Sunday, December 31, 2006

2007 Art Goals. I've been pondering. . . and ruminating. . . and just plain thinking for WEEKS about what I'd like to set up for personal art goals for 2007. In March of 2006 I met an online art friend, Lin Frye, who had made a committment to sketch every day of the year. Through thick and thin and all her busyness, she accomplished the task beautifully! Well, it is from her wonderful example that I decided to set goals for 2007. Here they are: 1 - Sketch and/or Paint Every Day 2 - Do All the EDM challenges (this means starting with #1) I'm going to dedicate one journal just for EDM challenges. 3 - Work through the art books in my personal library - "work" them, not just read them. 4 - Start a nature journal. 5 - Use Calligraphy in journals. (I need to restore my old skills!) 6 - Attend at least one Workshop - probably the one in Burbank in October. This list has challenge (every day) but it also has some flexibility. For example, #2 through #5 can really apply to #1. I'm not going to necessarily complete one work each day, but I'm going to WORK on art every day.

Monday, December 11, 2006

Gazebo in the Children's Garden at Huntington Library and Gardens

This was primarily done in watercolor. Derwent Graphitint Pencils were used on the gazebo and the bench. I went to the Huntington last Thursday and had never gone through the Children's Garden -- what a tremendous job they did constructing this area! To get to the garden, you walk through a conservatory. The garden was just delightful!! There were a couple of these gazebos, constructed from iron. The red hearts near the top look like red glass, and they add such a beautiful touch.

Tuesday, November 28, 2006

Chiaroscuro Lion

This is my first chiaroscuro. It was done for my online sketching class. It was fun and now I'm eager to try another one, but I'll wait for Kate's critique as I'm not sure this is correct.

Monday, November 20, 2006

Young Koala The wonderful photo for this young koala was taken by Susan at who so graciously gave me permission to sketch this little cutie! He/she is now sleeping on his own, without the arms of mama around him. Thank you, Susan! Your photos are SUPERB!!

Saturday, November 18, 2006

Koala Mama and Baby Sleeping

Isn't this just the cutest pose! I found the reference photo on Yotophoto and couldn't resist drawing it. This is still a work for lesson 2 -- I drew upside down again (LOVE that method!!), plus there were some negative spaces that I watched for and measured against, I used a variety of ways of holding the pencil, and blended in a circular motion using a tortillon to get the look of dense fur.

Friday, November 17, 2006


This was drawn upside down - no, I wasn't upside down, the photo reference and my sketch pad were upside down. The object of this lesson 2 exercise is to train one to draw what is seen - not what the brain tells us something should look like. An excellent exercise to stimulate the eye/hand and bypass the brain. I found the photo reference on WetCanvas--such an excellent source for photos!!

Wednesday, November 15, 2006


I just love these little creatures! I'm so addicted to the Animal Planet show, "Meerkat Manor." LOL!! I found the reference photo in WetCanvas. This was originally done first as a sketch for my sketching class, then I added light watercolor. This was done in an Aquabee Sketch Pad and it's the first time I've used watercolor in it so I wasn't sure how well it would take water -- it did great, but I did work with a light touch and very little water. The original sketch was a practice with gesture sketching and also negative space (the triangular spaces within the legs). I'm still getting accustomed to my new scanner, the pigments on the meerkat came out pretty true, but the dead tree in the background has a little more detail in real life and the spatters on the foreground are more pronounced. For the spatters, I used watercolor pencils -- just dabbed some random dots and then used a wet brush on them. This technique worked pretty well! I didn't have to worry about getting spatters on the meerkat.

