Tag Archives: watercolor pencils

More Drawings

Wednesday is blog day. I just realized I have set myself up to be posting on Christmas Eve. I sure hope all the things I’ve been putting off will be done by then. We have a tree, but it’s not in the house yet. I’ve barely started my shopping and I’ve only baked three kinds of cookies, out of twelve I intend to bake.

On the upside, I’ve kept up with the December Daily Drawing Challenge. There have been more fruits and vegetables floating in space. There have been leaves. One ambitious day, I drew an entire potted plant. It was fun because I drew it last year, when it only had two leaves. Now it has ten and I managed to capture eight of them. I’m happy with this drawing.

Arrowhead Plant

Arrowhead Plant


I’m also happy with this onion.
Onion

Onion


It was a challenge because I was working with a small set of watercolor pencils. The only brown in the set is dark umber and that’s not very useful when drawing an onion. I had to blend yellows and oranges to get this done and I like the way it turned out.

Then there’s this lime.

Lime

Lime


A green fruit is a bit easier because there are three shades of green in my tin of twelve watercolor pencils. Three greens – an embarrassment of riches!

I don’t have a lot of words left in me today, so I’m going to wrap it up now. The Daily Drawing Challenge is not what’s keeping me from getting my Christmas shopping, decorating and baking done. That’s my own lethargy. The Daily Drawing Challenge is the good part of my day, the time when, against all odds, I actually get something done. Thanks again, Grace. I’m enjoying this!

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More Sketching

The sketch-a-day challenge continues. Of course, there were a few other things going on this past week, too. More baking, more shopping, more wrapping, followed by unwrapping, feasting, resting, and a Doctor Who Christmas special. Then there was more shopping, because I love the after-Christmas sales. I did manage to do a drawing every day. Some of them are very small and some of them are very lame, but I kept going anyway, because that was the challenge.
I started last Saturday with a drawing of a frog toy. It may appear to be waving, but it actually has magnets in its hands and feet and it’s attached to something metal.

Frog toy

Frog toy


The next day, I drew another toy, a small Crayola bear that lives with my Christmas things. It looks a bit cranky; maybe it doesn’t like being put away with the Christmas things every year.
Crayola bear

Crayola bear


This next one is a small leaf. My brother-in-law dropped by on Christmas Eve Eve and my husband picked the leaf off his truck. We exchanged cookies with my brother-in-law and my husband gave me the leaf to draw. It’s sweet of him to look out for me that way.
Small leaf

Small leaf


As you can imagine, Christmas Eve was rather busy. I drew another leaf. This one came from the maple tree in my front yard. It’s a bit spotty.
Spotty leaf

Spotty leaf


On Christmas Day, I was even busier and I spent a lot of time in my kitchen, where my eyes fell upon the cookie jar I inherited from my mother. The proportions are a bit off, but I think my sisters will recognize it when (if?) they read my blog.
The Grandma cookie jar

The Grandma cookie jar


On the twenty-sixth, I was tired again from shopping, so I drew another leaf from my maple tree.
Dry leaf

Dry leaf


Today I chose a potted plant that lives in my dining room. I’m pretty good at leaves but I’m not good at pots. Maybe I just need some more practice.
Plant

Plant

Or some more pencils. Santa let me down, but I’ll still be watching those clearance sales.

Still Sketching

Yes! I have kept up with the “Sketch a Day” challenge I mentioned in my last blog post. It seems to fit into my day pretty well, even with all the added activities of the Christmas season. Every day, in the midst of all the crazy shopping, decorating and baking, I get a half-hour or so of calm, quiet drawing time. Who knew that squeezing an extra activity into my already full schedule could be such a gift?
We started the week with a family trip to the Jacksonville Landing to enjoy Tuba Christmas. On the walk back to our car, we passed a dogwood tree covered in red leaves. I picked one and tucked it into my purse so I could draw it later.

