#24 - One Year/100 Paintings - Tugboat at the Baltimore Inner Harbor - Plein Air painting with Urban Sketchers Baltimore - gouache and watercolor in Moleskine watercolor album. This was the second painting of the day and though I do like the look of the painting, I feel that the tugboat appears to be sinking, much like the Titanic.
#23 - One Year/100 Paintings - Plein Air painting with the Urban Sketchers Baltimore group using gouache and watercolor in a Moleskine landscape watercolor album. I'm very pleased with the impressionistic look of this painting though maybe the red ball in the water is a bit distracting. This was an absolutely beautiful day for painting, the weather was just cool enough for a light jacket and there was a breeze coming off of the water.
#21 - One Year/100 Paintings - trying out a new urban sketching painting style - gouache mixed with watercolor. I've seen this technique demonstrated by Marco Bucci (though much more skillfully and with years of practice!) This was painted in a pocket Beta Series Stillman and Birn sketchbook. I like the look of the painting, different than my usual ink and wash style of sketching. The photo reference is from Morguefile.com.
I have spent the past several Urban Sketch outings trying out my iPad Pro with Apple Pencil and the Etchr Slate Satchel. This past weekend was the first time using the Slate for group sketching and I'm happy to say that it performed well.
My large size Etchr Slate Satchel enables me to carry my 12.9" iPad Pro as well as a minimal traditional sketching kit. The satchel is weather-resistant, well constructed, and looks good too. There's a grab handle for carrying, or use the adjustable, padded shoulder strap to carry it like a vertical or horizontal messenger bag. It has loops on all four corners of the bag to attach the strap to your liking. The four loops are also handy for when the bag is converted into sketch mode - the strap is attached to opposite corners to support the slate around your shoulder while standing or sitting. I found this mode to be especially useful as my left arm which normally supports the iPad while I'm drawing gets to rest a bit. There is a tripod mount on the bottom of the bag, which I have attached to my tripod but not actually used out in the field. I believe that it will perform as expected, it looks well thought out and constructed.
The apps that I use primarily on my iPad Pro are Procreate and Tayasui Sketches Pro. Procreate is extremely versatile in the amount of customization with brushes and layer effects. I've become accustomed to the interface while using it for other types of drawings and can work pretty quickly with it's features. I'm getting more familiar with Tayasui Sketches Pro and like the pen tool and watercolor brush, which I think looks more like traditional ink and wash than what's available in Procreate. I could probably emulate the look of the tools of Sketches Pro in Procreate if I played around with the brush settings or sought out other brushes available for download.
Here's what I bring to my Urban Sketch meetups:
Etchr Slate Satchel - large
iPad Pro 12.9" with anti-glare screen protector (also gives the screen a bit more tooth, like paper)
Moleskine Watercolor Album 8" x 5"
Stillman & Birn Pocket Beta Series Sketchbook
Prima Marketing Watercolor Tin filled with Prima Marketing Watercolors
Tube of Winsor and Newton White Gouache
Niji Large Water Brush
Pentel Aquash Water Brush
TWSBI Eco Fine Fountain Pen with Noodler's Lexington Gray Ink
Platinum Carbon Extra Fine Fountain Pen with Platinum Carbon Ink
Pentel Pocket Brush Pen
Caran d'Ache Technalo Water Soluble Graphite Pencil
Col-Erase Orange Pencil
Uniball Signo White Gel Pen
Mini Water Spritzer
35mm Slide Holder for Viewfinder
Small bag with charging cables, earphones, and ink cartridges
External Large Capacity Battery charger (sometimes, depending on need)
Flat Water Bottle
Folding Three Leg Camp Stool with Shoulder Strap
This week in Create-A-Thon 2017 - Urban Sketching. I have, in the past few weeks, been carefully putting together an urban sketching bag with essential supplies that I might want to use without carrying too much. I've found a light weight stool and had thoughtfully chosen which sketchbooks I wanted to carry. I have been a member of two Urban Sketching Facebook groups for a little while and I finally got up the nerve to join in on a meet up for each of them this past weekend.
