Wednesday, December 28, 2016

G7 Plaza

I wanted to try the samples of Stonehenge watercolor paper I received few weeks ago. I sat across the street from this building to sketch and try the 600 gr paper. The paper feels smooth for ink lines and behaves very well with watercolor paint. It allows color blending and graded washes, two of the watercolor techniques I use the most. I think it is a great affordable alternative for other high quality papers like Arches, Fabriano Artistico o Moleskine. The building is new, it will be known as G7, it is still under construction and although some spaces are ready for use, it will be completed in February next year. How do I know this? Well, the architect and designer told me himself. He approached to me to tell me the sketch was nice. I recognized him immediately. He've been acquaitances for years, also his brother an engineer. His brother and I started greeting each other either because we were neighbors or because we both had dogs or because we went to the same university, I don't remember. Armando, the architect, told me it took him 4 months to come out with this design. It took him and his brother about two years to complete the project. I thought the building was named G7 because it looks like a big G from where I was seated and 7 because of the number of spaces for rent (or sale, I'm not sure) were 7. But he corrected me saying it was 6 spaces instead. He named it G7 because G is the seventh letter of the alphabet. I asked if the biggest space was meant to be a restaurant, he said it would be more suitable for a cafe., I can smell it now. I hope business establish here soon and bring this corner to life. Creative and talented architects like Armando Castanon Ruiz are making contibutions to the city of San Luis Potosi to make it look like a modern city. He was kind to pose for a photo. 

Arch. Armando Castanon Ruiz and his building G7

Tuesday, December 27, 2016

Getting ready for Christmas Eve

It's always exciting to see your beloved ones during the winter Holidays and getting ready for it. Bob likes to go to the barber for a shave. I have mentioned this numerous times on this blog so today it is not the exception. The view I had this time was different. Here, the sketch shows the top of his head. The barber had more space to move around Bob this way, away from the mirror. And just like that I sketched the interesting view. Indecision can be a bummer. I couldn't decide if I wanted to show the coat of the barber or the right side of the chair. I sketched the head of the barber over the frame of the mirror and a little stamp with an image of a saint in the right top corner of the mirror. Probably the saint of the barbers, for good luck I guess. The thing is that we both were ready to see family on Christmas Eve, I with a big smile of joy and Bob also, with a good shave.

Friday, December 23, 2016

Sunny and warmer Christmas

I had some minutes to sketch this view at O'hare in Chicago. It was sunny but very cold. There was no one outside, which is understandable. This winter started quite cold this year. Let's say to nights after we left the temperature dropped to -28°F or -33°C. We are fortunate to spend sometime in the warmer South. 

I have to offer an apology for the quality of the images. I don't have a scanner at hand but you get the idea of what the sketches are all about though. 

After we settled, we ate at a place which I like a lot, it's relatively new (opened over two years ago). It's an every day restaurant which offers good food for an affordable price. This restaurant is located under a new venue which I sketched two years ago while it was being remodeled. Click here to read about it. It is finished now. I took a look at the facilities. I came inside from the garage of the restaurant. A cleaning lady was cleaning the floor and told me they opened few months ago, there has been 4 or 5 events already. The new name is Regina. It's nice to see the final product. I realized that when I sketched the place two years ago, it was almost finished.

Sunny and warm Mexico, I'm glad to be back. 

Happy Holidays.

Monday, December 12, 2016

Sketchers' priorities

As the day of my trip gets closer, I've been thinking on the preparations that need to be done. The first group of things I wanted to get ready was my sketching materials. Yes, it's my priority. Every time I go through this process I tend to gather the same items, but always new stuff appear on my way. First I'm taking paper and link. 

The sketchbooks seem to be too many, but I like to have different sizes available. My small collection of pens, which of course every pen has its' own properties. My watercolor brushes and aqua brushes. I normally use Carbon Platinum Ink, but I also decided to bring Noodler's waterproof, which is not in the photo. Turns out that the Sailor Green Pen with bent nib uses A LOT of ink, and that's what the Noodler's ink is for. 

