Tuesday, December 30, 2014

2014 in a Nutshell

I haven't been very good about updating this for the past 4 months, but at least work has been getting done.  And because it's the end of the year and I have a little bit of breathing space, I want to talk about my year so that next year when I read this I'll know what did, what I learned and what I accomplished.

So in 2014, I really tried to focus on traditional art and painting.  At the beginning of the year I put a bunch of work into learning figure drawing from Bridgman and working on my drawing in general.  In February I did another illustration for Spellbound.  I also focused on more creative sketching again and started a Tumblr sketchblog.  (Well, mostly a sketchblog.  I have Views and sometimes I have to reply to something a friend has said because Someone is Wrong on the Internet.)  I also did some book illustrations in ink.

In March I discovered Sketch Dailies and exercised my creativity.  In April I failed to get some illustration jobs but did some great ink work.  Sometime in spring I also applied to a gallery and some exhibitions and was rejected.  I also wrote a short story for Spellbound's Spindles and Spellbound anthologies, which was rejected but the editor liked the story and suggested I resubmit to the magazine later in the year.  Unfortunately Eggplant Publishing has shut its doors so the story will have to find a new home somewhere else.

In May I did more sketching.  In June I realized that Art Walk was coming up and took on a painting challenge, to do 50 paintings in 90 days.  I didn't quite make it but I painted a lot of stuff between the beginning of June and end of August.  I did great at Art Walk 2014 and met a very nice lady who owns a tea shop who not only bought one of my paintings but gave me space to display my art.

September kind of fell off the map.  I think that after painting daily for months I ran out of subjects that interested me, and also had an unfortunate encounted with stinging insects that made a couple weeks out of the month unbearable.  I submitted paintings to the Spruce Grove art competition and didn't place.  This made me rethink my painting style and led to experimentation with more abstract landscape in October.

I rallied in October and got a lot of work done.  I painted a new set of autumn and winter paintings for the tea shop, did a couple of weeks of Inktober, and tried to expand my network.  In November I had the flu which took 3 weeks out of my life but managed to restock the tea shop and discovered that I'd made a sale.  I also participated in a show and sale for emerging artists run by one of the local politicians and was introduced in the Legislature as one of the artists that contributed.  I doubt that anyone remembered my name 2 seconds after it was spoken, but I am now in the Legislature record and that is somewhat cool!  Also the Legislature building is very interesting and the whole experience was worth having.

In December I did a few paintings but mostly have tried to organize my house and socialize, as well as plan some projects I want to finish next year.  Unfortunately my comic output fell behind in the last couple of months but I am 2/3 through putting together a book.  I've also set up a portfolio site for my paintings and finally got new business cards.

So although the year seems slow and underfunded, I have been moving forward, I think.  I had a bad couple of months but looking back, the rest of my year has been quite productive and I have tried harder to improve myself and get my work out there.  I think that with my new style I am moving forward in painting.  Perhaps I will move in a different direction in the future, but especially in October I have been finding fun in painting again.

Thanks to the generosity of my in-laws we are now debt free and are planning a move next year when my husband finishes school.  2015 is looking like it's going to be a terrifically busy and exciting and frightening year, as we do not know where we are going or what anything will be like when we get there.  I am hoping to sketch a lot more to record the city that I am leaving and perhaps even publish a sketchbook about it.  There is an interesting exhibition in January that I would like to apply for.  My sketch group might be holding an exhibition of sketches sometime in mid-2015.  And I would like to make a completely unreasonable number of paintings in 2015 as well as take up cycling seriously again.  I don't know if any of this is possible but I am going to try hard to make completely unreasonable things happen! :)

In the meantime Happy New Year's to all and may your own goals come true.  I know nobody really checks this blog but for those who do, thanks for being there for me.  You've all been wonderful.  I have no bad friends, even the quiet ones are great! :)

Friday, August 15, 2014

2014 Paintings 1

June was all about paintings.  I got about 25 paintings done through almost-daily practice, mostly landscape, mostly from photos I've taken on my travels over the years.  It was a good exercise, I'm kind of sorry I stalled out right after Art Walk.  Neil left for his conference, there was a heat wave that made working in the studio unpleasant and I spent a week in the basement among some of the greasiest dust bunnies I've ever encountered.  The next couple of paintings went particularly poorly.  It's enough to stall anyone.

While I'm trying to get back to the studio I'll be working on pencil crayon stuff, comics and sketches.  In the meantime I might as well show off the fruits of my labours.  All acrylic on hardboard.

