Monday, July 30, 2012

Landscape Doodles

The page I did the last mini landscape on I finished off with various landscape elements like trees, rocks, etc.  The mini landscape looks like an odd ball on the page though considering the overall usage of Fr Ultramarine versus what went into the doodles.  It definitely stands out!


W&N - Fr Ultra, RS, BS
DS - Sap Grn, Phthalo Blue (green)

#8 Round and #2 Rigger

The Langton 140lb Cold

I think what I'm learning about the ink I use in the Noodler's Flex pen is that it does not dry very fast or sits on the surface of the paper that has any amount of sizing in it.  It bleeds when watercolor washes are applied.  One reason I went light with my washes just barely applying pressure with the brush.  I had to go back over some areas with the pen to emphasize some of the detail.

The ink I'm using is Noodler's Black and it claims it's bullet proof (water proof??)  I think it definitely depends on the paper.  Maybe if the ink sits for a few hours, it might not bleed.  I'll have to test that out.

Sunday, July 29, 2012

Another little quick landscape in Watercolor

Did this today between household chores.  Nothing fancy but at least I'm still taking brush to paper. 

W&N - Fum and Light Red
DS - New Gamboge and Sap Green

#8 Round which seems like a huge #30 Round painting this size (3 1/2 x 2 1/2")  Thank goodness for a really nice point on this brush!! 

The Langton 140lb Cold

Talk about granulation!!!  It's REAL evident in the sky

Feeling rusty with Landscapes

Been awhile since I actually painted other than bits and pieces or illustrations..........particularly landscapes.  Boy do I feel lost and extremely rusty!!!  I used a 1/2" Flat on these and the size of each is only about 3 x 2 1/2".  I was a bit heavy handed with the pigment too........especially with the top two.  I need to work on that. 

Using only a blue and brown with these.

Didn't achieve any real depth as I would have liked with the top two.....well at least from foreground to mountain ridges.  I did achieve some depth within the mountain ridges......that part I'm somewhat OK with.  I think the brown should have been more muted from the foreground browns.

As for the bottom two..........I prefer the foreground in the left landscape and the distant hills in the right.

Saturday, July 28, 2012

Daniel Smith vs W&Newton - Browns

Here's my comparison of the browns between the two brands.........

Conclusion with the browns....................hmmm.................I honestly don't know.  As mentioned above, I love how the W&N are livelier but I love the granulation of the DS brand.  I guess it depends on the subject or the results I'm after.  (think I spelled affect/effect wrong above.........I always get them

Daniel Smith vs W&Newton - Blues

I've done a comparison with my most used blues.  Here are the results:

I have noted about the Indigo DS having a violet undertone vs the W&N Indigo.  This was really apparent with the pools of color drying on my palette (table).  A big difference whereas you don't quite see it in the same way on paper.  My table has dimples and little bumps so maybe that's why the undertones show as they do.

I started out using nothing but W&N pigments.  Then I tried Holbein, a few American Journey, Maimeri Blue and Daniel Smith.  Holbein were wonderful in application but don't care for the fact they don't really harden.  I don't like using fresh paint because I waste it - washing out most the brush picks up in the water pot.

Daniel Smith is extremely easy to re-activate with water from dry form and one reason I started using them over all the others.  Plus the results always seems more "in your face" standing out stronger than W&N.  After trying gouache, which I think has that same "feel" to it........maybe it's because DS possibly leans more opaque than transparent.  The company calls it semi-transparent but I do wonder if their pigments don't lean more to the opaque side of the scale.  The W&N may turn out cleaner results because they appear more transparent.  I'm not really sure except that my over all feel is that the DS pigments are more "flat" looking or opaque.

I may have to change out some of my pigments but there are still positives to the DS brand.  This will not be an easy choice............a lot depends on what I want to paint and the results I hope for.

One DS pigment I know I will keep using is the Cerulean Blue.  It's bluer than the W&N (leans towards greenish blue) and I love CerBl for skies.

