Sketching With Twigs and Feathers

I joined an online group of 125 sketchers from around the world. One of the challenges was to look for unique angles so I walked around our house and found this view of our deck and greenhouse.

Deck Sketch

One person in the group made an exquisite sketch using a chop stick and another using a twig. Here is a sketch of King Mountain Lodge near where we live. I used a genuine alder twig dipped in ink. It gives a nice variety of thin and thick lines. Holding an open pot of ink is a little scary and I was sure I would sneeze and have ink everywhere. This was a quick little sketch of about twenty minutes.

King Mountain Lodge

While walking the golf course with my husband, I picked up a Canada goose feather to use as a dip pen too. Because it was Canadian, I thought it would be more cooperative, but it created a scary mixture of blobs and scratches more suitable for an ink blot test than a realistic sketch.

We’ve had record heat in Alaska which makes glaciers melt, causing the rivers to rise. I sat between the Matanuska River and the highway and sketched this tributary flowing from the Chugach Mountains into the river.

Chugach Mts

There are groups who get together to sketch around the world and it looks like so much fun. I’ve been organizing a group called Drawn to Palmer and we are planning to meet every month. It will be exciting to spend time with other sketchers and see different perspectives of other artists. During our last meetup, I sketched the Palmer Visitors Center in Palmer, Alaska. They have such a beautiful garden with Pioneer Peak in the background. I’m envious that they can grow foxgloves with just a bit warmer climate.

Palmer Visitors Center

Painting Children as a Gift of Love

Every now and then an email falls into my inbox and I smile. My niece sent me a note with a photo of her two children on a beach in New England. Would I be willing to paint it as an anniversary gift for her parents? Oh, my…yes!

What I do with a photograph like this first is to just absorb it. It may sound odd, but I want to think of the sea, the breeze, and the birds before I even put the brush to paper.

candyce jpg

Next I crop the image, making the children the focal point and deleting anything that would distract from them. I wanted to give the children a more natural element to look at such as seagulls and I moved them closer to the water. Or did I raise the tide?

I liked the plaid of the little boy’s pants, but the dots on the little girl’s dress were just too distracting.  The blue of the sky and water is lovely, but I wanted more colors in the whole image so I washed a rainbow of colors through the water and sand.

Here is the final result:

Candyce Small