Thursday, January 31, 2019

Keeping Warm at Starbucks

When I got up this morning it was about 7 degrees and with the wind chill factor it was about -11 degrees. It would have been nice to stay home and not go out into the cold at all but I had a PT appointment that I didn't want to miss. So I bundled up and headed out. I figured that while I was out I would stop at Starbucks to long as I could get a parking spot right by the door...and I did.  It was nice and warm inside. Luckily I sketched this man quickly because even though he looked like he would be there for a while, he was gone before I got to paint him.

Wednesday, January 30, 2019

Gulls in a Row

It was a cold day so I knew I needed to use my mobile studio. I was hoping for waves at the beach, but even with  the wind there was no great surf. So I left the beach and headed over to the Mastic Marina where I saw this long row of gulls sitting. I approached very carefully with my car to make sure I didn't scare them off. I got three of them sketched before something commanded their attention and they took off.

Tuesday, January 29, 2019


Sometimes I get a good likeness when I do portraits but today that didn't happen. I did a quick 10 minute sketch of Sally first. Then I attempted a real portrait. Sally organizes our Tuesday morning group and when we have no model she often volunteers to sit, so I've sketched her quite a few times. As I look at this I can see that I made her face and especially her nose too long. Also her hands are too small in proportion to the rest of her. She had a lovely parasol with her that wouldn't stay open and was so difficult to sketch with all those folds. As I've said before I show what I've sketched each day...the good and the bad.

Monday, January 28, 2019

At the Marina

Living on Long Island means we are surrounded by marinas and boats. Although most of them are wrapped up right now, I did find this one in Patchogue looking ready to be out on the water.

Sunday, January 27, 2019


Today I had a holiday installation luncheon for one of my art groups. It ended about 4 but by the time I got back in my car it was nearly 4:30. I figured I had time to drive somewhere near the bay and catch a bit of the sunset while I sketched. I ended up in the parking area across from where most of the ferries dock in Sayville. I was able to capture a bit of color but it wasn't a great sunset...quite a bit subdued. It was a quick, small sketch but in the short time I was doing it I managed to spill my small jar of water into my lap (and under my butt) TWICE! I came home quite soggy.

Saturday, January 26, 2019

Chelsea Market

The NYC Urban Sketchers met to day at Chelsea Market on 14th Street and 9th Avenue. I hadn't been there in quite a while and it has changed tremendously! It is probably at least 3 times as large with lots of restaurants and shops...and lots of people too. Due to the cold weather there were a lot of people happy for an indoor location to spend some time. When I first got there I walked all the way through it to check out possible scenes. Chelsea Market Baskets was all the way in the back and lucky for me had some tables right across from it where I was able to sit and paint.

My second sketch was done standing up looking through the market. The building itself is a lot of brick with an industrial look. By this time there were a lot of people milling about.

Back toward the front of Chelsea Market was a beautiful shop called Bastille that sold beautiful, cut flowers.

Friday, January 25, 2019

Islip View

Today I sat in my mobile studio and did a sketch of the town of Islip looking West along Montauk Highway.

Thursday, January 24, 2019

Bellport House

This small sketch was done sometime last week. Somehow I overlooked posting it. This is one of the homes on Bellport Lane overlooking the bay. It faces east so they must have lovely views from those windows upstairs.  I think the sign said the house was built over 150 years ago. I was going to write the date on the little black disc but forgot. I will have to check again the next time I'm there.

Wednesday, January 23, 2019

Stone House & Train Station

My friend, Suzala and I decided to have a sketch day today. I picked her up and we headed over to Oyster Bay. On the road in I spied this brick building out of the corner of my eye, so I turned around and found a spot to park so we could sketch. I don't know what the building is for. It is in front of a parking area for a big office building and it doesn't look like it is being used. I Goodgled the address but nothing came up giving information about it.

Here is the view we had from the mobile studio.

Suzala was sketching with a bamboo stick and did add a little color when she finished the inkwork. 

Suzala is a good sketching buddy because like me she doesn't like to waste time. We made a bathroom stop and then looked for a second scene to sketch. We ended up at the old train station that I believe will at some point be turned into a museum. It was a complicated building but that didn't stop us. 

Tuesday, January 22, 2019

Portraits Galore

At the beginning of next month the NYC Urban Sketchers will be having our annual Portrait Party. Here's a link to last year's event. We divide up the members into groups and each person in your group takes a turn posing...for 10 minutes only. You have to capture them in 10 minutes on a 8 x 10 piece of watercolor paper in a medium that will stand out from far away so when they are displayed on the floor in a grid everyone can see them. I started practicing last night and did a few practice sketches of Gerri our model this morning at portraits. Then I did a longer pose of her.