Thursday, November 09, 2006

Yupo Sunflowers

My second Yupo experience. I drew the sunflowers with a rapidosketch fine point pen with permanent ink. The blue background is watercolor that I gently dabbed with a tissue for some texture before it was dry. The lighter version was done with Derwent Inktense Watercolor Pencils applied dry and gently blended with a wet brush. I thought it was too pale, so the darker version is where I added a layer of watercolor pigments. I was very careful with this layer as I wanted the lighter pencil pigments to show through.
Hibiscus On Yupo
Well this was fun!! I've seen some watercolor work done on Yupo on the WetCanvas site and have been quite intrigued with it. It is not paper at all, but plastic with an extremely smooth surface. It IS sold as "suitable for all watercolor techniques." Since it is plastic, the paint and/or water does NOT penetrate it - it just kind of floats around until it dries. If you don't like something, you just wipe it off with a tissue - ha. Of course, if you want it to last, a fixative would have to be used on the finished work. I bought my Yupo from Dick Blick, but it is available from other suppliers as well. Because I have a tendency to be the controller, this was really a step out of my comfort zone as the watercolor is the controller and I became the controllee. Some Wetcanvas tips I remembered as I was going along with this are 1) Do NOT touch the area you will be painting. Skin oil puts a protective shield on the plastic and the paint will not adhere--you can see the white areas on this where my fingers touched the surface, but it was a happy goof because I rather liked the splotches! 2) Lay down the paint and move it around with a brush, or tilt the paper this way and that and let it run 3) To layer, make sure undercoat is completely dry, with a light touch apply the next layer. Once liquid is applied, the undercoat will become liquid again so much care needs to be taken. 4) If you totally goof, wipe it clean with wet tissue, Qtip or just dunk it in the sink and completely wash it off. 5) Do NOT use a blowdryer to dry it - Yupo can and will melt. A blowdryer on cool setting would probably not melt it, but it might make the paint run in places you don't want it. All in all, this was quite a liberating experience for me and I am eager to try this Yupo with some other mediums--wonder how permanent ink sketching would look - hmmmm.

Sunday, November 05, 2006

Morning Quiet Place

The November theme in Kate's alumni group is things we are thankful for. I have a chair in my living room where I read my bible and pray in the mornings. There are many objects in this painting that are symbolic for things I am thankful for in my life. I love America, I am so thankful I live in a country where I am free to own a bible and I am free to read it. I'm thankful that the word of God has been preserved for us and that the wisdom found in it pertain to all times, all generations and all situations. I'm thankful my husband shares my faith and respects my quiet place. I'm thankful I have raised my children and I no longer have to hurry through my morning quiet time. I'm thankful for electricity and while I love my oil lamp, I'm very thankful I don't have to rely upon it for light to read! I love the doily the lamp sits on and I am thankful for an aunt who taught me to crochet when I was 12 years old. One final note. . . the colors in this did not scan true, IRL the chair is a merlot color.

Saturday, October 28, 2006

Leaves on Stairs.

Here's another Autumn scene. I think this may be my first work that included some architectural design. It was from a photo reference.

Thursday, October 19, 2006

Autumn Pond.

This was just another quick exercise in trying to get a looser style going. There was a really nice photo in our local paper this morning of a tree at the edge of a pond. There were ducks in the pond and more ducks flying in for a landing. OBVIOUSLY, I didn't paint from that photo - LOL!! However, it did give me an image in my head that I painted from. I guess this was simplification to the max. I'm just so happy to have some time to paint lately!!

June Lake Aspens.

June Lake is on the eastern side of the California-Nevada Sierra Mountains. Along one side of the lake are aspens that have glorious color in the autumn. When my children were growing up, we went camping at June Lake every year and have many fond memories of our time there when we would fish and hike. One year as we were hiking, our Alaskan Malamute, Nikki, thought she could ford a rapidly moving stream. She was caught up and went down a very steep, boulder strewn waterfall! We all went tearing down the mountain after her (I don't know why we did this as there was no way any one of us could've gotten her out of that predicament). She got herself out with only one minor cut below her eye. She was very stiff and sore the next day, but handled it all rather well. We still think of that time and know it was nothing short of a miracle that she survived! Bears from nearby Yosemite would visit this campground frequently. One time we were sitting around our evening campfire and I actually smelled the bear that walked past our camp - a very musky odor! The next day we heard from fellow campers that this particular bear had sat near their tent and watched as their tethered dog barked at him. He must've known the dog couldn't charge and was quite arrogant about it. My memories are so vivid of this place and this painting does NOT do it justice. Maybe someday I'll be able to really capture the magnificence of it.

