Friday, March 27, 2015

Working With A New Scanner

The reason why I haven't been posting is because my old computer that was hooked up to my great old HP Scanner just went out on me probably for good.  I mean these were old but the scanner worked really well and I hardly had to adjust it to get images that were right on.  Unfortunately there is a point when old is old and you can't get the drivers for old scanners to work with new computers. It is frustrating!

I finally figured out how to make my new printer/scanner connect with my newish iMac.  So now I am in business again.  The one drawback is this new Brother multifunction printer/scanner/copier is not as good at getting the coloration and saturation right on the scans.  So there is a lot of fussing with photoshop to try to get it right.

Here are a couple of watercolor practices that I scanned.  I already see an issue on the first one.  The background is not white when it should be.  Back to the drawing board..or photoshop to adjust.

adjusted scan to hold the whites

scan too dark and whites turned gray

Saturday, February 28, 2015

Line to Color Workshop 2015: Orange County, CA

As of March 23 we are sold out for this workshop.  Contact Gail if you want to be put on a wait list or email list for future workshops.
May 1-3, 2015 the Line to Color Workshop will be in Orange County, California. Sketch with us at Mission San Juan Capistrano and the Beach Towns along the Pacific Coast Highway. The workshop is being co-hosted by Orange County AIA.
If you are interested in this workshop click on the Line to Color Icon for more information.  Contact for registration forms and space availability.  gail(at)glwarc(dot)com

Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Practicing Watercolor techniques

It is good to try to keep watercolor as a fresh practice daily.  That way when you get out to drawing on site you have the muscle memory and experience to know how to handle what is presented before you.  These become in your memory ways of attacking a problem.

This is the same with line work as well.  Keep it fresh by practicing still life set ups at home if you can't get out. 

There are two ways I have been doing this at home.  I have been using Veronica Lawlor's book  "One drawing a Day"  which has drawing and painting exercise prompts.  I also look to Tom Hoffman's Watercolor Class blogs to get exercises to do.

The following paintings were about practicing soft and hard edges by copying a picture and trying to create the same affect. In these examples, I was just practicing on very cheap paper.  The paper as well as the timing, when you put color down with a wet on wet technique affects the outcome.  This would look totally different if I had done it on different paper,  if I had wetted both sides of the paper instead on one side, and when I lay the color down.  It is good to practice these and jot down your steps to remember how you created the affect.

Practicing edges Soft and Hard Edges.  Wet on Wet.

Soft and hard edges.

Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Seattle Urban Sketchers At Starbucks Roastery and Tasting Room

Sunday the Seattle Urban sketchers met for their monthly sketch outing at the new Starbucks Reserve Roastery and Tasting Room.  It is an interesting place,  conceptually described as the Willy Wonka Factory of Coffee.  There you can see roasting vats and silos of coffee beans  with pneumatic tubes racing around the place transporting beans from one place to another.  This place is humming with people and activity,  coffee and tea and Tom Douglas's Serious Pie.  It is pretty overwhelming.  I stationed myself at immediately at an outside window looking toward the coffee bar and got an overall view of the place.  Next time  I will walk around and sketch some other interesting parts of the place.
In that neighborhood down the street is a Melrose Market a wonderful interior space fill with small market stalls,  a butcher, flower shop, restaurant, wine tasting bar and other vendors.
Starbucks Reserve Roastery and Tasting Room
Melrose Market
Signage on Melrose St.

Saturday, February 21, 2015

Four Days Before Sunshine again

I started this sketch on Tuesday thinking I could add watercolor to it the next day.  But the light was not the same.  For four days we had cloudy weather until this morning when I could see the sunlight hit the tree and the house.  That's Seattle winter for you.

Tuesday, February 17, 2015

Morning Sketch

There is a huge tree across the street that is probably 80 feet tall with probably a 5 ' diameter trunk.  It is beautiful but messy in the fall and winter.  I did this quick sketch this morning starting with the tree trunk and branches the added the adjacent house, carport and fencing.  This took about 20 minutes to do.  I will go out tomorrow morning and paint it.

Friday, February 13, 2015


Two watercolor sketches of an Amarillis I started growing a week before Christmas.  It didn't finally bloom until mid to late January.  Next year I will start earlier.