Friday, July 27, 2012

My Palette of Colors

OK...........I did the blues shown in an earlier post and decided to do something with each of my pigments on my palette.  Here is the entire grouping.............

The Langton 140lb Cold

My Palette

Here is my palette of colors I have - all Daniel Smith pigments.  Those up in the lid I seldom use but there if I want to do so.  There's one I can't remember what the color is (top middle).

I very seldom use either of the Phthalo Blues.............even though I love the colors, I don't like using high staining pigments.

Paynes Gray is another I don't use too often as I'd rather use the Indigo.  I may use the PGray if I want a dark gray without the blue tint or maybe to darken the Burnt Umber (I tend to go for the Indigo instead 98% of the time).

Painting the Blues

After a long evening of storms passing through and tending to terrified dogs (not to mention owner), I finally managed some painting tonight.  Nothing extravagant...........just playing with my blues on my palette.

My scanner didn't exactly scan these blues 100 % correctly but they are close.

I love the Phthalo Blue Green shade!!!!

I may have to pull out my Winsor & Newton pigments and do some comparisons.......especially Blues and Siennas.  

This is using The Langton 140lb Cold press.  I haven't used this paper in some time!!!

Thursday, July 26, 2012

Helping Others as a Cure

Day before yesterday my brother posted a photo with quote he saw from another facebook member.  It just captured my heart.............the message and the photo it goes with.

I loved it so much I wanted to do a little painting in my sketchbook as a reminder.  With permission from the author, Marinela Reka, I have done so and now share with you my watercolor sketch with quote.....

Original photo that is being shared across facebook......

My little watercolor sketch using a bit of artistic license in capturing the scene plus Marinela's quote.....

If you get a chance, please check out Marinela Reka's facebook page and website.  She has many beautiful quotes and short poems that tug at the heart and soul.

Thank you Marinela !!

Chimney Pots - UK

Here's another 2-page spread of just a sampling of chimney pots one would see in the UK/England.

Haven't really paid much attention to the colors I'm using..........basically the same as I normally do. 

#8 Round, 1" and 1/2" Flat

Noodler's Flex pen - Black Ink

The Handbook sketchbook

Glastonbury Tor - UK

Back in 2010, my husband and I were invited to fly over and spend two weeks with one of my art friends and her family.  That was my third trip to the UK and Terry's first trip........each time staying with people I had become close to via the internet through an art forum we were all a part of.

I absolutely love their landscape............the castles, thatch cottages, estuaries, gardens, etc are all a sight to see!! 

Before landing and looking out over the grounds below, it reminds you of a patchwork quilt with how the property boundaries throughout the country side are lined with shrubs and trees.  We hope to make it back again in the near future.  My friend we stayed with in 2010 wants us (me) to stay a month next time and travel with them to Scotland.  I'd love that!!!

There are scores of photographs  I've been meaning to sit and sketch/paint from.  Tonight I traveled memory lane looking through the photographs and did this journal entry.  I could fill at least one whole journal with nothing but sights we saw while visiting the UK.

This is of Glastonbury Tor.  A castle that sits up high upon a hill.  It's quite a sight to see especially from the bottom looking up.

The guys had the energy to climb the long walkway to the castle while us gals stayed at the bottom walking around taking photographs.  

I will forever be grateful for those friends who made it possible for me/us to experience a little part of their world!!! 

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Bathroom Cleaning - Personal Hygene

Did this tonight before going to bed.  Can't say why I chose the just

Noodler's Flex pen was used but this time I did the watercolor painting and then went back and did the pen work after the paint dried.

No big write-up tonight as my brain has already shut down :-) 

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Old Outhouse

Thought I would post a WIP this time around as a means to help push myself along.  Some days I have no problem sitting and sketching/painting.  Some days it can be an effort. 

I'm working in my hand-made journal book which is about 5 1/2 x 7 or so Fabriano 140lb Cold Press.

This first posting is of the pen/ink sketch using the Noodler's Flex pen.

