May 28, 2012

Coach Crane

Here’s to all the good coaches out there.  The volunteers, the part-time, full-time, Big-Time.

Stumbled upon this definition of “A Coach” at and thought it applied here.

    A [good] coach assists and facilitates, and they can help you in assessing the situation and recognizing recurring patterns.  In addition, they can help you analyze how you’ve been responding to the situation in an ineffective manner.  They can help you decide what steps to take in order to move forward.  However, they will never take power away from you.  Instead, they empower you to make your own healthy choices.

Coach Crane…..He sort of fell into coaching and discovered that he was good.  His influence with the athletes stems from the way he observes them.  Some kids need coddling & coaxing, some need logic & explaining, and some just need to get mad to perform their best.  The most valuable trait that his athletes will take with them into adulthood….is…their willingness to TRY.

I have a young teen friend who has a lot of energy, needs friends and needs some confidence.  But she’s afraid to try.  Kind of breaks my heart.

I don’t think we ever outgrow our need for “coaches”.  After all, our parents, teachers, mentors all have played the role of coaches to some extent in our lives and they just want the best for us (or from us])…haha.

May 25, 2012

Inward Dive….Delayed

I was a bit bummed because my Art Instructor was sick for my once a week class.  I really, really needed guidance for my diver’s face.  Instead, it was Open Art Studio!  Which was fine, but….I didn’t receive any pointers.

So…I did what I do….and tweeked.  I enhanced the shading some more;… in the back…on the legs…on the front arm….the left hand and the feet.

I took it only as far as I dared!  I so wanted to get that face down. 


Since this post doesn’t have much new information, I thought it would be beneficial to show how the color-sketch has progressed so far.

These Digital Series help me to see things as they should be, not as I think they ought to be.

May 24, 2012

Doggie Doodle


I’d like you to meet my dog.  She’s a border collie/lab mix mutt.  And we love her. I’ve always liked this picture of her, cuz she looks so darn serious.

I came across this picture on pinterest and thought I’d try something along those same lines.

  1. First I outlined her shape
  2. Then I blocked off her contours/shadows 
  3. Then I doodled in the the blocks.

I can tell I’m out of doodle practice.  I usually have a good feel for the colors I want to display together.  Well, not… this… time.  I kept having little debates with myself over which color should go where.  Too….much….thinking!  Haha

Eeek!!  I extracted her eyes from the original photo and placed them in the drawing.    Now it’s Freaky-Fun looking.  I left her tags blank.   Not quite sure what to do with those yet.

Two thumbs up on the Enjoyment Level if you need any doodling recommendations!

May 20, 2012

Inward Dive….looking Back

I thought I had omitted a rib or two….I guess I drew more than I thought.

Color Wheel….a MUST have.  Have I referred to this often or what?  Remember, in colored sketching or painting… we aren’t suppose to use gray or black for shadows.  We are suppose to use color.  If we want a shadow, we have to go to it’s opposite.  

For instance…if I’m using blue….and I need to show shadows, I have to apply orange.  Otherwise, we’d make it all muddy with a gray/ black.  Muddy isn’t pretty!

This ladies back is a bit deformed.  I’ve made no curve in that upper section.  You know, those 7 cervical vertebra.  (Had to look that up…I forgot the name of this portion too).

Rounded that upper back out some (will still need to tweak)…..and gave her some spinal knobs along the back.  Not in the picture but I have creative license remember!  Haha

It’s head time….so I’ll probably avoid this by doing another drawing for awhile!  Tis my habit!

May 19, 2012

Inward Dive….Bend

I was on a sketch roll and continued on with the legs.  It’s always a bit of a learning curve if I put my pencils up…then sit down again….I have to figure out how to match the color combinations….you know, so that the upper leg looks like it belongs with the lower leg on that same person.

I am not getting the swimsuit at all!  It’s looking very jagged!

This poor diver has more ribs than she needs….will have to tone down that ribcage.  I did go in with my markers on the blue/red portion of the suit and to separate the legs.  Always makes the color-sketch look better when the markers are applied…IMHO (in my humble opinion).

May 18, 2012

Inward Dive….begins

I was ready to take-on colored pencil figure sketching!!  So….had to get a wider selection of skin-tone colors.  When I spotted these I thought they just may help. 


Personally….I think the best sketch I’ve done is this one.  My graphite diver that I did back in April ‘11.  I think this was a break-through sketch for me and that’s why I like it so much.

Since I knew I could sketch a diver, it was time to find a new diver to try my hand with.

My Art teacher was the one that told me that there was just a tiny touch of blue in the legs….otherwise….I probably wouldn’t have noticed.   Really need to work on my “observation skills”.  Haha

Someone had commented that I should try to keep my pencils super sharp to help my drawings, so I bought this metal sharpener….it is THE BEST!

I like this diver picture for a lot of reasons:
  • Good lighting
  • Interesting composition
  • No Face

May 15, 2012

Optical Illusion Hand

I came across this picture on pinterest awhile ago.  I thought it looked pretty cool. So, I outlined my left arm/forearm.

This idea was from a 5th grade art class.  Since I always liked fifth grade art, I gave her a whirl.

I hadn’t worked with markers since my Left vs. Right post and I was missing them!

I would probably give myself a “C” for this drawing.  I did not capture the optical illusion like all the other 10 year olds.  I kept having to go back and erase my lines.  I don’t know why I had so much trouble with this.

