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.

Oh my Gouache

Gouache, Sketches

My husband gave me a set of Reeves gouache paints for Christmas and I finally broke ’em out yesterday. I’ve never used gouache before except to add white on top of watercolor paintings (which I had trouble making look decent… not my fav. technique for w.c.) so I thought I’d just goof around and do some sketchy stuff instead of blast right in to a painting I’d want to look nice.

Gouache is super RAD. I need to learn all about it. The colors are so bright and thick it almost looks like pastel.  I like the flat finish of gouache compared with the plastic-y shine of acrylics. 

You can see that the colors are so much more brilliant than watercolor. It lends itself very well to an illustrator-ly style but a quick internet search of gouache images shows that it’s capable of so much more! I’m excited.

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Watercolor on Yupo

Pen & Ink, Sketches, Watercolor

I got a pad of translucent Yupo a while back and gave it try again today. Yupo is a smooth polypropylene “paper” made for watercolor. It looks like vellum, but at 140lb, it’s thicker than the vellum I’ve used before. It accepts paint completely different than any paper I’ve tried because there is no absorption. I’ve noticed that you have to be even more mindful of the order in which you apply paint than normal because additional layers of paint sort of push previous layers out of the way. Like a dry erase marker.

Watercolor on Yupo.

I practiced with India Ink on Yupo as well.

India Ink on Yupo