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September 2013



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February sketchcrawl--and a wonderful time

It was quite cold on Saturday--below freezing--so we had our sketchcrawl indoors again, at the Historic Elms Hotel. Warm sun streaming in that south window thawed our bones and encouraged leisurely sketching!  (Also napping, for kateslover , but hey...)

If you're unfamiliar with the idea of a sketchcrawl, you can learn more here: www.sketchcrawl.com/blog/ though ours are generally only a few hours long rather than all day.  Great fun, though!

This time there were 6 of us--Vicky came all the way from Wichita again; Rick, new to the group, drove over from Liberty; Kelly, who hasn't been able to join us for a while, came from Smithville, and the rest of us were from here in town.

I was working on toned Nideggan paper in my journal again (the backside of the page on the right, here:

Feb. 20, Marietta Bridge

...and doing no preliminary sketching. I just tried to pay attention to shapes and values, then broke out the ink and yatate to add details.

ready to use the yatate

I continued to add shadows and details, using a bamboo skewer as an ink pen, dipping it both in the ink in the yatate and in watercolor washes...I liked the effect! (This is one of my new/old Edo-era yatates, a drawing kit used by Samurai for hundreds of years. The brush or pen goes in the long, hollow handle, and ink goes into the bowl--a small natural sponge or a wad of silk or cotton is saturated with ink and makes it almost spill-proof.   I'm loving it! Found several quite affordable ones on eBay, to my surprise.  You can learn more about yatates on Russ Stutler's marvelous pages--here's the most pertinent one: www.stutler.cc/other/sketchbook/sketchbook_c_03.html)

We weren't quite ready to part company, so I tried one more quick sketch, looking out the west window. The strong shadows on the old stone building really caught my eye, so I grabbed my pencil and sketched them in before they could change too much. A few simple watercolor washes completed the picture...

The west window

Our sketchcrawl is such a nice, laid-back affair...everyone is there to honor and appreciate the world around us. We just love sketching.  No one cares how good you are, no one criticizes, no one complains. We just have a great time.

You can tell, can't you? This is Vicky and Christiana, two of our regulars...

Vicky and Christiana



Looks like you all had great fun and were very productive as well! Haven't we seen that hotel before? I remember a sketch you did with an open archway on the left-hand side and it was one of my favorites. Do you know what I'm talking about, Miss Kate? It was in the last two years (or three ;D.) My, I'm helpful.
Hi sweetie! Yes, I do...that was one of my favorites. I love the view from that smoking lounge. I've painted that archway, plus their gazebo, the stone stairs, the waterfall, the fireplace...
someday i will show up for one of these. i will draw unabashedly unsquare corners on buildings, add silly stick men, and use my paints as though i really knew what i was doing. i will pretend myself into a dither.

and i will smile the whole time, just because i am there!
And you'll be SO WONDERFULLY WELCOME, I'll be dancing around in circles and whooping!

I'm glad you're feeling better, too!


Painting on Toned Paper

Kate, I love the painting on the pale beige paper - so soft and beautifully spiced up with a little green.

Re: Painting on Toned Paper

Thank you, Shirley! I really enjoy painting on that paper...
Wow, your work is fabulous. This first sketch is awesome, and it's very interesting to read about the steps for its realisation. Love the beautiful winter colors, and the great atmosphere you create.
I really love the subtle colors of winter--thank you! I'm enjoying utilizing the yatate along with my little watercolor kit.
Sketchcrawl sounds like fun. I have never seen a yatate in use, will go check the link.

It IS fun! I'd never seen one in use either, I just kind of jumped in with what seemed to work. Fun!
I need to try to remember to google yatate. I have no idea what that is.
You can see mine here, Natalie, and in use in some of my Flickr images! http://www.flickr.com/photos/cathy-johnson/3281677215/
Google and his friend Wikipedia explained it all for me!