Friday, June 28, 2013

Back to Hope Valley

Hope Valley house - Click image for larger view
Some days things just don't click. It was raining heavily this morning, I got out of the house late and traffic was awful... but enough whining -- none of that actually had any bearing on this sketch. Yesterday I went to Utrecht looking for an alternative sketchbook as this Moleskin sketchbook is filled with watercolor paper and I thought I would like to reserve that for, well, watercolors. So I purchased a blank page book to sketch on... it will take some getting used to, the paper has no tooth and my pen felt very slippery and I wasn't too pleased with the marks. I went back to the book of watercolor paper... I will have to play around with the new book some more. Actually I wanted to buy a Stillman & Birn book as I am quite fond of their paper and the Utrecht website said they carried the Stillman & Birn books but the people working there had never heard of them. . .  and were surprised when they looked in the catalog and found the complete line of sketchbooks listed. I will play around with the new book with different sketch pens..I am still using my fine line Sharpie I got at the drugstore. Back to this sketch challenge I can see that I really need to work out values better and find a better way to represent them in ink... this whole sketch is way too scribbly

Thursday, June 27, 2013

75 Day Sketch Challenge

Day 1, Shack Revisited - Click image for larger view

As an active person on the blog, I do, of course, read many other blogs.  I have been following Brenda Swenson for a while now, she has a lot of great stuff about sketching and watercolor and things. Recently she issued a challenge - a sketch a day for 75 days, ink only, no pencil. Sounds good to me, so I have joined in. Today is day 1 for me, so I started a different sketchbook and jumped in. . . we will see how all this turns out. Brenda's blog can be found here. This is the same little shack I painted a few days back, this time in ink only.

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Back of the building

Friendship Street, Providence - Click image for larger view
I saw this spot the other day and was struck by the complexity in this small scene. I got out of the house at about 5:40 this morning and had Providence all to myself. This is obviously the back side of a building and is facing a parking lot along Friendship Street in Providence. I just like th fact that it all seems so cobbled together, almost like there was no planning at all. It is all plywood and barnboard attached to a grand old brick building. This building has recently been painted a dark grey which I did not represent here, fearing I would loose all the detail. This was fun to draw - lots of little bits. . . . but a dull light this morning, the sun was missing earlier today.

Monday, June 24, 2013

Riverside Square

Riverside Sq. Looking down Lincoln St - Click image for larger view
It was hot as I sat and sketched this view. I just love East Providence and all the intimate views of it's diverse neighborhoods. As I was scouting areas to draw.. and I thought I was be sketching the old rail depot here... I noticed the light down this street with all the different colors of the houses, and the wires, so many wires in East Providence. The dark building on the left is a general store and was in complete shadow yet the building on the street were filled with reflected light. I had a good time sketching this but it was really hot and my colors dried the second they hit the paper. The red newspaper honor-box was just popping out of the shadows.

Thursday, June 20, 2013

What Cheer Tavern

What Cheer Tavern - Click image for larger view
I got out of the house in good time today with a great location in mind but ended up here as the other spot (still on my list) was inaccessible this morning. This is the What Cheer Tavern and when I drew it I though I was in Cranston but when I checked I was actually in Providence. . . .This has got to be one of the smallest taverns I have ever seen - gotta be a cozy place inside. And for those who don't know "What Cheer" was a very confusing statement by Rhode Island founder Roger Williams... must have confused the hell out of the natives... so What Cheer Netop!

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Roadside shack

Roadside Shack- Wyoming, RI - Click image for larger view
I left the house a bit later than I had intended so I didn't have a lot f time this morning to sketch, only about a half an hour total. This little sketch was an experiment. I did a quick pencil sketch (with my new mechanical pencil 0.3 lead in an H hardness) and an experimental palette of Hansa Yellow, phthalo blue and cadmium red medium. I only had a short time to work on this and it turned out a little better than I thought it would. I hated it while I was painting feeling like all the colors got way too muddy too quickly. It is difficult for me to make a quick wash or passage in a limited number of strokes and I tend to overwork, loosing some of the freshness of what makes watercolor so great to work with. I need more detail in both foreground and background and feel like I should have gone for a bit more color in the shadows.

