Monday, September 27, 2010

Saturday Sag Harbor

If you are interested, there will be an additional outing in Sag Harbor area to sketch at the beach for some nice views. Afterwards, we can go into town and have lunch. After lunch, folks can head on to another location or end the day early.
We will be canceling for inclement weather. Please contact Susan for more information at if you would like to attend.

Sunday, September 26, 2010

Wednesday sketch Evening September 29th at 5:30PM - BYOC

Wednesday sketch evening will be on Swan Lake, on the Lake Drive side down near the clubhouse building. Swan Lake is across the Street from Swan Cleaners...It's just off of Main Street, the Robo Car Wash and the CVS are on either side of it. Just go down Lake Drive and park near the clubhouse.
In the evening, the sun setting over the water makes for some nice sketching and if we are lucky, we'll have some early fall foliage.

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Saturday Sketching

Anyone interested in sketching Saturday, please contact Susan @ by 10 AM tomorrow morning. She is looking to meet around 9 - 9:30 on Saturday, at a place to be determined.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Some more pix from our outings

We really get some nice sketches and you can see week from week how much people improve their skills.

Monday, September 20, 2010

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Wednesday sketch Evening September 22nd at 6:00PM - BYOC

Found a great sketching spot...The Post-Morrow Foundation, 16 Bay Road, Brookhaven. It's not a private residence, it's owned by the Foundation and the town. It's on Beaver Dam Creek and it has trails. Great sketching spot. It's supposed to be mild, but since it's September and on the water, bring a jacket or sweater and bug repellent.

You take South Country Road to Beaver Dam Road (heading south toward the water). Drive approximately one quarter of a mile to Bay Road and make a right onto Bay Road. 16 Bay Road is on the right. If the chain is up, we can move it to park, just put it back when we are done.

It's also a great spot for a Saturday or Sunday gathering.

Feel free to go early if you want to get a jump on the light.

Saturday, September 18, 2010

Another Outing on Sunday Sept 19th

There will be another outing on Sunday, same place on West Ave in Patchogue around 9 - 9:30. Please contact Susan at if you would like to attend.

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Have flimsy sketchbook paper? Here's some tips to beef them up

I have the Art House CoOp sketchbook and they use the Moleskine Cahier, which is a thin 80 something page, softcover sketchbook. One of the problems I have run into using ink or watercolors on this thin paper is bleeding through the page. You can't do back to back watercolor/ink because it can have disastrous results.

There are several options you can do to give the pages some beef. You can gesso the other side and do some creative things with liquid acrylics, gel pens, markers and collage. Don't use TUBE acrylics, I found out the hard way that it never dries to a hard shell and you wind up with sticky pages. You can pastel over gesso, but you cannot use watercolor over gesso. You can try it to see what happens with watercolor, it lifts off the page.

If you want to beef up the back of the page for more watercolor and ink, Golden's has a product called Absorbent Ground which is perfect. I sponge it on the page, let it dry and treat it like any other sketchbook page.

You can also collage over the entire page then use a mixture of paints over top, wiping off a bit with a paper towel to add texture. You can also paint over top and spritz with water and dab with a paper towel for some interesting affects and sketch over top of these creations. If you use acrylic, some media won't work over top, it helps to experiment.

You could also glue watercolor paper or any other type of paper over the back of the flimsy page to cover up the back side of wet work. You can glue receipts, magazine clippings and anything else to add as a base, be creative and use it to enhance your sketch.

Remember, sketchbooks are tools for creativity, working out ideas, journaling trips/vacations/daily recordings of life, projects and for just having fun and letting loose.

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

What to look for when purchasing quality art materials

A question came to me today about the quality of a store brand of artist materials. Though I have never used that brand and I believe they are new on the market, I offer this advice when buying artist materials:

ASTM standards: Make sure the paint you are buying has a ASTM rating on the label. Most quality brands like Sennelier, Schmincke, Weber, Daniel Smith and Golden's to name a few, have that label on their paint. Some, like Daniel Smith, have colors made from minerals, like their Primatek paints, that are not ASTM rated or tested, but do their own lightfast testing and give you their results. The info on the label needs to contain that ASTM rating and a lightfast rating so you know how well that color will stand up to fading over time. Pastels are one medium that do NOT have an ASTM rating because there are NO ASTM standards as of yet for pastels, though they are trying to establish one.

