All posts by janesanha

Hate Your Handwriting? Let’s Look at Lettering!

Vistra Framing & Gallery, Eugene, OR

There was enough interest in looking at different lettering/font forms, that we set aside a whole meeting to explore.

Penny, Ken, Lona, Marsha, Katie, Bev, Marnie, & Barb Sh.   Jane was behind the camera, Erik had to leave early, & Lealan came late.

      Jane and Katie brought handouts of lettering styles, and Jane had a bunch of felt-tip calligraphy pens people were eager to try.

          Barb Sh started out exploring  Italic Cursive, then tried different embellishments, too. She’s going to have a lot of fun with this.

        Marnie marks off pen widths for making guidelines (5 pen widths for italic). She was a great example of how people got into the task!

      Katie demonstrated good lettering style – paper straight in from of her, model sheet to refer to, light lettering in pencil, then ink.

     Marsha immediately applied the lesson to her sketchbook.

Ken took a tip from the have fun idea of adding embellishments.

      Lona put in her typical vivid background, & shared her sketchbook she’s sending to the sketchbook library (wow!) with Penny.

     Barb Sh catches Lealan up on the lettering process – a great friend.

       Jane had taken calligraphy classes before, so she tried doing a new script, first with brush pen (oops, the slant was SO inconsistent!), then pencil, and finally with a small calligraphy pen with red ink.

        It was easy to see that Bev has had prior training and lots of practice, because look at how she applied all the options in her lettering!

Sketching Urban and Otherwise

Hideaway Bakery, Eugene, OR

        There’s a reason why we don’t qualify as official “Urban Sketchers.”  Part of their credo is to sketch from direct observation, not photos.

        I’ve totally forgotten where Barb Sh took this photo, but the modern art depicted was too tempting for her to pass up!

        Lona fell in love with this photo of tropical fish, and demonstrated her special technique to replicate coral at the bottom of the tank.

      Even Barb So used her photo as a resource for her sketch.

       Katie, too, used a photo of amaryllis blooms for her sketch (along with a font guide – more on that next week!).

     Helga had a photo of persimmons and passion flowers for sketching.

      Marnie continued her industrial sketching – yes, from photos.

     Hugh wondered why he took on the challenge of sketching this photo of an elaborate knotted cord. Wow.

      Finally! Daisy, Danita, and Jane sketched what was in front of them!

        Bev elaborated with her observations of people and things.

      What’s Sandy doing? Sketches of the group, of course!

        Marsha took a pre-stamped page and did a sketch of Lona.

         Lealan was busy sketching some of the group, when Danita brought over a demonstration of how to use dry wall tape – WHAT?!?!?

          Cut a page size strip, put it sticky side down, then with a pencil go across one of the line, skip down and repeat – voila! dotted lines.

        Danita generously demonstrated for others, and then they were off! Lona used watercolor, and Bev made all kinds of patterns with tools.

Stick with us – we’ll lead you astray (with sketching).

A Whole Lot of Sketching Going On!

5th St. Market, Eugene, OR

   Lynda, Katie, Penny & Barb So behind her, Erik, Hugh, Sandy, Marsha (& Jane). Marnie, Bev, Helga, Barb Sh.  Lealan came in a bit later.

Barb Sh caught us up on her recently finalized sketch pages.

      Katie was finishing up some pages in her sketchbook – lovely!

        Jane didn’t stop with one little sketch for once, but inspired by some of the other sketchers, she completed a whole page!

       Barb So sketched her muffin, while Penny added color to her bird.

       Lynda chose a city scape; Lealan chose an inside scape.

        Here you can see Erik’s technique of using layers of color to build up a landscape. Then he was on to a new sketch – check back to see this.

     Hugh did a record time sketch of his Danish so he could eat it, then moved on to his current favorite – wax crayons on black – so vivid!

      Marsha likes using colored pencil on a paper with some tooth, because it allows her to do a build up of color. Nicely done.

        Marnie was intrigued by an industrial photo, doing a line sketch first.

        Bev’s eye was caught by the display of colorful clothing, then she went on to work on the view Lealan did above.

    Helga was adding a lichen covered tree to her sketchbook.

Meanwhile, Barb Sh was sketching  yard art on a fence from a photo.

Have Your Cake and Sketch It, Too

5th St. Market, Eugene, OR

    Ken operates on the fabulous cake, while the birthday girl, Lealan, supervises. She brought her own cake, too – what a great idea!

Seventeen of us showed up! Was it the promise of the cake? Or…

        The celebration didn’t interfere with Lealan’s sketching, either!

    Judy Densky, our sketch friend from New York whom we met in Italy way back when, was in town for the event, too.

    Katie captured the moment, and went on to design.

     And speaking of design, here’s Lona leading the pack!

    Danita had a photo to inspire her sketching today – layers & layers.

      Bev summed it up  – “Today’s group is better than any party!”

      Daisy did a great sketch of the cake, then of her tools.

    Penny picked up on Lona’s design, then was awed at looking at the travel sketchbook Barb Sh did of her Baltic cruise – it was a doozy!