Wednesday, October 18, 2006

Red Apples. I wanted to do something really quick and also a bit loose -- I REALLY need practice with "loose!!" This was a good exercise and was fun to work on.
It is apple harvest season and my DH and I went to Tehachapi yesterday afternoon for a BBQ with some friends. I'd hoped to go early enough to buy some apples at one of the orchards, but time didn't allow. I guess that's why I had apples on my mind today and decided to paint this from a reference photo.

Thursday, October 12, 2006

Autumn Stream.

Well, here's another autumn landscape for this month's theme. I'm just not happy with this, but posted it anyway because it's good to see improvement later on - ha. I just really, really want to get to the point where my watercolors are more washy. Maybe it's a "control" issue and I want to control the paint instead of just letting it flow where it wants. I think the palette is okay and there are lights and darks, maybe there should be more of those though. Ugh! Reference photo is from Zion National Park and I left out the big Watchman Mountain in the background -- I like challenges, but that was a bit much.

Thursday, October 05, 2006

Autumn Tree.

Continuing with the autumn/harvest theme in Kate's Alumni group, I found the reference photo for this on Flickr. I'm especially happy with the little stream and how it really does appear to be fading away into the horizon. The pigments used on the tree trunk are darker than they appear on the scan - actually, the whole thing is darker than scanned! I enjoyed doing this little landscape and still want to do some more this month.

Sunday, October 01, 2006

Cabernet Revised. I've added more leaves and grapes and also shaded the right side of the clusters to create the light source. It's still not what I had in my brain, but I think it's an improvement.

Now. . . back to my book studying to prepare to do a autumn landscape.

Saturday, September 30, 2006

Second Cabernet. I struggled BIG TIME with these clusters. I like the leaves, but the grapes. . . especially the second cluster from the right - it's really wonka. I'm going through my art books for pointers on landscapes. I REALLY, REALLY want to do an autumn landscape for this month's theme.

Friday, September 29, 2006

Cabernet Harvest. The October theme for Kate's Alumni Group is Autumn/Harvest. I grew up in a small town in Northern California grape and wine country. A vivid memory I have is the harvest of the grapes in the fall. There was a winery near the elementary school I attended and I remember getting off the school bus and the pungent, sour aroma of the fermenting grapes permeating the cool, crisp fall air. All of us kids would wrinkle up our noses and say, yuck! Although I now live in Southern California, we have cool mornings in the fall and that special smell that comes with cooler weather always reminds me of the wineries of Northern California. This was done on Cotman paper, it is 7 x 9 and the paints are WN.

Tuesday, September 19, 2006

Amethyst Compote with Lid.

I've tried something rather unusual. . . I set this up with a candle in it and no direct lighting. I placed plain paper behind it to see the candlelight reflections and painted it pretty much "in the dark." Occasionally I turned on a light to see exactly where the brush was going. (I did have a small lamp on in the room, so I wasn't totally in the dark) I think it produced a rather interesting effect!

Thursday, September 14, 2006

Las Vegas basket. I helped my daughter and son-in-law move to Vegas and sketched and loosely painted this during a short break yesterday. As I looked around the living room at the boxes still unpacked. . . I spotted this basket and thought I'd do it to continue with the "container" theme. I bought a small half-pan field kit recently and this is the first time I'd used it--I'm very happy with it! It's the little WN with 12 half-pans. My son-in-law has taken a position as Pastoral Assistant at a new church in Vegas and my daughter will be the church secretary--what an exciting time for them!! The growth of that city is phenomenal; the potential for this church to grow beyond our expectations is tremendous!!

