Category Archives: Uncategorized

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!

Yummy to be inside sketching in the warmth

Café Yumm, Eugene, OR

We wanted someplace warm and this was it! Around the table: Bev, Sandy & Hugh, Jim, Katie, Peggy, Laura behind Helga, Danita, Serge, Marsha, Bitty, & Barb Sh.  Don’t you like the new long table? We do.

      Bev was quick to start sketching the tree in the courtyard out the window. Then she even had time to start on the decorations.

      Sandy said her first model left before she was finished, so she had to make him up! Serge, however, was in for the sketching stay – great.

      Hugh was teased about his blank faced person, so he had to show us his finished sketch from last week – pretty spectacular!

      Jim was remembering good times with friends at the vineyard, and this sketch will be an anniversary present for them. It’s so special.

      Peggy had a good time playing with the intertwining trunks and branches, as well as the shadows. Nice sketch, Peggy!

      What’s Katie up to? Finishing her daily trip summaries, then some sketches she started from her trip to Italy. Love that monster.

      Laura sketched the tree from a different perspective, then went on to capture some of the signs outside the building, too.

      Helga was seriously into little thumbnail sketches – hard to let go of all the tiny details yet capture the important aspects. Good job.

      Daisy had fun showing Bitty the sketch she did (mostly in the dark) during an event the other night, then she did snowflake decorations.

      Bitty did a simple contour drawing of the tree in the courtyard with water-soluble ink, then she added water & watercolors – zow.

   Lynda showed us her cone house sketch – they’re found in Croatia and many other places. She also had a photo of a curious mushroom.

      Lealan was just back from California with a sketch she did there, then managed to sketch what she was eating & drinking right here.

      The tall potted plant in the corner caught Danita’s eye, and did she ever have fun with those overlapping leaves – delightful sketch!

      Serge does such a good job at sketching from his phone, and gets the all the pertinent scene details, including shadows. Well done.

     Marsha is honing her portrait sketch skills –  see her two models, from right to left, Bev & Sandy. She’s such an inspiration in her work.

      Jane was working on a photo from home – the coffee maker lid got warped by an under counter light, hence the frog doorstop on top!

      Barb Sh was quite expressive telling us about the statue of Il Gubbio in Venice and stories that have evolved about him (see her writing).

Keeping the Sketch Energy Going!

Tradewinds Cafe, Eugene, OR

Despite the heater going, it was still chilly outside the cafe – Danita, Peggy, Bill, Jim, Hugh, Bitty, Barb Sh, Katie, Lynda, Serge.

     Danita got right after the view out the window – nice!

    Helga and Daisy snuck in, too – Daisy’s doing the trees outside.

       Here’s how Peggy builds her tree, & puts it in context.

   Lealan loves those Tombow markers – have to see next time for the finished work.

   Jane went temporarily auto-crazy, then on to building design.

      Marsha was busy doing portraits of nearby models. Sweet.

      Bill brought a photo as a sketch inspiration – note the guitarist, too.

      Jim is still mining travel mags for sketching ideas – great colors.

      Bitty found a place in the front window to watercolor sketch trees.

     Barb So did a sketch of a photo Jane posted; here she’s with Barb Sh.

   Barb Sh is finishing up her sketchbook from her trip to Italy – nice!

         Katie’s doing sketching from Italy memories & photos, too.

      Lynda took on the challenge of irregular steps up a hill – 2 versions!

      Serge was doing his signature precision watercolor sketch – lovely!

   Here are Lynda & Serge at work, and here’s Sandy’s work of them &

       Hugh! At the next table, working on cross-hatching.

Artists at an Art Exhibit

Maude Kerns Art Center, Eugene, OR

We had such great fun sketching at the Members Art Show! Shown here: Sandy, Bev, Jim, Peggy, Ken, Hugh, Carol, Lona, Erik, Marsha, Serge. Elsewhere but also present: Jane, Daisy, Barb So, Michelle.

         Sandy was so intrigued with a wire sculpture that she did it from several angles. The color she added was in the original piece, too.

     Peggy picked the same sculpture to sketch, perfect for pen & ink. Then she lightly sketched in the art hung beyond it for context.

      Bev was looking at different walls, putting sketches on a page with pre-stamped cats (viewing the art!), then on to toned paper.

         Jim was taking the big view of the gallery entry – look how he brought light in through the window to his right for depth.

      Sitting next to Jim, Jane zeroed in on an interesting piece of sculpture, although she said the shadows interested her most!

      Carol & Barb So had fun looking at Jane’s Italy sketchbook and Daisy’s Italy sketch quilt hung beside it.  Then Carol sketched, too.

      Daisy also sketched the wire sculpture, then took in a whole wall from the Club Mud exhibit in the next room – ah, shadows for depth.

          Hugh focused on a metal sculpture, then put it in context with where it was displayed – fascinating sketch of a fascinating sculpture.

      Lona keeps saying she wants to have a lighter hand, and here she was able to get a balance of her usual vivid color with light context!

     Marsha relied on a tried & true trick – sketching sketchers across from her! Great job capturing the essence of Erik & Lona.

      Serge is a whiz at doing quick thumbnail sketches of architecture  (from no particular place, but from his head) – nice values studies.

      Erik’s in his head, too – at the beach! What a nice scene this is going to be, making us all wish we were there, too.

      Ken joined us for some sketching at the show – sketching us sketching! Marsha, Serge, Lona, Erik, Hugh, Peggy, Jane, Jim, & Bev.

      Meanwhile, Michelle was appreciating Daisy’s quilt, and Hugh and Lona stopped by to chat with Ken. What a great art gallery day!

It’s all how you choose to view it

Tradewinds Cafe @ Jiffy, Eugene, OR

     Nice to be in a sheltered heated place “outside!”

Bev, Marsha, Peggy, & artifacts of Jane at the first table.

      Bev started it with a tree outside.

          Marsha added another musician, then drew the tree, too.

       For Peggy, it was all about the tree.

      Jane sketched a little bit of everything.

Bill, Jim, & Katie were at the next table.

      Bill gets a lot of mileage out of his watercolor pencils – nice style.

     Jim sketched what was in front of him, then OMG the crab!

      Katie’s dog was fairly unobtrusive – great model for her, though!

Erik, Hugh, Laura, & Helga do some chatting before sketching.

   Erik is such a master at using wax crayons, even though they’re hard.

   Rather than direct application, Hugh uses a water brush with them.

       Laura loves the new Urban Sketchers book, loves people & the dog.

    Helga brought her view with her – wish we were there, myself.

    Lynda liked a cluster of mushrooms, and had great fun with them.

      Serge is into adding watercolor to architecture – great effect!

       Barb Sh & Lealan munching, then here’s her sketch of Laura!

    Barb Sh finished her Italy trip cover page; the adventure goes on.

      Jude & Daisy prove that you don’t have to know what it is to sketch.

   And look who stopped by! We always appreciate tips from Ken.