Urban Sketch

Art Mail + Projects


Art supplies mail, is the best kind of mail I’m finding! After destashing several decks last week, I splurged on some new art supplies that were on my Amazon wishlist.

First off, I needed a better journal that supported my fountain pen ink and didn’t bleed through or shadow on the reversed side of the page. I was recommended to try a Rhodia journal and after doing a quick pen test, I’m in love! There is no shadow or bleed through on the other page at all. I’m currently journaling with my TWSBI Eco (fine) filled with Lamy Vibrant Pink ink. This ink had great shading and would bleed through easily on most paper.

I also ordered my third Prima Watercolors palette - I’m obsessed, what can I say! I already have the Tropical and Decadent Pies palette, I was waiting for the Pastel Dreams to pop up on Amazon Prime and it finally did so I ordered it with no hesitation. I do mix colors but sometimes I’m lazy and prefer to go right to the pigment I’m looking for instead, it just depends. I also wanted to play around with masking fluid so I grabbed a bottle of Dr. PH Martin, can’t wait to play around with this!

Lastly, I really wanted a good beginner guide on urban sketching for inspiration and techniques to try so after sampling some pages in The Urban Sketchers: Techniques for seeing and drawing on location book by Marc Taro Holmes. I really liked how it was laid out and plan to crack this book open tonight. I’m still waiting for one package to arrive, that wasn’t Amazon, it’s several new Daniel Smith half-pans I ordered on Etsy. This is my second set of half-pans and I will be putting them (with my other 5) into an empty tin I bought a while back. I plan to create a stand alone Daniel Smith palette.


I started a few new Skillshare classes earlier this week, one of which is a watercolor texture class taught by Ana Victoria Calderón. Above are my texture samples I created, with some added cat paw prints, ahem… I’m only about 1/2 way into this class and am really enjoying it! I think for my final project I will do some kind of insect painting, still trying to decide.

The other class I’m taking right now is Peggy Dean’s new Modern Botanical Folk Art class! I’m so excited about this, I adore folk art and with some of my Scandinavian ancestry, it really has me excited to play with this style. I’m about 1/2 way into this class as well and currently in the middle of picking out my color palette to work with for my first piece. I’ve been pinning like a mad woman this week with color idea’s and inspiration!


I’ve been taking my mini sketchbook everywhere with me and have been trying to use it for urban sketching when I have a little bit of time available. Whether it’s in my house or outside running errands. So far I’ve managed to fill up 4 pages since yesterday in this tiny sketchbook.

I have a brand new Moleskine watercolor landscape sketchbook to start using and I plan to start that one when I finish this current one. I’m always so nervous about starting a new sketchbook, it’s that perfectionist mindset that I need to shake off and just start sketching! I plan to use watercolors in that one though and only use it for urban sketching.

Hello, Monday!

Since it was too chilly outside (ahem, I don’t do cold - I live in the desert lol) I decided to sketch areas in and around the house. I started this morning with a quick 10-15 min sketch of the fridge area, I really love how the light creeps in first thing in the morning. Something about it just made me want to sketch it. I also wanted to test out holding all my art supplies while I sketched to see if it was comfortable for future “out in public” sketching. My fountain pen case worked like a charm and hung on the corner of my sketchbook the whole time (you can find these in my shop here when they are back in stock).

Kitchen Fridge  - at home

Kitchen Fridge - at home

I love how looking at this sketch, I can clearly see where I missed some shadows and such but I can tell right away where my main focus was - the plants and overall look of the fridge. This is exactly what I wanted to cover in this sketch. I wanted to grab this moment and I caught it.


Later in the day, I knew I was going to have some time to kill while I wait at my daughters school to pick her up in the afternoon, so I brought my supplies! When I got to the gate (they don’t open it for about 20-30 min) I realized that there was nothing of interest to me… but then this fencing caught my eye, it had a tree growing over it and a little blue rag wedged between the fence and brick wall. Found my spot to sketch, so I got to work as quickly as I could - I really wasn’t sure if the janitor would be on time to open the gate or early, so I budgeted 10-15 min for this sketch. I ended up finishing just as he started to walk to the gate, whew!

Naturally, when I parked in the school I ended up parking in front of these buildings with neat shadows, a bright green and yellow tree with a red painted curb… go figure. I know what I will be painting tomorrow!

School Fencing  - Mesa, Az

School Fencing - Mesa, Az

Doing this “in the car” sketch made me realize that my pens and paints travel really well! This pen case worked out and I brought a bottle of water in case I needed to refill my Pentel aqua brush. I’m going to try out a new pen tomorrow, a Zebra F-301. I checked to see if it was waterproof and it is indeed - no bleed at all and I really tried to move that ink hard! It’s one of my favorite pens so I’m excited to see how it looks against watercolor.

Ink & Watercolor

Since the 2019 started, I’ve been dipping my toes back into creating art. I have to say that I’m so glad to be doing this again and I wish I did this sooner. I’ve been spending so much time with my paints and pens that I decided to create a little art blog attached to my website. Lately my Instagram page, which is normally filled with mostly tarot, has been getting a bit taken over by ink and paint but I’ve been wanting to write more info about what I’m creating.

I’m sure I’m not alone in this, but I’ve really been wanting to find myself again since having my daughter 10 years ago. I stopped painting in 2009 since most of my free time was now dedicated to a tiny being. Since then, I’ve really felt that I lost a part of my identity and to be honest, I wasn’t sure what exactly I had lost. Hard to explain, but being “Mom” for 10 years can really push that identity out of the way and make you forget just who you really are… aside from being a mom.

Early morning messy kitchen - January 6, 2018

Early morning messy kitchen - January 6, 2018

Long story short, I’m really glad to be getting back to painting and sketching. I’m still gathering up new art supplies, I have to totally start fresh in that department. Most of my original paintings from years ago were damaged in our storage when our water heater burst - that still makes me cringe.

I decided to try out watercolors about a week ago, they’re something I’ve wanted to play more with. I’ve only worked mainly with acrylic and oil, it’s where I’m most comfortable. I picked up a small Winsor & Newton Watercolor Pocket set (12 half-pan) and a cheap 140 lb watercolor sketchbook. Since then, I’ve added quite a bit more to my supply drawer and have been consistently trying new techniques daily. Oddly enough, I’ve come to love my Pentel water brush a lot more than all the brushes I’ve been stocking up on, go figure.

On a whim, the other day I decided to give my hand at urban sketching and instantly fell in love with the messy and quickness of it. I’m a massive perfectionist and while I love drawing, I tend to get too caught up in all the lines being perfect and things being just right. So, I sat at my dining table and started sketching out a quick drawing of our messy kitchen going by the “rules” of just getting what I saw on paper. Then layered some watercolor and I was instantly obsessed! It’s always good to try different techniques and styles, see what feels right, this indeed feels really good. Doing this style of sketch and paint really relaxed me and helped me set aside my perfectionism so that I could just focus on getting what I saw on paper. I was also pleasantly surprised at how my sketches turned out after adding some color.

Anyways, I just wanted to make a first “quick” post on this new mini blog to get the ball rolling! I’m not sure how often I plan to update it or if I will even keep it here on my website - I’ve thought about moving it to a Wordpress or Blogger platform for free but since I’m already paying for Squarespace… why not just use this!