Wednesday, February 11, 2015

Media Experimentation

 Experimentation with different media and tools.
Twig and china ink, watercolor and neo color.
Ink with dip pen,  and watercolor.
Hero pen, waterbrush with ink and water.

Hero Pen, Waterbrush with ink and water.


Friday, February 6, 2015

Line to color sketch

Yesterday I had to go to Les Schwab to get my right tire fixed.
I took the opportunity to sneak a sketch in the waiting room. 
I finished a line drawing while I was there and then added color from memory this morning.

Thursday, February 5, 2015

Contour Line Drawings

I was recently at the VA hospital as a part of a study on diet and glycemic index.  While I was there I sketched to pass the time.  Here are two simple line drawings done while I was there.

Sunday, January 4, 2015

Sketches From Fall of 2014

Fall was very busy for me.  So I didn't have time to sketch as much as I would like to.  You get kind of rusty.  Here are some sketches I did between Thanksgiving and the New Year. 
 Christmas Decorations at our house 2014.

 Northwest Boy Choir Concert at St. Mark's Cathedral.

 The 9th Annual Soulumination Artist Holiday Sale.  I was a participant in this and took a little time to sketch the event.

Thanksgiving pies for 2014.  11 in all for a table of 17 people.  This is a tradition that happens each thanksgiving.  The kids are really getting into it.

Monday, December 29, 2014

Moravian Star

Happy Holidays to all!

I have been busy and doing some different things with painting. I took an abstract watercolor workshop given by Tom Hoffman.  I really learned a lot during 3 full days of painting.

Yesterday while watching the Seahawks game I finished putting together this painted Moravian Star.
It is a complex geometry so I had my son take the challenge and create the template and do a sample to figure out how to put it together.  It probably took a total of 20 hours to paint, cut, fold and glue it all together.

Friday, December 5, 2014

All Set Up for the Soulumination Holiday Artists' Sale Tomorrow

Just finished setting up for the Soulumination Holiday Artists' Sale happening this weekend.
It will be Saturday from 10 am - 7 pm and Sunday from 12pm - 5 pm.
This will be the third time I have been involved with this Annual Event.  A portion of the proceeds go to the non profit
Go to their website to see what they are all about.  Come by and say hi.  It is well worth the visit. You will definitely leave with a lot of holiday gifts!

Thursday, December 4, 2014

Getting ready for Soulumination Holiday Artist Sale this weekend

It's happening this weekend Dec 6 and 7! This is one of the best Holiday sales in the area. Come by I have some great cards, 2015 Calendar and Ornaments for sale. Hope to see you there!

Saturday, November 8, 2014

Soulumination 9th Annual Artist Sale

It is that time of year again!  Getting ready for Soulumination's Annual Artists' Sale.  This is really a great event.  I have participated for three years now.  It is one of the best Holiday sales I know of and 25 percent goes to further a great cause.  Please put it on your calendars and come by and see us.
I will have a booth of art cards and 2015 calendars and more.

Thursday, October 30, 2014

Sketch Images

 A couple of weeks ago I received my copy of Gabi Campanario's new book "The Urban Sketching Handbook".  On page 56 and 57 is a sketch I did of Sacromante in Granada, Spain both shown in the Black and white ink version and then the color version.  Thanks to Gabi for including my sketch in his book.  It is a great book to have if you are interested in sketching outdoors.
Today I also received a package in the mail sent to me from the University of Washington.  It was a nice gift box of a few of my watercolor sketches that they used as thank you gifts to some of their donors.  What a nice surprise package!

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Mad Campus Art

I haven't been posting for because teaching is taking a bit of time this year. However I did get a chance to sketch on campus while the Mad Campus Art Exhibit was up.  This was an exhibit of exterior art pieces located in unexpected and unusual places. I was hoping I could sketch more of the art pieces but only had a chance to sketch this one piece the Lone Stranger which was an inflatable art piece locate in front of the Gates Law Building.  This piece was done by Artist Piper O'Neill.
The Sine Wave by W. Scott Trimble

Sunday, September 28, 2014

Convocation at UW

Last weekend we attended the 2014 Convocation Ceremony at University of Washington where our youngest son is starting his college career.  I was able to sketch the events of the day. When I went to undergrad I don't remember an event like this.  Nor do I for graduate school.  So we encouraged our son to go to this.  We wanted him to get his and our money's worth...get the full experience of attending the University!

