Alex wanted a cactus while we were out shopping at the home improvement store this week. He named him “Mr. Yellow.” It must be a boy cactus.
On a Saturday in April we were out and about and decided to have an early dinner at what my son calls “the castle”. From the outside, the building does indeed look like an old castle and the bar downstairs a dungeon.
My husband used to go here back in the late 60′s and early 70′s with his family and every time we come here he tells be about the Kelsey girls back in the day in their hot pants and tiny shirts. Apparently they made quite an impression on his pre-adolescent mind. I am not all that sad to say the old uniforms is gone.
We were too early to eat down in the bar area and the upstairs has been updated. The old Kelsey’s pizza has also been replaced by a Chicago chain pizza. I think the next time we go back it will have to be at a time we can eat downstairs so I can get some good drawings of the quirky atmosphere. I would love to sit outside and draw the outside as well.
Within walking distance of my house is a little square of shops and condos called Station Square. My favorite Cuban restaurant, Lulo’s, is here and in the center they have a small park and fountain.
Years ago, my son used to love this fountain. Here he is back in 2007 (3.5 years old) probably right before he soaked himself splashing in the water.
They used to hold a farmer’s market in this square in the summer held by the local organic farm and learning farm students in our subdivision. I heard this year they are going to just be selling at the various other local summer markets this year. I’m disappointed because it was nice having it so close. We also have other events here such as an annual art fair. It’s a nice place to live.
The following is a sketch of the square from out the window of Lulo’s. I go there a lot for lunch and now that the weather is getting nice again I can walk. Today it was threatening to rain though.
Posted in In My Moleskine, My Miscellaneous Life, Pen and Ink, Sketching Around Town, Watercolor and Ink
Tagged grayslake, koi watercolors, micron pen, prairie crossing, sakura, station village, urban sketchers, urban sketching, watercolor and ink
Today I was thinking about the process of warming up and practicing drawing to develop hand-eye coordination. I was going through a notebook full of art notes yesterday and ran across a blind contour drawing I did of something out of the blue while in the middle of my notes. I can’t even tell you what it was but the interest and energy of the line got me thinking why not have some fun and purposely develop a blind contour drawing into an abstract drawing/painting. I’m sure I am not the first to think of this but I had fun today anyhow.
Blind contour drawing is a method of drawing widely used by art teachers, where an artist draws the contour of a subject without looking at the paper.
This is the subject I used to create my blind contour drawings. It is a dried milkweed pod.
The first drawing I did was in pencil on watercolor paper. The contour drawing itself turned out better without the watercolor. I think the watercolor was put on too stiffly. This was the first attempt.
Round two I decided to switch over to one of my Micron pens. The watercolor is getting looser.
The third drawing was done on Yupo paper with the Micron pen and watercolor. I like the lack of control I had with the water on this one.
Lastly, I did a wet-on-wet watercolor background first on this one and let it dry. I also ended up moving the milkweed pod to a different position.
This experiment was fun and next time I might try it on a larger scale. I think this is a great exercise not only to develop hand-eye coordination but also to let go of expectations of the finished product and loosen up a little. I would love to see the results if anyone else gives this a try.
Posted in Experimentation, Product methods and reviews, Watercolor and Ink, Nature Sketching, Items of Interest
Tagged sketch, sketching, watercolor and ink, watercolor, micron pen, Micron, micron pens, sakura, arts, illustration, blind contour drawing, blind contour, abstract drawing, yupo paper, yupo, winsor newton, drawing exercise, hand eye coordination, contour drawings, watercolor paper
This is the view off to the side of our cottage where the walking path meets the road. Off in the distance are the town-home condos. The path runs into some woods that are behind and alongside us. We get to see all kinds of wildlife that comes visit. The woods have lots of deer, wild turkey and a variety of pretty birds including cardinals. It’s very peaceful to sit out on our patio in the morning.
Posted in In My Moleskine, My Miscellaneous Life, Sketching Around Town, Watercolor and Ink
Tagged Geneva National, koi, Micron, moleskine, sakura, sketch, sketchbook, sketching, watercolor, watercolor and ink
Mexican restaurants are a feast for the eyes… no pun intended. I love their colorful walls and variety of decorations. The palm tree in the room is a funky metal silver and bronze.
This restaurant happens to have a statue of a bull that used to be able to be seen through the middle window behind the man with glasses. My son, as a small child, used to love seeing the bull and this restaurant became known as The Bull Restaurant in our household. I swear he would want to go here just so he could pet the bull.
Posted in Sketching Around Town, Watercolor and Ink
Tagged sketch, sketchbook, sketching, watercolor and ink, watercolor, Micron, sketching people, moleskine, sakura, waterbrush, koi
Last week, I exhibited my work at Wellness Night put together by Grayslake Rehabilitation and Wellness. Not only was I selling some of my work, I was offering a new Sketchbook Journaling class focusing on using art and journaling for wellness. Anyone who is in the area and interested in joining us please shoot me an email. We will be deciding a timeframe soon and there is a good chance that the meeting place will be at the Wellness Center.
For those of you who missed Wellness Night, be sure to check out their website http://www.grayslakerehab.com/. The staff there is outstanding and has personally been helping me immensely.
Posted in Sketching Around Town, Watercolor and Ink
Tagged arts, grayslake rehab, illustration, koi, Micron, moleskine, sakura, sketchbook, sketchbook journaling, sketching, using art, watercolor, wellness