These were done last night using a Tombow marker and my watercolors. I think that is what I will use because the Tombow bleeds in a bit with the watercolors. I did a very quick sketch in pencil first to sort of place the features. Except for the one of me, these were all done from photos...mostly mine, but MLK was done from one on the internet.



My nephew, Joe

My friend, Jeanne

I forgot to bring the Tombow with me to portraits this morning so I used a black brush pen, but it didn't work as well as the brown Tombow. I wish the person who organizes the models didn't let them read while they are sitting. I hate sketching people with their eyes closed. I'll have to suggest that we have a certain amount of time to sketch them looking up before they start reading. 

Here is Gerri's longer pose.

Monday, January 21, 2019

Small Sketches

One of the online groups I belong to is WetCanvas. They have an "Artwork from Life" forum where there is a Scavenger Hunt that takes place every 9 days. Someone hosts and gives a list of 26 items for the participants to hunt for and sketch in the medium of their choice. You can do as many or as few of the items as you want. I participate a lot in the hunts and sometimes really like a few of the small sketches that I do as part of the hunt. Here are two examples.

We were given "your most recent art supply purchase" in this latest hunt. I just bought a Sailor fude pen which has a bent nib that allows you to make thin and thick lines with the same fountain pen. I haven't tried it yet because I ordered the pen through Amazon Prime but ordered the converter (which allows me to use my own ink) from someplace else and it hasn't been delivered yet. So I used the pen as a model for this item.

Another hunt item was "your favorite corner in your home or office." Since I always sit in the same spot on my couch, where I can rest my feet on the coffee table while I sketch, have access to my laptop and phone on the table next to me, I guess this spot qualifies. I did this sketch using the Zebra colored fountain pen in black and my watercolors. It bled a bit but I like that effect.

I'm just showing you that artwork doesn't necessarily mean ending up with a masterpiece each time.

Sunday, January 20, 2019

Coffee Break

Yesterday after painting the dune view down by the beach I decided to stop for a coffee. I also needed a ladies room so it was a good decision all around. I'm so glad that there was a nice, "non-Starbucks" coffee shop in Jamesport. I brought along my materials just in case there was a nice view for a sketch...and there was. I give you Hampton Coffee. Even their logo was cute.

Saturday, January 19, 2019

Dune View

With the thought of the impending storm heading our way I decided to go sketch today in case I can't get out tomorrow. Actually I think the snow will change to rain here along the coast of Long Island. But then it is supposed to get bitterly cold on Monday. Anyway I hopped in the car and drove east to Jamesport. I sat by their small beach on the North Fork and did a small view of the dunes.

Friday, January 18, 2019

A Touch of Snow

Here on Long Island we are at the beginning of a weather even that should last through the weekend. Overnight we had about a half inch of snow which was supposed to change to rain. (It didn't.) My plan was to work on a few indoor projects but I kept thinking about that touch of snow outside and headed out for a little bit. I took along a 4 x 6 pad of Strathmore Blue Toned Multi Media paper and my gouache. It was hard to find a spot that still had any snow, but there is a wooded area nearby where you can park and there is usually some snow either on the trees or on the fallen branches. I wasn't disappointed.

Thursday, January 17, 2019


The Patchogue Sketch Club met at the Pat/Med Library last night and our theme was horses. It was not my favorite theme and I had no horse figurines to bring in. I find horses very difficult to draw. Two of the members have collections of horse figures. Pat's were bought as toys when her kids were younger, but Gina collects them and has done model horse shows for years. When I got to the library Pat was already there and must have had about a dozen horses lined up on the table. Not one to sketch the ordinary, my eyes went to "Old Paint" immediately. He looks like a skinny, starving, bony horse and I immediately sat down nearby to sketch him.

Pat told me that  Old Paint belonged to her uncle and it was on display in his house for years and years. She has no idea where it came from. When her aunt and uncle had both passed away her brother inherited the house and he asked Pat if she wanted anything from the house. The only thing she wanted was Old Paint and he has been on display in her house ever since.

This second sketch is of a horse that Pat bought in Sweden. I liked that it was so colorful.

Here are a few photos of us working and you can see the number of horses we had to choose from for sketching.

Wednesday, January 16, 2019


The Sketch Group of the South Bay Art Association met yesterday after a holiday break to do portraits/figures. Dimitri who is one of our members posed for us.

