Blue Hair!

Torah was another excellent model for our AFK Drink and Draw session.  She is cosplaying the Red Assassin from an RPG called Numenera .    A friend of hers wrote/worked on the game and he is thrilled to have someone cosplay one of his characters.  I was just glad to have color again.  Blue Hair!  Red!

As usual, we started with 2, 3, 5 minute sketches.  Here is a selection:

I used the colored pencil to add the blue hair! Photo is funky as I took it at the restaurant and then tore the page out to give to her.

An interesting, dynamic pose she was able to hold for more than 5 minutes!

Then the longer poses, 15 minutes, and I broke out the Stillman & Birn Beta book with watercolors:

Posted in Drink and Draw | Tagged , , , , , | Leave a comment

Of Corn and Pistachios

Yesterday at the Fort, while waiting for the main sketch of the pumpkin patch to dry, I did this small sketch in the pocket Moleskine.  It shows the very tall corn….. it’s at least 10 feet tall.  I forgot to note the variety.

I worked on a non-location sketch of the World’s Largest Pistachio.  I asked for our little caravan to stop outside Alamogordo, New Mexico to see this bit of Americana.  I composed the view but didn’t finish a sketch while there.

And, yes, we bought some bags of pistachios to bring home.

Posted in Journal, Sketches | Tagged , | 2 Comments

Fort’s pumpkin patch

Autumn is approaching, if the size of these pumpkins is any indication.

I had a productive sewing shift at Fort Nisqually today.  I finished before the time I was scheduled to meet with Fort staff in charge of period clothes.  I’m to have a fitting so I get my own clothes.  I signed out of my volunteer hours and spent the rest of the time sketching.  Despite a few rain drops, I sketched a section of the large pumpkin patch.

Posted in Sketches | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

Back from my trip

I left last Wednesday, 10 September for a visit to New Mexico.  I didn’t get much time for sketching as I was with my husband and two friends.  While waiting at the airport, I got a couple quick drawings of other waiting passengers.

The second day in Las Cruces, we visit a small natural history museum.  I thought of all the people who enjoy Game of Thrones so sketched the reproduction of a dire wolf skull

We spent the next 3 days at an event in the mountains.  No sketches as I was too busy.  We arrived home Monday night, 15 September.  Since then I’ve been busy catching up.

Posted in Sketches | Tagged , | Leave a comment

The Lodge

I missed the Urban Sketchers Tacoma monthly outing so I could attend the Fort Nisqually  volunteer training this morning.  I left early enough to do a sketch before it started.

This is the Lodge, the oldest standing building in Point Defiance Park.  It was built in 1898 from plans by noted Tacoma architect Carl August Darmer for the sum of $2,220.  It was the ome of the Ebenezer Roberts family.  Ebenezer served as Park superintendent until 1908.

Mike, our leader, shows the new volunteers the root cellar under construction (he’s in the red shirt in the center).

Bonnets were the subject of “Crafts of the Past” today.

A few more photos are here.

Posted in Sketches | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

Pinky Pie! Color!

Rhiannan as Pinkie Pie was our model for last night’s Drink and Draw at AFK Renton.  I had a great time.  The other artists were good company and Rhiannan was a fun model!

No, I did not know the character and yes, I had to search Google.    Seems she is a My Little Pony character.  I certainly appreciated tonight’s model as there was more COLOR!  There has been a lot of black on black or white and black.  It was good to change it up with some brights!

As usual, we started out with 2-5 minute sketches.

We moved on to a little more time, so I added a bit of color with pencil.

Finally, with the 15 minute poses, I brought out the Stillman & Birn Beta Sketchbook and watercolor.

My favorite of the evening, though not so good a facial portrait.

I thought to capture the detritus of the Drink and Draw.  Usually two artists share a small round table.  It gets a little messy.  Emily and I shared this and most of the mess is mine, on the lower half of the table in the image!

