Thursday, April 30, 2009

Pet Parade Still On Today

There is a pet parade that is still going on today. If you go here you can watch the parade and even join in if you want to. Sorry but I don't know how to do the fancy links so I just paste in the location. I guess that's something I need to learn how to do.

Anyways... They want you to post and link pictures of your pets or a story about them.

So I did this quick sketch of one of my cat's (Mako) this morning. And I discovered that a napping cat will change positions 6-10 times in the space of 15 to 20 minutes, which is the length of time I was working on this sketch. I guess they are always on alert for sounds and things and he actually got up before I had a chance to really finish the sketch.
Early Morning Naptime (5x9, pencil sketch)

The nap in the drawing was taking place at 7AM. I only got up at 6. Not sure when he got up but I know he was awake at 5AM because he tried to get me to get up and feed him his breakfast then.

Cats are amazing creatures and mine are very sweet and friendly cats who really like to spend time with us. And are usually hanging pretty close even if they are napping. The exception to the sleep around people rule is that if we stay up too late then Mako will just go to bed alone and pass out for the night until he hears the food bag rattling and then he'll get up to eat and go back to bed.

This is Mako sleeping on his favourite fake leather reclining swivel chair. He is fake sleeping right now though and trying to ignore that I am taking his picture.

This is Bandit in one of his two favourite napping spots. The back of the couch. He is also fake sleeping and pretending to ignore me while I take the picture of him.
Hope you like my contribution to the Pet Parade and hope you decide to join in.

Tuesday, April 28, 2009


I've been wanting to do this drawing for about 2 weeks now. Ever since I saw the first robin that came back this spring actually. Which is more than two weeks ago come to think of it.

Well I finally got to it this evening. Just did a quick sketch with pencil and then added some pencil crayons on top. I need a base drawing of a robin for some other things and I want to do several things with some robins. This will work for practice to see how it goes and then who knows what might happen.

Return of Spring (5x9, pencil with pencil crayon)

Sunday, April 26, 2009

Diana's Companion

This is my interpretation for the challenge at Different Strokes From Different Folks...

... to do a drawing based on a photo taken of a statue of a companion of the goddess Diana.

I decided to just go ahead and do it because of Inspire Me Thurdays challenge for this week which was PUSH. I considered lots of other options and then decided to draw this to push myself.

I did mine with a mechanical pencil on sketch paper. In real life it looks much better but... Oh well. I'm actually quite happy with this drawing because I DON'T draw people. I am not good at it. They never come out quuite right. Or at least that's what I've always believed. This drawing has opened my eyes and now I believe that if I work at it I CAN draw people.
Diana's Companion (8x14, penci)

I'm thinking that copies of it would be excellent for use in collage and mixed media pieces.

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Opening Soon (12 x 12, watercolour pencil over gesso)

This is my interpretaion of the Virtual Sketch Date inspiration photo for April 2009, a rhodoendron bud.

I'm quite happy with how it turned out. I like the intense colours of the pencils once they are wetted and how the gesso base gives it a sort of chalky feeling when it dries. I completely chickened out on the background though. Or maybe I just reigned myself in a bit... I originally intended to do a wild geometric background and then decided that it would probably distract alot from the drawing I had already done. So I just kept it simple with a light wash.

Sunday, April 19, 2009

Inktense Experiment

I got new pencils the other day at Wallack's and wanted to try them out today with my rhododendron sketch from yesterday for the April VSD.

I'm liking them. Really liking them. A successful inktense experiment so far....

Saturday, April 18, 2009

A Pair of Rhododendrons

These were done for the Virtual Sketch Date challenge for April. It was a Rhododendron bud image. What a lovely flower and what a striking bud.

I started with this pencil drawing to look at the shading and draw in a way that I'm comfortable and happy with.

The Objet-D'art blog has a challenge this week to use colours and I just got some new pencils so I want to so something more with these sketches.
And that's why I did this line drawing. To use as the basis for something more. Just hope that I can make something work with my new "crayons". Inksential pencils from Derwent - really cool - they do regular drawing as well as washes. I've just played with moving the colours so far but I want to try them in a drawing and this one is going to be one of the ones that I try them out on.

The Old Soldier

The Old Soldier (7x9, pencil sketch)

This is the finished sketch for Inpsire Me Thursdays "green" topic.

It is a drawing of a snapping turtle that is from a photo I took of a very large snapping turtle (14-15 inch carapace) on the road near my home about a year ago. He was crossing the road and was actually pretty quick about it considering what you hear about how fast turtles usually move. A turtle this size is quite old and has probably been through a lot - a real warrior.
The turtles are actually protected around here and there are signs for turtle crossings - you are supposed to help them and not run them down - so in a way this is "green" because helping creatures is a green concept. It is also green because there is a slimy green moss and algae on his carapace that made him look like an old rock from the top.
I'm happy with how this drawing turned out. In real life both sides of the drawing are the same saturation. It is done across the spine of my sketchbook so the light is hitting each side a little differently causing the turtle's right leg to look lighter.