Evening Sail.  From a photo I took on Vancouver Island a few years ago.  Sold at Art Walk to a nice lady who is displaying my art in her tea shop right now.

Farm Shack.  From a photo I took last year near Sherwood Park.

Chair Garden.  From a photo I took in Montreal a few years ago.

Montserrat.  From my Barcelona photo set.  I quite like the textural look one gets on rocks by applying paint with a palette knife.

Above the Badlands.  I quite like this one.  Not sure anyone else did, but I don't care.  I snapped a bunch of photos from the car on our Drumheller/Waterton trip.  Love those Alberta fields!

This was a good learning experience and I should really continue it.  I'm not sure I learned a whole lot more about painting, but I sure learned a lot about choosing a subject!

Tuesday, July 08, 2014


I get bored of the things I do quite often.  I think that's what prevents me from getting ahead with a lot of my projects, I work on everything for a few weeks, it doesn't get a response and then I run off after something else.  Here's a few uncategorized pictures I've managed to finish this year.

Orchids in ballpoint pen:

This was a fun little picture.  I like working in ballpoint, it has a quality you don't get out of any other kind of pen.

Orcish Cook:

A couple years ago The Art Order had a challenge to design either an orcish shaman or cook.  And who can resist drawing horrible orc cooks?  I tossed this sketch off and forgot about it.  Last year I dragged it out and got 90% of it done before I was interrupted by a job.  This year I finally got it done!

I snapped some photos of this downy woodpecker at Smith Crossing last fall:

The contrast between the red dogwood branches and the duller gray branches made me want to play around with a limited ink palette.

Then I worked on a children's illustration.  This one is titled "Survival"

I'm painting now so I won't be doing more of these for a bit.

Tuesday, July 01, 2014

Vancouver Island Sketches

In May we went to visit family on Vancouver Island.

Here's a sketch from Vancouver Airport.  The island terminal is pretty tiny, and the planes are all propellor planes.  I said that if the flight took more than 15 minutes I'd be disappointed, and it took 13.

Once on the island I found it hard to get out and sketch.  When you're there with someone it's rather boring for them to sit around for hours.  We did a lot of hiking and birdwatching, but I did manage to get a few things done.

Here are some little sailboats at the Nanaimo Yacht Club.

This was painted on a hike around Englishman River Falls near Qualicum Beach.  I did a quick sketch of the falls.  The day was overcast and the birding wasn't all that great.  Apparently I had a Steller's iay hopping in a tree over my head the whole time.  I get a lot of blue jays in my yard so I was keen to see the Steller's but they just weren't cooperating.  I got a bare glimpse of the one above me just before it flew away.

But at least I got some kind of painting out of the deal.

I set aside a bit more time for sketching in downtown Nanaimo.  I got both these buildings on the same day.  It was tough.  I was bitten by ants.  Don't sit too close to an anthill while sketching, kids.

I got a chance to sketch a few people, too.  A couple at Penny's Palapa in Nanaimo, and a few people in Victoria.  We didn't spend very much time in Victoria.  We meant to do more than we did, but we didn't realize that Tofino was so far from Nanaimo and that all the activities we were planning for required more preparation.

Oh well, we go back to see family every couple of years, next time we'll hit the west end of the island and do some canoeing.  In the meantime I did do a ton of birdwatching and we saw some very neat species that I never would have noticed otherwise.  Also, turtles!  It has been a dream of mine to see pond turtles ever since I started hiking, and now I have.  We saw a whole row of them sunning themselves on logs.

Next time my run-down on Art Walk and paintings.

Wednesday, June 18, 2014


Woof.  It's been a while!  One gets busy and goes on vacation and the garden starts sprouting and before you know it it's mid-June.  As always I go out with the local Urban Sketchers on the first Saturday of every month.  It's nice to chat with other artists and get to draw somewhere where I don't usually draw.

The weather finally warmed up in April so we were able to start sketching outside.  Our first trip out was to Churchill Square in downtown Edmonton.

The Art Gallery of Alberta:

What a weird building this is.  It makes me thing of the time that I had to design a building for an illustration and I scribbled random shapes until they looked futuristic.  The client liked it.  I think this is how they design buildings now.  (Of course my random shapes did not have to stand up and not fall on people so I am not going to knock the difficulties of actually making one of these things.  I'm just knocking the concept process.)

A guy having coffee with his friend in the square.  His friend kept moving, though, so I had to leave it at this guy.

