Saturday, December 31, 2011

Ink is Water Soluble

Ignore my spelling please.

I spend a lot of time waiting for things. In this case, as with every Tuesday and Thursday, I spend time waiting for the Lotus Health Clinic to open in the morning so I can go for my appointment.  I usually park across from the door and wait. While I wait, I have my coffee and get caught up on my reading on my iPod. I use the Instapaper app to capture web articles I want to read then read them offline when I have time.

This day I had my sketchbook and pen with me so I started by drawing one of the icons on my iPod. I quickly got bored with that so I drew the building and entrance to the Lotus Health Clinic.

When I got home I decided to colour in the image using my water soluble coloured pencils. Imagine my shock when I discovered the ink was too water soluble! (I checked the carton the ink comes in and it does not say "permanent" on it anywhere, but I had not noticed this before).  Well, now that I know it "runs" when water is added I will have to be careful never to drop my sketchbook in a puddle, bathtub, toilet, or sink.  Also, I can use the runny quality to my advantage.

Friday, December 30, 2011


My son had asked me to come up with an idea for an album cover for an upcoming music release. I was waiting somewhere and I doodled this. This is NOT the idea that I came up with, but it got me thinking and it helped me come up with the final idea (which I cannot share until the album is released).

Sometimes I use my sketchbook to sketch out ideas for final projects and sometimes to work out or on ideas for larger projects. This is an example of that.

This, particular, sketchbook is a catch-all sketchbook. There is no theme to it. I draw it in when I feel like it, when I am bored, when I am waiting, or just for the heck of it. It is a small book that fits easily into my pocket or purse. I originally got it with the intent of carrying it around with me.

The above, rather cartoonish, image is a bit of a nightmare scene. There is a snake eating itself, disembodied mouth and eye, floating in the sky, some bombs (mushroom clouds) going off, and a man, dressed like "the invisible man" in the foreground. It is all a bit cliché.

Thursday, December 29, 2011

On the Road Again

October 14, 2011

My terrible scribble says "Driving home from Cambridge where we went to Phidon Pens again. (I picked up black ink and a new Lamy)".  This was quickly sketched along the miles and miles (or in our case, the kilometres and kilometres) of our drive home. As soon as I started to draw, I realized I was not in the mood to draw so I scribbled this quickly and then went to sleep.

You can see the next page bleed through this. Ugh. I added the colour digitally with effects.

Anthony and I had gone to Phidon Pens in Cambridge, Ontario to pick up a new nib for Anthony's pen. While there I picked up some black ink because I was not thrilled with the blue-black I had been using. I also picked up an extra-fine point Lamy pen for myself.  We took advantage of being there and picked up a Sailor Music Pen for our son as a Christmas gift.

It is always a pleasure to go to Phidon Pens and seeing Mano. She is interesting and pleasant. The shop is small but well equipped and full of delightful treasures.  It is such a treat for us to go to Cambridge and to Phidon Pens shop.

Phidon Pens Limited
63 Dickson Street
Cambridge, Ontario N1R 7A5
Tel. : 519 624 8787
Fax : 519 624 2044
Email :

After we got back to London (Ontario) we picked up our son and went to Smoke 'n Bones for lunch. I quickly sketched our son with my new Lamy. I also scribbled the Smoke 'n Bones logo.

We had a lovely, rare, lunch together.

All-in-all, it was a good day!

Quick Sketched Tree

While waiting for Anthony to get off work at the London Health Science Centre, Victoria Hospital Campus, I started to draw the tree next to my parking space. I did not get to finish it as Anthony came out.

It is basically just a quick scribble, but you get the idea.

Wednesday, December 28, 2011


This time I started drawing the building as I waited for Anthony to come out after finishing work. It is a relatively new building. This section is new (last year or so).  There is a lot of glass, concrete and steel.

It is actually quite attractive. I wish I had added colour.

Sunday, December 25, 2011

Merry Christmas!

Wishing everyone a very merry Christmas or whichever holiday you celebrate at this time of year. May you have a joyful and peaceful holiday season.