Dogwood leaf

Dogwood leaf


The next day I looked around my kitchen and found a frog-shaped toothpick holder. That was fun!
Toothpick holder

Toothpick holder


Next came an orange from my refrigerator. It was an ingredient in one of my twelve kinds of Christmas cookies, but before I used it, I drew it.
Orange

Orange


After that, I looked around the kitchen again and found another frog. This one is a dish scrubber.
Dish scrubber

Dish scrubber


I got ambitious the next day and put several golden grape tomatoes into a tiny bowl. That’s practically a still life, there.
Grape tomatoes

Grape tomatoes


The next day, I was in a rush, so I chose a round fruit – an apple from the refrigerator.
Apple

Apple


Today was also a very busy day, so I chose something round again – a bright red tomato.
Tomato

Tomato


I’m really hoping Santa brings me some more watercolor pencils. Some day, I hope to draw something purple.

Sketching Again

I’ve been sketching. My niece, Grace, finished the November challenge of writing fifty thousand words for NaNoWriMo and then decided she wanted a new challenge for December. She’s doing a sketch every day and she invited others to join her. I didn’t immediately jump on that bandwagon because I didn’t even hear about it until the second or third of the month, so I figured it was too late. Then she published a blog post where she suggested that others who wanted to join the challenge could just start with the day they saw that post and continue through December thirty-first. I still didn’t officially say, “I’m in,” but I did draw that day. That was the day I drew the leaf I showed in my last blog post.
The next day, I had an evening Chorale concert with a four o’clock rehearsal. I knew there would be some time in between when I would be sitting around and waiting, so I threw my sketchbook and my watercolor pencils into my Chorale bag with my music. When the time came, I was in a dressing room which had absolutely nothing in it that looked as if it would be fun to draw. I ended up drawing a red top and black skirt that were hanging in an open closet. You can see that I was not really enjoying that drawing, but I did draw.

The dressing room

The dressing room


That was two days in a row. The next day, I found something more fun to draw – a plant growing near our bird feeder. The birds planted it, so we’re not sure what it is, but I did enjoy drawing it.
Strange plant

Strange plant


The next day, I drew the last marigold. Green things go well; yellow things, not so well. I only have one yellow in my box of twelve watercolor pencils, so shading is a problem. I still enjoyed it more than the hanging thing.
The last marigold

The last marigold


Then came the biscuit. I drew it because it was there.
Biscuit

Biscuit


The next day, I looked in the refrigerator. Ah…a carrot! That was fun.
Carrot

Carrot


Another day, another trip to the refrigerator. I found a half of a tomato.
Cut tomato

Cut tomato


Today, I drew an onion.
Onion

Onion


I’ve managed a drawing a day for a week. Maybe I really can keep this up until December thirty-first.
All right, Grace – I’m in!

Drawings!

I’m back in flat Florida. It’s nice to have running water again. It’s nice to be sleeping in a place where I can sprawl. I’m trying to be positive, but it’s hard not to miss those gorgeous mountains and those glorious Fall colors. I’m not going to go into detail about my vacation. The last time I did that, my older daughter refused to read that week’s blog post. She had already been subjected to our vacation stories and our vacation pictures. I’m going to give her a break and talk about creativity instead.

I have something exciting to report. I did a drawing every single day while I was in North Carolina! I started with the first thing I saw when I stepped out of my car on our hillside campsite – some pokeweed berries that very nearly hit me in the face. The berries were bright green but their stems were magenta. I was using my set of twelve watercolor pencils, so there was no way I could capture those colors perfectly, but they were so startling that I had to try.

Pokeweed

Pokeweed

Once I had done a drawing the very first day we arrived, I started to think I might be able to do one every day. I was surrounded by breathtaking natural beauty, so I had no excuse not to try. The next two days I chose wildflowers that were growing on the hillside and I was reasonably happy with those drawings.

