Monday, June 30, 2008

Poor Honey Bees

I was happy to see some honey bees around my hanging flower baskets. They have been few and far between here with the disappearing bee crisis. I was disappointed however to see that one had drowned in the ant moat of one of the hummingbird feeders. I brought him inside and sketched him in a more lively state here for you today.

Sunday, June 29, 2008

The American Goldfinch

The Goldfinch is New Jersey's state bird. We've got a bunch of them in our yard. We pay dearly for their presence though. They eat thistle and lots of it! It's currently almost $2.00 a pound.

Saturday, June 28, 2008

My Happy Hummingbirds

This sketch was done from a little figurine I have. I video taped myself drawing it and it took me about twelve minutes. See my newest UTube video, Starring My Little Garden Treasures!

Double click on this video and watch this and all my videos in "High Quality"!

Friday, June 27, 2008

Carolina Wren

One of my backyard favorites is the Carolina Wren. So far they haven't made any nests in inappropriate places this year.

Thursday, June 26, 2008

Mourning Dove

There's an abundance of things to draw these days. My backyard is just filled with subjects. Like most folks around here, we've got our share of doves.

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Sunbathing Cat

Here's a quick gesture sketch I did of Tigger today while I was eating my lunch. I tried doing a blind contour, but he just doesn't stay still long enough.

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Wildflower Sketch

This morning my mind is on flowers so I made this little wildflower doodle.

Monday, June 23, 2008

Wolf Silhouette

Here I'm persevering with another silhouette.

"In spite of everything, I shall rise again; I will take up my pencil, which I have
forsaken in my great discouragement, and I will go on with my drawing."
~ Vincent van Gogh

Sunday, June 22, 2008

Running Horse

Today's quick sketch is a silhouette of a running horse. It's the shape or outline that is most important and makes an object readable. A viewer should see this as a horse, regardless of the interior pattern, color or texture.

Saturday, June 21, 2008

More Hummer Action

I set the tripod up today and video taped my hummers with my new DVD recorder. Now all I have to do is figure out how to download it to my computer and create a movie in my i-movie program. Ahh, I love learning new tasks (After they're learned)!

Friday, June 20, 2008

Summer Drawing and Painting Workshop


Hummingbird Highway

I spent some time today taking pictures of my little buddies. They have to be one of the hardest subjects to photograph! By nature, they're quite camera shy.

See my photo "Hummingbird Highway", that I used for reference for these quick studies on  Five Steps To Happy Hummers.

Thursday, June 19, 2008

Arabian Mare and Foal

Today's drawing is done with a "Bruynzeel design - Aquarel - 8635 - Holland - 410" black drawing pencil. Animal Portrait ~ "Mother's Pride & Joy"

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

It's a Bear!

Some days you get the bear and other days the bear gets you. It's been one of those days where the bear got me. Nothing major, just a bunch of little aggravations. Such is life... and bears!

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Monarch Butterflies

Just because a subject is more intricate, doesn't mean the sketch has to take a long time. Today's drawing took me a little over thirty minutes. Of course, depending on the technique, it could take a lot longer.

I'm also including a drawing I did using a graphite pencil technique.

Monday, June 16, 2008

Value Layout

I'm still working on Peonies. This is a value sketch for the large painting commission I'm doing. A value drawing is a valuable aid in the composition of paintings. No matter what medium or technique I use, I always try to use a full range of values. What I'm referring to here is the tone or the lightness / darkness of a color. See the handy value scales I use at

Sunday, June 15, 2008

Bear Sketch

Happy Father's Day to all you guys out there!
Hope it's a beary good one.

Saturday, June 14, 2008

Eagle Drawing

I'm looking forward to the Wine and Wildlife event tonight. I wonder what kind of raptors they'll have on display. A raptor is a bird of prey, e.g., an eagle, hawk, falcon, or owl. I better remember to take my camera!

Friday, June 13, 2008


THE HUMMINGBIRDS HAVE COME OUT IN FULL FORCE THE PAST COUPLE OF DAYS. Prior to Wednesday, only an occasional male would visit my feeders. Now the action is nonstop! Aerial displays and high pitched bantering abounds. From my windows, groups of hummers are everywhere to behold. The other birds want to know what's up. The chickadee scolds,"chick-a-dee-dee-dee"!

Thursday, June 12, 2008

Wine and Wildlife

This Saturday I'll be displaying my work at an event called Wine and Wildlife at the Cedar Run Wildlife Refuge. So, my thoughts and drawing has turned to animals today. I stopped by the refuge yesterday and had to visit all the outdoor residents before leaving. The eagles were especially captivating as they were quite vocal the whole time I stood by their enclosure. By the way, I think tickets are still available for any of you locals that may be interested in attending a fun and worthwhile fund raising event for wildlife! This sketch is of a red fox, the refuge's official mascot.

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Edgar Whitney on Preparation for Painting

Edgar Whitney said; "Plan like a tortoise and paint like a rabbit!" Known to be a bit rough around the edges, Ed would often say or do something shocking to make a point and insure that his students remembered it. Another of his favorites about proper preparation was; "It's like going to the bathroom without pulling your pants down first!". Yikes, like me, you probably won't forget that one either. Anyway it's true, the better you plan, the greater your chances are that your painting (or any endeavor) will be a success. Here I'm showing my painting table today at the end of a good day. My peony sketches, photos and thumbnails are taped up on a board before I start. I use this for reference as I paint. This way all the logical thinking is already done and I just let myself go into intuitive, auto pilot mode.

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Thumbnail Sketches

Today's doodles are thumbnail sketches of Peonies. Now I'm working to come up with designs for my paintings. I usually use the rule of thirds, which I've illustrated here. Where the lines intersect is a good area for my center of interest, which is commonly the Poppa shape. Can you pick out the Momma, Poppa, Baby shapes here?

Monday, June 9, 2008

Peony Study 3

My paintings usually go by the formula of "Momma, Poppa, Baby". This rule, which was originated by Edgar A. Whitney, almost always applies, especially with my florals. Here's another view of a peony. This shape will most likely be used for the "Baby" element. Sometimes there are three babies in one of my florals.

Sunday, June 8, 2008

Peony Study 2

Like in yesterday's sketch, today I'm showing more of a front on view, being careful to make it interesting by not making it too round . In my art I always strive to entertain the viewer by staying away from boring shapes like circles, squares and rectangles.

Saturday, June 7, 2008

Peony Study

This drawing is a study for a commission I am doing of a large painting of peonies. These flowers tend to be very round and the shapes can get boring if one isn't inventive. Here I'm mainly concerned with creating and rendering an interesting shape.

Friday, June 6, 2008

Landscaping With Palm Trees

Here's the palm tree drawing with the watercolor wash applied. I tried to make the two foreground trees more sharp and dominant by using harder lines and sharper value contrast.

Thursday, June 5, 2008

Seeing Differently

Since I've started up my daily drawing blog again, I've been seeing things differently. Today I noticed more beauty in my life and have become more aware of visual details. I think it is a benefit of this discipline. Sketching also provides a time to go within; whether for a minute or an extended amount of time. In drawing, we can carry on a happy, intimate dialogue with ourselves. I got a little carried away on this one. That's OK because I was having fun and with sketching you don't always have to stick to a plan. Let your muse be your guide!

"A sixty second sketch is worth more than a week of good intentions!" ~ Sandy

Wednesday, June 4, 2008

30 Second Sketch

Part of the purpose of this project is to convince some of you out there that drawing is not all that difficult! This sketch, taken from the picture I posted two days ago on my web log, took me 30 seconds!! Maybe I'll add some wash tomorrow. (I added an antique effect in iphoto.)

Tuesday, June 3, 2008

Cardinal on a Pine Cone

This is either a very small Cardinal or a very big pine cone! Tonight here's a quick sketch for you of a little figurine my sister in Florida just gave to me. When sketching a small object, be sure to raise it up to eye level by putting it on a box or other pedestal. If you don't, you'll be looking down on it, like in the drawing I did yesterday.

Monday, June 2, 2008

Little Old Rabbit

The really neat thing about sketching is that your subjects are all around you. There are no limitations. Just about everything is sketchable! Today's post is a quick study of an old concrete garden ornament that I inherited from my Aunt Milly.

Sunday, June 1, 2008


I've been really chomping on the bit and could hardly wait
to get back at it!

Today's sketch, "WILLIAM" THE HIPPO, is of a reproduction of an Egyptian Hippopotamus which is the NY Metropolitan Museum of Art's Unofficial Mascot. He's so cute. It's no wonder he's the best seller in the museum's gift shop!