Monday, July 30, 2012

75 Day Sketch Challenge: Days 38-40

I've been finishing up the watercolor on some of my sketches from Smith Mountain Lake, since there just wasn't time to do it all while I was there. I always kind of enjoy working on vacation sketches after I'm back home. It's a nice way to keep the memories fresh.

Here's a view of the dock kitchen -

All sketches are drawn in a 5-1/2" x 8-1/2" Stillman & Birn alpha series sketchbook, this one with a Noodler's flex pen and Lexington Gray ink.

I'm over the hump now in the 75 Day Sketch Challenge - Day 38 was halfway. Yay! It hasn't been easy making time to sketch every day. Sometimes, when I have an especially busy day, or I have a tight deadline in my drapery business, I just can't fit in time to draw and paint. But so far I've been able to make up the days I've lost, and in 38 days I've done, not just 38 sketches, but 38 pages in my sketchbook, some of which have multiple drawings on them. I'm feeling pretty proud of myself!

The sketches of people and animals have been the hardest. Getting those proportions right when drawing with pen is still hard for me. You can draw a tree or a flower anyway you like and it will probably look okay, but make someone's nose too big and you've altered the whole look of their face (and not in a good way!) But I keep on trying. I'm stubborn that way. And I've given up worrying about likenesses. If it looks human, I'm happy!

Flex pen with Noodler's Lexington Gray ink

Anyway, on to Day 39 (above)...
We hung out at the dock a lot during our visit, just chatting, reading a magazine, watching the boats go by, and petting Trixie, my friend's Jack Russell terrier. She's such a sweet dog, cuddly and affectionate, and pretty mellow most of the time. She does have a funny habit though. She barks at the waves that wash up onto the shore from passing boats or jet skis, and, to her way of thinking, it works. Every time she does it, the waves eventually stop, proving that her yapping really does calm the waters!

On our last morning there, we took a walk along the water at Smith Mountain Lake State Park. I sketched one of the resident ospreys coming in for a landing on their large, twiggy nest, which is equipped with a camera that streams video of the osprey pair's comings and goings.

Pitt pen and watercolor

Before we headed back to the house, I drew the lilies growing in a flower bed near the Discovery Center. I like having multiple sketches on a page, especially when there's a contrast between close-up and distant views.

Two more Virginia pages to go, then it's back home to PA.


  1. Leslie, what watercolors do you use?

  2. More wonderful sketches. For someone with little time to sketch and paint I'd say you do a fine job! Love them all.

  3. Congrats on reaching the half way point in your challenge - you're doing great! I love all your sketches, but especially the Smith Mountain Lake one. Oh, and the kitchen is charming too.

  4. Thanks for the encouragement, Cheryl and Katiejane! I appreciate it. And Colleen, I use Winsor & Newton and American Journey (from Cheap Joe's Art Stuff.)


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