Monday, April 13, 2015

What you don't usually get to see

Someone Who Shall Not Be Named asked why I hadn't posted any art for oh, all of six days now.  This is, after all, my Year of Art, and doesn't that mean sketching or working on a painting every single day?

Why, yes it does!  And so I have.  However, just because I sketch something or work on a painting every day doesn't mean the results are worth sharing.  And that's a good thing, because it means I still have plenty of stuff to learn, lots more practice to engage in, and lots of artistic challenges to meet.  Otherwise it would be pretty darned boring, don't you think?

Anyway, I have done stuff every day.  Here are things I did not post but am posting now so you can all see why I didn't post them, and maybe I'll just keep posting whatever I did every day, even if it's merely a 30-second sketch of Truman Sleeping (my go-to drawing when I haven't done anything else by the end of the day).

First, an ink drawing of an owlet, done from a photo on the lovely calendar Mary gave me for Christmas and that hangs on my office wall, the only drawing I did that particular day because it was raining:

I did not post this because it is a little messy and I couldn't get the eye right.

Next is the top of one of my bookcases at home, drawn because it was raining:

I did not share this because it is just a quick sketch of a not-terribly-interesting subject.

And here is a drawing of the treats on the table at a staff meeting, done because I was bored waiting for the meeting to start, and also, it was raining:

I didn't post this because I just didn't feel like it.

You may have noticed a trend here regarding the weather.  I like to draw outdoors.  The stuff I find to draw outdoors is much more interesting to me than the stuff I find indoors, all in all.  Unless I'm inside the Burke Museum.  Thus, when it rains, and I can't draw outside, I do a sketch of whatever is in front of me inside and call it good for the day.  And those things, as you can see, are not generally worth putting on the blog.   Also, the muffins were poppyseed and I don't like poppyseed muffins.

Finally, I also spent the last week working a bit every evening on a watercolor landscape of a Kubota Gardens scene that Did Not Turn Out.   What happened was, there was too much green everywhere.  I should have de-emphasized the greenery in back and emphasized some up front, but by the time I realized it, there was no way to fix it.   Oh, and the rocks are ill-defined, and I could fix that, but this I won't because this is now becoming Scratch Paper (the back side can be used to test color mixes on):

And to think that some people claim that greens are hard to mix.  Hah.  Oh, well.  So it goes.  I do rather like this small section:

There you have it -- why I haven't posted any art for a week.  This coming week I am hoping to get outside!


  1. I figured it out! Now I'm getting the notifications. I like your line drawings, I'm contemplating doing similar, boring stuff. I have a new fountain pen, .02 sharp, waterproof ink. I keep thinking if I have just the right tools, art will happen! Yeah, yeah, I know.

    1. Cool! I like sketching in pen -- at first I worried about making mistakes, and sketched in pencil first and then went over it, but it didn't look as good and after a while and a lot of practice I stopped doing that and just didn't care about any stray lines.

      This week I'm going to focus on pencil sketching (without pen at all) in an attempt to get back to basics and do some value studies. If I can ever get outside....brrr.

  2. This is a very interesting glimpse into your process. In many ways these drawings are like writing exercises -- only those don't depend on the weather in the same way.


    1. Yes, imagine if you could write only when the sun was shining! And of course, today it is raining again. Gah. I tried to do a pencil sketch of some indoor plants here at the office, and did not enjoy it, and didn't like the results. Maybe I'll just stick to drawing Truman when he's asleep....

  3. Someone Who Shall Not be Named had to call me to see if I read your latest entry. I think she finds it funny that you call her that.

  4. Possibly I'm in the minority but I really like your hasty/not good/it's raining stuff. That owl, amusingly, looked familiar to me but I couldn't say why! And I actually love the top of the bookshelf. Like you, I'm not a big fan of poppyseed muffins but when I think of what you could do in the way of cookbook illustrating . . . -m.

    1. Thank you kindly. Did you notice the top of the bookshelf (click on it for a larger view) is comprised of every book I've either written, illustrated, or contributed art or photography to? The last book on the right has a scribbled title but it's The Channeled Scablands.

      Do you think my new career as a cookbook illustrator will be hindered by my disinterest in actual cooking?