All posts by janesanha

Attention sketching, large and small

Theo’s Coffee House/Whirled Pies, Eugene, OR

This time we came early enough to grab tables by the windows for the light! Katie, Marsha, Laura talking to friend, Peggy, Jude, Bev; Jim, Bill, Hugh, Carol.  A few more drifted in later.

      Bev, Peggy, Helga, Katie, Marsha,Laura, Jude; Bill, Jim, Daisy, Carol; Sandy & Hugh (who was getting ready to sketch with his iPad).

         Jim did another big view on his page from a different angle – here you can see how he framed the space, gradually adding detail to it.

        Jane went small on a big page – artifacts of the place in the frame format (you can see her inking the frames), then watercolor.

       Jude focused on some of the unique chairs in the cafe, a real challenge, using pencil & water soluble colored pencil.

         Katie, a former elementary school teacher, just had to sketch the colored abacus – she’s a master at controlling watercolor!

       Laura had a pre-stamped page to work with, and tremendous restraint as she sketched her cookie, water glass & coffee cup.

        Daisy did a knock-out job on her blueberry danish (she earned that bite!), then sketched a person nearby – ink and watercolor.

        Bev likes sketching people in context, so you get the whole shebang. Here she’s chosen to leave the people without color – nice touch.

      Bill, on the other hand, enjoys paying particular attention to people’s faces and expressions – he uses ink and watercolor.

     Carol is drawn to drawing people, too, and had a new breakthrough using the suggestion of continuous line on the paper.

      Marsha is another portrait sketcher. Her next project is using a photo of herself as the inspiration for a graphic design.

   Hugh tried sketching using an iPad. He chose my favorite people perspective, the rear view with no noses! Fun capture, Hugh.

        Peggy brought her own source of inspiration – a magazine photo of a scene she’s very familiar with (but couldn’t find her own photo).

       Sandy brought her own prop, a quince branch in blossom! After a quick pencil sketch, She finished the sketch with watercolor – nice!

       Helga brought her own prop, but forgot her reading glasses! Go for the big shapes, people said, and she did a terrific job!

     Lealan, a woman of many projects (she has a book to be published), dropped by to show us her latest sketch & plan for making a print.

New Place to Sketch!

Theo’s Coffee House/Whirled Pies, Eugene, OR

   Danita’s Michael reads while the sketchers sketch: Jim, Danita, Marsha, Bitty, Peggy, Carol, Bev, Daisy, Sandy, Katie.

         Daisy was a stand-up sketcher, getting all those wall artifacts, before sketching the perfect model, mesmerized by her iPhone.

Bev sketched the model, too – different styles and tools – Bev used Pitt pens, Daisy used Copic ink marker pen & watercolor.

          Here’s how Bev’s sketch evolved, including using grey markers for different values in a sketch of some nearby people.

Marsha and Bev came over to see what Hugh & Sandy were up to in the bright light of the counter window.

       Hugh enjoyed sketching the street scene, using water soluble wax crayons with a water brush for color.

      Sandy, getting ready to go to Japan, drew tiny Japanese scenes in her small accordion sketchbook. That’s quite an accomplishment!

        Marsha is taking a class on portraits, and did a wonderful job using colored pencils – really her forté.

        Danita took the suggestion “sketch what’s in front of you” to heart – the water fountain on the wall beyond her! Now that’s interesting.

        Marsha stopped to see what Barb Sh was doing – portrait sketches, too, but what a different approach, and how fun!

        Carol started out focusing on the bottles, then added the serving counter and people, too. What an interesting scene.

        Peggy was looking the same direction, but started with the menu posted on the wall before going down to add the serving counter.

Hugh, Jane, &. Katie were interested in Daisy’s sketch talk.

       Katie started sketching one of the washing machine tub shades, then on to her coffee & danish, and a bird from the wall mural.

      Jane was fascinated with the tub shades, but more from a design orientation. “I’ve had too much coffee!” she said when painting.

Here’s Jane’s version next to Jim H’s – different attention to detail.

      Jim H. started with ink contour, added cross-hatching and shading, then went on to watercolor. What a vibrant scene he does!

   Bitty borrowed the frame template, wanting to zero in on the little orchids from a photograph, each one worthy of celebration.

Hot Heads, Cold Feet – Sketching Anyway

Cornucopia outside patio, 19th & Lincoln, Eugene, OR

Woke up to frost this morning, & thought maybe we’d have a small turnout, but oh no! We remembered overhead heaters, vinyl walls.

