Thursday, May 31, 2012

Every Day in May Challenge # 29

Draw Somewhere New

Ink with Digital Colour

I did not have time to go somewhere new today. This is a bit of a cop-out on today's challenge but I spent a lot of the day waiting around and doodling.

Initially I thought I would draw somewhere that I would like to go to that I have never been, however, there were far too many places I would like to visit, world-wide, and could not decide which one to draw. Then I thought I would  try to draw a restaurant I have not been to yet, but would like to try out... same problem... I could not decide which one to draw.

In the end, this is what I decided to do for today's challenge.  I'll do better tomorrow.

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Every Day in May Challenge # 28

Draw a mailbox and write about the most important piece of real world mail you’ve ever received

Ink, Derwent InkTense, and Watercolour

I chose to draw the mailbox I would have if I lived on a farm.

All the outgoing mailboxes are too far from my home for me to casually wander out and draw them. Here is what outgoing mailboxes look like in our city.

Canada Post Mailbox

The incoming mailboxes in our building are functional but boring.

Our Building's Mail Room

At this time, I cannot think of any important real world mail I have received, but I am sure I have received important real world mail at some time in my life.

(Oh, in case you can't guess ... I really like roosters)

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Every Day in May Challenge # 27

Draw some clouds

Watercolour, Coloured Pencil, Ink

It was a raining all morning but now it is cloudy out.

I had a heck of a time scanning this. The colours would not come through properly. This is as close as I can to the actual drawing.

Monday, May 28, 2012

Every Day in May Challenge # 26

Draw the ingredients and/or process of a favourite recipe

Ink, Derwent InkTense, and Watercolour

Here is one of my favourite recipes. My family really likes this too. It is delicious and very easy to make.

Sunday, May 27, 2012

Every Day in May Challenge # 25

Draw Some Flowers

Ink, Derwent InkTense, Coloured Pencil

I wanted to do some colourful flowers but the ones outside our building were not colourful enough for me. This was from a photograph I took of the flowers at my dad's funeral (July 2010). I really like the colours in this. They are so bright and happy (just like my dad was).

Saturday, May 26, 2012

Every Day in May Challenge # 24

Draw something cold or cool.

Ink, Inktense, Watercolour, Graphite

This is supposed to be an ice cube. It is cold. The room is warm. It is melting.

I once heard that ice cubes are difficult to photograph. I just discovered they are also difficult to draw. This was my third attempt at drawing the ice cube. This challenge was challenging.

Friday, May 25, 2012

Every Day in May Challenge # 23

Draw a souvenir of a place you've been.
Write a bit about your memories of the place.

Ink and Watercolour

This is Mr. YaYaYa Bear. He is a karate champion and he loves to sneak into luggage and travel with us. 25 years ago went with us to Quebec City, Quebec for our honeymoon. He is wearing his Quebec pin in this drawing (and photo below). 

Quebec city is very exotic and beautiful. Old Quebec has an old European feel to it. It was a wonderful honeymoon vacation.

Mr. YaYaYa Bear

Quebec City
(click on image)

Thursday, May 24, 2012

Every Day in May Challenge #22

Draw an Ear, or two or three

Coloured Pencil

This is my son's ear. 

I chose to only do one ear because I did this in coloured pencil and it took hours to do. There are 27 colours in this ear, not that you would notice.  I did do one graphite study first, in a different sketchbook, but I will not share that at this time. 

This, of course, is Alexander's ear.  I had to photograph it first because he is never around long enough for me to actually have a live sitting with him. Young Adults! Musicians!

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Every Day in May Challenge #21

Draw something that makes you happy.

Ink and Photoshop.

I was going to draw something to represent art or music, both of which make me happy, but then I thought what really makes me happy is my little family. I love my husband and son and they make my extremely happy, when they are not worrying or frustrating me. After drawing this I realized that I represent visual art and my husband and son represent musical art (especially my son), so I guess I did draw art and music after-all.

