Thursday, February 13, 2014

A Bonus for Our Sketching Class

     Our sketching class enjoyed the bonus of a guest teacher in our third session. The change in plans occurred because Charleston, SC artist Margaret (Maggie) Hoybach came to visit our regular teacher, Mary Ann Miller and offered to lead a class. Mary Ann generously invited us to her lovely home for the class, followed by a Provence-style lunch (yummy homemade quiche). You can see other images from that third class as well as our fourth and final class on Mary Ann's blog, too. (I was not able to be in her February class, so scroll down to find the two final January gatherings.)
     Maggie, in the red sweater, first showed us some of her gorgeous watercolor paintings and travel sketch/scrap books (which are amazing works of art in themselves). You can treat yourself to Maggie's website here. Then, she provided an interesting and very challenging exercise. Projecting various scenes for just a minute or so, she told us to outline a sketch in pencil and jot down a few notes so that we could further develop the drawing later. We imagined ourselves traveling, perhaps by bus, with limited time to capture an impression of each passing scene. Her method is to quickly place the major lines for the portion of the scene she has chosen to draw: the horizon, a path, building, large tree, or whatever. Then, we were to make a few notes of dominant colors and to indicate values with numbers in the margin (from lightest to darkest: 1 to 5). Since we were using pencil (unlike our other classes, where we sketched in pen), we could later adjust the composition and sketch in other remembered elements. She projected 7 or 8 images for us to outline; than we returned to our tables to revise and color (with watercolor paints) any images we wanted to develop further.

     This could be something fun to try in future travels, and was another helpful way for me to continue practicing drawing. I am still a beginner, but have improved over these helpful lessons. I'll try not to apologize for the efforts I am showing you today. As always, you can click on any photo to see it full size.

     The entire experience at Mary Ann's home (or, La Chambre Jaune Cafe, as she calls her sun room) was delightful. The setting, decorated in the characteristic blue and yellow of Provence in France; the delicious lunch; the shared expertise of our two accomplished artist/teachers; and the lively company of fellow sketchers (many of whom create masterful pictures, quite out of my league)--all of it added up to a day to remember.

     Since I don't plan a separate post on our fourth and final class, I'll throw in a small caricature style sketch from that session. Mary Ann encouraged us to try drawing people--not in any detail or as portraits--but simply to be able to indicate the presence of others in our work. So, I doodled a fellow student immersed in her sketching.

Question of the day: In what small way have you stretched yourself lately?


  1. Oh Mary! You do sell yourself short. I especially love that sketch of the house with the flowers in front of it. The colors are beautiful! The only way I stretch myself each and every week day is by forcing myself to get up and go to work. I just want to stay home.

  2. Thank you for the encouragement, Sherry. I know that, given your health situation, going to work every day is a stretch--an exercise in courage and discipline. Beyond that, you definitely stretch yourself in many ways, as your blog entries about taking up art challenges, pursuing your harp lessons, and any number of other pursuits demonstrate.

  3. I love all of that beautiful art work drawing. I wish could be better at drawing and coloring. I am not that good at drawing and coloring. I wish would teach a art class at our church sometime. Because you are very good at your art work. I hope when you go on your vacation. You will take some photos of places you go.. I like seeing all of the. Beautiful places yall go on yalls vacation. I want to go that place . Where your husband from and they make cheese. When are you going to have another openhouse. And show all of your beautiful art work again. P.S. I hope you will have your openhouse very soon. I pray for you and your husband all the time. I guess i of yall like family. Because you and your family always go on vacation together in the summer time. I see my family. But we don't go on vacation together. Like you and your husband and your boys and your daughter-inlaws . I wish me and my brothers and my sister would on family vacation in the summer time. They are busy alot. I wish some time i could go on a family vacation yall. P.S. I hope you and your husband have a great week the rest of the week. What does your husband.

  4. Thank you for your visit, Anon, and for your encouraging comments.