A visit to the Food Court!

However, not for lunch for sketching!foodcourt



I  do a lot of watercolor splashing in my sketchbooks because it is easy to splash a little color and be done!   I visit Handprint for information on pigments. A second interesting website/blog belongs to Jane Blundell, an Australian watercolor artist, who makes sense of all those pigments listed on the Handprint site.  She also teaches an online class..Mastering Watercolor.

Here is Jane Blundell

The course covers pigments, color theory, basic watercolor techniques and working with triads.

Triads I found interesting.  Although I was not sure how to work with them. Lesson 10 involves painting a still life setup of pears in three different triads. This is actually painting and not splashing which involved planning and slowing down.  A definite break from my 60 second sketches.It was fun once I got started!!  Lots of mistakes, so lots of learning!


The first triad is Pyrrol Crimson, Quinacridone  Gold and Ultramarine Blue (Daniel Smith paints) and a touch of Burnt Sienna.  I missed having an ink sketch and soon discovered I needed to give more thought to the edges.


The second triad is Quinacridone Rose, Hansa Yellow Medium and Phthalo Blue (Daniel Smith) and a touch of Burnt Sienna


The third triad Indian Red, Goethite (brown ochre) and Cerulean Blue Chromium (Daniel Smith) and a touch of Raw Umber The earth triad!!


Lastly  I decided to play and do two paintings at the same time.  It got confusing but helped to pass the time while the other painting needed to dry. I returned to the first triad listed above Pyrrol Crimson, Quinacridone  Gold and Ultramarine Blue

The first three were on Arches, cold press, 140 lb.  This last study was to test Fluid watercolor paper, cold press, 140 lb.  I have an easy block of this paper and yes it is “easy” compared to a normal block of watercolor paper.  I ended up liking the Fluid paper more than the Arches.

I much prefer working in a sketchbook.  I could turn the Fluid blocks into sketchbooks at the local print shop.  I may now do more painting and less splashing.  Just two more lessons in this wonderful class.

Although late last night I did a couple of 60 second sketches and some SPLASHING while watching  late night TV!



I will miss you….Starbucks!

Earlier this week I had an appointment downtown and some time to kill.  So we made our way to the nearest Starbucks only to find it was closed and the workers were breaking down the furniture.  We found the one remaining downtown Starbucks.   It was packed so no seating to sketch.  We took our coffee to the downtown mall.  Almost every second shop was empty.  We sat outside a pawn shop to drink our coffee.  I spotted this woman in the pawn shop!


Last night I learned my Starbucks in Lancaster Mall is closing tomorrow.  This is the main Starbucks  featured in my sketchbooks! I am lucky to have so many sketches.  However, I will miss the location  and so will a lot of  retired folks in Salem who like to meet there for coffee.    I think malls are becoming a thing of the past.   The same mall has a large Sports Authority store in the process of closing down.

Here are my last memories of Starbucks in Lancaster Mall!


Pentel Pocket brush pen, Lamy Calligraphy pen, Daniel Smith  paints, Stillman & Birn Zeta Sketchbook (color), pen washes in Daler Rowney  sketchbook.

On the plus side, the sun is out, sailing season starts soon, the Saturday markets start to open next month and there will always be a COSTCO!!





I went sketching…yes to Costco!

I know what you are thinking.  Does she live in Costco?  Well in the dead of winter we go there a lot.  I forget things …yesterday we got eggs but forgot the popcorn! So I see another visit coming up….

Here are some captures from yesterday..costco2wash

Pentel Brush Pen and ink wash.

The Juggling Act!

Sometimes when I focus on one aspect of sketching I start to wonder if I have fallen behind elsewhere.  It feels like a  juggling act.  So while I have been practicing capturing people  in motion.  I also spend time in the evenings drawing faces from late night television! The key to developing your sketching skills is practice combined with drawing from life….and trying new tools…making it a part of your day!



Pen: scratchy old gel pens, diluted ink in a waterbrush and Faber & Castell big brush markers. The sketchbook is a small off white Pentalic sketchbook. Pentel Pocket Brush Pen.