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|Siena circa 2006|
This is a crazy week of deadlines and prep to head out to Italy next week. To warm up since the weather has kept me from a lot of urban sketching (yes, I am a wimp when it comes to cold), I did this from my 2006 photos. Boy, my photos were mostly awful. I am glad to get a second chance. At least I have a better "real" camera now (sorry iPhone).
I just signed up for Vine video so I hope to show some little videos of the sketchbook panning to location.
I have got all my sketchbooks together and replenished some of the half pans in my watercolor set. I even got some ice-fishing fingerless gloves to use (I suspect it will still be a little chilly).
I am going with my mother, aunt and a couple cousins so it will be a fun trip, except for the fact that Italy currently has no pope, no government... Interesting times...
Fortunately, our travel keeps us away from Rome, but my Aunt and cousins are meeting us in Florence via Rome. We are going via Milan because I have always wanted to go there. It is a design capitol of the world! Troy will be here in Cincinnati to hold down the fort.
Finally, here is a picture of our car Miffy from my sketchbook. She was doing that wonderful kneading the air thing. I am painting a lot of furry pawed critters this a year so it was good practice. Her fur is short enough that you can really see the toe/claw articulation.
|Miffy, Always a Star...|
|Cosmo the Papillon|
I have been super-swamped lately. Plus, I am preparing to go on vacation to Florence and Milan, Italy mid-March so deadlines are intense til then.
I squeezed in these sketches for my friend Cheryl's and my nephew's birthdays. Cosmo is a really cute dog. I think it is the ears that make Papillon's adorable.
As for my nephew's card, he just turned 11. Any excuse to draw giant robots, dragons and mayhem, is a good one.
|Chapter 7 Full Page Illustration|
I have had so much fun working on these black and white illustrations for Wordsworth and the Dragon
! In a time when so much is over-rendered, the simple ink drawing is refreshing!
|Chapter 1 Illustration... A letter is missing...|
|Where is Bette Davis when you need her... |
As many know, I have been a huge Downton Abbey fan. So, of course, last night's episode was a disappointment. I fee like the writing since the first season has been uneven. There were many other ways to handle the "Matthew" situation:
-Matthew could have been kidnapped by aliens
-Sent to India
-Sent to the mad house
-Recast like Bewitched/Rosanne characters
-A Doctor Who solution... Cast David Tennant as Matthew!
Season Four Likely Scenarios:
-The grandkids, a little older, are given puppies and/or kittens as gifts from the Dowager. They are promptly killed off in a freak steamroller accident.
-Matthew will have an identical cousin; Edith will marry him. Mary will acquire more and more cats and live in a Grey Gardens situation.
-Hercule Poirot shows up and more main characters start to die in strangely unlikely ways. Who is the murderer?
|Back off Tennant!|
|A little quick painting to celebrate the season!|
And of course a little Ultimate Sinister concept painting showing the heartbreak of jilting...
|Life can be full of disappointment in the world of The Ultimate Sinister,,,|
and I took a quick detour to the Cincinnati Art Museum
to sketch after the Illustrators Lunch at Arthur's.
We could not resist this cool Jaguar. The room also has some amazing Rookwood pottery pieces.
|Amy took this picture of me sketching...|
|Quick Watercolor Study|
I did a couple quick sketches for my class of David Tennant Thursday evening.
Here are some scans. He has an interesting head and hair shape well suited for toon form...
I was initially drawing Helen Mirren, but no one seemed to know who she was. My luck that I picked the only British actress not in a Harry Potter film...
|Ink and Brush|
|Additional pencil studies including Tennant as a rooster...|
|Fairy House Exhibit|
I went with my friend Amy
to Krohn Conservatory
after the weekly illustrators lunch for a quickie sketch session. It was also a good chance to take photo reference of tropical and rainforest plants for an upcoming project.
|Here is the view and the sketch...|
I sketched the outside of the Krohn in the fall. So many cool structures to choose from... I can hardly wait for the butterfly exhibit.
|The area around the conservatory...|
|Miffy Watches the Snow|
We got a little snow last week and I could not resist doing a quickie sketch of Miffy watching the snow fall. Both cats were at my painting studio windows. Spike ducks and paws at the window.
I was showing my class Tuesday about quick studies for portraits and did these in my sketchbook for them. Great fun!
These were from class requests and let's just say Benedict Cumberbatch was suggested with much swooning.
I will be signing A Warm Winter Tail on February 2nd, 2pm at Blue Manatee. I will be doing a drawing demo and then sign books!
It is also Groundhog Day! Sadly, no Puxatony Phil though...
Event here: http://www.facebook.com/events/193433200801706/
Hope to see you there!
|Sketch of the Driskill Hotel where the Anniversary Party was held|
As promised, more sketches of Austin.
Our purpose for the trip was for our friends' Bob and Maureen's 20th anniversary party at the Driskill Hotel. It was a lovely bash. This sketch is our gift to them.
|Congress Street leads to the capitol building...|
Troy and I walked from our hotel to the capitol building on Saturday. It was only in the 60s but so humid. I can only wonder what it is like when it is actually hot.
|The Frost Bank Building AKA the Nose Hair Trimmer Building...|
On Sunday, Troy and Bob hung out and I went to the South Congress Bridge to sketch. It had cooled down quite a bit and I got a bit chilled sketching. I should have brought my fingerless gloves...
