Wednesday, June 26, 2013

SKETCHBOOK - "Bulldozers in the Sun"

Even though there was a "heat advisory" today, I enjoyed the afternoon drawing one of my favorite equipment!  Hallmark was nice enough to give us some "Re-Fuel" time after lunch.  So I headed out to a site that has been calling to me everytime I've been on my drive to church each Sunday.  Fortunately there were some trees to sit under...but it was still mighty hot!!

The drawing above was actually done after the one below.  I was grinning like a lttle kid as the crew of bulldozers were busy moving dirt in a huge open field.  You can just see the tiny little "train" of dozers in the background (above the cab of the red truck), making lap after lap over the hill and back into the open spaces.  Just as I finished adding color to the drawing...the guys were finished for the day...and my subject matter drove off!  I had a chance to talk to the crew, which is always fun.  I don't think they see a lot of artists sketching out there on the site.  One of the guys told me, as he was gassing up his dozer, "Dude...I should have you draw my 6!" (which is short for a CATERPILLAR D6R...actually one of my favorite bulldozers!)  If he had stayed put...I WOULD have drawn it.  :)
The drawing above is done in pencil and watercolor washes.  I usually go with ink pens, but started to just lay out this long composition with pencil first.  But I liked where the sketch was going, and just stuck with the pencil.  It is one of my rare "double panel" sketches where I purposely went over the margin.  I like the spiral binders in the middle...lets you know it's in a sketchbook!

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

BOULDER, Colorado Pt.2

Welcome to the second installment about my trip to Boulder! This visit to see my daughter Jenni was not a "sketch trip" per se...but Jen was sweet enough to allow her dear old Dad some time to draw.  I'm making a rather bold move by showing the photos of the actual locations.  My drawings NEVER do justice to the subject matter.  This is especially true about's so beautiful out there!  A big THANKS to Jen, who took the photos of me while I'm sitting down sketching.  I needed to have a sign on my back..."Wide Load" or "This space for rent"!

Above is my sketch of the famous "Flat Irons" mountain formation.  There were lots of hikers going up and down the trails in front of me.
As is often the case, just before I'm about to add color to a drawing, I wonder...should I just leave it alone as a black line sketch?!!!  Quite often, I wish I had not painted them.
This time...I'm okay with the color.  The warmth of the sunshine translated into the browner tones on the rock faces...they were actually more "purple gray".  Oh well...that's why I have included the photos!

This next sketch is a short distance outside of Boulder. Jenni was driving around one day and came across this terrific "dog run".  It was a bit risky sitting out there with the dogs off-leash!  Some of them were just curious...others thought I was in their yard and would just stand behind me barking ferociously!  (One of the more "fierce" ones was a light gray standard poodle like my friend, Joyce, has.)  Most of the times the owners would be right there and make them leave me alone.  I just laughed and talked calmly to the dogs...they were no worse than small children who nearly sit in my lap when they see me drawing!
In this little series of pics below, you can see the dog I'll call "Old Yeller" on the far right.  He nearly knocked me off of my stool he was so happy to see me!
This great panaramic scene was taken by Jenni with her iPhone.  The view was at the far end of the dog trail...a cool looking little valley below.

The next sketch was done at the Denver Botanical Gardens. I was tucked away under the shade of some trees. Unfortunately some of my drawing got a bit "off"...but you just keep on going and make the best of it when using ink pens!

I tried to give Jenni a break from having to hang out with me the whole weekend, so I wandered around the neighborhood near her apartment.  This big old sycamore tree was fun to sketching trees!!

This rather weathered motorcycle was in the same apartment complex as Jenni's.  I was sketching this around 6:45 in the morning, because I couldn't sleep any longer.

The last drawing was of a little solar powered three-wheel "car".  I guess you have to call it a car...more like a little go-cart!  But I love the curves and shape of the thing. Jenni said that they remove the panels on the front when taking the little car for a spin.  But she said it's been sitting there forever.  Maybe keeping the car in the shade is NOT the best way to charge it up!

