Posts Tagged: ink

Living on the Edge

It really is not as exciting as it sounds. Nice – yes, in summer. Interesting – sometimes. Exciting – not really.

I live in Edgewater, a neighborhood of Chicago. Our Chamber of Commerce came out with this brilliant line, and now you can see it on posters and flags everywhere. I see it all the time when I am out sketching. It gave me an idea of series of sketches – Living on the Edge. Here are a few:


Out of the Starbucks window, looking at the historic buildings on Bryn Mawr & Winthrop



The Secret Garden. In the gardens of the Pink Building. I live in the neighborhood for 18 years and have never been inside these gardens until last week. You have to know a resident to take you in.


The Church of Atonement, at the side entrance. A beautiful old church a block away from my house. Even has a table there to spread your sketchbook, pens and palette – heaven, really.


Another historic building – art deco this time – on Bryn Mawr and Winthrop, different corner. Also sketched out of Starbucks, ______________________it was too cold to be ______________________outside.


These are all done on location, Urban Sketchers style, as quickly as I can draw. Which is not very fast at all – one to one-and-a-half hours each.

Hope to show you more of my Chicago as I sketch it.

More random sketches

Here are a few more sketches. I am trying various pens. I am finding that I love drawing with a pen, can’t believe it seemed to be an unattainable skill to me before.

I drew the perfume bottles with your regular Paper Mates I had in four colors (my daughter gave them to me a while back, they are somewhat dry by now.) The coffee pot is in rollerball ink pen my husband brought back from some conference. The Aladdin-like vessel is drawn with my beautiful new Lamy Safari fountain pen, although I am unsure of the blue ink – would rather prefer brown…

The shell I drew with conte and pastels. Though not in pen, I thought I’d include it simply because it is already scanned.

Sketching random objects


It is too dark to paint in the evenings… I gave up on painting in artificial light because when I look at what I painted in the morning the color temperature always needs to be corrected. So I thought of getting back into sketching during these long and dark winter evenings. I haven’t done any drawing, except drawing for a painting, since I finished The Sketchbook Project.

Just sketching – for the sake of the process – without being too attached to the result – is very satisfying. I keep my timing to an hour or less, and any piece of old junk is a perfect subject. I am trying different materials – micron pen, conte, pastels. I am thinking of getting a fountain pen, have always been curious about drawing with a fountain pen. If you have a favorite model – please share.

Faceless and forgotten

Female form 1

Female form 2

Just a few days before the time Leslie created her Fabulous Faceless Figures I did my own. Independent of her. Great minds and all that… Same wavelength… I then proceeded to completely forget about them. Today I was packing my sketchbooks to go home and found them. One is Micron pen, the other mechanical pencil, both sketched from small statues my mother has on her sideboard. There seems to be something profound in the absence of face.

Milky Way, Netanya

Patron in a hat

Woman in red top


Our favorite coffeeshop here in the sleepy town of Netanya is called cleverly The Milky Way, Shvil Ha-Halav in Hebrew. They serve beautiful cappuchino and enourmously sized salads. Now they are also famous for being the first cafe where I braved sketching patrons. The man in a hat is a regular, I noted him a while ago, but didn’t sketch because I didn’t have a good view until this one. The woman in red had interesting multiple chins as I looked at them in profile. Between eating and talking she kept repositioning them making my work more difficult. I generalized the best I could. The last guy had a very busy and no nonsense air about him, he chatted briskly with his companion, then got up and quickly left while I had my head down to my sketchbook for a moment, I didn’t even see him going. This is all I had time to do while he was sitting there.


Dome on the Rock

Western Wall

Church of the Holy Sepulchre

Some sketches from Jerusalem

Still life with onions

Still life with onions

I always wanted to have a title like this – Still life with… something… I am not sure really why, but I wanted it. Now is my chance – Still life with Onions – how very satisfying!

This is another first for me, an experiment – watercolor and ink on metal. This is my teacher’s specialty and she guided me through the process. The metal is aluminum, the kind that is used for roofing. But really any kind would do because the surface is prepared for pigment with several layers of white gesso. I painted gesso in criss-cross fashion letting it dry between layers. When it was completely dry, it was ready for painting.

The gessoed surface takes pencil very well, and I drew my onions without a problem. Painting was another story. The surface was slippery, and I found that I took off the previous wash when I tried to apply the next one. Layered washes was not the way to go, and I changed my approach to using thick barely diluted pigment. That was more like it.

The little painting became good and saturated, but still lacked punch. So yesterday in class my teacher got out her inks and suggested to try them. I added inks over the watercolor with a brush and really liked the result. Then I painted more watercolor washes on top of ink. They seem to be natural together.

5”x7” (13×18 cm) watercolor and ink on metal

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