Saturday, March 27, 2010

Day 59 - Umbrellas

Spotted my kids umbrellas hanging on the back door and decided they would make a good sketch. I had fun with this one.

umbrella sketch
pencil in cahier sketch book
copyright 2010 Stacy L. Rowan

Friday, March 26, 2010

Days 57 and 58

It might have only been February, but I was reminiscing about warm sunny days and dreaming of summer when I'd see more. That's why I chose to sketch this conch shell. Well that and because I hadn't sketched it yet. Fewer and fewer items in my house are falling into the "haven't sketched yet" category.

conch shell sketch
sepia pen in cahier pocket sketch book
copyright 2010 Stacy L. Rowan

Day 58 was the day of the earthquake in Chile. While I watched the news about the earthquake and the resulting tsunami threat for Hawaii, I sketched this model of an outrigger canoe that my husband and I had purchased on our first trip to the islands 14 years ago.

outrigger canoe sketch
pencil in cahier sketch book
copyright 2010 Stacy L. Rowan

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Days 55 and 56

While I was at the grocery store I happened to spot a special on mini daffodils. Suffering from sunlight and warm weather withdraw I placed a pot in my cart without a moments hesitation. This lucky find worked its way into my next two sketches, first in watercolor...

daffodil sketch
watercolor in Moleskine watercolor sketch book
copyright 2010 Stacy L. Rowan

then in pen and ink.

daffodil sketch
sepia ink in cahier pocket sketch book
copyright 2010 Stacy L. Rowan

I have to say it was a couple of bucks well spent. And now that the flowers have faded and the leaves are dying back, I'll plant the daffodils in my garden so I can enjoy them again next year.

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Day 54 - Snowman

Once I was back home from vacation, subjects for sketching became tougher to find. Before putting the snowmen away for the Spring, I decided to capture one more in my sketch book. Although I wasn't thrilled to be back to sketching snowmen I was happy with how this guy turned out.

snowman sketch
sepia pen in cahier pocket sketch book
copyright 2010 Stacy L. Rowan

Monday, March 22, 2010

Days 52 and 53

Day 52 was another travel day so I set up a little still life on my airplane table and completed my sketch on the plane.

sketch of still life with flower lei and book
pencil in cahier pocket sketch book
copyright 2010 Stacy L. Rowan

And then we were back home, back to regular life and back to peanut butter and jelly for lunch.

lunch sketch (peanut butter & jelly sandwich and blueberries)
sepia ink in cahier pocket sketch book
copyright 2010 Stacy L. Rowan

Sunday, March 21, 2010

Day 51 - Molokai

We decided to spend our last full day in Hawaii relaxing by the pool. I turned my lounge chair around so I could enjoy the view across the water to the island of Molokai. It was such a beautiful view I couldn't resist breaking out my small watercolor set and sketching what I saw.

sketch of Molokai, Hawaii
watercolor in Moleskine sketch book
copyright 2010 Stacy L. Rowan

Saturday, March 20, 2010

Day 50 - Banyan Tree

I've been putting off posting the rest of my Hawaii sketches. I've been reliving the vacation by creating the posts and writing about what we did each day. When the last sketch is posted I will have to face that the trip is over.

But at the same time, my new daily sketches are piling up waiting to be posted, so I guess I better stop delaying before I get too far behind to ever catch up.

Day 50 was an awesome fun filled day. In the morning we drove into Lahaina to take a whale watching cruise with the Pacific Whale Foundation.

While waiting to board the boat I sat in the square and sketched a part of the banyan tree. Banyan trees have aerial roots that look like trunks. So this tree looks like it is multiple trees whose canopies grew together.

banyan tree sketch
sepia pen in cahier pocket sketch book
copyright 2010 Stacy L. Rowan

This sketch would look better if I had added color, but I didn't have any colored media with me at the time, so I decided to show it to you the way it was originally done. I may still go back and add color at some time.

The whale watching cruise was excellent. We saw so many whales and at times were so close to them the captian had to shut off the boat engines. We saw fin slaps and head slaps, and competition groups. We even saw one whale breach although I didn't manage to catch that with my camera. Everyone in the family had a fabulous time.

That same evening we went back to Lahaina to see the Old Lahaina Luau - another great pick.  Prior to dinner and the show guests could walk around to different stations. Each station was staffed with an employee who provided information about life in ancient Hawaii and their culture. It was very interesting. And the show that followed was really good with traditional dances and beautiful dancers.

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Days 48 and 49

Day 48 was our first full day in Maui. We decided after breakfast to use the day to drive the Road to Hana. I had visions of stopping at numerous waterfalls and watching the kids splash in the pools while I sketched happily away.

It didn't quite work out that way. The waterfalls were much less impressive than the first time I did this tour (about 14 years ago), possibly because of a drought or because the water is being diverted for farming. Whatever the reason, the kids were only in the water once and it was more standing than swimming.