 City Market is always a good bet for drawing:

 A singer and a vendor.  The singer was really good!

The girl I sketched on the LRT.  The guy was a friend of one of the sketchers and he had such a great face that I was requested to draw him.

That was it for April.  I sketched a couple things from life in between.  I want to finish that dang sketchbook so that I can start a new journal book.

This was a hare we caught napping in our yard.

We named it Loafcake for a number of reasons.  If it seems like it's listing to one side, that's because it was.  I'm astonished it didn't fall over.

My shoes, for Everday Matters Challenge #1:

These may be the coolest shoes that I own.  They remind me of my mom, who had great taste in shoes.

May's Sketchout was at  Jackson Power Gallery, where one of our sketchers had an exhibition.  It was quite interesting.  She does encaustic, primarily, and transfers photographs that she has found in the provincial archives onto various materials.  This exhibition was about pioneer women and included excerpts from letters that they had written to friends and relatives.  They were often very isolated and lived in very primitive conditions.  It was very cool to experience a bit of history.

This was a clothesline strung with photographs transferred onto cloth.  The objects beneath were related to pioneer women's life somehow -- there were broken teacups, surgical instruments, medicine bottles and dried bean pods.  Fans made the cloth flutter and the objects tinkle.

This was an industrial building seen from the window of the gallery.  (It was kind of a nasty day for sketching outdoors.)

This lamp was part of another, related exhibit by another artist.  He had recreated his grandmother's parlour using old family furniture.  It was a tiny room and there were four or five sketchers crammed into it at any one time since it had both knickknacks and comfy chairs.

"Lamp" was the second challenge for Everyday Matters, though, so I had to come back and draw it.

Later in the month I got a chance to sketch this girl on the LRT.  I love finding neat people to draw on the train.  I wish I rode it more often.

And that's it for the last couple months of sketching.  Next up some miscalleneous art, and then my sketches from Vancouver Island and then a boatload of paintings.

Monday, May 12, 2014

Sketch Dailies

It's painting season!  I've spent the last couple of weeks making some larger oil paintings (18x24", which is huge for me) for a May 30th exhibition deadline.  I'm going on vacation on some unspecified date between then and now so I don't have much time to finish these guys.  Luckily one is almost done and looks FABULOUS.  But there's not much point posting it before it's done, so that will have to wait.

In the meantime I've been "warming up" (by which I mean "dicking around") with sketches.  There's a Twitter group called Sketch Dailies with posts a daily sketch topic and people draw it and it's a fun way to spend an hour or two when one is tired of work-drawing.  Here's some of the sketches and topics I've done in the last month or two, in no particular order:


The Invisible Man:

The Loch Ness Monster:

Favourite Muppet (the Swedish Chef):

Modern Samurai:
The Cookie Monster:


Anyway.  These short little activities help keep me creative and don't take up much time.  They're a great thing to get into if one is suffering from any sort of creative "block".  Just be careful about getting too wrapped up in the popularity contest aspect, nothing hurts creativity quite so much like feeling underappreciated.

Next time, Sketchcrawl sketches and then hopefully I'll have paintings to show off.

Saturday, April 12, 2014

The Great Project Rundown

Everybody occasionally runs dry of ideas.  I used to bump around the house looking for and rejecting ideas when I was younger, but that was before the internet.  With the net around there's really no reason to have a day without drawing.  Whatever kind of art you're into, chances are good that there's a group or activity or competition for it.  Here are some of my favourite sites to keep the momentum going:

Illustration Friday - weekly illustration topic
Daily Spitpaint - daily speed-painting exercise.  You have 30 minutes to create a painting based on the daily topic or topics.
Sketch Dailies - weekday illustration topic, usually fan art.  Lots of fun!
Inktober - 31 days of ink sketches in October.  Missed October?  I'm sure Inkuary works just as well.  Or any other month!
100 Themes - one hundred ideas on which to base a picture
Random Animal Generator - randomly generates two animals for you to mix together


Hourly Comics Day - February 1st.  Original site is now gone since John Campbell has gone pear-shaped, but the event is alive and well on Tumblr.
24 Hour Comic Day - make a 24-page comic in 24 hours.  I have done the lazy people version, where the pages are really, really small.  Your local comic shop may have an event so you can do this with other people!  Alternative for people who like sleep - do a 12 hour version.