This is a little cartoon of our family. It does not really look like us.

Here is a photo of my husband and I from the weekend. We went to Chapters and then to Starbucks for our "date". He had a strawberry and cream smoothie and I had a double chocolate chip frappacino. 



Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Every Day in May Challenge # 20

Draw a streetlight

Pen and Ink

The streetlights outside my home are ugly, plain, and boring.  I actually drew this from a composite of old film-noire films we enjoy watching. This is far more interesting then the actual streetlights outside my building.

London, Ontario does have some lovely lights downtown (and in other parts of the city) but I was not feeling like leaving the comfort of my home to go photograph lights (I have too many allergies this time of year to draw plein-air).

I have mentioned before, and will reiterate, the simpler an object is the more complicated it is to draw. I had a heck of a time getting both sides of this symmetrical. Eventually I settled for "close enough".

Monday, May 21, 2012

Every Day in May Challenge # 19

Draw your art/work space

Ink with Digital Colour

I decided to try adding colour in PhotoShop, like Murilo Romeiro did to some of his drawings. He does a lovely line rendition then takes it into Photoshop and adds a beautiful wash of digital colour. This was my first attempt and it did not come out as well as I had envisioned in my mind. 

This is part of my work area. I actually sit in a corner of my sofa with my supplies around me, including these, which were in front of me when I drew them in my sketchbook. I am using the hand-made sketchbook, that I won from Deborah Lowe's giveaway, for these challenges.  The book on my masonite sketch-board is an artist's Moleskine. I have labeled everything for your edification.


This is the original line drawing I did of my work area, before adding the digital colour.

Hopefully I will be able to set up my studio soon. We are still unpacking and decluttering from our move. Once we have culled our possessions to the basic minimum I will set up my studio area in a corner of the bedroom (where there is plenty of natural light for most of the day).  I am looking forward to that day!

Sunday, May 20, 2012

Every Day in May # 18

Draw a nearby body of water - ocean, lake, pond, river

Ink with watercolour

This is the Thames River that runs through London, Ontario Canada. Yes, we have a "Thames River" too.

This small portion, in my sketch, is near my home.

Another view of the Thames. Click on Image.

Friday, May 18, 2012

Every Day in May Challenge # 16

Draw a store in your neighbourhood

Ink, Derwent Inktense, and Watercolour

This is the Costco as seen from my 10th floor balcony. It is directly across the street from my apartment.

I have channeled my inner-child in rendering this image. I did not have the exact colours so I made-do.

With these challenges I have been devolving my artistic style to a more simplistic form. Sometimes I need a break from my more controlled methodology to clear my mind and recharge.

Here is a composite of the view across the street as viewed from my 10th story balcony.

Thursday, May 17, 2012

Every Day in May Challenge # 15

Draw a traffic sign

Pen & ink, Derwent Inktense, Watercolours

I was not up to going outside today so I drew a parking sign from memory.

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Every Day in May Challenge # 14

Draw your lunch and journal about it.

Pen and Ink, Derwent Inktense Pencils, and Watercolour

Ben Thanh Restaurant is one our favourite places to eat.  We really enjoy Viet Thai food.

I normally get the vermicelli bowl combo that comes with an extra spring roll and mango pudding.  All vermicelli bowls are accompanied with vermicelli noodles, cucumber and lettuce and are served with fish sauce.  I usually choose # 303 (Grilled Pork Meat Balls, B.B.Q. Pork & Spring Roll) because it is not too spicy and tastes wonderful.  

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Every Day in May Challenge # 13

Draw something breezy - something that blows in the wind

Pen, Ink, Derwent Inktense, Watercolour

Initially I was only going to draw the flag. The image needed some balance so I threw in our Prime Minister, Stephen Harper, into the mix. I agonized whether to draw the flag in photo-realism or continue with the looser sketches. The sketch won out as I am having a lot of fun with it. 