Working on this paper, the nib tends to feel scratchy.  Working wood is really not an issue as I like the skipping.  Plus being I'm working with pen and no pencil, it helps by making real fine and often lighter lines.

Now on this paper, the ink doesn't dry as fast and with me working right to left (a habit hard to break), my little finger ended up with ink smear which in turn ended up on my paper.  Fortunately it's very light and the watercolor wash should mask that no problem.  You'd think I'd learn but................

WOW..........I forgot how it felt to paint on actual watercolor  Takes longer to dry (a good thing for wet in wet) and so forgiving!!!!  N-I-C-E  The pigment spreads so much easier.

One thing I have quickly learned about the Noodler's Black Ink I'm's bullet proof using on the paper in the Handbook but it's sure NOT on this paper!!  It bleeds!!!!

I got carried away painting so I didn't get another scan in between the line drawing and the finished painting.  I'm waiting on it to dry so I can scan.

OK..........went to scan and I found I will have to take great care using the ink on this paper even when scanning.  I guess it just takes awhile for the ink to dry on this paper as does the watercolor.  I found outlines of my building on my scanner bed  Glad I didn't close the lid that has that white foamy pad under the would have had the ink on it too that I doubt I could have cleaned off.

Here's the finished painting............The Cer Blue sky didn't scan real well ........ some of the lighter tone didn't pick up.

DS - RS, BS, BU, Fum, Quin Rose, CerBl, Hansa yellow, Sap Green and a light glaze of Quin Gold to brighten the front up a bit.

#8 Round and 1/2" flat

The one thing I wish is that I had more variation in the time I'll try harder.  :-)


Monday, July 23, 2012

Old Bath House

This is an old bath house that sits on land gas company purchased on other side of my son's property.  Who ever lived there years ago set up a trailer or small mobile home and had this building right outside from it.  There was a shower and a toilet in the bath house from what we could tell with some of the plumbing fixtures still intact.

Timing of the photograph I took was early spring as leaves were starting to grow on the trees.  Very twiggy all around which I only just hinted at.

I liked the door with it's neat looking window panes and the hanging pieces of peeled wood.

Noodler's Flex pen and Watercolor - RS, Cob Blu, Sap Grn, BU and BS.  #8 Round, 3/8 Angular Flat and Wizard Brush.  Another in my mini Handbook.

Saturday, July 21, 2012

Another Beach Scene - Pelican

This one I decided not to do a pen and ink so instead used pencil to lightly draw my pelican.  Then proceeded with painting.

Although I used pencil, I'm proud of myself because I didn't do any erasing to correct.  I almost ran out of paper surface though in judging height but managed to just barely fit him in without cutting off his legs. 

The Handbook sketchbook

#8 Round, 1/2" Flat, and the Terry Harrison Golden Wizard brush

Colors:  DS - RS, BS, New Gamb, Col Blue, Fum, Cer Blue, and Quin Rose.  The black is Indigo.

Looks like he's singing and dancing.

Uh ohhhh..........I just took notice to a big horizon line is smack dab center splitting my painting in two equal halves ............ for shame!!!!  :-D

What's Your Favorite Palette?

Through the years I have tried various palettes from plastic to porcelain.  I have the Tom Lynch porcelain palette which I love as far as surface but is big and very heavy.  I found it got in my way so I stopped using it. 

One year at the Art of the Carolinas, I came across what was called at the time, the Homee Folding palette.  It goes by a different name now..........Mijello Leakproof Folding Palette.  Same thing (probably company name changed or bought out by another company).

Anyways..........this is my all-time favorite and great for traveling.  I have smaller folding pan sets with the 1/2 pans but I find them cumbersome to use with the little cakes of pigment. 

