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Testing Papers for the 2018 Minnesota State Fair

Before I go to the Fair each year I test a bunch of papers to see which bound book (containing that paper) I want to take and work with, or which loose sheets I want to carry and work upon. On this sheet I also worked with a Niji Waterbrush. I knew that for some […]

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My Last Sketches at the 2009 Minnesota State Fair

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Above: Quick sketch of a sheep using a Pentel Pocket Brush Pen. 9 x 7 inches, Fabriano Artistico 300 lb. hot press watercolor paper. That’s my admission ticket which I stuck on at home. Click on the image to view an enlargement.

As I pack my 2009 Minnesota State Fair journal cards away, to await the construction of a portfolio, I have two more cards I’d like to share with you—more on "the taking a break to revive yourself theme," which I mentioned earlier when showing my break and after cards from my two other Fair visits. (First day break, second day break.)

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But Wait, There’s More…Some State Fair Oddities

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Above: Sketches of a Turken from my third trip to the 2009 Minnesota State Fair. This is a chicken (ken) bred to look like a Turkey (Tur), hence the very odd naked neck. The more you look at them the more appealing they become, in an odd way. They have a lovely body structure and a startling flame orange eye. Here are two quick sketches made as this one moved about in his crate (comb accurate on the left). 9 x 7 inches, Fabriano Artistico 300 lb. hot press watercolor paper; Faber-Castell Albrecht Dürer Watercolor pencils used dry. Click on the image to view an enlargement.

"You wanted cows; well here you are…"
An exhausted mother gesturing to the entirety of the cow barn as she entered with her 7-year-old son. (A note on the back of one of my cards as I was walking out of the cow barn.)

So the other day, I was catching up on my scanning and finally finished scanning the 12 cards I made on my final visit to the 2009 Minnesota State Fair. I woke up that morning with what I feared was the beginning of a cold. If I was right, there’d be no way I could make my Sunday trip. I decided to skip my workout, save my energy, and see what happened. I kept in mind that this was probably my last trip this year, so I was on a bit of a mission.

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Another Note on Taking a Mental Break to Get a Second Wind

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Above: sheep sketch; 9 x 7 inches, Fabriano Artistico 300 lb. Hot Press Watercolor paper; Pentel Pocket Brush Pen and Faber-Castell Albrecht Dürer Watercolor pencils (used dry). Click on the image to view an enlargement.

On Sept. 6 I wrote about taking a mental break when your energy is low by returning to a favorite drawing standby. I thought you would enjoy seeing another example of this from my 2009 Minnesota State Fair visits. At the Sketch Out on Sept. 1 I returned to the barns after a short Corn Dog break and decided I really wanted to see some rich black lines on the paper. (It’s all that white paper, it’s blinding!) I sketched the above ewe with the Pentel Pocket Brush Pen and then scribbled in some various blues for shading. I really like the shapes I was able to catch quickly. It freed my mind up from the small strokes I had been taking all day with pencils.

Zapped back by this little break, I walked into the Poultry section with a renewed mission to sketch one more bird before I called it quits for the day (which had been a long day—I'd walked in at 10:38 a.m.).

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Draw What Interests You: Sketching at the Minnesota State Fair

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Above: My fourth journal card from my first visit to the 2009 Minnesota State Fair. Here I caught a black-faced ewe sitting in a protective canvas jacket with a large green collar. (Faber-Castell Albrecht Dürer Watercolor Pencils used dry on a 9 x 7 inch card of Fabriano Artistico 300 lb. hot press watercolor paper. Notes were written with a 0.3 Staedtler Pigment Liner.) Click on the image to view an enlargement.

The eye and aspect of this ewe, sitting in her protective coat with its high green collar attracted my attention. First she was sitting still and "promised" to do so for a few minutes more. Second there was something lovely about her eye. Third there was the delightful shading of black on black across her face. And then there was the crispness of the collar against her shorn beige neck.

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