Wednesday, December 31, 2014

This time with you has been "Highly Prized"

Jill K Berry here...

This is the last day of a great adventure, and the start of something new. It is bittersweet, being here for this last day of the live Sketchbook Challenge.

Four years ago I wrote the very first post on this blog. A few of us agreed to share our love of sketching with the cyber world, and all of you came. You came to learn, share, and celebrate our collective love of sketching and all of its related art forms.

Aside from the fact that this collection of people has come to mean a great deal to me, I have learned to admire so many of you that I did not know before, but I was challenged to be better, to try new things as we were asking you to do. Because all of you were watching and so many unique and wonderful artists were sharing here, the bar was raised, I think for all of us.

So I want to share with you what I ended up doing with some sketches I have done this year, using the theme we started with, HIGHLY PRIZED. That means, to me, the creatures and characters I live with and around. Most recently I painted my dogs from lots of sketches I did first (most of the sketches were from photos since these dogs move so fast).

This is Finn, my standard poodle puppy. I did this of him as a gift to my son Sam for Christmas. It is acrylic on canvas now. He is the happiest dog on the planet. Literally.

I did this one for Sam for his birthday. It is my other standard poodle, Thiebaud, who smiles a lot and loves being out in the hills with us.

This one is my baby girl. She is big now, getting ready to move overseas, and I am so challenged by letting her grow and use her wings. I spent the day with her baby self doing this watercolor painting, and will gift it to my mother for Christmas. My mom made the pink stuffed bunny she is loving in this picture. Sydney still has that bunny. I may hug it a lot when she goes.

Here she is at 14, after a haircut she was not sure about. 
She was so perfectly beautiful, but did not believe it.

Drawing people is not easy, even for me. There is always a small voice in my head judging. Still, I am so rewarded by looking at my people and pets for the long time it takes me to do this. This is when I really see them, my loved ones, my Highly Prized. 

Practice, that is all it is, practice looking and seeing and sketching. There are many resources for learning to draw people. Check out artgraphica for all kinds of free lessons. 
And check out the Drawing Club Facebook page.

Go do that, push to the next level, add on to the skills you have learned here and enjoy the fact that you are brave and creative. 

Thank you, all of you, for four years of goodness. 

Tuesday, December 30, 2014

December slide show

Show time! The last day of each month we have a slide show of the Sketchbook Challenge Flickr group's work for that month's theme. To have your work in the slideshow, be sure to tag it with the theme's tag for that month, given on the first day when the theme is announced.

Thank you to all of our followers for playing along!

Monday, December 29, 2014

Looking Back on the Sketchbook Challenge

Greetings, everyone!  Leslie here, wishing you and yours a great holiday season!  I have been a contributing artist to the Sketchbook Challenge project since the outset and it has been an honor.
In the process, I have had the opportunity to become friends with so many other talented artists and feel like I have learned so much from being a part of it.  I thought I would share a few small pieces that were created during the years of the Sketchbook Challenge.

hummingbird nest (watercolor)

One of my "imaginary animals", part of the November 2011 theme

This collaged piece was featured in Sue Bleiweiss' book, 

I attended some local life-drawing classes and try to attend whenever possible.

drew from old photos (this was made into a screen for printing on fabric)

I did a series of drawings on fabric using a ruling pen

I used drawings, stencils, and printing to make numerous collages.

I do a lot of sketching on my sewing machine, as well.

Sometimes I stitch together a variety of things for a journal page.

I love to sketch on cloth!

Watercolors are a meditative process...

And I have developed the practice of taking a small set with me when I travel.

These are a few of the things I have done during the arc of the Sketchbook Challenge.  It is my sincere hope that those of you who have followed the project have found some things along the way that have become part of your artistic practice.  It has been a joy to be on this journey.  My hope is that you will continue to make art and let it be a regular part of your life-experience.  Thank you for coming along!

Tuesday, December 23, 2014

The Sketchbook Challenge- giving and sharing the gift of ART!

Hi everyone, Desiree here!!  I am so honored and thankful that Sue asked me to be a part of the Sketchbook Challenge. I have loved the different themes, the challenges and the new friends I have made along the way! It is always an honor to share my passion and love of art with others.

My paintbox

It has been an amazing journey as all of us have watched all of you join in and become part of our artistic family here! I hope that I will see more of you on my sketching blog and on FB. I don't think of this as the end of something, its really more of a change in direction for many of us. As a Christmas gift I thought I would share a tutorial on painting your favorite Christmas Ornament that is on my blog now. Enjoy!

                                    Diane's ornament from Desiree Habicht on Vimeo.

 May your days be filled with art and with creating and may your artistic journey be filled with wonder!! Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!!

Thursday, December 18, 2014

What The Sketchbook Challenge Has Meant to Me

Jamie Fingal checking in.  This was my first drawing on The Sketchbook Challenge in the very beginning in 2011. I have learned so much and been inspired by the other artists, as well as, the artists who follow along and post their work to the Flickr site.  Friendships have been made, and strengthened over the years. It has been great fun!  Being part of TSC has led me back to my roots of drawing and painting with watercolors. Here are some of my favorite posts over the years!
I have used many, many manila tags for my art.  This happens to be one of my favorite ones. I made three girls, and then interchanged their heads and bodies to create what you see here.

