What Storm? What Rain? Sketch on!

Public House, Springfield, OR

    It’s hard get a photo of us all, because people keep coming and going (getting coffee, coming from an appointment, etc.). 1st – Jude, Marsha, Ken, Katie, Daisy, Hugh, Jim, & Laura. 2nd –  Laura, Bev, Bill, Jim, Daisy, Katie, Marsha, Helga, Sandy, Hugh, Ken, Jude.  Below are samples of sketches by all of us, in alphabetical order by first name (because the editor is too rushed to figure out the story otherwise):

        Bev not only does a sweet sketch, she frames it with what’s around – a trellis, and the table! Then on to the stained glass windows- oh boy.

     Bill has a fascination for faces, and what interesting ones he collects!

        Daisy’s getting very adept at drawing and laying in color with colored pencils, but she’s also wondering what she can do to “go darker.”

         Helga starts with the main arch of the wall, then expands it into detail and definition. You can tell that the door is set back from the arch!

        Here you can see Hugh’s clever setup for his water soluble wax crayons – he goes directly to them with water brush, then to paper!

          It’s no surprise that Jane started with the botanical. Then she added a penciled outline of a couple of chairs, & the name of the place above.

        Jim did a quick outline in pencil of the building façade & people in front of it, then watercolor – look for what he doesn’t do…

        Jude was looking at a different wall, caught the lights; worried about the angle of the roofed pier, but Jane said the shadows will make it ok.

          Katie started out with a continuous line drawing – oops, no room for the rest of the flower! But it all turned out just terrific anyway!

      Ken said he just found this old watercolor set so decided to use it! Then he brought out his recent ceramics to show us the glazing.

          Laura started out with one head (Jude), added another person (Sandy), then another (Ken) and the building background – what fun!

        Marsha sent these pics in – sometimes people across from you are just too tempting not to draw! Here’s Jim, Daisy, and Jane. Oblivious.

          And here are some of Marsha’s sketches – didn’t she do them well!

        Sandy was sitting across from her sweetie, Hugh. She says she thinks this is the best she’s ever done of him, and she’s done lots! Yep.

     And Satoko’s back from Japan! She’s so quick – a sketch of the flowers before her, and another of a nearby sketcher (Helga). Way to go!

Sketching’s all about the light!

Public House, Springfield, OR

Much to our surprise, the building didn’t open until 11, but the courtyard was both covered and heated! Great light. We liked it.

         Jane sketched flowers on the table, the sign above them, the colored window logo, & one of the sketchers. Had lunch, $1 off next time!

        Sandy’s a lap painter – first the flower arrangement, then an peeled orange. She & Bill found they both had been organization consultants.

           Bill confessed to sketching people while he was in meetings, and that he had to write down their names so he’d recognize them again.

            Erik was drawing people, too – Hugh, right across from him. As the tradition goes, you show the person your sketch of them, & they sign.

     Meanwhile, Hugh was far far away in Canyon de Chelly. What a wonderful rendition! He’s using water brush on pigment crayons.

      Jude also sketched the flowers on the table, using water soluble colored pencils. She has a lovely delicate touch. Elegant flowers!

      When Laura leaned back in her chair, she discovered she could see the old church steeple (a challenge!). Then she did what was around her.

         It’s always so fun to see what Bev will find to include on her pages, with a nice design strategy having the flowers reach across the page.

        Lealan came a little late, but wasted no time in getting the marker pens working to capture the vibrancy of the flowers on the table.

        Remember Lona’s red page last week? It’s the background for her Christmas mouse! Red edges on the next page? No problem for her!

Sketching Experimentation Underway

5th St. Market, Eugene, OR

Nearly all – Erik, Hugh, Lealan, Daisy, Nancy, Marsha, Jim, Marny, Helga, Barb So., & Serge. Ken, Lona, Jude, Bev & Jane were there, too.

      Daisy & Ken at one end of the room, Serge and Marsha at the other end. Sometimes we’re focused on our task, sometimes we share tips.

     Here Hugh shares the effect of wax crayons on black paper, then Lealan explains how she uses Tombow markers to layer color.

        Erik often sketches images from the photo files in his memory, but today he sketched what was in front of him – a tea bag! WOWZA.

     Jude came by to share a sketch – what’s next? Go darker! She also brought some snowberries, which Bev enjoyed sketching.

        Bev is so adept at capturing images around her – holiday decor, people an nearby tables, and the intricate decor above Café Glendi!

