Thursday, December 23, 2010

Winter's Foal part 3

"Winter's Foal" part 3
I don't think it'll be done by Christmas, but you never know. ;-)

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Winter's Foal part 2

Here's an update on the new piece.  I'm definitely liking the Polychromos pencils thus far. :-)

"Winter's Foal" part 2

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Winter’s Foal

"Winter's Foal" part 1
What could be finer than a cute, little, new guy to usher in the New Year? I have long been a fan of the old magazine covers that personified the New Year as a baby and the old year as an oldster. Since the New Year is coming fast, I couldn’t resist starting a new piece showing a baby horse. My family raised Thoroughbreds when I was growing up and I got to know foals quite well. Some of them were quite the little stinkers. This little guy clearly follows in that tradition. You can see it in his eye, can’t you?

This will be my first piece done entirely in Faber-Castell Polychromos colored pencils. I usually work with a mix of colored pencil brands with the lion’s share being my old standby, Prismacolors. I was interested to see how the non-waxy Polychromos pencils would build towards a complete piece. So far so good!

Thursday, December 16, 2010

My Etsy Shop!

 At long last my new Etsy shop is open! It’s very exciting! The address is Right now I have my three Christmas card designs for sale. Each sells for $4.00 plus shipping.

The name of the store is “Cresciangirl’s Art Shop.” There’s a story that goes with the name. As you might notice, it is NOTHING at all like Flying Pony Studios, the name of my pet portrait business. I actually created the shop several years ago with the intention of selling not just art, but also to promote my Steampunk and webcomic materials. This was way before there was a Flying Pony Studios. Right after I set up the name, there followed several years of parental death and trauma. The Etsy store was put on the shelf.

Flash forward to this month  when I sought to open my Etsy shop at long last. Only then did I remember that it had a different (and more personal) name. However, the unusual name provided me with an interesting opportunity while setting up the shop. In this shop I felt I could branch out beyond what I typically do in my art business and provide a wider range of creative things to sell. So far I know that there will be handmade original art cards & prints, and also ACEOs. But there may also be other things, like some of my craft creations, Steampunk weaponry and attire, and who knows what else! Even Manga designs. What fun! I can already see that I’m going to have a lot of fun with this store concept. It’ll be a Sara Creative Special Deluxe! :-D

Tuesday, December 14, 2010


I'm quite impressed by what I've been seeing over in the Etsy world. Although somewhat familiar with it already, I have never dived quite so deep into Etsy before. What I'm finding is a truly impressive community which seems built on solid win-win values.

It's interesting to consider how often in this crazy world we are subjected to win-lose scenarios and how that creates unsettled feelings when trying out new ventures, especially in areas (like Art) that we really care about. A good community can turn that around. I am looking forward to experiencing the Etsy community more fully and participating in a way that enriches both me and my buyers.

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Christmas cards!

This is a big moment for me, I’m opening my first Etsy store! *fanfare*

But what to put in it? Well, at this time of year…Christmas cards! This really feels like me standing on the edge of a high diving board. I’ve never liked heights and here I am, about to bounce and plunge! It’s scary! But exciting too!

The store isn’t quite open yet (can you see all the brown paper still covering the windows?) but have no fear, the grand opening is coming within the next few days. Still in time to get a card or two to give out at Christmas.

To me, the images I've created for these cards represent three different looks into the special world that we share with our beloved animal companions.

"Joy" Copyright Sara Light-Waller, 2010
The first card, Joy, is reminiscent of Thelwell with humor for the horseperson in us all. Clearly this little pony thinks he’s at least as big and important as his tall, dressed-up friend. The artwork is pen & ink with digital enhancements and color.

"Peace on Earth" Copyright Sara Light-Waller, 2010
The second, Peace on Earth, shows how big and small can live in harmony especially when no one’s watching. The artwork is pen & ink with digital enhancements.

"Merry Christmas!" Copyright Sara Light-Waller, 2010
And finally, a Merry Christmas! from an adorable little Christmas puppy. This image is entirely digital from the initial drawing to the finished color.

