Never at a loss for sketching subjects!

5th St. Market, Eugene, OR

Hugh and Ken don’t let coffee consumption interfere. Go guys!

  Heidi and Jane both sketched the fabulous cinnamon rolls, prior to deconstruction, and Barb Sh starts a new page in her sketchbook.

      Erik works on a wooded scene, while Barb So chats about the scene out the window – good advice is always available at our meetings.

Leelan Swanson, a sketcher for 50 years & new to Eugene, joined us for the first time – here with Barb Sh and Bev, all sketching away!

         Barb Sh & Leelan enjoyed sharing sketchbooks, while Bev sketched a favorite model of ours: Ken O’Connell & signature cap.

         Penny wavered about what to draw, and settled on the challenge of capturing the light reflected on the dark blue coffee cup – wow!

If you look over Ken’s shoulder out the window, you can see what Hugh is sketching – the potted plants framed by windows.

           Here’s how Hugh’s sketch developed – color makes a difference!

          Barb So was sketching the same view, but with different effects.

     Ken was looking the other way across the room – he said he was trying to capture the vastness of the space,  with Barb & Erik in the foreground. His sketch is an example of his oft made statement, “go darker” and of carefully selected color placement.

      Heidi got us into a discussion of “foreshortening” ( Jane’s first attempt at getting Siri to tell us turned out to be a hilarious to us description of the use of shortening); Penelope showed sketches from last time; and Barb A was busy getting info on our next show of our sketchbooks at the Obsidians Lodge to honor Anne Bonine.


The Pump Café, Springfield, OR

The problem with sketching in a restaurant is that the still life keeps disappearing! Sketchers kept appearing, however, to our delight.

       We started the Tuesday morning gathering with Jane and Erik. Bev & Hugh showed up, followed by Judith, Barb So, Penny & Tricia.  Then Barb Sh came with her sister JoAnne from Albequerque.

At the other end of the table, Phyllis and Ken  had squeezed in.

      Hugh was the one who said “Don’t move the toast!” Oops. Sorry.

      Jane was the one who moved the toast – how rude!

      Bev was the model of restraint, saving her fruit for her sketch.

        Barb So not only saved her scone, she also shared it with Ken!

          Barb Sh deviated from the norm finishing a sketch she had done of her daughter, but her sister JoAnne dutifully sketched her breakfast.

      Tricia and Judith were mesmerized by the decorations on the walls of the restaurant – old license plates, signs, and even saws!

     Erik & Ken are old buddies, but that doesn’t stop them from sketching – here’s Ken sketching his morning treat before he eats it!

    Erik, a more prosaic fellow, ate his breakfast long ago and saved his sketching for the pile of cream containers in the bowl.

Hey, that spot of blue is the same color as Hugh’s shirt!

          Meanwhile, Phyllis was quietly beginning a portrait of Hugh.

Oh! There’s Penelope! When did she sneak in? Despite the sketch challenges, we all enjoyed the wonderful food at The Pump Café, the great coffee and service, and the chance to sketch together again.

What You See is What You Sketch!

New Day Bakery/World Café, Eugene, OR

Ken barely had time to say hello to newcomer Bev Taylor and they were both into sketching!

        Ken sketched his rapidly disappearing Bear Claw pastry, and Bev confessed she loves to do portraits – lots of models here!

      Jane sketched her croissant & coffee, and Penny did the same from across the table from her (they had to be fast, before it got eaten up).

     Penny also shared a sweet bird she’d painted at home, and ended the morning by sketching the ethnic painting on the wall.

      Hugh intently worked on the scene across from him in a booth.

      Erik! You didn’t sketch your pie first! Aha, he said, and rapidly drew the colorful remains.  No stopping this guy.

      Barb So was finishing up a sketch she started at home of her sweet puppy – how can you not adore that face!

       Tricia started in with the colored glass windows, and her sketch quickly grew to include views from outside as well as comments.

      Meanwhile back at the other end of the table, Judith had come in and was delighting Ken with the sketches she did while in Japan.

      Barb A slid in across from Judith, and perfectly captured Judith’s pastry! There’s more than one way to enjoy a tasty treat.

And it’s never too late to get in a sketch, as Penelope demonstrates.

Sharing the Joy of Sketching

Emerald Art Center, 500 Main, Springfield, OR

The opening reception of our sketch show – thirteen sketch artists showing work from the sketchbooks, and sometimes the sketchbooks themselves!

