Tuesday, April 28, 2015

April 24, 2015

Today's drawing is one that I had actually finished yesterday, but I couldn't get it sent out. My internet connection was sooooo slow! 

When I've been walking along Laguna Creek, or really any waterway, I almost always see a Great White Egret or two. In this drawing, I've included three images of the bird, one, a close-up, standing on a log, another flying and one in the back stalking a fish. 

These birds are so amazing to watch. They are large and look magnificent flying. I like to watch them stalking fish. Their necks get crooked as they carefully pick their way through the shallows, head tilted to one side looking for prey with one eye. I also had to share a couple of photos that I took with my little phone, when I found them along that creek. 

April 20, 2015

Well I haven't been getting in a sketch every day, but because of my health, I guess I'm going to change that. I've been mostly attached to my computer all day, into the wee hours of the night drawing. As a result, I haven't been getting enough sleep and no exercise, or too little. The last time that I had gotten sick again was just before Easter when I realized that I was only getting 4 hours of sleep. I'm trying to balance things out now, but going to bed at a decent time and doing some excercise everyday. This last week, except for Sunday, I've walked the dog at least two miles everyday and have gone to my 24 Hour classes. As my doctor said, I have to build my strength up through exercise. Last Saturday I got on the elliptical machine, did an hour of Zumba and then because I still felt good, I thought that I would try another class, Body Combat, a martial arts, kick boxing class. I lasted through the whole class and was feeling only a little achy in the knees and calves. I just have to remember to rehydrate after a workout like that and use Arnica right away. 

I had walked along the Laguna Creek on Friday, Saturday and today. There seemed to be a lot of wildlife there and it provided some good ideas for a drawing. On friday, I saw a pair of otters mating. They were slowly rolling around in the muddy water, the male griping the female behind her neck, both oblivious to the passersby watching them. There were Canadian geese, the mallards and a Great Egret or two as usual, coots, lots of turtles sunning themselves, a pair of cormorants and a green heron. Great stuff, but all that I had to capture all of the activity was my little cell phone. 

The next day I brought my SLR camera with the telephoto lens. I was looking for the otters, of course, but I didn't expect them to be mating again. It seems that they were in a love embrace most of the previous morning. When I had pointed this out to one of the other people watching, two older women bicycling along the creek. One of the women remarked, "Well their young..." 

I saw most of the other wildlife, but didn't see the otters, until I noticed a clump of grass, moving much too fast. As I watched, a couple of other people stopped too. I pointed out the moving grass and we all remarked that it was odd. It was moving too fast for a turtle or to be just floating on the water by it's self. I turned on my camera and looked through the lens. It was an otter carrying a large clump of grass. At one point, it dove under the water for a second, taking the grass with it, only to pop up again. This one was nesting. Otters don't build their own dens. They will take over one that another animal has dug out of the muddy bank, like a muskrat, just above the water line. I got a shot of the industrious otter with my camera, but I thought that I would try to draw it too. Attached is my drawing and my photo. The drawing was going to be a lot more ambitious, but I've got to get to bed!

April 15, 2015

When we were out in Paso for the Easter weekend, my sister and I went out to take photos of the wild flowers on the hillside near her home. She took a photo of me taking photos and insisted that I draw it for one of these daily sketches. The house in this photo is not hers, but Gail and Cliff's house. We were attracted to the purple owl clover that painted the path that I was on and the adjoining hillside.

Again, it is hardly a sketch. I had started this painting last week, but couldn't finish it. It did take a few hours to draw this. I'm still working on getting faster. 

April 12, 2015

It has been quiet awhile since I sent anything, but with being sick, traveling and family visiting, I have not been drawing. Sorry, I should be able to do both! This is one of a couple of drawings that I had started earlier, but never finished. 
This is Mission San Miguel with two of the Franciscan Brothers outside of the front door of the church. I took photos of this mission some time after an earthquake hit the area in 2003 and damaged parts of the mission and parts of the neighboring Paso Robles. It has been retrofitted with a newly renovated choir loft, church and structures. The wooden ramp was temporary, but I think that it helps to visually ground the building in this drawing.

April 5, 2015

hope that you had a wonderful Easter! We were at the Paso house, Fay and Kory's lovely home, where our other sister joined us and another sister and her husband from Colorado were there as well for bar-b-que with the neighbors on Friday and personal pizza on the patio on Saturday. So I apologize for not getting anything out to you on the daily sketch until now. I did start another drawing, but didn't have time to finish it. 

Vivian reminded me that these should be faster, sketches, not hours long marathons as the "sketches" had begun to be. This sketch is a quick one, just a half hour. This is a quick sketch of owl clover, Castilleja exsertarelated to the indian paintbrush. It is the host plant to the Bay checkerspot butterfly (Euphydryas editha bayensis). Fay and I were taking photos of wild flowers this morning before we had to leave. I'm not sure if it is the same butterfly, but we did see lots of similar butterflies and skippers flitting among the field of these flowers. (I've included one of the photos that I took of our photo shoot and the field of owl clover field.

March 30, 2015

I've finally finished Bryan's Dragon. The dragon is done, but I'm redoing the castle, in view of the new information that he had recently shared. So I'm sharing with you the finished version of the dragon and a T-shirt design that he had asked for. 