Sunday, December 18, 2011

EDM 15 - Draw a tree or trees, leaves or branches

These are more doodles than realistic representations of a tree, leaves, and branches.  I had two pages left in my Sketchbook Project 2010 sketchbook and some time to kill so I started drawing the above doodle.  I liked it in the simple pen & ink lines but decided to add colour to it with coloured pencils. I had an idea in my head, but it did not translate into reality, as I saw it in my mind's eye. I immediately regretted adding colour and hated it. So, I redrew the image (more or less) on the last page of my sketchbook, as you see below.

Initially, I liked the black and white one better.  However, when I scanned these onto my computer a month had passed between the time I had created these and the time I scanned them in.  Now, I like them both. I like the coloured one just fine.

Neither of these are in my usual, realistic, style. They are more whimsical than I normally draw. As it is, most of the work in this sketchbook, although fairly accurate representations, are not in my usual "finished", "tight" style that I use for larger pieces and commissioned work. I purposely decided to keep things "loose" and casual in this sketchbook.

For the most part, most of my sketchbooks, are filled with loose lines and raw drawings. I use my sketchbooks to work out ideas, capture moments, and relax.  I leave my more detailed, finished, work for larger pieces that are either commissioned or are meant for display at an art show and for sale. My sketchbook work is not normally meant for public display or art shows (although I do use this site to show my recent sketchbook work)

This is the 3rd to last post about the Sketchbook Project 2012. I will have one post showing all the work together, and then one last post when my sketchbook is up on The Art House Coop site, with tour dates.

Saturday, December 17, 2011

Lotus Health Care Clinic Physiotherapy

Near the beginning of 2011 I woke one morning with the feeling that I slept on my arm funny. There was stiffness in my left arm, radiating to my jaw and back.  I did not think of anything of it.  I often wake up with stiff joints that get better with movement in a few hours. However, as time went, my arm was in more and more pain. It got to the point, a few months later, that I could no longer move it.  I went to emerge and urgent care a few times and was told I had a torn rotator cuff.  Pain medication was not having much effect. My doctor sent me for ultrasound. The ultrasound showed my rotator cuff was fine. I had what is known as frozen shoulder.
The frozen shoulder joint
and inflammation.
Medical Multimedia Group

Yes, I know I should have had my arm checked out sooner, but at this time my husband was going through some pretty serious health issues, himself, and it did not seem the right time to be out of commission, myself. I also kept hoping it would just get better on its own.

I started physiotherapy with Pan at Lotus Health Care Clinic. Pan is amazing. He is a very pleasant person too. He laughs at my corny jokes. The physio is extremely painful, however, it is working.

We had a set back when I fell in the kitchen two weeks into the therapy. I had been carrying something into the kitchen and my ankle gave out. I fell hard on my arm. Pan was very patient with me and quickly got me back on schedule.

I now have full mobility back, although it is still painful. I am working on strength now. My arm is still weak, but getting better and better.

The drawing of the building was done one morning while I waited for the clinic to open. I usually get there 15 minutes before they open and I sit and have a coffee and get caught up on my internet reading (using instapaper on my ipod). This day I happened to have my Sketchbook Project 2012 sketchbook with me and decided to do a quick drawing while I waited. This was done in about 15 minutes, while sitting in my car, parked across from the door.

Lotus Health Care Clinic
1225 Wonderland Rd N
London, ON N6C 2V9
(519) 473-5911

Friday, December 16, 2011

EDM 134 - Draw a familiar person place or thing, but from an unusual angle

This self portrait was created by looking at a mirror in my lap. I drew it upside down just to make it that more unusual. This was just a quick sketch done with a few scribbles of my pen.

You can see the image better when it is right side up.

Here they are together so you can see them better.

This is not the best drawing I have ever done, but it was fun to do.

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

EDM 56 - Draw a Self Portrait

As much as I hate to admit it, this pretty well looks like what I look like right now.  I would have loved to draw me young, svelte, and beautiful, however, that would have been an illusion at best and a lie at worse.

One of the inevitable things in life is that we age, and our bodies change as we age. Some people age better than others. Me, I look younger than my age, but I certainly look matronly now. I joke that I look like a Portuguese mother now. Of course, I am a Portuguese mother!

The colour red goes beautifully with my olive skin tone. It is a colour I enjoy wearing.