Sketching From Life:

Urban Sketchers - get outside and sketch from life.  There are Urban Sketchers groups in many major cities, and if you can't find one you can start your own.  I joined my local group in late 2012 and have met some very friendly and social artists of all skill levels.  The Urban Sketchers have a very active and inspiring group on Flickr as well.
Sketchcrawl - every 2 or 3 months people from around the world go on a great life sketching marathon and then share their work online
Everyday Matters - a great long list of ordinary objects you can draw when you don't know what to draw

Friday, April 04, 2014

The Fairyland Project

A few weeks ago I got some books out of the library and one of them was Catherynne Valente's latest installment of the Fairyland series, The Girl Who Soared Over Fairyland and Cut the Moon in Two.  Catherynne Valente uses such rich language and her descriptions are so imaginative that I wanted to do some illustrations based on the book. 

In fact, I thought, why not do a chapter illustration for every chapter in the novel?  Which I promptly set out to do.

As of now, I have all 21 chapters thumbnailed, have moved onto the roughs for about five of them, and have finished three.  I think I'll post these in sets of three, as and when I finish them.  They don't take all that long to make, individually speaking, but I have other projects on the go and occasionally one of these will stall a bit as I try to deal with a difficult part.

I'm hoping to avoid spoilers for the book, mostly.  You won't learn who cut the moon in two (or why) from me!  Those of us who read the first two books will see September reunited with some friends but that's not much of a surprise to anyone.  What would a Fairyland book be without a wyverary?

But hopefully I'll get some practice in and people will be intrigued by the book and the whole thing should be good fun for all.

Anyway -- here are the first three chapter illustrations of Fairyland 3.

Chapter 1
September Looks at the Moon:

Chapter 2
Boomer and Beatrice:

Chapter 3
The Blue Wind:

So far I'm enjoying playing with real ink again and reviewing my compositions.  I'm starting to idly plan what other books I'd like to do.  I have a small supply of kids' books I never quite got rid of.  Classics like The Witches and The Phantom Tollbooth and The Neverending Story.  The more I think the more books I'd love to illustrate!

Oh well, I'll just keep going with this and see where it takes me.  Maybe the next book I illustrate will be one I wrote myself. :)

Thursday, March 27, 2014


This month has been particularly bad for me for painting (although I'm getting lots of illustration done, so that's something).  I eventually resorted to looking over my WIPs and dragged this guy out.  I had started it last year or possibly even the year before.  I had painted the frogs and the rocks, got to the silly day-glow reeds and that's where it languished for months.  Frogs, easy.  Reeds, hard.

I may end up cropping it at some point to remove the reeds.  I'm not too fond of them, but the rock is pretty nice.  That will have to wait until I can access my table saw, though.

Anyway, this was from a photo my husband took at an aquarium while we were on vacation a few years ago.  I think these were American Bullfrogs and man... their terrarium was crawling with crickets and despite the frogs' best efforts they did not manage to eat a single one while we were there.  At one point the frog launched itself towards a cricket, fumbled critically and the cricket ended up crawling on top of the frog's head.  I guess the aquarium caught the dumb ones and the smart ones are still out in the wild.

I enjoyed painting the frogs.  This year I'm going to try and get more photos of animals and maybe include more of them in my landscapes.  I'm really looking forward to plein-air season, but it looks like it's going to arrive late this year.

Thursday, March 20, 2014


Last month I did another illustration for Spellbound for their Spring 2014 Issue, Dwarfs.

I've really been enjoying making these black and white children's fantasy illustrations.  I love playing with shape and contrast and composition. 

Friday, March 07, 2014

March Sketchout

The Urban Sketchers March Sketch-out was at the Royal Alberta Museum. The day was awfully cold (-29C on March 1st? Really Mother Nature? REALLY?) and I wasn't sure whether I was going to go, but in the end I did and I was glad that I went.  I expected the museum to be empty, but the cheap admission and cold weather lured quite a few families out.  So much so that the cafeteria kitchen was actually closed at one when our group tried to get lunch there!  I had to settle for a slightly stale cinnamon bun.  Some 20 minutes later some of the other girls were able to get salads and sandwiches but the grill was so far behind that it had to stay closed.

Still, it was a fun time.  Next time I will bring Neil, who had been hoping to come along but found himself feeling sick all weekend.

The museum has an extensive collection of animals (mostly stuffed, obviously, except for the bugs which skitter around in all their multilegged glory), which are fun to draw. Mostly I try to draw animals from life, which is challenging because they are almost always moving.  Last year I became interested in bird watching, so I had a great time seeing their bird collection and trying to identify some of the birds I had seen but not confirmed.

