Friday, December 10, 2010

Abstract Surprise

Have you ever done something without any intentions of doing so that ended up as a total surprise?  This is the case with this.  This was not an intended painting of any kind.  In truth was a sheet of paper with practice marks and brush strokes between palette knife and flat brush.  I went to pitch in the trash and it grabbed me.  The more I looked at what was sitting on that piece of paper, the more I liked it.  A surprise abstract to my eyes that for me is captivating and I know very little about abstracts.   Even my family fell in love with it which is a great surprise considering they lean towards realism in painting.

For me this represents my love of forests and exploring what hidden treasures nature has to share with us.

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Holiday Wishes

Taking one of my winter scenes painted this year, I've used a little creativity and Photoshop to design my 2010 Cyber Christmas Card. 

This was loads of fun to do and shows what we can do with our artwork in addition to matting and framing for wall display.

Happy Holidays, Everyone!!!!

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Surreal Landscape

This landscape started out using simple brush strokes with a 1 inch bristle flat working wet in wet followed by a 3/8" angular and #6 Round.  With no idea or reference to work from, I just played allowing the scene to develop on its own. 

To me the ending results has this dreamy or surrealistic feel to it.  Probably due to the wet in wet soft edges and simple brush strokes suggesting most of the landscape elements. 

Painted on Fabriano Artistico 140lb Cold Press paper using Daniel Smith pigments - Fr Ultramarine, Burnt Sienna, Burnt Umber, and a touch of Sap Green.

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Greeting Card Idea in Watercolor

Sometimes when I sit down trying to motivate myself to paint, I'll just pick some pigment up on my brush and start applying to paper........having absolutely no idea in mind what I might want to do or end up with. 

This is the results of playing with left over palette paint mixes and a #10 Round on a corner of a scrap piece of Bockingford paper.  There in the corner of the paper, it really didn't look like much but add a mount and it took on a different look.   Measuring only about three inches in height gave me what one could use as a greeting card possibility.

A Bit of Color Fantasy

Nothing fancy ........ was playing with primary colors and a #10 Round and this came to life on a scrap piece of Bockingford 140 lb cold press watercolor paper. 

Colors used were Fr Ultramarine, Quin Rose, and Cad Yellow.  Also used Indigo to darken areas while still wet.

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Robin Watercolor Sketch #2

This makes three sketches I've managed within a 24 hour period.  What a great feeling after the long dry spell I've been through this year.  Let's hope I can keep it up ...... at least painting or drawing a little something each week.

Same Robin as previous post but different stance.  The rail he's sitting on I'm not real thrilled with but I feel pretty good with how the bird turned out.  Especially the granulation achieved in the chest area. 

Daniel Smith Cad Red Light, Cad Yellow, Burnt Umber, Paynes Gray, Raw Sienna, Cobalt Blue and Fr Ultramarine.

On Langton 140lb Cold Press (Not)

Primarily wet in wet with dry brushing towards the end to darken areas.

#10 Round (found the #6 was a bit too small in the last painting sketch and #6 for tighter areas.  Also used a 3/8" Angular to lift some whites in the feather area.

Robin Watercolor Sketch

 Inspired by one of several photos taken of Robins in the Spring, I decided to do this sketch in watercolor.  During the painting process, I felt a bit rusty working with my materials and had to consciously make an effort not to over work this.

Langton Cold Press 140 lb; Cad Red Light, Cad Yellow, Fr Ultramarine, Burnt Umber, Raw Sienna, Cobalt Blue, and Paynes Gray; #6 Kolinsky Round

Robin Sketch - Ink and Watercolor

Again it's been awhile since I've done anything artsy.  This has been one of those years where I've experienced quite a prolonged slump.  With several things going on within the family, multiple trips, and Art Forum being slow, the motivation or time just hasn't been there for me. Tomorrow's another day, right?

What inspired me tonight was going through photos trying to select the best of family photos for printing.  As I was going through my digital photos, I came across several taken for drawing and painting ideas.  So, here after midnight, I actually get the itch to do something. 

This is from a photo taken earlier in the year when I noticed the Robins coming out and about in Spring.  The weather was still a bit unpredictable and this little fellow was a bit fluffed probably from the chill in the air.  Not sure I depicted that in my sketch nor did I give much attention to the tree stump with more shading for depth.  The important thing...........I did something!  FINALLY

Combination of Tombow Black Marker and Watercolors - Cad Red Light, Cad Yellow, Burnt Sienna, and Burnt Umber.  Sketch is using a #12 Mini Round which is approximately the size of a #5 Standard Round brush.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

New nature sketches

WOW has it been awhile since I've posted anything.  Been super busy with various projects to include Autumn cleanup outside the house and other indoor tasks.  Have done my share of running about with errands too.

These two sketches are from a "treasure hunt" on my son's property.  I was out walking around the perimeters of his property checking out the various trees, leaves, and seed pods I might find.  There are many varieties of trees, some of which I'm not real familiar with.  On the ground are acorns which say oak trees (that one I know) and also hickory nuts (as I've been told with my findings).  Also, after five days of rainy weather the yard was full of mushrooms.   I took these back and sketched with a Tombow marker and water with brush to make the ink bleed.

