From my Sketchbook

Now that I don’t have babies or toddlers, there is a space in my week, most weeks, to pull out a sketchbook and draw, paint, color with pencils, ink… I really love being able to make something pretty, to experiment, to put into practice techniques I’ve read about.

I’ve got a really nice set of prismacolors and Bella and Sophie just got some pastels which I’ve been playing with. I like setting up a still life, I’ve done a series of my dutch oven in a bunch of different media.

apple two ways: prismacolor and graphite

Dutch oven: graphite

Dutch oven: watercolor (just a cheap Crayola set of water colors)

Dutch oven charcoal and chalk pastel

Sophie joined me one day and did a couple sketches of her own:

Sophie’s Dutch oven sketch

Sophie’s Dutch oven sketch

At first I just used the cheap Crayola watercolors I got for the kids. And they actually do a pretty nice job, if you’re patient and willing to play at mixing colors. I’ve done a couple interpretations of paintings from our fine art postcard collection, a Matisse and a Hokusai. I’ve painted a few landscapes from my own photographs. But Dom just got me a nice King Art watercolor set (the kind that come in fancy tubes) and I have have also been enjoying dabbling with those nicer watercolors in my sketchbooks. The fancy ones have been a real treat to play with.

From a painting by Matisse, watercolor (Crayola)

From an engraving by Hokusai, watercolor (Crayola)

From a photograph of sunset over our shed, watercolor (King Art watercolors)

I thought this poem went well with my tree branches, so I copied it into my sketchbook on the facing page.

I’ve also started flipping back in my sketchbooks and coloring in old pencil sketches: a maple leaf in brilliant red. And then a series of quick sketches that I did when I was introducing the kids to sketching from life. We were playing around with blind contour drawing, where you draw a thing without looking at the paper. I did a handful from a little bronze horse I bought in Greece when I was in college. They seemed like they’d take to color well and they were very fun to paint. I think they make a nice series. And then there is a picture of forks and I think a button or a plate, also a blind contour. it feels very cubist to me.

Maple leaf, sketch updated with watercolor (King Art)

Greek Horses, blind contour sketch updated with watercolors (King Art)

Bronze horse, sketch updated with watercolor (King Art)

Bronze horse, sketch updated with watercolor (King Art)

Forks, blind contour drawing, watercolored (King Art watercolors)

My little bronze horse from Greece.

I also make time for art to encourage my children to paint, draw, color, and create. Often once I start drawing one or another of them will join me. And the more I do it, the more they do. We don’t do many formal art lessons or classes. but I like to show them what I’m doing, talk about technique, give them pointers. It’s very informal, just for fun. We have fun creating together.

Bella drawing.

Lucy painting

Ben and Lucy painting

Ben and Lucy painting

Bella drawing

Anthony painting

Anthony painting

Anthony painting

2 Responses to From my Sketchbook

  1. Stephanie Sheehan February 2, 2019 at 4:48 am #

    Beautiful!

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