   Sandy, Barb Sh, Danita, Sam, Bitty, Peggy, coffee server, Marsha; Katie, Hugh, Jim H, Serge, Lynda, Jackie. Intrepid sketchers, all!

        Marsha & Sandy started by comparing their sketches from last week. Marsha then took on the chairs and fence across from her.

      Sandy was looking the other way, and captured Peggy (all suited up for the cold weather) and Lynda at the next table. Nice color use!

       Barb Sh finished her sketchbook from Italy – here two of the wild gardens we visited – The Monster Garden, & the Tarot Garden.

    Barb Sh solved the problem of how to add commentary to her Verona sketch – in the pavers! Then she broke free into abstraction.

      Danita shared some insights with newcomer Sam and Bitty, then sketched the weathered Buddha in the courtyard patio. Nice!

      Bitty likes to get up close and personal in her sketches, and didn’t this sketch of narcissus turn out charmingly! Love the design.

      Sam began his sketch with light green colored pencil, then let loose with watercolor, layering colors for a dynamic result. Way to go!

      Jane did her sketch outline (except for banner & frames) using Lamy ink which is water soluble – have to let go of control with this one!

       Peggy took a very different approach to the pot of bamboo than Jane did – Micron ink pen directly to paper. Now that’s control.

     Katie took her watercolor sketch from last week and added ink for definition, then couldn’t resist adding some garden sculpture.

      Hugh typically starts with ink contour lines. Here he takes his water brush to the Caran d’Ache crayons and gets a watercolor effect, too.

     Jim H did a quick sketch of the garden art, then found a similar mask shape in his travel magazine to add to the page, too.  Nice eye, Jim!

      Serge may be the most determined experimenter/learner of all of us. Here he’s looking at the varying effect of values on the same sketch.

     Lynda brought her friend Jackie with her. Lynda is sticking to pencil for her sketches until she feels confident in what she’s doing (soon!).

      Jackie did a couple of head sketches before she was tempted to try using Katie’s frame layout, daring to start outside the frame, too.

Look who we discovered (warm) in the  “annex” – Bev and Laura!

      Bev sketched Laura in context inside the restaurant, and Laura sketched the kids’ toys the restaurant had on the shelves. Sweet.

Sketching in the Rain in Comfort

Cornucopia, 17th & Lincoln, Eugene, Or
Cozy with the overhead heaters and the clear vinyl walls!

   Lealan, Katie, Jim H., Serge, Marsha, Bitty; Danita, Peggy, Barb So., Daisy, Lynda (& Jane behind the camera).

      It’s fascinating to see Lealan’s sketch emerge, starting with light turquoise marker, then adding depth with other colors and shades.

      Katie brought a travel photo to start, but then couldn’t resist sketching plants nearby – wait until the ink makes them pop!

      Serge always sets up a learning challenge – this one’s all about values & the impact they make. He’s using different values of Pitt markers.

      Marsha had a photo she’d just taken of the crocus blooming in her yard. The colored pencils make such a soft effect. Early spring!

      Bitty had fun dropping watercolor wet-on-wet for the whimsical pottery. I think some of her lunch got in the photo, too.

      Danita has the strategy of photographing her food so she can eat it while it’s hot and then sketch it! Even the condiments are present.

      The twisted vines are right down Peggy’s alley. Didn’t she do a great job of keeping track of what went where? Nice shadows, too.

   Barb So. got the vines into the background of her sketch – a glass jar on the table. Note: the jar is kept from “floating” by table & shadow.

   Daisy spied a stack of booster chairs in the corner – what a challenge! The cross-hatching and background color are helpful.

      The glass jar & condiment tray caught Lynda’s eye, too. She says she’s just concentrating on pencil right now. Color in the future!

      Jane had great fun fitting the vines, sculpture, & daphne blossoms into the frame format. Lots of whimsy going on here.

Wait for it…color coming to brighten winter.

Alvadore Schoolhouse, Camas Country Mill Bakery, Junction City, OR

  Peggy, Hugh, Sandy, Serge, Marsha; Danita, Michael (her husband), Laura, Bev, Daisy, Jim H., Jean, Bitty. (Jane behind the camera.)

       Sandy started right off with the table decoration – so much color and line variation going on, it was great fun to sketch!

       Jane, sitting beside her, was doing the title page for her 40th sketchbook, and included part of the table decoration, too.

      Serge was in another world – the sunny colors of Buenos Aires, Argentina. I think his perspective lines took him right there, too.

   Speaking of lines, Marsha got some great line action in those twisted limbs of the bare trees outside. A warm winter scene – huh!

      Danita did a visual recording of her scone & napkin, then did a landscape while the paint dried for another final layer. Nice job!

