Sandi Hester

Paintings by Sandi Hester

Category: Sketch book

VIDEO! Sketchbook Ideas

I did a video on a sketchbook I did for a friend as a gift for Christmas – check it out to get some good ideas for a sketchbook, to see a little bit of what is in this sketchbook and to see my totally messy studio (it’s that time of year that the studio stays looking like it exploded). Hope you enjoy it and expect to see more videos coming – I plan to do more videos in the upcoming year and hope it will be a more common feature on my blog, youtube channel, and instagram (@sandigrady1). Come find me on those other avenues and subscribe to get updates of new things.



Sandi Hester, oil

Oil painting from previous sketch.

Self Portraits


Sandi Hester, self portrait

Sandi Hester, oil

Sandi Hester, oil, self portrait

Sandi Hester, oil, self portrait

Sandi Hester, oil, self portrait

Here are a couple of self portraits. All through history artists have used themselves as subjects to paint or draw – sometimes to portray or “say” something about themselves, but I think often it’s just because it’s a┬áfree and available model – I know that’s the case for me. In the past I’ve dressed-up in something I’d like to paint and had Grady take pictures of me around the yard or sitting at a table reading or drinking tea – just so I would have a figure to paint under the lighting I liked. So, it has nothing to do with being interested in self – but having an available subject :)! Hope you enjoy these! The first one is a sketch I did in less than 5 minutes today!

Oil Pastel Sketches

Sandi Hester, oil pastel

Sandi Hester, oil pastel

Sandi Hester, oil pastel

REALLY enjoying these oil pastels to sketch with!

Little Artists in My Studio

Hannah and Macy are two of my nieces and we have done many art lessons over the years and they continue to amaze me. Today Hannah (oldest) had her first oil painting lesson and Macy worked in watercolor and gouache. We started the day off by going to a local nursery to pick out flowers for our still life (they found out that that’s a hard decision to make!). We covered a ton today – value, color, composition, color mixing, texture, and lots more. They killed it! We were ALL exhausted! Hannah kept taking breaks and saying she needed to stretch ­čÖé – that’s me all day long (stretching and working out sore muscles from standing and painting – you didn’t know it was so taxing did you?!).

Hannah's oil

Hannah’s oil

Macy's watercolor

Macy’s watercolor

Here’s a quick video of them in action – there was serious concentration going on in this studio today – no playing around – they were serious artists today. We did take Cooper (my dog) breaks though – always nice to have a studio dog to love on when you need to take a break from painting!

Video Studio Tour and Recent Paintings!

Soooooo, as usual, it’s been a while since I last posted – sorry about that! BUT I hope to make up for that with a VIDEO!!! Actually two videos – another one will be coming soon. This first video I did a short studio tour and in it you get to see some of my more recent paintings – like a lot of the one’s I haven’t been posting this past year – oops.

The next video will be about the paints (brands and colors) I use and some tips about color mixing and other helpful tips. I also share about a new painting medium I’ve been using lately and loving! Hope you enjoy it and check back soon for my other video. AND just in case any of you are worried that I may have just stuck my finger in a electrical socket – I did not ­čÖé – it’s just the product of how my scary hair looked that day and that I forgot to look at it before I did the video – another oops! Or more like – eek! If for some reason the video isn’t working you can also click on this link to get to my youtube channel and find the video there.

My Blogging Has Gone To The Birds

Hey, it’s me – I’m back – sort of! I kind of forgot how to do this. I just sat and stared at the screen trying to remember what I even click on to start a new post. As most of you know, we’ve been building a house and it has totally consumed all my time and creative energy. We are finally in our new house and LOVING it out in the country. I have been sketching here and there over the last year or so. For some reason I’ve been sketching birds a lot. So over the next couple of posts I’ll share some of my bird sketches. I would like your feed back on how I post my sketches. Would you rather see the whole page in its sketchbook form like this…

Or cleaned up and cropped like this…

Here’s another example of sketch book view or cropped. The last picture is cropped because the bird’s body was wonky but I liked his little face. Maybe next time I’ll write something worth reading. Sorry – I’m a little rusty.

Handmade Journals

Well, it’s been quite a while since I posted last and I’ve been getting lots of e-mails from you guys asking (nicely) what’s up :)! I’ll make this post loaded with lots of art and pictures since I have some┬ámaking up to do. I haven’t been painting much lately because the house (we are building) is taking up all my creative time and energy. I may do some posts here soon to let you know a little bit about our house. But this post is about handmade journals. Click on any of the journals to see them larger.

One day I was drawn to the beautiful orange color of my prescription bottle and I decided to paint it. I had a small 5x3 plain journal that I thought I'd make into a medical journal ÔÇô we donÔÇÖt really use it but it sure is cute!

I LOVE journaling┬á– I keep prayer journals, sketchbook journals, travel journals, and any other kind of journal that comes to my mind. Because journals are expensive I like making my own sometimes. Here’s just a small sampling of some of the journals I’ve made since we’ve been renting (I’m sure I have more than this they are just packed up). I use ALL kinds of methods when making my journals. Sometimes I use plain journals I’ve bought at a store and add my own art work to the front.

Others I use pages torn out of old books I find at a local used bookstore and apply them to the front and back covers. I use all kinds of books – children books, animal books, dictionaries – anything that draws my attention and is cheap! I just apply the torn pages with glue – sometimes I add tape over the picture because it has a look about it I like.

Front cover of a journal I hand bound with hand torn watercolor paper.

I used the opposite page in the book and it created a fun front and BACK cover.

