quick sketch


There’s still two days left in the 100 people in One Week sketch challenge! The social media air waves have been filled with speedy people-sketches. Maybe it’s getting a little much? Nevertheless, since I’ve been busy in my own way, here’s some samples. Whether or not I get to 100, who cares? Certainly not me.foolsvol2_3

The lovely lady in the Fool’s Parade towering over us and waving her flag. (done from a photo of course!)


If you live around Sebastopol you may recognize this guy – a fixture in the community, always dancing around with the manic look in his eye.


And one last Hubbub Club musician in the signature colors (and hiking shoes).


Bob (my husband) was learning a new book binding method and let me use this tiny one for my 100 people. The newspaper was a good source of faces that day. I did two of Attorney General Barr because the top one didn’t reveal the tilt of the head and other signs of stress. I almost got Netanyahu’s smirk, but need to learn to exaggerate more!


Lurking in the Whole Foods dining area here. The paper is smooth so the paint sits on the surface – actually pretty fun to work with as the colors creep into each other.


I’m using fountain pen with brown ink here, and discovering the fact that I can no longer see clearly across a room without my distance glasses and can’t focus on my sketchbook and brush without my prescription readers. Time for graduated lenses, but until then. . .messy sketches.


The black thread is a bit distracting, but I love this little book because I can feel free in it!


Another day at the restaurant at Cornerstone Gardens. More sketches (not people) from there later.


Sketching away the holidays


Japanese brush pen and w/c in Strathmore w/c sketchbook, 5 X 7″

The holidays are officially over now.  Today we’ll take down our Bookworm tree and lights.  My Strathmore sketchbook, inaugurated in October, is full.  The holidays are never a time to get much larger painting done, but they are a perfect time for some quick sketches.  Here’s a sampling.

The jury is still out on which of my pens works best.  They all have pros and cons. The brush pen, which you see in these images, is the most expressive, but it puts down such a bold line (a bit scary!) and it bleeds, so you can’t paint watercolor over it. unless you want mud.


In pursuit of more colorful subjects I have found the Farmer’s Market to be the most accessible.  I went to sketch motion, but ended up sipping my chai comfortably on a bench and opting for a sedentary subject who was easier to draw.


More brush pen sketching at a local cafe hang out. The trick is to stay away from facial features and go for body attitude. All the shading here is the brush pen bleeding as I swipe it with a water brush.



The guy in the foreground was literally close enough I could touch him, but he was more interested in the people ordering their coffee, especially this young lady with the cool boots!

Bird Enchantment


“Comet”, a Screech Owl

Comet was the tiniest of the birds I made the acquaintance of this weekend at Santa Rosa’s Bird Rescue Center’s open house.  I was attending the first of the Birding Sketchbook series led by Jonqui Albin, Bird Activist/Action Artist.  We were shown the basics of action-drawing birds and set loose among the hawks, falcons, owls and kestrals that were brought out of their cages on the arms of trained volunteers.  A strong wind was blowing and the birds were clearly delighted to be out (if not exactly free to fly around!)


“Aurora”, Red Tailed Hawk

We were given a pencil to lightly sketch in the gesture of the bird before going in with pen. The wind blew the birds wings open.  What a thrill to be 4 feet away from the wingspan of maybe 5 feet across! And the eyes. . .at once beguiling and unnerving.


“Wowl”, Horned Owl

Wowl would win any bird beauty pageant with those eyes and tawny plumage and especially with his handler, a young woman with a man of her own firey red plumage!


“Vihar”, Great Horned Owl

I’m sure you’re wondering, as we did, if these magnificent birds would again fly free.  They are after all rescued birds, not zoo animals.  They live in lovely spacious cages but will never be able to survive in the wild because of disabilities (little Comet is blind in one eye for instance) or imprinting to a human. Actually I think the imprinting happens both ways.  They handlers seemed to have a love affair with their feathered friends.

And after 2 1/2 hours of bird company I was sufficiently enamored to be contemplating volunteering, if not at least returning on a regular basis (the Bird Rescue Center has open houses twice a month!) to sketch, or maybe just to gaze into those mesmerizing eyes.

The World’s Best Model



Sketching Woodrow in Humboldt Redwoods State Park

Do you see the green/blue behind the horse’s tail?  That’s the swimming hole by our campsite that we frequented each afternoon and had practically to ourselves.  One day we heard a ninnying and found this beautiful Arabian there in the shade, his human family in the shade below.  Excited, I got my chair and sat in front of him, Woodrow the horse that is, and commenced to sketching.

Well, I’ve sketched chickens and goats and sheep and cows and dogs and cats, all of which resulted in quick sketching, as in glance/memorize/hope for the best.  This noble creature almost stood still for me.  And can you imagine a more perfect subject for sketching?