The smell of fall is in the air, and I guess that’s why I thought of this for the Illustration Friday theme, “bouquet.”

Leaves 2015j

(One definition of bouquet is “characteristic scent,” and what’s more autumn-y than the smell of burning leaves?)

Fall’s my favorite time of year, and I try to do an illustration of autumn leaves every October/November.  I just finished this one, which is watercolor (three colors: a red, a yellow, and a blue) and Berol Prismacolor Verthin colored pencil (two browns and olive green) in a 7×10 Canson Montval Field Watercolor Book.

Happy Autumn!




The nature of things

The Illustration Friday theme is “nature.”  I’ve been playing with nature studies in a variety of media (and papers):

Nature 2015

I have to admit, though, my first thought was *human* nature, and…


Probably not what the IF people had in mind.  Or Emerson, for that matter.

Stronger than they look

A storm was kicking up late the other day, and I couldn’t help thinking my garden wouldn’t make it through the night.   I even picked my sole cucumber, as I had visions of a big wind carrying it across town!

My plants ended up weathering the winds just fine, of course. The whole event served as a nice bit of inspiration — maybe we’re all stronger than we think we are — and a good excuse to test some art supplies in my Stillman and Birn Zeta sketchbook.  The verdict?  It’s a great surface for Derwent Watercolor Pencils and a Derwent blender, as well as  my favorite Uniball Vision Exact pen.  I like the Zeta surface for Faber-Castell Polychromos pencils and Prismacolor Verithins, too.

Also…cucumbers fresh from the vine are delicious!

Seed pod Cuke 2

The Illustration Friday theme this week is “fragile,” by the way.


Lazy, hazy days

The Illustration Friday theme this week is summer, so I dug up a watercolor journal page (Canson Montval)  from a hot July a few years back:

Summer 1

And then I realized the last of the gardenias were blooming in the garden, and that I’d never tried using watercolors overlaid with colored pencil in my nice new Stillman and Birn Zeta sketchbook:

Summer 2

And *then* I took a walk around the neighborhood and spent part of the afternoon  — how could I not? — drawing this summer sight (Slicci pen and Faber Castell colored pencils in a Canson Field Drawing book):

Crow 2

Isn’t that a *wonderful* scarecrow?  The owner told me she made it from dollar store odds and ends — and that she named it, of course, Sheryl Crow!

A natural thing

Is it natural to post your Illustration Friday submission on the following Thursday…?  Ah, well, it’s been busy here, and that’s the natural truth. I’ve been working on more botanical/nature subjects, so at least I had a few things ready for this week’s theme, “Natural.”


These are studies — one watercolor, the other pen and ink — in my almost-finished Stillman & Birn Beta sketchbook.  (I’m going to try the Zeta next, I think.  The paper’s 180# and smooth and gorgeous; I’m excited to try it out.)  And in another vein (and another sketchbook), here’s a more stylized ink and watercolor and colored pencil piece:

Irises 2013

Which reminds me — I ought to go water the garden!



It’s that time of year

Every fall I try to capture a few leaves in a sketchbook, hoping I can hang on to the season even after the trees are bare.

Sketchbook 1

The left page is watercolor; the right’s watercolor and colored pencil.  The sketchbook is a Stillman & Birn Beta.

This fall, for the first time, I have the opportunity to put some things in a seasonal show at a local gallery.  So — also for the first time —  I made some Christmas tree ornaments with my flameworked beads.  This isn’t a great scan, but I think it gives the general idea.  The ornaments are about 3″-4″ long, by the way.

Ornaments 5

Enjoy the season, whether it’s crisp and cold or warm and blooming where you are!