Friday, September 12, 2014

Line to Color Workshop this weekend in Tacoma

Getting packed up for the Line to Color Workshop in Tacoma.
Here is a photo of stuff that was given to us by our sponsor partners.
Fluid 100 6x8 watercolor pads from Global Art Materials. " 66 Try it Color sheets" and "Watercolor Sticks"  from Daniel Smith. 
We want to thank our sponsors and Tacoma Art Museum for supporting this workshop.

Friday, September 5, 2014

Ada's Technical Books and Cafe'

Last week I went to Ada's Technical Books for coffee and in particular to sketch the place.  I have visited this cafe several times but am usually there to do some thinking or prepping for a class.  This time I wanted to be sure to plan time to sketch there.  It is an old bungalow that has been converted to a bookstore and cafe'.  To see more about sketches on unusual coffee shops in Seattle check my blog on the USk International Blog .

Thursday, August 28, 2014

El Cerrito Recycling and Environmental Resource Center

While visiting in California this summer I ended up going to the recycling center in El Cerrito.  This Platinum Leed Project has an interesting design and site plan.  It is a semi circle in plan with different stations where you can drop off items to be recycled.  They will take pharmaceuticals, motor oil, cfls, electronics  as well as typical paper, cardboard and plastics.  A book center is located at the entry and books can be dropped off but you will also find people hovering around the book bin like vultures ready to pick up some nice free books.  There is also Good Will bins for reusable goods.  It is a one stop recycling center.  We could use something like that here in Seattle.

Monday, August 25, 2014

Reflections at Center for Wooden Boats

Last Thursday was the last class for my architectural sketching class.  I started this sketch to demonstrate the process of doing reflections.
Center for Wooden Boats

Saturday, August 23, 2014

Ashland Oregon Shakespeare Festival

On our recent road trip to California we made a stop in Ashland, Oregon.  Ashland is known for the Shakespeare Festivals it has held every year since 1935.  It has an outdoor Elizabethan theatre similar to the Globe theatre, the Allen Elizabethan Theatre named for its major contributor the Paul G. Allen Foundation.  I remember being there years ago on another road trip but at that time the surrounding seated area was a banked lawn. I was surprised to see a semi enclosed seated outdoor theatre on this trip and was intrigued by the space so I was able to convince my family to give me  enough time to sketch there.

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Knowing when to stop!

Today a met with a couple of sketching students to sketch at the Panama Hotel Tea and Coffee House.
I got there early so I started a sketch of the storefront entry from inside the space.  I was able to add color to it while students were working on their own sketches.  I got to a point where I was happy with it but then decided to add more color to the background walls.  I should have stopped before "adding"...sometimes it is better to call it a day  and then look at it 24 hours later to see if you really need to add anything.  Adding the background took away focus to the sketch.  What I had to do is add value to other areas to make it read again.  It turned out okay but I should have stopped earlier and reassessed it the next day!

Flags at Shilshole

It took me a  long time to find a view I wanted to sketch.  Maybe there were just too many options or maybe it was the fact that when you sat down the guard rail aligned with  your eye level.  I ended up standing to sketch the view I liked.  What drew me to this view were the colorful big flags on a couple of sail boats and the fog that had settled in, creating interesting atmospheric perspective.  Of course by the time I finished the sketch the fog had lifted so when painting the sketch I could add the color of the sky and a lot more masts seem to fill the background.

Saturday, August 16, 2014


A couple of Thursdays ago I taught my Architecture sketching class at Gas Works Park.  Little did I know that there would be people setting up tents and stations for the Obliteride  Event.  Obliteride raises funds for Cancer Research and is an event that happens once a year.  The sketch below was the  drawn while they were in the process of setting up for the Friday start of the bike rides and events happening on the next day. 

This is the first sketch in my new travelogue Handbook.  The size is about 8x8 which is a perfect size for broad loose washes.  The 5.5 x 8.5 watercolor sketch books were feeling a bit small... this sketch book works well and is giving me more freedom in my watercolors and sketch layouts.

Obliteride set up at Gasworks Park.