Sunday, May 31, 2009

The End of Everyday in May

OK I am not sure if this is the zucchini/courgette or the yellow skinned squash, but either way it's growing in my garden- and I can't wait until harvest-time!!

interesting cloud formations in the sky as a storm approached- decided to try to do some work from memory- this was attempt 1...

This was attempt 2 at the approaching storm. I think I need practise at the landscapes...

This was both the first and last Every Day in May last year... thought I'd compare it ;)

Spending most of the day outside I decided to try out the Pitt brush pen as a sketching tool. I rather enjoyed it- but would vastly prefer a more greyish colour... will have to look for that in the store ;) As I was sketching, the lizard came out to sun himself... so I drew him- three times from three different distances... he actually allowed me to get quite close... I added colour with some colour pencils...

More sketches with the brush pen from the garden- scan a bit blurry though...
I think I am getting the hang of the pen, I just have to think of it as a brush and not a pen ;)

Wednesday, May 27, 2009


So I decided I really needed to catch up on some of the challenges out there. Often challenges put us outside our personal preference zones- like the VSD Challenge in the post below. I typically dont draw people- not because I dislike to, but because I detest it when my pictures don't look like them ;p I'm working on that though... :D
So after enjoying that challenge and getting a moderate likeness, I decided to do some of the EDM Challenges... in this case 224 and 225- the two most recent.
In my defense, the only reason I had put off 224 was because I am waiting on a shipment of new watercolours I wanted to use. I gave up waiting and plan to paint some swap items with the paints instead ;)

EDM #224: Draw a Jug or Pitcher
I think this one was actually my suggestion- hence the title- draw a JUG or PITCHER because I am informed most Americans don't call this a jug. I do. But then I also call the glass thing you measure liquids in a jug, and the thing milk comes in a jug... if it has a handle and is meant to pour, I probably call it a jug LOL.
This one I tend to call a pitcher because it is an antique- and yes I have drawn it before... you can see it in my snow pages and I am sure it featured elsewhere too lol.
I debated between this one and the one I drew for EDiM last year (both the first and last entries)... but decided to keep last year's one for the last day in May ;)

This week's EDM Challenge was to "Draw Something Sticky". There is nothing so sticky in our house than honey. Well... maybe the rubber cement on the floor, but we cleaned that up before I could draw it- and it wasn't pretty ;) But honey is VERY sticky and constantly getting spilled in tiny drops all over the kitchen (eeuwww!)
But honey has a very famous advocate, that just decided that he had to be in this picture :) I took a photograph so that no honey monsters would come and take the honey before I had finished, and I finished my picture at leisure (while the honey monsters ate honey on bread- boy do I have them figured out or what??).

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Virtual Sketch Date- May 09

Virtual Sketch Date- May 09
Originally uploaded by Spinneretta
Click to see larger image

A slight change of pace for EDiM #26- this entry for the Virtual Sketch date took so long that I decided that was it for the day. That, and the feather I wanted to draw disappeared... ;)

You can catch all the other VSD entries for May 2009 here.

Monday, May 25, 2009

EDiM #25: Geese

EDiM #25: Geese
Originally uploaded by Spinneretta
Click for Larger Image

Geese are everywhere around here, although not in as much number as they were in winter :) This one with it's neck bent back all funny caught my eye- it appears I caught it sleeping!
These geese live with the previously drawn, heron, beaver and ducklings :)

Sunday, May 24, 2009

EDiM #24: Great Blue Heron

EDiM #24: Great Blue Heron
Originally uploaded by Spinneretta
Click for larger picture

The heron and the beaver I drew previously are both inhabitants of the local retention pond in one of the shopping centres near us :)
I managed to capture the heron on camera a couple of times this weekend- once on the building, and once close too.
The latter time, I was taking photos with the aim of drawing in mind :)

Saturday, May 23, 2009

EDiM #22 and #23

Ok so here is the REAL EDiM#22 lol You can see I miss-dated the previous one :D
This is another rose from the garden... this one is a 1932 rose, great climber, profuse bloomer :)

Sometimes timing is everything... I got a book on Monarch butterflies from the library for my daughter- then just a little later there one sat- on a laurel bush in bloom :)

Thursday, May 21, 2009

EDiM #21: Rose Campion

EDiM #22: Rose Campion
Originally uploaded by R. Proffitt
Click for larger image

Still going- with rose campion. These little, red plants crop up all over the place!

WOOPS! I realised (late) that I miss-dated this! Wrong date, it was really EDiM 21!!

Prismacolor Pencil in cachet Earthbound Sketchbook.

