Paper Education

I’ve been out and about so much lately, I’m taking a small break.  Yesterday I spent time reading for on-line CEU (continuing education) credits in advance of my license renewal this week.  Actually, I’ve already sent in the form and received my renewal.  But I had this one last requirement to complete.

However, I’m still looking at Urban Sketchers on flickr  I followed an internet trail from “Bissky’s” beautiful watercolor to the paper company from which he got the watercolor paper.  And I learned a lot!

What Goulet is to pens, Legion Paper may be to paper.  While not as personal a family company, they seem dedicated to providing education about paper.

Watercolor    When I clicked on each paper brand, I found more information about the paper and evaluation of its use than I have seen anywhere else!

“Ask and Expert” forum is also searchable.

Knowledge Base describes and defines all those esoteric paper terms.

They sell samples!   I bought a $12 watercolor paper sampler.

But they do not seem to sell paper directly to the public.  They are a wholesaler.  They do include links for where to buy each product.

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Peggy has friends, Mary Lou and Sam, who live on a houseboat on South Lake Union.  We were invited there to sketch today.  There were just too many beautiful and interesting scenes from which to choose!

I wandered all over the docks before choosing some places to sketch.  First is from the dock of our host’s home, looking down the dock:

Then, also from the host’s patio, looking across the way to another dock:

Finally, a small houseboat on the dock with boat and kayaks:

We shared our sketches and then had a group photo.

The group on the stairs of our hosts’ houseboat;  Missing at least 2 or 3.  From bottom:
Peggy, Tina Kate
Susan, Gordon, Nilda
Logan, Natalie
Peggy JG, Donna
Frank #3, Steve  (There are 2 other Franks already in the group, so I’m called him #3!)
Thanks to Sam for taking the group photo.

Lots of photos here and just one sample:

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First Drink & Draw

This evening, I attended my first Drink and Draw session.  The relatively newly opened geeky tavern, AFK Elixir & Eatery in Renton was the host.  (for non-geeks, AFK = “Away from Keyboard”).  So, of course, the model was a cosplayer.  This is “LuzLink” cosplaying “Dark Link” from the Legend of Zelda video game.  No, I didn’t know that myself… I had to ask one of the other artists present!

We started with very brief poses, about 5 minutes or so.  This was the first hour.  I didn’t want to use my good watercolor sketchbooks so I had some flyers and I sketched on the back of them.  Next time, I’ll bring some cheaper pencil sketchbook paper, too.

Then we moved on to longer poses and I used my watercolor papers.

Thanks to our excellent model who did a very good job!

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Restoring the 747

Thursday and I’m back to my routine of Museum of Flight sketches.  This time I went out to the Air Park after my shift.  Global Jet Painting, LLC has been contracted to repaint the exterior of the Museum’s Boeing 747.  It’s the very first one off the assembly line, numbered RA 001.  Normally, aircraft would be painted in a special hangar.  This one can’t be moved to the paint hangar in Everett.  So this company has a special process to paint it in place.

Today they were sanding the exterior of the aircraft.  I sketched a portion of the scene in my pocket Moleskine.

As I was finishing the sketch, Guy, the President of the company, came over to talk to me.  He said the crew couldn’t paint yesterday due to the heavy rain so they went through Museum.  Then they went on the Boeing Factory Tour in Everett.  Thus, he said, they are the only crew in the world to be simultaneously refurbishing an historic 747 and seeing one being built.

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Orcas at the Science Center

We’ve had friends from Oregon visiting the past few days.  On Wednesday (yesterday, 23 July), we went to the Pacific Science Center so they could see the Spy exhibit.  I’d already seen it so didn’t pay the extra to go in.  Instead, I sheltered from the rain to sketch this sculpture of Orcas.  I thought it might fit the Urban Sketchers’ weekly theme of “animals”.
These are meant to represent, Jpod, one of 3 pods in Puget Sound.


As we were leaving, as I waited for my husband to get the car, I sketched this sculpture in a small garden just outside the Science Center entrance:

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Electra & Air Force One

This is not my usual Museum day.  Instead, I took some visiting friends there.  While they wandered on their own,  I did a sketch of the Electra in place in the Great Gallery.  I
previously sketched her arrival and her move in day.

I went over to the Space Gallery to see the new displays around the Shuttle Trainer.

The astronaut statue was moved in front of the Shuttle Trainer

We had lunch.  Then I went back to add watercolor to the Electra sketch.  At 3pm, we went out to the flight line to watch Air Force One land.

More photos are here.

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Sugar Plant

This morning I did a sketch “in a crack” (It’s a phrase from a Irish sketcher I follow who sketches in spare moments, while waiting, etc).  I was 10 minutes too early for an errand in Georgetown.  I’ve noticed this sugar factory many times but always too much in a hurry to stop.  I also thought it would fit this past week’s Urban Sketchers’ theme of “so ugly it’s beautiful”.

