Thursday, May 31, 2007

Everyday items

Every 9 days, there is a new list of items to sketch. The person who makes up the list can also include "challenges". On this list, the main challenge is to draw items in pastel or oil pastel. I'm going to skip that challenge as I have never had much success with either and gave them all away! For now, I'll stick with my trusty old watercolors and ink sketches!

It was a challenge to find items on the current list that would somewhat go together, but in the end, I didn't do to badly with this first sketch ~ actually managed to get 8 items in it! The fun thing is that in the end, it gives a glimpse of some of my favorite things and items I use everyday. Can you guess my favorite color and my one of my favorite scents/flavor/flowers?!

Sunday, May 27, 2007

Holly's Greenhouse

The last items I have to do for this scavenger hunt are all outdoor items. For this one, I needed to draw "any architecture". Since I was at my sister's for the afternoon, I thought I'd draw something there and she suggested the greenhouse, so here it is!

Saturday, May 26, 2007

Herbal Beauty

This was a tough little still life to put together. I'd used up most of the "interior" objects on the list already. I needed 'something blue', a 'toiletry' and 'any flag you see'. Debated using a small American flag as the backdrop but it just didn't go. Then I thought about the Post-it flags I use to mark pages I refer to frequently in books and this all came together.

Simple Pleasures

This sketch was fun to put together. Some of my favorite treats ~ a lovely single malt scotch, cherry turnovers and cherrys, candlelight and some lovely celtic harp music!

Ready to go!

One of the fun things about participating in the scavenger hunts, is that it spurs me to draw things I normally wouldn't consider doing, like bottles of suntan lotion or my shoes. Next, it makes me thing creativly about how to combine items on the list in ways to make a cohesive still life that isn't just a random collection of objects. For this sketch, I ended up with the ingredients for a summer outing all sitting on my chair, waiting to go!

Monday, May 21, 2007


This is the view from my patio and from the living room sliding door. Ponderosas are one of the things that Flagstaff is known for as it sits in the middle of the largest contiguous Ponderosa forest in the world.

My favorite store

I love reading! I love books! I love bookstores! And this one ~ Barnes & Noble ~ where ever they may be, tends to be the one I frequent most! This was probably the most challenging sketch I have done due to the amount of detail, the off-center perspective and the fact that there were people to draw (not my strong point when it comes to sketching). Had fun doing it though. Sat in the cafe and sipped my Chai while drawing and painting! Had a couple of onlookers, one of whom is in the painting. I didn't have the courage to ask if he recognized himself!

Patio Flowerpots

After not having had a garden or a space for outdoor containers for the past three years, I am ecstatic to have an outdoor patio at last! Potted up these flowers and herbs last week and arranged them with some of my garden statuary!

Thursday, May 17, 2007

Living room window view

One of the items for this scavenger hunt was to draw something we would see on a walk. Well, I walked to and from work and around my apartment complex and didn't see anything I really wanted to sketch until I walked in the living room and saw the tiny leaves of the oak clump outside my living room window lit up in the late day sun. I did apply a little bit of artist perogative and changed what is the roof of the building above me to a mountain. It really isn't too visible from my windows, just a hint of roof shape and I thought it provides the same kind of background shape and mass that a mountain would, so voila! a mountain came into being!

Kitty ears and a Ball

Thomas the cat was dozing with his loopy yarn covered ball, so I sketched them for two of the scavenger hunt picks, ears and a ball. A little different perspective than I usually choose!

Aqua/blue Bottle Vase

While I have a number of vases, my favorite vases are old bottles. I have a small collection of pleasingly shaped and colored aqua/blue bottles, so that is what I chose for this scavenger hunt item. I didn't ink this one in but I may go back and do that yet as it seems a bit unfinished to me.

Tuesday, May 15, 2007

My sketching tools and a self portrait

Managed to get three of the scavenger hunt items into this drawing. My favorite drawing tools: I use a Pentel Quicker Clicker (old style with the straight barrel that I prefer) is what I do the initial sketch with. Then I fill in with watercolors using my Windsor Newton Pocket Watercolor set ~ well used and very messy looking! ~ and a Cotman watercolor brush. Once the watercolor is dry, I go back and ink in where I want with a Micron pen. The sketchbook is the second hunt item. I use a Holbein Multi-Drawing Book/OF, which is about 5 x 7" and has paper that can take watercolors and multi-media. I like it because it is small, tucks easily in my travel bag, and I can fold the previous pages and front cover directly behind the current sheet so I don't have floppy pages blowing about. And then it ties shut with a nifty bit of twill tape built into the book. Great travel sketchbook!

