Sunday, May 28, 2006

Daily Painting - Vermillion Flycatcher

This is my second attempt at a bird this morning. The first one came out awful - and then my fat cat laid on it, so it got all bent. He just saved me the guilt from tossing it out.

What I like about this painting better is that it's much looser. While I did do an initial pencil sketch, my painting lines were done quickly. I did not get lost in the detail. I find that using a dry brush on this cold pressed paper creates enough texture without me breaking out the tiny round brush to get every darn feather.

I want to continue these looser drawings. I like the challenge and the result.

Friday, May 26, 2006

Daily Watercolor Sketches

French Toast Girl has inspired me to do a painting every day. Nothing huge or serious, just watercolor (or gouache) sketches.

It’s turning out to be an interesting experience. I’m not sure the one I’ve posted here actually counts, as I did it for a thank you card, and so my motivation was a bit different – I put real care into making it come out right.

The other paintings I’m doing in my new little Moleskine watercolor sketchbook are done much more quickly, though also without any kind of preliminary pencil sketch or pen outline, as seen here.

While I think the paintings are coming out awful, at the same time, I don’t mind that the proportions are way off and they look a bit sloppy. The point is to loosen up, stop focusing on the details, just put color on paper.

I hope that as I continue to do this every day, these quick sketches will actually stop looking so bad. As my hand and mind become accustomed to looseness, perhaps they will produce better work.

Sunday, May 21, 2006

Altered Tins

Through the Ephemeral Notions Yahoo group, I signed up for an altered tin exchange. My coworkers donated their emptied Altoid tins, which I put on the grill for 30 minutes and then sanded to get the paint off, as seen here. So nice and clean without that paint!

My two assigned colors for this project were Amber and Jade - or as close to them as I could get. Using alcohol inks, I did one color on the inside and one on the out for each tin.

Then I started brainstorming in my sketchbook for what kind of design/altering to do. These are what I came up with: a tissue holder (with the face on top), a postage stamp holder (with the stamps decoupaged all over the outside), a nature shrine (with the bee on top) and a mini art kit (with the word ART on top).

These ended up being a lot of fun to do, though figuring out the best way to remove the paint was difficult, as being pregnant, I couldn't use anything with fumes. So, these were sent off to the group moderator, Terri, who will shuffle up all the tins she receives (there are about 20 of us participating) and then send them back out to everyone. I will get 4 altered tins from 4 different people. I can't wait to see what the other people did!

Wednesday, May 10, 2006

Pet Portrait - Heike

Since my computer is still working, I thought I'd post my latest pet portrait. He is a German Shorthaired Pointer named Heike. It's a watercolor painting done on 11"x15" Strathmore cold press paper with my new Daniel Smith paints, which I really like working with.

The photo I was given for reference was a bit blurry, so I hope I captured all the details correctly. He is holding a beloved tennis ball in his mouth.

The paper was too big to scan, so this is a photo taken with my digital camera. I prefer scanning my work - I think it captures the color, etc. much better.

And here's a shot of my work area while doing this painting. I love my art desk.

Tuesday, May 09, 2006


It never fails that when I go to do a blog post, my computer has a trauma. Chris informs me my computer is about to die, so if I don't post for a while, that will be why.

However, before that happens, I wanted to share my first Zentangle with you. My Dad got me this kit from and I am having a lot of fun with it. It comes with all the supplies you need in a very cool little box. I've always loved doodling, especially repetitive designs (which I find very relaxing), so this is perfect for me.

And to make it even better, the people who own this company are super nice. Don't you love supporting small businesses?