        Jane is a newbie at using black paper, so she was conscientious about labeling the tools she used, & loved the simple effect for snowberries.

        Lealan says that well after a year of exclusive use of Tombow markers , she thinks she’s about figured them out – next? Using water?

          Daisy has been carrying her sketchbook with her when she goes to holiday events. Question – how to make things pop? Negative space!

        Ken is always experimenting – here with pages he’s put frames on or washes of color for background. Then a former student stopped by!

       Lona brought a copy of her book for Ken to see (to his enjoyment), then did multi-layers of red watercolor for her next background.

        Marny was intrigued by the photo of the interweaving pods, used a page to test colors and shades, then a colored background – success!

        Jim’s sketchbook is a collection of  vignettes – often images from the cafés he frequents (including a metal wall – wow!) or from magazines.

        Helga had some color & hue tests on a page, then sketched the soffit of a nearby café and gave it perspective by adding a person – yeah!

          Barb did a delightful watercolor sketch of her coffee and muffin, and then included Marsha in a red chair on the other side of the table.

        Serge departed from his usual black & white ink sketching to do some sketches in loose watercolor, then added ink. Fascinating effect.

        Marsha made a test grid of her colored pencils so she could compare brands. Her favorite on black paper? Faber Castell. Nice pigment.

        Nancy, Marsha’s sister visiting from Maine, fit right in with the group, doing watercolor sketches of people around her, including Erik!

      Hugh shared one of his angled page sketches, then applied the idea to what was in front of him. He’s using waterbrush to crayon, then page.

It was a great sketching day together!

Sketching amid the Holiday Decor

5th St. Market, Eugene, OR

Laura, Jude, Jim, Bev, Marsha, Barb So, Erik & Hugh.

          Lona, Katie, Daisy; Barb So, Barb Sh, Marsha, Jude, Jim; Marny, Helga.

         Barb So showed us her 3D sketchbook, then added a sketch of Barb So and Erik across the room. We all may show up in her book soon!

         Barb So put washes of watercolor on her page before hand, and then began populating the page with what she saw around her. So fun!

            Bev started out with the ceiling light, moved onto the hanging holiday lights, adding color and moving on to sketch a reindeer decoration.

           Daisy dutifully sketched her treats before tackling on the wall ahead.

        Erik & Marsha were the earliest here, so chatted before sketching. Here’s the beginning of Erik’s sketch of walking the dog (I can relate).

          Laura was curious about Hugh’s technique on black paper. Didn’t he do a stunning job sketching his Danish! Interesting effects on black.

           Like Bev, Jane tried sketching the ceiling lamps and decorative lights hanging down – but how do you make them sparkle on white paper?

        Jim’s eye was caught by the ceramic wall tiles and beyond, and then he started sketching an intriguing historical building from a magazine.

           Jude had a great time sketching holiday decor on her black paper – using toned paper is quite interesting, and more people are curious.

          Katie found the tree branch that Lona brought in to be a challenge worth doing, and didn’t it turn out excellently! Nice work.

          Laura really enjoyed sketching the slightly wonky Christmas tree on display in the corner – she sure captured the whimsy of it!

       Lona also brought some Christmas tree ornaments, and couldn’t resist sketching this little Christmas mouse – what a clever little guy.

         Marny started the Christmas tree sketch by doing the lights & ornaments first, then the ribbon, and the foliage last. It worked!

          Here’s how Marsha’s view of the Christmas tree developed, and she’s heeding Ken’s advice: go darker! This is going to be spectacular.

“Mes Amis” – how apt for sketching friends!

Mes Amis Café, Eugene, OR

    We were surprised to walk into such a busy place, but people were kind to move on and give us a long table to crowd around.

        Jude brought her own models – wonderful colored pencil sketch of the persimmon and pomegranate. It’s nice to have her with us.

        Katie was working on a wedding gift using the design from their wedding announcement as inspiration – watercolor perfect for this!

           Marsha was intent on capturing her latte and the flowers beyond. She’s enjoying trying out her water soluble colored pencils, too.

      Bev is having fun taking a looser approach to sketching people, and look at that tree! She also incorporates pre-stamped pages.

Helga is getting masterful at using graphite pencils – nice models!

            Jane was looking outside for her sketch (& laughed that she’d never sit in that wonky chair!), then added the signs found indoors.

         Jim and Serge talked about wanting to get looser in their sketching (while some of us talked about wanting to get more accurate!).

      Well look who showed up! Ken, Hugh, & Laura. Here’s Ken’s sketch.

