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Ria Sharon

Practice Makes Better.



Fall Magic

Day 1


Hi, everyone! So delighted to begin this adventure with you. I thought we'd start the class with an online equivalent of introductions... I'll go first:

My name is Ria. I have two kids and a rescue dog. I work in higher ed in addition to being a freelance illustrator and artist. Things that light me up (other than drawing and painting things): sleeping in, yummy food, oceans, mountains, puppies, and epic stories.

For this class, my intention is to savor and enjoy making art together!

How about you?



Um... so I totally forgot to take a picture of my Day 2 page before I kept working on it but this image captures it, I think.

How did it feel? I had the normal momentary "Eek!" feeling... you know that feeling? But then dove in. Birds are kind of my "thing" but because I picked a toothbrush, it meant I couldn't do what I usually do. I was surprised at how actually bird-like the marks could be and how these marks captured the energy of birds in flight better than a more realistic rendering. FUN!

Day 3

I decided to work on the same spread for day 3's prompt. The most challenging part was deciding the song lyrics on the spot. Sting is a perennial favorite! ;P


Since then, I keep going back to these two pages. I'm adding a picture of what it looks like now (Sept. 22) to illustrate the point that you can do this too -- you can keep going back and layering your work. A lot of times, what I do in one session will inspire another idea and the thing continues to morph.

I'm continuing to feed my current bird obsession!


Day 4

You saw the beginnings of this piece in the Day 1 video and worked on it in the kitchen on Day 4.

When I work in a different environment, I know better than to obsess over anything because at any moment, someone could walk by or say something to me. Sometimes, that's exactly what I need and what the project needs! :D   


Day 5

... for me, is 10 more days of sketching with you so 15 days total. See? I can do math! ;P


I painted the strawberry in the day 3 video (I think). I decided to keep going with the berry collection. In case you're wondering, the green one is a porcelein berry. I might use these as little spot illustrations for a pattern.

Day 6

I've been meaning to go back and work on the sketch you all saw in the Class Overview. Finally got around to it this weekend! Still a work in progress but I thought it might be fun to share as it evolves:


Day 7

Flowers! I decided to make some pencil sketches that I could keep going back to again and again. Technically, they are not in my sketchbook but I'm still made something so... ;P


Day 8

This spread continues to evolve. For the first time, I'm kinda liking acrylics! I'm contemplating GREEN for the bird. You may be able to tell from my notes that I haven't been making deliberate choices about much of anything, just doing the assignments same as you but only eight days into this project and can you see any visible patterns emerging?

It's kinda funny to reflect and observe as if it's not me -- and note how I keep picking the same colors, regardless of medium and/style! Ha! Rolling with it.... :D


Day 9

I took my daughter to her voice lesson last Saturday. She always starts the session with vocal exercises and this got me thinking about the importance of fundamentals. So I decided to spend my art session doing some fundamentals too. I just bought myself a treat -- a new set of Koi watercolors and made myself a color key. Nothing fancy but it was kinda meditative to paint these gradients and see what range there was in this set, straight out of the box (literally).

Speaking of range, I'm really enjoying seeing you push yourselves in range, style, subject and so happy to see you having fun with your tools. I'm hoping to carve out some time to post a roundup this weekend. So if you haven't had a chance and want to, share your projects and inspire your classmates! :D


Day 10

Flowers! I created this color palette last month and I've been wanting to use it for some flowers that I can use for a floral pattern.


Day 11

I found these tiny reddish pink flowers when I walked the dog this morning. From a distance, the whole hill was red. I had the funniest inner dialogue with myself as I painted them. The first, as usual, was... What if I can't do it?! Then, Whew! I did it! Then... What if I can't do it again?! Then... Oh look, I did it again!

This is how it is, friends!

As you know, I'm totally solid with what I can do in 5 minutes. These little guys don't take that long. So I decided to explore the other edge of that—can I keep going on the same little sketch for 20 minutes... continue when my "resistance" is telling me to stop. That sounds like this, You better stop now before you mess it up! ;P

What I did in 20 minutes...


Day 12

As I was gathering a few leaves for the purpose of sketching them, it struck me that I wouldn't have necessarily noticed these leaves, and certainly not this closely without my sketchbook practice. I've been appreciating this so much lately, the way my art practice forces me to notice my surroundings, my reality, my life.

What did you notice with your assignment today?


Day 13

Didn't have time for my regular early morning sketch so I squeezed these Jellies in over my lunch break using my portable Koi watercolor set. #noexcuses


Day 14

I'd forgotten how much I loved working with watercolor this way... I think I'm going to make more abstract paintings soon!



Nov. 1 :: FALL


Fall makes me think of fall semesters... kids loading up backpacks with new books and tromping off to school! The excitement of new beginnings and new possibilities.

I'm excited to spend these next 30 days exploring a new medium for me: ink. And a new surface: hot press paper... a
nd I'm excited to be exploring alongside everyone doing the Nov 30day sketch-a-day challenge! <3

Nov. 2 :: Gourds


Nov. 3 :: Colors


Nov. 4 :: Hay


Nov. 5 :: Feast


Day 6 :: Bonfire


Day 7 :: Home


Day 8 ::  Gather


Day 10 :: Chill 


Day 11 :: Tea


Day 12: Apples


Day 13: Leaves


Day 14 :: Acorn


Day 15 :: Socks


Day 16 :: Boots


Day 17 :: Family


Day 18 :: Park


Day 19 :: Spice


Day 20 :: Pie


Day 21 :: Cabin


Day 22 :: Scarf


Day 23 :: Still


Day 24 :: Snuggle


Day 25 :: Hat


Day 26 :: Warmth



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