The one draw-back to my favorite palette is lack of mixing space or how confining the mixing areas happen to be.  For some people it might be plenty large enough but I need to spread out using a larger area for mixing.  I found having a nice sized rectangular piece of clear acrylic was great to mix on and used that for awhile.  But through time I got lazy and started using my table.  It's one of those heavy duty plastic folding tables and works great as a mixing area.  A LARGE mixing area, mind

I often wonder how many others out there might do the same thing?  Surely I'm not the only strange one who uses their work surface as a large palette mixing area :-)

 (This is nothing compared to how my table looks with wet and dried pigments........I just happened to have wiped it clean before starting this painting :)

Friday, July 20, 2012

Beach Treasures - Shells

I'm sure most wish they could find these along the beach rather than having to go purchase at a gift shop....maybe in some areas there are people who actually do get lucky.

Thought I would try my hand at a simple beach scene.  The sand dollars I think are so neat!!!  I thought I'd add a little artistic license giving them color rather than the plain white or brownish tan tones.  Although you may not see it on screen, I also added a touch of these same colors to the star fish to help harmonize the overall scene.

First I sketched using a light touch with pen and ink using the Noodler's Flex pen.  (I'm still trying to discipline myself from using pencil and erasing....simply to help work on my confidence.)

Colors Used:  DS - RS, BS, BU, Cob Bl, Quin Rose, and New Gamboge.

#8 Round and for the sand and water I used a Terry Harrison Golden Wizard brush for better control on water/paint plus adding the streaks.

Still using my Handbook sketchbook (I'm 3/4th way through it :)

Thursday, July 19, 2012

Another line and Wash - Castle Ruins

I love old buildings and castles.  To me there is history and a story behind each one.  I often sit and just wonder what that story might be............making up ideas within my head.

Did this one wee hours of the morning when I couldn't sleep.  Using my Noodler's Flex pen and watercolor wash trying to maintain a fresh spontaneous feel to it (not over working).

Was done working in my mini Handbook with 1/2 Flat and #8 Round.

Colors Used:  Daniel Smith - Cer Blue, Cob Bl, Burnt Sienna mixed with a tad of Aliz, Burnt Sienna, Raw Sienna, Sap Green, Cad Yellow Med and a swish of Quin Gold here and there to liven some areas.

Just Doodling - Pad Paper

For Beads2Yarn...............

Wanted to share where I do this quite often with pencil, pen/ink, Tombow markers and waterbrush, and even light watercolor wash.

These doodles were playing with the Noodler's Flex pen.

I don't worry about perspective or anything.................I just play.................often watching TV or while on the phone.  Sometimes just to fill a little time.

And I keep everything to include post it note doodles as well as record digitally.  All my pad papers are bound together later when I have enough to create a bound sketchbook.  The post it notes are just stuck on one of the pages within the same date period.

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Beach Hut - Line and Wash

This is another pen and ink using the Noodler's Flex pen and Black Noodler's ink.  I was a bit more conservative with color than the last post.  My goal was painting this as a vignette keeping it simple.

I've included a little paper with colors rather than adding it straight to the page. 

I'm finding the more I work with this pen, the more I like it.  The black ink seems to be not as harsh as I've seen with my disposable ink pens.

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Carpenter Wanted for Hire

This poor place is in need of some carpenter work as the frame is in serious need of being straightened (you might say my perspective is a bit off)

This is using my Noodler's Flex pen.  No pencil guidelines but instead dove right in and sketched this with pen.  Well.......I can't exactly say "dove right in" as I hesitated quite a bit as I normally do when sketching anything in ink.  The 75 Day Challenge I did months back (or longer) did help ......... somewhat ..........but it's been awhile and I've fallen back into the habit of pencil sketching and erasing if need be.  That old fear of pen sketching and botching everything up has crept back in.  I should probably consider doing that challenge again for confidence (or lack of) reasons.

Anyways.........this is my pen sketch, wonky frame and all.   Hmmm.......I could just say the ground has settled throwing everything    :-)

At this point I'm not sure if I'm going to take watercolor to this or leave it.  We will see how I feel later this evening or tomorrow.

UPDATE.........did you think I'd just leave it as is????  It was calling out to be painted. 

