Category Archives: art

Sketchbook Peek: Backpack Bridage

It was Friday morning and it was too early to leave for the gym yet, so I did a very quick sketch of all the bags I take with me that day: one for work, one for the gym, and one for my laptop to take to a write-in after work. Despite rushing through, and not coloring it until later that day, I was still late for the gym. Figures.

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Sketchcrawl: Smithsonian

I met up with the DC Urban Sketchers group on the day after Christmas to do a little drawing at the Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History. We met by the elephant in the foyer, drew that, then split up for an hour or so. I visited the T. Rex and the mammals hall briefly – an hour isn’t as much time to draw as I thought! Ordinarily I would have scanned in each page separately but I liked how this spread looked across both pages:

After lunch, I set off on my own to the National Gallery of Art to draw a few statues. This possibly Milanese helmet is the only drawing I care to share, though. The others turned out…not so great.

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Draw Tommy Kane

Tommy Kane, one of the teachers of Sketchbook Skool, is someone whose work I find profoundly inspiring. He has an ongoing project called Draw Tommy Kane, where a bunch of folks draw the same photo of Mr. Kane. It’s neat to see all the different styles, and I like my own contribution enough to feel proud to be among the ranks.

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Sketchbook Peek: Bonsai

I visited the National Arboretum with a friend and was enchanted by the bonsai exhibit. Alas, I am still not quite comfortable sketching while someone is sitting next to me not doing anything else, so I rushed these. Still, it was a pleasant (if rather too warm) day.

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Deluxe Unlimited

Deluxe Unlimited is one of those artists that I love and yet have difficulty describing. It’s handmade collage from vintage sources with clever and/or thought-provoking results. During a recent trip to Vermont, I happened upon some postcards from recent shows, so I made a little sorta-collage page of my own. Definitely worth checking out.¬†For more recent works, visit Deluxe Unlimited on Facebook

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Sketchbook Peek: Lighting

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.

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Sketchbook Peek: Beverage

I was at a friend’s house for crafty night and she made this surprisingly delicious punch from white sangria, Sam Adams Summer Ale, Sprite, and strawberries.

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Urban Sketching: Dupont Underground

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:

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Sketchbook Peek: Casco Bay

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:

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Sketchbook Skool: Watercolors

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.

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