Category Archives: Learning

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 … Continue reading

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On the Rocks at Yosemite

My cousin, who is an amazing artist, has been working with gouache on brown paper. She sent me a photo of a recent painting and it was so gorgeous that it caused me to paint the day away on brown … Continue reading

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Flowers above the Sea

I sketched from the top of the cliffs at Torrey Pines Park this morning. Today I focused on a group of dried flowers and had the sea be the background. This is a gouache, pastel pencil, and acrylic marker sketch … Continue reading

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Better Backgrounds

I really enjoy painting the models from our figure drawing group, especially the quick five-minute sketches like the one above. However, I am at a loss for what to do with the rest of the paper, that is, how to … Continue reading

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Colorado River

  The Colorado River is magnificent as it flows through Utah. It is stunning and I worked to capture its beauty in this sketch. Most people know that the Colorado River carved the Grand Canyon and is an indispensable source … Continue reading

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Old Friends at Work

My husband and I have been visiting Denmark. One of its attractions is meeting up with our many old friends. The first Dane we ever met was in grad school 1975 and since that time I have often sketched this … Continue reading

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Between Two Trees

Today I continued to try out new surfaces to paint on. This surface is black watercolor grounds applied with a roller. It made for a rough but uniform texture and absorbed the color down into its surface. I painted at Torrey Pines … Continue reading

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High Tide at Torrey Pines

There was such a high tide at Torrey Pines this morning, the lagoon was full of water and very exciting to sketch. In my enthusiasm, I painted over the shoreline and road but like the sketch anyway. Yesterday I prepared a … Continue reading

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Taco Redo

For the last 10 days or so I have been experimenting with the surfaces that I paint on. My goal is to find something that allows me to rework sections of a painting. So far I have tried painting on paper … Continue reading

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A Perplexing Result

In theory, collaboration sounds like a sweet and collegial process, but in practice, it can be quite heated. I have been listening to these two work out ideas together for more than 30 years and am still amazed at their … Continue reading

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Lily Pond Corner

Our plein air class went back to the Lily Pond at Balboa Park. I worked on reflections again. This time I left a large amount of black paper unpainted to suggest deep water and to contrast with the lily pads … Continue reading

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Flowers and Figure

We worked on quickly capturing gesture with a minimum of lines during the first portion of the figure drawing class this morning. Then we had several 20 minute periods of time to capture a figure using gesture and to place … Continue reading

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Editing Sketches with Apps

This was an interesting afternoon. I went back and edited some of my sketches from the week with Procreate, Snapseed and Photos, all apps on my iPad. In the sketch above I adjusted the tables in front of the two … Continue reading

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Hillside Near Rancho Bernardo

It is hot and dry in San Diego County just now and there was not a lot of shade this morning where I was sketching near the Bernardo Winery northeast of San Diego. I love the brown and yellow in … Continue reading

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Back to Alcazar Garden

Our landscape class painted again at Alcazar Garden in Balboa Park. Before leaving the house this morning, I looked at my sketch, ‘Among the Hedges‘, that I made on September 28 at Alcazar Garden. I thought it was much too … Continue reading

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Negative Space

In the figure drawing class today we worked on making the figure pop by developing the negative space around the figure. For example, the bedding the model is sitting on got much more emphasis than the model herself. This is … Continue reading

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Light for the Sunflowers

Last Monday I sketched these sunflowers in this same setting. I liked it because it was a simple bold design. However,  after two days of looking at the sketch alongside the flowers in my living room, I decided it would … Continue reading

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As the Afternoon Ends

In this fourth sketch set in the west plaza at San Diego State University, the single figure takes up more of the space on the page and the sky does not extend beyond the row of palm trees. I think … Continue reading

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Taking in the View

After twenty-six months of sketching a new scene pretty much every day,  I am making a change. Rather than sketching a scene one day and then moving on to a new scene the next day, I will be sticking to … Continue reading

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Monday Afternoon

Lately I have been noticing reflected light. This afternoon I saw how the floor, table, chairs and window reflected so much of it in the afternoon light and I began to practice capturing it.  This is a gouache and pastel … Continue reading

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Counter Reflection in Daylight

Although I liked yesterday’s sketch, ‘Counter Reflection,’ I was bothered by the upper right side where I had included a very small portion of the next room. That area was so small that I found it distracting. Then I noticed … Continue reading

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The Critique

It was wonderful to meet again with my plein air class. Returning students were encouraged to bring a sketch for a critique since we would not be painting on this first day of the fall semester. It can be hard … Continue reading

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My Plein Air Set-up

  Since today is a driving day I thought I would write about the supplies I now take with me when I paint on location. Before this summer I would go plein air painting, that is, paint on location, at … Continue reading

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Another Meadow

This is another sketch which, like yesterday’s, is mostly about learning to paint meadows. However, this one is painted from a photo because by the time I got up to where this meadow is on the Telluride ski slopes it … Continue reading

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Telluride Mountains and Meadows

I have been working on sketching the mountains in this area and am having trouble getting a feeling of distance in these sketches. I think I need to fade out the distant mountains more and include more of the vibrant … Continue reading

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First Try On The Rise

Today we drove about 50 miles to Telluride Colorado where I will be sketching while my husband works here for the the next four weeks. What with breaking down our old campsite and moving into the rental here I never … Continue reading

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At the Pond

Sometimes you see something special and grab your sketchbook, working as fast as you can to capture it. I am at a working ranch in Colorado for a wedding tomorrow and suddenly had a chance to make some rapid line … Continue reading

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Annie, Painting Above Inverness

I spent three days painting with my cousin, Annie Lewis.  Annie is an accomplished and talented artist whose work can be found at the Door Art Gallery. She is also a tremendously generous teacher.  It was wonderful to paint alongside … Continue reading

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Thinking about the Shapes

I attended a one-day class today where we painted using a drawing supplied by the teacher. Although the teacher wanted us to use our time to apply paint, not draw, we did do a simple value sketch before beginning to … Continue reading

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A Vase for June Flowers

Today’s sketch is a variant of yesterday’s. It is a sketch of the same bouquet but with some of the leaves removed. This time I wanted to make the vase more transparent and used highly diluted paint for most of … Continue reading

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