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!

Monday, March 31, 2008

Promoting the Workshop & Drawing Irish Musicians

Stuffing Envelopes is kind of soothing. I am a great one for organizing movements (I was totally impressed by the efficiency scenes on how to take a bath in Cheaper By The Dozen, many decades ago) . The envelopes are placed with the flaps in THIS direction, the flyers are placed with the opening THIS way, the single-sheet 1/3 page inserts are placed here with THIS orientation, and the business cards face up and to the right HERE. Then I can pick up the envelope in my left hand and flip up the flap with one movement, then with my right hand I slide in the flyer, then the insert, then the business card. I let the flap flip down and push the filled envelope onto my lower legs as they extend directly past the end of the board toward the TV. Hey, it's smoooooth, fast, and I can watch Masterpiece Theater at the same time as I get all 90 envelopes stuffed, then stamped, then return-address-labeled, then licked. Talk about efficiency!

The insert is really pretty. I designed and printed them out on the color printer yesterday, 3 per sheet. Quite fetching, I think. Makes ME want to go to the workshop, anyway.

I was happy to have a soothing evening, because I had a raucus afternoon. My artist friend Cathy and I went to the Black Sheep in Ashland for a Sunday afternoon of sketching the Irish musicians. It was only a small group because that's all that showed up (it's totally off the cuff, and whoever comes, plays -- if enough people show up). So yesterday featured five musicians at its highest count (they came and went), plus a very talented clogger who only dances (he also carves quite marvelous walking sticks).

Cathy tried ink sketching for the first time. She's an excellent artist, but always sketches with a pencil and had never tried on-scene sketching with a pen. She decided today was the day. So we both drew with ballpoint pens, and she was unexpectedly pleased with the freedom it offered. She observed that with pencil drawing she is always fussing around with erasing and getting the lines just right. But with the ink drawing one has to just dive right in, and make the line, right or wrong. Knowing that some lines won't be right, you just have to shrug and think "okay, so now if I squiggle here, it'll look like a hand and be just fine!" A really nice epiphany.

Juiced up with a couple of "The One And Only" Newcastle Brown Ales (on draft) and using an ordinary black Bic ballpoint pen, I was experimenting with making quick original drawings, then fussing back in with a little more detail to give the drawings interest. Hair, seams on the jeans and shoes, details on a neck warmer, etc. As we sketched, the Irish music flowed and jigged around us. While The Black Sheep is a pub, there are generally little children running around, sometimes trying to dance to the music, and yesterday playing with balloons. I loved it when several times the pennywhistler's toddler climbed up into his lap and sat, rapt with pleasure, as the wild notes swirled above his head.

The baby's mother and grandmother had come for the afternoon, as well, and they loved the drawing of little Rowan on his daddy's lap. I told them to come to this blog, where they should be able to download the picture if they wanted a copy. [Hey pennywhistle folks, if you come for the picture, could you give the address of this blog to the other musicians so that they can come visit, too? I don't have their names, and if you'd pass this along they might be pleased.] I do know the baby's name is Rowan and the pennywhistler is Andrew, but that's the extent of my introduction.

It was, as always, a wonderful afternoon of music, companionship with Cathy, and pleasure in sharing the sketches with numerous passersby and the musicians. Rowan's mother tried to explain about the picture to Rowan, and he patted it appreciatively, but I don't think he quite got the concept of "this is a picture of daddy, and this lady drew it, and there you are on daddy's lap!"

My thanks to the musicians for a lovely afternoon. They are a wonderful sketching resource since they expect to be stared at, and don't mind being drawn.

And now, today, I have to get back to work on the editing of the Swamp book. I'm on page 41 now, and have begun to improve sub-par illustrations as I go along because I get bogged down in words after awhile. Stopping to correct or improve a drawing makes a nice break.



Unknown said...

Wow these are awesome pen sketches, and I enjoyed reading the story. I checked out your site too. Wow Costa Rica! Maybe one day, I can join in

Renie said...

Thanks PamYla! The Irish musicians are always inspiring. It's amazing how music can transport you, and Irish music has me wandering the moors and fens. Costa Rica? Start eatin' beans!

Anonymous said...

Those are wonderful sketches! Also--when I was a young teen I must have read CHEAPER BY THE DOZEN at least 3 times, I was so riveted!!! - Barbara

Linda said...

FANTASTIC sketches of the musicians!

Anetka said...

great sketches!

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