Coffee Shop Creeping - January 2018 Edition

Now I've that I've mostly switched back from using my sketchbook Moleskine to a plain notebook for coffee shop sketching, I'm being reminded pretty strongly of what a difference good paper makes. Ah, well - these are more about practice than developing finished work. 

Portrait Study

At last, I'm coming to the end of my portfolio building, and I'm looking to do a portrait of my daughter. Since I haven't made anything in the 'messy' mediums (since a 2B pencil hardly counts), I thought this might be the time to bring out the chalk pastels. I used to work with them often, but I've been a much more tidy artist in the last decade.

In fact, it's funny to reflect on my former preference for getting my hands dirty, and the evolution to my currently anal retentive self. I must become more practical as I age. Now I think about storage, framing, cat footprints, not to mention messing up my desk and risking smudges on other/future projects. Pastels and charcoal simply don't fall into those concerns nicely, so I avoid them.

This study was fun, nonetheless, and quite quick. I'm thinking of making a larger finished piece, but may make a change to washes instead. If I do, it would likely be out of cowardice, so I'm trying to talk myself into sticking with the pastels.

Brooklyn Art Library

This is the first year I'd heard about the Sketchbook Project. I got very excited about it and ordered my book right pronto. Unfortunately, I had a number of other projects on the go, and it took me awhile to get started. Here are the first several pages.

279 Patrons, But Where's Waldo?

I couldn't resist. Where IS Waldo...?

This drawing is about three by four feet, on Stonehenge, drawn with acrylic ink, acrylic paint, watercolour, pencil crayon and copic markers. I'm so pleased to be be finished with it.

RUH Landscape Completed

My experience painting live at the RUH Foundation's Masquerade Ball was very interesting - I was surprised to find that I mostly tuned out the guests behind me and went about my business. It was much like painting at home (but with nicer clothes).

This landscape still has some drying to do, but I hope the winner will be pleased.


Surprise Landscape

I'd thought I was done with these landscape oils for now, but when I was asked to do a live painting at the RUH Royal Ball, how could I say 'no?' I took a look through photos I'd discarded the last go around, and chose this one for two reasons: the sky was lovely, and there are cows. Cows! The underpainting will be dry and ready to go for next Saturday. More photos to come, I'm sure.

Coffee Crowd Progress

Inking done, then a day of skin tones, a day of cleaning up pencil lines, and finally onto the colour.

Greenwater Lake

I took time while camping last weekend to draw around the campsite and at the lake. Anytime I draw anything at all botanical in nature, I find myself feeling like a Zachari Logan rip-off, but I enjoy it too much to stop.

Finally! Laying out.

I'm so excited to finally (finally!) be taking another step towards completing these two drawings. Starting just after New Year's, I began going to my local Starbucks once a week (with only a few missed dates), with the plan to compose a large drawing with the results. Really, I just wanted to brush up on my life drawing skills, and the hustle of a coffee line is a great place to do that.

As it turns out, I came to really love this project, and it became something I looked forward to every week. The result is that I have a lot more material to work with than I would have ever imagined, so now I get to do TWO drawings, instead of one.

The standing crowd is more or less set, unless I get some really great poses for the very back. The seated crowd is still pretty rough, with plans to include (lots of) coffee cups and bistro tables.

Have I mentioned I'm excited...? The next step after these are finalized is printing, then... I'll transfer them by hand. Can't wait!