Category Archives: Sketches

Last of the Colour (Almost)

There is still a bit of yellow in some of the oaks.

A little over a week ago I had some colour in my back yard.

The colours were much more subdued than the previous week.

The oaks on the other hand were in their glory.

But some of the oaks had started losing their leaves.

These were in less protected locations.

One was a victim of November 1’s winds.

Fading Colours

Here are 3 more sketches done in ink on my morning walks last week. The watercolour was added later. Most of the reds were gone but surprisingly some of the sumac were still persisting.

I was planning to paint the sumac behind my house yesterday (Friday) but after the heavy rain overnight on Thursday and the strong winds yesterday it looked something like this..

On My Walk

Last weekend I did two ink sketches on my morning walk. I added watercolour later.

Spring Tree

The black flies are out but if I keep walking I don’t get bitten, much. Fortunately, Thursday morning, on my early morning walk, I only encountered clouds of non-biting midges. I stopped to sketch this tree with my pen and added watercolour when I returned home.

It looks like many of the branches may be dead as there are no leaves on them. Or maybe this tree is just a little slow.

Couldn’t Resist

The other week I arrived at the shopping mall early for my dental appointment. So I had time to look around the shoe store and found something I didn’t need but had to buy.

Keys to Drawing

I recently bought Keys to Drawing by Bert Dodson after watching Teoh Yi Chie’s review of it on his YouTube channel. I ordered the book through Teoh’s affiliate link on Amazon and have started doing the exercises in it.

 

In the first exercise I was supposed to draw my feet in a pair of shoes with laces but I didn’t have any handy so I put on a pair with individual toes.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

In the next exercise – draw my hand with my fingers directly facing me.

Followed by a green pepper (twice) and my eyes.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

This last exercise took me the longest.  I find shading with pencil difficult. (Because I hardly ever do it.) I first drew the wine bottle as a blind contour. I did it quickly and used my left hand to mark the paper where things should line up.

I used an HB pencil but I would have preferred a softer one so I could have got some darker shading.

 

 

Butterflies

There were a lot of Monarch Butterflies around this summer. There is a field nearby full of milkweed and whenever I passed I paused and spent some time watching the Monarchs flutter from plant to plant.

Closer to home, I found this butterfly on a milkweed beside my driveway. I had to look it up to discover that it is a Pearly Eye Butterfly. I took a photograph of it and used that to sketch it using pen and ink and watercolour pencils.

Sketch of a Pearly Eye Butterfly done with watercolour pencils

I had taken lots of photographs of the Monarchs and milkweed on my walks but hadn’t yet tried to paint them when I found a dead butterfly on the road. I picked it up and took it home to sketch.

Watercolor sketch of Monarch Butterfly

Next I tackled a Monarch from one of my photos. I did the background wet in wet first and added the butterfly afterwards.

Watercolour sketch of a Monarch Butterfly.

Skies, Water, and Trees

I carry my fountain pen filled with waterproof ink and my homemade sketchbook with me on my morning walks. When I do an ink sketch I also take a photograph, usually with my cell phone and use watercolours later when I’m home to finish them. I also take photos with my camera to paint later.


The two watercolour sketches above were done from photographs taken about 30 minutes apart. One facing east, the other west.

The next two were sketched in ink on location and coloured in later with watercolours
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Grassy Bay

These are some recent watercolour sketches I did from photographs taken on my early morning walks.

Watercolour of osprey in nest back lit by early morning lightThe ospreys are not always at their nest. If they are, as soon as  I appear around the corner, they usually take flight and cry alerting me to the fact that they are there. They fly out over the road and then circle back and away from view.

watercolor of great blue heronThere is usually a Great Blue Heron fishing in Grassy Bay. It is shy and will fly away as soon as it sees me. If it feels safe enough to stay I usually have to use my binoculars to find it.

The picture I based this painting on was taken on a sunny morning. The light made the reeds glow.

Sketching San Francisco Architecture

Here are some very loose ink sketches done during my recent trip to San Francisco. My idea was to sketch these buildings using pen and ink on location and then paint them later with watercolours.

ink sketch of building in San francisco's ChinatownThis one was done in Chinatown. I don’t have much patience with buildings and so I only did the interesting parts and left out a lot of repetitions.

ink sketch of building in San Francisco
I liked the balconies and the fire escapes on this one but they make it harder to sketch. This building was around the corner from where we stayed.

sketch done with ink and watercolour pencils of one of the painted ladies in San Francisco

One of the Painted Ladies. The trees have grown up so you can only see the upper parts of the building. This was the only brightly coloured one. I sketched it in pen on location and coloured it later with watercolour pencils.

 

ink sketch of San Francisco buildingThis one was easier to do as I was able to sit down and so it is more complete.

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