Thursday, September 07, 2006

Ugh! I think I've learned a lesson!! I couldn't get a good "sparkle" with this colored glass painting. I checked the pigments used and none of them were transparent--all were very opaque. I don't like this at all, but decided to post it anyway. I'm wondering, too, if maybe it would be better if I lift out some of the pigment. Hmmmm, think I'll try that!!

Tuesday, September 05, 2006

End of Season. This is painted from a photo taken by Joe Philipson. Lin Frye, from Cathy Johnson's alumni student site, pointed out that it was appropriate for Labor Day. How correct she is! The empty beach really does portray the end of the summer season. This was fun and quick (30 min)! It is on Canson and pigments used were Cerulean Blue, Prussian Blue, Van Dyke Brown, Cad Yellow Pale, and Palette Greens.

Monday, September 04, 2006

Blue Banana Bowl. I'm not sure of the manufacturer, either an L E Smith or a L G Wright in the Moon and Stars Pattern. Oh, I don't like working with BLUE! IRL, this bowl is more turquoise. I used Cerulean Blue and UM Blue -- couldn't quite get the right coloring. I was working under artificial light and while painting the bowl, the sun starting coming in through a nearby window. Wow! what a reflection starting happening. I didn't want to lose that moment, so quickly masked some shooting stars into the shadow area. This is done on the Bristol paper and is a combination of some wet-in-wet and some dry brush.

Saturday, September 02, 2006

L E Smith Amberina Vase in the Heritage Pattern. The September theme for the online watercolor painting group is "containers." This is my first work for the month. A couple of years ago, I decided to redo all my family room decor and I went NUTS buying L. E. Smith and L. G. Wright pressed glass items on ebay! I absolutely love my traditional family room with vintage and art deco accessories. While they will certainly be a challenge to paint, I'm planning on doing quite a few for our container theme. I used the Strathmore Bristol paper and did dry brush technique. The pigments used were a glaze of Yellow Ochre with Alizarin Crimson and Cad Yellow Pale overlays. I opted not to paint a background. This is my first painting of "glassware," and I did find it challenging. I have a long way to go regarding capturing facets of light and will be doing some research to try to learn how to capture those.

Thursday, August 31, 2006

Chiloquin wetlands. Today is the last day of August and this is my final work for the "water" theme. I'm trying to get more watery and looser in my painting. The subject photo had a few white pelicans in the water, but I eliminated them because they looked like white specs. The photo was taken while my friend, Gayle, and I were canoeing. We had beached and were walking on some dry ground. The flowers in the foreground are fireweed.

Hawaiian flowers painted from reference photo taken by Joe Philipson. I don't have any idea what kind of flowers these are (neither does Joe!). This is painted on Strathmore Bristol Vellum (I know. . . this paper is designed for dry work like colored pencils, charcoal, pastels) . . . but I wanted to experiment. The plus side is it doesn't stain as deeply as REAL W/C paper which makes it a tad easier to blend or lift the pigments. The plus side is also the negative side. . . it doesn't penetrate into the paper so it just kind of sits on the surface. I think it might work well for dry brushing and possibly W/C pencils. I also think high key might be the best style. I may end up just setting this tablet aside for when I take Cathy Johnson's next online sketching class!

Monday, August 28, 2006

Continuing with the water theme, I painted this from a photo taken by a friend in Hawaii. I used a limited palette of only three pigments -- indigo, cad yellow pale and cad orange. IRL, the sky and water are a bit darker. It felt good to get some painting done again!

Saturday, August 26, 2006

I belong to a wonderful online watercolor art group! Each month we choose a theme to paint and "water" is the theme for August. This is proving to be a difficult subject for me. . . and I haven't been disciplined about sketching and painting daily!! I actually painted three from this same subject photo and this is the third attempt!! The subject photo was taken while visiting friends in Chiloquin, OR. They live right on the wetlands of Agency Lake and what glorious views they have!! I have so many wonderful photos from our time there.

Friday, August 25, 2006

I'm struggling to get this blog up and running. . . I seem to have missed a step or two! This post is a test.