All of these cards are hand-crafted which means that I assemble all the pieces and mount them myself. The cards are smooth white card stock (good for writing) with 4x6 glossy photos carefully mounted to give a subtle raised look. All the cards are waiting for your special holiday message inside.

Although my store hasn’t quite opened its doors yet, I am taking orders from here. Please email me at if you’d like to reserve your holiday card(s).

Happy Holidays!


Saturday, December 4, 2010

Inspired Gifts: Equine Art for your Holiday List

I am delighted to announce that I am a featured artist in the December issue of Flying Changes magazine. Flying Changes is the premier magazine for northwest sporthorse enthusiasts and is an important magazine in horse community of the Northwest US where I live. I feel quite honored to have been included this year. For those who aren’t in the area, I’ve got scans of the pages here.


To go along with this great news, I also wanted to unveil the further news that I am currently developing both a greeting card line and a series of ACEO images. I intend to open an Etsy and Café Press shop really soon. Keep your eyes out here for all the latest news!

Thursday, December 2, 2010


A few miscellaneous items for today. First up, some on-site sketches from my tea holiday yesterday at Soul Food Books in Redmond. Pitt design pens in an old surveyor's notebook. I like the effect of drawing over the old pencils notes. :-)

Then on to a quote from a favorite illustrator of mine, Howard Pyle.

“When in Doubt, Leave It Out”
“ is better to err in the lack of detail than it is to introduce details that may arouse question or criticism...” -Howard Pyle to Paul Leicester Ford, November 30, 1898
Words we all can profit by, even more than 100 years later. ;-)

With thanks to Ian Schoenherr - from his wonderful blog – “Howard Pyle

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

My favorite color name of all

Yesterday I forgot to mention my very favorite color name, “Caput Mortuum” or “Caput Mortuum Violet.” Winning the title of most interesting color name in my book, Caput Mortuum literally means “Dead Head” or “Worthless Remains.” It is also known as “Cardinal Purple.” According to Wikipedia it has also been known as “Mummy Brown,” from a practice in the 16th and 17th centuries of making the pigment from ground up mummies. They stopped the practice in the 19th C. when artists found out what it was made of . ;-)

Name and history alone make it interesting, but I really like the color too. I consider it a rather dull Red-Violet and use it in several of my watercolor palettes.

Monday, November 29, 2010

Interesting Color Names

I was looking through my colored pencil stock this morning and was struck, and not for the first time, by some of the unusual color names we regularly see in our artist's palettes. Some of these names are so ubiquitous as to be ordinary-sounding to us, even though they are pretty obscure words used to describe a color.

For example, take the word “Phthalo.” That initial “Ph” is so strange! It took me forever to learn to spell it correctly. Some other strange-sounding color names are “Geranium Lake,” (I get the "Geranium" but what’s the deal with the "Lake?"), and “Permanent Green.” (Why is it more permanent than other greens?) I’ve always been fascinated by the word “Fuchsia” but have no idea what is means or where it comes from. (I have had Fuchsia plants before but which came first the plant or the color?)

I’m sure there are easy-to-find answers to these questions but that’s not really the point. The point is that our painting boxes are filled with amazingly, evocative names that we rarely ever notice.

Some interesting color names in my colored pencil collection

My current favorite color names are “Helio-Blue Reddish” and “Chrome Oxide Green Fiery.”  Wow! I'm not sure they make any sense as far as names go but they sure sound good, don't they?

What are some of your favorite color names?

Thursday, November 25, 2010


"Baxter," Prismacolor Pencil on Canson paper 9"x12"

Wow! It took me a long time to finish this piece. If it had been a commission it would have been done long ago. But since it was being done as a memory piece for me, I let other pieces get ahead of it for a while. I’m glad to see it finally done. And on Thanksgiving Day too!