On Saturday, I joined Harrisburg Sketchers at Fort Hunter Park along the Susquehanna River for a beautiful autumn morning of sketching. After completing two sketches, I introduced myself to a few of the other sketchers and enjoyed a couple of conversations about sketching, art materials and looking at sketchbooks.
On Sunday, Isaac joined me to meet up with Urban Sketchers Baltimore in Fells Point. Isaac had intended to work en plein air in oil, but was unable to find a suitable subject. I was able to meet a fellow sketcher in person that I had communicated with on Instagram. After completing a couple of sketches, I talked to some of the other sketchers, but was not able to stay to have lunch due to a prior commitment. I was excited that Urban Sketchers Global later reposted my favorite sketch of the day on their Instagram account.
It was a great weekend to get outdoors and try Urban Sketching, and meet new people. I'm looking forward to future events with both groups in the coming months. I think I might sketch outdoors on my lunch break until the weather starts getting colder.
Week 10 - #OneWeek100People2017 - An Urban Sketching challenge to draw 100 people in one week, from Monday, March 6 through Friday, March 10. I successfully completed this challenge, mostly drawing from the Sktchy app, but I was able to make about twenty or so drawings of live people during the week. I started a new sketchbook for the challenge, an Art Alternatives 4 x 6 hardcover sketchbook, just the right size for making quick portrait sketches. My drawings looked cartoonish, maybe caricature-like, but I think they mostly resembled the people I was drawing. I have to accept that I am primarily a cartoon artist and just go with it. I mostly used a brush pen for the drawings, emptying two brush pens, and a cartridge of another by the time the week was over. I used a little watercolor on some of the sketches, which made them look even more like cartoons.
By Friday, after completing the One Week 100 People challenge, my sketchbook was almost full, so I decided to challenge myself to finish filling the sketchbook with people sketches over the weekend, completing another of my Create-A-Thon 2017 projects - to fill an entire sketchbook in one week. I may try that one again with another sketchbook later in the year, but with making one long doodle in a Japanese style Moleskine pocket sketchbook.
I completed another Create-A-Thon 2017 activity, to attend a live model drawing session, which I did yesterday afternoon at Towson Plaza Art. The session was very enjoyable and relaxing, completely different from my usual day-to-day graphic design job. This is why I am challenging myself to a year full of creative projects, to allow myself time away from working on a computer all day. I really enjoy analog art, if that's what you want to call it. It puts my mind in a different frame from my daily problem solving design work.
On Saturday, Brenda and I invited my stepfather over for an evening of painting and pizza. We ordered up some Domino's Pizza, turned on the relaxation station on Pandora and painted for a couple of hours. I had envisioned my painting of a skull floating over a field of flowers turning out differently than the creepy clownish skull painting that it turned out to be. It was fun to paint though, I would like to get out and paint landscapes using my french easel. I had intended to do that on my vacation this week, but the weather is going to be snowy and cold.
Next up in Create-A-Thon 2017 - Winsor and Newton Pigment Markers on Yupo Paper.
This week, I've gone on a couple of sketching outings to get more practice at loosening up my drawings. As I've been participating in Inktober this month, I find that my pen and ink drawings are much tighter than I'd like them to be. I would like to loosen up a bit, so I've been watching videos and reading about urban sketching, which is very similar to the mini-watercolor paintings I've been making in my pocket watercolor journal. I've been making photographs of the scenes that I want to paint as I've seen them on my outings around town, but I want to try to get out there and create on the spot pen and ink and watercolor drawings. This is going to get more difficult as fall and winter approaches, leaving less time in the evenings to get out there and sketch. I also still have my film photography hobby, but again it's getting more difficult to get out there and shoot. I've been trying to combine the two hobbies, which even my manic bipolar personality is overwhelmed with. But here, are a few of the sketches I made this week, with a walk around Hanover's Mt. Olivet Cemetery last weekend, and a lunchtime trip to the Walters Art Museum this week.