Watercolor Wednesday

Art, Ink & Watercolor, Watercolor Wednesday


Berries, ink and watercolor, 11 x 6 in.

My littler boy used to get a rash from strawberries. We stayed away from them for two long strawberry seasons, but we tested out the allergy this week. I figured it would eventually disappear and, to the whole family’s delight, it has! In celebration, I sketched my favorite fruit salad ingredients. Mmm. 

Weekend Sketch Ride

Art, Ink & Watercolor, Urban Sketches



Family Ride, ink and watercolor in Stillman & Birn Zeta sketchbook, 11 x 8.5 in.

We had an excellent weekend of bike rides, donuts, sushi, and kids-staying-with-grandparents. Somehow, though, I only got a couple quick sketches in. This is our family bike set up from early in the morning while the kids played ‘Bank Robber’ at an otherwise deserted playground. This was just after second breakfast at Blue Star donuts, so the sugar energy was high. I should’ve sketched the donut, but I know that if I take my hands off my scrumptious treat for one moment, it will be snatched right off my napkin with such stealth that before my eyelids can lift up to zero in on the thief, my kid will be licking his fingers.

Watercolor Wednesday

Art, Ink & Watercolor, Sketches, Watercolor

Ink and watercolor in Stillman and Birn Zeta Sketchbook, 5.5 x 8.5

I haven’t been buying flowers lately but this small bouquet at Trader Joe’s was $3.99 and I figured it was a minor enough extravagance to indulge. I seem to always pick bouquets with something orange. Come to think of it, I pretty much always pick the same type of bouquet with the same type of flowers. Having any colorful flowers to look at is nice but maybe next time I’ll try for something different. I could really go for some red ranunculus.

Watercolor Wednesday

Art, Urban Sketches, Watercolor


It turned out better than I expected, but I won’t say I’m happy with this. What makes me really dislike this sketch is that I drove all the way up to St. John’s bridge to paint it and realized I forgot my water jar just when I got settled into a great parking spot. All I had was a little tiny crappy water brush. So, I painted angrily.

These ain’t your kids’ colored pencils


Last year for Christmas, someone in my family got me, at my request, Aloyna Nicklesen’s Colored Pencil Painting Bible. I had seen it on Amazon and thought it could be awesome. Plus, I’ve had a 48 pencil Prismacolor set since I was in Jr. high school and I thought it was high time to learn how to use them. Now, a year later, I’ve finally cracked it open and… this book is inspiring. Really. Her paintings are spectacularly realistic and the book goes into detail about techniques I’d have never thought up in a zillion years. So, I packed up all my necessary materials along with the book for my WDNO at the library. It turns out, colored pencil painting is slow and requires quite a hell of a lot of skill.

First of all, I’ve never oil painted so I don’t own any mineral spirits. This is a required material according to Ms. Nicklesen, so I searched around my house for an alternate. I chose castor oil. While, castor oil did sort of blend the color a bit, it also soaked through the paper. I’m going to guess that the artists of history had it right and used mineral spirits in lieu of castor oil because it is better. Go buy mineral spirits.

Then, I had 1.5 hours to work with, and this is what I accomplished:

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Pretty unimpressive. With 20 minutes to closing time, I decided to begin one of the exercises in the book (Yes, there are exercises!! I love that!). I started to sketch a pair of cherries. This is my incomplete 20 minutes worth:

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Verdict: Keep at it.

It’s beauts! :)

Pencil, Sketches, Urban Sketches

I decided to pick up Randy from work last Friday in San Francisco so that we could all enjoy a lovely afternoon in the City together. Then I realized as I crossed the beautiful brand new Bay Bridge that it is Friday and we will have to leave in 30 minutes if we want to avoid the hellscape that is Friday afternoon traffic heading out of San Francisco.

So, we hung out at Chrissy Field for five minutes then loaded everybody back into the van to at least cross the Golden Gate before it got real bad. We got out again at Fort Baker and delighted at the views of the bridge, the bay and the city. I drew this picture of what you see if you turn your back on all those iconic subjects and face North. Then a pack of some 20 something girls parked their car in front of me and, while commenting how “beauts” the day/scenery was, went for a nice walk down by the marina. “Whatevs,” I said. “I was almost done anyway.”

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I’m a dirty hippy.


I don’t remember exactly what the catalyst was for my most recent kick on all-natural beauty products, but it has culminated in me not washing my hair for 2 weeks. Well, I’m washing my hair, just not with shampoo from the store. Still, I admit, it’s as dirty hippy as I’ve ever been. And I’ve had two home births.

There’s this gal out there on the interwebs who has a blog where she shares a sketch of whatever stuff she’s bought that day. She’s making some sort of statement about consumerism…yadda, yadda, yadda. Being the hippy that I am, I kinda like it. So, I copied her today and drew my day’s purchases from Mountain Rose Herbs, some of which are going to aid in my no ‘poo challenge. Here is that sketch:Image (11)

I also plan to make some lotion with the cocoa and mango butters and the beeswax. Also deodorant. I’ve been making my own deodorant for at least 3 years. My pits smell like oranges all the time. Jealous?

Spelling is hard when you’re not paying attention.

Pen & Ink, Sketches

Last night, we had brussel sprouts with dinner. The 2-year-old LOVES them. He won’t touch kale with a 30-foot pole, but brussel sprouts are “yummy!” They also look pretty cool on the cross-section. They don’t help you spell. Every damn time I write words on a drawing, something is misspelled–it could be my own name. Fragg.

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Do not sketch while breastfeeding.

Pen & Ink, Sketches, Urban Sketches

I spend at least 60 minutes per day breastfeeding. Excluding nighttime breastfeeding, which is totally unproductive due to zombie brain sleep. This 60 minutes seems like prime time for doing something because it is guaranteed to be cry-free time*. Unfortunately, due to the nature of breastfeeding, I have between one and zero hands available during this time.

Anyway, sometimes when I’m breastfeeding I’m looking at something I’d like to be drawing and I draw it in my mind. Then flush it right out of there because I will not be able to reproduce something from my mind’s eye. Imposible. (That was in Spanish, it is not misspelled.) Yesterday I tried to draw something later that I spent several minutes looking at earlier in the day. This is that thing:

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I was sitting in a car on a street in Oakland looking at this. Actually, this is the only part I specifically remember.

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The rest I sort of made up.

*One might suggest that I spend this time “bonding” with my baby, but I assure you, I also spend at least 60 other minutes a day changing diapers, and diaper changing time is always spent gazing into the eyes of my beautiful child blasting him with lovingkindness from my face while my hands work at an inhuman speed tossing soiled diaper into the bin and wrangling a new clean one on before he WIGS out. So, we totally bond.

My neighbor is a Mercedes mechanic.

Pen & Ink, Sketches

My neighbor is a Mercedes mechanic. He always has different Mercedes out in front of his house. This one is always there and he parks it outside on the street. He says he does not worry about the paint because it was made in Germany and that old paint lasts forever. Not like the crap paint we use on cars nowadays. Image (7)

I am at least the 3rd owner of this stroller. But it is rad.Image (8)

When I hear the word camera, I think of Jenna on 30 Rock saying it, “CAH-mer-a,” and swishing her hair back behind her shoulder. Then Liz rolls her eyes and makes a barfing gesture.

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