How I’d Like To Paint All the Time

September 28, 2016


Left: 9 x 12 inch mixed media sketch of a rooster on 9 x 12 inch watercolor board (Canson). Sketch made with extra bold Uni Posca Pen (orange), then Sakura Pigma Fine Brush Pen (solid felt tip). Next painted with gouache, Montana Acrylic marker (background which was then painted over with darker blue gouache), white gouache, and Sharpie waterbased paint pen. The gouache was applied with a two small flats (each less than 1/2 inch wide, and a fine point round 00). There is some smudging of the paint with my fingers (throat) and some restating of the black ink lines as I try to decide what most appeals to me—disappearing lines or visible lines.

Today’s post is also Minnesota State Fair related. After sketching for about 28 hours over the course of 4 visits to the Fair, I wasn’t ready to give up sketching roosters. And because I’d been working with physical limitations at the Fair I wanted to play more than I’d been able to do at the Fair.

So one day after the Fair ended I turned on some of my chicken video that I made at this year’s Fair and sketched the image in this post.

I used a 9 x 12 inch watercolor board like those I’d taken on my first Fair trip this year. But the rest of the chicken is so totally mixed media that he got over done, but in a fun way for me. I had fun making every mark.

This approach isn’t something I can do at the Fair because it would involve standing for 30 minutes in one crowded spot with people bumping into me as I shuffled 10 different tools through my hands. 

It seems inevitable that at some point in my life I’ll have to raise chickens.


After my experiences this year I am actively looking for a supplies assistant (i.e., carrier) for the 2017 Minnesota State Fair. I'll post more about that at a later date, but if you know someone local who has the stamina to carry about 30 extra pounds for 6 hours and won't be bored out of his/her skull standing silently next to me while I sketch, let me know.

This will be a paid position, and include a small stipend for food. When the sketching is done for the day the assistant will of course be free to go and explore the Fair alone. I plan to go four times next year and hope to find four helpers. I'm thinking there might be some college kids who think it's an easy way to make some cash and enjoy the Fair—but I realize that's pretty naive as they will all probably have real jobs for the whole summer. I can hope. Otherwise I am so screwed!

  1. Reply

    Re: the search for an assistant/carrier.. our agility club always gets the young 20 somethings from the Citadel (who are working off demerits) the young men are so strong and even the old ladies enjoyed watching them lift the heavy equipment… sigh. The one young woman that was sent to us, was also amazingly strong. So you might want to check if there’s a military school in your area that might approve helping you as ‘public service’ 🙂 A nine year old boy with a radio flyer wagon might also be just the ticket.

    • Paul
    • September 28, 2016

    I’m no spring chicken (rooster actually) but if I lived closer I would VOLUNTEER to be your supplies carrier/assistant, just for the priviledge of being able to look over your shoulder. Much could be learned by quietly watching you work. Although it would be hard for me not to ask you questions! :o).

  2. Reply

    The results are stunning and I’m starting to love mixed media too. Roosters are amazing creatures and I like the expression you caught, the angles, and (of coarse) the bold colors. Your work has inspired me to get gouache paints and I regret that it took me so long to try them. Thank you!

    I hope you find an assistant and I’m looking forward to seeing your work from the State Fair. I live on the other side of the world, so I can’t do much good.

  3. Reply

    Thanks Paul. You’re too funny.

  4. Reply

    Lili, I’m so glad that you are using gouache. I sometimes go away from it for a couple weeks because I have to do something else and end up using watercolor. Then when I come back to gouache it’s like falling in love all over again! It makes me happy when I hear that I’ve pushed others into gouache!!!

    FIngers crossed I’ll find some helpers to carry gear for next year.

    I got some good images this year. I haven’t been able to finish scanning them, but they should be up soon.

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