Tag: November 2013

start the art
fri 1 nov 2013

Entry #1 on this page (tagged: november, )


My goal for November is to make art every day!

It doesn't have to be good art. And if I don't want to show it, I don't have to!

But I am going to work on a 4x6 index card or paper every day this month.

I actually did a test run on tuesday...

practice drawing

I drew this picture from a Dover book in pencil. Inked it with a brush tip Multiliner SP, erased the pencil then coloured the background with copic wides and sketch markers. I am happy with my fish and it took about half an hour.

Today is the first official day of the Art Month:

1 nov

This is the back side of a California Poppy, inspired by a photo in the Fall edition of National Parks magazine.

No pencil work on this one, I drew straight up with my copics. This drawing was less about the actual drawing and more about the blending of the colours. I feel like I need some practice!

And practice is exactly the point of this month of art!!

sat 2 nov 2013

Entry #2 on this page (tagged: november, )

Today I did some sketching from life...

sketch of Ethel the guinea pig

Unfortunately, the life was moving around too much. So I'm not very happy with my drawings. I should catch them while they are sleeping!

and Lucy the guinea pig

But I am happy with the fact that it's november 2nd and I already have four drawings done!

fri 8 nov 2013

Entry #3 on this page (tagged: november, )


So I meant to post some of my daily drawings during the week. But random projects got in the way. And sometimes craziness got in the way. And now I have to play catch up.

Shirley at TES

This is Shirley who lives at The Elephant Sanctuary, a cool place that's important to me.

Shirley turned 65 this year, and I drew her from the cover of the Summer newsletter. Her leg juts out like that because it was broken and never set. She came to the sanctuary in 1999 and she is living happily ever after.

Be sure to check out the EleCam!

More catching up tomorrow...

catching up
sat 9 nov 2013

Entry #4 on this page (tagged: november, )

... With my daily drawings...

coreopsis bud

I love how this one turned out! I drew it directly with copics, from a photo of the coreopsis flowers that I grew in our community garden plot this year. I did the black outline last, with a brush tip multiliner.


This drawing came from the same garden photo, an aster plant was growing behind the coreopsis. I experimented with my set of Inktense pencils. I think this is the first time I've used them in a drawing. Inktense is water activated... so you put your drawing down with the pencils and then you hit them with a water brush. Sounds simple enough, doesn't it? Except I suck pretty bad with paint brushes.

But I tried it out! Only the flower has a very careful wash over it, although I did swipe the background with my water brush as well. If I try it again, I will definitely use some actual watercolour paper... my index card warped quite a bit and I could tell the colours were going to blob all over the place if I got carried away with the water. And it might be nice to get carried away with the water, you know?! :)

fire ant

I had just finished reading Biophilia by E.O. Wilson and decided to draw a fire ant in his honor. ha. I grew up with fire ants when I lived in Louisiana... I ran around outside with bare feet, as all good children should, and stepped in my fair share of fire ant hills!

I wanted to draw a rat today, in honour of the Mutts comic of friday:

mutts 8 nov 2013

"Rats need love too"!

Yes! I searched for an ancient pic of my friend Freefall, who I cared for when I was a teenager. It's a tiny pic, but it's the only one I have and I wanted to draw her and not some stranger I found on the internet!

But my drawing did not come out well. I tried again. and again. I erased a lot. And then I tried drawing with copics. And then I just traced my photo. And even that looked not-normal! humph.

So, I'm going to show you my photo, instead of my pitiful drawings!


Isn't she precious?! If the opportunity presented itself, I would jump at the chance to adopt another rat!

weekend roundup
sun 10 nov 2013

Entry #5 on this page (tagged: november, , )

I think it's decided. Drawing furry animals is difficult!

attempt at a cat

Good thing I still have 20 days to practice!

I am also playing catch up with my postcard and mailing projects. I love sending mail! My ongoing goal is to send a monthly postcard to the two mailing groups I belong to, and a few friends and family. The mailing list is currently between 60 and 70 postcards.

But then I pick up random Swap-Bot projects that look fun. And then I want to send something special to someone. And then there are a few replies to be made... yeah: there's a pile.

This weekend, I cleared out the Swap-Bot projects. And I wrote a couple replies. And I really organized that pile, so that I can pick up the top project and get going with it quickly and easily!

Also worked on an Amnesty International case.

When I read I Am Malala, I was reminded that my Amnesty International work was important. Having recently finished E.O. Wilson's Biophilia (the fire ant!), I was reminded again...

He writes about the terrible changes that come to Surinam, in South America, after a dictator comes into power in 1980. Wilson was concerned about the human rights violations as well as the environmental destruction. He mentions Amnesty International's Urgent Action cases in the footnotes.

