To join me on a virtual sketching trip, download a travel sketch-journal here.
I add tutorials to them so you can learn the techniques and details you see in the sketchbooks.

My former workshop students asked me to upload my workshop workbooks to make them available to everyone. So you can also download a workbook and give yourself a workshop! Enjoy!

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

A Sit-spot Update

Just a quick note to tell you I've started my Every Day Outside sketching. I just thought of that name for it, which could be shortened to EDO to describe my daily wanderings on my wooded hillside to observe, listen, sketch, journal, and just be quiet.  I have sixteen drawings already which I haven't yet put into the slideshow/flipbook sketchbooks on my webpage ~ good grief ~ time to catch up on that, for sure!

Here's today's sketch outing, with notes about Shooting Star seed heads (the flowers, not celestial events) and Pussy Ears, which dot the hillside now with their furry cuteness.  The white Pussy Ears flower looked very blah on the white paper, so I put a dark background behind the flower-head.  Be sure to click on the image for a picture big enough to read and to see the details!

This kind of dark background is pretty simple to do with watercolor pencils, by the way, and I used to teach it in my workshops.  If you'd like to try it, you could download my watercolor pencil workbook here.  It has clear, step-by-step instructions on how to get this really striking effect. 

Update on the Kenya Sketch Journal: I plan a town trip to get my Kenya sketchbook scans punched and coiled tomorrow so I can start journaling on the pages. I'm trying to keep my carbon footprint small by rationing my trips to town. It's a twenty mile trip, minimum, and the gas expenditure  ~  more than $4.20/gal here ~ makes trotting off to town without a good reason a not-very-enticing prospect. But it takes planning and good lists to make sure I don't forget something and have to make another trip.

Oh yeah, I'm also working on a Douglas fir tree illustration for a watershed interpretive sign done by a colleague for the Bureau of Land Management (I think it's BLM, anyway).  It will be in color, and has witches brooms on it (naw, ya can't fly with them, but they do sorta look like broom heads... They're caused by a parasite which makes the tree put out beau coup bristly twigs).

It's just a rough at this point, with a place left for an owl she already has artwork for near the top.  The tree will fade off all along the length of the trunk, and there will be text and other spot illustrations to the right. The witches brooms are the two blobs near the center. Right now, it's gone to committee to make sure it fulfills everyone's expectations, so it might experience some changes.  That's it at right.

OK, I'll be back later with updates.


Kate (Cathy Johnson) said...

I love this idea, Irene! I could use to sketch outdoors every day, too.

Irene said...

Hi Kate,
yes, putting a name to it makes it easier to do, somehow. Aren't we humans odd?

raena said...

I love this idea too as I'm having a terrible time finding 'urban' for 'urban sketchers' in my very rural area! Your work is as impressive as ever!

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