Just to show how geeky this place is, here is what’s printed on the bottom of the bill:

Posted in Drink and Draw, Sketches | Tagged , , , , | 2 Comments

Owen Beach

I left extra early my volunteer shift at Fort Nisqually so I could stop inside Point Defiance park to do a sketch.  Since the weather was clearing, I drove down the hill to Owen Beach.  I’d not been there before.  I found a view of Vashon Island with the ferry making the transit.

I used the new Kolinsky Sable travel brush I’d ordered on line.  I thought I’d better get one while they are still in stock as there is now an import ban.  I really didn’t notice much difference while doing this sketch.  I does form a very nice point.

Stillman & Birn Beta (7×7 spiral);
Platinum Carbon Black in a Platinum Cool Pen;
Daniel Smith Watercolors

Posted in Sketches | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

Two sketches

This afternoon, I finished one sketch from last Friday.  I had arrived early at our sketch outing at the University of Washington.  While I love Gothic architecture, I also find it overwhelming to draw.  I had about a half hour, so I thought I would just do the three arches over the entry doors.  This also fit the Urban Sketchers’ weekly theme.  Oh. My.  Even just that small section of the building was too much for the time I had.  I contented myself with just finishing the drawing of one arch.  I painted it today.

Today I went to Coulon Park to check on  “Interface”, the sculptures of walkers that some women dress up for the holidays.  It wasn’t dressed today.  As I was driving out of the park, I spotted these planes on a train!  This scene always amuses me, no matter how many times I see it.  These are Boeing 737 fuselages on their way to the Renton plant.  They were stopped for a bit of time, enough for me to get the drawing done.

I’ve been liking the Stillman & Birn Beta.  However, today I was annoyed.  I needed to scrub the highlight on the fuselages and the paper did not perform well.  It’s 180# cold press but still, it doesn’t accept much scrubbing.  Hmmm.  Still ambivalent about my paper and sketchbook choices.

Stillman & Birn Beta (7×7 spiral);
Platinum Carbon Black ink  in a Platinum Cool Pen
Daniel Smith Watercolors

Posted in Sketch Crawl, Sketches | Tagged , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Free workshop

It’s free but you must create an on-line account with Strathmore.    Go here

Examples of her work on flickr:  



















Posted in Class | Tagged , | Leave a comment


Bookbinding was the topic  at Fort Nisqually’s Crafts of the Past when I visited yesterday.

Jeff Wilson has been a volunteer at the Fort and a bookbinder for many years.  He had examples of various kinds of bindings.  He was teaching a simple pamphlet stitch with a small printed book, seen in the foreground here.

He also had a number of pieces of equipment.  These are from Making Simple Bookbinding Equipment byTony Firman Bookbiding

sewing frame

punching cradle

While I watched and waited for a chance to talk with him, I did a very quick sketch.

Moleskine pocket watercolor sketchbook; Staedtler pigment liner pen; Daniel Smith Watercolors

He gave some tips for inexpensive bookbinding supplies that do not require going to a specialty store.  However, both Daniel Smith and Artists and Craftsments Supply in Seattle have bookbinding supplies.

One can use Elmer’s glue instead of PVA Adhesive.  It’s not archival but much cheaper.  Book paste can also be made at home:  3 parts water and 1 part flour; whisk briskly; boil until thick.

Use a moderately thick crochet thread instead of linen thread for sewing books together.  I’ve also read to use bottonhole thread.
He recommended the YouTube tutorials by Sealemon.  While she has dozens of tutorials on a wide variety of DIY crafts, she is a treasure trove of bookbinding and book related tutorials!  Here is the summary listing of all her bookbinding tutorials.

Here is the one on coptic stitch
coptic stitch sketchbook
hardcover book with coptic stitch
Hardcover casebinding 
Other book-related tutorials
Pen Loop Holder 

He recommended Keith Smith’s books on Nonadhesive Bookbinding

Posted in Journal, KIt and Supplies, Sketches | Tagged , , , | 1 Comment