Then, it was time to choose a watercolor palette and refill its wells. I normally use two, but the more I looked among the stored stuff I have, the more palettes I found. Incredible. The dangers of being addictive to color (or is it shopping?) I found seven. I never thought I had these many. But I think that many of us have gone through this eternal voyage in search of the Holy Grial, that is to find the art materials that we are more comfortable with, right? 

Well, after a serious thought I made my decision. I'm taking two palettes, one is the Cotman travel palette with artist Winsor & Newton paint, and the other is the 6 color essential Daniel Smith Extra Fine watercolor that I recently bought and that I have to try. I used an old medicine case with 6 wells and I'm also bringing a mixing palette made of  plastic with also 6 wells, it's light weight and flat.

Then, something unexpected happened today. I received by mail, samples of a new watercolor paper that I thought were lost, since I requested it 6 or 8 weeks ago! Thank you Cathy Johnson for telling us about it! Legion is the maker.

The incertitude of the unknown subjects of the upcoming sketches I will make with these materials is so exciting!

It feels likes Christmas already! 

Saturday, December 10, 2016

My snow boots.

Nobody wants to hear it, but winter is here, as of right now it's snowing. I got my first snow boots ever three years ago, I got tired of having my shoes wet and cold. I never used them until now. The last 2 winters I traveled South before the first snow fell, but this winter, it has snowed twice already. Of course I was happy as a child in Christmas for I finally have a reason to wear them. My bulky, fluffy, waterproof and warm boots. There are two parts of my body I hate it to be cold, my back and my feet, and that includes my ankles. Although I'll go South in few days, I got to be ready for this. I am....even if it is for a short time. 

Wednesday, December 7, 2016

A different supper.

I was shopping my groceries. Most of times I make a stop at the office section. There's paper, pens, colors and markers among other stuff. Most of the Moleskine journals were ruled, but digging among those I found the blank Art Plus. I thought it would be nice to have a small size one (almost A6) in my everyday purse without carrying my watercolors. Many times I do inked sketches on  location and then I add watercolor to it later at home. Although this blog is about ink and colored sketches, this doesn't mean I have to make both ink and watercolor sketches all the time, so I figured I will allow myself to post only inked sketches more often. It's convenient time wise. Also it will be a good exercise to practice values with ink. By the way this young man was enjoying his soup for supper. My hubby and I had something in mind quite different for supper at that moment, we had pastry and hot chocolate. Hmmm....the child on us made us make that decision to keep us warm on a cooooold day.

Sunday, November 27, 2016

Ready for the snow

Driving around I found these snow removal machines in the parking lot of this neighborhood. I had to google the name for these machines, I've seen them quite often but never knew the proper name, they are skid loaders.The details of these loaders was quite intimidating, specially with so many in a row. I tackled it anyway. I sketched loosely the ink lines and watercolor. I wanted to give the impression of, not the detail of these machines. The sky is grey and the leaves of trees brown, the leaves which still remain in trees, those that refuse to fall. It took me about 30 minutes to sketch on ink and 30 minutes on watercolor at my studio. The contractors are ready to clean the snow....but mother nature says not yet. 

Monday, November 21, 2016

Friends, walk, coffee and sketches.

My friends and I went for a walk today. I excused myself last time because it was too cold to walk outside in the morning. So this time we set the time for the afternoon. Better. Our returning point for this route is a grocery store where we stopped and had a cup of coffee, like other times. We needed to warm up. I didn't get coffee this time. Instead I sketched....them. They know of this practice of mine because I have told them like a thousand times and they agreed to let me sketch, although one was shy and the other was self aware. One of them was afraid of me showing whatever in her face she was not comfortable with. In short everyone wants to look nice. Sketching people is a double edge sword. 

What they don't know is that I'm terrible sketching people, my sketches never turned  out like them, they shouldn't expect that, I explained this to them. I told them I wanted to record this time. Given said that they agreed. I asked one of them to held the natural position of the hand holding her face. It was a reflection of how comfortable we were talking to each other. My other friend had a calm expression in her face while listening that I think I successfully portrayed in my sketch. When it was time to return I showed them the sketches in ink. I hope that when they see this post, the colored sketches help to keep our friendship! 

