Posts Tagged ‘Disneyland’



January 28, 2013

With that Lincoln movie up for an Oscar this year, it got me thinking about all the sketches I’ve done of Lincoln over the years. He was kind of an odd looking guy with that long gaunt face and weird beard, which makes him very fun to draw.  Lucky for me, there seems to be more statues of him around than anyone else in history. So whenever I come across one, I sketch it.

bust of lincoln

Disneyland art gallery, 2011

Rushmore 2

Mount Rushmore, 2003



Abe Mem 1

Lincoln Memorial, 2009


Abe Mem 2

Lincoln Memorial, 2nd attempt, 2009

Mount Rushmore, 2012

abe statue

A park in Portland, 2004

Great Moments with Abe

Great Moments with Mr. Lincoln, Disneyland, 2012 (I did this one in the dark)


Now in Technicolor!

May 24, 2012

My tentative journey into the world of color continues…

I recently had the pleasure of working with Corel Painter and I never want to go back. Here are a couple of sketches that I scanned and painted using Corel. I tried to give myself a 10 minute time limit in an attempt to create some sort of fresh, dashed off look, but then I got into what I was doing and lost track of time. Each of these probably took about 30 minutes to paint. Having the option to erase mistakes and undo regrets is at once the benefit and the curse of digital painting.

The above drawing is of my husband and my brother at Disneyland. I talked a lot about this and other drawings from that trip in a previous post. In this drawing I committed the sin of mixing moments, resulting in a very unenthusiastic looking Richard and Tanner among a crowd of happy theme park goers. The truth is I actually did the drawing of R&T after a long first day as they were sitting on a bench outside the park waiting for the shuttle to take us back to the hotel. The crowd of people in the middle ground was added here and there as we waited in various lines the next day.

This fountain was in the courtyard of the Sheraton Anaheim where we stayed during our trip. I must have drawn this in the morning on the day that we checked out, as I can’t imagine I would have been willing to sacrifice much Disneyland time on a drawing back at the hotel. I do remember being quite happy with it when I was done, and it was nice to rediscover it again and freshen it up with some fake paint.


Lightbulb Moments – Disneyland 2008

June 19, 2011

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In October of 2008 I went to Disneyland with my mom, brother, and husband to celebrate my mom’s 50th birthday. The night before we went I attended a lecture at the library that was given by local artist Lew Lehrman. Like me, he also brings a sketchbook everywhere, but unlike me he is REALLY good.

His sketchbooks were filled with amazing watercolor paintings of things he’d seen on his travels. I was amazed at how he was able to complete so many finished works while on the go. He shared some great secrets on how to set up a portable studio. The thing that stuck with me the most was that he does his initial sketches in pencil, then later fills in the details with pen and watercolor wash. Some of the paintings he even finished later on in the hotel room or on the plane back home.

That blew my mind. Prior to then I had always subconsciously considered it cheating to use pencil or finish sketches at a later time. But if a “real” artist like Lew Lehrman could do it, then so could I.

The next day we went to Disneyland and I began employing the new tricks that I’d learned from Lew. Instead of trying to capture the scenes before me, which is impossible when you are constantly on the move, I created new scenes by sketching different elements at different times. I’d draw my family as we waited in one line, and then add a background later while we were at lunch. I created crowd scenes by sketching random people in different places and putting them together on one page. I added details and shading later as we rode the shuttle or waited at restaurants. Some drawings I completed at night in the hotel and used the photos on my digital camera for reference.

I buzzed with creative excitement the entire time. The resulting sketches were lightbulb drawings–a term I use to describe the products of those moments when I become enlightened by an idea and reach a new skill level. Lightbulb drawings themselves are not always the greatest works of art, but they mean a lot to me because of what they represent.

Those drawings–composed of different elements from different places and times–captured the spirit of the trip a million times more than any completely onsite sketch (or even photo) could have.

That trip and those drawings reignited my passion for sketching, and I have since gone on to enjoy similar creative highs on other vacations, and deepened my exploration of the ideas that first opened up to me on that trip. None of that would have happened had I not attended Lew Lehrman’s lecture.

By the way, Lew does this really cool thing where people send him pictures of their house and he paints them as if they were haunted houses. Check it out: