Monday, September 15, 2008

Workshop A Big Success

"Learning is the beginning of wealth. Learning is the beginning of health. Learning is the beginning of spirituality. Searching and learning is where the miracle process all begins." ~ Jim Rohn

Sept. 12 - 14th, 2008 WORKSHOP - Day One

I started today's lessons with a warm up exercise I came up with at the spur of the moment. Holding the pencil like a wand, I encouraged students to use their whole arm and wrist while making various scribbles on their paper. Everyone seemed to agree that this helped them to loosen up for the sketching to follow.

I have some wood bird carvings and decided to use them as models for our two minute gesture sketches. After the allotted time was up, each person turned their bird clockwise a quarter of a turn. Each participant did a dozen sketches, three birds, four views each.

This is a wonderful exercise that I haven't done in a long time. None of the students had ever done a blind contour. This teaches hand eye coordination. You can't look down at your paper while you are drawing. You must only look at the subject while the pencil is moving. This trains you to caress the object with your eyes. After this exercise, students followed along with handouts as we went on to drawing a hummingbird from my Six Steps to Sensational Sketches Demo.

After lunch break, we did a value painting of a lighthouse. I explained WET-IN-WET techniques on painting skies, grass, water and buildings. Here is my demo painting.

"If you get into the habit of sketching, you'll never be bored."
~ Sandy Sandy

Thursday, September 4, 2008

Art Instruction Blog

Last week I was contacted by Ralph Serpe; artist, writer, musician and webmaster, about having my "Sensational Sketches In Six Simple Steps" featured on his blog. He writes; "I own and maintain a very popular blog on Art Instruction. My site receives over 20,000 unique visitors each month, and I have a subscriber base of nearly 9,000 artists, all hungry for fresh new content." I checked it out and saw it was of very high caliber. Of course I said YES!

Please visit: and check it out!

Comments about my demo on

"Sandy's six steps are truly simple to follow, and inspirational to beginners like me." ~Nzo-Nguty Etahoben

"Great article, I'm printing it out and stuffing it into my sketchbook." ~ Cindy Davis

"Thanks for the tutorial. It is great and clear. I was looking for something like this for a long time." ~ Aramond


I did this sketch today from the wildflower bouquet Jerry got for me on Sunday. The stand was closed, but when Jerry told the lady, Mrs. Knight, who I was, she remembered me from a hummingbird presentation I did at her garden club. When he told her I was painting them, she marched out into the garden and cut these for me. I wanted to sketch them again to go with my special announcement today. Like summer, I guess I don't want to let go of my "SketchingEveryday" just yet.

Monday, September 1, 2008


Labor Day here, in Southern NJ, signals shorter days, cooler temperatures and the change of summer into fall. Many of my hummingbirds have already left on their bi-annual, seemingly impossible migration. My daily Summer Sketching Blog has come to an end for another year. Dried up yellow and brown leaves are appearing and falling to the ground. It's a busy time of preparation and change. I've got shows and workshops just around the corner.