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July 10, 2018

Urban Sketchers 30 X 30 Direct Painting Challenge

Day 30:  This is the final direct painting (i.e. no lines) that I did for the challenge.  My observations from the 30 days are listed below.

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I love drawing, and really love lines, so I was skeptical about this challenge.  But I'm very glad that I did it.

1.  Each sketchbook painting took me longer than when I use pen-ink-and watercolor wash.

2.  It was fun, but challenging, to paint white objects by first painting the negative space around them.

3.  I could paint by direct observation if I was painting a non-moveable object/subject in my environment, but took photos to paint from for many of the challenge days, especially the above painting of my husband and friend walking along the beach.

4.  I really had to concentrate on shapes as I applied the watercolor with a brush.  I tried not to draw with a brush, and then fill in a shape.

5. I actually learned more about handling watercolors, even though I've been using them since 2003 - including use of wet-in-wet, allowing drying time, and glazing.

6.  I liked having a dedicated sketchbook for the project - which took one sheet of 22 X 30 of 140 pound watercolor paper, and a simple pamphlet stitch (Teesha Moore's 16 page journal).

7.  I can't use this technique when traveling unless I work completely from photos.  My usual travel sketchbook pages are created by doing a quick drawing from observation, taking a photo to remember colors, and then adding watercolor later.  My drawings are quick, and the only time I finish the painting at the same time is when my husband and I sit for a short while for coffee or a meal (45-60 minutes).  He is good waiting the length of time it takes him to do a New York Times Crossword puzzle and I remind him to bring a page each time we leave the hotel or apartment.

8. I hope this becomes a yearly Urban Sketcher challenge for June.  Knowing that other people were doing it at the same time gave me inspiration.  I just hope there is a dedicated website set up so more people can share their daily paintings.

 

 

July 3, 2018

Urban Sketchers 30 x 30 Challenge: June 26.29

Direct Painting for 30 X 30 Urban Sketchers June Challenge:  Last summer I took a 3 hour workshop from Urban Sketcher Anne Watkins.  I love her style of painting random people, especially those that she does onsite at Weddings.  https://annewatkins.com/about.html

This image seemed perfect for the day after we left Martha's Vineyard.  It was painted from an image that I previously sketched from a photo, and the only pen work was the tie on the sun hat.  I'm not sure that I will ever acquire the skills to do paintings like this live.

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Sketchbook Page:  In order to do every day of the challenge I had to sometimes do 2,3, or 4 direct paintings on one page of my Teesha Moore 16 page watercolor sketchbook.  I marked off the areas with 1/4" artists tape before I painted.  The flower and razor clam were painted from direct observation.  The blue jay was painted from a photo I took of a wooden sculpture.

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I still need to do a painting for June 30th to finish my book and the challenge, but we arrived home from vacation to a full schedule of grandchildren and it takes me longer to do a direct painting, than with pen, ink, and watercolor washes.  

June 29, 2018

Urban Sketchers 30 X 30 Challenge: June 20-25

It is hard keeping up with my art goals while being on vacation with my husband at the home of very good friends.  I find that I am only able to do it by taking photos and painting during quiet times in the house.  Only the bird feeder and the squirrel were painted "in the moment."  I am also trying to paint in my summer vacation sketchbook each day.  It takes me much longer to do direct painting because I need to carefully plan the layers.   

The stuffed bunny was sitting among rocks at the Acquinnah Wampanoag cemetery on Martha's Vineyard.  The Beach roses were photographed on the path we walked to the beach for our morning beach walks.

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The wampum flower was painted from shell pieces I brought home from the beach.  The yacht was photographed in the harbor in Vineyard Haven on a day we saw two movies and attended a Town Hall meeting by Senator Ed Markey.  The bird feeder needs an air traffic control system - for constant bird visitors, and this squirrel who jumped from the tree to the top of the feeder, and then snuck down the pole to the yellow feeder to eat. 

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June 19, 2018

Urban Sketchers 30 X 30 Challenge: June 10-16

I am faithfully doing the 30 X 30 Urban Sketchers challenge this month and just passed the halfway mark. The challenge is to do "direct painting" using only paint and brush every day in June.  I made a 16 page watercolor journal for the challenge from Teesha Moore's Tutorial on YouTube.    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1z6qmXGRrsE 

I usually do quick pencil drawings from observation, and paint my inked drawing on location or take a photo to paint at home (when in museums, galleries, or when there is no time).  I see everything as a series of lines. Seeing only shapes is totally different and I'm so happy that I'm gaining this experience.   I will have to develop these skills more after the month is over.  But it is a start.

June 10 and 11:  I like drawing and painting bottles, like Morandi, but not forever as he did.  These were painted as shapes from photographs.

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June 12 and 13:  Two figures painted as shapes, from photographs.  The lines on the far right are bookbinding thread from the pamphlet watercolor paper booklet I made for the challenge.

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June 14, 15, and 16:  Leaves and a Lily from photos I took at the Jefferson Market Garden, and Belvedere Castle from my stash of reference photos I took over the years in Central Park.

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June 12, 2018

Urban Sketchers 30 X 30 Challenge: June 1-8

Liz Steel and Marc Taro Holmes, from the International Urban Sketchers Group proposed a challenge for everyday in June.  Instead of using lines for drawing, they proposed using shapes to directly paint the art.  I love drawing and think in "lines", not "shapes," so this was a perfect challenge for me.  I made a Teesha Moore 16 page watercolor book with one sheet of Arches 140 lb cold press to use for challenge, and will try to paint something every day.  Each page will need images from two days, and I'm starting small so I can develop some beginning skills. 

SeaGulls:  from photos I took on our beach walks.

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Rocks and Flip-Flops:  I'm trying to learn how to paint rocks wet-in-wet and make them look smooth as they are deposited from the ocean on the sand - painted from observation.

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Gentoo Penguins and Flower Planter:  We watched a PBS documentary on Nature called Penguin Post Office on Wed. PM and I loved seeing the Gentoo Penguins in Antartica at Port Lockroy.  These were painted from a photo.  The planter was one of 4 around the pool at the beach- painted from observation

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Seagulls and Lifeguards Stand:  More seagulls and the life guard stand on Cooper's Beach - from my photos.  I painted the lifeguard stand by painting the negative space shapes.  A enormous challenge for me! 

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