leg. That would be contour. Not giving up on this. I quickly warmed up and drew the figures on the next page. I am really pleased that I have more shading or values plus surroundings. Some real progress. Next is painting on location. I know I keep saying that.  I am working on updating my palette. Most of these sketches were with a Platinum carbon pen with  EF nib.

gesture     peoplecolor

The next three sketches are of people in the food court located opposite Starbucks in the mall.

foodcourtcolor foodcourt2colorpeople2color

The next two are of people in Starbucks and the mall.

mencolor tiredcolor

This week I looked at painting these people differently.  All of the above were  painted very wet  with the colors running into each other.  Soft edges.

The following are two sketches with the people painted in layers and some shading with complimentary colors.  These  two sketches were somewhat wonky to start with. The young girl with an orange jacket is a combination of two people.    In the first sketch I lost my whites.  The girl  turned out better than I thought. The colors are good!  It was touch and go for a while.  I had to do something with the gentleman so removed some of the pigment with tissue for some color variation.  I need to keep working on this. The second sketch was a quick scribble at the mall with a sharpie marker just before I left.  I loaded my brush with pigment and did a very wet wash.  I went back later and added more pigment in the shaded areas.  Not sure if I enjoy all the fussing or would rather just do one very wet wash!  Perhaps I need to ensure I get more pigment in those wet washes.


Out and About!

We spent the last four days at the marina.  There are no sketches of boats but I found a tree!

The initial sketch was a continuous line drawing in my small sketchbook.  I came back to the location later, pulled out my sketching stool which immediately sunk into the ground and then fought off wasps as I painted a palm tree!


The following are two continuous line sketches of my husband and myself.  I really liked how these turned out.

Carmelscribble Dwightscribble2

Next I went to Starbucks just inside Target.  This is my catch them quick location! I started off with Platinum carbon pen however that was not working for me.  The pen was good but I was fussing too much with details. Although I loved the stance of this gentleman at the counter.



I decided to work with a Pentel Aquash brush pen with light black ink giving less details.


This capture is my favorite!

cartI came away from the day feeling disappointed.  There were too many backs of people and it is a fast location.  So I tend to jump from person to person without including some of the surroundings. So I need to give some thought to perhaps a different location or to slowing down as I sketch to catch more.

Back to Mall with a stop at Costco!

At one time I would pack my gear to go out sketching.  It was the only way it would happen.  Now sketching has just become a part of my day.   Last Tuesday I stopped at Costco to pick up some coffee and almonds before heading down to the Mall for coffee and to sketch.

It was a busy day at Costco with no fast checkouts.  So I started sketching people in the row next to me.   I carry a small 4 x 6 sketchbook in my bag at all times.   This sketchbook does not take a lot of watercolor so I will sometimes add color to a page with a stencil.  I prepared these pages with my coffee stain stencil.

costco1 costco2

After leaving  Costco I headed down to Starbucks at one of malls.  I was very lucky to find a nice corner table at the back which overlooked people in Starbucks, in the food court and shoppers in the mall.

This is the same couple in two sketches.  This couple were sitting just in front of me.  I could sketch both people however I could not sketch them together even on the second try. I was going to try again but they left!

coupe2 couple1

I have a lot of random people on this page.  I really need to slow down and perhaps draw less people and more surroundings. The first woman up and left very quickly.  The second woman was a good study. The last two people on the page were some distance from me.


This gentleman sat so close to me.  I don’t believe he knew I was drawing him.  The woman in the next sketch was resting while she was waiting for a coffee. She was sitting a distance from me.  The last sketch is my favorite of the day.  The young woman had bright orange hair.  Her friend was in a black hoodie. Please click on any sketch to see a close up.


I believe if I could get the same location again it would be easy to set up my paints.  I had a wall to the back and side of me.  It was also 2 p.m. so just at the end of lunch.  I am sure as the Holidays approach these locations will get busy with shoppers. .

One would think I was finished for the day.  I took my small sketchbook on my afternoon walk and found a local cow was out and a blue heron fishing in the ponds. I used a calligraphy marker for these quick sketches which are half gesture and half contour.

Thanks for looking.  I am heading back to marina for the next couple of days.  We are still experiencing the last days of summer

cows1 heronw