Somehow that’s appropriate as I met this little guy and his “Dad” while on the cross-country trip to pick up my recently deceased Mom’s things from Vermont. He was visiting with his Dad the night we stayed at a motel in Vermont. Baxter had been recovering from a bite from a “bad bug” (a tick) and needed to be watched over and given his medicine. He was just so cute with his huge ears and winning attitude. I couldn’t resist photographing him for a later portrait. If only I could remember exactly where this motel was I’d let his Dad know about it.

Oh well. The Internet is large. Perhaps by good chance he’ll hear about it on my blog or Flickr. You never know… ;-)

Monday, November 22, 2010

Steamcon II: Weird Weird West!

We ventured far to SeaTac, Washington this weekend for the delightfully madcap and adventure-filled SteamconII: Weird, Weird West. There we met a fabulous assortment of people, wearing amazing clothing! Of course, not to be undone in the face of fashion, I went as my Steampunk alter-ego, Professor Almira Styles of  Hawk’s Nest Observatory in Cambridge, Mass..

Professor Almira Styles
While there we were entertained by many wonderful talks about the nature of airships, haberdashery, and social issues particular to the Steampunk genre. It was amazing and fun!

Here are my sketches from the event. Drawn in an old surveyor’s notebook in Pitt pen mainly.

And speaking of hats…here’s mine from the convention. A Christmas hat featuring clockwork birds. Tra la!

Detail of my Christmas hat featuring clockwork birds.
For more pictures from this extraordinary event you can take at peak at Sara and Matt's Steamcon II Shutterfly album.

Cheerio to all!

Friday, November 19, 2010

The story of my first true landscape

I love light houses. They’re so romantic. Lonely protectors of the coast. Always apart. Solitary and strong. How can anyone resist them?

Before leaving for Hawaii I had seen pictures of the Kilauea Lighthouse on Kauai. It looked so beautiful. A lighthouse surrounded by Kauaiian scenery. How could I resist?

The trip to Kilauea was fabulous in and of itself; a beautiful tour around the north end of Kauai. The overlook was stationed just outside the gates of the National Park Service site. I stood at the overlook and sketched the distant lighthouse to get a feel for it.

Kilauea Lighthouse sketch

The park itself was lovely and interesting. Here we got our first look at the Hawaiian goose, the Nene. We also saw protected seabird nests with tiny, fluffy, baby birds resting in little, circular, nesting caves along the path to the lighthouse. The lighthouse itself was undergoing renovations and we were unable to go inside, but the views from the cliff top were incredible.

How could I resist painting a landscape or two based on that beautiful spot?

“Kilauea Lighthouse Overlook, Kauai" Watercolor. 7" x 10"
Here is the first of them. As I worked out the preparatory sketches for this painting I reflected on how I had never done a landscape by itself before. Oh sure, I have painted landscape backgrounds for use in portrait or illustration pieces. But this was different. An appreciation for the place as subject by itself.  The action of painting this piece broke the ice for me in a new way. I’m now really looking forward to exploring other landscape subjects, including doing more pieces in this series.

The piece was painted in a limited palette – a tetredic square of Yellow- Green, Red-Orange, Red-Violet, Cyan. (I also used a touch of Quinacridone Gold to glaze some of the foreground foliage left side – but so little I don’t think it unbalanced the color square.) I used several shades from each color category with Yellow-Green being the dominant color. I feel this provided a harmonious mix of colors. I’m pleased by how the colors are a bit warmer and “more tropical” than they were in the photo I used as reference. They are more accurate to my memories of the place.

As a Post Script to this posting. I’ve made a few technical corrections to my 11/13/10 post “Great Workshop at Daniel Smith's.” Apologies for the slightly incorrect Polychromos product descriptions. All should be corrected now.

Monday, November 15, 2010

Playing with Pitt Design Pens

Inspired by the workshop last Friday, I have been experimenting with the Pitt Design Pens. I was really impressed by Don Colley’s use of the Pitt pens for monochromatic drawings. He explained that you can create a high density of color by building up transparent layers of color with the pens. Several times during the workshop, I saw him go back into “completed” drawings to darken a line or two to prove his point.