I may not be fond of Stephen Harper, but I am fortunate to live in a country where we can openly criticize our governmental leaders without fear of disappearing or being imprisoned. Also, I am fortunate to have interesting and intelligent friends that can have different political views than I, and yet, we still respect each other and remain friends. 

Monday, May 14, 2012

Every Day in May Challenge # 12

Draw Some Buttons

Pen and Ink, Derwent Inktense Pencils, Watercolour

There is not much to say about this one. It is pretty straight forward. I liked doing all the different colours and the bow just adds a little pizzazz to the drawing.

From the film "The Paleface" (1948)
(Jay Livingston / Ray Evans - Won Academy Award for "Best Song")

East is east and west is west
And the wrong one I have chose
Let's go where they keep on wearin'
Those frills and flowers and buttons and bows
Rings and things and buttons and bows.

Don't bury me in this prairie
Take me where the cement grows
Let's move down to some big town
Where they love a gal by the cut o' her clothes
And you'll stand out, in buttons and bows.

I'll love you in buckskin
Or skirts that you've homespun
But I'll love ya' longer, stronger
Where yer friends don't tote a gun

My bones denounce the buckboard bounce
And the cactus hurts my toes
Let's vamoose where gals keep a-usin'
Those silks and satins and linen that shows
And I'm all yours in buttons and bows.

Gimme eastern trimmin' where women are women
In high silk hose and peek-a-boo clothes
And French perfume that rocks the room
And I'm all yours in buttons and bows.

Buttons and bows, buttons and bows..... 

Sunday, May 13, 2012

Every Day in May Challenge # 11

Draw Something with Wings

Graphite sketch with watercolour

This is my sweet husband, Anthony, with his two pals Baby (left, cockatiel) and Dexter (right, conure/parakeet).  Some people have suggested I drew three "things" with wings as my husband is an angel when it comes to animals, and birds in particular. Anthony is known to our friends as The Bird Whisperer. He really loves his birds, and they love him too.  He has a lot of patience and a really sweet disposition.

Anthony was watching television with his pals when I asked him to sit still so I could draw him. This is him sitting still. He indulges me. The birds could not understand why my head kept bobbing up and down and why I kept looking at them.

This was fun to draw.

Saturday, May 12, 2012

Every Day in May Challenge # 10

Draw an Apple

Watercolour, Derwent Inktense Pencils, and Prismacolor coloured pencils.

I decided to try something different here. We all know that I can draw a pretty realistic apple in coloured pencils, if I put my mind to it. These challenges are supposed to be quick and light. I decided to try this with a watercolour undercoat. I've not tried this before and it was rather fun. This is a technique I may explore more in the coming weeks.

This image actually looks  better in my sketchbook than on the screen. It looks more realistic in the "live" sketchbook than on screen. I may have punched the tone too much in Photoshop.

I thought of being silly and drawing an Apple Product such an as iPhone, iPad, or MacBook, but then, they would have been boring images. I love the colour red so I drew a nice MacIntosh apple... the kind you eat.

Friday, May 11, 2012

Every Day in May Challenge # 9

Draw a Paper Bag

Pen and Ink with watercolour and Derwent Inktense pencils

Today's challenge was to draw a paper bag, but I did not have any handy, so I cheated and drew the Unknown Comic instead.  Of course, this dates me a bit.

My brothers and I used to love watching The Gong Show with our parents. We would laugh ourselves silly.

Thursday, May 10, 2012

Every Day in May Challenge # 8

Draw An Egg Carton with our without Eggs

Pen and Ink with watercolour

There is a universal truth in drawing that the simpler the object looks the more difficult it is to draw and the inverse is true too. Eggs look very simple and therefore are very difficult.

I hope never to take on so many eggs again, except in a fritatta.

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Every Day in May Challenge # 7

Draw a Spoon

Pen and Ink with Watercolour.

