December at Home

With snow yet to come and trees now bare bones, slate colored skies, tawny fields, and dun-colored woods dominate the landscape. Here and there, white pines tower above it all, making me think that that’s where I’d be if I were a bird in December. I’ve drawn the land around my home in different seasons, and I like the way using a grid with a variety of small vignettes helps me to convey a sense of place. Looking back, August and September were certainly more colorful and January brighter, but I do love the dark muted skies of December that seem a perfect end to the year.

Tips & Techniques- Check out the free online programs offered this week at Winslow Art Center’s Winter Bash. I’m pleased to offer Back to the Drawing Board on Saturday, 12/17.  During this “draw-along” we’ll have fun practicing the art of seeing and rendering objects using pencils, pens, and ink and wash. If you have drawing tools you rarely use, this is a great chance to test them out.

22 Comments on “December at Home

    • Thanks Bernadette. Using a grid is a bit like doing a puzzle. The pieces all come together, but you’re not sure what the final picture will look like until it all falls into place.

  1. Hi Jean, just signed up for next Saturday’s class. Hoping to take a break from the seasonal craziness by painting along with you. Thanks for recommending this!

  2. Such wonderful vignettes laid out beautifully! I love the blockiness of your compositions and the way your subjects float into neighboring blocks. Ties everything together so well! Ah yes …… more inspiration. And I have signed up for the Winslow Winter Bash, but will have to enjoy them all, including yours, as recordings ‘cause we’re off for the Sonoran desert and the land of towering saguaros and winter birds. A nature journaling paradise in warm weather!
    Thanks, always, for the inspiration Jean!

    • Have a wonderful trip Barb! The Sonoran desert is a special place and I wish I could spend some time there– it’s been awhile. I’ll enjoy seeing it through your sketchbook.

  3. Pingback: December at Home – Tonya LaLonde

  4. WOW. Such beautiful and delicate work ALWAYS greatly inspires me!

  5. Wondering about the free online you are offering this week. If I unable to be present at the time of airing, can I access later in the day? I may need to be away from home on and off during the day. Sure would hate to miss out.
    Thanks for all your lovely artwork and poetic descriptions.
    . My style and temperament are looser. I would bet that you are neat and orderly with everything in your life. This is something I greatly struggle with.
    Thanks…bernadette

    • All of the free presentations that are part of Winter Bash are recorded so you can watch them anytime. You have to sign up to get the access pass, and then you can view any of the presentations. There may be others that suit your loose style. And yes, I do tend to be orderly and organized and that temperament is undoubtedly reflected in my artwork!

      • You make me smile. Your words are always so kind and personal. Would be so nice to meet one day.
        Yes, I have signed up for your winter workshop, Winter Bash. I look forward to it…..bernadette

  6. Love the composition of the vignettes! Do you ever use white gouache with your watercolors or always “reserve the white” of the paper?

    • Hi Dorothea- I reserve the whites, since they will always be more vibrant than gouache. However, I do sometimes use gouache, especially if I need to make a correction or add a highlight that I missed.

  7. This is a complete diary entry – the words and the feelings and the text all work together to convey the moment. As I’ve said before, I enjoy the vicarious experience because of the memories it brings back – those beech leaves! I loved seeing them. And the chickadees, which are companions here, too, and all the rest. 🙂
    (I’ve never heard of the Muitzekill – must be another Dutch name – so I looked on the map and then remembered that you’re north of the areas I’m familiar with. Beautiful country up there! )

  8. May I ask what kind of journal do you use? It seems very durable and takes water nicely. The layout is most inspiring!

    • Hello- I am using a Handbook Watercolor Journal. It has 140lb/300gsm paper that is suited for watercolor, but the paper is fairly smooth, which I like for ink. It’s hardcover and sturdy too.

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