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

One of our regular winged visitors

One of our favorite past times is sitting out on the front porch and watching the various birds visit our feeders.  Those that visit regularly are black capped chickadees, sparrows, tufted titmouse, cardinals, nuthatches, downy woodpeckers, morning doves, purple finches as well as yellow American finches.  Occasionally a Jay will come around but seldom intrigued by the offerings at the feeders.

Inspired by the outside activity, I grabbed my book Watercolor Basics Drawing and Painting Birds by Shirley Porter (great book) and this is my take on one of the pencil sketches seen in the book which was an actual warbler but I instead worked it as a sparrow.

Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Autumn Garden Lady

A bit of imagination and play using the Tombow Brush Pen and watercolor.  As I look at this, I see some areas I could change exercising a bit more in the top part of the body.  Instead of a cloth like substance, use leaves to convey that area since everything else is composed of organic material.

Sunday, August 22, 2010

Painting One's Emotions

Have you ever painted something straight from the heart and soul based on what you were feeling at a given moment?  This was done starting with the figure first reflecting how I was feeling at the time.  No plan mapped out with this.....just painted raw emotion and the composition came together on its own.  Everything about this represents something.......right down to the back ground images one can make out from shapes (at least to my own eyes) to the mangled looking fingers on the hands.

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Riverbank Wet in Wet

Received a new brush the other day, which is the Sterling Edwards Blending Bristle flat brush (size 1").  What was intriguing about the brush was the size and shape of the handle plus the short bristles.

I've seen several of Sterling Edward's videos using these brushes inspiring me to try my hand wet in wet using primarily the bristle flat to paint my composition.  For me 1" is large.........comparably speaking with the size paper I normally paint on (5x7").

Pigments used are all Daniel Smith....Raw Sienna, Perm Aliz, Burnt Sienna, Burnt Umber, French Ultramarine, and Sap Green.

Also used a 3/8" angular flat for lifting (left trees as you view this) and #2 Rigger.  Other tool used was a letter opener to scratch out twiggy bits in and around the right clump of evergreen trees and in the distant tree line near the water.

My first go with the brush ........ I find it to be quite promising.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Watercolor Painting with Water Soluble Ink

This quick sketch was done by scribbling ink from a Tombow brush marker onto an acrylic surface and adding water as if mixing up a pool of watercolor pigment.  Water was added with a small sprayer bottle over the scribbling ink marks and mixed with a brush.  The pools of ink were then applied with brush on either dry or damp paper.  Tree canopy and taller grassy bits were using the Tombow markers directly on the paper.

Tombow markers are great to travel with and any non-absorbent slick surface (glass, plexiglass, plastic, etc.) can act as a palette (lid off of a small butter tub or coffee can as two examples).  Carry a small sprayer bottle, brush, and small pad or block of paper and you have yourself a nice little travel pack. 

As for what to carry these items in?  An old handbag can be used.  I've even carried painting gear in one of the plastic zipper cases sheet sets or curtains come packaged in.

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Glass, Shadows, and Reflections

Painting glass to me is quite a challenge.  Add the challenge depicting shadows PLUS reflections and one can easily become intimidated. 

Should you find yourself daunted by the idea of painting reflective surfaces and shadows, try concentrating on shape at a time.

Friday, August 13, 2010

Art of Journaling

It's only been within the last couple of years that I have been drawn to journaling.  It was through Flickr I came across a few people who do this on a daily basis (or near daily basis) and their examples enticed me into giving it a go.  I love it!  In fact I find myself wanting to do this more so than actual full scaled paintings.

Somewhat new to this, I haven't quite learned to be creative with page layout like some I've seen.  My pages are rather simple with cameo or illustration along with thoughts or comments.  Two people in particular have been great incentive for me...........vickylw and elizabeth smith on Flickr.  Hopefully in time that extra creative process will kick in for me and my pages take on an art form of their own.

This is just a sampling of pages in a Moleskine Watercolor Journal book I started this year.

Side Note - Wonder if people truly realize how they can influence others by posting or sharing on the internet....even if never acknowledged.   People do make a mark ....... positive and negative ......... in the lives of many people they don't even know.

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Ideas for your Artwork

Years ago I used to paint the normal size other people paint for displaying on the wall.  After awhile, I found myself painting smaller and smaller.  Personally I like being different so I try to find unique or different ways of displaying and sharing my work other than the norm.

On average, I paint in the 5 x 7" range.  Sometimes 4 x 6" and sometimes 7 x 10 (mainly several cameos on this size)  It's easier to store this size and I maintain portfolios and/or journal books of all my work.

Here are some ideas other than wall hangings for sharing your artwork that I personally love:

Bookmarks make wonderful gifts.  

Books - These were created using Shutterfly Photo Service.  A Christmas gift idea for family.  Also a great way of putting together reference books for yourself.  I have several step by step tutorials and put the collection together in one of these books as a teaching reference for myself.

