Tag: landscape

winter house painting

White Christmas at the Château

winter house painting
©2016 Carolyn A Pappas, White Christmas at the Château. Watercolor and white gouache, 8 x 8 inches.

Recently I got the chance to work on some album artwork for my good friend Robert Louis. He just released his brand new collection of instrumental jazzy Christmas songs, A Robert Louis Christmas. I’ve been playing it in the background and wishing for the semester break.

This was a fun and challenging painting to make with all the architecture, snow and monochromatic values. I love winter scenes!

Check out Robert Louis on facebook, listen for free on SoundCloud, or download the album on cdbaby.

pen and ink roadside sketch

Sketching Rural Scenery

pen and ink roadside sketch
©2016 Carolyn A Pappas, Roadside Sketch (8/27/2016). Pen and ink in large moleskine.
Crimson King Norway Maple sketch
©2016 Carolyn A Pappas, Acer Platanoides ‘Crimson King’ (8/27/2016). Pen and ink in large moleskine.
These are some pen and ink sketches I made while sitting on the porch of a beautifully renovated old farmhouse. The late afternoon/early evening light made it a very interesting landscape to draw and observe. When I was drawing the wires (not accurately, of course), I remembered this informational blog post from James Gurney, although I didn’t recall the specifics.

spring landscape

Experiment with Bold Ink

My favorite waterproof black fineliners are Staedtler Pigment Liners and I have the four pack in the plastic case. I find that I go for the 0.01 size most often and use the 0.03 size on a limited basis. I very rarely use the larger 0.05 and 0.07. For this sketch, I decided to do the opposite and use primarily the larger sizes and the smaller sizes only for the details. I also broke out my Pentel Pocket Brush Pen which is great for laying on black areas very quickly with juicy ink.*

spring landscape

©2016 Carolyn A Pappas, View from the end of the path in springtime. Ink, watercolor and colored pencil in large moleskine.
Interestingly, I just came across this blog post from Brenda Swenson, where she discusses taking risks and trying out new things.

*I found that the Pentel Pocket Brush Pen bleeds a bit on the new moleskine paper and saturated both sides of the paper, but it did not soak through to the page underneath.

imaginary landscape sketch

Feeling Unwell

imaginary landscape sketch
©2016 Carolyn A Pappas, Imaginary Landscape (5/6/2016). Ink, watercolor and colored pencil in large moleskine.
Recently, I had the unfortunate opportunity to experience a concussion firsthand. It is not a pleasant experience. The doctor warned me not to make any “life altering decisions” or major purchases until it was completely resolved. But since I felt sorry for myself, I decided to treat myself to some new art supplies and I ordered a set of gouache paints. Specifically, I got a custom set of 10 tubes of Schmincke Horadam gouache hand picked by Roz Stendahl. The price was good, and I trust Roz’s judgment as far as colors go. Most importantly, if I am going to try out a new medium for the first time, I don’t want the experience to be spoiled by poor quality materials. After doing a lot of research, Schmincke is always one of the recommended brands. So now I will wait until my paints arrive. Thankfully, I am already feeling a lot better and I will be ready to get started.

Although I have generally been avoiding TV, I have been enjoying watching the four part Moving Art nature documentary series on Netflix. I love that there is no narration, only peaceful background music. Flowers is my favorite (not surprisingly).

colored pencil landscape sketch

Weather Notes (4/3/2016)

What a strange weather day this past Sunday was! I woke up to heavily falling snow and even lost power for a time. By midday, the snow stopped, fog was rolling in over the lake, and the wind picked up—blowing into my house at a 90 degree angle. By late afternoon, most of the snow was gone and the sun had returned, but the wind was still wild and the waves had whitecaps.

I made this sketch using Derwent Watercolour colored pencils, which I haven’t picked up in a few years. I really got lost in it for a time, and enjoyed myself immensely.

colored pencil landscape sketch
©2016 Carolyn A Pappas, Lake Sketch (4/3/2016). Derwent Watercolour colored pencils in large moleskine sketchbook.
winter sunset painting

Sunset After a Light Snow

winter sunset painting
©2016 Carolyn A Pappas, Sunset After a Light Snow. Graphite, watercolor and oil pastel, 4 x 6 inches.

This is in the mail on the way to New York City for the Twitter Art Exhibit to be held in March. Proceeds benefit Foster Pride’s HandMade program, which teaches girls in foster care how to crochet and then market their product line.

