This is the ugly light fixture that hangs over our kitchen table. Beyond you can see the not-ugly-enough-to-remove border around the ceiling, and a couple of the black-and-white movie stills we have hung on the walls from all three Star Wars, all three Indiana Jones, and Labyrinth. I drew this from the living room couch.
Category Archives: art
DC Urban Sketcher Guido was kind enough to organize a visit to the Dupont Underground. It was a streetcar station until the 1960s, and save for a failed food court in the 1990s, it’s been unused ever since. It’s currently under construction with plans to become an art gallery and other interesting space, but we were allowed down there for two hours to draw.
It’s really nifty down there. Filthy and with terrible lighting, but still cool as hell. Most of my companions drew amazing shadowed landscapes. I drew little stuff:
And, of course, a couple of my fellow sketchers:
And in case you thought I was kidding about that whole “filthy” part:
I recently visited a friend in Portland, Maine. While we were there, we got to see a procession of tall ships in Casco Bay. We watched from Bug Light Park and had a lovely view. I drew some of the ships as they passed by.
As slow as the ships were moving, I was surprised by how quickly I had to work. Still, it was a lovely way to pass the afternoon.
I didn’t get as much drawing done as I’d hoped during my vacation, but I did sketch a table in my friend’s apartment while she took a shower:
For most of my life, the only kind of watercolor I’d ever used was the little bricks you’d use in elementary school. Until recently, I didn’t even know watercolor paints came in tubes. So for this assignment, I purchased a 12-color set of Niji Water Color paints and a little aluminum palette, and set to work.
The colors were far richer and darker than I’d expected. The little color bricks were always pale, and you have to use a whole lot of watercolor pencil to get things this dark. The assignment was to do a contour drawing of a still life, then use watercolors to fill it in. For my still life I used a perfume bottle, a little plastic maraca, and my poor ceramic moose who’s missing an antler.
The moose is overworked but I kinda like the body of the perfume bottle. I’d like to work more with watercolors but it’s a difficult setup since it requires additional materials. I’m pretty spoiled with the compactness of my watercolor pencils.
I live in a fairly typical suburban neighborhood: cookie-cutter townhouses, curvy streets, small trees. When I was given the assignment to draw the birds around my house, I had no idea it would be such a challenge. For three days I sat on my porch. I could hear birds. Lots of birds! But I could see nary a one, save for the occasional millisecond glimpse of one as it flew by in the distance. So I ended up drawing the hostas and the little rabbit that’s taken up residence under our neighbor’s porch. All the same, I kind of like how this spread turned out.
Danny Gregory on (drawing) selfies:
I draw self portraits because my model is
A) super handsome
b) poses for free
c) always hanging around
Self portraits have show me how I draw how I feel as much as what I see; they’re a constantly shifting reflection of the inner me. Each day I change and so does my drawing.
I’ve never given much thought to self portraits, but they make sense if you want to practice faces. Koosje Koene draws some of the most amazing selfies I’ve ever seen, so I suppose it’s not surprising that this was her assignment. We drew three kinds: contour, photo, and mirror. I really like how my mirror selfie came out, but the contour is probably the most accurate. The photo ones amuse me because I drew my badge photos: terrible drawings of terrible photographs!
In my current Sketchbook Skool course, I learned a technique called drawing fast and slow. You start with a fat medium, like a big brush of watercolors, and draw an object very quickly. Then you take something finer and draw in the details. I chose to draw my mixer. I didn’t have any paints handy, so I used a Zig Clean Color Real Brush waterbase marker. For the detail work I used a Prismacolor Premier 08, which is larger than I usually use, but felt right for this.
Every year, BCinDC (my local BookCrossing group) gives away free books at the Gaithersburg Book Festival. After getting my 227 books all ready to go, I decided to draw the boxes and bags and bins. That purple bin has been my BookCrossing bin for years, and has served me very well.
By the way, we as a group brought 2100 books and came home with fewer than 10. That, my friends, is a good day.
On a beautiful day in April, I drove out to Morven Park in Leesburg, Virginia. I’d been going through a bit of a drawing drought and I was determined to draw something. Well, I ended up taking the tour of the Governor’s Mansion, which was lovely, then wandering around the carriage museum, which was empty save for me and had no chairs and I felt like I would have been conspicuous had I started sketching. However, I did draw this one picture of a small portion of the mansion. I had to sit a bit awkwardly – most of the benches are not within sight of the house, for some reason. Anyway, it was a good time and taught me that I really need to start keeping a pencil sharpener with me at all times, because the stubby gray pencil left scratch marks.