Markers for the body….watercolor pencils for the background.  I’d like to do more with this…but I’m drawing a blank!  Haha

May 12, 2012

Capturing Crabs….4


Well, the crabs were already captured…it was time to capture faces!

What an evolution!  I think I finally started to mold the face correctly by #6.  I nailed number six.  Looks just like my son…but he was 14 when he looked like this.  I had to continue erasing and applying.  Funny..after I fixed one problem, I’d step back and realize that I erased a “good” part of the sketch….you know the part that resembled him.  I guess I could blame my eraser girth.

Number 9-10:  After I was shown in class that erasers do work on colored pencils….I felt much more secure!  Haha!  I’m glad I was able to lower the eyes and shorten the nose.

My blonde son looks like a red-head here.  Oh well!

For my first colored pencil face, I’m ok with this.  Yes…didn’t replicate it exactly, but he looks like himself (more or less).  When the paper starts pilling up on me, that is a sure sign to be done with this already.  That’s how I know to stop!

Happy Mothers Day everyone!

May 11, 2012

Contouring Crabs….3

I hesitated to start any color-sketching on the head until I had guidance.

I was given the overview of face proportions…..then I started practicing on a separate sheet of paper.

It was interesting to work the face.  I had to fatten it on all sides.  Then pull in the shading where the face curves.

I was liking the way this was shaping up…..too bad it was just a practice head.  I thought it looked familiar enough and would’ve enjoyed working it from here.

But the problem was…my color sketch was still faceless.  So…I had to redo my head on the original.  I kind of forgot what I had done exactly so this obviously ….NEEDS….LOTS….OF.…WORK !

I think I’m going to like my art instructor.  I’ve heard bad stories about art teachers who tell their adult students that what they are doing is “wrong”, or it’s “not the way it’s suppose to be done”.  My art teacher saw my little headless-crab-boy all outlined-with-microns and complimented me on what I had done so far….she liked it!  She said, “not the way I would’ve done it….but I’m always intrigued with how other people approach their drawings when it’s different than the way I do it.”  I told her I’m here to learn and that I could change….she said “if you need to straighten out your edges then you shouldn’t try to change… that’s your way”.

Anyway….I thought that was pretty cool of her.

May 7, 2012

Catching Crabs….2

This crab wasn’t as hard as I thought it was going to be.  Sometimes, it’s best not to anticipate too much!


I think my son was 12 years old in this picture.  Talk about a kid that loves the water and the thrill of the catch!  Yep, he was all-boy.  It’s fun looking back at these old pictures, I can still hear him tell me all about the crabs and how easy they were to catch.  Better him than me!

Well…this picture required drawing fingers and toes!  Ugh!! I seem to be catching on to the fingers but not so much to the toes.

Next…of course…is the head! Yikes!

May 6, 2012

Coloring Crabs…1

I now know I can color-sketch legs….but the question is….Can I color-sketch faces?

So, I opened up by External Hard Drive (where I store all my digital pics) and looked for a picture of my son to draw. 

I spotted one that I think I can handle:
  • has good color (other than the shorts)
  • has a face (familiar face, since this is a scan of an old picture, it doesn’t have all the detail of a digital print)
  • Color sketch skin tone

The skin tone I had to figure out…. Used the following pencils
  • mustard
  • very light pink
  • pink
  • tan
  • brown.

I’m getting more relaxed with my sketching….I was told that it’s best to use the picture as a model, but to not feel like I have to replicate it exactly.  This has free'd me up to work with the pencils in a way that I can figure out where I should place the shadows as the drawing unfolds as opposed to where they are in the instant of the shot.  Does that make sense?

May 2, 2012

Ursula….the Unfiltered

Wow!  It’s been awhile since I’ve shown you any birds here.  The last one was Sassy Zany Birds in February.  I drew this bird back in March because well….I was bad inconsiderate and I needed to apologize to someone dear to me.

I guess I could’ve bought a card….or baked cookies….sent flowers.  But this was the way I chose to grovel. 

Ursula-the-Unfiltered….She thinks she can handle anything cuz she likes to multi-task.  One clue that she’s having trouble keeping all the balls in the air is when she loses her filters.  The connection between her brain and her tongue will collapse.  All of sudden she speaks without thinking.  Every fleeting thought is voiced without care.  Trust me, this is not a good time to be around her.

What I've learned about myself over time is that if I don’t care about someone….they can never get me mad.  I’ve also learned to fess up when I mess up!
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By day...I work in the Healthcare field, where every .. i.. has to be dotted and every ..t.. has to be crossed. This blog is the place where I can let myself go and have some fun. I am on a journey. A journey I started a long time ago, but it has been a bit sidetracked with Navy Wife relocations and raising kids. I finally see the light at the end of the tunnel and I have got some time for me. No, I will not be one of those moms walking around the house with Empty Nest Syndrome, I have got way too much to do, to learn, to create. Sure, once the kids are gone I will miss them....but hey, there is always the phone, the email, the texting and the Plane tickets! I love my life and my family and It is fun moving into this new stage. I am into Digital Scrapbooking, photography, journaling, Art Journaling and Drawing. I am a do-it-yourselfer and I am trying to teach myself to draw. I am finding that it takes a lot of patience, lots of practice and a good eraser! And if you're really curious there's a 3 part Interview by Eileen: HERE All the best, Eden