My next post will have a couple pictures of the city (We also spent a bit of time shopping on South Congress street.) as well and a bit about the BBQ in Lockhart.
|Definitely a picture in need of a story...|
I have more Austin sketches to post, but I also finished this sketch over vacation. I have been working on it when my computer is restarting, crashing or causing me to wait. It is good therapy and better than throwing the computer against the wall.
I have been listening to a lot of Tolkien podcasts
on The Tolkien Professor
site while finishing The Fort on Fourth Street
for Sylvan Dell. (Out Fall 2013!)
I discovered the podcast listening to Geeks Guide To the Galaxy
, another podcast I highly recommend.
Anyway, after 30 or so hours of listening to
|The view from the patio of our hotel in Austin.|
Our hotel was very clean, meticulously so. It was odd to me then when I went to sketch on their lovely patio, it was covered in Grackle droppings... I had to cover my chair in a towel as a protective barrier.
I was later informed by our friends that grackles are the bane of outdoor eating and patios and keeping areas "poo free" is very difficult.
I suspect that these are the birds that Hitchcock was depicting in his movie...
So I did this:
On the last evening of our vacation, we had another encounter. We went to see Django Unchained
at the insistence of our friends at the Alamo Drafthouse
. After, we got dinner at a Chili's at one of those fancy outdoor malls they have been building.
The trees were so covered in grackles that you could hear their calls in the car. Even to me, who is hard of hearing, they were loud. As we left, Troy had to dodge poop.
It reminded me of Walton Ford's painting of carrier pigeons...
|NOT an exaggeration...|
|Happy Birthday David Bowie! A quick sketch...|
I have been trying to sketch a little here and there in my sketchbook as much as I can.
This is a doodle of David Bowie. I think he looks more distinguished as he gets older.
I did a selection of illustrations for this Encyclopedia Britannica Kids touchTAB toy and just found out they are available for purchase!
|From the Sensational Beginnings website|
I illustrated the Mammals in the basic pack and the Ocean Life expansion pack.
It was a fun project! As usual, I had to illustrate some animals for the first time including the right whale.
I have a couple new animal projects on the horizon and am learning a lot about more animals I had no exposure to.
|The Sinister blows off a little steam in the library...|
I actually did these a couple weeks ago but am posting them in honor of Downton Abbey. Season 3 premiered in the US last night.
I really think Shirley MacLaine needs a spin off show. She is a wonderful addition. I love the flashiness of her character design.
|As promised, a character based on a chinchilla...|
|Little sketch done at my friend's New Year's Day brunch|
Happy New Year! A lot of great things happened in 2012 and I am looking forward to a year with lots of cool art to work on!
Those who have kindly commented that they enjoy the sketches I post, thanks! You are all enablers to my addiction... But it is a good one right??!!
Actually, one of the benefits of sketching a lot is the general improvement of painting and drawing skills overall. I have a long way to go but I feel it helps me grow in expected and unexpected ways.
|The Bloomington Courthouse|
|Sketch inside Comedy Attic. It was so dark, I did not realize I was sketching with a green pen... A happy accident I guess...|
|Little sketch of GP's unicorn DandD character from a Dan Harmon podcast...|
Troy and I went with our friends Nicole and Ray to see the Greg Proops
podcast last night. (I know, "seeing" a podcast seems like a strange idea.)
I really want to come back when the weather is nicer for a day of sketching at Indiana University.
We had dinner at FARMBloomington
before the show. Great place!
|Troy's namesake restaurant|
|Bizarre old factory sign|
|Adorable chocolate yule log at FARMBloomington|
|Spike gets into the Holiday spirit...|
This is a crazy time of year with a lot of deadlines so this is a quick post. I am finishing another fun book for Sylvan Dell
called the Fort on Fourth Street
(images form this very soon when I have time to breathe) and starting some new and exciting projects as well.
Anyway, Happy Holidays! I will be revealing this year's card soon! As well as the Pop Smoothie Spectacular, Spectacular Holiday Special
|Miffy must know she is in this book and wants to provide reference...|
|Little watercolor I did for Troy's parents for Christmas with their adorable fox terrier Angie up front. No spoiler alert for them; they do not have computers or internet access... (They do have electricity though and phone service. They are not that old school.)|
Happy Holidays! I hope 2013 is another great year! Lots of amazing stuff in the works so stay tuned!
I also just posted my latest Pop Smoothie
comic: a very, super special spectacular, spectacular pop smoothie epic holiday special
It covers a lot of bases except for my favorite Christmas special, Mr Magoo's A Christmas Carol
Some sketches of my friend Theresa's adorable chinchilla Coco. She loves Cheerios and was very friendly. Probably not a good fit with cats though.
|Angie is a good model. She stays still for a long time. (Note: Her bed does not really look this much like a peppermint)|
We just got back from a brief trip to Kentucky to visit Troy's parents at lake Barkley. We had hoped to stay till the 26th, but the blizzard warning forced us home a day early. We worried about getting trapped in the storm. Snow clearing is not good in KY...
So I am posting this on "storm watch"... Soon we will know if our caution was justified.
Anyway, I did some little sketches of Angie, my in-laws' dog.
|Ahhhh....The humiliation continues...|
|Here is a view of the lake... The sunsets are beautiful.|
I also sketched my mom, brother and sister-in-law's pets on Saturday while we celebrated at her house.
|The full menagerie!|
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|Beautiful snowy day at the homestead...|
It was too lovely today outside not to do a quick sketch. I love painting snow scenes, especially when I am finishing a project with lots of outdoor summer scenes!