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October 17, 2008

What Tree Is This?


I picked up this leaf and nut from the sidewalk in Capitol Hill, Washington DC, last weekend.  These huge trees lined the street all around the park and there were multiple nuts that looked like acorns until you noticed that the caps were really spiculated - not at all like a traditional oak acorns.  On the left is the inside of an empty cap  and on the right a drawing of a cap with the nut facing up.  The cap actually has the spicules covering it entirely.

The leaves were as long and narrow as I depicted, but the veins were actually symmetric - and I didn't manage to keep them that way when I painted the leaf.  I have no idea how the leaves were placed on the branch or what the bark looked like.  None of the tree identification web sites helped me identify this tree, so I'm hoping someone in EDM can do it.  Lin? 

October 15, 2008

Autumn in Washington DC

We spent the Columbus Day weekend with our youngest grandchild in Washington DC.  When she was born I started a Cachet Linen watercolor journal for our visits to DC - the same journal that I used for my 3 London travel journals for my other grandchildren.  I try to do a visual journal page for each day of our visit,

We went to the annual Navy Day when we arrived Saturday, but Annabelle slept through it while my two oldest grandchildren, who were also visiting DC, had a fabulous time climbing on huge military vehicles.  But she now loves her Exersaucer and while we were babysitting for her spent many happy minutes playing in it.  Here is a cropped version from my position in a nearby chair. 


Sunday morning we took Annabelle for a really long walk around Capitol Hill and saw Halloween decorations whereever we walked.  One house even had pumpkin vines tied up to their wrought iron fence and many pumpkins in various stages of growth.  I captured one of the bigger pumpkins and the vine in one of my drawings.


On Monday we took Annabelle up Pennsylvania Ave to buy some new books for her and then I visited Capitol Hill Books (in a row house across from Eastern Market) for the first time, to survey their incredible collection of used books.  I found a book about the history of Chelsea - in London - which is where we stayed during our year traveling back and forth to London to visit my daughter and her family.  It was a great read for the train coming back to NYC.  What is not in my drawing are the stacks of books that completely obscure the front windows upstairs and down.  Yet inside the collection is wonderfully organized over 3 floors.  A must visit now for me for all subsequent trips to see Annabelle.


August 25, 2008

EDM Challenge #185: Draw a Cat


My son and his wife in Washington DC have two cats - his and hers from before they were married.  So this sketch was made from a photo of Sammy meeting baby Annabelle and her stuffed Jellycat Bella shortly after she was born.   

July 1, 2008

EDM Challenges 172 & 177 + Seurat Drawing

I'm always happy when I can post an EDM Challenge before the next one is announced.  These exercises are great for me to do and I try to stretch my skills a little with each one. 

We were on vacation when the "Sparkle Challenge" was posted and I really wanted to try to capture the light of a gem stone.  I'm not very good painting reflections and I kept looking for a big stone.  I even took a photo of the Hope diamond when we were in DC.  But then I decided to just draw a Bulgari bracelet from an advertisement and move on.


I also took photos of cute little Capitol Hill houses with flags blowing in the breeze on our trip to DC because I knew that ! couldn't draw a moving flag.  Then, at the end of my taxi ride to Union Station following my meetings, I looked up and saw the facade of the station.  I grabbed my camera, took several photos and headed inside for my train back to New York. 


I loved the Seurat Drawings Exhibit at MoMA NY and was especially fascinated with the paper (click on the Conservation button).  This is especially interesting because I don't even sketch with Conte or charcoal.  I looked up the Michallet paper and learned that the modern day equivalent is available at NY Central Art Supplies.  I bought a sheet while I was there on Saturday just to experiment with it.  I ripped it into smaller pieces and now will play with it, using Seurat's drawings as my inspiration.  Here is #1 - done with a 1/8th sheet and a Derwent Drawing pencil. 



June 25, 2008

Weekend in Washington DC

I had one more Cachet Linen Watercolor Journal from my original purchase, and decided that I would take it to Washington DC with me every time I visit Annabelle.  It is the same type of journal that I used for our multiple trips to London to visit our other grandchildren when they lived there.  The 3 London volumes are part travel sketchbook and part grandchild visual journal because lots of the drawings are of their toys, or experiences in their lives.

I printed my previous sketches of Annabelle's house, the US Capitol, and two facades of Eastern Market (before the fire) on plain paper with an ink jet printer and collaged them on the first two pages of this DC journal as an introduction.  Those drawings can be found in the Washington DC category on this blog (see category list on right hand side of the webpage).  I completed 5 pages during our first visit with her and most are already posted.  I did the following drawings this weekend.

I asked my son and daughter-in-law about their favorite newborn toys - and painted both their favorite rattles and her new crib mobile.  They think her favorite animal on the mobile, based on the kicking and cooing of a 3 month old, is the donkey, so he has a portrait by himself.





On Sunday afternoon we took Annabelle on the Metro in her stroller to the National Museum of Natural History.  At the end of our brief visit, they went to feed her and I stayed in the rotunda to draw the elephant to document her first visit there and the fun we had on our adventure.


I sketched and shaded the elephant with a Derwent light wash pencil and then blended all of it with my small Niji waterbrush. 

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