The background is organized chaos. That is more or less what my mind and life is like: organized chaos, with little dangler bits to grab a hold of, now and again.

Generally speaking, life is good.

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

EDM 17 - Draw a Musical Instrument

Here is my son playing one of his bass guitars. My son has been compared to the wonderful Victor Wooten (whom he admires) in his playing.

Monday, October 17, 2011

EDM 80 - Draw something that makes you happy

One morning a week several tenants from the apartment building I live in get together for a coffee/tea social. We have a social room where we meet.  Most of the people who, except me, are senior citizens.

They are a great group of people who are very interesting and pleasant. It really makes me happy to join them for these regular coffees.

I only drew 5 of the people. These were the ones that showed up the day I decided to draw. Usually we have a lot more people in the group but that day we only had this small group.

Saturday, October 15, 2011

EDM 125 - Draw a Bird

This is our beautiful Oscar. Oscar is a cockatiel, which is part of the cockatoo family. He and Anthony are best pals. He loves to come out to play with Anthony every day. He will play with Alexander and me on occasion  but Anthony is his favourite.

I was originally thinking of doing the above sketch in pen and ink only. However, Oscar is so colourful I could not help myself: I grabbed my coloured pencils.  I felt Anthony and Oscar interacting with each other left in line drawings complement the full page of colour. What do you think?

Cockatiels are great pets full of personality. They don't talk very much but they can whistle like no one's business! They have an irritating screech when they are annoyed. However, Oscar rarely screeches. He moslty whistles, says "Hey Booboo" and gives lots of kisses. He loves to get neck scritches too, as long as it is Anthony who is doing it.

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Anthony's 55th Birthday

On August 3, 2011 Anthony celebrated 55 years of life.  I am modifying EDM 97 (Draw a present you have received. Why is it special?) a little to be gifts that he received rather than gifts I received.
Anthony was overjoyed to hear from two dear friends from his past. Over the years he has regaled us with stories about both these friends, and he has tried to find them. Both of them contacted me through Facebook, to reconnect with Anthony, days before his 55th birthday! This was the best gift he could have received.

When initially drawing the above images I had intended to add colour to them. However, when I finished the line drawings I really like them as they are.  I debated whether or not to go ahead with the original plan to add colour but in the end I decided to keep them as line drawings.  Anthony likes them as line drawing too. 
We (Alexander and I) took Anthony to Swiss Chalet on the day of his birthday. There is one walking distance from our home. We had not been in over a year, so it was quite pleasant and a treat.

Alexander and I went in together to get Anthony an iPad for his birthday. He is thoroughly enjoying watching movies on it. Anthony has been at home sick for over a month with severe cellulitis in his right leg. It is extremely painful and so it is nice that he has something he can entertain himself with while stretching his leg out on his bed.

We also gave Anthony the movie Forbidden Planet in a commemorative tin.

Oscar is sitting on Anthony's head here. He had been sleeping with his head tucked under his wing. I drew him with his eye open as he was looking at me looking at him.  He woke up when he felt me staring at him.  Oscar spends a lot of time with Anthony. They are best buds. Oscar likes to sit on Anthony's head when Anthony's hands are busy.  Otherwise, Oscar spends his time on Anthony's shoulder, chest, or nearby within Anthony's reach. Oscar is a cockatiel.

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Errand Day

EDM 10 - Draw your hand or hands
EDM 86 - Draw a traffic sign
EDM 96 - Draw something sweet

Errand Day

Every two weeks I have a day called Errand Day where I drive around and do a bunch of errands.  The parking metre was a view from my vehicle while I waited for a shop to open. I was in the parking lot but there were metres on the street. 

The two dangling cuties are hanging off our rearview mirror. They are made of wrapped string. The one with red hair my husband has named Herbunculous and the other one is Pirozingura.  These are adorably sweet. Anthony has named them all and makes up stories to go with them. We have 6 of these altogether. I only drew the two.

On this Errand Day I also got my nails done. Anthony and I go together to Top Fashion Nails in Sherwood Forest Mall to get our nails done. Anthony gets three nails on his right hand done so that he can play his guitar (He plays fingerstyle guitar). Bill, Lily, and Tammie at Top Fashion nails do a fabulous job on our nails. My nails look wonderful and do not chip or flake at all in the two weeks before getting a fill done. Anthony's nails remain strong and perfect for his guitar playing (and look so natural that you have to really look hard to see they are not). 

