Animal Month

Guided by Emily Hirtle, at the Main Line Art Center I started to think about how I wanted to represent different animals with watercolor and gouache. I no longer find watercolor scary and I am motivated by representing the many animals in my life. I want to get better at drawing and painting because I love animals! Emily inspired the class with images of animals by Wyeth, Sargent, and other artists who captured color and gesture with watercolor. I will keep practicing seeing the shapes that form the animal bodies.

A Year in Drawing and Painting

It has been an entire year since my last blog post! Last year, when visiting Maine, I was blissfully unaware of the events of the coming year. Pandemic, crazy politics, national unrest, weird weather! Still, there were positive things about 2020. I tapped into several high-quality online art classes sponsored by community art associations. For me, quarantine was an opportunity to fill in some of the holes in my art education.

Early Spring

In March, it was difficult to concentrate until the level of biological threat was clear. Thinking that I would like to work on my drawing skills, I enrolled in Ron Krouk’s excellent class through the Zullo Gallery. This class lit the spark to continue with my drawing practice.

Late Spring and Summer

I learned so much from Ron that I took another class. This was a continuation of basic drawing with a eye toward preparing for a painting. The online format worked surprisingly well.

Late Summer and Fall

Yet another class with Ron, taking the drawing toward painting. In this class I made peace with acrylic paint – learning to build it up slowly, rather than apply it like oil paint or soft pastel. In this class, I made some good mistakes – ones I can learn from. My best accomplishment to actually start to think of using my drawings for paintings, even though most of the paintings had mistakes. It was a good year in this regard!

2021 and Beyond

I’m still fond of my colored pencil landscapes. I love to blend the colors using my knowledge of color theory. I’m going to continue with these, while trying to remember all of the things I learned in 2021. Also, I’m signed up for an animal drawing class (alpacas are a current fascination) and I will be working outside when the air is warmer and safer.

Happy New Year to anyone reading this!

My Summer School

Having just finished an excellent, inspiring and helpful observational drawing class with Ron Krouk, I gave myself 7 assignments, each one corresponding to one of the lessons we had during the big lockdown.

  • Week 1 – Perspective and Basic Shapes
  • Week 2 – Thinking in Shapes
  • Week 3 – Approaches to Drawing
  • Week 4 – Heads
  • Week 5 – Light and Perspective in Space
  • Week 6 – Drapery
  • Week 7 – Everything

Week 1: Perpective and Basic Shapes

This lesson was a much needed refresher on the rules of perspective and how light falls on objects in space. My self-assigned “homework” for this lesson was to remember the rules of perspective and be patient about rendering them. This is a collection of stuff that happened to be on my patio table after a drawing sesson.

Week 2: Thinking in Shapes

This lesson was about seeing things as abstract shapes and noting relationships in space. My “homework assignment” for this lesson was to find one of my sketches and do a notan sketch for planning a painting.

This week, I’m working on the “Approaches to Drawing” lesson. The aim of this lesson was to try three different approaches to rendering what I see:

  • Gesture
  • Contour
  • Straight lines and angles.

I’ll post these soon!

Graduation Cards

Despite the pandemic, the economy, the politics, I like to think that my nieces will fly into the world and help make it a more positive place. I associate freedom and power with horseback riding and I couldn’t get out to buy graduation cards, so I made these for Anna and Sara.

Drawing Basics


This Spring, Zullo Gallery is offering a class called Observational Drawing, taught by Ron Krouck. I decided that it is time to review drawing basics.

The first class reminded me that drawing really can mess with your brain. First, we drew a foreshortened piece of paper “by eye”. Then we drew the same subject by looking through a piece of plexiglass and drawing on that. Oops! Big difference! My brain mapped something that my eyes weren’t really seeing.

We used the plexiglass method to carefully map and transfer the angles of a white box. By checking, and re-checking, I finally go the angles I needed. All those erased lines show how many tries it took with this method. But, it works!