Yellow flowers

Yellow flowers


Purple flowers

Purple flowers

Then I tried something different: a pair of work gloves lying across some cut firewood. This was so much more difficult than the little bits of flora I had done the first three days, I wanted to give up in the middle of it. The perspective was all wrong; the gravity wasn’t working…my inner critic was going on and on about how horrible this little drawing was.

Impossible gloves

Impossible gloves

I’ve tried doing a drawing a day before. Then I would reach a point like this and my inner critic would start telling me that I had no talent and it was never going to get any better and I might as well give up. Every other time, that was exactly what I did. Not this time. I did go back to flora. I chose a small, pretty leaf in colors that were readily available in my tin, but I kept going. One more day, one more drawing, no quitting. Go me!

Sumac leaf

Sumac leaf

The following day was our day to visit an orchard, so that day I drew an apple. I like this one a lot. Smooth, round fruits are easy.

Apple

Apple

Maybe too easy. The next day I had the nerve to think I might be able to draw a doughnut. My tin had no browns except dark umber, but I did not let that discourage me. I had no idea that all the nooks and crannies of a doughnut make it an entire world on your plate – a world you must draw before you can eat.

Doughnut

Doughnut

My inner critic got loud again that day, so the next day, I went back to flora.

Another leaf

Another leaf

One more Autumn leaf makes eight drawings to add to my list of fifty things. Actually, nine. I had drawn a couple of peppers before I left home.

Peppers

Peppers

I forgot to date the drawing, so I’m not sure when I drew it, but it was definitely during my sixtieth year, so it counts.

New Toys

This blog, by design, is not about the tie-dye business. Some day, we’re going to have a web site for the tie-dye business and I intend to have a blog there about the tie-dye business, but this blog is about creative pursuits other than making tie-dye. Still, the tie-dye business does sometimes lead us into other creative pursuits. Recently, it led us into Office Depot, where we were hoping to find a sign that would let folks know that we are now able to take credit cards. They did not have such a sign, but they did have something else: Prismacolor Watercolor pencils. On clearance.

Perhaps a stronger person could have resisted those pencils, but I could not. In my overstuffed creative space were many kinds of art supplies, but no watercolor pencils. Watercolor crayons, yes; watercolor pencils, no. And they were ON CLEARANCE. I had to have them. My daughter (who is also my business partner) talked me into buying some for her, too. What can I say? They were on clearance.

I thought I would take them right home and draw something with them, but it actually took me more than a week to get brave enough to try them out. My husband had bought some peaches at the grocery store, and when I saw them sitting on the kitchen counter in all their red and gold glory, I decided it was time to brave the blank page and give those pencils a try. I chose one perfect peach and found my small sketchbook. Then I opened up my brand new pencils. They were already sharpened and utterly beautiful. Drawing with them felt comfortable and intuitive. There are only twelve of them, so deciding which one to use was uncomplicated. With that limited selection, there was usually only one that would even work for what I was trying to capture, so that was the one I grabbed. It was fun to try for different effects by layering colors on top of each other and I really liked the way my peach turned out. I decided to take a picture of it before adding any water.

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Then the fun really started, when I filled my water container and found a brush so I could play with the watercolor effect. I quickly learned that I needed to wipe the wet brush on a paper towel before applying it to my drawing. Too much water would just lift the color right off or send it running down the page – definitely not what I wanted to do. It was also important to rinse the brush between colors, or they would get muddy in a hurry. Fortunately, I could lift off the unwanted muddy color as easily as the much-wanted pretty color. Whew! Here’s the finished peach:

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I am happy with this peach. Since I am never happy with any of my attempts at art, that’s saying quite a lot. I was happy enough when I finished it that I started looking around for something else I could draw with my watercolor pencils. I found that my husband had cut a pine cone lily and put in in a handmade vase on the kitchen table. My left brain was worried again because it looked pretty complicated, but my right brain decided to go for it.

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I like it. I’ve done two colorful drawings in one week and I actually like both of them. Maybe there’s hope for me after all.