Top Fashion Nails
Sherwood Forest Mall
1225 Wonderland Rd N
London, ON N6G 2V9
(519) 472-4110

Sunday, October 9, 2011

EDM 46 - Draw something holiday themed

Left Page:
46 - Draw something holiday themed
177 - Draw a flag
Right Page:
180 - Draw something in your favorite color
222 - Draw your favorite drawing tool

On Canada Day I had a little ornamental flag on a toothpick given to me by the people from our coffee clutch in the building's social room. (We have coffee once a week.) I drew the flag here on top of the words to O Canada (Canada's national anthem).

On the facing page is a drawing of my new drawing pen. It is a Lamy. Anthony purchased this for me as a gift. We went to Cambridge, Ontario to a shop called Phidon Pens to purchase this (and some other things). Anthony purchased a new Moleskine sketchbook for me as well. (I have not started using the new sketchbook yet.) I really enjoy using the Lamy and will be using it a lot going forward.

I have more than one favourite colour. I really like red, burgundy, mauve, magenta, pink, and purple.

Friday, October 7, 2011

Draw Someone You Love

Here are two people that I love very much.

My son, Alexander had a short haircut for the first time in his life. A couple of years ago he had his first haircut to shoulder length hair. Before that he had hair that went down to his bottom, and he normally wore it in a braid. Here I am showing you a before and after images of his haircut.

My husband, Anthony, is sitting on the sofa reading a book. He always wears his glasses on his head when he reads. He was very patient about allowing me to draw him. I will be drawing Anthony again, later in the sketchbook, with Oscar, our cockatiel, on his head.  Correction: Oscar, Anthony's cockatiel.

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

EDM 20 - Draw something ’Dad’ - in honor of Fathers Day

This was our first Father's Day without our father, Vasco Fernando Bettencourt.  He passed away on July 10, 2010.

My family got together at his grave on Father's Day. Here I have illustrated his tomb stone with my brother, Mylo, fixing the flowers that are being put by his stone. (My mom eventually planted flowers around the stone).  After going to the cemetery we went back to Mylo's home for a small get-together.

Dad loved the colour green and red roses.  I have made this drawing predominantly green for him. Some of those flowers are supposed to be roses, but I did not do such a good job of drawing them.

Monday, October 3, 2011

EDM 24 - Draw a piece of fruit

The original drawing is better than this scanned image. 

Fresh fruit is so delicious.  I love it when fruit is in season. 

Saturday, October 1, 2011

EDM 72 - Draw somewhere new.

Alexander and I went to Tillsonburg, Ontario for the first time ever on June 10th to support my friend Darylnne McAvany and her family in the Relay for Life 2011 fundraiser. My friend's family fundraise under the banner "Jackie's Butterfly Brigade" in memory of their mother who died of cancer.

The above drawings represent our visit. The little angels were in the small parade around the site, then beside that drawing, is Darlynne in a golf cart in same parade.  The two bottom drawings are of Darlynne and Alexander at the camp site. Alexander is playing his ukulele and singing for us.

It was wonderful to see Darlynne again, and great to meet her sisters and family.

The McAvany family have a great banner and display. They won best decorated campsite. They also raised quite nice chunk of change for the cause.

Darlynne McAvany - Survivor

We met when I went to work for Nationwide Advertising Services (1985) and Darlynne was the Senior Graphic Designer and Illustrator.  She was not only my mentor but my friend as well.  She is an amazing person. There is nothing this woman cannot do. She has an exceptionally generous spirit and it is a real pleasure to know her.

It was with great sadness that I heard about her bout with cancer. It was a shock to see her so diminutive and frail. However, true to spirit, she is a fighter.

I feel blessed to know Darlynne and to be counted as one of her friends.