I chose to use odd colors as dingy grays just didn't appeal to me tonight. Next time I may try my Siennas and Blue for the wood.

And, this time around, I didn't pay attention to colors used.  Just a mixture of my normal choices on my palette. 

Brush used was a 1/2" Flat for most except the ground area where I switched off to a #8 Round.

When dry, I went over some line work with my pen.

My BIG Accomplishment for the Day (So Far)

Ha ha ha.........kinda funny but at the same time shows you can use anything to draw and paint on in a pinch or on the fly.

I finally found a Noodler's Flex pen I purchased last year that got lost in the shuffle of the move.  I never have really played much with this pen.  Had trouble with the nib so just put it away.  Today I found a few video clips on the pen on how to make adjustments, filling, cleaning, etc. and thought I would try it again.

The closest paper handy was this little sticky note pad and I did a little doodling adding watercolor last. great accomplishment............lolol

Side should have seen my fingers as I tried to remember how to fill this thing.  You know what works great getting ink off your hands and fingers?  Mr. Clean magic rub sponge :-D

Forgotten June Exercises - Watercolor

I keep a running contact sheet of all the work I do in each of my journal books.  As I was going through to make sure I had included all before printing out my contact sheet, I came across two that slipped by me in scanning.

These were done back in June.

This first one was just doodling with my brush and added a bit of pen and ink afterwards.  I still have a ways to go where pen and ink is concerned.  It always looks harsh to me.  Might be the nib size or might be the ink itself.......not sure (or it could just be  Anytime I see pen and ink other people have done, I love it..........there must be an art to it as with any other medium.

This was an exercise I did but can't remember the exercise idea I got this from.  One of those occasions where I failed in my note taking!

Zinnias - Watercolor

Tonight I was in the mood to paint one of my favorite flowers but without trying to be so exact as I was with the tomatoes.  Instead I just wanted to capture the essence or general shape. 

We planted mixed zinnias this year but for some reason all colors other than yellow developed this rust like substance on the leaves which ended up causing them to die out.  So we have all yellow.  Why the yellow managed to escape this same fate is beyond me.

Monday, July 16, 2012

Our First BIG Tomato of the Season

Last week our cherry tomatoes started ripening........a couple at a time each day.  We were waiting for the larger variety to finally ripen and this evening we picked our first one.

I had a hard time deciding on shadow color.  The photo shows it a dark brown which I just knew I'd royally mess up.  Plus I didn't think it looked good anyways even in the photo.  So I decided to try loosely mixing Cobalt Blue with the Cad Red (M) knowing if I over-mixed, I would end up with mud due to the opacity of the Red. 

First application dried too light so I ended up having to go back in which I truly dread doing because normally I would regret doing so.  I just happened to luck out this time.  The mix I used second go around leaned more towards the red.  There is a bit of blotchiness within the shadow but not dreadfully so (at least to my eyes).  The edges were a bit hard and after the shadows dried, I took my angular flat and gently softened them.

I went heavy with my pigment on the tomatoes dropping in the New Gamboge to brighten the reds up a bit while still wet.  Then swished the Perm Aliz in areas to darken some areas. 

The highlights I probably could have gone a bit softer.

Overall, I at least captured the character of our first full sized tomato :-)

Saturday, July 14, 2012

Cherry Tomatoes - Watercolor

Last exercise I did tonight playing with reds (as well as a few other colors).

I was hoping the bottom left would be a little different from the top right with the New Gamboge I used in the mix.  Didn't work out that way.

Overall I'm OK with the tomatoes but something about the shadows bug me.  Could be the color I chose; could be how I placed the shadows.  Could be I'm tired after a long

I do feel great about the fact I got some painting in today!!

Friday, July 13, 2012

Poppies in Watercolor

Today has been a nice quiet day.  It's raining ........... nice steady showers that we really needed.  A perfect day to sit and draw and/or paint and I took advantage of it.