Here are two of my sample pieces. A human and an equine portrait. I’m finding that these pens give an amazingly illustrative feel to the artwork. They require you to work boldly; markers generally require a certain brash élan!


Prospero's Magic in Arizona

So far I like them. They make bold statements. Amazingly, they are NOT bleeding through the paper despite the heavy density of color I have been using. That's truly amazing!

I’m planning to take them with me to Steamcon II next weekend in my sketch kit. It'll be interesting to see how they do on a field trip. :-)

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Great Workshop at Daniel Smith's

Yesterday afternoon I headed to Daniel Smith’s in Seattle for a free workshop given by Chicago artist/illustrator Don Colley. This workshop was sponsored by Faber-Castell and explored the characteristics of a variety of Faber-Castell products including Pitt Artist Pens, Albrecht Durer watercolor pencils, Polychromos colored pencils, and pastels for use in multi-media art pieces.

Don Colley is a wonderful speaker and a fabulous artist. His urban sketches created on huge, old, ledger books are truly a wonderful and very characteristic art. His manner was bright and lively as he described the products he uses in his art and illustration work.

Two of the media I use frequently in my artwork are colored pencils and pen & ink. After so many years of use, I had stopped asking a lot of product questions about either tool. I have used Prismacolor pencils for more than 20 years and have been satisfied with them for the most part. As far as ink pens go, I definitely have my favorites, with the Pitt Superfine (S) black pen being among them. I have also used the Pitt artist brush pens on a limited basis, with my primary use being calligraphy. I have been delighted with the Albrecht Durer watercolor pencils and have a large set of them. My painting “Please May I Come Up,” is done in the AD watercolor pencils. 

With all that said, I was surprised and delighted to learn some amazing new things at the workshop yesterday.

Pitt Artist Pens:
  • Are just pigment and water and therefore have no odor like other markers. (I had not paid attention to this before but now that you mention it…)
  • Will set up and be permanent and waterproof but can be smudged immediately after they’re laid down.
  • Are transparent and can be built up in layers like other wet media.
Polychromos Colored Pencils:
  • Are bound in oil (not wax as are Prismacolors) and so will not “bloom” when laid down in heavy concentrations of color. Waxy bloom is observed as a white sheen that can make a piece look dull and opaque. As I use heavy concentrations of color in my colored pencil pieces, not having to worry about waxy bloom building up is a huge revelation for me!
  • According to the Faber-Castell website the color leads are 3.8mm, break-resistant, water-resistant, and smudge-proof.  The Polychromos leads are glued down the entire (inside) length of the pencil casing thereby creating a stronger pencil overall.
  • All the Faber-Castell products (pens, colored pencils, watercolor pencils, pastels) are color-indexed and each same-numbered color will be consistent across the entire product line.
I tried this out for myself when I got home. I have exactly one Polychromos colored pencil, #173 (Olive Green Yellowish) that I was given after the workshop as a free sample. I already owned the matching Albrecht Durer watercolor pencil, as well as a similar-colored Pitt artist pen #167 (Permanent Green Olive). I added Pitt pen #103 (Ivory) and a Rembrandt Polycolor White colored pencil and played around on a sheet of Bogus Recycled Paper.

Here’s are result. Perfect matches for color between the Polychromos and the AD watercolor pencils and a close match with the similar (but not exact number) Pitt brush pen. A success! I may now have to invest in a line of the Polychromos colored pencils since I won’t be able to mix and match them with my old Prismacolors. That would be oil and water! (or at least oil and wax – not a good match…)

Many thanks to DS blogger Deborah Burns for the timely heads’ up about this great workshop. A super afternoon event at Daniel Smith’s!