Friday, November 18, 2016

An addiction hard to give up.

I found peace and quiet in Wilmington that October afternoon. The non existing traffic in this street was refreshing, so was the cinema, with only 2 theaters. The art deco sign on top keeps this building back in time. These small towns are full of treasures that I love to sketch. They have a different flavor to what one can find on more populated towns or cities, but it is most the coziness which attracts me to those. Sketching and listening to piano classics on Pandora while writing these lines makes a perfect combination of calmness and pleasure. It's an addiction I don't want to give up. 

Tuesday, November 1, 2016

Daniel Smith 238 Color Chart

Eat your own words, I told myself. After publicly saying that I may not change EVER my preference for Winsor and Newton watercolor (click here to see my W&N current palette), Daniel Smith, the American Company based in Seattle, turned out to be a temptation. I've heard so much from many people about how enchanted they are with this brand name that decided to try them also. I didn't know what color to buy because I have never tried them before. So I looked on the internet something that may help to make a decision. Unfortunately I didn't find any good quality color images of actual paint to help me to compare colors side by side. So, I bought a DS Watercolor Essentials Set to start, a set of 6 primary colors cold and warm to start, but I wasn't sure what else to get so I got the Daniel Smith Extra Fine Watercolor Sample 238 Color Chart. 

I wet all the dot samples and paint a graded wash next to dot in the same paper, which it is watercolor paper.... or behaves like it. So far I'm very happy the quality of the paint. There is enough amount of color choices but not too many to confuse you. The paints have high concentration of pigment, easy to dissolve although I found some colors are harder to dissolve than others, i.e. many of the purple family and the Primatek Series, which are made of real mineral. Some of the Primatek look like pastel color and others looked rich in color. I scanned the charts in different scanners, took photos in the shade and under the direct sunlight. The ones under direct sunlight turned one to be the closest to the real thing. Click each image for a zoom. Meanwhile I'll play with the start kit I got. I hope this post help someone.

Monday, October 31, 2016

The barber in the mirror.

This is the second time I sketch at this barbershop. Last time I sketched some clients waiting their turn. This time I actually got the barber Tim. Needless to say Tim was moving all around, I never got him in the same position to sketch his reflection in the mirror, it was very challenging. The man on the seat was easy pie. Those on the very right are hanging electric razors. They look like fish to me, oh well, if you though those were fish, then this sketch stinks. Otherwise, mission are welcome.

Sunday, October 30, 2016

Iconic landmarks of Chicago

What a joy is to meet new and old Urban Sketchers friends! We met at a major art materials store yesterday. After a brief introduction leaded by our administrators, we headed outdoor to sketch Chicago. My first sketch was the clock of Marshall Fields, here below.

I always wanted to sketch this clock of what was an upscale store on State St. and Washington St; a beloved iconic landmark here in Chicago. A street drum player sit next to me. I was willing to overlook his rhythmical but loud sound, until an spectator stood next to him for good 15 minutes and started to smoke. I wouldn't care if it wasn't because I was smelling the smoke, so I said to my self, that's it. I left. I didn't like where this sketch was going to anyway. This confirm my theory that if I am uncomfortable it shows in the sketch. I moved one block North on State St. to the Chicago theater. Many of us sketched this landmark as well. It will be a popular spot for the visitors of the 8th International Urban Sketchers Symposium. Chicago is honored to be the host next year! I hope to see you there!

Tuesday, October 25, 2016

Cashier with purple hair

A cashier with purple hair seemed to go along with the Halloween theme this season, either she is or not, purple hair made it to my sketchbook. Another day not cooking at home. Here at this grocery store, there is a great variety of ready to eat food. After being outside home most of the day, the last thing I want to do is cooking.

