Curious Cows

Gouche Cows

Curious Cows

I drew these curious cows with black marker last May while resting during a bike ride in Spain and then put it away unfinished, rest time being over. Today I pulled the sketch out to practice using gouache, my new deliberate learning focus.

Gouache is thick and dries very rapidly. At first I put paint on a pallet and used a brush to transfer it to the paper. Later I squeezed paint directly on the sketch and used the fan brush and a push pin to add meadow textures. I left unpainted paper for parts of the cows and the highlights on the shrubbery. Finally, I imported a scanned copy of this sketch into Snapseed to use its structure feature to strengthen the texture further.

This is a marker and gouache sketch on Canson Multi-Technique 140 pound paper.

 

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Bodega Bay

Bodega Bay

Bodega Bay

I used a new paint for me today, gouache paint. Although the paint’s behavior surprises me greatly, I enjoyed using it very much. Compared to watercolor, gouache is heavy and thick. It leaves brush marks that suggest the movement of the wind and water really well.

This was a simple line sketch from our camping trip last week to Bodega Bay. I wanted to show the impact gorgeous vistas like this have on us and so put the figures into the sketch but had them stand motionless, just taking in the view.

This is a gouache, pencil and watercolor pencil sketch on watercolor paper. I used the watercolor pencils to strengthen the edges and outline because I could not figure out how to do it with the gouache.

 

 

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Celebrating Tommy

Celebrating Tommy

Celebrating Tommy

I used to work at a school brimming with energy, dedication, events, and wild wonderful curriculum and I met up with some of its amazing staff yesterday. It was a bittersweet occasion because a longtime teacher was moving on to another position and would be leaving behind the deep relationships that come from twelve years of common effort to bring out the best in their students.

There was so much I wanted to convey in this sketch. First of all, the modesty and emotion of an incredible teacher was central to the sketch and I tried to emphasize it with his facial expression, crossed arms and posture facing off into a new direction. Secondly, I wanted to show the warm wishes, good-natured ribbing, and zest that distinguish this group. I used repeating heads, simple smiles and clapping hands to show the proud sendoff and good will of the staff.

There are so many magnificent teachers and staff members working so hard to help students excel. As the new school year starts I wish all students the opportunity to work with teachers like Tommy and his colleagues.

This is a pencil and watercolor sketch

 

 

 

 

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Pensive Moment

Pensive Moment

Pensive Moment

This is another of the camping sketches that I did while sitting around chatting with our family. Normally I plan the sketch, do a thumbnail or two, and then stick pretty close to my plan. But for this series I was just drawing whatever I saw, fitting it all in on the sheet of paper as best I could. The original sketch had four figures but I only liked the figure of the man in red. Yesterday I used Procreate to remove the three other figures and to copy and paste the background shrubbery into the spaces the three figures once filled.

I think I caught something of the feel of a man facing his 32 birthday, the slight frown and distant gaze suggest thought and pondering, the lift of the chin and arms wrapped around his chest suggest planning and determination.

This is a pen, watercolor pencil, watercolor and Procreate sketch.

 

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The Apple

The Apple

The Apple

We were camping under the California oak trees in Sonoma County. As we chatted in the early evening I sketched without planning, just placing the images in front of me into my sketchbook. Later when I looked at this sketch of a woman holding an apple and a man looking at it, I thought that it was a kind of ‘Adam and Eve’ vignette.

This is a pen and watercolor sketch.

 

 

 

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Brooding

Brooding

Brooding

This morning I sketched with the North Park Drawing Group. It was a good session because the model put an enormous amount of expression into his poses and it was challenging to capture them. I like this sketch because the model’s slumping posture along with the slight distortion of his face by his hand suggests a resigned rumination or brooding.

This is a pen and watercolor sketch with the grays in the background enhanced by Procreate.

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Groups at a Chicago Restaurant

Groups in a Chicago Restaurant

Groups in a Chicago Restaurant

After walking through Millennium Park in Chicago, which I should have sketched, we stopped at a nearby restaurant for an early dinner, just before sunset. Several groups were enjoying a drink together and I got a chance to sketch some of them. I enjoyed the body language of the two women in the foreground; I thought they might be suspicious of the man across the table because of the way they leaned together and rolled their eyes as he spoke.

This is a Procreate sketch.

 

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