I want to get better at sketching from life, instead of from "still" life or from a photo, so I'm taking my sketchbook along and trying to remember to get it out and use it! I'm not so great at the spontaneous sketch yet--the likenesses are less than satisfactory--but hopeful that practice will make perfect.
My cousin Kirsten and I spent an evening together a few weeks ago, up on the hill behind her house on a little deck from which you can see the entire San Fernando Valley laid out before your eyes. We ate our dinner and chatted, accompanied by her dog, Bucky, who had been ill for a long time, and I made some sketches--one of Kirsten finishing up her sudoku puzzle (which is why it looks like her eyes are closed, because the puzzle is in her lap), and one of Bucky's head, looking down on him from above as he lay at my feet.
It turned out that this was my last chance to see Bucky before he passed. I plan to make a painting for Kirsten from a photograph, but I thought I would put up these two sketches in the meantime and say, Goodbye, Buckster, you were a loving, good and faithful companion to your people, and they (and we) all miss you. You live on in our hearts.