      Daisy sketched her pastry, too, but as a fabric artist…her eye was drawn to…the display of hanging handmade bags! Well done.

      Bev was looking inside and out – here are Jim H & Bitty sketched sketching, then the scenes outside the schoolhouse windows.

      Laura saw something a little closer outside which fascinated her – trees just before leafing out, catkins hanging like decorations.

      Jim finished the color of a previous sketch (it just glows!), then he was back to a vineyard. I really like how the ink makes it pop.

      Bitty sketches with a Pilot Pen which bleeds a bit when she applies watercolor. What a great effect! Two more sketches, one of the cat.

      It was nice to have Jean back with us, and to see her inviting drawing of the interior of the school house as it is now set up. We like it here.

       Peggy comes back to the scraggly old tree every time, with the crop fields behind it, and the Cascade Range beyond. Lovely watercolor.

       Hugh was using his small landscape sketchbook, going across the gutter to stretch his window & get all the people. But what’s this…

      color blast! He’s using acrylic ink fillable markers by Dawler-Rowney; fun to make his own shades, too (orange, purple).  WOW.

Sketching at the Schoolhouse

Alvadore School @ Camas Country Mill Bakery, Junction City, OR

   The old Alvadore Schoolhouse is quite an attraction for many people (even Danita’s husband), especially with Jim H’s watercolor show!

   Peggy, Lynda, Danita’s spouse, Katie, Sandy; Danita, Daisy, Laura, Marsha,  Barb So., Serge, Jim, & Hugh. Paintings on wall by Jim H!

      Barb So did a sketch of a tree outside on her pre-stamped page, then added a cat from her photos, and finally a sticker from the bakery!

      Bev began with the window,  then the scene beyond, and then the sheep in the field across from the old schoolhouse. Delightful!

      Bitty’s sketch was a sketch within a sketch – a lovely watercolor of the scene outside, then a sketch of a sketcher & wall paintings, too.

      Daisy’s been well trained – sketch before eating! Well, do most of the sketch before eating, anyway. It sure does look yummy!

      Danita did a sketch of the table decoration complete with salt & pepper shakers, then a cluster of old tools she brought from home.

      Hugh is very fond of using water soluble wax crayons, often applying them with a water brush, but here direct to paper for quite an effect.

      Jane finds using framed vignettes to be a help in getting focused amid distracting elements – like other sketchers! This was fun.

      Jim had a taker for a sketchbook page, but she didn’t know if she wanted it colored or not – so he scanned a copy to paint for choice!

      Katie appreciates including thoughtful quotes in her sketchbook, and here uses a pre-stamped pattern page for subtle lines.

      Now what’s Laura up to….oh, the table arrangement! And didn’t her used of colored pencils make her sketch effective!

       Lona stopped by to see what Hugh & Jim were doing before taking on her own sketch challenge – pumpkins in a degrading line.

      Lynda had a simple flower sketch to show, but she usually tackles complicated views, like this vine covered post, or rock wall – wow!

      Marsha has developed a colored pencil strategy that allows her to work quickly and to fill her pages with warm detail. Nicely done.

      Peggy liked the scene outside so much she turned to a second watercolor sketchbook. She was still working on the sunflowers.

      Sandy dipped into her travel photos for this sketch and did a great job with the many layered rock stacks, moon peeking out behind.

      This is not Serge’s usual architectural scene, but terrific gestural portrait studies. He used two shades of Pitt pens for the shading.

Prepping a new sketchbook for a new year

Jane’s place, Eugene, OR

   This is what the set up looked like before everyone got there.

   The dogs were there to greet everyone (note the protective cover on the carpet for the sketchers), and here came the snacks!

   Ken was at the airbrush station – here’s Barb So trying her hand at it. The stencil table was just beyond Ken was eagerly utilized.

      Let’s see…apply the ink pad directly, use a brush to stipple the ink through the stencil, a spray bottle, or use Copic markers airbrush…

         Ken prompts Lynda through her first airbrush experience, then helps Jim mask his sketch for it – Sandy & Bill stop by to observe.

   Meanwhile, folks at the rubber stamp station were going wild!

      Think they’re having fun? The unmounted stamps were new for some, who learned how to peel them off the page & use the blocks.

      Stamps were chosen with an eye to how sketches would be incorporated later. Bill enjoyed showing Hugh how his turned out.

      Bev took a moment to just sketch! Jim tried the airbrush on his architecture sketch. Danita sketched, & used a spray with stencil.

The dogs may have felt a bit neglected, but the rest of us had a good time!