Thursday, September 29, 2011

EDM 205 - Draw a soda can

The Intruder
By Peter Gabriel
I know something about opening windows and doors
I know how to move quietly to creep across creaky wooden floors
I know where to find precious things in all your cupboards and drawers
Slipping the clippers
Slipping the clippers through the telephone wires
The sense of isolation inspires
Inspires me
I like to feel the suspense when I'm certain you know I am there
I like you lying awake, your baited breath charging the air
I like the touch and the smell of all the pretty dresses you wear
Intruders happy in the dark
Intruder come
Intruder come and leave his mark, leave his mark 

It drives me crazy that my husband and son leave the pop cans on the coffee table. This is called Intruder because of the one Diet Coke can in the midst of the Dr. Pepper cans. I tend to call the cans "Tin Soldiers". 

As the second image in the sketchbook I got a little carried away an added more detail to this drawing than I had originally intended. This image is created with coloured pencils.

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

EDM 23 - Draw Your Foot

First drawing in my sketchbook for The Sketcbook Project 2012 is of my feet. This allows me to start this project somewhat relaxed. This was created while I sat on my sofa with my feet up.

Sunday, September 25, 2011

Sketchbook Cover

EDM 56 - Draw a self portrait

Original self portrait draw with pen and ink, then scanned and manipulated in Finally, it was printed on a clear label sheet, cut to size and pasted on the sketchbook cover. The white areas were painted on the underside of the clear sheet (the sticky side) with liquid paper before pasting it onto the front cover of the book.

For the most part, this sketchbook will incorporated the Everyday Matter challenges, while documenting a small cross-section of my life's timeline.  It will be a time-capsule, of sorts.

--Originally posted on Ana's Ramblings & Art Corner on August 28, 2011

Friday, September 23, 2011

The Sketchbook Project 2012

Thousands of sketchbooks have been sent all around the world to people who have signed up to participate in The Sketchbook Project 2012. The books that are returned by January 31st, 2012 will be part of a traveling world exhibit. Once the exhibit is over the books will enter into the permanent collection at The Brooklyn Art Library.

If you need to sign up by October 31st, 2011 if you want to participate.

I will be sharing my entry on this blog over the next few weeks. I will attempt to make most of my pages coincide with EDM Challenges.

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Anthony's Leg

Anthony has cellulitis which caused his leg to swell in size and become lobster-red. It is very hot to the touch. This is excruciatingly painful too. That scar on his leg is from when a vein was removed when he had his quadruple bypass surgery for his heart 12 years ago. It did not heal well.

After I drew Anthony's leg, I was still bored, so I drew an electrical outlet, which was right beside me.

It took 4 weeks for Anthony to heal enough to go back to work. He is feeling much better.

Monday, September 19, 2011


I coloured this while I waited at Victoria Hospital in London Ontario while Anthony was having his leg looked at. This is basically just pen and coloured pencils.

Saturday, September 17, 2011

EDM 15 - Draw a tree

On errand day I found myself waiting for a shop to open so I drew the tree across the street. The above is the original sketch done in pen and ink with my Lamy pen. Below is the same drawing with digital colour added in

Friday, September 16, 2011

Happy Birthday to my Mom

I threw this into my sketchbook on September 16, 2009, while sitting at a downtown McDonalds. This was during that time I was waiting before going to work in the morning.

Well, here it is September 16 again. Today is my lovely mother's 77th birthday. I want to wish her a very happy birthday!

Thursday, September 15, 2011

@ GNG Summer Potluck

Cartoonist/Illustrator James Wood drew his dog, Rosie, in my Moleskine with my new Lamy.

This was at the GNG (Graphic Novel Group) summer potluck.

Tuesday, September 13, 2011


Herbunculous is a string doll that hangs from our rear-view mirror. Anthony named this doll and he made up a whole back story to go with it. Of course, I cannot remember what that is, now that I am wanting to write about it.

It is really cute. We actually have 9 of these string dolls dangling from our rear-view mirror. They are all different and Anthony has named them all and given them all stories.

This was created drawing with my Lamy pen, then I used water colour and markers to add colour. I enhanced it a bit with the digital manipulation tools at

Sunday, September 11, 2011

My New Lamy Pen

Anthony purchased this gorgeous pen for me as a belated anniversary gift (our anniversary is June 6) . It is beautiful and works really well.

We drove to Cambridge, Ontario (about an hour and a half away) and went to a shop called Phidon Pens. We met a lovely woman named Mano who helped us out.