I based this painting from a snapshot I took after one of our recent minor snowstorms. The sunset was brilliant, with pinks and purples and the lake was mostly unfrozen. This piece is more whimsical than my normal work, and I had fun with it. I used graphite pencil, Neocolor I oil pastels and watercolor.

snowy trees


snow trees sketch
©2016 Carolyn A Pappas, Snow! (2-5-16). Ink in large moleskine.
snowy trees
©2016 Carolyn A Pappas, Snowy Trees (2-5-16). Photograph.

It felt nice to finally have a snowy day. In a way I am relieved because I think I was uneasy about the abnormally warm weather. It is not that I don’t like the warmth, I just enjoy all the seasons in their own way and I didn’t like feeling like we skipped over one of them. Looking over my sketch afterwards, I realized that I should have drawn it in black ink on pure white paper because it would have captured the light and contrast in the atmosphere.

Winter Lake Landscape

Winter Atmosphere

This year, it does not feel like a normal winter. It is mid January and we are just starting to get some of the expected winter weather, but we haven’t yet had a proper blizzard. I miss it in a way. Even without the massive piles of snow on the ground, I still find winter beautiful. There is a crispness in the air and a whiteness of the light that I really enjoy. Here is a recent drawing from my sketchbook–thanks for taking a look.

Winter Lake Landscape
©2016 Carolyn A Pappas, Fog Over the Pond. Ink, watercolor and colored pencil in large moleskine.
English countryside drawings

2015 in Review

As is my custom, I’m reviewing the past year and looking forward to my goals in 2016. I also want to wish anyone reading this a very happy and fulfilling New Year. Thank you for viewing my work.

English countryside drawings
©2015 Carolyn A Pappas, English Countryside Vignettes. Ink and watercolor in moleskine, each drawing 4 inch diameter. My last piece of artwork from 2015.


  • I put my house plans on hold and decided instead to return to school, which was a really big and risky decision. So far I have completed all of the prerequisites I need for nursing school except for Human Growth and Development (I’m working on that now).
  • I took an intense four week CNA course and successfully passed my state exam to receive my CNA certification.
  • I made three illustrations of spinach for Sow True Seed Company. Read their blog post featuring me here.
  • I participated in Inktober, a pen and ink drawing challenge in the month of October.
  • I made some handmade Christmas presents—something I have wanted to do in past years but never got around to actually completing.


  • Art making was put on the back burner for most of the year because I was working on school so intensely, which did not leave a lot of energy to focus on much of anything else.
  • I had a pretty bad injury to my face last January and have had ongoing dental and facial pain for most of the year. Chronic pain can certainly be very wearing.

Goals for 2016

  • I am participating in the Twitter Art Exhibit, which will take place in March.
  • For the rest of 2016 I am going to try to focus solely on my own projects and sketchbooks. I’d like to have new work to post to my blog once a week, if possible.
  • My general intention for 2016 is to start projects instead of just thinking about them. Nothing this year I did was perfect, but I am glad I was able to finish some things that I had the courage to start in the first place.
Cottage sketch by Carolyn A Pappas

Sketchbook Roundup

Here is a compilation of my recent sketchbooks for your enjoyment. I’ve been really trying to keep a regular sketchbook habit as it is the single best thing I know of for stress relief and relaxation. Plus, I’ve been lucky to have a lot of fresh flowers in the house. Right now I’m really busy with Christmas prep and having a great time with it.

Cottage sketch by Carolyn A Pappas
©2015 Carolyn A Pappas, Cottage Sketch. Ink and watercolor in large moleskine.
zinnia drawing by Carolyn A Pappas
©2015 Carolyn A Pappas, Zinnia. Faber Castell PITT Pens in large moleskine.
island drawing by Carolyn A Pappas
©2015 Carolyn A Pappas, Island (12-1-2015). Ink and watercolor in large moleskine.
Shoreline Sketch by Carolyn A Pappas
©2015 Carolyn A Pappas, Shoreline Sketch (12-3-2015). Ink and watercolor in large moleskine.
Peonies drawing by Carolyn A Pappas
©2015 Carolyn A Pappas, Pink and White Peonies (12-4-2015). Ink and watercolor in large moleskine.
African Violets sketch
©2015 Carolyn A Pappas, African Violets (12-10-2015). Ink in large moleskine.
Tulips drawing by Carolyn A Pappas
©2015 Carolyn A Pappas, Tulips (12-15-2015). Ink and watercolor pencil in large moleskine.