Sketching while riding along this twisty road seemed like a recipe for motion sickness, so I didn't even try. After many hours of riding, we stopped for a late dinner.

One of the lessons I've learned with this Sketch365 project is that if I don't have a small nugget of interest in a subject and I try to sketch it, the sketch will be garbage. When a sketch feels like garbage to me, I don't want to share it here and inevitably I do another sketch so I do have something to share.

Day 48 I was too tired to do a garbage sketch and there was not one single thing worthy in the restaurant to sketch. So I decided to wait and sketch when we got back to the hotel.

And here is where I keep my word about being honest...
When I got back to the hotel I TOTALLY forgot about my sketch. I went to bed without sketching on Day 48.

The next day I woke up early because I was having a nightmare. As soon as I woke up I realized I had forgotten my sketch. I won't kid you, it was a big disappointment. But there was no going back, I had to go forward.

Both of the sketches below were completed on Day 49. I did two to make up for the one I missed on Day 48. It was the best I could do.

penguin sketch
sepia pen in Cahier pocket sketch book
copyright 2010 Stacy L. Rowan

I know penguins are the last subject someone would imagine from a trip to Hawaii, which is why I had to sketch one. This penguin lives in the lobby at the Hyatt Regency Maui along with his friends.

Just a few steps away from the penguins, I found a seat and sat down to sketch this hibiscus flower. There are some beautiful flowers around the Hyatt grounds.

hibiscus sketch
sepia ink in cahier pocket sketch book
copyright 2010 Stacy L. Rowan

Saturday, March 13, 2010

Days 46 and 47

We started out Day 46 by visiting Pu'uhonua o Honaunau National Historic Park. The park encompasses royal grounds and a place of refuge where ancient hawaiians could go to escape death if they had broken a Kapu (broken one of their laws).  This park is beautiful, peaceful and full of history. Definitely worth the visit.

photo of temple at Pu'uhonua o Honaunau
copyright 2010 Stacy L. Rowan

Again we saw turtles, this time in the shallow water.

photo of Hawaiian honu (turtle)
copyright 2010 Stacy L. Rowan

Later, we returned to the snorkeling beach. While there I sketched part of a beautiful lei that my wonderful husband bought for me.

The lei was made from strips of palm fronds which were twisted together. Spaced equally around the lei were plumeria flowers. The best thing about this lei was that when the flowers wilted they could be removed and replaced with fresh ones.

The Hawaiian woman who made the lei told my husband that she learned the art of lei making from her grandmother and she was using materials from trees planted by her grandfather.

sketch of flower lei
sepia pen in cahier pocket sketch book
copyright 2010 Stacy L. Rowan

The next day we moved from the island of Hawaii to the island of Maui. I did my sketch while waiting to board our plane in Hawaii. The Keahole Airport near Kona is my favorite airport. It's an open air airport. All the gates look like huts with thatched roofs. This palm tree was right in the middle of the gate area.

palm tree sketch
sepia pen in cahier pocket sketch book
copyright 2010 Stacy L. Rowan

One of the things I noticed in Hawaii was all of the different types of palm trees. I wish I had been able to sketch more of them.

Friday, March 12, 2010

Tap Dancer Drawing - Keep on Your Toes

I am currently working on two new tap dancing pieces - a charcoal which I showed the start of here and a new watercolor. I am nearly finished the charcaol and am getting excited to share it. While thinking about that, I realized that I never posted my last drawing. Today seemed like a good day to remedy that oversight.

Keep on Your Toes
14"x18" charcoal on paper
copyright 2009 Stacy L. Rowan
available at the William Ris Gallery

This is my fifth drawing in my tap dancing series and the first one that I did in charcoal. (If you've missed the other drawings in the series, click the link above or type "tap" in the Blogger search bar on the upper left and the search results will show you all the tap related posts.)

Again my model for my reference photo was one of the lovely ladies of the Tap Ties company. In fact with this drawing I reached the milestone of having drawn all four pairs of feet. Surprisingly, they knew whose feet were in each drawing without me telling them!

While dancing, the tap dancer needs to keep on her toes - figuratively speaking. It is like participating in a fast moving discussion. She has to be ready for quick movements and sudden weight changes. Hesitation will be heard. Achieving a crisp sound requires everyone in the group to be perfectly synchronized. The dancer needs to know if the step requires her to keep her weight on her toes, like the cramp roll shown here, to keep the weight on her heels, say for toe taps, or to keep her weight right in the middle. Concentration, agility and grace are required to make the performance look effortless.

If you are interested, this drawing is being offered for sale through the William Ris Gallery of Stone Harbor. In fact I am very pleased to announce that they have recently added images of my tap drawings to their website.

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Day 45 - Beach Views

We decided for our third day in Hawaii to give the kids their first experience with snorkeling. Kahalu'u Beach was recommended as a good snorkeling beach for families.

