Happy Earth Day!

It is even more important when you’re staying at home to be thankful for what you have and give back to our planet.

Every little thing helps: recycle your water bottles, conserve electricity, or reuse what you already have.

Fifteen years ago, Bill gave me a worm composter so that we could turn our food scraps into rich soil for our garden. It’s a 3-level simple home for hundreds of red wigglers that munch on potato and carrot peelings, eggshells, and melon rind. We have much less waste and dark, nutrient-rich compost to amend our herbs and fruit trees. It’s a little thing but it feels good to reuse and recycle what we already have.

Happy Earth Day.

Stay safe and happy sketching,

Terri

worm composter

Construction Leftovers

AJ: For many months I’ve been walking by a particular construction site daily. What started as a house remodel now seems like a complete rebuild except for part of the carport and a rain gutter! Several roll-off containers have been filled with demolished parts of the house and then carted away to the landfill. Since the project is nearing completion, I wanted to attempt a sketch of the dumpster before it is permanently removed from the site.

Similar to my last sketch session, I decided to begin with a sloppy “planning sketch” to see what would be most problematic … as well as to give myself an added chance to get the perspective in better shape the second time around. I also wanted to test the color palette available to me as I only had four crayons (yellow, red, green, blue) and my usual black TÜL pen. I almost ended my session with just the blue dumpster pictured … and nothing else … but I remembered my improvement goal from last session. That was to practise including background (and foreground) details to anchor the target item in its setting … and on the page. I plan to keep focusing on that goal in the future.

In all, it was a fun morning and I was pleased that the rain stayed away long enough for me to put something on paper!

 

 

Harald: I confess to being a dumpster diver at heart. Not of trash cans, mind you, but construction-site roll-off containers. Largish pieces of discarded dimensional lumber are always attractive, and occasionally one finds treasures in the form of hardwood flooring, brand-new pipes, and more. But I digress…

The container I chose to sketch today is one I know well. As the construction is wrapping up, the container is seeing only light use, filling up slowly, mostly with cardboard and small chunks of wood.

Sketching the interior of this rusty and rather banged-up specimen proved to be too much of a challenge for my still budding watercolor skills. Yet again I succumbed to the temptation of going after the details too soon (or at all), rather than using light colors on large areas first and then building depth and contrast selectively and deliberately. Argh.

It was fun though (in a mildly masochistic sense) to realize my mistakes as I made them and to attempt to rescue at least some of my sketch. Needless to say, the whole operation took far too long, forcing me to abandon much of the background. Lesson for next time: bring brushes of different size, focus on water management, clean “palette” every now and then.

 

Sebastian: Although work on the house was largely complete, there were still indications of an active construction site. A portable toilet and pile of lumber were among some of the signs. This time, I decided to use one medium (pencil) and move away from my standard pen-watercolor combination.

Once again, we had unique interactions with passersby. Most notably, we were asked a new question: “Are you guys OK?”, which diverged from the usual “What’s going on?” or “Is this a school project?”. It was a nice morning to be out sketching.

Next, I may do a series of portable toilets (as shown) or older cars, since there are a few to be found in the neighborhood.