      Here’s Ken appreciating Barb Sh’s book (it has a folding cover, then accordions out, sketches on one side, text on the other). Then she went on today to sketch some of our fellow sketchers.

    Marnie was sitting next to Ken, and got a quick review of his last sketch trip to Italy. Then she was back adding color to her sketch.

     Ken did a master quick sketch of a slice of Lealan’s cake – yummy.

      Hugh did a terrific job of sketching the challenging architecture.

        Marsha showed us how she utilized one of her pre-designed pages. Her sketch today was of cake, coffee, and Hugh. Nicely done.

      Erik has a thing about trees and crows – you can hear those birds!

      Barb So had fun sketching over some watercolor washes – the tree outside, the people inside – which made for  lively sketches.

      Jane sketched the tree outside, too, while Heidi sketched her coffee cup and the cake (of course)!  Full circle – and here we are:

New Tools and Tricks Workshop

1st Annual Top Drawers Workshop, Eugene, OR

We started the new year out with a lot of enthusiasm, new sketchbooks and blank pages to do pre-sketching preparation (which was new to a lot of us). What sketches will come of this?

   Sketchers eagerly gathered around tables to explore tools and techniques – blocks of watercolor wash, rubber stamping for borders, airbrush colored backgrounds, and spray using stencils. We had SO much fun, we decided it should be an annual event.

      Barb So started with a watercolor wash on a blank page, Marsha used tape to form a edge for hers, and Tricia snuck a stamp into her watercolor sketch of our feet!

      Daisy got us right into using rubber stamps to form page borders and to title our sketchbooks. Lealan loved the stamp variety.

      Lona and Marnie used a  stamp repeatedly to form a pattern, and Jane used a torn stick-it note stencil to spray her first page & added a stamp, then wrote the number of this sketchbook (35!).

      And speaking of using sprays, here are examples using a stencil, and using stick-it notes to create white spaces.  Another effect was created by re-spritzing. Hugh stencil was so juicy he used it to stamp it onto another page.

      Ken was the master teacher in how to use the airbrush setup with Copic Markers to give background to the page, and then do a sketch on top of it (even if you hadn’t planned what you were going to do).

       He had a very attentive group who were then eager to try it out.

      OK, here goes! Penny did airbrush on top of rubber stamps, Sandy made a border with hers much to Ken’s approval.

     Airbrush on top of rubber stamp, using a stencil, and finally using watercolor on top of the airbrushed background. Zow.

We had a blast!

It’s All in How You See It

Mes Amis Cafe, Eugene, OR

It was the day after Christmas, but 11 of us showed up anyway to sketch at this delightful little coffee shop: Daisy, Bev, Lona, BarbS, Erik, Marsha, Ken, Hugh, Sandy, (Jane with camera, Lealan later).

        Daisy was sitting directly across from this charming snowman display, but she wasn’t the only one to sketch it!

        Bev saw it at nearly the same angle, but she added some designs of her own and went on to sketch what was outside the south window.

   And speaking of windows, here’s Erik’s beginning sketch of a window in his mind’s eye. More to come with this one!

     Lona was preoccupied with sketching a favorite cup from a photo, but did it with her signature colorful background.

          Barb So had her back to the snowman display, so she sketch what was in front of her – a lovely little bouquet, and Bev’s cookie!

    Daisy’s friend Lynda came to see what we did when we got together, and was intrigued by the different sketching styles, including Hugh’s.

     Hugh seems to be enjoying the contrast of sketching on black paper, as well as on white with his markers & vibrant wax crayons.

       Marsha is really immersing herself in color, doing a study where she utilized a quilting pattern for background texture, and color chart.

               Jane was at the end of the table, and this is the angle she saw of the snowman display, with all the detail she just couldn’t omit.

      Sandy was seated further around the end of the table, and this was her perspective on the snowman display.

    Lealan sat next to Hugh, so her chosen sketch view was of the condos out the north windows – love that color block & line sketch.

      Then Sandy started sketching a painting on the wall – what a cutie! We really enjoyed being here, and look forward to coming back.

What a little tone and color will do!

Allan Bros. Beanery, 5th St., Eugene, OR

We really spread out all over the place today! Nearly all of us can be seen here starting left: Barb So (with Barb Sh beyond her), Daisy, Sandy, Marnie, Helga, Lona, Katie, Hugh, Erik, Bev & Ken.

      Sandy, Barb So, Satoko, Barb Sh, Daisy, Marnie; Helga, Lona, Katie, Hugh, Erik; Satoko, Bev, Ken.

        Barb So starts her sketch with an inked line drawing, Sandy with a new sketchbook and inspirational sticker, and Erik reminisces.

       Barb Sh explains about her signature style, ink then watercolor brush to bring out the tones, and proceeds to demonstrate.

     Daisy adds more detail before she will go on to add color.

      Marnie wondered how to fix some perspective issues – more ink, add color! Wow, did that ever do the job! Nice work.

   Jane was sitting across from Marnie, looking through the windows of the store next door. One light led to another, then color & tone.

        Helga started with a simple plant, then moved on to add the challenging architecture, then added tones & shadow. That did it!

