Wednesday, June 10, 2020

Carnations from Flower Arrangement

Struggling now for going on two months with this art slump I'm in, I managed to work this digital painting.  I tried a week or so ago to do some sketching but just couldn't force myself to accomplish anything.  This morning I woke up and actually felt that "itch" to do something as I looked at the bouquet of flowers Terry brought me last Sunday.  Still not ready to deal with watercolor, I grabbed my Ipad to work this illustration.

Love the color in these carnations!!  And they have such a nice fragrance to them, as well.  Other flowers in the arrangement include tiger lilies and various color mums. 

For a change, I didn't overthink things resulting in my feeling overwhelmed by all the petal details....I just jumped in and started adding color and blending. 

Procreate Digital Painting / Airbrush Med and Soft brush tools


Leaf Footed Bug

This was done back in April as I was fighting the beginning of an art slump I'm still dealing with.  Just now catching up posting this plus I managed a digital painting today I will share in the next post.

This is a Leaf-footed bug crawling on the front porch back in April. 

It was late and I was tired when working on it so no surprise I misspelled "CREEPY"   Although not something I'd want to land on me, I do find them intriguing with their unique shape.

Fabriano Hot Press / Hand Sewn Journal / DS watercolors / Document Brown but can't remember which pen I used.



Tuesday, March 24, 2020

Mockingbird Gathering Nest Material

Spring is such a busy time and joy to watch.  We learned a pair of Mockingbirds are building a nest in our Bougainvillea in the front yard.  No idea if male or female but this one was right outside my window gathering twigs it could find.

Wasn't in the mood to mess with painting so I chose to work this one using Ipad / Procreate and the HB brush tool.  Good practice with values.


Monday, March 23, 2020

Birds and the Bees

Early this morning, as I drank my first cup of coffee, I watched this Brown Thrasher "thrashing" at the ground to move leaves and debris looking for food.  Another was checking out the flat feeder of sunflower seeds. 

This guy was up under the Azalea bush near my window taking a break.  He sat there for quite awhile before returning to task at hand giving me plenty of opportunity to take several photos.

I haven't learned to tell the difference yet between male and female.  I understand that if guarding a nest, they can be quite aggressive attacking people and dogs.  They are quite large song birds and one I wouldn't want dive-bombing me with that large beak they have.

During the summer we don't see them around the feeders like we do during late winter and early spring.

Journal with Fabriano 140lb HP / Pilot Prera w/#41 Brown / DS watercolors


Yesterday I was looking out the window when a bumble or carpenter bee hit the window.  Not just once but twice.  Once he realized there was an obstruction there, he went on his way.  You would think the first time he hit the window, he would have moved on. 

The bees never appear to be stunned like the occasional bird that hits the window.  If we find a bird stunned and on the ground, we will move the bird to the back yard so our neighbor's cat can't get him while he recovers.

Journal with Arches 140lb CP / Pilot Prera w/#41 Brown for sketching and Lamy with Doc Ink for writing (the Lamy handles the toothy paper better when adding notes) / DS watercolors


Sunday, March 22, 2020

Playing - New Shadow Mix

Painting shadows.......particularly cast shadows has always been an issue for me.  Putting in shadows tend to intimidate me for some reason..........no matter how often I practice.

Most often it has to do with the color of the shadows never turning out how I like.  Either too blue / too lavender, etc., too stark or streaky looking.  Personally I prefer subtle shadows over bold.

I've tried mixing complementary colors together, mixing Blues and Siennas or Umbers together, and even using premixed tube shadow colors.  I seldom felt satisfied with the results.

My fried, Fay, shared a combination she recently tried using Potters Pink with Cerulean Blue.  I didn't have Potters Pink but instead Opera.  I tried that and although I could come close to her gray mixes, the results were a bit "too much.....too intense" for my liking.  Aliz plus Cer Blue didn't quite make it either.

Finally, I picked up a tube of Potters Pink and have to say I love the results with it and Cerulean Blue.  I also like the granulation achieved which to me adds a bit of interest.

This is my playing a bit this morning shading white objects.  Painted in Journal with Arches 140lb CP


Friday, March 20, 2020

Have You Considered Making Your Own Journals?

With everything going on and people staying home due to the Coronavirus, now might be a good time to try your hand at making your own journals. The major positive is having journals with paper you love whether it's one type and brand or a mixed journal of various type papers you enjoy using depending on the mediums you like to use.

Although a little time consuming (which might help with the down time at home), it's really not that difficult once you know where to look for instruction and what to do. Once you finish and you hold that journal in your hand, you'd be amazed by the pride and joy you feel knowing YOU created the book sketching and displaying your artwork.

