Here’s another sketch of an item I usually don’t consider high on my list of subject matter to draw or paint. Sketched with an opaque watercolor and ink on toned Stonehenge paper in my homemade sketchbook. The sketch hasn’t been retouched digitally…..yet.
Parsley is one of the herbs that I have growing in pots on my lanai. We tried planting it in a garden in the yard, but it seems that we have super slugs down here that can obliterate a plant over night. HA! They can’t get in the screen house though, and now that the screech owls are back for another nesting season, the slugs are high on the gourmet snack list. Poetic justice. Good birdies!
How do I know that the screech owls are back? The snitches. The feathered blue tattle tales with the big mouths. Aka Blue Jays. Nothing is safe from the preying eyes of these feathered informants. One of the screech owls was sleeping in one of our palms and the Blue Vigilantes raised quite a ruckus which of course alerted the Red Squad, aka Cardinals, along with a few mockingbirds. They let up a bit when I went out there to walk the perimeter of the yard, found the poor abused owl and when I went back in the house, they flew away and let him sleep. I could hear his mate trilling gently from another tree. I guess the fact that I didn’t react sent the birds off to harass the other raptors in the neighborhood (and we have plenty.)
A little while later, another hit squad showed up, the Palm Warblers, aka ELVES WITH ATTITUDE. I could hear them while I was cooking, And they were doing everything BUT warbling. They were just about taunting him, hopping from branch to branch almost like they were playing “chicken”. Hootie had moved and was hiding his face in a different palm, trying to catch some Zzzz’s. If he had a pillow it would have been pulled over his head. I thought the Tiny Hit Squad had some nerve because they would have been an entree for the owls. I promised Hootie that we would build him an owl box this week to replace their palm that fell down from rot.
I noticed that the lizard population seems to be slightly dented. I haven’t seen as many hanging out on the screens but now that the owls are back, I realized the herd is being culled. It’s nice to hear the owls at night. They trill, then look at you like, “I didn’t do it and if I did I wouldn’t admit it.” They hang out in our yard and poach whatever moves. They like the frogs, too. Last year a slug did get in the screen house on one evening, and I tossed it in the air towards the nest. It got snapped outta the air before it hit the ground! That’ll learn the slugs! I was impressed.
This whole post about owls from a sprig of parsley…..
A little over a week ago I posted the pug sketch. Here is another sketch done with watercolor. I am basically auditioning various media to see which one works the best. I have an acrylic one started, on my desk. So far the watercolor version is winning but we’ll see tomorrow if I feel the same way about it.
The past few days were a little abnormal for me and I was too exhausted to post daily, but I have been working on this map the past few evenings when I got home. It took me several days to assemble all the sketches of family members.
I wanted to do a map submission for “They Draw and Travel” for the Thanksgiving holiday. My original idea morphed into the current situation we have wih the Pandemic. Many families around the country are celebrating Thanksgiving a whole new way. In some areas, La Niña has made it unseasonably warm and may be one of the bright spots of 2020. La Niña actually helps those living in the northern tier of the US to set up tents outside and to do Thanksgiving en plein air, sort of like the First Thanksgiving. Southern US may be business as usual because the temps usually enable dinner outside….unless it rains.
Those with families in other parts of the county have opted not to travel and will do Thanksgiving via Zoom or Facetime or some other sort of video conferencing.
However you celebrate this year, 2020 is definitely not normal.
This map reflects my family and how we are spread out across the Eastern Seaboard. The ones closer to each other may celebrate together. I know some family members are doing the tent thing. Florida weather has broken to the cooler temps which enables us to open windows.
Your family “map” may be similar to mine. Or yours may be bi-coastal or central, southwest or more West Coast. Wherever you are, 2020 is definitely going to be Thanksgiving 2.0.
Last night, I opened a window a bit to let in fresh air. John, Chloe and Mack were in a coma. Chloe’s snores are pretty loud…Mack is still have sinus trouble poor thing….
That sketch pretty much sums it up. The howls were very disconcerting. There is something primal about how we reacted. I love wildlife of all types and I am all for living harmoniously. That was the first time I heard coyotes in the dark and it took me off guard. The neighbors told us coyotes lived in the area. And bobcats. Oh. and a Florida panther is in the area, too. Even as I write this I am listening. Yesterday people put their trash out so they were probably doing a trash raid and the raccoons will get blamed for it.
Alligators? Hell yeah, seen those plenty of times. It’s Florida, you assume every body of water had one. We see them all time. Even on the Florida turnpike.
I upgraded my First Thanksgiving design to add “menus” and then submitted it for posting to They Draw and Cook. I haven’t posted there in a long time and I originally intended to do a map but it segued into a Feast. I am still wanting to do the map.
Researching foods for the first Thanksgiving feast got me to thinking how grateful I am in this shell shocking year. We moved to Florida a year ago. We were getting settled after our first holiday season in Florida when whispers of a virus started coming from China. We Americans used to scratch our heads about the visitors from other countries who were wearing masks. Now we are thinking that wasn’t such a bad idea.
Life with masks are an inconvenience but if it means a little more freedom, I’m in. Things aren’t as we planned, but we’re making the best of it.
Here is one of this morning’s sketches. I loved her hat. The reference photo is from the SKTCHY app. When I posted the sketch, I told Linda I loved the hat. She said she liked it too but wound up buying a different one. I liked that I could be part of her shopping trip.
Since I committed to doing a post a day for ART EVERY DAY MONTH, I am posting this, although much of today was doing research and sketches for a map I am working on and there is nothing sexy about a page full of lists. I won’t bore you with that. Plus, you’ll see the results soon enough. I did learn some exciting things about my subject, though.
Although I did do my morning routine and those sketches, I decided not to post those.
Instead, I am posting the color sketches of “Madison,” who owns my friend JoEllen.
For Madison’s portrait, I did several different sketches, which is why I make sure I do a pencil sketch first (like the one you saw of Rebel yesterday) and then make photocopies on cardstock so I can do these color sketches like you see here. The larger sketch was a Tombow marker warmup for me to play with the shapes and colors and get a feel for what paint I might want to use and getting to “know” Madison. I wasn’t quite going for accuracy, I was testing color relationships, carving shadows and just having fun. You can see where I put color swatches on the side. Then I did the small color sketches. One is ink and watercolor and the other is acrylic. The final that you saw the other day was a blend of mediums. You can see how each medium feels different. There is a lot of work that goes into doing a portrait like this. I might try a whimsical Madison sometime in the near future.
Thanks to JoEllen and Madison for the lovely portrait opportunity,