Sunday, March 5, 2017

San Clemente Highlights

I got home from San Clemente about a week ago, and ever since then I've been feverishly working to finish up a commission that was a bit overdue. I can't wait to share it with you! I think it might be the most unique piece of artwork I've ever done. But first, I want to show you some highlights from my most recent trip.

Travel isn't always easy, and I experienced that first hand on my way to California. The weather was fine when I left Pittsburgh, but then I had a stopover in Houston, Texas, which ended up being an overnight stay. My flight to Orange County, CA, was cancelled because a huge Pacific storm was raging in southern California, and the Orange County airport was closed due to heavy rains and high winds. Houston might be a perfectly nice town, but it wasn't where I was expecting to be the night before I had to teach in California! I finally got a flight out the next morning and arrived at San Clemente Art Supply around noon. We were all so happy that I made it! And we even managed to shift the class time so that we got in our six hours that first day. What a relief!

I was really excited to teach my new "Sketch It Now" workshop. It builds on my introductory "Sketch Your Life" workshop, and everyone seemed to really enjoy all the great new ideas I had for them to try out in their journals: new page layouts, project ideas, corner and border designs, plus tons of great lettering styles.

My California girls :)

The first project I had for them involved drawing a collection of items and coordinating a page border with the chosen subject matter. We had a nice variety of themes. Here are just a few:


Beatrix Potter figurines...


and hearts from around the world...

Next came a travel journal page. Some people chose to feature exotic locations far from home, like Great Britain...

and Italy...

while my friend Karen painted the little cottage she rented for her stay in San Clemente during the workshop...

Some of the speedier sketchers were able to get started on a third project, a botanical sketch with an elaborate border.

I can't wait to see how Susan's sketch looks when she finishes that amazing border!

Jayne painted some fresh, spring-y tulips and added a bold color-coordinated border to her page.

On day two, we started off with a lesson on making painted borders for our sketchbook pages. They offer a great way to finish off a page, and it's easy to coordinate the colors with your sketch.

Jacquie used a wet-in-wet variegated wash for her painted border

Next, everyone painted their "happy place". Jacquie and Elizabeth both painted their porches.

Among the other sketches, beaches predominated, but a snowy ski slope made an appearance, too.

I taught the class how to draw banners to showcase text on a page. Karen drew a cute little Easter bunny and used banners to highlight the date and title on her page.

Susan did an awesome job on her coffee sketch. Don't you love the border? And that! Tricky!

Beverlee's little tea pot sketch brings to mind a cozy thatched-roof tea room in the Cotswolds, doesn't it? I love the wallpaper and the eyelet border. Aren't my students a creative bunch?

Earlier in the day, I had everyone do a wet-in-wet wash on a page in their sketchbooks then let it dry thoroughly. After lunch, they drew grids on the pages and filled them with partial images. I call this a peekaboo sketch. You're drawing little pieces of things, a peek, rather than drawing a complete object.

Some people used San Clemente Art Supply and the flower garden outside as their subject.

Others chose a more limited subject to feature, like a potted plant or an individual flower. I encouraged them to use the same three colors to paint their sketches that they used for the initial underwash. This helped to unify their pages and give them a cohesive look.

We wrapped up the last day with a time to share our sketches. I'm always impressed by much my students accomplish in two short days. The delight and pride on their faces as they admire each other's work tells me the class was a success on many levels. They learned a lot, pushed themselves to try new things, had fun, and made some new friends. Sketchbook journaling brings the nicest people together!

I'm finalizing plans to teach this same "Sketch It Now" workshop this coming August at my home teaching studio in Ruff Creek, PA. Dates will be announced soon.

In my next post, I'll share some of the sketches that I and my students did during my "Sketching on Location" workshop in San Clemente. I need to put the final touches on a few of them first. Stay tuned!

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