As a member of the Urgent Action Network, I must continue my activism! It is so important!

I've signed up for the USA Write for Rights, which happens in December. But the UK Write for Rights is already under way!

furry animals
sat 16 nov 2013

Entry #6 on this page (tagged: november, )

I worked in pencil, and pencil + copics, on a few furry animals this week. But my beginner's luck is over and I had to crumple up a lot of ugly index cards! ha. oh well, I kept trying until I could almost recognize the critters I was drawing!

the guinea pigs

the guinea pigs

I drew Lucy and Ethel several days in a row... at first attempting some live sketches. Much frustration and crumpling ensued. Then I printed out their photo and drew from that.

I think I might have to practice for years instead of just one month a year.

Missy at the humane society


I need to remind myself that my drawing "goal" is not photo realism. I have a camera for photos!!

My goal here is along the lines of my paper journal... to record the things important to me. To have fun. To remember.

Drawing is a skill that, with practice, can be improved. And I am here to practice!

and feathery
sat 16 nov 2013

Entry #7 on this page (tagged: november, )

A scrub jay, today.

I had taken a few photos of this scrub jay in september, and wished I could have turned one of them into a postcard. Unfortunately, they were all blurry... the day was cloudy and the jay only sat for mere seconds. arg.

But even blurry photos are useful!

I printed up the best of the blurry pics and got out my field guide and attempted a drawing.

scrub jay

And then I took some pics of my work area...

work area

This is my usual set up. The end of my bed is where I do my computing (thus the keyboard and track ball!). I draw on my lap desk, my photo refs in front of me, and all my copic sketch markers.

Squirrel Week!
sat 23 nov 2013

Entry #8 on this page (tagged: november, )

I printed up one of my photos of a pine squirrel on Monday and spent the rest of the week drawing him! He is just so cute!

Unfortunately, when doing my drawings in copics, I discovered I don't have the right colours. Orange is my least favorite colour, and also I don't have any pale colours... and I need a pale orange for this project!

I tried twice, and then went for something completely different!!

pencil drawing

copic drawing

copic drawing

copic drawing


I was annoyed that I had so much trouble with his fingers. Hands are hard to draw!

I also got to do some experiments with alcohol ink painting. Here's an example of some real art with a cute baby sea turtle: Painting with Copic Various Ink. And another one by Lin Frye, who contributes regularly to the exclusive Sketching in Nature blog.

alcohol ink blobs

alcohol ink ocean

Happy Long Weekend
thurs 28 nov 2013

Entry #9 on this page (tagged: november, )

My project for this weekend is to write letters for Amnesty International. I've joined Write for Rights. I have been participating in this campaign since 2011 and this is my third year!

Amnesty International Write for Rights

The great thing about Write for Rights is that they provide sample letters. It's so easy to participate! Just print up the sample letter, sign it and put it in an envelope!

In addition to sending letters of protest, you can also send letters of solidarity.

There are 10 cases highlighted this year... and my goal for this long weekend is to write letters for ALL of them!!

eastern fox squirrel

3 piles of projects
sat 30 nov 2013

Entry #10 on this page (tagged: november, , )

my 3 current projects

The pile on the left is the art pile.
My project for november is Art Everyday. The pile includes the magazines I have drawn from, the photos I've printed up, different kinds of paper (that I've not actually used), my 4x6 index cards along with my trusty mechanical pencil and white vinyl eraser.

The pile on the right is the Amnesty International letters.
This is my project for this long weekend. So far I have written letters of protest and notecards of support for 6 of the 10 cases!

The pile includes all the letters, since I decided not to mail them until the Write for Rights campaign "officially" begins on 2 december. Also in the pile are my stamps: the round global forever stamps and the US stamps are the Modern Art forever stamps (I bought a bajillion sheets of these, because I love art, and now I so tired of them!) (ha).

And my little set of Hallmark cards, there in the middle... I usually make my own notecards, but I am glad I decided to use up some of my "bought" stash. When you're writing so many letters in a single weekend, it's good to make things as easy as possible! Making my own: I have to choose a design, print it, cut and fold it, and then dig out an envelope for it. These bought notecards have a design of leaves on a teal background. They are beautiful, gender non-specific, and small so I don't feel like I have to write too much! Easy.

The pile at the top of the pic is my journal binding project.
This year I've been journalling on loose leaf paper... not just writing by hand, but also printing up some digital journal pages. It really works well for me, except I don't take the time to bind up the papers very often.

Which is fine. It's nice to get a little perspective -- aka let months pass -- before looking through journal pages.

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