After we showed up we walked around to check out the beach. We found a turtle sunning on the rocks at the edge of the water. I stood behind a chest high wall to sketch him. It wasn't the most comfortable sketching spot, but I couldn't pass up the opportunity to sketch this guy.

turtle sketches
sepia pen in cahier pocket sketch book
copyright 2010 Stacy L. Rowan

Later in the day I did this sketch of the life guard stand and it's surroundings. It ended up being one of my favorite sketches from the trip
sketch Kahalu'u Beach Hawaii
sepia pen in cahier pocket sketch book
copyright 2010 Stacy L. Rowan

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Day 44 - Light Appetizers

Our second full day on the island of Hawai'i found us making the drive to Volcanoes National Park. There is so much to see and learn in the park. We were lucky to see "an ash laden plume rising from a new crater within Halema'uma'u at the summit of Kilauea." While it is not the lava flow that many people envision when imagining a volcano, it is an active eruption. The scientists and park rangers were pretty excited about this development and their excitement was contageous. The kids said that we must go back if the lava lake ever rises to a level that it can be seen from the top of the crater.

Since I was caught up in the day's sightseeing, I didn't tackle my sketch until we were at dinner. We ate at a Mexican restaurant in the town of Kona. While we were there I sketched our bowl of salsa and empty chip basket. I also added in a sketch of one of the wall sconces.

dinner sketches
sepia pen in pocket cahier sketch book
copyright 2010 Stacy L. Rowan

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Day 43 - Palm Tree

Could there be a more predictable sketch for my first day in Hawaii than that of a palm tree? I couldn't help myself as I sat on the lanai watching night turn to day.

palm tree sketch
sepia pen in pocket cahier sketch book
copyright 2010 Stacy Rowan

After my sketching was done, we had a fabulous breakfast along the water then went to find Captain Cook's monument which we saw from the shore of Kealakekua Bay. Further exploring led us to the Painted Church. On our way back to town we bought some delicious macadamia nuts and coffee. Overall it was a fun and interesting first day.

Monday, March 8, 2010

Days 41 and 42

Here are the first two of my vacation sketches.

Due to an impending snowstorm - one of those biggies where the meteorologists were forcasting a foot and a half of snow - we left home a day before we were scheduled to and flew our first leg. This sketch was done in the pool area of our hotel while the kids were unwinding from the first day of travel.

sketch of plants
sepia pen in pocket cahier sketch book
copyright 2010 Stacy L. Rowan

I was worried about completing my sketch on Day 42 since I knew we'd be flying for much of the day. I've seen other artists' sketches from the interior of airplanes, but the thought of that as a subject didn't thrill me. So instead I tackled the outside of the plane while we waited to board. I didn't quite finish this sketch because my party wanted to grab lunch before boarding. Faced with the prospect of being hungry for the next 9 hours, I decided I had better stop sketching and join them.

airplane sketch
pencil in cahier sketch book
copyright 2010 Stacy L. Rowan

Saturday, March 6, 2010

Days 39 and 40

These sketches are from the last two days before we left on vacation.

I had recently purchased a couple of new brush pens. I decided to try out the raw umber pen for my Day 39 sketch. I tried several small sketches, but wasn't thrilled with any of them. It took me two pages of small sketches to realize that the culprit was the pen. I really prefer the warmer, darker sepia ink. (I don't think the color difference shows up as much here.) I may try this pen again for shading but I doubt I will use it for line work.

various sketches
raw umber pen in pocket cahier sketch book
copyright 2010 Stacy L. Rowan
FYI: The top sketch is posting larger on my screen than it is in real life.

After giving my plants their pre-vacation drink I decided the watering can would make a great subject for Day 40.

watering can sketch
pencil sketch in cahier sketch book
copyright 2010 Stacy L. Rowan

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Day 38 - Japanese Maple


You may have noticed that it has been a few weeks since I posted anything from my "Sketch-A-Day" project. Yes, it's true, I've fallen behind. But not with the sketching! Just with the scanning and posting.

You see, my family and I hopped on an airplane to escaped the cold, snowy weather we've been having. We split town and spent a couple of wonderful weeks in warm, sunny Hawaii.

Now we are back and I've started the process of scanning all of my February sketches. I plan to post them over the next few weeks.

Today, picking up from where I left off, I am posting the sketch from day 38. It shows a japanese maple and a small evergreen bush that can be found in front of my house. The bush is covered with snow that fell that day.

japanese maple sketch
sepia pen and colored pencil in pocket cahier sketchbook
copyright 2010 Stacy L. Rowan

I did the sketch in ink but wasn't in love with it, so I decided to try and add some color. I got out my infrequently used colored pencils and added a light touch of color. I didn't want to go too heavy because I still wanted the ink lines to be the main player. I was amazed at how the color brought the sketch to life. Now it is one of my favorites!

You may also notice that I now have word verification on my comments form and that all comments are being moderated. I hated to make these changes, but I was getting overwhelmed with spam comments. I hope these additions won't discourage you from commenting. I value all comments and feedback I get from my readers. Thank you!