I enjoy cooking for my family and I use wooden spoons quite regularly in this task. To me, cooking for my family is a way to show my family that I love them.

This was a fun one to do.

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Every Day in May Daily Challenge # 6

Draw a Holiday Card

Today's challenge was to draw a holiday card. I chose to draw a card I received last Christmas.  Initially I was going to create my own card, but in the end, I decided to draw this one because I really like the colours in it.

Again this is pen and ink with watercolour and Derwent Inktense pencils. I enjoy the Derwent Inktense bright colours.

Monday, May 7, 2012

Every Day in May Challenge # 5

Draw Something Sweet

Pen and Ink with Watercolour in sketchbook.

This is one of those generic honey bears. I purchase honey in jars and pour it into this bear.  We enjoy honey on toast. Alexander also prefers to sweeten his tea with honey.


Sunday, May 6, 2012

Every Day in May Challenge # 4

Draw a Present

This image is pen & ink, and watercolour. I also used Derwent Inktense pencils with water.

My son gave me this HP Touchpad for Christmas. It is a really cool gadget. It allows me to go on the internet so I use it in the kitchen to view my recipes to cook from. It saves trees by not printing out the recipes.

I use it to read email, surf the web, play games, watch movies, read books, draw and colour, and view photos. It is a very versatile gadget and I really enjoy playing with it.

Oh, and if I have to meet a client, I can use it show them the work I am doing (as long as there is WiFi).

I have a photo of my son as my wallpaper. My son is laughing at how scary and demented I made him look in my drawing.

The HP Touchpad is one of my favourite gadgets that my son has given me, along with my iPod Touch and my iPhone... However, this is my least favourite rendering for the Every Day in May Challenge.

Here is the actual background photo that I so terribly mangled:

Saturday, May 5, 2012

Every Day in May Challenge # 3

Free Choice - draw anything you like.
My Last Nerve

Today we were to draw whatever we wished, and I drew the symbol I use to let my family know they are getting on my last nerve.  When I do this with my hand, they know it is time to take it back a notch. 

When my son was little, I would do this, and he would stick my pinky in his mouth. I would then tell him he should not have done that because I just scratched my bum with that pinky. He would go into fake convulsions. It was a game we played.

This image is in homage to the large, faceless corporations that have lousy customer service departments. I have spent hours, over the last few weeks, today included, on the phone with a particular "service provider" that has been giving me less than stellar service. There is an issue at play that is spiraling out of control because with large corporations the right hand does not know what the left hand is doing. Each time you call in you get a different person, you have to start from the beginning, you have to hope the last person left good notes on your account, and you hope that nothing else is going to get messed up even worse.


Friday, May 4, 2012

Every Day in May Challenge # 2

New Year's Resolution

If you remember, one of my New Year's resolutions was to draw more. Actually, it was to be more creative this year, which also includes drawing more.

Here I drew myself drawing a picture. I used pen & ink, as well as watercolour paints. I am using the lovely hand made sketchbook that I won from Deborah Lowe.

I am thoroughly enjoying drawing in this sketchbook and using the pen & ink and watercolours. I had not picked up watercolours in 30 years, until yesterday. Fortunately I did have a set I purchased last year with the intent that I would try my hand at it soon.

Thursday, May 3, 2012

Every Day in May Challenge

Challenge # 1, Draw a Landscape

Every Day in May Challenge is a Facebook Group that I have joined as an effort to inspire me to draw more. It was started by Wendy Shortland of Sydney, Australia.

The above image is my take on challenge #1. It is the apartment building I live in.  I will be posting the challenges two days behind to give me time to draw, scan, and post.

This was a quick sketch in pen & ink, with watercolour overlay. It was sketched in the hand made sketchbook that I won (see previous post).

Here is the FB document that Wendy Shortland put up the explains the group and challenges:


EDiM (Every Day in May) By Wendy Shortland

Join us in drawing every day in May.