He looked quite alot like a walking rock and I can see how people step on them in shallow water and end up losing a toe from that snapping beak. This guy was the perfect old gentleman though, he never even hissed at me - just laid there and let me take his picture from about 3 feet away from him. I was very fortunate indeed.

Here is the photo I took of him....

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Green Inspiration

It's Thusday and I'm alway eager to see what Inspire Me Thursday has as it's topic.

Today the topic was green. That originally made me think of our recycling box which is not the colour green but is a green idea.

Then for some reason I remembered this snapping turtle that I took photos of almost a year ago today. Saw him on the side of the road. Stopped and went back to take pictures. He was very kind and didn't attack me or anything. Never even hissed at me. Just sat there on the shoulder and looked at me and let me get within about 2 feet of him. Of course at the time I didn't realise he was a snapping turtle (I'm from the prairies and we don't have them there - but we do here in southeastern Ontario) and could have bitten my fingers off....

But he was HUGE. About 15 inches across his carapace and after doing some turltle research I learned that this means he is really quite old. His carapce was covered in moss and he looked like an old muddy rock - really excellent camoflage.

I decided to draw him this morning and this is as far as I've gotten with him in my sketchbook and now I have to go to work for the rest of the day so I'll have to come back to him later. But I think I have captured his eyes and his mouth.
After reading about them I was suprised at how calm and gentle he was that day. So turtles in children's books are green sometimes and maybe that's how I jumped over to this turtle - certainly the moss on his shell was a greenish icky colour.

Either way the topic green inspired me to draw him. So I have started. Stay tuned for more updates with him.

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

In Memorium of Buster

This picture was done tonight to remember a dear friend who is dying of cancer. Buster Irish. Buster lives down the road from us and used to live next door. He sort of thinks of our yard as being his yard and is the happiest dog in the world. 99 pounds fighting weight.
(Buster Irish, 9x12, pencil)

After supper tonight I saw his owner Charlene coming up our steps with him and he had shaved patches on the sides of his chest and he looked awful. Lost a tonne of weight and just looking generally wupped. I asked her what had happened to him. Last time we saw him he looked the picture of health and was laughing and his normal self (we see him sporadically before it gets really warm outside because he is inside more then).

He got sick about 2 weeks ago - just after we saw him last - and they found out today that the cause of the fluid on his lungs is severe lung cancer which as a primary tumor is incredibly rare in dogs. He can't breath because of all the fluid on his lungs. Over the last 2 days they have drained several litres of fluid out of his chest. Today he is having a good day and they only gave him about 48 hours to live - the cancer is inoperable - and Charlene brought him so that we would know what happened to him and to give us a chance to say good bye to him She is a wonderful lady to have thought of us at this horrible time for her family.

We had him in and he had some ham and wagged his tail and just rested and let us pet him. He tried to be happy for us but he is soooo tired.

He is a terrific dog and always came over in the mornings to say hello and send us off for work if he'd gone outside for his day and usually after work or on the weekends if his family wasn't home and he was outside he would come over and just hang out with us. And then he'd hear Dave's truck pull in and he'd take off home. Or they'd whistle and he'd take off for home. He was always so happy and always made us smile. We will miss him alot. The world will be missing something important once he is no longer in it.

This drawing was done from a photo I took about 18 months ago. Our flyers had been going missing and we couldn't figure out why. I looked out the window one morning and saw him lying on the front lawn chewing on our bag of flyers. Mystery solved.

We'll miss you Buster.

Monday, April 13, 2009

Good Evening In The Morning

Last week I stumbled on the Virtual Sketch Date website which offers a sketching, painting, art challenge once a month. People do a piece of art based on an inspirational photo posted there and then link the photos for others to see. I missed the date (obviously because this is May...) but I really liked the image and wanted to do a drawing of it anyways. So here is my attempt...

Good Evening (9x12, pencil with pencil crayon)

This sketch is really much better in real life. The birds are grosbeaks, I think, from the colour and the shape of their beaks and bodies. I added some light coloured pencil over the pencil drawing but it isn't showing up that well in this photo. And the bird on the right isn't washed out in the original drawing. Adjusting the way you look at the monitor will help bring the make bird on the right up and not looking so washed out. At least it helps on my laptop...

It also looks a bit odd - it's in my sketchbook and drawn on the back of the patched together paper from the "Wednesday at 7AM" still life sketch I did late last night - I didn't want to waste paper and initially I never intended to draw anything more than what was on the lower half so I wasn't worried about the patched together bit. And it looks curvy and that is of course because it's in the sketch book... Oh well, I like it.

I called this "Good Evening" but since this is moring I'll just say have a great day.

Tulips and Lunch

Yesterday I got to do alot of work in the afternoon. I started playing with some of the tulip images I had taken last week. And playing with media I haven't played with in a while.

