Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Another Watercolor Sketch

Outside M&S Grill in Inner Harbor, Baltimore, MD
ink and watercolor sketch
approx. 5" x 4.5"

Okay, can I just say that I am starting to love sketching! In fact it could become addictive!

Last weekend I took a trip to the Baltimore area with some family members. On Saturday we had some free time at the Inner Harbor. Instead of spending my time shopping, I chose to sit outside, enjoy the beautiful weather and sketch using my new watercolor sketch kit. You can see the results of my efforts above.

I was sitting on a covered balcony looking across to a restaurant and some lovely Spring landscaping. I took out my Moleskine watercolor sketchbook and did a quick line sketch with my trusty Micron pen. Next I added the color. I found it easier to get good darks this time. I don't know if it is because I was using pan colors or just because I am learning how to work with this sketchbook paper. Speaking of darks, I notice now there is an area near the tree that I never went back and darkened. I also notice some perspective issues that I am not going to point out. But trust me, I see them!

Overall though, given my time limit (approx. 45 min.) and my desire to catch the essence of this scene, I am pleased with the result. And I thoroughly enjoyed sitting outside and sketching. I didn't miss the shopping at all.

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

My Watercolor Sketching Kit

I think I mentioned before that I have been looking for a way to safely do watercolor sketches in the car. I don't trust myself to use my regular watercolor tube paints and an open container of water. I imagine horrific scenes having to do with me flipping my palette and forever staining the seats with a rainbow of color. Not good.

Today I decided to try out some watercolor half pans and a waterbrush. This combination eliminates most of the components of my nightmare so I felt it was worth the risk. And...drum roll worked out great!!!

Dancing garden fairy and tulips sketch
ink and watercolor
approx. 8" x 5"

On Wednesdays I have a very long wait time in the car in between shuttling the kids around. So today, before I jumped in the car, I did a super quick ink sketch of the copper garden fairy dancing among my tulips. I took the sketch with me and added the color in the car. It was so much fun! Using the waterbrush is a little different than using a traditional brush and cup of water, but it wasn't difficult.

For those of you not familiar with a waterbrush, it is a brush with a hollow plastic handle which you can fill with water. Instead of dipping the brush in a cup of water, gently squeeze the handle to wet the bristles. In the sketch above I used less than a quarter of the water in the handle. My waterbrush is a round, but I see there is also a flat available which I might have to buy.

I am happy because I now have a small and simple sketching kit that I can take with me just about anywhere. This will be great for my trip overseas this summer. My kit includes...

- a Micron waterproof pen

- an 8" x 5" Cotman watercolour pad (I used this pad today) or my small Moleskin watercolor notebook

- a Cotman watercolor compact set (just the palette with the paints, not the whole travel bag)

- a medium round Niji waterbrush

Since I only plan to use the kit for sketching, I am not concerned about using student grade paints. However, this set does contain cadmium paints which I rarely use for larger paintings. I may at a later date try to replace the cadmium half pans with some quin colors which I use more regularly. But for now I am ecstatic with my new kit! Bring on the color sketches!

Friday, April 18, 2008

Places You Can Find My Art - April 2008

For anyone who happens to be in or around the Lehigh Valley, I thought I would fill you in on where you can currently find my art. That way, if you are interested in viewing it in person, you know where to look.

Starting tomorrow, April 19th, the two pieces at the right are in a juried show at The Garden Of Easton located at 249 Northampton Street in downtown Easton, PA. The show is titled "All Walks of Life". It opens tomorrow and there is an artist reception tomorrow night. Unfortunately, I have a conflict of schedule and won't be able to attend the opening. The reception is from 5pm - 7pm, Saturday April 19th. The store hours are Wednesday through Saturday 11am until 5 pm and Sunday noon until 5pm. The show runs through May 17th.

Also tomorrow, at the Miller Heights Elementary School Tricky Tray Raffle, prize number 52 is a print of my Bethlehem Waterworks painting (Guardians). The school is located at 3605 Allen Street in Bethlehem Township, PA. Hours are from 10am until 4pm with the prize ticket drawing starting at 4:15pm. You do not need to be present to win. All winners not present are notified by phone.

And lastly, for anyone visiting the Moravian Hall Square retirement community in Nazareth, PA, I have 11 paintings on display in their main building through the end of the month. Down the hall from the reception desk, take a right into the next hallway and you will see a lovely picture rail on the left side of the hallway displaying my watercolor paintings.

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Finished Charcoal Drawing

Hello all! You have been very patiently looking at my recent sketches and workshop paintings and photos, so I thought it was time to share a finished piece with you. Yes, I do actually finish pieces, believe it or not! I would love to share my most recent watercolor painting, but that will have to wait since I entered it in a local competition.

charcoal on Rives BFK paper
15" x 22"
Stacy L. Rowan

Instead, I am sharing another piece I am excited about, this charcoal drawing which I finished earlier this year. I completed it as part of my mentorship work with Michael Newberry. It may look familiar since the idea came from one of my graphite thumbnails that I shared earlier. I also did several other graphite thumbnails to investigate lighting and values. I’ve even done some color thumbnails of this same set up. I have to say this is the piece which taught me the true value of prep work!

The story behind this charcoal drawing is that it represents a scene that is found on many winter evenings in our house. After dinner, while the children are upstairs cleaning up and getting ready for bed, hubby and I often sit on the couch for “10 minutes peace”. Loosely translated that means ten minutes of adult talk time without the interruptions from said children. Since I am typically cold all winter long, I often have a cup of hot chocolate. And since sweets are a personal weakness, especially in the winter when my body thinks it wants to be hibernating, I also have two Oreo cookies to dip in my hot chocolate more times than I care to admit. Hey, at least I wait until the kids are upstairs so they don’t see my bad example.

These ten minutes of peace are when hubby and I reconnect and talk about our day. A little breather in a hectic life that we really look forward to, and that keeps us strong as a couple. I even feel more peaceful just looking at the drawing and telling you about our routine.

I’m still working on a title for this one. If you have any ideas, please feel free to share.
Edit: On my screen the image appears to have some pink in it . I have no idea why. I promise you the image I resized and uploaded had no pink in it. It is way past my bedtime, so unfortunately I have to leave it for now. I will try to correct it later, but other than uploading the image again, I have to admit I am stumped as to what to try.