Saturday, May 7, 2016

SKETCHBOOK: "Back to Boulder"

I just returned from a week-long trip out to Boulder, Colorado. I was Cat-sitting at the apartment of my daughter Jenni and her man, Brad. They were gone on a trip to Cancun, Mexico to celebrate her graduation and passing boards to become a Registered Nurse!! A big deal indeed!!

I was able to do some sketching and painting while out there, and it was a rejuvenating time for me. I won't go into a lot of narration, but will let the sketches carry the load. Above are some drawings I did while waiting for my plane to leave Kansas City, and while on the flight to Denver.

Below is the afore-mentioned kitty cat, Pika. He is not fond of strangers, but he warmed up to me before too long. I spent the first day there watching tv with him, while it snowed outside.
Here is Brad's Bonzai tree that Jen surprised him with. Brad found the little figurine of the old man at a garage sale.
I drove to Denver to see the Museum of Nature and Science. What an impressive place!!! I could have stayed there for weeks sketching stuff!! I went ga-ga over all the dinosaur displays.

These are sketches I did at Eldorado Canyon State Park from two different days there. I tried drawing with Prismacolor sticks. I'm not too happy with the waxy quality. Once I got back to the apartment, I added a bit of sepia line-work, and liked the end results a bit better.
I decided to try using B-lead pencils and watercolor washes. I was so enamored with the rushing water, that I bit off a bit more than I could chew with my composition. I got a little muddy with all the trees in the sketch. But it was such a wonderful spot and the weather was gorgeous.

Jenni had left me a three-page list of places that I could explore. One of them was at South Boulder Creek West Trailhead. I have not been really successful using gauche paints, but went against my better judgement and brought them on the trip. I was painting on brown-toned paper. I am frustrated by how the colors shift when they dry, and how they lift up colors underneath. I was really wishing I had my oil paints with me!!

I spent a whole day wandering around on Pearl Street, in Boulder!! It is about four blocks of stores that are linked together by a cobblestone street. No cars can park there. Street performers are scattered much fun!! Below is a giant bronze frog that is in a children's play area.
I saw these boots on top of a trash can with this backdrop of bright orange flowers. I found out later that people will leave clothes behind for the homeless to use.
Below are two musicians that serenaded me while I sketched them. I think they were infringing on the turf of one of the other performers. A contortionist was near-by, but could not drum up business. I had to listen to him for about two hours as I drew this sketch. I could pretty much say his routine for him: "Excuse me. I need some attention. Ladies. Ladies...I need some attention. I need a crowd...any size crowd will do. Don't worry...I'm a vegetarian. I'm fine now...I'm sober. I need some attention."
Later in the afternoon, I walked over to the Farmer's Market. They were setting up the tents for the various vendors. I sat in the shade of a big tree, while I drew this gnarly one. A delivery truck showed up about halfway through the sketch.
Below is on the campus of Colorado University. I was trying to find the Museum of Natural History, but had parked too far away. So I just decided to walk back to the car. On the way, the Engineering Center jumped out at me and begged to be drawn.
On my last day there, I enjoyed some time with Jenni and Brad, since they had returned from their trip the night before. Since they had just done the hour-long drive from the Denver airport, it was more convenient to ride the shuttle bus. I tried sketching some while on the bus, but it was VERY bumpy! I drew one more sketch at the airport, while waiting for the delayed flight home.
As we taxied out to the runway, we had to wait in a long line of at least 10 jets trying to take off. Denver Airport is huge, and was very crowded. 
It was a great trip and I still have lots and lots of stuff to explore and sketch when I return!!

Thursday, April 28, 2016

SKETCHBOOK: "Machine and Nature"

It's been a while since I've taken the time to go outside and sketch. A couple of weeks ago, I grabbed my gear and headed over to a place near my home that will be under construction for several more months. I decided to keep this one loose...pencil and watercolors. I'll definitely return!

After I got home, I happened to catch this view from my upstairs office window. The sun was illuminating the bright pink blooms on my neighbor's tree. As I post this, the blooms are already gone, and the new leaves are sprouting. Catch these moments when you can...they don't last long! I used a sepia marker for the line, highlights with a white Sharpie marker, then over-glazed with more watercolor washes.

Saturday, April 9, 2016

SKETCHBOOK: "Hello T-Rex. It's been so long"

It's been months since I've been out sketching just for fun. I've been working on writing a book, and had some other projects going on. So today I went to visit a very old friend at the Museum at Prairiefire, in Overland Park, KS. It was nice to just chill out with a pencil and draw for a couple of hours.