Frida Underwater

Pen and Ink Drawing by Sarah SUllivan

Frida Underwater

This week the assignment in our illustration class was to show a character in an underwater environment, using black ink and traditional pens. I had trouble thinking of a character and began several sketches only to abandon them when I did not like the outcomes. I found conveying water to be especially challenging.

This week I was coincidently reading about Frida Kahlo and got to wondering what her environment would have looked like if she had lived underwater. I am guessing it might have been something like this and that her self-portraits might have included fish, eels, and jellyfish. I am still not happy with the way I showed the water but this is as good as it gets this week.

After seeing the work of the other students, I came home and added back some of the whites behind Frida on my sketch, using Procreate on my iPad.


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Do They Like My Work?

Pencil Sketch by Sarah Sullivan

Do They Like My Work?

I am taking a ten-week illustration course at a local university. Our first assignment was to select text from an unillustrated book and then to illustrate it using five types of pencil marks- hatching, crosshatching, scribbling, tick marks, and pressure marks.

I chose text from “Miss Potter,” by Richard Maltby,  a fictionalized account of Beatrix Potter’s life. The scene has Beatrix sitting at a publishing house while two dour businessmen look over her work.

“Hmmm,” said Harold Warne

“Hmmm,” said his brother Fruing.

“Hmmph,” snorted Harold.

“Garrumph,” echoed Fruing, twitching his nose.


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Arches and Shadows at Balboa Park

Sketch by Sarah Sullivan of Arches and Shadows at Balboa Park

Arches and Shadows at Balboa Park

I painted this morning at Balboa Park with the San Diego Watercolor Society Plein Air group. I forgot my sun shirt so I stood in the shade and painted the sunlight coming through the archways. I like the composition and plan to return and do some variants of this view.

This is a gouache sketch on black paper.

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Sketch by Sarah Sullivan of Primates at the San Diego Zoo


I sketched along the Monkey Walk this morning at the San Diego Zoo. I noticed how much we enjoy our cousins and showing them to our children and wanted to capture this familial feeling in a sketch.

This is a gouache, ink, and charcoal sketch on brown paper. Later at home, I added the light lines to indicate the enclosure.

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A Conversation with Daniel Ellsberg


Sketches by Sarah Sullivan made while listening to a conversation with Daniel Ellsberg

A Conversation with Daniel Ellsberg

Daniel Ellsberg, the author of the Pentagon Papers, spoke at San Diego State University this evening and I was in the audience. He talked for two hours about the danger of government keeping information from its citizens, and of the courage required of people who can help make sure that truth is available to us all. I sketched as Daniel Ellsberg, who is 87 years old and seated on the right, answered questions from Professor Mark Wheeler on the left. This sketch and the others below are made with marker on brown paper. Four of the sketches show a few of the 900 audience members.

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