If there is no ASTM rating on a tube of paint or a pastel you are using, you can run your own tests just by painting swatches on a surface you would normally use. Cover one side of the swatch so light cannot penetrate and leave the other side uncovered. Leave it in an area that gets direct sun and leave it sit for several months. Go back to it at a later time and uncover the covered side to see if there was any fading of the uncovered side. There are websites that go into this test in detail and much more scientific, such as, but this is a pretty basic way to test the lightfastness yourself.

Stay away from student grade paints that aren't as heavily loaded with pigment (to keep the costs down) or even the correct pigment, some, to cut costs, will say something like "Cobalt Blue Hue." If you see the word "hue," read the label and read up on your pigments. The Cobalt Blue pigment is PB 28. It's usually an expensive tube of paint so if it's cheap, says HUE and is not PB 28, then you aren't getting the real McCoy. This also goes for mixes, colors like Sap Green are made with different mixes of pigments, depending on the brand. So if you like one specific brand of Sap Green, check the label first on another brand because you might not get the color you are looking for in the other brand. Learn your basic pigments!

When you purchase artist materials, you want to create art that's going to last your lifetime and beyond, right? Read labels, use quality materials and read up on materials. One good source for materials is Michael Skalka's articles in The Artist Magazine and he also writes the "Grammar of Color," which is a goldmine of information about color and materials. Michael is the Conservation Administrator at the National Gallery and is the Chairman of the ASTM division of Artist Materials. You can search for his articles on the web.

Monday, September 13, 2010

This Wednesday - September 15 6PM

We're getting started a little early on the spooky theme. This week we are going to hang out at the Patchogue Cemetery at the corner of Main Street and Waverly Avenue. You can park at the new Patchogue YMCA or at Briarcliffe College. The front gate faces out onto Main Street for those that want to sketch the gate.
If you need directions, just pull up Briarcliffe College Campus in Patchogue and follow their directions. You can't miss the cemetery, it surrounds the YMCA.
Bring a chair, and some warm clothes, warm beverage, it's supposed to be chilly.

Saturday, September 11, 2010

From one of the extra curricular outings

I loved this one when Lynn showed it to me, a mature corn field is SO harvest time and since we are in September, I wanted to post this one that Lynn did last Sunday.

Thursday, September 9, 2010

EXTRA EXTRA Outing! This Saturday 9/11

It is a private residence on West Ave in Patchogue. BYOC. (for you newbies out there, BYOC is Bring Your Own Chair) There is a shade garden, some trellises, a sun garden with shrubs and stone work, views into the neighbors garden ,lots of buildings, and waterfront with boats and a boathouse. . There is no street parking in this neighborhood and you will be ticketed if you try to park on the street. There is parking in the FINS parking lot several blocks away.

If you would like to attend, email Susan at and she will give you the additional information and the address.

Pix from last Wednesday

Wow, last Wednesday? Yep, here's some from last Wednesday....Now that the usual summer activities are over and spending more time in the studio on the evenings because its too chilly and windy by the water, there's more time to enjoy these from last week!

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Pix from tonight's outing

We sketched on Main Street in Patchogue. It was windy and chilly and got colder as the evening wore on. I know my ears were freezing. I was shivering in shorts and a T shirt but that only adds to the adventures in's some from tonight. Taking pictures while you are shivering makes things interesting.....

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Some sketches from our outings

Here are some sketches from the extra outings that some members attended last month:

Monday, September 6, 2010

This Wednesday - September 8 6PM

Wow, September is here and that chill is in the air. This week, we are going to sketch on Main Street in Patchogue....we'll meet around the theater, but feel free to sketch anywhere on Main Street. If you want to get a coffee, there's a few places you can get it, also there is a new yogurt hangout on South Ocean, right near Terry St. Also on Terry Street is Ralph's if you are in the mood for an Italian Ice.

Saturday, September 4, 2010

Extra sketch outing this Sunday

There will be sketch outing at the Suffolk County Farm on Sunday. It is open from 9:00 Am-4:00 Pm.
Bring your coffee, lunch, whatever. There are restrooms and places to wash hands after petting animals. Bring your own chair and insect repellent as there are ticks in this area. There are lots of barns and outbuildings, farm animals of every sort, a garden, and a childrens garden with tons of birdhouses. Park in the lot and walk all the way to the end... it is a bit of a walk. Suggested gathering time is 9-9:30. The weather looks great. Here is the website if you need directions....