Thursday, July 25, 2013

Dall Sheep Ram

This has sat on my drawing board for a week and I thought it was time to post it.  I have been waffling back and forth about whether to lay some watercolor down on this.  I think it might be cool to add a hazy watercolor wash to the background to counterpoint the white and grey of the ram.  Still not sure.  Since I may yet painting it, I left the pencil under drawing un-erased. Leave a comment and tell me your preference.

                                    Pen and ink on 140lbs paper 9x12

The Dall sheep, Ovis dalli, is a species of sheep native to northwestern North America.  I flirted with the idea of mislabeling him "goat" because that seems to elicit comments.  

This drawing is from a photo taken in Denali national park, Alaska like this painting of Mt McKinley.  Alas, I have never been there but hope to one day. 

Saturday, July 20, 2013

The Parade's about to Begin

Today was our town's 100th anniversary and it started it off with a big (relatively speaking) parade.  Luckily, with the early start it was only in the mid 80's (it would hit the upper 90's later in the afternoon). While waiting for the parade to begin I decided to paint the people setting up their chairs and umbrellas.

                                           Watercolor on paper 9x7

This is the 10th painting in the pad I bought last August in Chicago.  I gave myself a year to fill its 12 pages with paintings and complete a book for the first time in decades.  I have a month and a half to get it done.

Saturday, July 13, 2013


Why an exclamation point?  Why not?  Besides, turtles are cool.

                                  Pen & Ink, Watercolor on 100lbs Bristol 11x14

If I am anything, I consider myself an illustrator, or in the 'Jersey vernacular. . .a drawer (pronounced draw-RER). Drawing or sketching is how I got started in all this and it is always my first love.  I may never master watercolors as fine art, but I do love the way the augment my illustrations.

                                                            Pen & Ink

Sunday, July 07, 2013

A Sketch a Day in Colorado

Whilst on vacation, I set a a personal goal to do one sketch each day. As it turns out, I successfully  carried my travel sketch kit with me on each of the 6 hikes we did on Colorado.  Here they are.

On our first day in Colorado we attended the Renaissance Fair in Larkspur.  The Fair was similar to the one in Tuxedo New York that we usually attend but the end battle/joust was much shorter.  I quickly drew this while sitting on the lawn waiting for the main even joust to start.  There was no preliminary melee and so I missed the entire joust while sketching.

                                                 Waiting for the Joust
                                        Watercolor and ink on paper 5.5x8.25

The hike to the top of Mount Herman was a little over a mile in distance (we stared toward the top) but took us from ~7700 ft in elevation to 9100 ft.  Between the elevation and the steep climb, I was hurting a bit after this one.  And this was not the toughest hike.  Literally two minutes after I finished this, and while I was still packing up, rain clouds swooped in and obscured the view of these mountains.
                                          The View from Mount Herman
                                        Watercolor and ink on paper 5.5x8.25

The Garden of the Gods was by the far the easiest of the hikes and perhaps the most inspiring.  We took tons of photos that may one day find themselves the subjects of their own paintings.  I painted this sitting on the sunbathed observation deck of the visitor's center and may be my favorite sketch of the trip.  Cathedral Rock, or Grey Rock, is one of the first rock formation you see when entering the park.
                                         Cathedral Rock, Garden of the Gods
                                        Watercolor and ink on paper 5.5x8.25

I rushed this one a bit and it shows but the biting flies were. . .well. . .biting.  I do like how the water preceding the little waterfalls came out.  That said, everything about Estes Park was just amazing and beautiful.  I think my next vacation to Colorado needs to include many more days exploring this park (and hopefully next time I will get to see an Elk in the road).

                                          The Pool at the Big Thompson River
                                        Watercolor and ink on paper 5.5x8.25

 Horsetooth Mountain was supposed to be a "moderately" difficult hike.  Yeah, right.  We called it 10k the hard way (3.1 miles to the top) and this one kicked my @$$!  This hike included rock hewn stairs, scrambling and steep grades. . .but man, was the view worth it.  I chose to paint the western view instead of the eastern view that included the city of Ft Collins.  I just did not want to paint any buildings on this trip.

                             Western View from the top of Horsetooth Mountain
                                        Watercolor and ink on paper 5.5x8.25

The final hike and sketch was from Seven Falls, a truly beautiful sight of seven cascading waterfalls.  Instead of painting the falls themselves, I instead chose to paint the view from Inspiration Point.  This sight is the final resting place of Helen Hunt Jackson and was the inspiration for her novel Ramona.

                                           Inspiration Point, Seven Falls
                                        Watercolor and ink on paper 5.5x8.25