Saturday Sketch

Sketchbook Skool instructor Cathy Johnson had us sketching birds this past week. I tried my hand at a cedar waxwing sketch with watercolor but was disappointed in the outcome. I’m pretty happy with this sketch of a raven though. Click on image for a larger view.

Raven sketchI am also taking a class focused on sketching dogs and cats. Two classes at one time is one class too many for me. So, I’m off to practice sketching fur and wet noses — wish me luck!

Wordless Wednesday


Franki Kohler, carved wood birds

8 Techniques, Page 2

Skidding to the finish line of this week, I have completed a second page using the 8 techniques of focus in Jane’s Sketching & Watercolor in a Mixed Media Journal class. A week always seems like plenty of time to complete several pages for one lesson. The problem is that I’ve never mastered the art of knowing the difference between understanding the lesson and accurately calculating the amount of time it will take me to master the lesson. Note to self: Just keep doing the best you can.

For this page I chose to use birds as the subject. I gathered a few of my collection

Franki Kohler, a few birds

and got started. For technique 1 I used a pin cushion made of cotton fabrics; for technique 2 I used one made of upholstery fabric — hence the rounded beak. I’ve completed using 7 of the 8 techniques here.

Franki Kohler, Lesson 4, page 2 in progress

For the 7th technique, we draw and ink on a book page, then glue it to the journal page and add watercolor. My eye fell upon Raven’s Wing, a book of short stories by Joyce Carol Oates. I’ve read enough of her work to know that I won’t be reading this one again. A page from the title short story was perfect for this page.

The last technique — tissue overlay — took me quite a while. I needed to select the birds to use, determine their size and orientation, decide on the position on the page. So many decisions! Finally it came together.

Franki Kohler, Lesson 4, page 2

Whew, done. The next lesson starts today.

To see the first page using these techniques, click here. You can see what happened in Lesson 1 here, Lesson 2 here and here.

More Everyday Objects

It’s the end of the week with Lesson 2: Everyday objects. I’m always optimistic that I’ll get several pages of sketches done in a week, I certainly intend to. I feel lucky to have completed 2 pages! Here is the first page of objects from the dining room:

Franki Kohler, Everyday objects page 1

And here is the second page with objects from the bathroom. I used the Tombow pen for 4 of the objects, then used the permanent pen and watercolor for the toothbrush. The glove form is a favorite of mine. I have 3 of them and they are displayed on a shallow shelf in the bathroom. I feel like I’m getting a ‘High 5!” when I see them. They were in service for many years at a factory in northern New York before they came to live with me.

Frnaki Kohler, Everyday objects, page 2

I’m not saying that organic objects such as leaves and flowers are easy to master, but there is a forgiveness to them that these man-made, symmetrical objects do not afford. The Tombow pen is very fun to use for shading sketches. As I continue using it I’ll be more adept at shading and incorporating watercolor as well. In the meantime, I have a lot more sketching to do!

I’m taking Sketching & Watercolor in a Mixed Media Journal with Jane Lafazio on-line. You can see what happened in Lesson 1 here ; Lesson 2 here.

Lesson 2: Everyday Objects with a Tombow Pen

This lesson introduced a new tool: a Tombow pen. This nifty pen uses water-soluble acid-free ink and has 2 ends: a brush and a fine tip.

Franki Kohler, Lesson 2

The fine tip is great for drawing the outline of a final sketch. The brush end is handy for getting more ink on the watercolor brush for darker shading.

Our assignment for this week is to sketch everyday objects, then carefully refine the sketch using the fine tip of the Tombow. Once the inking is complete, pencil lines are erased and the watercolor brush comes out. Using just plain water, the object is shaded.

Here are my first attempts at this technique:

Franki Kohler, Lesson 2, page 2

I couldn’t resist adding a bit of color to the 2nd bird. Jane’s advice is to add more shading at the bottom of the bird. I’m guilty of following the actual coloring of the object instead of simply doing this as a sketch with shading — hence the dabs of peach and yellow.

The next object is taken from the bathroom:

Franki Kohler, Lesson 2, page 2

This pen is mighty fun! I have room for another bird on the first page and plenty of other objects in the bathroom. Stay tuned.