And last item for the hunt in this picture is my self portrait. Sort of! Portraits aren't my strong suit and I ended up making myself look both younger (easy to hide that gray hair!) and thinner (I'm working on it! Have lost 50 lbs since October 06!) and then, the ink pen decide this was the time to get blotty on me so where I was trying to put very light hints of ink, I got spotty blotches. Oh well! Had fun anyway. You can judge for yourself how I did by comparing the photo at left taken a few months ago. I've lost another 15 lbs since then!

House Finch

I just hung this bird feeder on Sunday and already (Tuesday morning) it has visitors! He was even kind enough to sit still long enough for me to sketch him!


Drawing breakfast was a challenge in more ways than one. First, I was HUNGRY! Second, note to self: BUY MORE MILK! Third, by the time I actually got to eat my cereal, what milk there was had made the cereal soggy. But the tea was good! Painting the bowl was interesting as it is hand thrown pottery with a varigated soft green glaze. Nothing even about the bowl nor the color, making it hard to get the shape and color accurate.

Twisted Table Leg

This old oak table has been a favorite of mine for years. Its twisty legs were the perfect challenge to sketch for a table leg. I also wanted to include some other items for the scavenger hunt in this so included a mushroom cap, a map and the buckle of my watch!

Honey Pot

Every morning, my Dad has honey on his toast, so when this scavenger hunt called for a container for sweetener, I knew I had to paint his honey pot!

Third Flatiron

A mountain peak was the challenge for this sketch. Along the front range of Colorado there is no shortage of peaks to draw, but I wanted to do something that was indicative of where I was. This is the Third Flatiron that sits overlooking Boulder. I sat in the parking lot at NCAR (National Center for Atmospheric Research) and did this sketch. My dad has climbed this in the past!

Nails and paperclips

Sometimes the most ordinary objects can be interesting and challenging subjects.

For these items, I sketched two of the nails from the original homestead of my great great grandparents house in South Dakota. The house is now gone but the nails remind us of a bygone era.

When looking for a paper clip to draw, I realized I had quite an assortment, so decided to paint them all! Those little objects turned out to be quite the challenge!

Sewing implements

I was able to include a number of items for the scavenger hunt in this sketch. All implements from my sewing basket. A small clear bottle filled with 2 hole underwear buttons made out of bone, ribbons, all things that illustrate one of my hobbies, sewing. The thimble was inherited from a dear elderly friend who used it back around 1900. The acorn is a lovely carved wooden thimble holder given to me by a friend. The embroidery scissors have seen me through many a project! This was fun to put together and paint.

Monday, May 14, 2007


Ok, I have to admit that I had to look tessalation up in order to figure out what to draw for this scavenger hunt item! It means a repeating pattern as is found in tiles, honeycombs, etc. On one wall of my parent's family room is a shelf of old wood that is filled with "found" objects including this old paper wasp nest (long since empty!) tacked to the underside of the shelf. Thought it would make a unique subject to draw for this item!

The game of GO

I have a number of older sketches from previous Wet Canvas Scavenger Hunts that I thought I'd post. This challenge was to sketch a game. My mother played GO many years ago. The smooth pieces are so wonderfully tactile and always intrigued me!

Window shelf at 7:00 p.m.

For this item, we had to draw something you see at 7:00 p.m. I looked at my watch and it was 7:00. Looked up and there was my Mollie kitty sitting on the window shelf looking out at the deepening dusk. "Purrfect" to draw for this item! And a bonus, another item on the list was a shelf with it's contents, so I included the plants and linen/lace piece I have draped on the shelf.

5 x 7"
Watercolor and ink

Pitcher and Brownie

After being without computer access for the past few months, I'm finally in my own space again and online! Hurrah! That means I can get caught up with the Wet Canvas Scavenger hunts and post images of my current sketches! This latest is of one of my ironstone pitchers and a brownie. The brownie was a challenge as there are no straight edges, just wrinkles and crumbs!

Watercolor and Ink
Approximately 5 x 7"