Sketching Entrepreneur Expands Operations

A few blog posts ago I mentioned a little girl I ran into who was sketching and collecting money from people watching her sketch.  I thought she was cute as a button and was quite the entrepreneur.  Made me wonder if I should sit on the street sketching with a hat to catch the coins.  I decided that cute kid and old man were not equivalent skills and that I just didn’t have what it took for that business.

Anyways, I was walking down that same street, though on the opposite side of the street and I nearly laughed out loud.  It seems this intrepid entrepreneur has expanded.  I guess business was so good she had to get an assistant to collect the money so the ‘artiste’ wouldn’t be bothered by the customers.  A sign has been added and the new employee wears a tiara.  I guess business is booming.


Categories: Art

Making Zucchini Pizzas

I bet you’re wondering what zucchini pizza has to do with sketching.  Well, it is related… sort of.  I was sketching in St. Vallier with friends (blog post later) and our host has a grand garden and insisted that we take a bunch of veggies home with us.  While others weren’t too interested in zucchini, I wanted a couple of the real big ones.  You know the ones.  They’re great for soups and for PIZZA.  My friends being the curious sorts, wanted to know what I was talking about and, ultimately, they wanted a big zucchini too.

Thus…Making Zucchini Pizza is all about sketching group cohesiveness as I explain to them how they are made.  I apologize in advance for the poor photos.  My kitchen is not set up for photography.

Step1Step 1:  Slice some 1/2″ segments of zucchini and lay them on an aluminum foil-covered baking sheet.  If I think about it, adding a bit of oil to the foil is probably a good thing but I generally forget and it’s not a problem.

Step 2: Prepare sauce and toppings.  You can start with tomato sauce and build your own pizza sauce with the addition of stuff like oregano, basil, thyme, pepper, and maybe a dollop of tomato paste, but I had this little can of pizza sauce and so that’s what I used.  I chopped some red onion and green pepper as toppings but to each her own.

Step2Step3Step 3:  Spoon the sauce on the zucchini and smush it around, followed by whatever toppings you want to add.  These go in an oven (350F) for about 20 minutes.

Step 4: Then you add cheese.  I typically use cheddar because that’s what I typically have on hand but the choice is yours.  I forgot to take a photo of this step.  Sorry.  Imagine a pile of grated cheese on top of each zucchini proto-pizza.

Step 5: Then it’s back in the oven for a few minutes to until the cheese is well melted and probably dripping over the edges of the zucchini.  At this point the only thing left to do is eat them, which, of course, is the best part.






Single-Line Sketching Revisited

I reported on some single-line sketches I’d done in a previous post, an idea presented by Marc Taro Holmes in his free PDF handout, Making Expressive Pen and Ink Drawings on Location.  Marc has a new Craftsy course titled Travel Sketching in Mixed Media, an amazing follow up to his People in Motion course and he begins the course with the single-line sketching exercise.

Getting to see him actually do single-line sketches made me realize that I was doing them “wrong.”  They are, afterall, an exercise meant to loosen up your hand and to get you to emphasize the big shapes, while not becoming mired in details.  But Marc had said, “Keep the pen moving” and so I did.  The result was that each time I had to stop to figure out how to get from one thing to the next (a distracting problem of single-line sketching) I ended up with a bunch of squiggles as I “kept the pen moving.”  The results were very scribbly sketches.

Ok…just you…yeah, you, the one looking into the monitor.  Lean in close because I don’t want to give away Marc’s secret to everyone, but just between you and me [dropping my voice to a whisper] he doesn’t do that.  He stops his pen on occasion as he looks how best to get from point A to B between objects.

And so, I was out doing more single-line drawings.  I’ve also decided that I’ve got to learn, once and for all, how to draw while holding my sketchbook and standing up.  I really struggle with that.  My line work becomes completely out of control.

I took some inexpensive watercolor paper (9×12) and cut it in half.  These 6×9 sheets were used as I did a bunch of single-line drawings.  Each of them only took a minute or two for the linework.  Then I added some brush pen darks (another place I struggle) and for a few of them I added color.

This is a great exercise that sets the stage for the less radical approaches to expressive drawing that Marc explains in his class.  Tell you about them?  Heck no…go take the class (grin).  You’ll never regret it and Craftsy classes are inexpensive.  Here’s one of my single-line sketches.


Wedded Sketching Bliss

My wife and I have been together for nearly 30 years and married for 28 of them.  There have been a lot of potholes on our road through life but I can count on one hand the number of big arguments we’ve had.  It’s uncanny as I’m impossible to live with – at least I couldn’t do it.

But last week we went sketching together.  It’s not the first time but it hasn’t been a regular event either.  We put together picnic food and headed to the Plains of Abraham to sit in the shade and enjoy a perfect day.  It was a glorious day.

Stillman & Birn Beta (10x7), Namiki Falcon, De Atramentis Document Black

Stillman & Birn Alpha (10×7), Namiki Falcon, De Atramentis Document Black

I drew a tree.  It’s clear that I need more experience sketching trees.  Still, it was fun and my wife was drawing a tree while sitting right next to me.  Life was sweet.

Then it was lunch time and we chatted, watched squirrels and talked about sketching.  What more could a guy want in life?  Besides, the cheese and baguette were great.

We only had 25 minutes left on our parking time (grrr…grumble), so we decided to do another sketch.  I wandered around a bit while she sat down to draw.  I decided on this scene and rushed it a bit to fit it into the time frame and think I might return with more time and bigger sketchbook.  This was done in a 3×5 Moleskine watercolor book.



Standing On The Corner…

Standing on the corner…
    …watching all the girls go by. — Four Lads

I’m old enough to remember a time before rock-n-roll.  It was an era between big band music and Elvis Presley, where pop music came either from crooners or quartets of men or women.  Lyrics were silly, but happy.  Melodies simple and memorable.  When I was a kid there was a song, Standing on the Corner, whose melody caught the attention of this kid.  I must have been six or seven.

As an old sketcher I was standing on a corner and I suppose there were girls walking by, but what I noticed was the light pole and the block wall next to it.  In the background and up the street a bit is where Rene Levesque lived, undoubtedly the best known and most beloved of Quebec’s Premiers.  I did this quick drawing of the scene.

Stillman & BIrn Beta (6x9), Namika Falcon, De Atramentis Document Black