This is playing from imagination as I continue experimenting with reds on my palette.  No pencil work this time......just taking a flat brush and laying down strokes to form the flowers and leaves. 

This was truly fun.....carefree, and.....relaxing!

Playing With Reds

Normally when I paint using the Reds on my palette, I'm always disappointed in the results.  A couple members of Artists Journal Workshop suggested I mix my Cad Red (m) with Perm Aliz.  So I decided to do just that with both my Cad Red and Perm Red pigments.  I not only tried mixing but also layering with more Perm Aliz to darken areas.

Here are the results.

(I included the chemical makeup of the pigments with a (?) next to F3RK-70.  Trying to determine just what that was,  it's an organic Red...whatever that might

Thursday, July 12, 2012

Hummingbird - Watercolor

Here's another attempt I've made in watercolor.  I'm still very unsure of myself when painting.  Particularly with the wing area.  I should probably sit and just practice nothing but watercolor hummingbirds until I feel more at ease  with the results.

This was painted in the Handbook.  Maybe using good quality watercolor paper might help make a difference in how I feel about the process and results.  Will have to experiment a bit.

This is from a photograph I took of this hummer sitting on a feeder rather than a twig.  I chose to change it a bit since I'd rather display with a natural setting like foliage.  Also, there were several other hummers flying around and this guy was looking up getting ready to zoom off after the intruders.  I love their antics and behavior!!!  A lot of fun to watch.

Here is the original photo..............a bit grainy as I had my settings on 1600 to freeze their wings.  First did a rough sketch with my pencil and then applied the watercolor.

(I'm definitely off on the wing and a bit off on his chest)  :-/

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Hummingbird Graphite Sketch #2 for Month

This time I decided to grab my moleskine sketch book that has the nice smooth paper.  Also used the same pencil as I did with the previous post only this time dry.

The goal with this was to sketch quickly testing my ability and confidence levels in rendering this guy correctly. I think I'm starting to feel a bit better capturing on paper. 

With this one, I didn't go back trying to emphasize details or tones.....I wanted this to remain as I initially got down on paper.

Hummingbird in Water Soluble Graphite

Before going to bed, I decided to do a quick sketch of one of our hummingbirds.  This year we've seen more than we've ever seen and we are ecstatic!!

With this particular hummingbird, the one aspect that drew my attention was the one yellow/gold feather there at his neck area.  Makes me think of him wearing a yellow jewel.  The other thing grabbed my attention was his white beak rather than black. 

Using a Derwent Graphite - Medium water soluble pencil, I first held pencil almost parallel to paper using side of lead.  Then went back adding dark areas and defining some of the detail with point. 

Using a waterbrush, I went over areas adding some shading.  Then once that was dry, I went back in with the pencil with a bit more pressure darkening some areas and adding a bit more texture.  Although this little guy was actually sitting on the railing of our porch, I decided to add a stem/twig on my page...just for fun.

Now I'm ready for bed :-)

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Black Eyed Susan Vine

As many are aware, several states were hit by what the meteorologists are calling a Super Derecho, Friday, June 29th.  From what I understand, West Virginia was hardest hit.  I know for our immediate area, we were without power until a week later.   There are still over 6,000 as of tonight that fall under Mon Power without power.

Not only did we lose power, we lost all means of communication - cell service and internet for four days.  Talk about feeling isolated!!!

With all the "excitement" going on with no power, no contact with anyone, no means of keeping up with the news, etc., trying to save my son's freezer full of meat purchased last October, the heat, changing out our own refrigerator that decided to quit working (we at least had a generator for lights and appliances), drawing and painting were the last things on my mind.


.......before all this took place I had taken a chair out to sit and draw components of our Black Eyed Susan Vine growing on the southern side of our house.  Tonight I finally felt relaxed enough to finalize in pen/ink and watercolor.

This is for my own illustration purposes as I become familiar with the parts of this flowering vine.  I've never seen buds or pods like what's on this vine where the flower blooms.  Really neat plant. 
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