Sunday, October 23, 2016

A day trip to the South: Bloomington and Gibson City

We were invited to an Oktoberfest celebration dinner in Gibson City, Illinois by two of our dearest friends. As part of our plan, Bob and I spent the day in Bloomington before heading to Gibson City. Bloomington turned to be a city with lots of history. First we made a stop at Rosie's Pub, a nice place in downtown. The old building features adorn the bar in a way that transfer you to a another era. Here's the view from my seat. After lunch we visited two other places, the David Davis Mansion. David Davis was a judge, close friend and manager of A. Lincoln campaing, and the McLean County Museum of History. There we learned this city had a history of immigrants from all different countries in search of opportunities. Italian, Indian, Mexican, German, Welsh, African American, Irish people settled here. Bloomington is another great example of how diversity can make  a city or a country flourish.  Close to dinner we met our friends at Bayern Stube, where we had a great company, food and live music. I'll leave you here with a taste of the music we heard. It was great day.

Friday, October 21, 2016

Halloween decorations

As uncomfortable as I was in my car sketching this house, feeling clumsy dropping pens and rinse water on myself, I kind of felt great because I finished this sketch on location. Decorating houses is a custom that American families keep during the different seasons of the year and it is fun to watch because many owners show a sense of humor that can be contagious. I don't decorate mine. It doesn't mean that I don't have a sense of humor, alright? So my intention was to look for one house with overloaded decorations if possible. Without success, I didn't want to drive far from home, I found a cute one in the neighborhood. Check it out: a garland with leaves in autumn colors over the main door. A wreath on the front door matching the garland. Two pots with towers of pumpkins on each side of the entry way........wrapped with more garlands. A flag with a black cat on top of a pumpkin and a big yellow moon behind. To the left a big scared pumpkin. To the right a big Dracula and three small real pumpkins, and a Frankenstein (not shown here) at the other end of the garage door. Isn't fun to watch this?! I love it....... I love to sketch it too!

Monday, October 10, 2016

An alley in Ravenswood Chicago.

During the workshop we had last Saturday at Ingrid's Studio in Chicago, we all scrolled the Ravenswood Area, the participants looked for spots to sketch and I, as an instructor, looked for participants to follow up their work. In between participants, in my walks from one person to another, it was hard for me not to notice to the narrow alleys in the neighborhood. I managed to take 15 minutes of their time to make this sketch in ink (sorry people, the  beautiful opportunities this area has to offer was a temptation I couldn't resist). This is one of the many alleys between houses. Thanks to Ingrid who knows the area very well and suggested to us to check them out. I'ts dark but interesting. I water colored it this morning from a photo reference. This...... is Chicago though my eyes.

Saturday, October 8, 2016

My workshop at Ingrid's Studio in Chicago

Great fun this day turned out to be for my workshop Fearless Urban Sketching with Pen, Ink and Watercolor hosted by Ingrid's Studio in Chicago. Many thanks to the people who attended today, you were all so talented and Ingrid Albrecht, it was an absolutely delight to work with you! Everything was awesome! THANK YOU ALL!

If you want to attend more fun art workshops with Ingrid Albrecht please visit her website

Sunday, September 25, 2016


Last weekend a group of couples and us went to the Morton Arboretum in Lisle IL, near Chicago. We went to a theater-hike play to watch Driving Miss Daisy. Although it is self explanatory, theater-hike is a play that is performed outdoors. The play is staged in different places within the Arboretum fields. Actors and audience walk from place to place so the backgrounds change and we audience enjoy not only the play but the beautiful surroundings that have been kept so beautifully. The audience carry their own stools, chairs or blankets.

In this first scene Miss Daisy's son, Boolie, tries to convince her to hire a driver. I did a little bit of digital alteration here. I sketch Miss Daisy but I didn't finished her, so I added her digitally to one of my following sketches. I had to flip the image horizontally, to match the original scene in which she didn't care for his son's suggestions. Her body's posture and her reading the newspaper say it all.

Next, Boolie is hiring the driver, Hoke. This is the original sketched I flipped.