This is a color chart journal I hand bound with hand torn watercolor paper. I covered cardboard I cut from a box lying around with two pictures from a children’s book. The pictures made fun front and back covers. I just punched holes in the cardboard covers and the paper and tied with ribbon – very easy!
This next one I took pictures from an old bird book and dictionary. I layered the pages and then cut out letters from another used book to form the scripture for the cover. I wrapped the map around the cover so it would show on the inside cover. There were lots of pages I wanted to use from the bird book so I decorated the front and back cover (inside and out).

This cute kitty cat journal I made from one of my own paintings. I really liked the painting and tried a new┬áprinter to make some prints┬ábut they weren’t up to my standard. I couldn’t use the prints to sell but I sure didn’t want to throw them away – so this is one way that I reused a “throw away” print. I just cut it out and glued and taped it on a plain journal. You could do this with kid’s art, junk mail, or just about anything!

Here’s a small one (about 5×5) I made (again I think I just used cardboard as the base for the cover) and I covered it with an envelope from a friend in Africa. I loved the color and the stamp. I used scrap pieces of ribbon to connect the front and back cover and a simple rubber band to keep the book closed. For the back I used some black and white photo copies of some writing and bird. I have a box I keep in my art room where I throw any kinds of scraps, stickers, paper, envelopes, pictures, etc for use on things like this. I am constantly digging through that box using scraps for things.

This last one is´╗┐´╗┐´╗┐´╗┐ one of my favorites and it was very simple! The cats and birdie were cut out of the same children’s book as the rooster above and glued onto the journal. I painted the little bird-cage around the birdie because I thought he’d look cute just hanging above the cats.

Here’s just a little look ´╗┐into another area of my art work and life of journaling. ´╗┐Wow – that may have been my longest post ever and it took me FOREVER because I’m quite rusty on posting. Hope to be back on here soon to share some of what we’re doing with our new house!

The Sketchbook Project 2011

The Sketchbook Project: 2011

I came across this really neat sketchbook project that I’m really excited about. Whether your a professional artist or a stay at home mom you can participate. When you sign-up they send you a sketchbook to fill and you send it back sometime in December (I think) and it goes on tour across the country and then will be displayed in the Brooklyn Art Library, where it will be barcoded and available for the public to view. If you are interested just click on the image above and it will take you to the site for more info. SERIOUSLY – you don’t have to be an artist – you can fill it with whatever – you could even get your kids involved. I think it’s going to be a fun project.

When you sign up you pick a theme – I picked “Inside/Outside” because I think that captures on a large scale what I paint – things found inside and outside. When I received my sketchbook in the mail it was dented a little on the front cover which I was thrilled about – it helped me get over “messing” the cover up – it was already messed up! The rules say you can do whatever you want to the book as long as it stays the same dimensions. So since I paint with watercolor I unbound the book and rebound it with watercolor paper. I included some of the original paper to make notes on and describe the painting.

The inside of my rebound book

I’m going to use it as a SKETCHBOOK which means there won’t be finished perfected pictures – it’s kind of like a doodle book :). I haven’t painted a single sketch in it yet – I’ve only finished the cover – but I hope to start painting in it today. I’ll do posts along the way and record what I’ve been painting in it. You can also go here to see my sketches along the way.

I thought I’d do something I’m comfortable painting for the cover – a bird. I’m not sure why I’m comfortable painting birds – I just am. I love painting them! Because I painted the cover in watercolor I’ll have to seal it with wax so moist hands don’t disturb the paint. I also got some great new letter thingies – I’m not sure what they’re called but they are made to punch/press letters into leather (my brain has stopped working – I can’t think of what this process is called – no funny comments about how my brain is never working :)). I used them to press (or whatever you call it) my website into the cover. I like how it turned out and have used this method in my sketchbooks to record the date – I like how it’s kind of subtle. Ok, enough, here’s my cover – click on it to see it larger…

Let me know if you are signed up for this project or plan on signing up for it. Here’s another artist who’s participating – I really like her blog (scroll down to her 4th post to see her Sketchbook Project).

Mr. Paul

Ask the Lord for rain in the springtime; it is the Lord who makes the storm clouds. He gives showers of rain to men, and plants of the field to everyone. Zechariah 10:1

Mr. Paul is our next door neighbor and the cutest old man you’ve ever seen (he probably┬áwon’t like me calling him old – sorry about that Mr. Paul – how about “older” – but I would love for you to be my grandfather!). He’s as sweet as he is cute. Cooper (our new pup) is quite taken with him too. EVERY time we go out to use the bathroom Cooper is straining his little head to see if Mr. Paul is working out in his garden.

These first two paintings are of harvests from Mr. Paul’s garden that he has shared with us. I’m always so excited to get something from him because not only is it yummy but it’s always something fun to paint. Like those squash above – they were the prettiest yellow and green striped squash I’d ever seen. He asked me to paint them for him. He’ll probably read this post before I have a chance to give him the painting (I still need to get it matted for him). I love how it turned out – it just speaks summer.

I’ve also painted many other things associated with Mr. Paul. Above is his house and blue truck that┬áis always parked by his house. I’ve painting the field that’s behind both our homes (below).

And this last one was really fun to paint – his garden and shed. I actually moved some of these things around – his shed isn’t actually that close to his garden but I used my artist license and put it there :).

One of these days I’m going to have to paint Mr. Paul because he wears this great old straw looking hat when he’s out working in the garden that I just love. Mr. Paul, thanks for all the inspiration – you’ve given me LOTS to paint! Don’t forget you can click on any of the pictures to see them larger.