Saturday, October 31, 2009

Happy Halloween!

"Jack is a Night Pumpkin"
©2009 Stacy L. Rowan

Here’s hoping that the ghosts, ghouls and goblins bring you the treat of creative inspiration… or at the very least a LOT of chocolate!


This jack-o-lantern was designed by my little ghouls. They used the night sky as inspiration choosing a half moon shape for the eyes, a star for the nose and vampire style teeth (from all those bats that fly at night) for the mouth. Kids having a design inspiration for a jack-o-lantern -- it’s enough to make a mom tear up.

Monday, October 26, 2009

Dot to Dot

I thought today I'd share an update of my pen and ink stippling project. I started this drawing last fall. I decided to start by building up my darks. This establishes both ends of my value scale (the white of the paper being the lightest value) so it easier to judge my middle values when I put them in. Also I feel that once the darks are in the drawing goes much faster. It takes a lot of little dots to achieve the darkest value which means a lot of time.

bromeliad ink drawing approx. 5" x 7"
005 Micron pen on Canson paper
Stacy L. Rowan

It may sound crazy, but to me football and stippling are a perfect combination. I really enjoy working on this drawing while watching a football game on TV. More accurately, I listen to the game, only pausing to look up when I hear something exciting happen. It is a very relaxing combination - listening to the familiar sound of the announcers voices while I make a million or two dots. Unfortunatley I haven't had a lot of time to relax in front of the game lately, so this piece is coming along slower than I envisioned.

Of course, I could always start working on this at other times, but it seems when I am in studio mode I gravitate toward watercolors or charcoals. And that's okay with me because if the drawing doesn't get done this season, there is always a new football season next year.

Thursday, October 22, 2009


Today was a lovely autumn day - sunny skies, temperatures hovering around 70 degrees, leaves starting to change. I decided to take advantage of the weather and go for a walk around my neighborhood. I took my camera with me with the intention of capturing images of fall in my neighborhood. I imagined pictures of colorful leaves and mums in bloom. I never imaged this...

Best I can tell, this is a turkey vulture. He was hanging out in the top of my neighbor's tree. He doesn't look like much here, but let me assure you that when he took off in flight...

he was HUGE! At first there were just two, but later there were as many as six flying around.

I found myself hoping that they weren't very hungry. I felt a little outnumbered. The other birds in the neighborhood didn't seem very happy to have the turkey vultures around and were making quite a lot of noise. The vultures didn't seem to care as they slowly glided on the air currents.

I'm not sure where the vultures came from, because I promise they are not a common sight in our suburban development. I do know that they are on the list of birds which can be seen at near-by Hawk Mountain. According to their website 40 turkey vultures were counted there today and a comment was posted that said "turkey vultures on the move today". I guess that's as good an explanation for my sighting as any.

I did manage to get images of colorful leaves and fall mums as I expected, but they seemed a little sedate compared to these.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Watercolor Apples for Challenge

It is the time of year when apples are abundant, making them the perfect painting subject. With Jeanette offering some additional motivation I decided to join in the fun.

approx. 4" x 4" watercolor on paper
Stacy Rowan
I'm not sure what kind of apple I used as a model. Part of it is yellow and part of it is red. When I set it down to paint I was paying more attention to shape than color, so I ended up with the yellow side in shadow and the red side toward the light. I found this to be a very challenging orientation, because my mind kept telling me that yellow is lighter in value than red. So I really had to try and paint what my eyes were seeing and ignore what my mind was telling me. Like I said, a real challenge.

After sticking it out and seeing the first painting through to completion, I decided to reward myself by spinning the apple and painting it again. You can see the result of the second painting below.

approx. 4.5" x 3.5" watercolor on paper
Stacy Rowan

Since the paintings were of the same apple, I couldn't help but compare them and ask myself which I liked best. Once I judged them for myself, I asked my kids which painting they liked better. Interestingly, they chose the same painting, but it was not the one I chose. I'd love to continue my survey. If you want to play along, list your favorite in the comments. For the sake of this "scientific" study we will call the apple pictured at the top of the post with its red side in the sun Apple #1. The second apple in the post will be called... you guessed it... Apple #2. If you'd like extra credit you can share your reasoning, but that's not required. And don't worry, I promise to keep the results of the voting between us so neither apple gets its feeling hurt.

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Still Sharing Summer Sketches


More sketches that I did over the summer. Hard to believe they are already a couple of months old. These are some of the interesting objects that populate the waiting room at the local music shop. The sketches were created while waiting for my kids to finish their instrument lessons. Sketching makes the waiting bearable.

chair back, pitcher and trumpet parts

Monday, October 5, 2009

Another Summer Sketch

Micron sketch in Cahier sketchbook
Stacy L. Rowan

The last sketch I posted was from my parents' house. This one is from my husband's parents' property. It is one of my favorite sketches from the summer and shows a small landscaping bed in my in-laws front yard. I sat in the car and sketched this while my kids napped in the back seat. They had been to a sleep-over party the night before. I wonder why the parties are called that? It's such a misnomer since they don't ever actually sleep much.

Thursday, October 1, 2009

Sketching at the Spa

Micron pen sketch in Cahier sketchbook
Stacy L. Rowan

My husband likes to jokingly refer to my parent's house as the spa. Being away from our own house, and the typical daily responsibilities that go along with being home owners, feels like a mini vacation. This sketch is of a corner of my parents' screen porch as viewed from the small deck below.

My parents' screen porch is one of my favorite places to spend a warm, sunny day. It is better than my own screen porch because it comes with a view of a lake and dinner prepared by Mom (instead of me). Thanks Mom!