Thursday, November 11, 2010

More fast sketching

For the past few weeks, I have been working on my fast sketching techniques as often as I can. Improving these skills has helped me make my sketching time much more fun and rewarding. How different from trying to capture a subject quickly as a detailed rendering! That was just so frustrating and I could never figure out why! Now I know. David Rankin is right, the process for sketching fast is very different from the creation of a careful rendering. Fast sketches aren’t meant to be detailed, they’re just meant to be visual “notes.” Now I don't get bogged down in feeling rushed while I sketch, I just get the basics down, maybe take a photo for later, and I'm done. Really cool!

Here are some of my recent fast sketches. These horses live at one of the farms where I do massage regularly. They were all good sports about being artistic subjects. ;-) Each one of these sketches took an average of three minutes to draw. All are soft pencil shaded with a stump.

Monday, November 8, 2010

Thank you Agfa SnapScan 1212

My old Agfa scanner - is this company even in business anymore?
This weekend I retired my very old and very faithful Agfa scanner. I truly don’t remember when we bought it; I know we’ve had it for at least fourteen years. Fourteen years?! For a piece of computer hardware? Totally unheard of! Despite broken hinges and a scratch on the glass, it’s outlasted several PC’s and countless versions of Windows. Simply amazing!

With the prospect of marketing greeting cards dawning on my horizon, I knew I’d need to upgrade to a newer piece of scan/print technology. Enter the HP Photosmart Premium All-In-One. It slices. It dices. It makes julienne fries…well, not really. But it does print, scan, copy, and probably do several other things I haven’t yet read about in the manual. The scans are amazing and it prints photos like a dedicated photo machine. Phew! I’m happy. :-)

New HP scanner complete with photo print of my artwork
Still, it wouldn’t have been right to retire the old machine without giving it a fair send-off. Thank you, Agfa Snapscan 1212. You took me through a lot of years and I am grateful. Whoever said that technology can’t have a heart?

Saturday, November 6, 2010

Watching Pony 1

"Watching Pony 1"
Here’s my newest watercolor. This was one of a pair of ponies brought into our neighbor’s pasture to eat down her grass a few months back. They were just so cute, I had to grab some photos while they were here. Now that the weather’s turned, it's a perfect time to paint them. :-) Grey ink and watercolor pencil on Lanaquarelle Hot Press paper 7 1/2 x 5 1/8”

Thursday, November 4, 2010

The Mess in My Study – Drawing Nene

So about this process that has been creating a mess in my study….

Since getting back from my recent trip, I have wanted to paint a Hawaiian scene including the state bird, the Hawaiian goose or “Nene.” For the past week or so I have been fiddling around with compositional armatures and colors palettes for this hypothetical painting. I’ve also done some color studies of the birds themselves to better understand their anatomy and how to render the feathers.

My messy drafting table
But something was missing. Something felt critically flat about my entire process. Then, just about a second ago, I remembered something. Something tremendously important! Paintings aren’t just about the details of composition, color, light, etc.. No! Paintings tell stories! How could I have EVER forgotten such an important thing? Forests? Trees? Hello?

My process

I love telling stories too! I feel so cheated by myself. But now I remember…and there’s no turning back now! Part of the point of today’s blog post is so that I won’t forget this very important point again (at least not soon.) Now that it’s all out in the open I have a physical marker to remember for the next time. (I can also remember to have a good laugh about it!)

Now I just need to make up a story about a sweet and gentle goose that is considered fairly stupid by the locals because it’s easy to catch. How hard can that be? (Actually it sounds like the beginning of a story for children. Hmmmmmm.) Well, here’s to it! ;-)

Sweet and gentle geese, Nene

Monday, November 1, 2010

The Artistic Process

Art is a rather long, uncertain, and bumpy process. I doubt that anyone in the arts would gainsay that statement. In fact, I’m certain of it! Our artistic trial and error learning process is at best freeing, and at worse, makes you want to upend your drafting table and turn your back for good. In some ways, I did that, for a ten, long years. But I couldn’t stay away, not forever. The pull of one more pencil stroke, another experimental pen line, or one more layer of color glazed over the others, may be what gets us in to trouble sometimes, but it’s also what saves us. How? Curiosity and experimentation is the soul of learning and, in this case, the soul of art too. “Mistakes” can be intimidating, and are often infuriating, but can also lead to new awarenesses and that’s a GREAT thing. It’s part of the learning process that just about kills us, but somehow, masochistically, also keeps us coming back for more.

