Friday, June 26, 2015

Toned gray catch-up (or mustard, whatever you prefer)

I've been dragging around my toned sketchbook to different events like:
-the Food Truck Rodeo
-our principal's rock anthem year end assembly

[PILOT Coleto 5-ink pen, a gigantic PITT white marker in a gray toned Strathmore sketchbook]

Sunday, June 21, 2015


Just a lunch time sketch of a frog from a nature book I had laying around for the students. 

[Uni Pin pens, D+S watercolors in a S+B Zeta sketchbook]

Saturday, June 20, 2015

New Toy

Recently I obtained a "Pilot Hi-Tec Coleto" which can hold 5 different ink refills. Thanks to I got a few other goodies because I just had to have free shipping. 

[PILOT Coleto 5-ink pen, a gigantic PITT white marker in a gray toned Strathmore sketchbook]

Friday, June 19, 2015

New outlook

After seeing the "pro-artists" come through town and seeing their point of view on very boring subjects, I have a whole new appreciation for the subjects in my town. I learned a lot just by peering over their shoulders! Like this one, or here

[pentel pencil, namiki falcon with DeArtementis Document ink, D+S watercolors in a S+B Zeta sketchbook]

Saturday, June 13, 2015

Community Paint out!

I had a unique experience when the Finger Lakes Plein Air competition came right through my front door step! There were 44 juried in artists painting in and around Canandaigua. This past Saturday you could go anywhere downtown and find an artist painting! It was artist heaven. That same afternoon they had a "Community Paint Out" where us amateur artists could come out and within a 2 hour window, create a piece of artwork and have it judged! 

I had 4 different locations all scouted out and when it came time to paint--all 4 of my places were either taken, not there anymore (I guess the hot dog cart guy retired!), or in shadow! So I reverted to the rooftops behind my apartment building. I was a little rushed and my final piece was not anywhere near what I had imagined. But the experience was fun and I didn't get sunburnt--so that was a bonus. 

I plan on re-doing the scene on a piece of scrap wood that is about 3 feet long and 8 inches high. I think that format would capture the scene a little better! 

Stay Tuned.

[pentel pencil, namiki falcon with DeArtementis Document ink, D+S watercolors, and Inktense watercolor pencils on S+B Delta loose paper]

Friday, June 12, 2015

Garbage pile

With the Finger Lakes Plein Air competition in town, I volunteered to help out with art intake, serving at the gala and setup. After one night of helping out I noticed this awesome pile of junk behind the carriage house at Sonnenburg Gardens. We got done earlier than planned so I scampered back there and got sketching! I was intrigued by the white chair so I thought the gray paper would be a good choice. I camped out and captured this neat behind the scene view.

A few nights later I was back at the same location and a rainstorm slowed down the intake of artwork--so I had some time to kill! I attempted to sketch the pile again, but rain drops and an awkward pose stopped me early. I finished up the other layers of paint at home.  

Thursday, June 4, 2015


My lovely girlfriend was getting some alone time in while playing "bejeweled-farm-blitz-gram-book" on her phone. She had this cool pose going that was a combination of comfortable & intense. I thought it would be a good idea to try and sketch her! I've always avoided sketching "pretty women" because they come out all "not pretty". But since her knee was in the way--no fear! 

[pentel Graph Gear 1000 pencil w/HB lead, in a S+B Zeta sketchbook]

Wednesday, June 3, 2015

Winsor + Newton Watercolor markers

I have been reading A LOT about Winsor + Newton's new (Swasky and I were chatting about them on Instagram) watercolor markers. Yes, watercolor markers. I own bleeding-markers, as they all usually do, but these are lightfast, actual watercolors--in a marker. Too cool! I really enjoy Inktense watercolor pencils and I really enjoy markers, so these seemed like a marriage of both things!

While in Michael's I noticed that a few sets were already on clearance--how convenient! So I grabbed a large 6 marker set and a smaller 3 color "Dark" set. 

I quickly tore into the package and tested these guys out. I was quick to notice that they didn't work as I had imagined. I would make a line and then hit it with water electing watercolor-like results. Instead I got a wet line with minimal bleeding. I tried a cool skull sketch and the markers were fun. I could imagine doing an underpainting with these, or adding quick details after a watercolor wash. 

that is supposed to be a peach!
The next day I tried them in my classroom and showed my students how cool they were--but they didn't work! What I mean by work was they didn't bleed, they just sat there. You can see my VERY sad attempt at sketching my peach I was about to have for lunch dessert. The ink/watercolor just sat there and had minimal interaction with the other colors around it. The only thing that bled was my cheap black pen I happened to have with me that day. The results were so bad I sad I wasted a sheet of my sketchbook on the test. I quickly tried another test on some cheap watercolor paper (bottom of image) and that was a little better. So I began to wonder if it was the paper? or me? A quick internet search and I found that Stillman & Birn paper is internally and externally sized. The Zeta series holds up to anything, I was surprised it didn't work with these markers! I sent a note to W+N who was quick to respond with "We do manufacture a Winsor and Newton paper that is suitable for them but there are also other brands that will also work  well.  I have used them on Arches CP and Rough with good effects." Oh great, it only works on their paper!? That sounds like a poor marketing scheme to me! If they don't work on my S+B paper, than the markers are no good to me. S+B sketchbooks are fantastic and I am a loyal customer for life--looks like the markers are going to go back to the store.