SketchCrawl Alexandria

If you plan it, they will come.

Much to my delight and surprise I had five people join me for urban sketching on Oct. 20, international SketchCrawl day. Their enthusiasm was such that we plan to start meeting on a regular basis.

We started outside, but the cold and wind was enough to send us indoors to the comfort of our local eatery, The Quirky Carrot.

I was trying out new approaches from a recent online course… painting blocks of colour, then drawing, then more colour. Adding coloured pencil. No matter the technique, however, drawing is key! Practice, practice, practice!

Inktober – Spell, Chicken, Drooling, Exhausted

I’m having fun coming up with ideas and using new materials, specifically coloured inks along with dip pen, ink markers…

I call this “chicken in a basket”.

Drooling, as in drooling over something. In this case, the delicious tomatoes in my garden.

Exhausted — how my zucchini plant looks after producing an abundance of hefty zukes this summer. (I was inspired to get outside and draw after seeing Shari Blaukopf’s post from the field of sunflowers).

The Harvest

I’ve been doing various sketches of tomatoes, beans. It was such an abundant garden this year. The group portrait has 9 of the 11 types of tomato I grew this year (from seed).

Inktober – Day Three

“Roasted” was the word prompt. All I could think of was roasted food. I wanted to just draw from my imagination (with a few nuts for general reference) – this is what came out. Two versions of the one idea. In the process, I discovered that I enjoy using a dip pen.


Inktober – Day Two

Tranquil was the word prompt for yesterday (I’m in catch up mode), and the image that immediately came to mind was what I see from my pillow when I wake up in the morning. White walls, doors, angles, all in shades of white. So that’s what I tried to capture. All drawn while propped on pillows in bed. Not the best posture, lots of wiggly, uncontrolled lines — but fun to do.

Inktober – Day One

Thought I’d try another drawing challenge. #inktober2018 An ink drawing every day of October using the word prompts as inspiration. Check it out to see some amazing creativity! I don’t have that kind of imagination.

I think I’m supposed to draw in black ink only, but I had these bottles of coloured ink, which is what I immediately thought of when I saw the word prompt for Day One: poisonous. The drawing is in waterproof sepia ink. All art supplies from decades ago!

Anyways, it was fun to do. I will get caught up today.

My garden

I finally finished a sketch I started on location beside my vegetable garden. It was a hot day with no good shady spot from which to sketch — finished indoors, weeks later.

Homework, Part 2

The second demo (Sketchbook Skool course – lesson with Ian Sidaway) was a sketch of a “simple” arrangement of freesia. Again, painting without drawing anything first. Unfortunately my local florist had no freesia which have a lovely graphic shape, so I made do with some fading blooms from the garden.


I’m following a Sketchbook Skool online course called “Watercolor Rules and How to Break Them.” An odd title. Does one need instruction in how to break rules? Anyways, I signed up for it specifically because one of the instructors is Ian Sidaway whose work I admire very much.

In his demo, I was surprised to see that he just starts painting shapes, no underlying drawing in pencil or even in paint. He sees the composition he wants and then starts painting – quite the skill. So, I wanted to give that a go. I used my prize tomato as the main prop. Also, like Ian, I used a full two-page spread in an A4 Moleskine sketchbook.

Unlike Ian, I have not been getting up every day at 4:30 to start painting. If I did, I’m sure I’d see great improvement in my painting skills.