      Lona must be the queen of color – she made this sketch sing!

      Katie wondered why she picked the building architecture to do, but see how adding the shadow tones made it all come together!

      Hugh started out with white jelly roll pen, added the wax oil crayons, and look how that sketch of arches pops! He says it’s Erik’s fault.

      Bev dove right into the interesting angles of the beams, then couldn’t resist sketching the bear in it’s charming pose.


Satoko’s attention was captured by the ceiling fans and lights framed by the windows. The hatch marks bring depth and perspective.

Drawing from many sources

Allan Bros. Beanery, 5th St., Eugene, Oregon

What a great turnout! Marsha, Katie, Ken, Erik, Hugh, Sandy, Penny, Barb Sh. So many came we had to add an upper floor annex: Bev, Barb So, & Lealan (with Jane behind the camera, of course). 

       The stuffed bear on a metal rack caught the attention of Bev & Jane (above), as well as Barb So. & Penny. That bear was so loveable!    

Barb Sh. came with a “map” of a recent trip, and proceeded to continue filling in her colorful response to the events.    

    Hugh took on the challenge of sketching some beauty berries encased in ice on his black paper – those wax crayons do it!

   Hugh started in on a sunflower after that, while his wife Sandy took on one of her favorite subject, another bird – the best twitter.

      Erik continued to build on a sketch he started last time – wowza!

     Like Erik, Ken doesn’t need to see an object to draw what’s in his mind’s eye. I suspect that tree will continue to evolve – check back!

      Katie started out with a page of calligraphied words capturing memories of a Thanksgiving outing, then a lighthouse sketch came.

      Marsha was determined to get to know her Inktense watercolor pencils, and started laying out a grid, then water brush, and on.

    Lona used the page she prepared last week to do a study of people, following tips from a book she brought along. Very effective.

       Meanwhile, Bev sketches the group from her viewpoint in the upper “annex” platform.

       Lealan recounted how fascinated she was with the crows in the bare branched trees that she saw on her walk – look how they came alive!

Variety is the Sketching Spice

5th St. Market, Eugene, OR

Here they are, up for the sketching challenge: Ken, Lona, Daisy, Helga, Bev, Barb So (& Jane behind the camera). Bring it on!

        Bev captures the scene out the door to Mindy’s shop, then moves on to the poinsettia under the tree, & a nice motto, too!

        Helga started with a single poinsettia, then let her artistic license take over with added context, and even the store lettering – wow!

       Daisy’s sketch of the scene at Mindy’s was selective, with just enough detail and color to make it a compelling portrait. Nice!

     Jane’s getting good at a quick food sketch so she can also quickly demolish the model. Then back to a favorite topic – a flower.

      Barb So had time to let her poinsettia sketch develop and try doing a sketch of Lona sitting across from her. Yay for trying something new!

      Lona’s love of vibrant color is an inspiration – she finishes one sketch and moves on to do a background for another (note brush size).

        Ken’s sketch built on a quick wash he’d put down before, and didn’t it work out well for capturing the scene before him!

        Lona was frustrated in drawing the round tables outside, & Ken asked her if she wanted some help – yes! The table is only round if you see it from a bird’s perspective – see how the circle collapses into a skinny oval from our perspective? And here’s the result!

Never to Busy to Sketch in the Holidays

Nov. 28, 2017 – 5th St. Market, Eugene, OR

   We really liked being able to spread ourselves out here. Helga, Katie, Hugh, Bev, Daisy, & Barb Sh on the left; Lona, Sandy, Barb So, & Ken on the right (with Jane behind the camera, and a few more to come!).

       Helga had a squash sketch from home, then started sketching the scene across from us – look at all those tiles! Next she’s trying color.

        Katie had some lovely sketches to show us, then started in with what was in front of her, saying why did it turn out so small! (& delightful)

      Hugh was smugly pleased with his sketch of Jane’s panna cotta, then moved on to a sketch of bleeding hearts. This guy is getting good!

       Marsha joined us for a quick sketch of colorful pot on the counter, and across from her in a flash appearance was Penny!

        Bev really got going on the poinsettias on the table – lovely as usual!

      Daisy took on the traditional challenge of sketch before you eat, and managed to get a poinsettia sketch done in the corner of the page!

      Barb Sh was pleased with her page of her daughter’s dogs, then took her favorite pen to draw the poinsettia – look at the watercolor, too!

       Lona started off with a pencil sketch, had to do a design on the next page while she was waiting for watercolor to dry before layering!

      Barb So had Marsha’s tool display across the table from her, a perfect subject for sketching!

      Sandy walked off this morning without a sketch book, so hubby Hugh volunteered his “emergency sketchbook” and Ken volunteered his eye study for a subject. She put that book to use!

      Ken was adding to his “landscapitos” from a recent trip, then adding to previously started pages, one with interesting color shapes.

      Jane abandoned her ink sketch of her plum panna cotta so she could eat it, and then sketched an outside decorated lantern (in pencil!).

      Lealan came by just in time to show her sketch from a family visit, then quickly got down to sketching three of the group! Nice start.