Author Archives: Nancy Leigh-Smith

Autumn Colours

I recently drove to Nova Scotia to visit friends.  I took my time and my sketchbook.

The trees were just beginning to turn in Quebec at the end of September when I stopped at a rest stop along the Saint Lawrence River in Village-des-Aulnaies.

Village-des-Aulnaies

The previous day was very hot but this day it was cold and threatening rain.  I had just blocked in the church in pencil when it started to rain.  I added the watercolour after I got home.

 

In Calabogie the pine needles have fallen but most of the leaves are still on the trees.  I took a break from raking  to do a quick watercolour sketch of the trees beside my driveway.

Autumn Colours Calabogie

There is still some trees that haven’t turned yet.

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There Be Dragons

Last summer I had the opportunity to see Kumo and Long Ma, two creations of La Machine, wandering about Ottawa.

I did this watercolour from one of my photographs.

 

Long Ma, Horse-Dragon

Sketching in an Inexpensive Sketchbook

I started a new sketchbook at the beginning of July.  Most of the sketches so far have been drawn in ink and the watercolour was added after.  The paper isn’t made for watercolour and I had to experiment with how to apply the paint so that it didn’t look like just a bunch of coloured blotches.  I found that wetting the paper first and painting wet on wet worked best. However it was hard to get intense colour and the pages warped.

Cedar and Black Walnut (I think) Trees at Barnet Park

Trees Growing  Around Abandoned Truck in Calabogie

 

 

I painted the truck and trees first and then added the pen after.

Madawaska River from Bridge on K&P Trail in Calabogie

I then covered some of the pages (one side only) with Golden Absorbent Ground (White).  I used one of the pages to paint an impression of one of the views from my daily walk.

View from Tatty Hill Road

The paper handled the watercolour much better and didn’t warp.

Cottage in Calabogie

 

 

I started the next one with pen and added watercolour after.  Although I did spend a lot of time measuring, the proportions didn’t work out right, but I can try it again later.

 

 

 

I like the size and format of this sketchbook so I have covered several pages with Absorbent Ground in preparation for more watercolour sketches.

Five

Some red roving had been staring at me for days,  just asking to be needle felted into a piece.

I learned the technique of making the metal pieces from pop cans in a Hilary Rice workshop.

Invitation

Sometimes I walk by the same scene I’ve passed many times and suddenly see something new.  A mallard walking beside the road drew my attention to the fence and from there my eyes went to the trees beyond.

Snowy Egret

Had some fun with the background on this one.  It’s from a photo from one of my travels.  In my sketchbook I have a very crude ink sketch of it standing in the water.  Fortunately I was able to grab the camera as it took flight.

Embellishments

A couple of weeks ago I attended a Hilary Rice workshop: Imagine and Create: Embellishment Techniques for Quilters.  It was great fun and I learned a lot of techniques I will use in future projects.  Hilary is a great teacher and I was inspired by her techniques and art.

This is the piece that I started in the workshop .

Not all the techniques are included on this piece.  Others were done on smaller pieces of fabric to experience the technique.

I’m not sure if it is finished yet.  I’m going to put it up on the wall and look at it for awhile.

Dancing

This is a watercolour sketch done very quickly from a photograph I took on my first trip to San Miguel de Allende, Mexico.  It is practice for doing similar sketches live.

A Quiet Walk

Another watercolour from one of my Mexico photos. This is near the Paricutin volcano.

Urban Landscape

A watercolour from one of my pictures taken in 2004 while on a cycling trip in Mexico.  This view was from the street near the hotel where we stayed in Pátzcuaro.

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