Sketchbook Skool is over. I’m sad.

Pen & Ink, Watercolor

The six weeks are up and my sketchbook is completely filled. I’ve never filled a sketchbook before and consider this a very satisfying accomplishment. This class was more fun than any art class I’ve taken in person and I’m pretty bummed I have to wait until October to start the next one. October?! Gah.

I got to the last page in my sketchbook- the very last- the page with the actual back cover. I wanted to try my hand at actually composing a sketchbook page with some thought, rather than my normal diving right in there with absolutely no plan. I decided to make 6 mini-drawings representing each of the lessons and try my best to make them look like they belong together. Unfortunately, the back cover makes the size of the page too large to fit in my always disappointing scanner, making it blurry. So, this is an also-but less-blurry, photo.

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Everybody, just go out there and sign up for the next Sketchbook Skool right now. I did.

Ok, well, not really because you can’t yet, but I will.

My 3-year-old saw the selfie and said, “Mom, is that you??” I proudly said, “Yes!” And then he said, “It doesn’t look like you.”

Huuuuhhh. To which I replied, “Well, it looked enough like me that you knew it was me, so there. And what do you know? You’re a kid.”


Sketchbook Skool #6

Urban Sketches, Watercolor

I don’t want to play favorites, or anything, but it can’t be helped. Architectural drawings and block lettering hold a special place in my heart. The final class in Sketchbook Skool was taught by Liz Steel. Her lesson had me so jazzed about drawing, it had me laying awake in bed thinking about driving to a place that would a) have interesting buildings to sketch and b) be far enough away that both my kids would fall asleep on the way. It was the weekend, so naturally, I ditched the family and sketched in nearby Martinez.Image (74)

In addition to drawing buildings, Liz loves to sketch her teacups. Her blog has a hundred beautiful examples. I searched high and low for a teacup to test out her technique, even seriously considered spending $30 in an antique store for a suitable example (which I would probably then never use for tea). Finally, I went to my mom’s, thinking, surely she’ll have one or two. In fact, she had about 15 perfect drawing subjects, which I will now periodically ‘check out’ of the tea cup library that is her hutch. Here is the first:Image (72)


Sketchbook Skool #4.2

Sketches, Watercolor

Cathy Johnson’s second lesson was on drawing in nature. I was on vacation at the beach this entire week, which should’ve been a good place to draw in nature, but drawing landscapes is one of those things for me like cleaning the toilet and I kept putting it off.

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I sketched this tree at the beach.

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I really like these two ocean thumbnails! My favorite of the bunch. And I had to throw in a power pole for my husband. (He works for the electric company. And does not shut up about power lines. Ever.)

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This is the worst. I see other people draw these terrific trees and bushes that look so great. I need some serious practice here. Bleh.

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Finally, I just couldn’t do anymore nature. Ahh, construction. So comfy.

Sketchbook Skool #4.1

Pencil, Sketches, Watercolor

This week’s lesson was taught by Cathy Johnson, a naturalist and artist who has written a boat load of books and has a whole heap of experience in capturing nature. She is a sweet lady and I really enjoyed watching her videos because she’s positive and lovely and you can just tell that she is a very nice person. I love drawing animals, but I usually (ok, always) draw them from photos, because, well, you know, they move. I did my best to draw a bird from nature, but it was pretty pathetic. As Cathy suggested, if you can’t get a reasonable likeness from a moving object, just use a picture. But better to use a picture you took yourself to maintain a real life connection.

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These first two seagulls were drawn from photos I took. I like bird butts. 🙂 Image (B58) Image (56A)
This third seagull was from a googled photo. And this 4th page was done in real life as I walked around the embarcadero in Morro Bay. That thing in the middle? It’s a squirrel. I thought I could draw a squirrel from memory (which is basically what this is) since I’ve drawn them before, but alas. No.

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This last one is also from a googled image. I liked this lesson, but it was hard. I learned that I do like working in pencil for birds and other animals. H and 3B work out nicely.

Sketchbook Skool #3

Pen & Ink, Watercolor

This lesson was taught by Brenda Swenson. She’s a wonderful watercolorist and a well-known teacher. She does workshops to Italy!! I want to go to there. Her lesson included continual line drawings. Do not lift your pen! Watch the subject and draw what you see.

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So, my first go round, I learned that paying attention is quite necessary here.

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Next try was a bit better.

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I was getting bored with tea things, and then I remembered how happy it makes me to draw tools. They’re out of sight, being in the garage. I forget about them…

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If you are ever at a loss for something interesting to draw, go sit on the floor of your garage. If there is space for your butt, you will find something draw-worthy. If not, I bet that big ass mess would be more fun to draw than pick up.

Sketchbook Skool #2

Gouache, Pen & Ink, Sketches, Watercolor

The second class was taught by Koosje Koene. She’s fantastic. I want us to be friends. 🙂

We did self portraits in different styles- using a mirror, photos, or memory. Portraits are hard, but practice makes better.

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The top sketch was from the mirror, in Prismacolor pencils. Man, I look pissed! The bottom, as the description says, was ink and bamboo pen. Also, looking pissed.

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These are to be very quick sketches not lifting the pen from the page. These are so freakin’ fun to do! I could do a gazillion a day. Maybe if I did, I could actually get a likeness. But who cares?

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This one actually, unfortunately, does look somewhat like me. I was really tired that morning…

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Here’s me from a photo in the 80’s. My hair was RAD!

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One from my imagination. This was really hard. I don’t actually look like Scully. I guess we are similarly pale.

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Another quick one.

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Yipes. The color got away from me here. And I think seams should generally be kept out of the eyeball. Also, this was from the mirror. So, there.


Sketchbook Skool #1.1

Pen & Ink, Watercolor

Let me just get this out of the way right off the bat. I typically steer clear of any kind of product, service, or business that uses, in it’s name or advertisements, incorrect spelling or poor grammar for cuteness or alliteration.

Klassy Kuts. Gr8 Deals! Eating good in the neighborhood. I hate this.

But if the extra ‘k’ in ‘Sketchbook Skool,’ is putting you off, get over it. Because Sketchbook Skool is Gr8. Really. Go check it out. Watch the video for the whole explanation, but basically, you get several lessons from several artists over 6 weeks. You get to share and be shared with. You work to develop a habit for drawing in a sketchbook. (I’ve been meaning to do this for 10 years.) Best of all, participate at your own convenience! I can’t really go to in-person art classes right now. Kids have to go to bed at 7 pm, you know. But I can tune them out to watch a 12 minute video while they play in the dog’s water bowl!

First lesson here: (by Danny Gregory)

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rubber bands


Pink Mercedes across the Street

Pen & Ink, Sketches, Watercolor

This Mercedes is actually white, but that is boring to paint. Also, yes, I drew this months ago, but I hate my scanner.

I spend a fair amount of time sitting in my car in my driveway while the kids sleep in their car seats. This is prime sketching time. Although, the subject matter consists of pretty much this car and my garage door. Which is all as well, since I forget my sketchbook 90% of the time they both are asleep at the same time, which is approximately 0.5% of the time that anyone falls asleep at all. Sigh.

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