Sketchbook Studies – The EYE is Key

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For $100 you can spend 10 Monday evenings with 2 well known Indiana artists, John Reynolds and Bruce Neckar, either learning to draw or honing your skills. They give you supplies, generously provided by Prizm Art Supply in Indy (a favorite art store of mine, so I am happy to give them a plug!) The classes are hosted by Nickel Plate Arts in Noblesville, IN, where John and Bruce have their studio.

If you want to see what a working artist’s studio looks like, you should check it out sometime!

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These classes (or workshops) are conducted in a laid back fashion and you get out of it what you want to put into it. The guys are very happy to coach and answer questions or help you get unstuck, if you ask.

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For 2 of the 10 weeks the guys brought in stuffed specimens to give us an as-close-to-a-real-thing in drawing wild birds as an artist can get. That was a highlight for me.

I love birds and have been painting raptors for over 30 years, so it was fantastic to get this close and to be able to study them. I spent the time doing quick sketches to “feel” the birds, as opposed to trying to do a finished piece.

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Grammar Lettering

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I am an Instructional Designer and writer, as well as a graphic designer. I am really enjoying the Editors on my team right now and decided to let them know this by turning some of their editorial comments and gentle reminders into hand lettered posters. Here is the first one.

Compounds formed with prefixes are spelled closed [i.e without a dash – took me a bit to figure that out] unless they create double identical vowels or triple identical consonants. – Helen O’Guinn

This one spoke to me for 2 reasons: I was curious as to why they removed some dashes and not others in my documents, and then it took me some puzzling to figure out what Helen was trying to tell me here. When the aha moment happened, I knew it was worthy of it’s own wall space.

Taming the Dragon

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I am learning, as I open myself up to more spontaneous illustrations, that I never know where it will take me. It scares me sometimes, yet the time is right. There is this desire to expand that must be satisfied.

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When the business blogger sent me an article called Taming the Multitasking Dragon, it only made sense to have a busy dragon. In the end, I left him to stand on his own, no extras, but along the way I learned that researching dragons was not that easy. I mean – no one has actually seen a dragon!

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You can look up vintage dragons, you can look up current art on dragons, but in the end, you can do whatever you want with a dragon. I also reviewed bats wings, goats faces, eagle’s talons. The tail was a mix of reptile, squirrel and imagination.

Somehow he ended up pregnant looking, but that was ok. One observer really wanted to just “poke that fat belly.” Yeah – you try that! He has fire!

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