Start on 1st May and draw one item on the list every day in May until you finish on 31st May with number 31.

Don’t stress if you miss a day - just go on to the next one and catch up if you can. It is ok to combine a few, or to jump around if it suits...but the ideal is to do the right one on the day like everyone else....but most importantly have fun!

To join our online Flickr group, upload your own sketches and see everyone else’s sketches, go to this address on and - Join this Group

YES! The URL still says 2011, but the group name has changed to encompass 2012 and future years.

For further information, contact

  1.  Draw or paint a landscape
  2.  Draw something that represents a new year’s resolution of yours
  3.  Free choice. Draw anything you like.
  4.  Draw a present you have received. Why is it special?
  5.  Draw something sweet
  6.  Draw a holiday card
  7.  Draw a spoon and journal a little about it
  8.  Draw an egg carton, with or without eggs in it.
  9.  Draw a brown paper bag
  10.  Draw an apple
  11.  Draw something with wings
  12.  Draw a button or buttons
  13.  Draw something breezy - something that blows in the wind - a flag, leaves, your choice.
  14.  Draw your lunch and journal about it.
  15.  Draw a traffic sign (stop, yield, crossing, directional, arrows, etc.)
  16.  Draw a store in your neighbourhood.
  17.  Draw some bread and write about it if you like.
  18.  Draw a nearby body of water - ocean, lake, pond, river
  19.  Draw your artspace - drawing board, desk, studio, table - draw where you create.
  20.  Draw a streetlight
  21.  Draw something that makes you happy, and write about it, too.
  22.  Draw an ear, or two or three or more
  23.  Draw a souvenir of a place you’ve been. Write a bit about your memories of the place.
  24.  Draw something cold or cool. Chill, people.
  25.  Draw some flowers (or colourful showy foliage if you’re in the S. hemisphere and don’t find flowers in bloom.)
  26.  Draw the ingredients and/or process of a favourite recipe - and journal about it.
  27.  Draw some clouds and write about them
  28.  Draw a mailbox and write about the most important piece of real world mail you’ve ever received(not email - snail mail.)
  29.  Draw somewhere new. Go somewhere new to you and draw what you find. Write about it, too.
  30.  Draw something representing your favourite sport.
  31.  Draw what you’re afraid of. Write about it, if you dare.

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

My 50th Birthday

This year I celebrated my 50th birthday (on February 19). The evening before we had a small celebration at Ben Thanh Restaurant with 28 of my friends and family. It was lovely!

Above is a quick sketch of the guests.

The first sketch is of me and Anthony, my husband.

The next sketch is:

Page 1 top to bottom, left to right:

  • Liduina Bettencourt, my mother
  • Joe Bettencourt, my brother
  • Brenda Bettencourt, Joe's wife
  • Krystina Bettencourt, my niece (Mylo's daughter)
  • Michael Wayner-Bettencourt, Krystina's son
  • Makaela Wayner-Bettencourt, Krystina's daughter
  • David Bettencourt, Joe's son
  • Jessie Mizzie, David's date
  • Alexia Covacich, dear friend
  • Linda Wilkinson, dear friend
  • Kurt Howlett, dear friend
  • Bob Brosius, Kurt's husband

Page 2 top to bottom, left to right:

  • Sherry Power, dear friend
  • Jeff Power, Sherry's huband
  • Linda Zimmerman, dear friend
  • Ken Voege, Rebekah's husband
  • Rebekah Voege, dear friend
  • Walter Zimmerman, Linda's huband
  • Lottie Scott, dear friend
  • Clifford, Rosita's husband
  • Rosita Marques, dear friend
  • Barb Ward, dear friend
  • Joyce Torby, dear friend
  • David Torby, Joyce's huband
  • Dave Ward, Barb's husband
  • Paul Estabrook, Dianne's huband
  • Dianne Estabrook, dear friend