This is the White Satin Sugar factory.  It does still seem to be in business but I couldn’t find much about it on-line.  This from Wikipedia:
“The Amalgamated Sugar Company is an American sugar beet-refining company run on a cooperative basis. It was founded in 1897 in Logan, Utah, and is now located in Boise, Idaho. The company markets its sugar under the White Satin brand.”

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Annivesary Sketch Outing

As we met up for the monthly Urban Sketchers Seattle outing yesterday, Gail & Jane told us this is our 5th Anniversary!

We  had our monthly sketch outing today in the area of construction around South Lake Union.  This is in preparation for participation in the Seattle Architectural Foundation annual Model Exhibit titled “In PROCESS”.   We will be showing our sketches.

I sketched two scenes that included construction cranes.   The first is a view I’ve wanted to sketch for quite some time now.  It’s right under the Monorail at Westlake Center, with the Space Needle in view down the street.  Today was cool and I had enough time to get the ink drawing finished before moving on to meet the group at 10am.

While standing there drawing, I had an experience I’ve never had before.  A man stopped and asked to look.  I always say “yes”.  But then he continued to stand hardly a foot away and proceed to correct how I was drawing it. I had a brief crisis of confidence as he, confidently, pointed with his finger on my paper and told me how to draw.  When I realized he had no idea either of my point of view or of perspective, I proceeded to do as I pleased.

Next, I liked the comparison of the old brick building with the new construction.  More cranes!  (Dare I say it’s the official bird of Seattle??)

When we met for sketch sharing, in honor of our 5th Anniversary, Jane brought out some special beverages with which to toast.   Thanks to Gabi (in red at left) for starting it all off and to Gail and Jane for keeping us going!

More photos of construction scenes here.  

After the outing, I stopped at Westlake Center for some lunch.  I sketched from the second story the view out the window.

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Travel sketching demo

I just love Daniel Smith!  Last night at 10pm I was commenting back and forth with Deborah from DS.  I’d been so busy I’d not kept track of the good things happening at the local stores.  She told me about a Travel sketching demo today.

I thought I was going to be late because I was stopped in Georgetown by a freight train moving back and forth.  But I made it in time.

Maria Coryell-Martin demonstrated her tools & techniques for travel and field sketching with ink and watercolor.  Her website is Expeditionary Art

She is an excellent presenter!  I bet she would be a great teacher.  In the course of an hour, she got in all the basic information for a beginner in travel sketching.  She showed us her tools.  She got us trying some sketching exercises in gesture and contour drawing.  She went on to discuss why sketch rather than just take a photo?  A sketch of a subject allows us to focus closely on it for a period of time;  we can give it our own interpretation of colors; we can show our experience of the subject over time.   As others have, she also emphasized the importance of a thumbnails to test composition and to plan values.

In addition to being a wonderful artist and excellent presenter, she has designed a sketching kit.  I’ve seen this on various artist’s blogs over the course of a couple years.  I never realized she is local.  Here is her Art Toolkit

Holding her tiny watercolor palette.

On the left is the sketch kit she sells. On the right is the prototype she made herself for a new, smaller kit. Not available yet but it is in the works!

Display of her products and art.

Maria will be leading a sketch outing at the SAM Sculpture Park in August.  I plan to go.

Afterwards, I talked more with Deborah.  She explained there are 2 DS Facebook pages.  I need to find the one for the local stores as that’s how I’ve missed a couple interesting events.  She also showed me her software tools for managing social media.

More on why I love DS.  I think all the staff are artists.  They all know and use what DS sells.  I listened in on a staff member’s explanation to a customer about the difference between gouache and watercolor.  Wow!  He must have a degree in chemistry as well as art!

Then here are the helpful hints and tricks they share.   I learned another “Joe trick”   (Joe is the DS staff member who has all his sketching tools in a hunting vest.)  In order to save space, he uses only one water brush barrel.  He carries only the brushes and attaches them to the one barrel.

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Vashon sketch outing

Urban Sketchers from the Tacoma and Seattle groups met up yesterday (7/18/14) for an Ad Hoc Sketch outing to Vashon Island.  Darcie was our gracious host for most of the day.

After meeting at his home, we dispersed to sketch around the island.  Three of us went out to sketch the Pt. Robinson lighthouse.  I sat on some drift wood on the beach for this view.

We reconvened for sharing, a group photo and sack lunches.

Some left at that point.  Others stayed to continue sketching.  Many of us just stayed to sketch all the interesting corners of Darcie’s patio!

The pond

From the back of the patio. That’s Frank sketching.

Thank you to Darcie for hosting us.  It was so peaceful there on Vashon Island.  I felt like I’d had a retreat in serene surroundings.

All the photos are here.

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