      Heidi looks at Anne Bonine’s and Jane’s sketchbooks, while Paul and Jim look at the three shadowboxes full of Joby’s work.

     Phoebe, who took an online course with Jane, says she can hardly wait to get back to sketching.  Joby, Barb A, Erik, Cathy & Ken, Tricia and Sandy, all enjoyed seeing the variety of sketches displayed.

It was a special treat to have Patti McNutt display her gouache & ink sketch from Italy along with her follow up oil done back at home.

      Cheryl & Robert take a closer look at Jane’s selection of daily sketches. Satoko and Tricia chat in front of Sandy’s & Ken’s sketches.

      The most welcome comment of the night (right after “I want to buy that one, ” said about three pieces!) was “I want to start sketching.”
No wonder sketchers Phyllis, Jane, & Barb A were so happy!

Irrepressible Sketchers Hang Show

Emerald Art Center, 500 Main, Springfield, OR

We were invited to hang a show of our work to help others visualize the joy of sketching, and the group didn’t hesitate to pull it together despite weather woes. The show will be up Jan. 10- Feb. 4, but our opening reception is Friday, Jan. 13, 7:30-8:30 – join us!

Here’s an overview shot of how the show appears in the upper gallery at the Emerald Art Center.

   Artists showing work  on these walls are: Jane Harrison, Anne Bonine, Erik Johnson, Joby Patterson, Patti McNutt, Barbara Sommers, Hugh Larkin;

      Hugh Larkin,  Jan Brown, Barbara Aten, Tricia Clark-McDowell, Satoko Motouji;

   Phyllis Helland, Sandy Larkin, Ken O’Connell, Jane Harrison.  Also included in the show but not pictured here is Penny McAvoy.

     Penelope gives some feedback to Hugh, our master hanger, on how level the pieces are, then Hugh steps back to admire the show.

Happy sketch hangers: Sandy Larkin, Penelope Youngfeather, Hugh Larkin, Barb Sommers, Jan Brown. Not shown here but helping out with the labeling, glass cleaning, frame straightening and general enthusiam were Ken O’Connell, Penny McAvoy, & Jane Harrison.

Come see our show!

We Always Keep On Sketching!

While the blogger may get bogged down, the Top Drawers never let anything stop them from meeting to sketch – not bad weather, impending holidays, nor visiting guests (we just bring the latter along!). So here’s a catch-up posting:

Dec. 13, 2016, 5th St. Market, Eugene, OR


Dec. 20, 2016, 5th St. Market, Eugene, OR



Dec. 27, 2016, New Day Bakery/World Cafe, Eugene, OR




Jan. 3, 2017, New Day Bakery/World Cafe, Eugene, OR





And there you have it!

The Faces Change, But the Game Goes On!

5th St. Market, Eugene, OR

all-1     all-2We all enjoyed gathering downstairs at the Market & using the big table, but it was a changeable crowd (as usual): Judith, Ken, Hugh, Erik, Sandy, Barb So, Penelope, Heidi, and Tricia in these shots.

berry-sandy-1   berry-jane-1   berry-barbso-1_edited-1Sandy brought a berry sprig, which she, Jane, and Barb So sketched.

hu-e-1    hu-e-2    hu-3Hugh and Erik made fast work of their sketches at the table end.

bearclaw-k      bearclaw-sAnd then there were the bear claw pastries – Tricia was agog at Ken’s rendition, while Sandy was busy sketching Ken’s pastry!

tricia-cal    tricia-2   tricia-3Tricia shared the calendar she made of her Sicily sketches, then got caught up in sketching the wine cork swags above the wine bar.

ban-k-1     ban-k-2     ban-k-3Meanwhile, Ken was busy sketching his banana, going darker.

ban-sandy-1         ban-sandy-2Then Sandy got involved in the banana sketch mania, too.

barba-water    barba-2    barba-3Barb A came sneaking in with the water container her grandkids gave her for hiking – perfect for water color wherever she is!

judith-1   pe-h-t   pe-2Judith was sketching the display across from her. Penelope, Heidi, & Tricia were too busy to talk. Then Penelope decided she should do a sketch from where she was currently sitting – Provisions!

h-phyl-1    h-2    h-3Heidi was bemoaning having a colorful bag but only a black & white sketch. Tricia offered her travel palette & water brush – color on!

phyl-1       phyl-2Phyllis joined us late, but not too late to sketch what she saw!

