Tag: pen and ink

outdoor plants

Valuable Time Alone for Nature Sketching

To be alone with nature is to be one with nature. -Peter Ewart

I was able to get out of the house by myself for a few hours today. I used my time well and made three sketches. It was lovely.

garden doodle

Decorated Endpapers

garden doodle
©2016 Carolyn A Pappas, Garden Medley (June 2016). Faber Castell PITT Pens and gouache in large moleskine.

I’ve never decorated the front endpapers in any of my previous sketchbooks, although some people make a tradition of it. I decided to give it a try in my new moleskine, by making a series of mini sketches out in the garden over the month of June. I went outside in the evenings before it got too buggy and made a quick sketch or two using my colored PITT artist pens. I managed to capture a lot of the wild and cultivated things out there.

My thoughts on the new moleskine paper

leaf shapes sketch
©2016 Carolyn A Pappas, Variety of Leaf Shapes and Sizes (6/26/2016). Ink and watercolor in large moleskine.
onion nature study
©2016 Carolyn A Pappas, Uprooted Onions (6/25/2016). Ink in large moleskine.

These are the first two pages I did in my new moleskine (a black one, this time). I immediately noticed a difference in the paper (it was advertised to be improved for paint). A short time ago, Roz Stendahl wrote an extensive review of the new paper.

My thoughts were that the paper was definitely whiter than the previous version, which I appreciated. I also noticed less buckling with watercolor. The paper handled ink nicely. The only thing I dislike about this paper is that it is noticeably thinner and “see through,” so that I cannot comfortably draw on both sides of the page. The paper also seems to wrinkle more easily. I am planning on only using one side of the page and I probably won’t do many double page spreads.

The reason why I like moleskines are that they look neat when closed and the elastic band keeps everything well contained. The large size is the perfect size for me to carry in a purse while still having a decent enough area to work with. I also have had a number of moleskines over the years and I like how they look stacked up. In the past, I have disposed of old sketchbooks, but I have decided to keep new ones going forward as I think my daughter would like to have them when I am gone. Also, I have more space to store them now, thankfully.

sedum garden sketch

Outdoor Moments

I’ve been making an effort lately to spend more time outside in the sunlight, and on a few occasions I’ve brought my sketchbook out with me. I don’t really care about the result, but I find it very relaxing to sit in the sun and make some little drawings of whatever I see on the ground. I also like to record what I see happening out there as the weather gets warmer.

lakeside nature sketch
©2016 Carolyn A Pappas, Lakeside Sketch (3/30/2016). Ink in large moleskine.
sedum garden sketch
©2016 Carolyn A Pappas, Sedum Shoots (4/13/2016). Ink and watercolor in large moleskine.
sedum garden sketch

Getting Outside

sedum garden sketch
©2016 Carolyn A Pappas, Sedum (3-5-16). Ink in large moleskine.
driftwood sketch
©2016 Carolyn A Pappas, Driftwood (3-9-16). Ink in large moleskine.

Even though it was a mild winter, I really feel like spring has arrived because I have been getting outside to sketch in the garden and down by the lake. Last spring and summer I stayed inside most of the time to study, but I want to try to get outside much more this year.

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.

German shepherd dog

Variations of Katie

German shepherd dog
©2016 Carolyn A Pappas, Curled Up Katie (sketch). Pentel Pocket Brush Pen in large moleskine.
German Shepherd dog sketches
©2016 Carolyn A Pappas, Variations of Katie (1/17/2016). Ink in large moleskine.

I’m taking part in the Sketchbook Skool Expressing “klass” and one of the assignments this past week was to draw a dog in 1-2 minutes. I did the top sketch (in about 5) using the Pentel Pocket Brush Pen. I’d like to do a proper detailed pen and ink drawing with watercolor wash of Katie in that pose. I did the bottom series of sketches over the course of a quiet Sunday morning while sitting across the living room from Katie lounging on the couch. I am so out of practice at this type of sketching and it was good to exercise myself.

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.