Thanksgiving After Dinner Sketch, ink & watercolor

Thanksgiving After Dinner Sketch, ink & watercolor

Most of the year my sister Marcy’s dining room is her art studio, and the table is full of art projects in process. For thanksgiving dinner she graciously hauled all of her studio stuff into the spare room and set a beautiful table for ten, complete with grandma’s china, table cloth and candles. When dinner was over the table’s real purpose called out to me and I sketched and painted by the warm glow of the candles.

The next day in honor of our turkey feast, I painted wild turkeys from photos I’d taken last summer on an evening walk in Tilden Park.

Turkey, oil on panel, 6x6"

Turkey, oil on panel, 6x6"

I started with oils but found it frustrating, especially on the small panel (above) so I switched to ink and watercolor in my sketchbook (below).

Tilden Park Turkey, ink & watercolor

Tilden Park Turkey, ink & watercolor

The turkey guy above was strutting his stuff, showing off for a lady turkey. When she ignored him and wandered off down the path, turkey dude and his buddy followed behind, shaking their tail feathers, still trying to get her attention.

Stayin Alive' Turkey Walk

Stayin' Alive Turkey Trot

I imaged the turkey dudes strutting to the song “Stayin’ Alive” by the BeeGees that starts with:

“Well you can tell by the way I use my walk.
I’m a woman’s man; no time to talk…”

OMG! Those tightie whitie pants! Here’s last year’s Thanksgiving Leftovers post (same table).

Animals, Bay Area Parks, Berkeley, Drawing, Ink and watercolor wash, Oil Painting, Painting, Places, Sketchbook Pages
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Join the conversation! 16 Comments

  1. Kudos to you being able to sketch after your Thanksgiving dinner. That pie looks fabulous & very tasty.

  2. I lo-ove that last turkey at the bottom, Jana. And doesn’t he have a wary look out of the corner of his eye? I am still laughing about the turkey dudes strutting and singing Stayin’ Alive…
    As for those Bee Gees, I agree–any tighter pants and they won’t be able to breathe and keep Stayin’ Alive. Cute, though, ain’t they?

  3. That is pretty funny with the turkey dudes xD Stayin alive really is a great theme song for them!

  4. I *love* that oil painting of the turkey. It’s got the spirit and essence that your watercolors have, but it’s even more successful IMO than the watercolor. Positioning his expressive blue face against the dark background was a masterful touch. Ennobling, as it should be.

  5. What great sketches and painting. You spent your time well—but I’ve come to expect nothing less of you. I love the oil painting turkey, by the way. Also the turkey trio with the female walking off, absolutely unimpressed! Happy holidays to you!

    Carol C.

  6. Wonderful work Jana! But I am wondering…what materials did you have with you? I’m sure you ALWAYS have at least pen and sketchbook, but also a watercolor kit and also oil paints? Or did you did into your sister’s stuff? We had my husband’s extended family (25 adults, 5 kids). If I had whipped out a sketchbook, they would have thought I was crazy. I was lucky to “whip out” the food itself!

    • Hi Rita, I carry a daypack as a purse so I always have my supplies with me: my sketchbook, a small zipper bag with pens and a waterbrush, and a small watercolor kit (Winsor Newton Artist Field Kit) a little pack of Kleenex and a little pill bottle with water (though the WN kit also has water). I definitely don’t cart the oils around with me though. That little oil painting was done in the studio from a photo.

      My sister and her husband made the turkey and gravy and set the lovely table but everyone else contributed the rest of the meal and drink so they didn’t have too work too hard. After our traditional Thanksgiving walk and dessert, my sister joined me in sketching while my son played the piano. We’re a pretty crazy bunch and we know it, so doing crazy things is pretty much expected at our family gatherings! Jana

  7. Well, Kathryn said it first…I think you’ve got it with the oils in this one, Jana. Perhaps because it’s a sketch on a small panel?
    Anyway, I like your turkeys. Stayin’ alive for another year!

  8. Just delightful. I really like the little oil. Great composition. You’ve inspired me to attempt some drawings at our upcoming Family Christmas dinner.

    • Thanks Erin, Sometime it can be challenging to sketch and still stay connected to everyone, especially when you don’t see them often. But by the time I was sketching everyone was happily involved in their own conversations or activities. I look forward to seeing your Christmas sketches. Jana

  9. I really enjoyed this post and laughed at the end…then went on to sing this for the rest of the morning! Just had to come back and let you know! :D

    • Sorry ’bout that! I heard there’s now an iPhone app that helps to get annoying songs out of your mind. I kind of like that song though. Jana

  10. dear Jana I had always thought turkeys were the peacocks poor relatives.
    Never intended to sketch them But now your magic brush turns them
    into an original picture.

    • Thanks Victor, I never thought of turkeys and peacocks as being similar but you are so right!!! All these guys needed was some color and screeching and they’d be peacocks! Jana

  11. yikes, how could we stand those screechy voices and the bored look on his brothers’ faces? thanks for the sweet thanksgiving words. it was very nice. xo

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