Misty Mountains and A Portrait Study: Daily Art Practice



Couch Talk


I can’t tell you how many times I have reached for my camera the last few mornings. We have had the most beautiful sunrises over the mountains, complete with low hanging mist (my favorite). This morning was rainy and dark. And it was gorgeous! While I was shopping, I shot this photo but I edited out the parking lot full of cars. Have you ever heard the song, Misty Mountains, from the movie The Hobbit? This is one of my favorite songs. 

Artist Date


Recently, I had a stay-at-home Artist Date. I have been itching to try my hand at sketching famous paintings for the longest time. For inspiration, I watched a few videos from the National Portrait Gallery in Australia (YouTube). I paused the video and created timed sketches, 5 minutes each for the first page. The first sketch was the museum’s director, hosting the video. The second was from a painting of Captain James Cook. These were sketched using a rainbow pencil.



These paintings are of sculptures, made with watercolor, 10 minutes and 2 minutes. I am new to timed sketching and I will admit is out of my comfort zone. I don’t usually like what I make in that short period of time but I am working on banishing the perfectionistic attitude. I have recently read that a lot of artists do these studies to train their eye and hand to capture the details that matter, quickly. I am eager to see my skills improve through this practice.



This last layout is a study of the of Isabella Garner portrait from the Isabella Steward Garner Musuem in Boston. I spent 60 minutes for both paintings. They were both made in watercolor but the second uses ink and a little liberty with the composition. I recently completed a Domestika class with Felix Scheinberger. I came away inspired and excited to experiment with different styles. The second take on this portrait was inspired by his class.





I first heard about the Isabella Stewart Gardner Musuem when my daughter checked out the book,  What Isabella Wanted Isabella Stewart Gardner Builds a Museum ,from the library. It was such a great story of how the museum was created.  If I ever visit Boston, it is on my list to visit. Have any of you ever been here?


Tea Day



I am joining the Tea Day ladies, hosted by Elizabeth and Bluebeard. My Tea today is  Good Earth Teas Organic Sweet and Spicy Caffeine Free Herbal . I don’t drink this tea often because it is black tea but when I do have it, it’s a treat. If you like spicy, you will love this tea.

What is your favorite museum to visit? I would love to look it up online for inspiration.

Happy Tea Day,


8 thoughts on “Misty Mountains and A Portrait Study: Daily Art Practice”

  • These drawings are a lot of fun Kate.. You always get such great drawing ideas. How spicy is your tea? I’ve never tried spicy tea. And your foggy morning is a beautiful photo.. There’s something really atmospheric about the fog and hills, isn’t it? Have a super T day and week ahead Kate. hugs-Erika

  • I’ve visited the Isabella Stewart Gardner museum in Boston. Tragically, some of the best paintings in the collection were stolen a number of years ago, and never a trace of them has been found. She definitely knew how to spend her large fortune in a classy way!

    It’s sad to hear that you don’t celebrate Halloween. It’s such a fun holiday for all the kids AND grownups in our neighborhood, with a school parade, a “pumpkin wall” with hundreds of pumpkins, and amazing decorations, as well as treats for the kids in the evening. It really brings people together in a great community celebration.

    best, mae at maefood.blogspot.com

  • You got a lovely photo of your area. Nice quick drawings, too. I have been to the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum. There is so much to see, but all I was interested in were the European and American paintings and the courtyard.. Your tea sounds interesting and spicy. Thanks for sharing your art and your tea with us for T this week, Kate..

    thought provoking mural

  • Your sketches remind me of when I was studying 🙂
    We had 60-90 seconds for each one (1-3 nude people to sketch with items, like boxes etc. A wonderful excuse to say in architecture you have to be fast in seeing how much room a person needs).

    I cannot wait to visit the museum in Perth. They started a new building in 2019 and I am sure it will be finished by now!
    See… thanks to COVID we had to wait that long…
    That tea looks yummy! Have a happy one today.

  • Your quick studies are very interesting. I’ve never timed myself when creating art. I always have the sense that it is taking me longer than I had anticipated though. I should try setting my stopwatch and see how it goes. Thanks for the idea.

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