This first drawing is with coloured pencil in my sketch book. I'm happy with the way it turned out because it's been over 20 years since I've used coloured pencil this way.
Independent Tulip #1 (5x9 coloured pencil drawing)

This second image is the same tulip but done in mixed media. I have watercolour crayons that I haven't had a chance to fool around with much and wanted to play with them today. This went through several stages. I painted the tulip first and then worked on the background. I wish I had masked the tulip and done it in reverse but oh well. The tulip originally was quite nice but I used too much water on the background and the tulip ran because there was alot of pigment and I wasn't patient enough to let it dry well enough. I had a much lighter background at first but again with the running pigment I decided to go dark instead. I added in some coloured pencil and some ink as well. Not too bad I guess.
Independent Tulip #2 (5x9 mixed media)
The third image is a line drawing I did of the group of tulipe I want to work with and my intention is to use this a the basis for some other things. Perhaps some block printing and maybe some painting. We'll see. This I am happy with because I think there is some perspective in it.

This last drawing is also from my sketchbook and it got too large (well I started too large) and had to glue in another set of pages behind the initial sketch in order to finishe it. I'm happy with it and took some reference photos of it so that if I want to work in colour later on then I can.
I have to say that I really like that little coffe cup. I like the whole thing but that little cup just makes me smile because it was soooo quick and simple. Well that's all for now. Enough tulips for tonight. Gotta get to bed so I can get up and make lunch tomorrow (well this) morning.

Sunday, April 12, 2009

Bandit Sleeping (2.5 x 3 inches) Ballpoint pen on sticky note

I did this picture last night when I was sitting on the couch and watching TV. My cat is pretty cuddly at night time and he snuggled down with me and I thought I should sketch him. But as soon as you move to get something a cat is up and going and won't settle back down for awhile so I decided t be a bit sneaky and just use whatever I had at hand. Which was a blue ballpoint pen and a pad of sticky notes from Meyers. I'm actually pretty happy with this sketch because it captures him at that moment.

These guys below are my second set of Easter goodies I made. They are from an accucut die and I really just assembled them and added some colour and ribbons and candy but they are cute and everyone seems to like them. Marchant Paper Products in Kingston has a die cutting machine that uses accucut dies and if you buy the paper there you can use any of the dies for free. I however was lazy and just bought them pre-cut but I'm not going to beat myself up about that.
Happy Easter!!!!

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Talking Turkeys and Tulips Etc

Late last week I was on my way to Ottawa and looked into a field to my right to see a cat stalking through the old corn stalks and wondered what he was trying to catch. About half way down the field I saw these guys....
I'm pretty sure the tomcat was not going to be able to bring one of these wild toms down for breakfast but he was sure concentrating on them. I've seen this group of wild turkeys in that field a few time but this was the first time I'd ever been able to get a picture of them. Never got a picture of the cat though. Too bad!

When I stopped to take the photos this guy walked across the road right in front of me...He's a bit blurry because I was sooooo shocked to see him there and that he stayed close enough for long evough for me to even focus. Normally when you stop the truck these guys are GONE!!! Very shy from being shot at I guess and smart enough to say so long.

Today I made two sets of Mini Milk Cartons for gifts. I got the idea from Inking Idaho ( and if you want the instructions you can purchase them from Becky there. Great value and very clear with diagrams and colour photos.

Yesterday I bought myself some lovely orange tulips and took some photos of them today in the half light from the front window. Nice a cloudy and supposed to be ideal right??? Well I'm particularly happy with this one and hope to do something more with it eventually but for now I'm just gonna toss it out here.
It's nice to have something lovely smelly and pretty and sunshiny to look at after two days of spring snowfall here. These tulips remind me that spring is almost here.

Friday, April 3, 2009

Watercolour Over Gesso Sketches

Both of these sketches are done in my sketchbook in Peerless Watercolour over gesso as an experiment of sorts last week at the urging of my friend Glenda. It was a way to get me painting without having watercolour paper in the house. It was neat to try and I will definitely do it again but it was hard to get as much contrast as I wanted to have, especially in the asparagus painting. I'm not sure if it was the watercolour medium or if it was the gesso. Doesn't really matter though because they were fun to do and got me painting.
Asparagus (6x9) peerless watercolour on gesso (Mar 26, 2009)

Bananas and grapes (6x9) peerless watercolour on gesso (Mar 27, 2009)

Thursday, April 2, 2009

Waiting (9x12 watercolour)

This is the first "real" watercolour that I've ever done. I've done watercolouring with watercolour markers before on cards but I have never done a painting with watercolour paints before.
This was done for a challenge on which was to make a painting based on a photo of a beach scene.
This girl was painted based on the gentleman in the baseball cap after my friend Glenda told me that it was cool to change things up and do your own thing. So I also made it a sunset scene rather than a mid-day scene.
I like parts of this painting but I'm not totally happy with the pregnant girl. Of course I don't really ever draw people so... it isn't too bad considering that I guess. I actually quite like the water and the sky, although if I did the sky again I might do it a bit differently but overall I think it's a pretty good first effort.

yamaha rhino class action