Thursday, August 2, 2012

75 Day Sketch Challenge: Days 41-42

Working in my sketchbook every day this summer has given me an opportunity to try out lots of different page layouts and text styles. It's made me realize that, by taking a few minutes to think and plan before I draw, I can make a much more interesting page. Leafing through my sketchbook now, you never know what to expect on the next page. It could be a grid, a vignette, a stamped border, or a framed view, like this one of the Blue Ridge Parkway...

I'm enrolled in an online watercolor lettering class with Val Webb, an incredible artist whose blog, The Illustrated Garden, has inspired and delighted me since I discovered it a few months ago. She's an excellent teacher and her course is filled with exciting, do-able techniques and projects that I can't wait to try. It's not too late to enroll, and you can work at your own pace, so, if you're interested, why not hop on over to her blog and take a look?

Week One's lesson was about drawing block letters and allowing the watercolor paints to mingle and blend behind them. I did my practice exercise on this final page of my Smith Mountain Lake sketches...

5-1/2" x 8-1/2", ink and watercolor, in Stillman & Birn Alpha sketchbook

Everyone remembers the joy of running to meet the ice cream truck when they were kids. Well, at the lake they have an ice cream boat! When the faint, tinkly notes of its perky song are heard coming across the water, kids and adults alike make a dash for the nearest dock. The boat cruises up, flags flying and music playing, and stops with a flourish, ready to take requests for Creamsicles, Fudgesicles, and Nutty Buddies.

Detail, 4" x 2-1/4"

I didn't try the frozen treats from the ice cream boat, but I did manage to finagle several opportunities to have what ice cream experts the world over (or at least me and my friends and family) say is the BEST ice cream in the world. The Homestead Creamery store is right next to their dairy, which is right down the road from the two farms where their milk is produced. Their ice cream is heavenly! Rich and flavorful, with the proper meltiness that tells you it's real. There are certain things that are worth the fat and calories, and this is definitely one of them. I wish I could try every flavor in the case!

Detail, 4-1/4" x 2-1/2"

Well, that's the last of my Smith Mountain Lake sketches, but I have thirty-three more to go in my 75 Day Sketch Challenge. Keep on stopping by!


  1. Love this, Leslie. What a beautiful boarder. It reminds me of Netherlands! Thanks for sharing!

  2. Fantastic! So enjoying browsing your blog!

  3. Beautiful, Leslie! I was wondering if you had enrolled in Val's course. I saw your lettering take off :) Good for you! You've got a great design eye and I so enjoy your pages!


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