For the past few days I’ve been working out some new compositions and really beating myself up about it. Tonight, as I listen to my favorite Harry Connick Jr. CD, I contemplate the mess that my study has become and I think, “what is all this for?” But then I pause, and look at the watercolor study on my table and think…is it really SO bad? What has it taught me?

I believe that if you can name at least a few things that a piece HAS taught you as you stumble through it, it has served its purpose nobly. After all, not every piece is destined to become an award winner. Some have the more important role of “learning tool.” With that thought in mind, what’s a few awkward passages, or some over-mixed colors really? Next time maybe you’ll be able to do better BECAUSE of that wonderfully lacking piece that...shhhh...wasn’t really all that lacking after all.

Saturday, October 30, 2010

Sketching in Seattle today

But before I get to that, I must to apologize for the infrequency of my posts since returning from Hawaii. I’ve been working out some ideas for paintings and my studio has been awash in compositional sketches, color tests, and geese paintings. (No joke!) I’m going to do a blog post very soon about how these ideas are coming together for me, but not quite yet. Things are still a bit messy in my head right now.

Instead, here’s a sketch from my travels in Seattle today. From my cozy vantage point across the room, I was able to make this quick little watercolor sketch. I was using my newest, TINY, painting kit that holds only four colors (Aureolin, Cobalt Blue, Rose Madder Genuine, and Lunar Black.) It’s an experiment, but I like it so far. :-)

Here’s the tiny sketch kit with a penny for scale. I bought the tin as a souvenir in Hawaii and have been having a great time carrying it (and my other sketching tools) around in my HUGE shoulder bag. It seems very funny to have my drawing and painting tools packed so small and lightly while still hauling around my big bag. *chuckle* Ah well, a girl must have her bag, it's kind of like a law. ;-)

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

EDM Challenge #296: Draw Something Orange

I know it’s more terra cotta than orange, strictly speaking, but I just couldn’t resist! We were having lunch recently at Fado in Seattle and were sitting in a room adorned with these wonderful plaques. Not exactly gargoyles, they must be allegories for the Winds. They were so charming I just had to paint one!


By the way, this is my first painting with the new palette. So far so good, I love the colors!

Palette Tests

In my seemingly endless (but enjoyable!) pursuit of the “perfect” palette of watercolors, I have been tinkering with my current palette yet again. I started by looking at my color cards, where I keep an ongoing index of color swatches. I pulled out colors that I have never used before in palettes, or that have been newly acquired. Then I created three temporary palettes from which to play.

Three Temporary Palettes
I have some wonderful PrimaTek colors that I have rarely used and was eager to try them out. Here is a small watercolor sketch of a stone using three Primatek colors: Lapis Lazuli Genuine, Sicklerite Genuine, and Zoisite Genuine. It’s really easy to create stones with these lovely colors, they practically paint themselves!

However, I wasn’t really looking for pebble colors for the new palette, but, in fact, colors that interact in interesting ways. I did a page of color mix tests and finally decided on this new palette. I’m pretty pleased with the results so far. And, darn it, I’m going to stick with it until I learn what it can do! I have high hopes for it as I think I’ve got a good mixture of colors here. By the way, I had to add Rose Madder Genuine to it, even though I know it’s a highly fugitive color. I’ve also added Quinacridone Magenta to step into the Magenta color spot (on the color wheel) for pieces requiring more permanence.

Now, off to paint!