In this scene, the actors are pretending they are inside the car. This was a repetitive scene but I loved it because they had nice conversations. The actor who played Hoke held both arms up in the air while driving, I swear I could see the driving wheel and the speed pedal. All sketches were done in my adorable and super practical Beta Series S&B 5 ½ x 3 ½ in.

We all had a beautiful dinner after the play at one of ours friend house's backyard. I didn't sketch more, I was too busy having fun.

Monday, September 19, 2016

My watercolor palette

I was recently asked a question about watercolor colors that I use and I thought I would share my complete answer in my blog. 

The specific question was if I use cool, groovy colors or I stick to the basics? Well the answer is both. This is the palette that I end up using very often, therefore I would say it is my favorite. I've read that some sketchers choose their colors palette according to the place they travel to, or choose based in the season of the year. I'm not that knowledgeable. This palette works for me. The brand name I use is Winsor & Newton artist quality. I haven't tried other brand names besides W&N Cotman (student quality, which by the way is good too) and Venezia. The W&N artist quality paint gives me those bold and rich colors I like in my sketches. So why would I change? I know some other people like to experiment with other brands, but again W&N suites my need VERY well, so I have no plans to change that soon.....or ever. So I'll talk about my basic palette first.

From left to right and top to bottom.

Cadmiun Yellow. This was one the first colors I tried,  when I was first introduced to watercolor painting. This may not be the first choice for painters because of its opacity and stain quality (it's hard to lift from paper) but I still use out of habit. It's one of those paints I'm attached emotionally. I learned to use its properties over time. I use it to warm up the page with a first glaze on the paper, then I can use other transparent colors on subsequent glazes. I try to not use it on top of other colors because it's opacity.

Cerulean Blue. I use it for the sky or as a replacement of Cobalt Blue. Cerulean blue is another not so transparent color but I like its granulation effect on paper.

Winsor Red. I love the intensity of this red. It's opaque as well, I normally use it on top of other glazes to represent flowers. I also use it in high concentrated washes to give an object a visual impact.

Sap Green. Foliage, foliage, foliage. I have it as a basic first, because it's a beautiful green, and second because I don't have to mix two colors to get green. I can do variations with it by mixing with yellow or browns.

Burnt Sienna. I love this one, one of my super basics, I can mix this one with almost every single color in this palette and the range of color I get is incredible.

French Ultramarine. Another super basic. I use it to create dark color, and also I can mix it with the rest of my palette, hands down.

Yellow Ochre. One of those ugly colors so useful when bright yellows don't work. I use it mostly for skin, buildings and sand.

Lemon Yellow. I don't use it quite often but I like to have a light yellow it in my palette because I mix it to achieve soft colors.

Alizarin Crimson. One of the most intense reds and its a super basic in my palette. It's so flexible that I can achieve a wide range of colors with it, including pinkish color with a light wash of pure color, and it's super transparent, which it is a property that I like a lot in this one.

Winsor Green, yellow shade. This is one of those colors that wasn't in my palette originally but it arrived to stay. I substituted Viridian green, which is cold and very strong for green. Winsor green is warmer and it works perfect to make dark colors.

Burnt Umber. Another super basic. Good for making dark colors, although I find it opaque when mixed, I can overlook this.

Payne's Grey. One of my last additions to my basics. An absolute favorite. The darkest of all dark colors in my palette. 

I don't use white or black. Neither you should.

And here are the groovy colors. 

From left to right.

Smalt. A free sample. It's blue but it has a purple hint. Neat color.
Opera Rose. A free sample. I try to use it when I want to have fun, it's like a Neon pink.
Madder Rose. I bought this one for flowers, which I don't paint very often but is a beautiful color. 
Quinacridone gold. I absolute adore this one but it doesn't fit in my palette! I might replace the Lemon Yellow when I finish it and explore more the use and mixing capabilities.
Winsor Orange. I bought this one out of curiosity, not sure when to use it yet.
Venetian Red. I was curious about this one too. Strong reddish brown. I don't miss it, since I can achieve a similar color mixing Alizarim Crimson and Burnt Sienna. Good for brick or buildings.
Winsor Blue, green shade. I make sure I bring this one for the beach. I love this one for water.
Titanium white. I bought this one as an attempt to paint white over color. I use now white gel pen Uni-Ball Signo.

