Category Archives: Uncategorized

Going Back to School

Center Building, Lane Community College, Eugene, OR

       There are getting to be so many of us, it’s hard to find a venue that will hold us! But the 20 of us hit the jackpot today.

      Tomomi is one of our most recent to the art circle, and Barb Sh, Penny, & Marsha enjoyed giving her (& her family)  painting tips.

        Here’s Barb Sh capturing the scene with her pen & water brush.

       Bev interspersed new sketches with going back to complete a previous one (she says Ken gave her the inspiration to do that!).

         Marnie, Bev, Barb Sh, & Daisy hard at work – here’s Daisy’s sketch.

    Marnie took advantage of the student models in the Center.

     Hugh, his inner engineer coming out, focused on the contextual surroundings, with the people incidental.

        The models do have a tendency to move, however. Jane resorted to “making up” one guy, and taking white pen to the first guy. Better?

      Laura took on the challenge of the chairs – wow, well done!

    Katie & Lealan have an intense interchange, & here’s Katie’s work.

     Lealan did a montage of people sketches – yes, it did get crowded.

    Speaking of intent, Sandy is determined to conquer perspective, and tries to be appreciative of her husband’s help. No, really!

      Marsha is doing sketches on top of washes – and aha! using photos!

    Penny & Pat draw nearby models – oh, Penny did Sandy & Katie!

      Pat started with a little pencil sketch, then really got into drawing the carrot cake on the bag. Then took photos for still models.

Whew! What a great day! We may have to come back here.

Choose Your (Art) Tool!

New Day Bakery, Eugene


Here’s the gang, looking one way down the table, then the other, and then in the other room altogether! Many people, different tools, too.

      Helga is using simple graphite pencil, although she tells us she has actually ordered some paint supplies and looks forward to them!

            Sandy is using pencil, too, to work on the concepts behind perspective, with her husband Hugh giving her some pointers.

        Here you can see the results of Barb Sh using water soluble graphite, which becomes permanent when you put water on it – no smearing!

     Marnie was working on a portrait of Katie, using graphite, which delighted Katie so much she had to take a photo of it!

        Katie put masking tape down for borders, anticipating watercolor, but began her sketch with pencil first.

        Pencil first for Barb So, too, then watercolor to capture the color in her model’s sweater (Barb Sh was the unwitting model – thanks!).

         Laura does pencil first (good idea on a challenging perspective topic) then moves on to watercolor (see her little “makeup” palette).

        Danita is using watercolor “sticks” for the first time, trying different approaches and wishing at last for a sumi stick grinding stone!

      Marsha has a watercolor wash background all ready to go, and did her sketch of Jean (sitting across from her) in colored pencil. Nice!

    Jane, in a moment of rashness, went straight to ink, then watercolor.

      Hugh started out with wax crayons (ala Erik) on black, then on to ink.

      Erik’s mastery of the wax crayons is evident – look at that detail, too!

        Jean says she’s emulating Erik, but she does another technique, too, adding watercolor to her soluble wax crayons to blend & brighten.

     And then there’s Ken, noted for using whatever art tool is near at hand – pens, markers, watercolor backgrounds – WOW.


Cooking up sketching ideas at the bakery

New Day Bakery, Eugene, OR

This is almost everyone who showed up today – two long tables worth! Barb Sh, Barb So, Marnie, Bev, Ken, Lee, Laura, Hugh, Bev, & Erik.  Not shown are Helga, Jane, Sandy, & Lealan.

       Barb So shared what she’d done in her sketchbook since last time, then went on to add little vignettes of what was around her here.

Bev had been to the Chinese Gardens – lovely pages! And she did lovely pages of the surroundings at New Day Bakery today, too.

     Ken sketched some of the group, while Jane caught a worker in action loading the display shelves – the gold coins? See below*

     Marsha found the scene beyond the window interesting, and then added the people inside around the window frame, too.

        Hugh was a window sketcher, too, adding people and then going on to sketch a dramatic photo on black paper – see results next week!

       Marnie did a table top still life, then the display of bakery goods across the room.

       Laura tried drawing a picnic table outside (ack! the angles!), and then focused on the table top items, too.

    Helga started out drawing a chair on the patio (now there’s a perspective challenge for you), then added from her imagination.    Not all were sketching the bakery – Barb Sh brought a series of 3 tiny sea urchins – look, the larger one shows how they’re in rectangles!

      Erik’s visual memory never lets him down – incredible scenes!

      And the gold foil covered coins* were courtesy of Lealan, in honor of Fat Tuesday/Mardi Gras, and good luck coins for Chinese New Year coming up on Feb. 16.   Don’t you just love her celebration page?

“A convergence of elements”

Maude Kerns Art Center, Eugene, OR –

    There were 22 of us who gathered at Maude Kerns today to sketch their fabulous show – quilts, metal work, paintings, ceramics. There were lots of elements, for sure, including us!

        As you can see, there was a lot going on to sketch !

        Ken quickly sketched the sketchers. Satoko came in to share her recent paintings from her travels, then started sketching people, too.

      Lealan and Barb So got there early – here’s Barb’s sketch. The metal work sculptures were a real challenge, and she did them so well.

       Lealan was intrigued with the decorated table and chairs – so unique.

       Here’s Daisy’s take on one of the chairs and the table edge, with ceramic sculpture on beyond it.

            Laura, new to the group, dove right in, and when she was apologetic for her portrait sketches, Bev shared the sketch she’d done of Laura!

        Bev also did a series of quick vignettes, including a sketch of the people across the room sketching – recognize anybody?

        Katie filled her page with bits of what she saw: copper sculpture, ceramics, quilts, and even the lighting!

        Barb Sh’s technique with water-soluble ink really adapted itself well to the sculptures around the room. What a super effect.

        Hugh focused on scenes in the corners of the rooms – sculpture, and then quilts. Very different effects for very different kinds of art.

      Erik, a master with wax crayons, had a vision in his mind to sketch – Canada geese. This is going to be fascinating to see finished!

     Lona really brought the sculpture to life with vivid watercolors.

        Marnie loved doing a sketch of the organic metal sculpture.

        Sandy did a watercolor sketch of metal sculptures, then went on to capture the “standing stones” ceramic sculpture, too. Lovely!

    A combination of a metal sculptured basket, and two ceramic sculptures caught Marsha’s eye – wonderful colored pencil work.

      Jane was sketching the same items, different perspective & tools.

        Penny was quite productive – look how many sketches she got done, including a Native American doll sculpture from yet another room.

        Just down from Penny were Tomomi with her three children and her mother, all of them busy sketching. It was a joy to have them with us.


We had fun talking to them about different art tools – Barb Sh about her ink technique with a water brush, and Marsha about how you can use 3 colored pencils to do a whole color wheel (which one of the boys promptly did – way to go!).

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.