Friday, February 23, 2018

Sketchcrawl at Trout Lake Nature Center 02/22/18

Yesterday there were eight of us who met up at the Trout Lake Nature Center.......seven sketchers and one of the ladies' husband.

It was quite a warm sunny day reaching 86 (according to my car temp gauge) when we left around 1 p.m. 

The nature center has two buildings with bones, skulls, stuffed animals from gators to the smallest of turtles.  There were cases of moths and butterflies as well.

This center holds educational classes for school kids and while we were there, a bus load of youngsters were there for lunch, walking the trails, and going through the museum.

Outside are A-framed wired structures ...... one with a live turtle and not sure what other critters were there.

There are several trails you can walk, one of which takes you out a board walk to the lake.  It was a gorgeous day!

This is a page from my large Stillman & Birn Beta journal where I worked a few illustrations.  The left two were worked watercolor first with pen and ink last and those on the right were worked my normal way of ink first followed by watercolor.

I could probably fill a complete journal with all the things there that grabbed my attention :-)  A place I plan to return to.


Tribute to Mote-Morris House in Leesburg

We learned this week that another historical landmark may be demolished. 

We lost an Orange Packing Plant last year with the College buying the property and leveling the packing plant for their use.  This other is the Mote Morris House that is 125 years old and owned by the City of Leesburg renting out to the Chamber of Commerce.  Unfortunately bringing it down will not be by choice.  A fire broke out causing significant structural damage.  As of this writing they are not sure if a vagrant set the fire or if it was due to some other cause (arson, electrical?).  A few weeks ago a vagrant was caught and chased off trying to light a fire (to keep warm I guess) on the gazebo that sits on the property.

Here is a sketch I just finished today as a tribute to a building several in our sketching group hold dear and for one reason as mentioned below.


Wednesday, February 21, 2018

Labeling Spiral Journals and Sketchbooks

It used to be all I ever worked in were spiral sketchbooks/journals (once I stepped away from single sheets and placing in Itoya presentation folders).  Then I was introduced to the hard bound journals like Stillman and Birn or even hand-sewn journals we can make.

I kept going back and forth as to which I prefer and I'm at a point now that it's a true toss up.  Sometimes spirals can be difficult to lay completely flat for scanning but then I've also had problems with hard bounds as well.

Some people feel you can't work a two-page spread but I have and to me looks fine even with the spiral in between the pages.

What I determined was the biggest positive for hard bounds was the fact you had a spine you could write contents on so you could see at a glance on a book shelf what they contained (time period covered, subject, etc.). 

I like spirals because they are often lighter in weight.  Mentally they also give me permission to not treat the journal as some priceless book I can't use for fear of messing up the pages.  If a page is that poorly messed up, you can tear it out without leaving any trace you've done that........lol.

The problem is, of course, with a bookshelf of spirals, you have to take them all down just to flip open to see what's in them or you pull off the shelf to see what you might have written on the front cover.  If you have several (like I do), that can be horribly time consuming.

Here's my solution to that :-)  You can use the round key ring labels but I used what I have on hand and to me these work out beautifully.  And you can color code if you wish depending on brand or type of journals you're using.  Or color code by subject, etc.


Couple other ideas:

One friend of mine takes stiff paper (watercolor paper as an example) and wraps it around folding the ends inside front and back cover.  That creates a spine you can write the contents on.  Unfortunately, I don't have paper laying around that I could use for that or large enough for some of my spirals.

I've also tried sticking a pen through in between the spirals and trying to write on the edge of the pages with very little luck. 


Trying Out AutoSketch on Note8 Phone

A dear friend of mine uses AutoSketch on his Note8 all the time.  I thought now that I have a Note8 that I would try the free version out of this app with the stylus pen.

Not sure I'll use the phone app often as the stylus pen is a bit tiny and awkward for me to use.  At least at this point.  Probably in time I might get used to it but only time and usage will tell.

I found the app very limited and not real user friendly.  Unlike Procreate, I couldn't find very much on how to use the app on the mobile phone.  What videos I found were on larger tablets and the interface appears different.  And maybe the videos cover the paid version whereas I'm not going to pay for an app unless I understand how to use it or if the features are those I like and one can easily use.  So far that's not the case for me with this free version.  It took forever for me just to locate how to undo or erase or make the pencil tool size larger or smaller. 

With all that said, I did manage this simple little sketch from memory of what I did the other day after seeing our little hummer friend at the feeder again this morning.


Another Whimsical Illustration for Group Flyers

Just playing around with various illustrations for our sketching group, I came up with another to add as eye candy on flyers.

Using Procreate, I originally worked this.  After a couple of days I decided it needed some more work.........especially some shading.  Then I had to add the sunglasses.........lol



Due to the fact I work each component on layers, I can keep the shadow under the car or untick and not use it.  And the sunglasses is the same deal........I can include them or not depending on my mood :-)



One of the ways I thought of using this is as follows.......as if the car is pulling a trailer (Trekkers)


Tuesday, February 20, 2018

Couple Quick Sketches

Yesterday and today both we saw our little hummer friend.  That's encouraging and hope he/she sticks around.  Would be nice to see more but thankful for the one after all this time not having them around.

Quick pencil sketch in Paper Blanks journal. 


And this is just a very rough sketch of something we laugh at several times a day, every day.

Miya, our little yorki-poo, likes going out with Terry every time he sits out front.  He sits while she sunbathes a few feet away.  And every time she goes out, she has to take something with her........mostly a toy.  Once in awhile she'll take her bone out but that's another story with her behavior that cracks us up.

This illustration shows what she does when Terry stands at the front door calling her to come out with him.  She runs to grab a toy (most often sitting in the middle of the floor in the living room by the foyer/front door) but instead of turning to go outside, she always continues on through the living room......through the kitchen.......through the dining room......back to the foyer and out the front door.

You have to wonder what goes through their minds or what makes them do what they do sometimes.


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