Monday, December 26, 2011

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Horse head

A month or so ago we were invited by a coworker of my wife's to visit Springfield Stables in Mettawa, IL
I photographed this horse while there and painted him/her later at home.

W&N Designers Gouache on watercolor paper

Sunday, December 11, 2011

2 Figure Studies

 2 pen, brush & ink figure studies done from photos a month or so ago.

pen & ink in Moleskine watercolor sketchbook

Friday, December 2, 2011

Friday, November 25, 2011

Goache still life at home

Continuing in the vein of stuff I did in class.
This is a complimentary neutralization study: only Violet, Yellow, Black, & White were used (and mixed with each other).

Winsor & Newton Designers Gouache on some kind of watercolor paper

Monday, November 14, 2011

Monday Evening Rabbit

Because I haven't posted anything in a while, I will post this rabbit I did as a quick watercolor sketch while on vacation in Michigan this past summer.

W&N watercolors in watercolor Moleskine sketchbook

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Gouache Color Studies, pt. 1

I took a 4-week workshop at Evanston Art Center called Painting Studio Intensive: Color & Practice with Nina Weiss, an instructor I had back in my Columbia days.
I got a lot out of it in terms of thinking about color, practice handling an opaque media, and will be painting more in future to continue these experiments...

Winsor & Newton Designers Gouache on Arches watercolor paper
TOP: monochromatic   BOTTOM: complimentary neutralization

Tuesday, October 18, 2011


We visited Monches Farm on our recent visit to Wisconsin. They have some exotic breed chickens there and I drew this one that my son and our friend's son nicknamed "Ditzy."

Sunday, October 9, 2011

Sunday, September 25, 2011


Giraffe at Lincoln Park Zoo

Caran d'Ache Umber & Derwent Baked Earth Inktense colored pencils & wash in Moleskine watercolor sketchbook

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Library Frog 1

This is my first attempt at the (Aquatic) African Clawed Frog that lives in our library's fish tank. A kind of fascinating/repulsive/beautiful/comic creature. He/She moved after a bit, and so I didn't get time to draw all his parts right. (Also wound up a bit too cutesy-looking.)

Caran d'Ache Supracolor II Black and Greyish Black w/s pencils & wash in Moleskine watercolor sketchbook

Saturday, September 10, 2011

Plein Air Goat

Today we attended and very much enjoyed the 2011 Festival on Prairie Avenue.
While there, I drew this goat.

Caran d'Ache water-soluble colored pencil (Umber) and wash in sketchbook

Monday, September 5, 2011


One of our backyard inhabitants.

This is my attempt to emulate the pen & watercolor techniques of Claudia Nice, who specializes in this kind of mixed media and has put out some great books.

Koh-I-Noor Rapidograph Pen and W&N watercolors in Moleskine Watercolor sketchbook

Sunday, August 28, 2011

Equestrian Statue

If I was in Europe, this is the kind of thing I might like to stop and draw.
From a photograph of Equestrian statue of Joseph I of Portugal by Joaquim Machado de Castro in Lisbon
Copic marker & W&N watercolors

Monday, August 22, 2011

bug from MI

A bug Reid found in Michigan

Rapidograph pen & watersoluble colored pencils in Moleskine watercolor sketchbook

Thursday, August 18, 2011

watercolor fruit from MI

I just returned from a trip to Michigan, and did this watercolor while there of a lime and cherries.
I suppose this would qualify as my first "real" watercolor, as there's no pen or anything else (other than the pencil lay-in). This is also my first attempt at using masking fluid (for the highlights).

W&N watercolors in Moleskine watercolor sketchbook

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Crow in pen & ink

Crow after a photo by Jacques DeMarthon

Pen & Ink (Resterbrook No. 6 nib) in Moleskine watercolor sketchbook

Saturday, July 23, 2011


Figure from Bacchanale by Aimé-Jules Dalou (1838-1902)

Derwent Inktense pencil (Payne's Grey) and wash in Moleskine watercolor sketchbook
reference image found here

Sunday, July 17, 2011

the Zebra (finished)

I started sketching this zebra at the Field Museum, quickly ran out of time (Henry had finished his zebra), took a photo of it, and continued work at home.
I wonder how long ago this creature lived? Some of the stuffed specimens at the Field are from the 1893 Columbian Exposition. Anyway, as I worked on this I couldn't help but think of what it's life might have been like, and also came to feel that it's pose reflected its anguish at its fate.

