Posted in SKETCHES


My goal in 2017 is to simplify.  Simplify.  Simplify.  This quiet word rolls easily off my tongue.  But putting it into practice – ahhh that’s another story.

The Inspiration: Sandy the Parakeet was purchased from a souvenir shop on Jekyll Island, Georgia.  He is so colorful and life-like.  For years he has perched quietly nearby.  A perfectly still subject for a sketch.

The Challenge: All I wanted to do was to paint this simple green bird.  Simply.  But as I worked, Sandy hard, carved feathers became fluffy layers ready for flight.  This was unintentional.  So I tried again.  Simplifying lines and relaxing ink and paint applications.

The Sketch

  • Cicadas- Rubbing plate.  Watercolor pencils.
  • Complex Sandy- Artist sketch pen. Watercolor paint.
  • Simplified Sandy – Sumi ink applied with Japanese brush. Watercolor paint.

The Take Away: The slow process of making sumi ink allowed me to meditate on how I wanted to make my marks.  Using the Japanese brush helped to place those marks simply.






Hi! I'm Denise Massey - the funny face behind ArtReach at Home. My past: museum curator, art teacher and consultant. Today: a blogger sharing creativity and personal stories about life in the South.

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