Pentel Graphlet 0.3 PG503 about 5 bucks at the art store

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Josh's Rainbow

Josh's Rainbow - Click image for larger view
It is not often that I post other peoples work but I could resist sharing this photo that my friend Josh shot with his iPhone (in Panorama mode) of last night's rainbow. I think that most of Rhode Island saw a rainbow of this caliber last night. Carol and I saw it in Warwick but were inside and shot it through the glass. Josh was driving home from work in Wyoming, RI and pulled over and got this panorama. Great work Josh and thanks for permission to share... this rainbow is just the best ever. . . .

Thursday, June 13, 2013

Providence City Hall

Providence City Hall - Click image for larger view
Today I drove into Providence before work and sat on the Civil War Memorial and sketched City Hall. It was a busy morning in Providence - with people and busses everywhere. I arrived downtown just before 6:00 am (parking was easy - which isn't always the case) and already the city was bustling with lots of activity around Kennedy Plaza and City Hall. City Hall is a marvel of architecture and this little sketch does not do it justice.. . again bigger paper and a longer stay is in order.

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Collier Park, Providence

Tugs from Collier Park - Click image for larger view
I got out a bit early this morning and headed over to Collier Park in Providence. This was a suggested place by my artist friend Kathy Weber -- and it came as a surprise to me that there was even a park here.. and I thought I knew Providence. . . It turned out to be a good spot to sit and sketch, and I had brought my coffee along with me and had an enjoyable time here. Even had a good chat with a fisherman who said his son bumped into an 'artist lady' here and I guessed that it must have been Kathy. Checkout her blog

Some more views

Sunday, June 9, 2013

Gaspee Days

Gaspee Days People - Click image for larger view
Grace and I attended the Gaspee Days parade in Pawtuxet Village and had a great  time.. I took lots of photos and did a little sketching as well. We waited about an hour and a half before the parade actually got to where we were sitting. Grace was a very patient little girl and we had a great time chatting and telling stories and she kept saying 'draw that Grandpa'... I got in these quick sketches of some of the people on the opposite side of the road who all seems very involved in their mobile phones and missed the race which went by and all of the street vendors and a lot of excitement. .. as Gracie put it "That was a wonderful parade, Pappa"

Thursday, June 6, 2013


A Pink House - Click image for larger view
Every few pages in my sketchbook are of darker paper than the rest. This can pose some interesting problems when I sit down to draw. This morning I found this lovely old house, painted in pink and white. . . and my paper was brown. I know I will have to come back to this spot and re-draw the house on a white paper, but I thought that it would be an interesting experiment to do this sketch on the brown paper. After I had it drawn out I decided to paint out the sky in an opaque white paint. That works to a degree but all the other colors seem so muted and the trim on the house was white as well posing interesting problem as I can't have it fall next to the sky. So on this one some successes and some not so good attempts. I'll be back here again with a sketchbook with white paper. . .  I would also like to spend some time sketching out some of the fantastic details of this house. Wonderful craftsmanship you just don't see anymore. Also as an aside, while I was sketching in my car, a lady approached me and knocked on the window and asked if everything was alright.  I showed her what I was doing and she said how nice my drawings were and then added ' well you just never know in todays world' - nice to know that there are people who care. Thanks lady. . . .

Sunday, June 2, 2013

Weekend on the boat

A couple of sketches in the village - Click image for larger view

We spent the weekend on the boat and I got a couple of chances to sketch. Today I walked into Pawuxet village and sketched the scenes above. The top sketch is "The Water's Edge" a great little cafe and a good place for coffee and muffins. . . In the sketch below you can see the new facade that they are putting on the old Cameron's Drug Store, now the 'Cork & Bottle" -- it's like a fake storefront of no particular style, certainly has none of the character of the rest of the village. Below is another sketch in the village of a great old building which houses 'Bobby Pins' (a hair stylist I think) and "The Veiled Crow' which I am not sure just what the actually sell. I have looked in the window and there seems to be a lot of soaps and cremes - I doubt I will ever go in. This blue building also houses a barber shop and a Thai restaurant and an ice cream shop...mmmmmmm.
From the bridge - Click image for larger view 
I also spent some time on the boat sketching. The picture below is a great old house which the decorated for next week's Gaspee Days - Next Saturday is the parade.I drew this from the pilot house of Tapestry sitting at the table while chatting with company. It seems like we always get a boat load when ever we are at the dock. We had a great time Saturday night with friends.
The Red House -Click image for larger view
Today I also sketched the helm station of the pilot house aboard Tapestry. There is a lot wrong with this one. ..  but I had a good time trying to fit it all in. THis is definitely not art, just some scribbling to keep me occupied. . .

The helm station in the pilot house - Click image for larger view