April 24, 2015

Lace Mandala Rocks.

I've been back at it for a few weeks, painting lace rocks.
It's very meditative and calming to paint these guys, or maybe they're gals?
 I enjoy that all of them have the same elements, and yet come out very differently.
Kind of like us humans!

I start in the center painting a single circle, and then make even-ish petals from there.
Adding scallops, dots, lines tear drops, and little antenna shapes.
I keep circling around and around, and slowly I'm so focused on these lace mandalas
that the world melts away and it's just me and some lines.
My thoughts ease, the elves come out (you know, those super creative little characters
 that live inside you and are very happy to help you make some terrific art), 
and pretty soon I'm in an ecstatic state of mandala bliss.

Want to make some of your own? Collect some flat-ish round rocks,
buy some Daler-Rowney FW acrylic ink and a number 1 round brush, and GO TO TOWN! 

April 21, 2015

Progression of Peony.

I saw the most magnificent peony last week in a friends yard,
and knew immediately I wanted to draw it.
Here is a progression of a peony inside my sketchbook.
I started with this amazing Kuretake Bimoji super fine brush pen.
LOVE this pen!

It's easy to get lost when drawing from a reference image,
I had to do my normal pep talking, "keep going, keep going, keep going."
I also of course had to make some "Artist choices" as I call them,
adding a few imaginary petals to make up for gaps and goofs.

Usually I would recommend working light to dark in watercolor,
but of course being a rule rebel I worked from dark to light.
I was painting with my travel Cotman watercolor set,

Next I filled in my mid tones, the flower then started to come to life.

And lastly I pulled out my lightest tones,
made a little swimming green background,
and painted "peony time" in my new favorite painty font.

Here is the original photo I was working from, it's clearly more vibrant,
but what fun this little drawing was to make, and it took less than an hour.
And now I have a visual record of a beautiful spring moment with a friend.
Glad I sat down to work, as always. What will you draw today?

April 16, 2015

In My Sketchbook This Week.

It's been a fun sketchbook play week for me. 
I moved a little desk into the living room, and have been drawing and painting
while the Mr. and the cat watch TV in the evenings. 
Even shows that I usually love don't hold up to the pull of playing in my Sketchbook.
Here's what I have been up to this week...

Here is a very loose drawing of a arrangement of peonies.
I drew it with a Pilot Varsity water-soluble fountain pen and painted it in with gouache.
I love the bleedy blue lines of the ink.

I've been on a roll drawing faces from my google image search of "regular people."
I scroll until I find someone I like the looks of, then draw them, 
and I finish off the exercise making up a story about them.

"This guys name is probably Bill, or Mark, or Carl.
He will laugh at your jokes. He's got a black lab named Marley,
named after Bob Marley, his favorite musician in college. 
He is kind and will wheel out your trash if you're on vacation.
Just don't ask him to water your ferns, he's not a 'plant guy.'"

Five minute drawings over a gouache box. Everyone has time for five minutes! 

I love putting diluted ink into these Niji and Pentel water brushes and using them to sketch.
I drew these sheep looking at a recent piece of art from Taproot Magazine.
Then my brain got to thinking about the next page, and I drew this skein of yarn.
I like when pages relate to each other.

Another guy from the interweb...

"Omar loves cheese, the only problem being that he is lactose intolerant.
He is quite tolerant of ducks though, and feeds them bits of bagel every Wednesday,
on his way home from the gym."

And of course a few birds to round out the week.
What I like most about this is the combo of bright green and red,
I must use more of these complimentary colors in the future.

So, that's what I've been up to this week, how about you? 
Been sketching up something fun?
I'd love to see it!

April 8, 2015

And the winner is...

Rebecca M!!!

You have won a FREE spot in my Sketchbook Play class
which starts next Wednesday here at Bird's Eye View Studio.
Woo hoo! 

Thanks to everyone who joined in the free giveaway.
If you didn't win, but still want to take class, there are a few spots left.
I am offering a special discount to those who entered the drawing,
you may take $25 off, as my way of saying "thanks for playing!"

Dates: Wednesday's, April 15th-May 20th
Time: 6-8:30pm
Location: Bird's Eye View Studio, 
3934 NE 16th Ave. Portland, OR 97212
Cost: $175 plus a $25 material fee. 
The material fee covers the cost of your 
handmade sketchbook and an 02 micron pen. 
There is an additional small supply list of a few brushes, 
an inexpensive set of watercolors, and a few pens.

Email me at: suki (at) birdseyeviewstudio (dot) com to register!