ATC size prints can be printed off and displayed as shown.  I watch for specials on Amazon for unique ways of displaying photos and notes that can be applied to miniature paintings.

I especially love this idea - Digital Photo Frame

This is one of my favorites but find it very difficult to find these photo wheels.  At one point I could get these and miniature photo wheels.  Made great gifts for my family!

Other Ideas not shown:

Note Cards - Always a wonderful way of sharing your work.

Magnetic Photo Pockets (I get mine at Walmart either in the 2.5 x 3.5 in size or the 5 x 7 in size)  - My filing cabinet in my office/studio is lined with prints of my paintings.  Great for displaying on refrigerators where family and friends can readily view when visiting.

Photo Brag Book - Instead of using a service like Shutterfly, one can print off their paintings and show off or present as a gift in the form of a brag book or scrap book with embellishments and whatnot.

Place Card Holders - There are many unique and beautiful place card holders one can use to display a single miniature painting.  These can be lined up on a shelf or mantle.

Slide show file (using Mac iphoto as just one means) of digital painting images with music and transitions that can be loaded onto iPhones and probably similar idea for other smart phones.  And for a simpler idea......just upload digital copies of your paintings to your phone for sharing when out and about.

I am sure there are many other ideas out there.  It's only limited to one's imagination in how to present and share with other people.

Fabric Angels in Watercolor

Years ago I used to sit and create various type fabric angels.  Some had magnets on the back while others had pins.  Started out for personal use and gifts for family and then created others with little note cards for Hospice Patients.

Thought I would try to capture in watercolor a couple of the angels I made years ago.  The idea came from my desire to choose "favorite things" to paint.  A theme I hope to use for my 2011 family calendars.

Before painting in watercolor, I first sketched each in pencil and then painted monochrome versions. 

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

My Son Fishing from his Kayak

This is a painting I did in watercolor using aquabord instead of paper.  Very different feel to it as you paint but wonderful results.  The interesting thing I found was the suggestion to spray a fixative on this surface (after painting) and it didn't affect the watercolor paint in any way.

One of our favorite spots for fishing is a Wildlife management area near Grafton, WV  A rather large pond off to itself that is quiet and perfect for lazy day kayaking and fishing.

Ink and Wash with Color - Door Sketch

This should be called something on the lines of Frowning or Unhappy Door.

Normally it isn't until after something is posted that unintentional faces seem to appear in some of our paintings and sketches. Most often that is seen in rock formations and tree textures.

Not sure if that's a positive or negative but then if you think about creates a conversation piece so I guess it can't be all bad.

This is Pen and Wash with touch of watercolor.

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Ink and Wash Pots

This was supposed to be a monthly photo challenge to be completed with watercolor but I chose to do it with ink instead with just a touch of watercolor. The photo is compliments of Clare Manners in the United Kingdom who is my forum co-administrator.

There's just something magic with how the ink bleeds and spreads that is most intriguing to me. I also love monochromes or those with just a hint of color for contrast. Something on the lines of black and white photography with a touch of color.

Ink and Wash Caricature

This caricature was accomplished using a Tombow brush pen and water brush. One of the first caricatures I've ever attempted.

What a fun style or subject matter for one to get into. Using the ink and wash technique makes this even more enjoyable. You just lightly sketch the main features and take the water brush or brush with water and run over the lines making the ink run and bleed shaping as you go.

Monday, August 9, 2010

Ink, Wash, and touch of Watercolor

Taking the water soluble ink/wash a step further, add a touch of watercolor.

Here color was added for interest while trying to maintain that ink wash look.

Sketches of this nature are relaxing and fun to do.

Watersoluble Ink and Wash

When I'm not in the mood or don't have time to devote to painting in watercolor, I love grabbing a black Tombow brush pen and water brush for wash effects.

This example was done using a lined writing pad, first sketching with the pen and taking the water brush and making the ink run.

Example using Daniel Smith Lunar Red Rock

A small sample or illustration using Daniel Smith Lunar Red Rock. On Langton 140lb Cold Press, this pigment didn't granulate like the other Lunar pigments. Might show more granulation on a larger scale or different paper. A very pleasant color.

Sunday, August 8, 2010

Fruit and Vegetable Cameo Examples

This is a collection of fruit and vegetables using Daniel Smith pigments. Think my personal favorites are the pickles.

All done in my Moleskine Watercolor Journal book.

I'm not one to set up a still life but as mentioned in previous posts, I love painting illustrations.

Time Sure Flys

Can't believe how long it's been since I added anything here. Blogging is something I'm interested in but requires self discipline to keep it going. Part has to do with lack of motivation I suffer from time to time as we all go through slumps (me sometimes more often than I'd care to admit).  Inspiration has been at its all time low the last few months, which I'm sure doesn't help with my motivation. Hopefully I can get back into the swing of things and thought what better way to start.  I can pick back up where I left off and seriously get this going. 
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