Thursday, July 21, 2011

Pests, Sketches and Going Slowly

I think the racoon is such a cute animal and am planning to try to draw one with colored pencils. That said, I never forget that they are dangerous and destructive. We've (that is the royal "we") been bringing in the reachable bird feeders after experiencing their damage to them and so far that has been enough. But last night, they not only found a way up the pole in the front yard to get to the oriole and hummingbird feeders that we thought were safe from them, but they broke the screen onto the back porch and got into the bag of bird seed. Grrrrr!

A real life lesson that you can't judge a book by its cover.

On a more positive note, tomorrow the hubster and I will celebrate 33 years of marriage. I can't believe it has been that long! We will be going out to dinner - maybe to the Common Grill in Chelsea. That is a favorite of mine and we haven't been there in years. I just wish we weren't in the middle of a heat wave. I think it would be fun to dress for the occasion, but I'm pretty sure capris and a tee are in order.

I've still been playing with contour drawing and love the posture of cats. Here is what I came up with this time.

I need to add a window sill or something for them to be sitting on.

I am trying so hard to slow down in doing art, but it is really hard for me. For some reason I unconsciously think that when I start a project it will get done in one session. So for this still life from Jean Haines I am intentionally going at a snail's pace. This morning I've chosen the colored pencils I will use. I think I've probably chosen too many, but I don't think it means that I have to use all of them. I just think I will be more consistent with them chosen rather than reaching into the container of 120 of them. I am using the Faber-Castell Albrecht Duhrer set. I am going to begin with the deepest shadows and just do a layer of the prussian blue or reddish purple for today. I will share that tomorrow. Here is my set-up:

I even remembered to do a swatch of each color in the margins.

You'll notice I didn't choose any greens. That may have to change, but for now I am planning to use a scrap piece of watercolor paper and do a chart of the mixture of each of these chosen colors with each other. I am hoping to get some lovely greens.

I did an hour on the treadmill again yesterday and am planning another hour session today. It is calling to me, but I think I will put it off until I do the chart of the mixed colors for the still life. For now I'm just starting my second mug of coffee and am expecting another scorcher today so will spend it in the air conditioned indoors - not my favorite conditions.

I will leave you with this lovely sunflower that is a volunteer that grew in the tiny space between the garage and the beginning of the driveway pavement. I love the pattern and colors, especially the yellow pollen? that has dropped onto the leaf. I think I may try to sketch this one and perhaps add some color, but all the detail in the seed head scare me off a bit. We'll see.

I'm off to get started on the color mixing chart. I hope to see you again tomorrow.



  1. 33 years! That is wonderful. I've always wanted to go to the Common Grill - I've heard such good things about it.

    We are having a problem at our summer cabin with the racoons and the bird feeders, too. I am going to do some research into natural solutions to discourage them from the area, if there are any. I know strong scented bar soap is supposed to discourage deer in gardens - I hope to find a similar solution to racoons!

    Love the sunflower "volunteer!"

    I too feel like I have to finish art in a single session - so much so that I have stopped working right now :( Putting too much pressure on myself.

    Isn't this heat awful?!

  2. Looks like you are organized for a great day. Have fun!

  3. Congrtulations on your thirty three years of marriage! Have a wonderful dinner and try to stay cool.

  4. I love to paint sunflowers. You will too! Just don't try to put every bit of detail into the seed head. I think a suggestion of the seeds, scattered about, is enough.

  5. Oh those coons! You know about the battle we have going on here with them. They're much too clever. Your cat contours are very good! Have fun playing with your new pencils, and Happy Anniversary!! nancy

  6. Happy 33rd anniversary! =) That's a number I could only imagine right now...hahahaha. The picture of the raccoon is so beautiful! I definitely would love to see a sketch of the contour too by the way.

  7. Happy Anniversary! On the problem of raccoons. When they wear out their welcome, like some do, I set a trap that captures them without killing, then I relocate them farther out in the country. I call it the Raccoon Relocation Program. RRP. Cowgirl Red Terah

  8. Hi Red,

    Two years ago, we put out the live trap for a month. We caught a raccoon 27 days in a row and one skunk. We transported them to a county park about 10 miles away. We now find it it illegal to transport them in Michigan and so are at a loss.


  9. Wonderfully creative ~ Love your contour drawings ~ Wow!

    Hope you will come visit my blogs (following from Creative Everyday) ~ A Creative Harbor and Share the Creative Journey, thanks ^_^

  10. Besides Atlas Shrugged and The Fountain Head ~ Sunflowers is another thing we have in common! I love them and I too am learning that a sketch or painting or any creating does not have to be completed in one sitting ~ So I am learning to 'stroll' on the canvas or paper ~ thanks for commenting on my blog ~ I find the comments really helpful ~ love sharing the Creative Journey with other artists like you ~ Have a wonderful creative week! hugs and namaste, CArol and ArtMuseDog ^_^