          Hugh’s mark making is becoming bolder – look how that sketch developed from a simple start. And then he’s on to the next sketch!

       Laura tackled the display case across the room, too, with an entirely different effect from Hugh’s, using pencil not markers. Very sweet.

You Can Hardly See the People for the Trees.

RiverView Café, RiverBend, Springfield, OR

Here we are, back appreciating the big windows at the hospital cafe.     

        Lona, sitting across the room, didn’t need the window light because she had a photo to refer to – this is going to be a fun painting!

        Daisy, sitting next to Lona, finished her colored pencil chart, then sketched some of the sketch group! Recognize anyone?

        Helga (not in the sketch above) did the lamp outside, then gradually added the context of the autumn maple leaves, and the firs beyond.

        Jude (the blonde on the right in the sketch) was trying out her new Pentalic metallic colored pencils, finding patterns in the photo.

           Barb Sh was next (see Daisy across the room?) continuing her saga of adventures in her sketchbook. She’s a great sketchy traveler!

           Jane (between Jude & Barb) continued her lamp drawings from last week, then a chair (in pencil first!), and the bouquet on a table.

          Jim (next to Jane) sketched from a magazine photo.  “Been doing this long?” Out came the business cards – “Oh, a few years.”  Wow.

        Penny M (last in Daisy’s sketch) was sketching Helga at the table end, then one of the lights before doing watercolor. Lovely sketch.

          Erik (at the other end of the table) really captured the vivid experience of raking leaves, knowing there’s more yet to come!

        Satoko loosened up with a sketch of the trunk of the tree outside, began a sketch of Penny, and looked at Hugh’s sketches. Busy, busy!

        Hugh sketched the trees, too, & used a water brush on the crayons in the carrier he made (so clever). His completed prior sketch is great!

        Helga discovered Lealan in the corner sketching the trees outside. She also showed us her completed sketch from Friday – zowie!

What to Draw, What to Draw…

River View Café, RiverBend, Springfield, OR


Fourteen of us (& another in spirit – see last entry), enjoying sketching together in the sunlight at the hospital cafe.


          Helga kept her eye on the condiment island at the cafe, all in pencil.

        Penny J had the same view, started in pen, went to markers.

        Barbara So spotted a floral arrangement, pencil then watercolor.

        Penny J and Lealan compared sketches done at the park using Tombow markers, then Lealan sketched a guy at a nearby table.

          Jude, sitting in the window, did a quick sketch of the trees outside, then the clouds caught her attention – watercolor pencils, nice!

        Daisy started on the bright autumn leafed tree, tackled the curving ceiling soffit and hanging light, then back to the good old tree – ha!

        Jim brought his own view from the ghost town of Bodie – pencil outline, watercolor, and then pen (which really makes it pop!).

Erik always has an image ready in the view of his mind – nice start.

          Hugh enjoys interpreting photos from his travels – we had a great discussion about whether to leave parts of it white. Hmmmm…..

        Marsha usually uses regular colored pencils, but this time ventured out with her watercolor pencils for a loose watercolor look. Lovely!

        Katie is having a blast with her pages of pre-framed vignettes. It’s always so interesting to see what images catch her eye in a place.

        Serge always does such exquisite detailed work in black & white using ink, it was a fun surprise to see his watercolor wash with ink!

        Jane just had to memorialize her first almond milk latte (it was fantastic!), then the blasted soffit & lamp (this was her 2nd try).

And meanwhile, this just in from Ken in Newport, but thinking of us and sketching, too – looks like he mostly used markers (his “go-to”).

Yummy Sketching for the TDs

Café Yumm, 18th & Willamette, Eugene, OR

Two views of the group – total of 18 turned out, with two newbies!

          Amy’s back, having a break in her studies at Oregon State. You can see how her art training there translates into getting after it! Nice.

          Katie was intrigued with the flower (Thumbergia) that Amy brought in from an outside vine, and her page designs spun off from there.

          Jane was busy putting together a chart showing Derwent Graphi-tint pencils, dry & wet. Then she sketched the flower with them.

          Jim was using a photo of an old building as the basis for his sketch study – love what happened when he added watercolor.

         Bill dared to try out his Derwent Inktense  colored pencils (& water soluble ink), then back to a watercolor treatment for the portraits.

        Hugh sketched what was in front of him – Laura at the table in the window, and the scene beyond – look how that color popped!

        Here’s what Laura was seeing – that challenging braided trunk tree and the shop window beyond. The stamps worked well on the page.

