Hoist House

Moleskine Notebook Entry 11

Park Hills, Missouri 021217
Some journal sketching on Monday. The hoist house at Missouri Mines State Historic Site in Park Hills, Missouri. 

Tom Conboy 

Plummer’s Hardware 

Moleskine Notebook Entry 8

Farmington, Missouri 092016

This scene is located along East Liberty Street in downtown Farmington. A leaking water valve on a toilet required a trip to the local hardware store today. It seems like the local “mom and pop” hardware stores are dying off, but there’s still a good one here in Farmington. I figured I would take advantage of the trip and work on a watercolor sketch. 

I really enjoyed the painting session, and was also able to fix the toilet as well!  A “win-win” situation! 😁

Tom Conboy 

Columbia and Henry

Moleskine Notebook Entry 7

Farmington, Missouri 091916

I completed this sketch on location today.  The day was warm, but not too bad with the lower humidity levels.  An enjoyable session! 

I tried out watercolor pencils with this one and liked how they worked. The Sakura Koi water brushes worked really well with the pencils. I was surprised how intense the colors were when blending the pencil lines with the water brushes.  It does not take much water to get the pencil color to flow.  It was also much easier to manipulate the pencils than a pan of watercolor paints on the console of my vehicle.  The watercolor pencils may end up replacing the Winsor & Newton paint pans! 

Tom Conboy 

Stealth Sketching 

Moleskine Notebook Entry 6

Panera 082216

I decided to do a journal sketch this morning while eating breakfast at my local Panera restaurant.  The first subject I chose to sketch noticed me looking at him and quickly left before I could get a few lines drawn in the notebook.  I thought for sure I was going to be asked to leave by management, but fortunately that didn’t happen.  It is possible that the gentleman wasn’t aware of what I was doing and simply left because he was finished with his meal.  

I was more careful with my second subject and tried to quickly sketch her without being so overt with my observation of her.  This attempt went much better than the first, and I am pleased with the results. 

Urban sketching is very new to me, and I need to learn how to “stealth” sketch so as not to draw attention to myself.  It’s a lot easier to do this from a distance than it is within a couple of table lengths of the subject. 

Tom Conboy 

At the Auction 

Moleskine Notebook Entry 5

Attended an auction on Saturday and grabbed a quick pencil sketch of the scene while resting in the shade of a nearby pavilion.  I snapped a reference photo to document the colors so I could paint it later at home.  

Also put in a few bids and was able to win a couple of items. Unfortunately I lost out on the main item I was trying to win. 

Oh well, can’t win them all!   

Tom Conboy 

Drive-Thru Dash

Moleskine Notebook Entry 4

It was my turn to make the dinner run this evening, so I decided to take my notebook and grab a quick sketch while waiting in the drive-thru lane.  I wanted to sketch the scene as quickly as possible and finish it with watercolor when I got home.  The goal was to practice simplifying the scene and to complete the drawing phase in 10 minutes or less.  I figured it would take a while to get through the line since it was the dinner rush and several cars were ahead of me.  I was going to call it “Drive-Thru Delay,” but my local Steak ‘n Shake was moving cars through at a lightning pace.  I decided to call it “Drive-Thru Dash” instead.  

I had to improvise the vehicles because the line was moving rapidly. The original vehicles in front of me were gone before I even got to sketch them, so I ended up drawing them from memory.  Overall it was a great exercise, and I am pleased with the final sketch.  Really had fun painting this one! 

Tom Conboy 


Moleskine Notebook Entry 3

A little sketching practice this evening.  The metal rooster sculpture was a Christmas gift from our daughter several years ago, and sits next to the television stand.  I named him Bob because his comb reminds me of a cartoon character’s hair.  That cartoon character is Sideshow Bob from the Simpsons.  Bob usually holds silk flowers in his bucket, but our dog likes to eat the flowers.  He doesn’t touch the flowers sitting on the floor next to Bob, just the ones we put in Bob’s bucket.  Go figure! 

Tom Conboy 

The Art of Practice 

Moleskine Notebook Entry 1

I purchased a 3.5 x 5.5 inch Moleskine Notebook yesterday.  The purpose for this notebook is to be able to document my practice sketches and to be able to paint in public without being too noticeable.  I like the small size of the notebook,  but I would have preferred the landscape watercolor version over this one.  Unfortunately I could not find the watercolor notebook in my area.  It was one of those “I’ve got to have it now” moments, so I purchased what was available. 

I completed a quick pen and ink watercolor sketch of the woodburning stove in my family room.  This sketch took about 20 minutes to complete, minus drying time.  The goal in this practice sketch was to simplify the subject and to complete it as quickly as possible.  I am also using pen and ink for the first time.   I wanted to try my hand at painting the washes first, then going over them with a pen.  

Woodburning Stove

Tom Conboy 

Watercolor Journal Entry 4

Monday Morning Bagel

Farmington, Missouri (July 18,2016)

Painted this sketch while enjoying a blueberry bagel and coffee from my local Panera.  Chalk this one up as much needed practice. I’m not real happy with the finished sketch, but I did enjoy the experience.  The bagel and coffee helped! 

I felt like I stuck out a bit with my painting supplies strewn across the table.  I would prefer to downsize a bit, so I visited my local Hobby Lobby to purchase some additional supplies.  I purchased a water brush by Sakura and wanted to get a smaller watercolor journal.  Unfortunately they didn’t have any.  I will need to order one, preferably a 3.5 x 5 inch journal.  The goal is to use minimal supplies so I don’t stick out so much, especially when painting indoors where others are present.  

Tom Conboy