I hope you find this information useful. If you have questions please do so in the comment section below. 

Thursday, September 15, 2016

View from the Metra

So many times, I've seen this view when I take the train to Chicago. I'll sketch this, I'll sketch this, I'll sketch this, I'll sketch this, I'll sketch this, I'll sketch this, I'll sketch this, I'll sketch this......yes..... I thought about it that many times. The contrast between the old building in the foreground and the new green wall from the Silver Cross Field Stadium in the background is lovely. From the new platform at the train station in which I was on, I could spot other interesting places in downtown Joliet, which of course...I'll sketch. Back at home I spent hoooouuuurs pleasantly working on the little details of the sketch, at the rhythm of the blues that Bob was listening to. It was a good day.

Wednesday, September 14, 2016

The mall.

Tuesday is discount day for all shows all day at the movie theater in the shopping mall. Also Tuesday at noon is a nice time if you want to watch a film without interruptions. Kids are back in school. There were only seven persons last time,, I was in heaven. I like people, but sometimes is quite distracting watching bright smart phone screens, hearing people opening plastic wrapped candies, chewing pop corn, teenagers talking or giggling, kids asking questions or parents answering them (ok, this last one never happened to me but I just wanted to mention it  in the list). I guess the older I get the less tolerant I am when it comes to my leisure/entertainment personal time, anyway, to make the story short, I did enjoy the show. Right after the show, I stopped at the dining area in the mall. The triangle area was interesting plus I found a sit at a table which was calling me. Sit here, sit here, so I did and this was my view. My husband went to the department stores in search of something he needed.... wait a minute, isn't the other way around? Wives shopping and husbands waiting? These are modern times. Ha! (On a note, there's an error on the date written on the lower right corner of this sketch, it was made this past Sep 13th instead of August. I guess I don't want the summer to end)

Wednesday, August 31, 2016

Old Joliet Prison

Desolate and abandoned is the Old Joliet Prison. Yes, the place for the opening scene in the Blue Brothers film. Even so, old is charming and veeeeery sketch-able. The building was built with yellow limestone. Joliet lies in a huge bed of limestone. It was quarried to built this prison and many other buildings in the city of Joliet, even the Water Tower, a recognizable landmark in Chicago, was built using limestone from Joliet. The multiple antennas on the roof give the impression that this building is still in use, but the broken glass of the windows says otherwise. The heat made me leave the spot with a inked sketch. I colored it later that day under a roof, in the comfort of air conditioning and a scoop of ice cream to my side. A man approached to me to asked me if I was an artist. I identified myself as a sketcher. We talked about his blog, my blog and I mentioned he could join Urban Sketchers in Chicago, I hope he does so, he would realize this is a fun way to meet people who share the same interest.

Saturday, August 20, 2016

The big fireplace at the Public Library.

The joy of scouting places, finding treasures and having your art kit with you to sketch it on location is....priceless. I found this fireplace in the Public Library in downtown Joliet, Illinois. This building was built in 1903. This room survived the big fire of 1989. The fireplace is magnificent. The tiles under the big mirror have paintings of native Americans with tepees. My husband is looking at them in awe. During our stay we were offered a glass of lemonade. It's lemonade day just in case you don't know. Great find...and great lemonade.

Wednesday, August 17, 2016

The Rialto Square Theater

A beautiful fountain was my companion during the making of this sketch. Tables and benches were next to it and welcomed me to enjoy  this sight.The Rialto Square Theather in downtown Joliet is one of the jewels of the city and the state of Illinois. The interior is wonderfully decorated, I've been there once or twice. Take a look at the 360 interior view, click here, you won't regret it.

