Plays With Pencils

Possum Patty from Pencil-vania Illustrating Life

Thursday, March 2, 2017

Thursday Portrait Workshop: Under much pressure sketching Santa...

Seasonally, this gentleman portrays the jolly old man himself. Last Thursday he sat for the art group. Warm-up contour sketch with Lamy Safari pen in BG Green Sketchbook by Metro Books, NY.

Wednesday, March 1, 2017

60 MPH Challenge: Draw the Dunkelburger Bridges over the Merritt Parkway (Connecticut) as you pass under...

Road trip this past weekend! I challenged myself to quickly sketch each gracefully arched overpass between mum's hometown in Connecticut and the New York state border.

The Merritt Parkway, which is on the National Register of Historic Places because of these bridges, spans the distance between the Hutchinson River Parkway in New York and the Housatonic River in Stratford, Connecticut.

I believe there are around 40 bridges the whole distance, though my travels took me under 25 of them. In some stretches of road, the overpasses come up quite quickly making the details hard to capture.

All of the bridges were designed by George L. Dunkelburger in the various styles of the late 1930s: Art Deco, Art Moderne, French Renaissance, Gothic, Neoclassicism, and Rustic.

I believe I missed at least two! My sketches do not do justice to the beautiful art that each bridge actually is! If you ever drive through Connecticut, take the parkway and look up! You will be rewarded with cast iron grape vines, stylized Griffons, Puritans and Indians, rustic rubble rock, winged wheels, flowers, fiddle head ferns, and of course, the State Seal of Connecticut.

Lamy Joy and Safari fountain pens in a BG Green Sketchbook by Metro Books NY.

Monday, February 27, 2017

Art and Oatmeal: sunflower vase with Lamy fountain pen and watercolor wash

Wonky but fun!

Art and Oatmeal with Sliced Honeycrisp Apples and a sunflower vase.

Lamy Safari pen. Don't even remember where I got this sketchbook! It says BG Green Sketchbook, Metro Books. Nice smooth paper and it even took a little bit of wash with just a hint of wrinkle.

Monday, February 20, 2017

Tree #144/10,000 "Friendship is a sheltering tree." Samuel Taylor Coleridge

Black Chinese ink and watercolors in Strathmore 500 Series Mixed Media Journal.

Sketching in the Kitchen with Kay.

Tuesday, February 14, 2017

Just sketching Felines with a Fine Line Pen...

I was given the challenge of drawing with a Stables Ultra Fine pigment pen until in ran out of ink. So here are four pages of gesture drawings from life that I did by following my cats around over the course of 3 days.

First page. There are two cats individually labeled "tt" for Titi and "sw" for Stinky. Stinky is not fat, she just spreads easily.

Titi is an Abyssinian. Look in the Cat Encyclopedia under "most destructive cats ever." 

Titi is a runt with a very large self-image. Her full name is larger than she is - Queen Nefertiti.

Pen not empty yet. Crescent marker journal.

Monday, February 13, 2017

One Drawing a Day (the book) - Day 26 - Clouds

More clouds! The clouds today were moving very quickly. Wind gusts 40 to 60 mph at ground level. The wind must have blown a tree or branch onto the power lines because our electricity went out for about 90 minutes. Derwent Sketching dark wash 8B pencil in Strathmore 500 Series Mixed Media Journal.

Thursday, February 9, 2017

Whistle Pig...

First Sundays are Nature Journaling days at Nolde Forest Environmental Education Center.

Marmota monax by any other name - "Woodchuck", "Ground Hog", "Whistle Pig" - is still the "solitary marmot".  Whistle Pigs are found in the order Rodentia and the squirrel family, Sciuridae.

Their skulls are large, flat, and heavy. Unlike most other rodents their incisors are white and not orange. 

Saturday, February 4, 2017

Tree #143/10,000: The Temporal Aspect of the Standing People is beyond human understanding...

Wise Old Possum Woman was contemplating the temporal aspect of trees when she saw one in a rock.