I drew this in the car on the way back to London.

The whole day was most pleasant.

Friday, September 9, 2011

Bad Sketch

I debated whether or not to post really bad sketches. In the end, it is more honest to post all sketches from my sketchbook, excellent, good, medium, poor, bad, and horrid.

This sketch was done while I waited in a doctor's waiting room. I was facing the man who was staring at a television behind and above my head.  It is not a great sketch, and does not really capture his likeness, except for the blank stare. I was listening to CBC's Laugh Out Loud podcast while I waited. I wrote down their URL so that I could go to the site and check something out.

The purpose of my sketchbooks are many.  I use them to kill time while waiting, to draw things I want to remember, to practice techniques, to play with layouts and ideas for larger pieces, to record life events, as a visual journal, and just for the heck of it.  Most of the images are just scribbles or quick studies. I rarely do any highly detailed finished-quality pieces in the sketchbooks. These books or more for my own edification and amusement and not necessarily for others to view.

So, why am I sharing these images publicly? 

I am often asked to share my sketchbooks. People seem to like to see how artists' minds work. Of course every artist is different.

It may be helpful for some people, especially beginner artists, to see the process of keeping a sketchbook and to see that not all work is slick, detailed, and finished. It is okay to just have a few scribbles and doodles. It is okay to draw things that are ugly and unbalanced, to try new techniques, to experiment with styles, media, subject matter.

The sketchbook can have themes or be random.  The beauty of the sketchbook is that it can be anything you want it to be. You can keep it completely private, for your eyes only, or you can share it on the internet for the whole world to see.  There are no right or wrong ways to keep sketchbooks.  There are as many ways to work in a sketchbook as there are artists.

I hope to encourage people to go out and draw, not be afraid to put marks on paper, whether or not they feel their images are good or beautiful.

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

EDM 10 - Draw your hand

I am showing off my nails.

Bill at Top Fashion Nails at Sherwood Forest Mall did my nails for me. He did a French tip with squared off nails. This image was illustrated after the first time I had my nails done.

I am not sure why I wanted to remember rosemary honey, but I must have written it down to remind myself of it for a reason.

Anthony now goes with me to Bill to get three nails done on his right hand so he can better play fingerstyle guitar. His natural nails curve too much and hook the strings. Bill makes Anthony's nails look very natural and Anthony is play better than he ever has (which is beyond amazing).

I have my nails done in a rounded style now, and I get them much shorter. It is better for typing on the computer keyboard.

Monday, September 5, 2011

Waiting Room

I had to take our Hyundai Santa Fe for a regular maintenance tune-up and decided to wait rather than get a ride home.  This is the waiting area. They always have fresh baked cookies on the table, and there is a coffee machine and hot water for tea.  The chairs are quite comfortable. They have satellite TV and a large screen for the customers, as well as all the requisite magazines and newspapers.

I moved across the room, to the chair in the first drawing, after I got up for more coffee and these two ladies sat down where I was originally sitting. It is okay that they sat there. There are plenty of seats for everyone, and all seats are close to the cookies, magazines, and television.

I did not finish this drawing (the chairs should be black) because I my vehicle was ready and I went home.

Saturday, September 3, 2011

Mandala Moment

This doodle reminded me of a mandala so I called it Mandala Moment at MacDonald's.  Here is the definition of mandala:
Definition of MANDALA

: a Hindu or Buddhist graphic symbol of the universe;specifically : a circle enclosing a square with a deity on each side that is used chiefly as an aid to meditation
: a graphic and often symbolic pattern usually in the form of a circle divided into four separate sections or bearing a multiple projection of an image
As you can see, it is not a true mandala. Also, I spelled McDonalds incorrectly. However, I did entertain myself for a hour and a half while I waited for the doors to open at work.

Thursday, September 1, 2011

EDM 56 - Draw a self portrait

Not one of my better efforts, but a self-portrait, nonetheless.  Again, this is at the downtown McDonalds as I await the opening of the work doors. Here I am doodling to kill time. My hair is much shorter here than it is now, and I have it pulled off my face in a most unflattering way.

You can see that instead of coffee, I am having a cold drink. If I remember correctly, it was orange juice.