Friday, March 28, 2014

A tale of two sketches

The yellow house - Click for larger view
I sat in the parking lot of the Hope Valley Fire Station this morning and sketched this yellow house - a subject I have sketched before. The sun was just coming up and I was glad to have some shadows to play with but this sketch is lacking something. It has little perspective. I was way too uptight sketching it I think, something is off.
I was chatting at work and telling a co-worker about what I had sketched and did the quick little drawing below. I was shocked when I compared the two. This is a much better drawing…it has more volume, much more personality and just looks more inviting. . . go figure.
Drawn from memory - Click image for larger view
I need to loosen up. . . .

Saturday, March 15, 2014

Providence skyline

Providence - Click image for larger view
A view from Weybosset Street near Empire looking toward the old Industrial National Bank building. Contrary to popular belief this is not the 'Superman building' - it is NOT the building in the opening of the old TV Superman series. The building that appears in the opening titles is the Los Angeles City Hall - although I am sure that Superman could leap this tall building as well.

It was nice to get out in the sunshine today and sketch... at this time of year the cold early morning sketching in the predawn hours is starting to make me itchy for better weather. I did this sketch after dropping off Benjamin at the Science Fair -- we are hoping for another Blue Ribbon this year.

Friday, March 7, 2014

The hillside

Hillside, Hope Valley - Click image for larger view
This morning I found a new place to park in an area I have been many times before. It amazes me that even familiar places can provide you with new views. This was sketched down by the Old Stone Dam in Hope Valley. A place I have sketched many times before and have shot many many times with my camera and yet this morning as I drove those familiar streets this scene presented itself. I admit I have taken a few liberties. as I have omitted a couple of trees and some shrubs but the essence of the scene is here. I was struck by the contrast of the snow on the ground against the backdrop of the forest and the structures have such good variety in texture and proportion. I need to work on sketching individual trees - the background scribble trees worked out OK, but the large birch next to the house on the left is a bit lame. I parked my car here at about 6:50 this morning and had this about 75-80 percent finished by 7:30 - the time I need to head to the office. I had some the forest sketched in and the rooftop on the house on the left needed more detail so I took a break at lunch and finished up the forest and touched up the house and some other details. I would guess that my total time spent on this was about an hour to an hour and ten minutes. This is a new sketchbook for me which has a much smoother paper than the watercolor paper I have been using, still experimenting with it. It is a standard Moleskin sketchbook and I used Micron and Pitt pens. I think I will head to the art store tomorrow and look for finer line pens as I think I could achieve a wider tonal range.  --  As a matter of fact, I liked this sketch well enough to make it my new header.

Thursday, March 6, 2014

Thoughts on the ordinary

Rite Aid, Wyoming, RI - 10X8 inches - Click image for larger view
So it all comes down to this. . . once you get the sketching bug, you just can't help yourself. I have darned near sketched everything in Wyoming, RI that I can, (considering the cold and that I have been sketching from inside my car) so with a shortage of parking near 'scenic things' to sketch, and it being too damned cold to sit outside - this morning I enjoyed my coffee and did a sketch of the Rite Aid. I like the process of sketching because it really makes you look at the things around you. I have passed this store many many times and never really looked at it. Today I took the time (I really stopped here because it was convenient) to take a close look. It is surprising to me how many ordinary things/sights  we pass each day and we never really stop to look. It doesn't matter to me really where I stop and sketch because you can always see the beauty in ordinary things. . . .and if not 'beauty' maybe just a good study in values or a good composition but it seems like everything has it's place in the world if we really look.
Click image for larger view
Wouldn't you know my friend Eric saw me as he was getting his coffee at the donut place and snapped this picture of me 'hard at work'.