For the first half hour I actually found myself trapped in the crafts area with a group of children who were doing a bird-colouring workshop.  I had been lured in by the owl and snow bunting, neither of which I've seen in the wild, and they closed the door on me!  The kids have a much shorter attention span than I do, though, and they were done with their birds long before I was done with mine.

Afterwards I wandered over to the First Nations Exhibit, which has some interesting tools and clothing.  I wish I had had more time to spend there, but by that point the museum was getting quite busy.  We'll be going back soon, though, and I'm hoping to have a chance to look closer at the areas I ended up rushing through.

This jingle dress is from the early 1990s.  It reminds me of my school days, when we would occasionally have native dancers at the school assemblies.

After lunch I took another turn through the nature dioramas, which I had also rushed through at the beginning.  The part that I like the best is that the paintings behind the dioramas all come from real places around Alberta.  It makes me want to fly out to Fort Smith and hike the Slave Rapids Trail.  There's a lot of stuff up north that I would love to see, with a little bit of camping know-how and a lot of bug spray.

Anyway, I had to draw a mountain goat for Neil:

We've only seen mountain goats once in real life, driving somewhere along the Icefield Parkway between Jasper and Banff.  We got really lucky that time because they were right by the side of the road, there was a herd of them, and they had kids with them.  And then... nothing.  You can always see bighorn sheep, but good luck seeing a goat.

Fun fact: mountain goats are not actually closely related to true goats.  They have their own genus within the goat-antelope family.

I also sketched some mule deer.

Bonus sketche: a few days later I was hanging around the house and wanted to draw some still life.  This is a pair of salt and pepper shakers Neil's parents gave us for Christmas.  They are very silly!  Also, rather challenging to sketch.
Hopefully I can get a few more journal sketches done this month.  I am also copying from Bridgman, which takes up a good deal of time (about one seventh of the way through!) and working on a series of children's illustrations.  So far March has been decently productive and I'd like to keep it that way!

Thursday, February 27, 2014

Update, With Ant

Last year I did some illustrations for a role-playing game book called "Isles of the Sun" by CB Droege.  That was fun, because I got to draw some things that I don't usually get to.  Like evil minions!  I did a few designs for undead mechanical golems (which were great fun), a couple illustrations, but I think this was my favourite:

It is a cart pulled by a giant art!  I think I like drawing giant insects.  This is a change from my childhood, when I was so traumatized by an oversized picture of a grasshopper in an animal book that I spent a good 20 years freaking out over insects.  Then I got a garden.  Now I'm just like "okay, small many-legged thing, get back in the compost pile where you belong."

Currently I am working on some chapterbook illustrations (personal work) that I would like to put into my portfolio, and a couple of paintings.  I've just finished up another illustration for Spellbound.  A lot of things are in the process of being completed or submitted or published, so there isn't much to show.  I've really tried to change my working schedule since the beginning of the year, and it has been a mixed success (but at least it has been a success rather than a big failure).  I think I'm starting to narrow down what I'd like to work on, which is books.

One consequence of this is that I'm writing more often.  I've submitted a fairytale retelling to the Spellbound anthology.  I don't know if anything is going to come of that (I expect not, because that is what happens to writers) but it has made me think more about stories.  Maybe all those books I am inhaling are helping that along as well.  It's nice to have stories to tell again.  Maybe even I'll be able to get back to writing things that I've had to abandon when the stories suddenly ran out, although I promise nothing.

On the weekend I'm going to try to write up a proper post, probably about how I managed to get more work done this year.  For now, though, I'd better move if I want to maintain that productivity streak.

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Hourly Comics Day 2014

I do Hourly Comics Day just about every year, largely because I really like journal comics and getting a glimpse into someone else's life for a while.  It seems to be steadily migrating from the Hourly Comics Day forums to Tumblr, which I'm kind of sad about because it's much more difficult to see everyone's work on Tumblr.  It's the most disorganized place on the planet.

So this year for Hourly Comics Day I actually caved in and created a Tumblr blog.  I just toss random sketches on there for now, and the hourly comics.  You can follow me there if you like, or wait until I post a sketch-dump here, probably at the end of the month.  I guess I really do need a place to post random cruft and Tumblr does seem ideal for that.