Monday, August 15, 2016

Red neighborhood

I keep experimenting with this technique which is pre-coloring my sketchbook pages with a glaze of watercolor paint, let it dry and sketch on location. I have noticed a couple of things. One, it saves me time. The fact that the paper has been colored already limits the palette I would use. I think less is more here. Also I've noticed that the lines of ink are bolder or juicier do to the fact that the paper has lost some of the absorption that feature watercolor paper. This last observation doesn't bother me, actually I like it, the feel of the nib of my fountain open changes while gliding on the paper, it's hard to describe but I would say it is more sensitive to the touch and at the same time it feels like an extremely fine sand paper (?) for the lack of a better word. Well....I've been wanting to sketch this mobile home park for years! It's next to a hamburger place, I smelled food the whole time, so I'm hungry now. See you.

Thursday, August 11, 2016

Sanctuary of Atotonilco

This was one of some pen and ink sketches that I have left behind and that I colored today. It was done 16 months ago during my visit to several towns of the state of Guanajuato last year. This little town is Atotonilco, 280 km NW of Mexico city. Some locals from the town of San Miguel de Allende told us we should come here. So we did, and I knew why as soon as I stepped inside the Sanctuary. The frescos all over the walls and ceilings are amazing.  It is locally know as the Mexican Sistine Chapel. It looks indeed like it, but this is one reloaded. We were told by the tour guide that the frescos are passages of the Bible and were painted in the church not only as a decorative motif, but as a tool to teach the Bible to the illiterate locals. It was a nice surprise to see this wonder in one of the hidden corners of my beloved Mexico.

Fresco in the Sanctuary of Atotonilco's dome.

Tuesday, August 9, 2016

Urban sketchers occupational hazards.

There's a lot going on behind sketches that fortunately I can describe in this blog. For example, this woman was waiting in a doctor's office. She was texting at that moment, but also had a book on her lap. Despite the fact that she looked distracted she kept an eye on me. Our eyes made contact, it was awkward. I smiled slightly at her but she didn't react. I continued sketching her before she moved, I knew she was going to, it was a race against time. Hurry up Adriana! Sure enough, she got up and sat down in another chair. But guess what? I got you! My intention was to show her the sketch but her turn was called before I finished the sketch, oh well. I meant good.

The man on the right was having lunch with what looked like his children. The son looked very calm and was eating healthy, a beautiful salad and a hamburger. He left the buns aside. He can put a lot of us to shame. His dad had restless hands, it looked like the hands had its own will. The girl? I didn't care not sketching her. The whole show was this pair. 

I liked this couple. They were not together of course, I hope the size of each shows perspective, if not, well....just pretend. I liked this view because of the contrast, he was formally dressed and she was dressed totally casual. I'm really having fun using my Stillman&Birn pocket size Beta Series capturing THIS! 

Wednesday, August 3, 2016

Pre-colored pages.

This morning I went to have a cup of coffee to the cafe next to the library to try out one of these pages. I've been there before and I thought it is a charming place, besides the great coffee and food they serve there. Minutes later the room started to fill out with women who gathered there to knit. I overheard all sort of stories, and the dynamic of the group is not different than any other social group I belong too. One of them showed me the mermaid piece she knitted for her grandchild. So cute! They were having fun, so did I. This is the resulting sketch using a pre-colored page. It is an advantage to feel like you are a step ahead in the process of building a sketch, like if you are saving time. I felt good. The combination of the background watercolor and ink drawing was just beautiful. Unfortunately I didn't take a photo to post it here. Then I added more color, not to much, just to define some areas. The result came out as interesting as the one with just ink. I think I'll use this approach in the future now and then. It is refreshing to do something different and get out of routine.

Finding new ways to do things a little bit different is not so hard. Looking at other's works or reading books (sometimes more than once) helps to find inspiration. Although I'm still stuck to my watercolors as my primary media, I'm trying a new approach to do sketches. I think I have finally found a way to use those student grade watercolors that come with travel watercolor palette that I don't normally use because I replaced them with artist grade paint.

Pre-coloring the pages of the sketchbook is a way to use those stored watercolors, specially for large size sketchbooks. The larger the sketchbook, the more paint needed, the fastest the paint goes away. It's something you can do at home at your spare time, and you have all the time of the world to let it dry.