          Bev’s pages are such a delight – wonderful images of what she sees around her,  special drawn frames, and rubber stamped images, too.

        Are those Café Yumm stamps? Such a nice border for Daisy’s warm detailed window display. That yellow background really works.

       This was Jude’s 2nd time with us, and look what challenging subjects she chose to draw! The sinuous lighting above, and that twisty tree!

        Barb Sh shared with us her last pages of recent events,  then continued to work on this fabulous critter – a moth? WOW.

      Speaking of fabulous critters, Lealan wanted to know which version we liked best (NO consensus!), then began a sketch of sketchers.

       Marsha brought some little white pumpkins – she really brought life and depth to them with her colored pencils, & shadows, too!

       Helga was intrigued with the white pumpkins, too, and look how her use of the pre-stamped page gives a sense of decorative fencing.

       Penny Mc was also fascinated with the store window display, starting with the bottom shelf and working her way up.  It all fits!

        Not everyone can work with graphite as successfully as Serge does (it often smears across the page for me!) – wonderful vignette!

        This was Deborah’s first time sketching with us, but she clearly has some prior practice.  Love the way that tree developed character.

        Ken (our teacher, mentor, friend) made a cameo appearance much to everyone’s pleasure. He adds so much to everyone’s experience.

Diversity (in sketching) R Us

Cafe Yumm, 18th & Willamette, Eugene, OR

    We like sketching here because we can move the tables around however we like. And surprise!  Jan & Satoko are back with us!

      Hugh was getting abstract, & started coloring in his doodle by choosing colors by order in his box. Jan explains her card making.

      Erik was really getting into the autumn leaf theme – great color contrast, as well as a little gestural drawing of a leaf raker!

           At the next table, Laura was getting adept at drawing on pages with pre-stamped designs – what a delightful spirit the sketches have.

        Bev caught Laura in action in her sketch. You can sure tell she has a background in design work – her pages are wonderful that way.

          When I said a heavier paper would keep the watercolor from buckling the paper, Bill said “Do you think it bothers me?”  Uh, no.

        Meanwhile, Jim was saying he would like to have more of Bill’s loose style all the while he was doing a detailed sketch of Cafe Yumm.

       Katie used a pre-stamped page to inspire her sketch of a sight in Taxco – look at how that yummy watercolor works with the stamp!

        Jane’s still into frame boxes – first on a watercolor demo for her son, then on a remembered vision of autumn leaves on Pearl Street.

      Barb Sh, just back from a travel trip to Europe, was recapturing the experience by making a fold-out sketch – she’s so clever doing this!

    Ken practices what he preaches – go darker! Look how those plant leaves reach out of the page with the dark negative space. Wow.

        Going directly to ink is catching! Here’s Serge’s multi-layered sketch of Erik sketching by the window with foliage in the patio beyond.

      Ken & Serge get a review of Satoko’s sketchbook from her recent watercolor workshop she taught in Tuscany.

Sketching the Dia de los Muertos Exhibit

Maude Kerns Art Gallery, Eugene, OR


    There was so much to see, all the detailed altars created to honor persons in the past. It was hard to decide what to sketch!

        Daisy did a whole page of images from various altars, ending with the difficult mermaid figure.

        Penny M started sketching the little sculptured figures in the glass case, then back to watercolor for her next sketch.

        Penny J drew boxed frames to isolate each of the figures she chose to draw – such an endless variety reflecting the person gone.

      Barb Sh showed Penny M one of her cross page sketches using metallic inks, then began the mermaid Daisy did – not done yet!

        Hugh did a riff on the skeleton images which were prolific.

       Marsha did a page of pre-designed box frames, playing with images across them and outside them for a great effect.

       Katie added altar images to a page she had already begun with a flower sketch. It will be interesting to see how this page develops!

       Jane tried using the box frames artist Pat Southern-Pearce utilizes, finishing with a text notation and a gallery watercolor sketch.

      Danita drew the arched windows of the building and tapestries below, then used special frames for additional altar images.

        Lona refused to be confined to boxes, overlaying her images in a colorful celebration.

        Bill & friend Jim at a table – Bill was finishing up some sketches of people he had done earlier with bits of conversation remembered.

      Jim, who does such fine architecture work, took on the challenge of whimsical images from a nearby altar – great success here!

     Bev sketched one of the special ornaments, then images from a multi-layered altar.

        Ken & Barb So shared thoughts about an altar, then Ken began sketching the interesting room construction, and Barb So an altar.

The whole experience was very rich, as we pondered the special things families had put together to honor the dead.