Anyway.  Hourly Comics Day!  Every year a bunch of comic artists make one journal comic (or panel) for every hour that they are awake on February 1st.  When you read them, you get snapshots of people's lives in different parts of the world, all on the same day.  Since we're mostly comic artists, the snapshots don't differ all THAT much but it's kind of interesting anyway.

Here is the one I did for 2014:

(Click for bigger.)

This year February 1st was pretty busy, as I went to the Urban Sketchers sketch-out and a party.  I didn't have much time to draw on that day, and soon after I got sick so everything was shifted over by one or two weeks.  However, it was worth it, getting to draw some friends for a change.

You can see some of my previous Hourly Comics Days here:

2012 part 1 2012 part 2 2012 part 3
2013 part 1 2013 part 2 2013 part 3

Wednesday, February 12, 2014

February Sketchcrawl

 I ended January feeling like I was coming down with a cold, and Neil and I ended up postponing our anniversary dinner on Friday.  I wasn't sure whether I would be up for everything I had planned for February 1st.  I did really want to do Hourly Comics Day, though, and it is rather boring drawing comics about how you lay around all day reading books.  And I felt all right on Saturday morning so I decided to go out sketching after all.

The Muttart conservatory is always a neat place to sketch.  The last few times I went I concentrated on the show pavilion because they always have something new on display.  This time they had it set up for Chinese New Year.

I sketched this little foo dog sculpture, which someone had decorated with a wilted azalea flower.


After the foo dog I had just enough time to sketch this neat lily-like plant I found in the tropical pavilion:

Then we had a break for lunch and showing off sketches.  We had a nice turnout and several new sketchers.  I especially like the work that some of our watercolourists do.  It's quite lovely.  There are so many interesting, different styles represented.

After we finished I still had some time before evening festivities, so I went back and sketched one of the bonsai trees set up in the show pavilion.

It was a nicely productive sketch-out, but a very busy day overall.  Next time I'll post the hourly comic I made of this whole experience.

Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Alphabet of Thorn

I started this as a digital piece way back in January 2011.  (Has it really been 3 years already?  Really?)  I've been meaning to do some illustrations in coloured pencil and this seemed like a good candidate, since it had a simple design and the digital piece wasn't going anywhere.

Here is the last WIP of it I posted to this blog.

So this version has a few problems with it, but I like it quite a bit better than the digital.  The face turned out much better.  I'm not entirely sure about the texture.  I've been looking at the famous Drew Strouzan's work and wondering if I should experiment with pencil crayon over watercolour.  Apparently he used an airbrush with acrylics, but there's no way I am going to buy an airbrush.  But it seems to me that you could do something interesting and similar with watercolour.

Anyway, my plan is to do a collection of illustrations in pencil crayon.  Except that I am going to have to buy more pencil crayons because this drawing (painting?  This week someone said that people refer to pencil crayon works as "paintings" which I find very odd) has used up a good chunk of my frequently-used colours.  Now that I am replacing my Prismacolors with Polychromo pencil crayons I'm going to have a devil of a time matching the colours.  Apparently charts exist, but you have to pay for some of them.  Which means that I will be making my own (rather incomplete) charts.

Back to this picture.  It is loosely based on the fantasy book "The Alphabet of Thorn" by Patricia McKillip, which is not a children's book but it is a book I would have happily read as a teenager had I been one in 2004.  Right now I am trying to decide what book to do next.  Today I am leaning towards Bunnicula, but I may tackle something I haven't read before.

Wednesday, January 22, 2014


I love drawing portraits.  Faces are one of my favourite things to draw.  I could be an awfully happy portrait artist except that I hate to approach people and ask them to model.  I think I ended up a landscape artist at least partly because you never have to ask a tree whether you can draw it.

So most of the time I end up either using photos, or quickly scribbling people in the wild.

Well, for the January Sketchout someone in our sketch group suggested that we have a portrait party and it has been one of my favourite sketchouts so far.  I had two wonderful hours of indulging in my usually furtive hobby, then I had a spectacular omelette, and then we may have converted the waitress.  I'll have to keep an eye out for her at the next meeting.

Anyway, here are two of my fellow sketchers:

About a week after that I ended up at a board game cafe and sketched some patrons while people got caught up on gossip and decided on which game to play.  These were random people at other tables:

I think the girls were playing Cards Against Humanity, which is horrible and wonderful and if you have a black sense of humour and some friends you should totally play it.

I think that one of my resolutions at some point should be to start asking people to model for sketch portraits more often.  Every day do something that scares you, right?