Free Sketching

“You can’t do sketches enough. Sketch everything and keep your curiosity fresh.”
-John Singer Sargent

Experiencing a dry spell of creativity or trying to work out an idea? If you are a writer, you may be familiar with a prewriting technique called free writing. For a set period of time you continuously write without regard to the topic, and it could end up being the words, “I don’t know what to write.” over and over again on the page. Think of it as exercising your brain, and you can also use this technique with sketching. 

A sketchbook becomes a booklet of possibilities that you keep by your side. Don’t be afraid to make random marks, doodles, patterns, or spread color around. Express your ideas using lines or words! Sketching is a great way to become more familiar with mediums you haven’t used before. Or doodle what you see in the world while you are on a lunch break. You don’t even have to “finish” a drawing. Paint a color and leave the page to draw something else. There is no rule that says you can’t go back to the painted page.

“Sketchbooks should be the one place without rules.”
-Marilyn Patrizio

A Page from College Sketchbook

Admittedly, I have never been an artist who regularly sketches, but it does help me work out the ideas rattling around in my head. Knowing I was going to be teaching a pottery painting class at Beavercreek’s Decoy Art Studio on Wednesday, October 28th, I broke out some paper and thought about what a 21-year-old & up group would want to paint for a “Fall To-Go Mug.” 

Fall To-Go Mug Sketches

Without worrying about making perfect drawings, I used my pen, Crayola watercolor set, Sharpies, and drawing pencil to figure out a possible design. Wanting to include at least one of the specialty glazes from the studio, I drew out a few ideas but ultimately was drawn to the complementary color (meaning any two colors that are directly opposite each other on the color wheel) combination of blue and orange. 

The final piece gives a nod to the fall theme without hitting you over the head with it. People will enjoy carrying this mug whether the season has passed or not. If you would love to learn how to create this wonderful mug on Wednesday, October 28th, 2015, please sign up for the Wednesday Workshop at Decoy Art Studio in Beavercreek, Ohio! The price is $30 per person and this includes the instruction, your mug, and use of the glazes.

You have three options to sign up:
1. Call the studio at (937) 431-4838
2. Surf their website at
3. Visit the studio at 1561 Grange Hall Rd., Beavercreek, Ohio

Final Fall To-Go Mug

Hope to see you at the studio!


Vintage Post: Exploration of Cat Character

Another previous post from my first blog! This contains the sketches I had to create for a college digital illustration class. These were what I drew before I decided on the B&W cat I posted a few entries back. Looking back, I wish I had gone with the She Cat from the top left of the first page (she has a delicate claw in a fish bowl).

Original Post date: March 24, 2009

Thought I would post up some of my brainstorming that I drew out when I was working on coming up with a character for Illustration class. All of you have possibly seen the already computerized and toned drawing below. At the beginning, I wasn’t sure whether to mix a cat with a human body or just keep it as a cat with a cartoon flare.

Do you draw out several ideas for characters before settling on one?

Doodle Curls

New Year’s Resolutions… I tend to never do them because I rarely remember or accomplish them. I would rather take things a day at a time, but this year I would like to attempt to fill my Art Journal that I have been playing around in for the past two years. I have a tendency to see a brand spanking new sketchbook and buy it, but I have never finished a sketchbook on my own except for two! One of them was filled because I used it for two college drawing classes and the other was for last years Sketchbook Project. A lot of times when I am drawing it is for someone else (gift, etc.) so that goes on loose leaf paper.

An unfilled sketchbook can be daunting to all of us, but I have been subscribing to the philosophy that says:

Do not to worry about what you put in your sketchbook.

Doodle! Paint! Get the color or lines out to exercise your hand and brain. Since I enjoy drawing hair or curls, I had a little fun with my black Sharpie on a couple of pages I had painted ahead of time.

What are some other artist’s resolutions? Or goals for this year?


Vintage Post: Creativity

Why am I calling this post Vintage? Well, my friend, since I am phasing out my long time Xanga blog, I will be bringing over some of my older posts on here so they don’t completely disappear off the face of the earth. Whether you are reading them for the first or second time, I hope you still enjoy the “Vintage Post” series.

Originally posted: Sunday, 22 February 2009

“The world is but a canvas to the imagination.” -HENRY DAVID THOREAU

I tried to draw something quick last night in pencil, but again I ended up really enjoying what I was drawing and continued to work on it through the night.

Every time I draw a character on the page, I feel it becomes too lonely looking and begin drawing more people around her. When I sit and sketch I can’t help but make a collage of images together to fill up the page. The drawing may not make sense, but I am entertained by it while I render such a piece. 
Before I stick the image I did in, I would like to quote an activity out of the book called “The New Creative Artist: A Guide to Developing your Creative Spirit” by Nita Leland.

Do a Drawing a Day

“Reinforce your drawing habit. Draw something- anything- every day. Keep a pencil and paper in the family room, in the kitchen and in the car. Draw odds and ends: a phone, soda can, bone, pencil sharpener, teakettle or geranium plant. Draw from memory and imagination: an apple orchard, the neighbor’s dog, a man-eating flower, a frog who is a prince, a Martian.

Draw with your right hand, then your left; with your eyes open or closed. Whenever you see a pencil, pick it up and draw. You learn to draw by drawing.”

The Sketchbook Project 2011 spreads pt. 2

For anyone who is confused, these are images of my sketchbook from The Sketchbook Project 2011 that is currently traveling around in the show. I have already signed up for the 2012 show though and can’t wait to have a new sketchbook to fill up! You feel so accomplished when you finish one. I highly encourage everyone to sign up for it!

Here are a few more spreads from the Moleskin sketchbook that is traveling currently. On the majority of the spreads, I started out drawing my doodle designs with a Sharpie. Then I scanned one of my drawings, made it larger or smaller, printed them out, pasted them in the book, and added the acrylic paint for final color.

Progression of the exotic spread:

Finished Exotic spread:


Since I am a big fan of looking up and reading quotes, I had to put several within the sketchbook. My lettering could have been better, but I think a lot of them still turned out well.

Final Quotation spread:

More Sketchbook Project Spreads

Since a lot of time has passed, I have decided to put up more photos of the process and final images from The Sketchbook Project 2011 I participated in. Definitely thinking about doing it again this year for the 2012 tour!

Unfortunately, I only have one photo of the progression of this piece because it really took off for me, and I completely forgot to stop myself to get another picture! Oh well! Can’t always stop the artist. 😉

Final piece! I was extremely happy with the way this one turned out. For some reason, I have always loved painting red heads and have been tempted to dye my hair red. Ha!