The easiest of the home-made journals are probably the accordion style (similar to what's shown here) where you fold and cut a full sheet of watercolor paper and simply glue mat board either plain or covered in fancy paper to front and back.

Another easy type of home-made journal would be cutting full sheets of paper down to the size you wish to work on and having it spiral bound...either by purchasing equipment to bind your own or later having it done at a print shop or local office supply. I think the postal service or UPS might do it also for a fee but not sure on that. I have my own binding machine so my knowledge is limited to what's offered out there.

One of my favorites and easy to make would be the Traveler's or Midori style journal with paper cut to preferred size and using a thick piece of faux leather for a cover plus elastic bands to hold your paper in place. There are various ways to make the covers from simple leather/faux leather to sewn fabric covers or even hard casings (which I haven't tried yet).   My favorite are the fabric sewn covers I made a couple years ago for myself and as gifts for several people.

Not only were the journals fun to make but I so enjoyed making charms to hang for that little added interest.

For me, I love all of the above type journals but I have to say the most rewarding has been the hardbound fabric-covered, hand-sewn journals I've made. I have several posts I've made about the various hand-made journals but thought I'd write this one......an update summary of sorts with a pdf I've created that helps me remember what to do that others might find helpful.

This pdf is specific to creating 5 x 5 1/2" size journals. Except for how to cut full sheets for other sizes, the rest is basic information for any size you decide to go with. 

The first two pages of the document is a basic outline I created for myself laying out the steps followed by instructions and images.  Besides the tab at the top of my blog named "Bookbinding," there is  a link within the document to my post of the most helpful videos I found to create my journals.  Sea Lemon is wonderful and easy to follow.

Bookbinding 5x55 BooksCOMP 




So if you'd like to find something different to work on.........challenging but fun to do, consider trying your hand at making your own journals for sketching and painting.  

Our Hibiscus and Exercising Right Side of the Brain

One of my favorite flowering shrubs is the Hibiscus.  We have a couple orange flowering shrubs that were here (in the ground) when we moved into the house six years ago as well as a couple double peach Hibiscus.  Since then we've added a red and my youngest son gifted me with a tropical (Hawaiian I believe) that is multi-color with red, yellow, and white.  Last year I mail ordered yet another double peach with these new additions in pots until we decide where we want to permanently place them.

The Hibiscus basically bloom year round......even during winter.  The only issue we have are aphids as they too love the flowers.

First illustrations I worked sketching on my Ipad, using Procreate, and Apple Pencil.  I printed off onto regular bond paper and then decided to use watercolor pencil (dry) on one of the illustrations but left the other two as ink only sketches.  Used Technical and Fine ink tool brushes.



Yesterday I decided to exercise my brain a bit using the "Right Side of the Brain" exercise where I had the illustration next to my journal page and did my best to slowly copy exactly what I saw line by line.  It's really interesting when you can actually "feel" the right and left side battle one another to take control.  I'd be going along just fine with eyes on first illustration and hand making marks on journal page and then it was like the left side wanted to take control and my hand going off in a different direction or angle.  Between the level of concentration and battle going on inside my head, I found my hand becoming a bit shaky and glad I was initially doing this with light pencil.  By the time I was done, my hand was too shaky to start in with pen and ink so I waited awhile.

Still a little shaky, I proceeded with pen and ink.  It was actually a good thing as I felt it helped with a more spontaneous looking line but then maybe just my imagination.

If one didn't know better, one might think I had traced these as I came real close and feel good with the results from this exercise.

Journal with Arches Coldpress / Pilot Prera w/#41 Brown / DS and QoR watercolors





Do You Save Your Blog Posts?

One of the things I do is save all my blog posts.  My blog is an extension to my actual journals where space is limited on a page for various notes and things I want to remember.  It's also a backup to my blogger.

Before I used a site called Blog 2 Book by BookSmith, which is easy to use but limited with format of blog posts and how images show up in the final document.

Last year I decided to manually save each post using Microsoft Word.  It's part of my posting routine now where I create the post on blogger and then copy and save to the word document.  I can then further format font and image size (without any preset sizes).  I keep a word document for each month with all the posts I share here on blogger (some which I create using blogger but do not make public) and once complete, convert a copy to a pdf where I can upload to Ipad or other electronic means.

My files are named with year first and then the month.  I've also been playing with making fancy covers for digital files uploaded to tablets, etc. but also keeping copies with the plain cover providing a choice if I choose to print.

My own personal art books I can share with multiple family members.  One of the reasons I like posting steps of how I went about doing things (when I remember to take photos or scans as I work.)




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