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Three Leaves

I seemed to have had something of an intense artistic processing period over the past few days. This means that I haven’t done any art at all for the past few days. :-(

Last night I felt ready to get my tools back out and start painting again. My subject was three bright leaves I had picked up a few days earlier while out at brunch. Such lovely colors! In painting them I was able to give my Cadmiums a good workout along with some other new arrivals like the Rose Madder Genuine and Naphthamide Maroon. I have to say that both these new colors were totally worth the money! Although the photo I took doesn’t show it clearly, the shadows are a mixture of Rose Madder Genuine, Cobalt Blue, and Cadmium Yellow Light. I was completely delighted by the elegant neutrals they created together. Rose Madder Genuine is now definitely part of my palette. No doubt about it! 

"Three Leaves" - watercolor

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Value study of Punalu’u Beach in Kauai

Watercolor study of Punalu'u Beach (Payne's Gray watercolor on tinted paper)
Doing a value study of a black sand volcanic beach! Am I crazy? *wink* All the same, it was a perfect opportunity to get my watercolors out after the long layoff and get my “eye” back for painting. Boy, am I rusty with the brush! It’s always amazing to me that when you hard focus hard on one skill (like the speed sketching I was doing on my trip) you can appear to “lose” your skills in other areas. Of course, they’re not really lost, they’ve just been put on the back shelf for a little while. Once you take them out again and blow off the dust, they’re back ready for use.

In this piece, besides working out the relative values in Payne’s Gray, I was also trying out a bunch of watercolor techniques. I was testing their value (no pun intended) for potential use in a more finished painting. Techniques like stamping, scribbling, splatter, scraping, and dancing brush strokes are all really important in watercolor. For a long time I was against using such watercolor "tricks." I'm still not sure why. Watercolor is about light, shape, and color. Artist/authors like Cathy Johnson and Claudia Nice have helped me understand these concepts much better. Now it’s up to me to keep practicing until my brush works with me as easily as my pencil and pen. :-)

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Puka Dog

While on Kauai we were recommended to a gourmet hot dog joint near where we were staying in Poipu. It’s called “Puka Dog” and is something of a local institution.
Normally, I’m not one for hot dogs but this place was special. If you can believe it, my tropical hot dog was a polish sausage (they have meatless too) served with spicy jalapeño garlic lemon sauce, mango relish, and Lillikoi (passion fruit) mustard on a bun. As my Dad would say, it was delish! In fact, we liked the place so much that we ate there twice during our five-day stay. :-)
Here’s my on-site sketch of Puka Dog and the marker drawing I did after I got back. I had to do this sketch in markers as the actual place was so bright and tropical.
Fast sketch of Puka Dog Hawaiian Hot Dogs
Marker drawing from pencil sketch
 A big thanks to Haley and Amy for being such great company during our visit! Also to Amy for her great snorkeling recommendations. Mahalo Amy! 
Mahalo Amy!

Monday, October 11, 2010

My how time does fly!

I’ve been back for just a few days and already it feels like an age since I’ve blogged anything at all! Now that I’m unpacked and life is beginning to return to normal, I thought it high time to talk about my trip and what I learned artistically.

The main change I made while away was to always have my sketchbook and camera with me and be ready to sketch at a moment’s notice. No dilly-dallying! After 10 days of this treatment I actually started reaching for my sketchbook BEFORE my camera! It was a revelation to me. One I hope I'll continue now that I’m home! :-)

My Hawaii sketch kit. The smallest sketchbook, pencil holder, and plastic
container for my pencil sharpening shavings all fit in my purse.

A common site on the trip, my hat, purse, and sketchbook.
I thought I’d start my trip artwork posts today with the sketch and value study. We saw this clever goat near South Point on the Big Island of Hawaii. He/she was so cute I just had to sketch them and later do this small watercolor study. It was a very nice process that really helped understand the subject.

This was a very quick study that took me between 5 and 10 minutes.
This watercolor value study was also pretty quick.
Sodalite Genuine on a cold press postcard.
I'm looking forward to doing more of these small studies (as well as more finished paintings) over the next few weeks.  :-)

PS. I had some trouble with my watercolor sticks while I was away. They tended to stick to the plastic palette I keep in my travel case. Most of the time they looked like this when I opened the box. :-(

A sad case...