An accordian tag book of houses

A house book, using one of those cardboard books, stencils, and acrylic paint.  You could see through the windows to see my little drawings

words on a page

Tags of some of my favorite objects from my parents house

Having my work in The Sketchbook Challenge book by Sue Bleiweiss
A page from my sketchbook

Painting with watercolors

The bowl theme from my Moleskin Storybook Sketchbook

These drawings led me to create my first fabric line  in 2013 for Hoffman Fabrics 'Home is Where Your Story Begins"
I am a stencil artist for Stencil Girl Products.  This one is a sewing themed stencil for Stencil Girl Products - exclusive club for June 2014. One of the many versions that I made with this 9x12 stencil

More stencil designs - love these dresses!  You can view my entire collection here

The Moleskin Storybook Sketchbook.  I have started number 5.
And now here is where I am. Fabric line #2 'Heart and Soul Sisters' which is all about being bold, brave and strong. My girls are there, my words, drawings and a funky quilt. See my Twisted Sister blog for more info about my fabric line. Being part of The Sketchbook Challenge has brought me where I am today.  It has been such a pleasure to be part of this amazing project over the years.  Thank you for your inspiration, encouragement, and for following along with us! 

Monday, December 15, 2014

Just a few tidbits I learned along the way...

Hi! It's Deborah Boschert. What a delight it has been to participate in The Sketchbook Challenge! I've really discovered that I like using a sketchbook AND there is no right way to do so. You know that, right? It really is true.

One of my favorite posts was from the Into the Woods theme in November 2013. I set myself a challenge of drawing a tree each day of our nine day summer road trip. Here are my "nine trees."

I really enjoy doing a daily challenge, but I definitely am most successful if I keep the time period relatively short. Nine days is totally doable!

Another thing I discovered that I really prefer... just black pen. I know lots of people use markers, water color paints, collage and all kinds of other materials. Since I really do only "sketch" in my sketch books, pen and ink is comfortable and adequate.

And lastly, another wonderful thing about sketchbooks is paging through them again and again. It's a wonderful way to remember ideas, events, places and possibilities. Just like paging through the archives of this blog. Goodness! So much inspiration! Even though we won't be posting, it will always be here as an incredible resource. I know I'll be checking back regularly. I hope you will too.

Monday, December 8, 2014

Good Memories

Although only recently a contributor to the Sketchbook Blog I have joined in with the Challenge since it started in January 2011. I think we have all had a lot of fun and had our creativity stimulated by the themes over the years; for that a big thank you to Sue for starting the blog, and for all the people who have joined in here or on Flickr.

Here are a few of my favourite themes from past years all tied up with good memories of having fun creating.

If you are not sure where to go from here, don’t cry just get the Sketchbook Challenge Book out and follow along with some of the ideas and themes in there. Jackie.

Monday, December 1, 2014

all good things...

Sue B here...

It's hard to believe that it's been four years already!  I never imagined when I came up with the idea for the Sketchbook Challenge back in 2011 that it would last so long or touch as many people as it has.   We've all had a great time but like all good things,  it's time for the sketchbook challenge to end.  This month will be the last theme we post and in keeping with the saying all good things must come to an end, our last theme is going to be...

All Good Things

Fill your sketchbook pages with good things - the things that make you smile, bring back a warm memory,  the traditions and rituals that you begin and end your day with, connect you to the ones you love and want to preserve for generations to come. Fill it with the things that make you happy.

And even though this is our last challenge I do have some good news: this blog will stay up  indefinitely so you'll have access to the last four years of themes and inspiration to inspire you for a long time to come! 

Here's a few good things from my sketchbook from over the last few years ...

My very first sketch was for the challenges first theme "highly prized" :

My sketchbook pages have come a long way since then.  At the time I wasn't really using my sketches as a springboard for my quilts but that changed pretty quickly once I realized the value of playing on paper first before cutting into any fabrics.  Now three years later every quilt I create starts on the pages of my sketchbook first...

This sketch above was one of many that eventually resulted in this quilt:

I love to draw buildings, houses and dwellings in my sketchbooks, it's my favorite subject to work with.

 and this one was a starting point for a quilt to celebrate my garden and the arrival of the hummingbirds each summer - definitely a good thing in my area because it signals the end of winter and the arrival of warmer weather
This sketch eventually became this quilt:

Another good thing you'll find in my sketchbook pages are sketches inspired by my dogs.  

I wanted to create a dog quilt but I wasn't looking to create something realistic.  I wanted something whimsical.  So I started by sketching a lot of dogs...

I made quick rough sketches of a lot of dog faces...

and eventually all those sketches resulted in this quilt:

If it wasn't for the sketchbook challenge I may never had discovered the value of working on paper first.  Now I can't imagine working any other way and that, for me is definitely a good thing!

Has participating in the sketchbook challenge changed the way you use your sketchbook?

Please share your images from this months theme in The Sketchbook Challenge Flickr Group, and don't forget to tag it with the code dec735 so it can be included in the end of month slide slow on this blog.