Dreams Faces Gouache Painting Sketchbook Pages

Dreaming in Color of Beautiful Birds

Woodpecker Dream, Gouache & Ink
Woodpecker Dream, Gouache & Ink

Do you dream in full color? I dreamt I spotted the most beautiful woodpecker, and in my dream I noted that it was in gorgeous golds, ochres and siennas. The woodpecker, aside from it’s unique coloroing, looked just like the California Stellar Jays I see in my neighborhood, complete with peanut in mouth and nothing like a woodpecker. (Not that I’ve ever seen a woodpecker, although I have heard them).

Lime Mohawk Bird, Goauche
Lime Mohawk Bird, Goauche

Then I spotted another beautiful bird with, as I noted in the dream, a lime-colored Mohawk. Actually, in the dream I think I called it a “faux-hawk” because there’s something about the way”faux-hawk” sounds that pleases me.  This bird made horrible Peacock noises.

Mermaid Hair, Gouache
Mermaid Hair, Gouache

The next dream carried on with the odd colored top-knot theme. The long, black, silky, beautiful, Latina hair of the girl next door had been bleached white and then died mint green so she’d look more like the Disney mermaid princesses she seems to like so much.

These were all done with gouache in the large Moleskine watercolor notebook.

Art supplies Flower Art Glass Gouache Sketchbook Pages Still Life

Experimenting with Gouache & Rotring Art Pen

Last roses, ink and gouache
Last roses, ink and gouache

I  saved two rose buds to paint when I pruned my roses last week (in case winter ever comes to the San Francisco Bay Area—it’s been ridiculously hot and sunny). By the time I could get back in the studio, one bud had opened and my order of M. Graham and Schmincke gouache arrived. Although I planned to test the new gouache by making color charts first, I knew the roses wouldn’t hold up much longer. Also included in my art supply order was a new Rotring Art Pen.

I tried out the gouache and pen in the sketch above. I also wrote a quickie review of the Rotring Art Pen and offer some technical information about gouache by experts on the subject. If you’d like to know more about gouache or the pen, please click the “Continue reading” link below.

Drawing Ink and watercolor wash Life in general Painting Sketchbook Pages Watercolor

Found on a Walk

Found on a walk #1, Ink & watercolor
Found on a walk #1, Ink & watercolor in large Moleskine watercolor book

One of the advantages of a semi-urban neighborhood is the wealth of detritus that can be found on a walk to bring home and draw. Near the end of my daily walk is the “cat house”: a mossy, old cottage on the edge of small “urban park” (empty lot with grass). The homeowner is a kind soul who feeds the cats who live in the “park”. She also puts out bags of unwanted “free” stuff.

My first find of the day was one of those “free” bags—full of books in great condition. I selected the above, a 1963 edition of “You Can Draw” with dust jacket intact, Joan Didion’s “Year of Magical Thinking” which I’ve been wanting to read, and a funky old edition of “Everything that Rises Must Converge” by Flannery O’Connor. I appreciated the title’s nod to perspective drawing and a quick browse of the book intrigued me to read more.

The little symbols around the edge of the sketchbook page above were my experiments to create a little signature/date symbol after seeing the marks that some of the artists in “An Illustrated Life” used in their sketchbooks.

Found on a Walk #2, Ink & watercolor
Found on a Walk #2, Ink & watercolor in large Moleskine watercolor book

When I’m walking I’m attracted to shiny things and remants of life I find on the ground. These bits include the seemingly racist “Pancho Lopez” wrapper for a pre-paid phone card, a losing lotto ticket, a claim check for “Latham Square” and a piece of a dog-walker ad.

Found on a Walk #3, Ink & Watercolor
Found on a Walk #3, Ink & Watercolor in large Moleskine watercolor book

Lastly, some holiday remains: a bit of an already abandoned Christmas tree, a piece of fluff from a Santa hat or stocking (?), fall foliage and some little seed pods.

It was a great walk; a bit blustery and it started to sprinkle as I reached home, ready for a hot cup of coffee and the drawing table.

Drawing Other Art Blogs I Read Outdoors/Landscape Sketchbook Pages Studio

Payless Shoes from Peets Coffee

Ink in Moleskine sketchbook (Larger)

After taking a huge load of stuff to Goodwill and the recycling center (that came from three days of reorganizing the studio, which led to cleaning out my closets, cabinets and the garage) my reward was a latte at Peets (and what feels like a fabulous new, spacious studio!).

Now that I’m nearly done with this organizing/rearranging project it was great to relax and just draw what I could see out the window while I sipped my coffee.

This is another sketch inspired by Pete Sculley’s drawings with incorporated overheard snippets of conversation. (overheard: “I know you can’t make any decisions.” “My parents are here and I can’t just send them home.”)

Next time I’ll post photos of my newly organized studio.

Drawing Faces Other Art Blogs I Read People Sketchbook Pages Subway drawings

Subway Drawings & Mom Visit

Subway Drawing -bart41

Chubby cyclist. He was so stuffed into his clothes it must have been uncomfortable — but I give him lots of credit for riding his bike to and from the BART station instead of driving there like I do.
All drawings Micron Pigma pen in small Moleskine notebook

Subway Drawing -bart39

Sound asleep and resting comfortably after a long day.

Subway Drawing - bart40

She figured out I was drawing her and gave me a big smile as she got off. I didn’t have time to finish her bearded partner though I wished I did. He had a lovely gentle face.

It’s been a crazy week at work leaving me no energy to draw or paint in the evening. My mother ( see her artwork from the 50s here) arrives tonight for a nearly weeklong visit. I’m hoping to do some drawing while she’s here and I start a plein air painting workshop on Sunday with Elio Camacho.