Tuesday, January 15, 2019

Colored Ink Sketches

Yesterday I went down to the Bellport dock and did some small sketches in colored inks. I recently received some pen products from Zebra Pens to try out and give them some feedback. This was the first time I worked with these pre-filled fountain pens.  They are Zebra Zensations fountain pens, 7 different colors in a package. They are very vibrant colors. 
After working with them I found they are water-soluble to an extent. Once the ink is touched by water and it dries the ink is set and can no longer be activated. I had sketched in the sky in blue and wet it and it blended nicely. In spots that were still dry I added what is sort of a magenta color and let that blend too. When the sky was dry I added the other details like the thin branches. The tree trunks were touched with water so they are set but if I add any water to the thin branches at the top they will bleed. They were fun to work with, but I wish there was a yellow or brown earth toned ink included. I did cheat a little in the sketch of the building. I did the light poles with my Lamy pen with permanent ink so they wouldn't bleed into the sky. 

This is how I arranged the page in my sketchbook.

Monday, January 14, 2019

Artist Lake

Yes, there is such a place as Artist Lake in Middle Island. It is a spot where there are usually lots of birds because there is a parking area along a main road and people pull up and feed them. Of course I got there and there must have been 20 birds batting their wings in the air, but by the time I had my materials out I was only able to capture a few before the lady ran out of whatever she was feeding them. lol I did quick basic sketches of the birds and quickly took a few photos to help me once they were gone.

Sunday, January 13, 2019

Still Life

This is a small still life that is about 4 x 6. I was doing a sketch of some items for the Wet Canvas Scavenger Hunt (fabric, metal, drink, coffee brewer, sweet). This was done directly in watercolor.

Saturday, January 12, 2019

Transit Museum

Today the NYC Urban Sketchers met at the New York Transit Museum in Brooklyn. After walking around a bit I decided to sketch these replicas of trolly cars. Although they don't run on the streets of NYC any longer you can find some tracks in certain places.

Right in the same area there were several buses that people could sit in and climb on. The little kids especially loved sitting behind the steering wheel and pretending to drive.

I headed downstairs by the tracks. There were a number of old subway cars parked at the platform that you could check out and sit in. My favorite was an old one with rattan seats. I remember that kind of train car when I was a teenager and we would take the A train to Rockaway Beach. I decided not to sketch down was cold...almost like being outside. Inside I headed back upstairs and sketched this old, wooden turnstile. The sign on one end said entrance 10 cents and entrance 5 cents on the other end. I wonder if you had to pay a fare coming and leaving.

Another one of the sketchers took a photo of me sketching there. Thanks, Win!

Friday, January 11, 2019

In the Water

At this time of year on Long Island you see most boats in dry dock and shrink-wrapped for the winter. I was down by the marina behind Harbor Crab in Patchogue and saw this boat looking so nice...unwrapped. I didn't have any paper long enough for the whole mast, so I ended up working across two pages in my small 5 inch square hand made sketchbook.

Thursday, January 10, 2019

Smithtown Historical Society

I've sketched at the Smithtown Historical Society quite a few times. It is a good place to go when you want to paint something with strong color like this old barn.

Wednesday, January 9, 2019

A Little Shade

Tonight the Patchogue Sketch Club's theme for sketching was "Hats." Aside from winter hats that I have for warmth I don't really have any interesting hats. Luckily my friend, Rosanne brought two nice hats with brims that were sitting in front of me so I sketched them. I think they made a good combo.

Tuesday, January 8, 2019

Back Building at the Milleridge

Yesterday I wanted to go to the Dick Blick store in Carle Place which is about a 40 minute drive from me. I called my friend, Suzala and picked her up. Our plan was to shop and then sketch. We started out a bit late and by the time we shopped it was already after 2:00. Traffic gets crazy on Long Island after 3:00 so we didn't have a lot of time. We decided to find a sketching spot on the way back in Suzala's direction. She suggested that we check out the small outbuildings behind the Milleridge Inn, a restaurant/catering hall that has been in Jericho for years. The buildings were still decorated for Christmas. There is a bakery, an ice cream store and assorted other shops that are open in nicer weather. We sat in my car facing this building. It was funny because while we were sketching for some reason there were peacocks strutting around in the parking lot.

Monday, January 7, 2019

Sketching and Knitting

At the NYC Urban Sketchers holiday party each of the sketchers were given a long sheet of watercolor paper to sketch something that they saw at the party. All the pages were collected and will be assembled into a book of sketches from our day. I sketched some of the people in front of me...Julie who was sketching, Susan (Mark's wife) who is not a sketcher but is a knitter, another sketcher, and Mark who was talking to Patricia. I was hoping to do the city skyline too but the sun was setting too quickly to do more than a simple wash and a suggestion of buildings for the background.

Sunday, January 6, 2019

Holiday Party View

Today was the NYC Urban Sketcher's Holiday Party. For the second year it was held in the party room at the residence of one of our members. Raylie lives in Jersey City in a building right along the Hudson River. The party room is on the 8th floor overlooking this beautiful view.