March 29,2015

I am finally back to submit to you the final drawing for the Ranchita Riders series. I've been ill for about a week. I've still got a lot of phlegm and congestion so I could not sing today, but I am feeling well enough to be up all day and draw.  
I've finally finished Kelly. She and her husband Ben are owners of the Work Ranch where all of these friends were riding. Beautiful horses in a beautiful landscape. 

March 22,2015

It was pointed out to me that I did not include Mary, John's sister. She as well as the rest of the group was on this ride. Mary looks like a seasoned rider! 
Again, I've included a file of just Mary and one of the whole group with her added.
Next I will do Kelly and Bob Work, who own the Work Ranch, where this group was riding.

March 20,2015

Well I've finally finished Gail. She always looks so sophisticated, even with a straw cowboy hat, up on a horse! I would have done Cliff, but I didn't see him in any of the pictures. I'm guessing that he doesn't ride? Again, I've attached two versions, one with everyone that I've done so far and one of just Gail.
Connie. I've put you and John in the back, since you voiced some concerns, but you still stand out and you look so cute doing it! As you can see, I can place anyone anywhere in the scene or even put anyone in a completely different scene! Each rider is a different file.
The Ranchita Riders are almost complete. I still need to do your host of the "Work Ranch", but I've forgotten her name! 

March 17,2015

John is my latest addition to the Ranchita Riders. John is Connie's husband and an amazing singer/musician in a kickin rock band! 

I've included an image of just him on his horse, a version of he and Connie on their horses and a version of everyone that I've drawn so far! 

Gale, who I had actually started first, is next. But I think that I might not use the file that I had started. I wanted to change the pose, so I'm starting from scratch again!

March 15,2015

Here is another addition to my Ranchita Riders picture. This is Connie! She always has a smile and an encouraging word! Get that pose out and riding! 
Again, I attached two versions, one of the whole gang and one with just Connie. 

Next, it's John, Connie's husband!

March 13, 2015

This is another member of the Ranchita Riders in Paso Robles. This is Gary, Linda's husband! Yay, Gary! I've included a copy of the whole gang that I've done so far and one of Linda and Gary.
I think that I'll to do Connie next!

March 11, 2015

I drew Linda this time, on, which horse is that? It’s her beloved Cody who had recently passed away. I did two versions of the drawing, one just by herself and one with everyone else that I've drawn so far.

March 9, 2015

Well, I've finally finished Peter, Darcy's husband. He was difficult to do, maybe because there wasn't a good photo to work from. Still, I hope that I did okay. I kept redrawing him and the horse. He kept looking too large for the horse! Well I used to tell my students that when you are struggling, you are learning. I hope that I was learning!
Okay, now Linda!

March 7, 2015

So if I did Kory last time, I had to do Darcy, Kory's sister. She, her husband and son came out here to California from Michigan to visit... and thaw out for a few days. I'm sorry that I missed them. Darcy could sing a mean Karaoke! 
This one took me longer than it should have. I had trouble rendering Darcy's face. I think that it is still not quite right, but I can't seem to get it. 

March 5, 2015

 This rider is Kory, Fay's husband. If I did Fay, I had to do Kory! She can't ride alone! 
Who is next

March 3, 2015

Fay was right in guessing that the scene in the last drawing was Ranchita Canyon, so she is the first one that I had to put into this drawing. I had meant to do one person each day, but it seems that there was so much detail in the saddle plus the horse that I couldn't get this addition done until today. Hopefully I will get another one done by tomorrow. Who shall I do next?

March 1, 2015

In an effort to more energy to another project, I've decided to make this sketch an ongoing one. This is the background. Check in tomorrow to see what comes next!

Saturday, March 7, 2015

February 28, 2015

This one is for Gale, who has a wolf dog!

I've drawn a lot of mammals that live in California, but I've never drawn a wolf. Technically there are no wild wolves in California since the 1940's when the last wolf was killed in a government extermination program. Now the Gray wolf is considered an endangered species and is protected. 

In 2012, a lone male gray wolf, named OR-7, or Journey, traveled 1000 miles from Northern Oregon to Northern California to look for love. He didn't find a mate, so he traveled back into Oregon where he did find a mate and settled in Southern Oregon where they had pups. Now there is hope that the species will proliferate and filter back down into California. Of course there are farmers with livestock that might feel otherwise. 

While living in Colorado, I thought that a wolf ran across the road that I was driving on at dusk, but if it was a wolf and not a large coyote dog, it might have been a Mexican wolf. I was living in the South Eastern corner of the state and while Colorado does not officially have wild wolves, the Gray wolf has been sighted in Northern Colorado. There are several packs of Mexican wolves in New Mexico and Arizona, so with all of the wild open spaces in South Eastern Colorado, it would not be surprising for Mexican wolves to show up in that area. 

My only other encounter with wolves was at a wolf rescue in Paso Robles. They are larger than you would think, about 100 lbs, beautiful and with an intelligence behind their eyes that makes me happy not to have ever met one in the wild!

February 27, 2015

My sister Vivian response to these sketches first thing in the morning everytime that I send one out. She always has a comment on it, good or bad. Thank you Viv. 
I found a few photos of her when we were all out at Fay and Kory's Paso Robles house. It looks like it might have been in the fall, when the hills around there are all golden and slightly breezy. 

Drawing pattern on fabric is a good way to define an object, but the plaid that she is wearing was driving me crazy! I lost my place several times. Still I got the effect that I was looking for.