The story in the stone inspired a journal page.

It's hard to see the texture and sheen of the page with a scan or photograph.

In the close up you can see the underpainting of light molding paste and resin sand.

The sheen is from iridescent acrylic paint.

In Kay's kitchen with acrylics and a Strathmore 500 Series Mixed Media Journal.

Monday, January 30, 2017

One Drawing A Day (the book) - Day 26 - Draw Clouds...

I don't talk politics, so what else can be said of January 2017? Here in the Mid-Atlantic region it was warmer than usual, and there was one sunny day. The rest of the month was cloudy, mostly cloudy, or at least partly cloudy. Connie shared her outstanding crayon drawing of clouds with me and I was inspired to give it a go myself. The resulting clouds do not resemble the gray clouds that I was looking at but that is quite alright with me because they were just plain fun to do. And I may just do more! After all "I make stuff to be making it - not to have made it." ...Danny Gregory. 

This is the book that I borrowed from the library:
One Drawing a Day: A 6 Week Course Exploring Creativity with Illustration and Mixed Media by Veronica Lawlor. Day 26 is sketching cloud shapes. The variation is to use watercolors and pastels. 

I used crayons. Wow, look at the texture! Done in the Strathmore 500 Series Mixed Media Journal.

First layer was made with Crayola True to Life Twistables. They are colored pencils/crayons with two or three colors swirled in each stick. They blend to get interesting color variations. You could call these "precious art supplies" because I don't think True to Life colors are made anymore. Couldn't find them on and on Amazon they are $49.99. I know I only paid a few dollars for them.

The second layer was made with Crayola crayons.  Coloring is not just for kids!

Saturday, January 28, 2017

Happy New Year! 2017 is the Year of the Fire Rooster...

Happy New Year!

2017 is the Year of the Fire Rooster

Roosters are very confident in themselves.

Neocolor II crayons and Sakura Glaze pen in Strathmore 500 Series Mixed Media journal.

Friday, January 27, 2017

Winter is here....Meteorological winter and Astronomical winter.

"Winter is here." 
George R R Martin A Game of Thrones

We are in the "Dead of Winter". In the Mid-Atlantic it's the time of the lowest average temperatures, usually during the middle of January. Meteorological Winter is based on the weather. The further north you travel the earlier this happens. Astronomical Winter is the time from the Winter Solstice to the Vernal Equinox.

Watercolors in the Strathmore 500 Series Mixed Media Journal from a reference photo . Done in Kay's kitchen last week.

Thursday, January 26, 2017

And that is all.....

Today is January 26, 2017. 

It is very windy outside. 

There is no snow on the ground.

I doodled some flowers.

And that is all.

Started with globs of watercolor that I blew into fun shapes. Doodled the flowers with Sakura Glaze pen. Added more marks with various sparkly pens. Splattered watercolors on the background and then painted it yellow. Finished it off with a border and journaling with more sparkly pens. In my Strathmore 500 Series Mixed Media Journal.

Wednesday, January 25, 2017

Yay! I got a new pencil for Christmas and I drew two owlets...

Nature Journaling at the North Museum, Lancaster, PA with Carol and Connie. Santa put several art goodies in my stocking last Christmas and one was a Kimberly 9XXB pencil. I used the pencil for the first time to sketch these two Great Horned Owlets.

The pencil is wonderfully large and chunky. It makes dark marks that are not too shiny. You can create great texture with multiple layers of scribbling. 

Met Connie, fellow Sketchbook Skool Skolar, for the first time in person! So happy to meet an Art Friend from Skool.

Connie is busy sketching from one of the many 100+ year old bird specimens at the museum. The table is set up with art supplies so anyone visiting the museum can sit and join in the journaling fun!

Looking over Connie's shoulder watching her work. You can see one of the Great Horned Owlets in the case. 

So blessed to be able to share our sketchbooks and enjoy each other's creativity!

Looking forward to another Sketch-Meet-Up!