Well, that's it for this trip.  Who knows where I'll be off to next!!

BOULDER, Colorado Pt.1

I'd like you to meet my new HERO!  This guy is who I want to be when I grow up! (More about him later.)

I just got back into town last evening after a recent trip out to BOULDER, COLORADO to visit with my eldest daughter, JENNI!  I took so many more pics than I will force upon you through this blog...these are some of my favorites.   I will also post a bit later with "Part 2"...the sketches I drew while on my trip.

Below is yours truly, as I am putting to the test the oft uttered phrase, "West of Hays, Kansas...there is nothing...nothing but flat, empty plains!"

I beg to differ.  There are several things out there in the wide open spaces!  There is a tractor!  There are giant windmills!  There is a flying saucer pretending to be a little silo!

Speaking of the giant wind turbines...I happen to LOVE those things.  If I had a bunch of farmland, I'd have some of my very own.  Though I might make them look more like pinwheels with long, flowing streamers.

And there are CLOUDS out there above the plains of Kansas! Big fluffy clouds...fortunately for this trip.  These skies are also known for twisters that will send you straight to OZ. (And as these photos force me to have to IS pretty dang flat west of Hays.)

As I was just east of Denver, I started noticing a bunch of old Hot Rods!!  I snapped away as I passed them.
As I was leaving the gas station a few miles down the road, I noticed that these old guys and their great looking cars had pulled into the same station!  Personally, I think that awesome blue Chevy truck is looking enviously at my little red Ford Focus. (yeah...right...)

The next big panorama views are of the ROCKY MOUNTAINS as I'm getting closer to Denver!  The city of Boulder is nestled just up against the foothills.  Simply gorgeous out there!

The next day after arriving, Jenni took me to the Denver Botanical Garden.  It was so rich and green, with lots of little paths off to the sides of the main trails.

For lunch, Jenni's boyfriend, Brad, drove in from Colorado Springs where he is working on a construction project for his sister.  The three of us met up at the Denver ZOO and had a great afternoon.  Brad is sporting a mustache and big sideburns, instead of his usual beard.  He had to trim it so the air-filter mask would fit snugly on his face at the job site.  Jenni made fun of his new look with her own cotton candy mustache.
I would love to personally congratulate the artist who sculpted the bronze viper below...job well done!!  It scared the poo out of me (and Brad, too) when we left a little bird aviary enclosure!!!!  I jumped back about 5 feet...all those years hunting with my Dad being on the lookout for water moccasins! The bronze python is also not to be trifled with!
Here are a few random photos of some of the creatures we saw at the zoo...a very fun day which ended with some wonderful Indian cuisine for dinner!

The next day, we stayed around Boulder...mostly downtown on PEARL Street.  It is filled with colorful people, musicians, and street performers.  These two guys I refer to as "Ebony and Ivory"...they should have gotten together and jammed. I am now inspired to get myself an outfit and mask like the guy playing the drums...I want to wear them when I play percussion with the church!  :)
This next guy just totally made my day!!  I have always had a soft spot in my heart for the "one man band" musicians...especially since I love building contraptions and whatnots out of junk.  Notice the little "troll dolls" inside the back of the bass drum.  Nice little flourish.
We saw this giant blow-up photo near the parking garage of old Boulder from 1894.  The old church bell tower that you can see in the upper left background is still standing today. I love the sculpted elements.

The final day of my visit with Jenni was largely spent up in ESTES PARK, about an hour from Boulder.  Once again, we had perfect weather for wandering about.
There were just so many wonderful views all around us up there.
Before we headed back down to Boulder, Jenni and I rode these giant slides...wheeeeeeeeee!  I don't have the ones Jenni took of me...will add a couple of those later.
UPDATED 6-22-2013
Here are Jenni's pics of ME on the slide!
That's it for this part of my post.  Next up...some sketches I did while there!