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Everyday in May #20

With the return of warmer weather, I went back outside into the garden to sketch :) Todays everyday in May offerings are the result-

a surprise potato flower (beautiful), gifts of catmint from the kids and a flower in the wrong place :)

This one is known as Venus' Looking Glass :) (Specularia perfoliata)

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Everyday Grasses

I was inspired by this Sketching in Nature blogpost by YellowCatArt to draw my local grasses. OK so most of my local grasses are turf ones- these are the ones I picked up strolling through the neighbourhood. I tried like mischief to identify them- and I have pretty much given up until I find a decent grasses book :)

Of course any help would be MORE than welcome :)

Monday, May 18, 2009

Everyday in Nature

Having seen the Cachet Earthbound Sketchbook on several

These first two pages are just snippets from the day- a honeysuckle vine, clouds and the poppies in the median strip on the interstate (that one is from memory of course)...

... and here are two of our roses from the garden, Rosa alba 'semi plena and Rosa gallica 'officinalis'
Sunday brought unpleasant and rather cool weather. So I dug out my trusty stash of reference photos and went to work. I have been using my camera a lot recently, to take reference pictures of plants and animals and what-not, so I can draw later. This usually occurs when I am out with the family- the kids are not particularly patient when waiting ;)

Today's offering is a series of sketches of a mourning dove. When a pair sat underneath the feeder, eating away, I took the opportunity to observe and sketch, adding a little colour with my pencils. This sketchbook begs for colour... ;)

Friday, May 15, 2009

The Beaver

The Beaver
Originally uploaded by R. Proffitt
Click for Larger Picture

Went to Michaels, and there was the beaver again. This time it was on the bank, about 1-2 feet away, since I was needing to move quickly, I took photos :) and drew him later.

Everyday... it's a Mother's Life

So for EDiM #14, I decided to revisit the spiderwort from EDiM #5. I had hoped to get the vividness of the colours with my pastels. Uh- not going to work! it DID give me an opportunity however to test out some new ideas with pastels. Didn't work too badly, but certainly not quite what I wanted. Oh well, practise makes perfect!

I loved the colours in this one, but did not like the watercolour paper I was trying. I might have liked it better with an underpainting ;) I also did not like the fact that my yellow would not go over the blue too good.

My second experiment was on the Strathmore pastel paper, which I am just not that fond of. It does have a nice tooth, BUT seems so flimsy! This time I tried a more textured look. I should have mixed my methods and I think I might just have gotten what I wanted lol. This one I loved the soft feel and the light...

So, what happens when your 5 yo daughter gets up at 6:30am with Daddy? By 9:20am, you find her sleeping in her big brother's bed while he does school... :D

Couldn't resist the sketch opportunity. She sleeps funny though... ;)

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

More Everday Nature :)

So I am plodding along with my nature studies in May... the fact that it was shockingly cool yesterday (and windy) made the thought of being outside unpleasant- so I drew one of my pictures.

I believe this grass is a relative of flax- yes that one very useful plant with it's linseed oil and fibres for spinning :)
Today however, I made up for it and drew two- one outside from the bush itself, the other inside with fresh outdoor flowers :)

The rose is a mystery rose- we dont know what it is as it was sent to us by mistake!!

So I documented the parts of it in an effort to find it's identity. Now I feel fully armed- we have photos, and my notes :)

The air is filled with the scent of honeysuckle right now- lovely. I journalled honeysuckle because I love it- if you click it you SHOULD be able to read the page :)

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

More Everyday in May...

When I went to Williamsburg on Mother's day, the poppies were out in full bloom... I had a photo of my daughter in them, but decided to try a quick sketch with the watercolour crayons- practise for some later date to do on location. This is a lot looser than my usual style- but it was quite fun to do :)

This lone tree caught my eye as I waited for the ferry on Sunday. We did not stop in a good place for me to paint it from life, but I managed to get two photos to use as references- here is a colour pencil sketch :)

You can also catch some of my garden pictures (and the one of the ducklings) at my Garden Blog.

Monday, May 11, 2009

Keeping up with the EDiMs :)

The Indian Strawberry or Duchesnea indica. I seem to draw at least one of these each year- this one was brought to me by DD "for you to draw Mama!" :)

As we stopped at the local craft store, I saw a mama duck with her 9 ducklings. They were so cute and fluffy- and an instant hit with DD (although not so much with my son). We took a few photos, from which this drawing is taken- not having enough time to stop and draw :)

When I saw the ducks, I was stopping at my local Michael's. There I picked up a sketch book and some watercolour crayons to try out. When I came out, a beaver was chasing the mother duck and her ducklings around the pond! I was a little worried the beaver wanted to eat them- although I was sure he was a herbivore. Later on I found out that I was right- he IS. I'm guessing he is just terratorial, because he also chases geese all the time LOL. Some storms were blowing in at the time, and I quickly captured some of the clouds I saw... the reason for my sketchbook. I wanted something a little 'rougher' for my more 'rough' drawings and sketches. For some reason I feel like I can NOT do those in my other book LOL.

