Daily Art – Making a habit of sketching

I’ve made a concerted effort to start a daily habit of sketching or drawing. I have found a great amount of groups on Facebook and online to get sketching exercises.  As you know, I am a Facebook addict and I’ve selected a few groups.  My criteria for selection is activity and the number of members.  Memberships that run in the tens of thousands are too big, and the administrators are usually too bogged down to be effective in the groups; however if the group is active and the group members provide assistance, I am all for it!  Below are the groups I found are the most active in the group and the administrators do a great job in overseeing the activities.

  • Sketching Everyday – I really like this group.  Very active group that allows you to post “off prompt” sketches.  The administrator is active and provides great daily themes.  A small intimate group under 1000 but very supportive.  Plus, periodically during the month there are artist studies selected as the daily prompt.
  • Sketchbook Skool: A Drawing A Day – This group is part of the Sketchbook Skool Facebook group, as well as the Sketchbook Sketching Skool.
  • Doodlewash – Has a community outside of Facebook where you can post your completed art as well as sign up for their forum.  Doodlewash also has a Facebook page, World Watercolor Group with 72k membership.  Daily sketch themes are found here.
  • Daily Sketch Challenge – There is a nice monthly list provided; however I do not see many submission to the challenged
  • Urban Sketchers – This is a huge group with subgroups all around the world. So if you live in a metropolitan area, you might find a urban group near your area.  I found this an interesting group with lots of art submissions from around the world.  I find it interesting to see sketches of locations around the world that I would love to visit!
  • Virtual Sketchwalk – This group selects cities or locations around the world, provides a walking map and photos for members to draw.  Interesting concept.  Haven’t tried it yet, but will do a few of their challenges.  Its an active group even though there are under 1000 members.

The Sketching Everyday group is doing an alphabet series for September. I decided to complete my month doing animal sketches.  Doodlewash is doing a month theme of celebrations.  If you’ve not incorporated a daily routine of sketching, I invite you to follow along with any of the sites listed above.  The drawing of sketches can be simple 15 minute sketches in any medium, a quick doodle or a formal drawing/painting.   My sketches below were ten minute to two hour drawings.

Please note:  The old house is a Seth Clark Study.  Selected topic by the Sketching Everday group.  The Lady With A Cup is a Fred Callibri Study.



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Practice Piece #2

I am completing my practice pieces by using demonstrations from the book, Painting Light with Color Pencil by Cecile Baird.  As I said in my previous post, this book is perfect for beginning color pencil artists.  The exercises are uncomplicated demonstrations that can be hand drawn and the author does a great job in giving you guidance by listing the colors before starting the piece, and gives step by step “recipes” outlining the steps and colors to use.  The canister and apple drawing is done using the Canson XL Bristol Smooth Smooth paper. The Bristol smooth has enough tooth on the paper to grab the color pencils nicely; moreover, the creaminess of the Prismacolor Primier Artist Pencils easily helped in the layering process.  I used alcohol to blend 3 or 4 layers, but found using the Derwent Colorless Blender a better choice in blending and burnishing the colors.


Painting Light using Color Pencil.

I finished 2 small 5 x 7 art pieces following a book called Painting Light with Color Pencil by Cecile Baird. The little kiwi and cantalope fruit demonstration is nothing to get too excited about. It’s was a practice piece, but it allowed me to work on different paper: Canson XL Bristol Smooth and Strathmore cold press 400lb water paper. In my opinion, stay away from the watercolor. Too toothy. It was hard to cover the paper.

The book has 21 easy to follow still life demonstrations that captures light. The author also has a great section on use of drawing tools, colored pencil techniques, the process of drawing. If you are in the beginning stages of using Color pencils, I recommend following along with the demonstrations.

Completed using Canson XL Bristol Vellum Smooth

Completed using Strathmore 400lb Water Paper (notice the toothiness). I tried using a liquid blender and I had problems covering the tooth of the paper.  Probably better to use Watercolor first then use the Color Pencil on top.

Arteza 72 Expert Color Pencils and Drafting Film


I was on vacation recently and decided to try the new Arteza Expert 72 Color Pencils. Arteza is a fairly new art supply company, that is rolling out impressive budget art materials. I bought the pencils at a bargain sale price of $20.00 and couldn’t resist adding them to my supply of colored pencils. The Company considers Arteza Expert 72 Colored Pencils artist grade, and the pencils have a lightfast rating printed on each individual pencil. I was pleased with the pigment saturation and the variety of colors. There are a nice variety of green pigmented pencils, but the pencils are lacking in selection of reds. Since these are wax based pencils, I was pleased how smoothly these color pencils went down on the paper; moreover, the pencils layered well.

For my work in progress piece, I decided to use drafting film. Artist Karen Hull creates fabulous color pencil art using drafting film. You can buy drafting film from Dick Blick or Amazon. Below are the advantages and disadvantages of using drafting film:
Advantages: cleanly erases; can use both sides of the matte film; complete art pieces with fewer layers.
Disadvantages: less toothier so select your final colors before laying them down; smudges easily

I’ve included a work in progress art piece using Grafix Matte 0.005 Dura-Lar Film, 9-Inch by 12-Inch, 25 Sheets and Arteza Color 72 Expert Color Pencils. I’ll obtain richer colors when I turn the drafting film around and add color to the reverse side. However, I was pleased with Arteza pigmentation and the layering ability.

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