Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Minnesota State Fair Sketch-OUT (part two)

On Saturday I went sketching with the MCBA Visual Journaling Collective at the Minnesota State Fair. I have to say I had a great time. It was hot (a drawback, but it is summer) and crowded (to be expected really), but it was interesting and fun. I found that I focused on the animals at the fair for my drawing subjects, not that there was a shortage of people or great things to look at. I figured can draw people nearly anywhere, as well as great scenes, but livestock is not as easy to come by especially up-close, and the cows never ask you why you have made them look fat, or think you suck if you get their face a bit lopsided. Animals just seemed like the less stressful choice for drawing.
This was also my first "big" location to draw in public at and I was unprepared for becoming a part of the fair exhibit as I drew.

My first stop was to the horse barn, and I found that as I stood in the aisle drawing this percheron named Dream, I attracted a crowd of around ten people watching me draw the horse. I had not experienced this before and it was a little unnerving. I was actually grateful that I am a teacher and used to people watching me draw and asking questions, so I was able to continue my sketch without thinking about the people looking over my shoulder.
These horses were beautiful, and the owners were excited by my work, so I went back again later in the afternoon to draw more of them but I did not have much luck.

The photo of my sketchbook shows my attempts at further horse drawings that day. The front on horse face had potential to be a great drawing. The horse was staring me down as I drew, we were face to face and he was not moving anytime soon, or so I thought. A man walked up with his young son to show him the horse, and the little boy had a bag of corn chips. One sniff and my perfect model was at the other side of his stall hoping for a chip. Drawing over.
The next sketch the problem was all me, I started drawing too big. I love the back section of this horse resting in the stall, the sense of shifted weight, but then we move toward the spiral binding and I run out of room and try to compensate for the gap in the page and it is out of whack and over.
I decided at this point (there is one more but trust me its worse than these) that I was out of "horse juice" for the day and needed a break and some water.
I went in search of fellow sketchers thinking to check in early (we were meeting as a group again at 4 and it was about 20 after 3), talk about drawing as we wandered toward our meeting place across the fair from the barns. I found no one and after having some water and watching people I decided I could wander to the cows and look for someone there, or maybe draw one more sketch, although I was certain I was done for the day.
While in the barn I came one a row of cows resting that happened to have a bench across the aisle to sit on, so with little hope of success I pulled out my book for one more quick one before our meeting.

I am so happy that I decided to go look at cows and was really happy I did not let the fact that I was getting tired get in the way of me trying one more drawing, because I got this sketch of Lola from the bench in before my meeting. I also took a photo of this cow and the two others laying next to her that I am hoping to create a watercolor from later.
Just shows that pushing for just one sketch more pays off, sometimes.

Monday, August 30, 2010

Minnesota State Fair Sketch Out

On Saturday I went to the Minnesota State Fair to sketch with the MCBA Visual Journal Collective run by Roz Stendahl. There were about fifteen or so sketchers who joined the group for two meetings at one and four in the afternoon. In the mean time we were all at the Fair with the purpose of sketching, and boy are there things to sketch at the Fair - people, animals, exhibits, rides, and food.
Needless to say, I had a great time, met some new sketchers, and will make a full report in a couple of days. For now I have posted a sheep drawn while at the fair, a handful more sketches to follow in the next couple days.

Friday, August 6, 2010

Virtual Paintout - Prince Edward Island

Every month I start a Virtual Paintout submission, and for the last three months I have either not finished or in the case of last month, not submitted my work. Sometimes this happens because I am not thrilled with the location (Hawaii); other times I just get busy with other things and start but never finish (San Francisco); or finish and forget to submit (Hong Kong). This month the location is Prince Edward Island, Canada and I have found a couple of great locations that I want to paint so, this morning I was determined.

I made myself sit at the desk, in front of a view I liked and paint, with my sketchbook, just like I was there, except I got to do laundry while I worked. Guess what? I finished.
And working directly from the computer really helped. I usually print a picture and bring it to my studio, cut some nice paper, draw, paint - whatever - begin, but it gets lost in the shuffle and not completed. Or an image gets tucked into my sketchbook to draw from while at an appointment or something and forgotten about. Working right from the screen was immediate. I could pretend I was on location and just work. Granted, I was able to take a bit longer than I would have if I was standing in this field, and I did take breaks for laundry and lunch, but still the process was the same as if I was there.
This means I will do another view from this month's location. I even have a view picked out that will be great as a double spread across the spiral in my sketchbook.