How do you sketch that?

Perugino, Eugene, OR

all-1      all-2From one end of the table to the other: Heidi, Ken, Jan, Hugh, Erik; Judith, Jan, Hugh, Barb So, Patti. But it was kind of musical chairs!

heidi-1    heidi-2   heidi-3Heidi started out the sketching query – she had done a sketch of her grandson, but now wondered how to do it white on black, which Ken was eager to demonstrate, and Heidi eager to try techniques.

e-1    e-2    e-3Erik was back with us after recuperating from a detached retina. A bubble was put in his eye to push the retina back in  place so it could be laser stitched, & the bubble will take awhile to dissipate – here’s what it looks like when he looks through it, he said. Wow.

jan-1    jan-2    jan-3Jan started sketching wine bottles and Jane loaned her the use of her Qor watercolors to see how they’d work – nice bright colors!

hugh-1        hugh-2Hugh is red-green color blind, and was asked how he knows what colors to use where. People tell him what colors things are, and his tools are all labeled accordingly. Clever guy!

patti-judith      pattiAt the foot of the table, Judith was asking Heidi & Patti for sketching advice, and here’s Patti showing how to sketch a container.

p-1        p-2Penelope came in with Thanksgiving day sketches, said she realized she hadn’t sketched food in awhile, and got to work on biscotti!

jane-1          jane-2Jane was intrigued with the decorations at Perugino, and her sketch went clear across the page fold! Here it is with watercolor added.

penguin-bso       penguin-hughBarb So. and Hugh were looking at a decoration at the other end of the table, & here are their versions. Yes, it’s a penguin there!

A Newcomer’s View of What We Do

Perugino, Eugene, OR

all-1Judith Musick is a newcomer to our group, and wondered what we do and how we do it – here Barb Sh starts showing her, while Hugh and Barb So discuss our upcoming sketch show, Jan. ’17 at EAC.

barbsh-judith     barbsh-peopleBarb Sh shows her how her sketch pages grow organically. Then here’s her response to Judith’s query, “do you ever draw people?”

p-1    p-2And speaking of drawing people, here’s Penelope drawing Satoko.

sat-1    sat-2    sat-3And here’s Satoko taking up the challenge to draw Penelope!

jane-1    jane-2Jane demonstrated the ever popular sketch topics of what you’re eating, & what photos you’ve taken (note: her guy has been eating.)

judith-1     judith-2Meanwhile, Judith takes on 2 honored topics: tools & each other.

hugh-1      hugh-2Hugh’s been a good model for Judith, while he sketches a scene he caught on some paving stones, complete with autumn leaves.

barba-1-hugh    barba-2Barb A came by to show us how she’s been finishing up her sketches from Sicily – should she add color to the window or not???

judith-3        p-mapDoes anyone ever draw maps, Judith wondered, looking at a wall poster. Maps! Penelope is the queen of map making in sketchbooks!


And then Satoko topped off the meeting by showing her PowerPoint presentation of the Italy sketch trip in Sept. 2016.  Let’s go again!


5th St. Market, Eugene, OR

1       2Have to keep your eye sharp to follow the changing participants, not to mention the changing focus of attention! Can you find them? Barb So, Ken, Jan, Barb A, Hugh, Pierre, Barb Sh, Penny, Patti…and more!

ken       barbshKen was dutifully (& tardily) sketching his fabulous cinnamon roll, and Barb Sh was completing her medieval scene sketch.

pierre      hughPierre tried adding water to his soluble crayon sketch, while Hugh sketched the coffee machine behind him.

pen       triciaPenelope continued on her search to find joy in her sketchbooks, and Tricia took up the persimmon challenge. Speaking of which:

per-1       per-pattiPatti brought a persimmon for our visual pleasure, and here are Barb So, Penny, and Patti diving into the capture.

per-barbso       per-pennyHere are the finished sketches by Barb So, and by Penny.

per-tricia       per-janeHere’s Tricia’s persimmon, and Jane’s ink sketch.

x-0And when the persimmon furor abated, art discussion was full on.

x-1           x-2What were Jan, Barb A., Joby, Hugh (& Jane) discussing? An upcoming TD show! (More on that later. ) Then with Penelope’s arrival, it was back to art tools and looking at each other’s work.