Sketching at the art gallery

Emerald Art Center, Springfield, OR

   We went to see member Katie Stocks’ art show, and found another Top Drawers member (Bev Taylor) had art up, too! Nice shows!

 We had to look at the show first – Serge, Bev, Bitty, Penny, Barb So, Jim (already sketching!), Marsha, Carol, Laura & Peggy.

By the time Ken (our guru & mentor) & Cathy showed up, we were all busy at sketching. They enjoyed seeing Katie’s show, too.

     Cathy viewing Katie’s work; Ken chatting with Laura & Peggy; Ken and Cathy getting to view work Serge has been doing lately.

     So what was Jim working on so intently? Ohmygosh! He took on the entire entry wall of the place, angles and all! Nicely done, too.

     Penny shares some of her inspiration photos with Bev. Look at that distinguished bird! Then she quickly got into doing portraits on site.

        Bev really excels at sketching the people around her, but she also sketched one of the fascinating (& challenging!) sculptures there.

     Hugh said he couldn’t resist the photo he took of a neighbor’s sculpture when “Audrey” ate the Elf! Then back to refine a sketch.

        Marsha did a terrific gestural study of two sketchers in the midst of the art gallery. Love her elegant use of colored pencils.

      Marsha & Carol were sitting together, but Carol’s attention was caught by the architecture of the building. Wonderful windows.

     Peggy started with the window, too, but included a passing truck, and then went on to add hints at the paintings on display.

        Laura took advantage of the captive audience of sketchers to try her hand at people sketching. Adding color makes a difference, too.

  Jane started slowly, but built up her montage of sights at the gallery, including one of Katie’s paintings! Fun mini display here.

‘Tis the Season to be Sketching…

5th St. Market, Eugene, OR

    Jude, Daisy, Danita, Serge, Marsha talking with Ken, Peggy; Bitty, Bill, Jim H.  (Jane behind the camera.)

     Barb Sh & Ken; Bev, Hugh, Barb Sh, Erik, Barb So, Sandy.

First – the seasonal decorations observations:

      Barb So




Second – the non-seasonal observations around us:







Third – sketches from places far, far away:

      Barb Sh



       Jim H




Sketching and socializing at Café Yumm

Café Yumm, Eugene, OR

    In the entry lobby: Bev, Helga, Barb So, Laura. In the back room: Bitty, Jim S, Michelle, Barb Sh, Jim H, Marsha, Serge.  Game on!

Oh, but first, a mini-reunion of sketchers who went to Italy together this year – fun reminiscing – Jim S, Lona, Michelle, Jane, Katie.

        Sketching & socializing – who says you can’t do both?  Here are Jim S, Michelle, Barb Sh; Barb Sh, Hugh; Lona & Michelle.

          Serge & Hugh; Sandy with book on color Marsha brought to share; Sandy & Lona. We benefit so much from what each person brings.

       Hugh & Sandy collaborate with Katie on her sketch; Serge explains his study steps preliminary to doing a painting to Sandy & Michelle.

Now, on to what people were actually sketching…

      Bev chose a great pre-stamped page in her sketchbook which added to a very festive air about her. Some color, then on to colored paper.

      Helga is still practicing thumbnail sketches, which she finds very helpful in determining perspective. Next to apply it to bigger ones…

     Barb So prepared her page with rectangular boxes for mini-features. What a delight to see what she chose to capture around her.

      Laura started simple, then thought she’d sketch the snowflake ornaments hanging from the ceiling – easy, right? No, difficult!

      Hugh began with water brushing color for the sky, and worked to down to the ground. It’s the scene clear across the street from us.

      Bitty zeroed in on the rocks in the courtyard, applying her wet-on-wet watercolor technique to very good effect! Nicely done.

       Can you tell Jane’s in love with line? Fun to see that courtyard develop, such a different approach from Bitty’s close-up.

      Jim S (Jane’s son) joined us from Portland, and enjoyed taking a break from architecture to do some sketching – nice shadows!

       Barb Sh is continuing to do experiments in sketching to get different effects – the latest is one on toned paper, and she made it pop!

      Katie got the “armature” of the branch down in pencil first, then on to watercolor for the berries, and now the branch itself. Nice.

      Marsha was so quiet no one knew she was sketching them! She’s getting very proficient at doing quick portraits. Great to see.

      Here is Serge showing his four stage preliminary sketch work done prior to a larger watercolor painting. Lovely work already!

     Sandy took advantage of people nearby who were preoccupied so that they made great models – interesting to see on toned paper, too.

      Jim H said he thought he was done with vineyards for awhile, so branched out with a column from Greece & door from Madagascar!