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July 9, 2014

A Hydrangea and a Row of Sea Gulls

We finally came back to New York City yesterday, after a wonderful weekend with our family at the beach.  The beach was sunny and cool with wonderful breezes and NYC was humid and in the 90s.

The first class of Sketchbook Skool Semester 2 was downloaded on July 4th and our whole family was housebound most of the day by torrential rains.  This is my homework assignment #2, which Danny Gregory calls "Fast and Slow."  You choose a complex object to draw and quickly paint the main shapes.  Then you study the object and slowly make a pen drawing - with all of the complexities - over the painted shapes. 

I wanted to paint a hydrangea bloom because they were blooming all around the house, so I quickly painted the cup shape with blue, the leaf shapes with a medium green, and the hydrangea bloom wet-in-wet by first brushing the area with clear water and then dropping in alizarin crimson and ultramarine blue.

I was actually pleased with the painting of the big shapes, so when I slowly drew the cup, leaves, and hydrangea petals, I didn't deviate much at all from the painted shapes.  I did however need to darken the leaves and add the dots in the center of each petal (Signo white pen).  I then painted the background. 

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We always take 2 mile early morning walks on the beach and one morning the sea gulls continued to sit in a line as I slowly walked up with my camera.  I've read that the brown speckled birds are the young Herring gulls - and there was a great assortment in this line-up. I loved painting all of the colorations 

If anyone would like to paint these gulls from a hi-res photo, just leave me a request in the comments and I'll email you a copy.   Your email address is automatically seen only by me when you leave a comment, so it will be on its way to you quickly.

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July 6, 2014

Holiday Weekend

We are at the beach with our children and grandchildren - except for the 3 who are at sleep-away camp.  I spent more time organizing drawing and painting for them than I did working in my own sketchbook.  This is Zachary and Annabelle who were painting shells that Annabelle found on the beach with me in the early morning.

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I finished painting the group of birds that we saw at our friends' birdfeeder in Martha's Vineyard at the end of June.

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And I painted one very long sea gull feather that we found on a beach walk in the mist and fog. 

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We are going home tomorrow and then I need to do some catching up! 

June 7, 2014

Beach and Flowers

We are at the end of our beach vacation, and I have several more daily sketchbook pages and two exercises from a Craftsy Class I am taking with one of my friends while we relax in the house.

Some Drawings From Our Local Fish Store:  More buoys, a swordfish sculpture above the door, and one fish from a series painted across the front, right under the roof edge.

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Morning Breakfast at the Beach Snack Shack:  My friend Renee across the table.  

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More Shells:  A small oyster shell, a slightly chipped scallop shell, and my first (broken) Channeled Whelk Shell.

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I bought the Craftsy" Painting Watercolor Flowers" class with Mary Murphy so Sara and I could watch the lessons and paint together during afternoons.  Here are two exercises - a value chart and rose in one and very wet-in-wet "fantasy" flowers in the other. 

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June 3, 2014

Beach Week

I LOVE our early morning beach walks with two other couples.  We walk one mile from our starting point and then turn around and walk one mile back.  On weekdays we can have breakfast at the Snack Shack and sketch, paint, and talk.  During our walks I constantly look for shells, and I'm surprised at the variation of shells and other things we find on the beach, which changes from year to year.  Last year we learned about sand collars - mucus/sand 8" diameter flat structures made by moon snails and under which moon snails lay their eggs.   This year moon snails of medium to large size are everywhere, but there are NO scallop shells.  However, I found 3 whelk shells - two new varieties - which are definitely unusual.

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Our local fish store has several walls of bouys which hang on picket fences in front of the entrance.  I love the variation in shapes and colors 

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May 30, 2014

First Beach Visit - 2014

We arrived on a cold, windy, drizzly day - and since then had two glorious morning walks on the beach.  This is our 6th annual visit with 4 of our friends that we've known since 1967!  We take 2+ mile walks on the beach each morning, do a little shopping for dinner, relax reading, drawing, painting, swimming - and then spend quiet evenings in the house most days doing a variety of different activities.  TOTAL RELAXATION!

Here is my husband arriving on the sand for our first beach walk of the season, followed by two photos of the beautiful beach.  It was 47 degrees at 6AM each day and barely over 50 when we arrived at the beach!

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I made a new sketchbook for our summer beach visits and this is part of the title page - which also has all of my contact information in case it gets lost.  This is my current palette and one of several sea gulls I painted on the title page. 

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After our walk, we have coffee and breakfast at the snack shop on the beach and relax in the warm sun.  These are the two sketchbook pages I did there- one per morning. 

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All pages are photographed, not scanned, while here at the beach.   Just picture them with nice white backgrounds!

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