Rosa multiflora. At least that is what I think it is! Before we went out to eat on Mother's Day, I spent some time in the garden- weeded one of my veggie beds, and drew these wild roses :)
I got some use in my new sketchbook while waiting for the ferry. I know it worked well because I have no idea how long passed- but I am sure it was quite a while... I started out in water soluble graphite- and since we were STILL there after I was done, I added some colour :) I also took a reference photo in case I later wanted to paint it properly ;)
So we moved up a little- I got in a quick sketch of the rocks in the water, then we moved more (some people think it is fun to leave huge gaps and move later) then the pier remains. At least I think they are remains- they could be put there for birds to nest on :) I was a little flummoxed at how to draw water with my watercolour pencils- especially since the water was kind of greenish brown. I was not very successful- so I know that I need to practise the water more :)

Thursday, May 07, 2009

EDiMs #6 and #7

For your perusal...
With the incessant rain we have had over the past few days, the garden has been a very wet place to be! Luckily for my EDiM project, I had taken the opportunity one day during a break in the rain, to go and take some photos... and the pinks below are a result.

They were dotted with raindrops or dewdrops or some kind of water drops- I am not sure what ;), and they seemed to illustrate the weather perfectly. The water drops intimidated me a little, but I perservered.

This buttercup however is a product from AFTER the storm. My daughter brought it in from the garden this morning, and we put it in a jar. It sat there while I showed my son what a day at school would feel like, then while he worked (and complained) I drew it :)
The rain has finally cleared up (mostly) and we are looking forward to some dryer weather- but the humidity now is VERY high!!

Tuesday, May 05, 2009

EDiM #5: Pawpaw

EDiM #5: Pawpaw
Originally uploaded by spinneretta
Click to see larger image.

Asimina triloba- native here in Virginia :)
Ours are blooming in the garden right now- and with another day of endless rain, I had to resort again to my photos!

Monday, May 04, 2009


Originally uploaded by spinneretta

We have two kinds of spiderwort in our circle- but what caught my eye was when my husband took a magnificent photo of the flower- the centre- the colour contrast. I did not quite capture it, but believe you me, I might be down but I am NOT out!! Watch this space, I think it might come back again!

The original reference photo I took in my garden:

Pigma Micron, Watercolour and Coloured Pencils.

Busy as a Bee

Busy- that's me. OK not so busy, but busy enough! I have been drawing- just not posting ;)
AND I have decided to participate in Everyday in May again! This was started by French Toast Girl, you can visit her blog here.)
So here are my first few EDiMs!

EDiM #1: The rose New Dawn was one of my first blooming roses this year-and I thought it worthy of drawing as my first EDiM. My notebook let me down by the pages being so thin you can see the following (or previous) page through them- so I had to mess with my graphics program to stop it. I was unfortunately not able to do this with ALL my pictures- so the new rule is, right hand pages only. Which is OK. Once I finish it, I'll probably go back to my favourite home-made journals ;)
I spent a long time doing the stippling for it- only I am not sure how long because I was also watching TV- which is quite useful when doing something that takes that long ;) It is rather soothing then...

EDiM#2: This is some kind of large beetle (it was over an inch long) from our back yard. I used a photo to draw it- the poor fellow was terrified of us and wouldn't stand still at ALL. Hence the motion in the picture LOL. When I saw him, I knew at once I had to draw him because of my Flickr friend Leslie- who has one of the most amazing beetle collections to draw from- and as a result some of the most amazing beetle painting collections to see. I highly recommend visiting it ;)

EDiM#3: This little fellow came about because when Mum and Dad were visiting, Dad had to photograph the birds- they are very different from the English counterparts :) This photo inspired my baby sister, who drew it in her notebook (the one my notebook inspired her to keep LOL) as well. Since yesterday was a little too wet to draw outside (I got soaked and muddy doing a little gardening- nothing to strenuous as I dont want packed soil, but a little pulling, some planting and lots of mulching), I searched my pictures for some inspiration. This one jumped out at me (again) and I had to draw the cheeky fellow!
As you might have guessed, my theme for EDiM this year, is 'Nature'. I am hugely inspired by the Sketching in Nature blog, and my fantastic Flickr friends who just love to draw everything from nature :)