Marian ParsonsWatercolors34 Comments

I know that many of you come to my blog for furniture makeovers, tutorials, antique finds, and home decorating inspiration, but I couldn’t take a piece of furniture or my sewing machine with me on the plane to China!  What I could take, though, was my sketch book.

I was painting a portrait a couple of weeks before I went on my trip and the thought occurred to me that time completely slips away when I’m engrossed in a sketch or painting.  Well, that sounds like a perfect activity to bring on a 14 hours flight – just the kind of place you want time to run away from you.

So, I brought along my sketch pad and some inspiration pictures to work off of.  I actually got overly ambitious and even brought watercolors, but I never had the chance to pull those out.

I had an “art afternoon” with Katie before I left and she brought along a book of Rembrandt sketches to use as a reference for studies.  I made a few photo copies of ones I liked and that’s where I started.  I had never tried to sketch off of someone else’s sketches, but it was such a great exercise.  I learned a lot just in copying the direction of his pencil strokes and the values he used to create depth.  (I know I misspelled his name in the sketchbook!)

Those were pretty quick sketches, so I moved on to a portrait, since those take me a bit longer.

This one was off of an old sepia-toned photo of Maud Fealy.

My Maud looks a little happier than the actual Maud, but I’m generally happy with how it turned out, especially since I was sketching on a tray table under a single reading light!

I also took some time to sketch while I was at the Great Wall.  I honestly felt a little eccentric and was self-conscious as people kept looking over my shoulder.  I had it in my head that I wanted to sketch while I was there, though, and I had traveled 14 hours to get there, so I wasn’t going to NOT do it just because I felt a little silly about it.

I didn’t sketch anything remarkable, but I tried to capture the shapes and values that I saw and I finished it up on the plane on the way home.

The mountains just behind the wall ended up getting a little darker than I intended.  The shadowed side of the wall should be darker, but I know that for the next sketch I do.

Here was the section I was sketching…

And I sketched another portrait on the plane home as well, this one of a child.

The right eye (our right, her left) is a little off, but I erased it and redrew it so many times that I finally just let it be a little off!  Sometimes you just need to finish something and then try it again.

I am playing catch-up this week, but I am hoping to squeeze in some time to do some sketching and painting.  It has become my therapy!

I had to take Calvin to an endocrinology appointment today, but I’ll be back in the studio tomorrow and slowly, but surely, we’re making some progress on pieces for Lucketts…


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34 Comments on “sketching”

  1. Love seeing your art progress. the sketch of this little girl you did on the plane is really beautiful. glad you did your sketch at the Great Wall. I used to sketch when i was backpacking around the world and i love my memories of that and my drawings.

  2. I love your pencil sketches – I have several prints of Rembrandt’s sketches. They are some of my favorites. When I looked at your drawing of Maud, I thought exactly what you said, she looks happier in your sketch. I think it’s in the eyes. I am not an artist, but I just know what I like 😀

    Keep sharing. thank you!

  3. How beautiful! Wonderful job- I love to draw and paint as well. I’ve been going to a life drawing workshop once a week and just having that bit of discipline has helped me grow so much. It’s not a class – it’s just an opportunity to draw from a live model.
    I just started a blog recently and I have so many interests it is hard to figure out how to incorporate them together. I love seeing this aspect of your work along with all of the other incredible stuff you do.
    You have inspired me!
    Thank you.

  4. Such a talented, Proverbs 31 woman you are, Ms. Mustard! Thank you for sharing your gifts with us!

  5. Marion,

    Your posts always bring me joy, thank-you. You”re becoming quite the artist. I wouldn’t worry about the eye being off, one of mine was temporarily so it makes it seem even more realistic. Good luck at Calvin’s appt.

  6. I thoroughly enjoy all aspects of your artwork! God has blessed you with tremendous talent. Thank you for sharing!

  7. Just an amazing gift that you have! I’m looking forward to making the trip to Luckett’s if all works as planned. I’m creative but can’t draw so I really appreciate your skill!

  8. Marian, I l-o-v-e your sketches and your watercolors. You have a tremendous gift. And people are sooo hard to do. All your drawings/paintings are beautiful! I can’t read much of the text. The font is too small. I do sometimes make the screen bigger. I didn’t read if you were back yet but I hope you had (or are having) a wonderful trip. 😀

  9. Great share! Enjoyed your new work. Absolutely loved the photo of you! It says so much and is SO cool😎

  10. I have seen a vast improvement in your drawings and the portraits are quite good and are an inspiration to me. Are you looking on u tube or taking classes from crafty?

  11. I have also noticed a big improvement in your sketches and in such a short time too! Good for you. Practice, practice, practice my art teacher always said.

  12. You do know you are amazing ? Ahhhh… the drawing ability. I once had my daughter, who graduated with honors in interiour design……………..before she went to school………draw a giraffe for me……..a graduate assignment ( don’t ask )………I CaNoT draw……….I can see in my head and design but I cannot draw… looks amazing……… Keep enjoying every experience you have along this life pathway.

  13. Your talent is amazing! I especially love your portraits…they are so lifelike and just stunning to look at.

  14. I love seeing your sketching and all of your artwork! It is actually my favorite of your posts. Can I ask you what pencils you are using for your sketching? Thank you.

  15. Marian,
    Keep sketching, painting, sewing, traveling, recovering and decorating ANY way you want to!!! I have read some of the other comments these past days/weeks and NOBODY has the right to tell you what they want you to post about!!!
    READERS: If you don’t want to hear about it, it is as simple as…… “delete”.
    Your MANY talents are amazing!!!! You, GO GIRL!!!
    You must be doing something right….God has surely blessed you!!!

  16. Marian,
    Love following your blog. You’re extremely talented. Just throwing it out there I’m a local gal who knows someone that you do. I am here by volunteering to be your free help at lucketts for a chance to meet you!

  17. Wow what a trip. So happy to experience it with your eye!
    The portrait of the woman is wonderful she has the quiet of MonaLisa,something about her lip expression.
    You are amazing in whatever you do and I love watching your journey😊
    Thank you for sharing.

  18. I think I remember you telling us about an online drawing class you took when you got started….but, I can’t find it at all. I would love to be able to take a class like this. I love following all you do…..and wonder how you do it all within a 24 hour period. WOW ! you keep busy. Been praying for a safe and smooth transition to your new home and your husbands job. Everything in God’s timing. Thanks for the enjoyable blog that you do.

  19. I really happy found this website eventually. Really informative and inoperative, Thanks for the post and effort! Please keep sharing more such blog.
    Now I saved it to my bookmarks so that I can keep me in touch with you.

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