Life Lessons

"Figuring out our gifts in life is part of our journey to becoming enlightened human beings.” – Allison DuBois

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

A Sketchy Workshop

Monday I took a little informal "Travel Sketchbook Workshop" in Healdsburg given by Joanne Taeuffer.  Several friends of hers are traveling to Italy next month and they wanted to chronicle their travels with a sketchbook-travelog.  So I joined in!

When you walk into Joanne's beautiful home you are met with this.....

A Cowgirl (Joanne) with guns raised and attitude!

Please check out her site at -
You will be amazed!

Joanne's sketchbook

There is a certain excitement in trying to capture the energy in a quick gestural sketch.


Merriam-Webster's definition: 


adj \ˈske-chē\

Definition of SKETCHY

1: of the nature of a sketch : roughly outlined
2: wanting in completeness, clearness, or substance : slight, superficial <the details are sketchy>
Joanne was very organized with supplies and several of her own sketchbooks to use as examples. She had reference books and props to get us started.

We began with black & white - pencils & pens.

But I jumped ahead to color a little too soon because I just couldn't resist not making that tube of lipstick pink.  

Then we moved on to color - watercolor.  Not my thing. But I did try.

Watercolors in stick form
Joanne had some great examples to share.

I really love this one!
It is so the opposite of oil & acrylic painting. You really need to focus on going from light to dark and if you happen to make a mistake - new page - no going over it with new paint!

 Hannah's beautiful attempt at a California Poppy growing in the yard.

Really amazing

I attempted Joanne's little studio cottage in her backyard but my painting turned out like a Frank Zappa Fiesta Pizza run over by a car. Not showing you that one!

The shady little park square

After lunch, we strolled down to Healdsburg square to sit in the dabbled shade and sketch people walking by.  Only problem was.....they moved!  So Joanne was a sport and did several short poses for us.

Laurie & Hannah sketching Joanne

Just a 2 minute light-dark composition
I like my various shades of gray, a good camera.....

.....and to travel light.

 A variety of pages from my sketchbook done in France.

It was a fun day and I truly hope Hannah continues with her artwork as she has a great eye for proportion with both buildings and people.  For a lot of artists that takes a lot of time to develop! 

 And on a final note, I hope you take the time (one minute) to watch this guy paint - FAST!

“The greatest gift you can give another is the purity of your attention.” - Richard Moss


  1. Thanks for featuring the workshop in your blog. And thanks for coming. I'm inspired to add more tone to my black and white sketches after seeing the beautiful dimensionality and volume you achieve with those brush pen washes.

  2. I love love love this beautiful and artistic blog. Please tell me how you set pictures next to each other?

    1. When you click on the photo, a menu pops up (or down) that allows you to pick a size and location (left, center, right) and add a caption if you want. I pick left for one photo, then right for the next one AND while you still have it "chosen & blue" then drag it up next to your first photo. You do need small or med. size photos as it will not work in large & XL. Good luck!

  3. That Worked! Watch for results soon


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