Sometimes I find ways to sketch with other people, such as joining The Good Ship Illustration's Art Club on Instagram Live. They've been hosting almost every Friday at 8:00 PM UK time (that's 2:00 PM CDT). They offer prompts and general silliness and it's a lot of fun. I joined a few weeks ago for continuous line drawing and it was so much fun!
Today (September 25) they are hosting their last ever Art Club! You should join if you have a chance or at least follow them on Instagram.
That same day I was able to join Suhita and Paul for Sketch/Play Lab, which they host several times a week as a casual guided exploration of sketching and materials - check out their Instagrams for more information. It was fun to play with textures and patterns and to see people from all over the world sketching along.
And sometimes I sketch with a few friends via Zoom. Using mapcrunch.com is a great way to do this - it takes you to a different place in the world via Google street view. We "went" to Wales and Croatia and focused on mark-making.
I made this illustration of my voting plan as a way to help me think through why I want to vote for each of these candidates. I am especially pleased to be voting for three women from Memphis, especially Marquita Bradshaw and Erika Stotts Pearson because they are Black women from Memphis. We all need to listen to Black women, and I know from experience that Black women from Memphis work so hard and give so much. And I'm also excited about Gabby Salinas because she is a scientist, though it's sad that one of my reasons for voting for anyone would be "believes in science." But Gabby also supports Medicaid expansion in Tennessee, and sees the direct correlation between the lack of expansion and rural hospital closures. It's easy in this blue dot in the corner of Tennessee to think of the rest of Tennessee as separate, but we need to work hard for rural communities AND the citizens of South Memphis and Hickory Hill (etc.) AND the other big and medium cities. We're all in this together, folks.
So typical! Lots of produce around here, and I love it. I love eating it and I love sketching it. This spread in particular was a joy to work on. I sketched the peppers quickly because I was cooking them, then sketched the tomatoes quickly because I was still cooking the peppers. The joy came from just making this two-page spread. Drawing often makes me feel better.
I bought myself a pilea plant recently and it has been a fun object to sketch - the round leaves and wonky stems just begged to be drawn in different materials. In this sketch I drew in ink first, then added watercolor.
Another plant! Do I sketch them because I have them, or do I have them so I can sketch them?
We read this book for bookclub this month - I love Adichie's clear writing and smart arguments.
There's that pilea again, but this time I sketched with color first, then added the lines. I did that with the yarn, too. It's a method I often use when sketching architecture, because it gives me a nice base to start from, but it works great for organic shapes, too.
The fatsia outside my window begs to be sketched, and on this day I was looking for a different way to work on them. I often get caught up drawing every leaf, so I was going for a more general shape here, and the colored pencil helped that because I could still indicate the shape and direction of the leaves without drawing every outline.
And then I got another produce delivery and sketched some of it.
Yarn is a very typical sight around here lately, too. I have been crocheting A LOT. I started crocheting again late last year hoping to get back into making afghans, but all I've made are little animals and I can't stop. I have a lot of small balls of yarn that I can't do much with until I get the urge to make granny squares, so instead I've been sketching them.
I started both of these with watercolor - first the one on the left, then added the lines with fountain pen. The lines in the one on the right are with Caran d'Ache Neocolor II Aquarelle. I liked making the lines out of the color of the yarn - it gives it such a different feeling than black lines on color.
I just realized I sketched about half of these while on Zoom with friends, including this one. Being on Zoom with friends has become typical as of late, so I'm happy to combine that with sketching because my friends and sketching both bring me so much joy.
In always-looking-on-the-bright-side news, one good thing about being in a pandemic is the availability of great online workshops. Or, the time to spend on them might be more accurate. I took two recently that I really enjoyed.
The first was with Maria Coryell-Martin of Art Toolkit, focusing on the Essential Colors Palette. It really helped me think about mixing colors more because that palette is only six colors, so I tried to ignore all but my primary colors during the class.
We did some exercises about mixing paint and using your brush to create specific shapes. It was fun!
Since taking this class I've ordered yet another Art Toolkit palette. This time it's the Ultimate Sketching Palette with colors selected by Jane Blundell. Ever since I saw her on USk Talks earlier this year, I've been meaning to evaluate my watercolor colors, but she did it for me with this palette.
The other workshop I took was with my friend Suma CM, called Sketching the Places You've Been. We talked about shapes and using color to convey mood and to show distance. These are my notes and some thumbnails. I'm glad she had us do thumbnails because they are SO HELPFUL. And sometimes I forget that!
This was my final sketch from the workshop - I was quite pleased with it! The workshop helped me to remember how much I enjoy drawing from photos, taking information that is already there and simplifying it into a good composition. I think I'm going to make a larger version of this in acrylic ink, using this sketch as my guide.
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