Rapidograph pen, brush and ink, Caran d'Ache (Umber) & Derwent water soluble colored pencils in Moleskine watercolor sketchbook

Saturday, July 9, 2011


Flowers from a pot in the front of our house.

Koh-I-Noor Rapidograph pen and Winsor & Newton watercolors in Watercolor Moleskine sketchbook

Saturday, July 2, 2011

Tree w/ brush marker

I liked this tree I saw in the Skokie Northshore Sculpture Park and tried my hand at drawing it with a Pitt brush marker I recently bought. I like this, but I do think Tombow brush markers allow a finer line.

Faber-Castell Pitt Artist (Brush) Pen on Strathmore Wet Media paper

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Encounter with Goose

This goose was standing ahead of me as I walked along the path at our local nature center. I thought I'd push my luck and sit down right in front of him (8 or so feet away) and try to draw his or her portrait. Well, this kind bird sat virtually still for 40 minutes! Long enough for me to draw him (or her) in ink and then add color with watercolors. Thanks, pal.

Koh-I-Noor Rapidograph pen with Windsor & Newton watercolors in Moleskine sketchbook

Friday, June 24, 2011

Michelangelo's Leah

from Michelangelo's sculpture of Leah
the tomb of Julius II, San Pietro in Vincoli, Rome
Derwent water soluble colored pencil (Prussian Blue) and water brush in Moleskine watercolor sketchbook

Friday, June 17, 2011

Friday, June 3, 2011

Emily Oaks creatures

from a walk in Emily Oaks Nature Center
Koh-I-Noor Rapidograph pens & Derwent watersoluble colored pencils in Moleskine watercolor sketchbook

Wednesday, June 1, 2011


Alium in our front yard
Koh-I-Noor Rapidograph and Staedtler pens in Moleskine watercolor sketchbook

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Pen and Ink 1

I am taking a pen and ink class.
nibs: top L&R: Gillott 1066, bottom L: Hunt 100, bottom R: Hunt 104

Friday, April 22, 2011

more work on the hand

If this Bruynzeel Sienna pencil holds out, I can finish this. I need to further even out the contrast between the highlights and shadows. (Too bad the paper I grabbed to draw this on has a notch cut out of it.)

The idea here is to emulate Watteau's "Trois Crayon" technique, although I am not really using the exact colors he did. He used Red, Black and White chalk. I am using Sienna, Black and White colored pencils.
Here is an example of his beautiful work.
I think for a drawing soon I will use the proper 3 colors on some nice cream-colored paper I bought a while back.

Monday, April 18, 2011

A hand I've been working on...

I have most of the deepest shadows done on the hand and some of the highlights. Time to fill in all the rest of the mid-tones. The background black may get some water brushed on it to deepen the black and make the hand pop out more.

Bruynzeel and Caran d'Ache colored pencils on colored paper

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Pike Place column capital

Column capital at Pike Place Market, Seattle
Stabilo Point 88 & Tombow ABT markers

Saturday, March 5, 2011


a twig I picked up and drew last weekend
Staedtler pigment liner & Derwent Inktense colored pencils & wash on Canson watercolor paper

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Le Pautre, pt.2

Some more ornamentation stuff after Jean Le Pautre

Staedtler pigment liner (0.1) and Faber-Castell Pitt artist pen (M) on Strathmore Wet Media paper

Saturday, January 29, 2011

Le Pautre, pt.1

I was looking online at some of the images of Jean Le Pautre, a 17th century French designer and engraver. I had to try drawing some things found in his ornaments.

Friday, January 21, 2011

Kestrel in progress 1

Derwent and Caran d'Ache water-soluble colored pencils on Canson paper

earlier stages:

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Another Michelangelo head

Another go at copying from the Master

January 12, 2011
Derwent Inktense pencil & wash on Canson watercolor paper

Saturday, January 8, 2011

Joy, the Christmas Donkey

I follow Dinotopia creator James Gurney's blog pretty religiously. I liked a photo of him drawing Joy, a donkey born on Christmas Day 2009, so I had to draw her with some pencils I had just received from my family for Christmas.
James Gurney's original post with photo:
(He's drawing her with a cat on his lap and Joy about to chomp on his sketchbook)