Created a Little Over the Weekend

It’s been a while…again. Honestly, my interests are many and varied, and they sometimes take me far away from a computer. This is a good thing because during the summer my work chains me to my computer for many long hours, so time away from it is welcome.

I was gardening on Saturday and the resulting sore muscles kept me off my bicycle, so I ended up going for a couple of strolls and doing a bit of drawing.

While thumbing through the latest issue of Midwest Living (Sep./Oct. 2010) I came across a photo of a moose by Jason Lindsey. Seemed like a good model, so I scribbled out this Micron sketch in my Moleskine:

Then I felt like adding color, but not in the Moleskine. Started as a pencil sketch, painted a yellow wash, panted in rough background (which according to my scanner stayed very rough…picks up lots of details and adds shadows wherever the page bends…sigh), penned in the details and did a couple more layers of paint here there and where-have-you:

Sunday afternoon, after mowing the lawn, I took a glass of iced tea into the backyard and sketched some greenery from real life. Green things make good models too since they don’t fidget much.

I was captivated by the bulbous joint of that weed’s roots. Took a photo of the plant with the drawing, and I’ll post it later. The pod on the right came off of some plants growing along the north side of my house. My uncle wants some of them (he’s much better with plant names than I am or I’d tell you just what they are). I’ve got extras coming up all over, so I threw a few in pots on Saturday. I was giving them a drink and noticed these pods hanging off of the plant. The pod is about an inch in length, and when I opened it, there were about 20 black seeds inside with some white grains too.

Regarding other garden matters, did you know:

Well, have a great day, and thanks for stopping by!


I’m happy with the birdie’s head, but as I worked lower, the drawing went to caca. From this Flickr photo.

Crazy deadlines over the next two days for work, so I’m posting later than usual today. Keep your fingers crossed for me.

The Birds
by William Blake

He. Where thou dwellest, in what grove,
Tell me Fair One, tell me Love;
Where thou thy charming nest dost build,
O thou pride of every field!

She. Yonder stands a lonely tree,
There I live and mourn for thee;
Morning drinks my silent tear,
And evening winds my sorrow bear.

He. O thou summer’s harmony,
I have liv’d and mourn’d for thee;
Each day I mourn along the wood,
And night hath heard my sorrows loud.

She. Dost thou truly long for me?
And am I thus sweet to thee?
Sorrow now is at an end,
O my Lover and my Friend!

He. Come, on wings of joy we’ll fly
To where my bower hangs on high;
Come, and make thy calm retreat
Among green leaves and blossoms sweet.

Thanks for stopping by!

Watercolor Project

As a Christmas gift, I did a watercolor of my folk’s cottage in Door County for them. I’m fairly pleased with the outcome, but of course, there are things I would tweak if I could. I took pictures, and scanned the piece as I went (with varying degrees of success). I experimented a bit in my sketchbook first, completeing each step as I thought I would in the final project to see if I liked the overall effect. I’ll post it later (since I don’t have that sketchbook with me today). Click on any of the pictures to see ’em bigger.

First, the final result (unframed and scanned) The scanning process increased the richness of all the colors, and I did some correction for that, but it could even be toned back a bit more:

The pencil sketch was very faint, but it’s there (if you squint):

There was in intermediate step in which I penned in the cottage outline and some of it’s details using a black Micron 005. I personally like the definition that the pen line gives to the piece. I was glad to have experimented in my sketchbook first, because it gave me an appreciation of how much pen could be too much and give the piece too much of a cartoony look.

In addition to my sketchbook rough, I also did a watercolor rough. I’d only ever used pan watercolors before, but had a set of tube watercolors I was itching to use. I tried them out on the rough, and although I liked the colors I got, I had a hard time adjusting to starting with a liquid instead of a solid. As a result, I reverted back to the pan watercolors for the final painting. The cottage ended a bit bluer that the blue grey it should be, and the chimney ended a bit redder than I would prefer. Paint goes on the page:

Here ’tis in its frame:

The cottage has been named Mole End as a nod to the Mole End of the Wind in the Willows series of children’s books by Kenneth Grahame. I chose to incorporate my sign and mole into the “matte” instead of the painting itself because it certainly has a cartoony quality, and it’s entirely my interpretation—which might be completely inaccurate since I never actually read the series. Personally, I think he’s kinda cute (as far as any mole can be considered cute). Detail: