Friday, January 25, 2008


Doug at WetCanvas gave me some good instruction on fixing the spot of sun. Then I realized that the tree trunk needed to be more shaded, after all the sun is on the other side. One of those "slap myself on the forehead" revelations! I'm much happier with this. . . not perfect, but improved.

Thursday, January 24, 2008

Jazz Alley Triad 4 - Winter Scene 2
Another one using a photo ref from the WetCanvas January challenge for winter scenes. This is done on Arches CP block, 7 x 10. I was pretty happy with most of this, I'm not sure about the sun spot shining through the branch of the tree, though. It was a very nice aspect of the photo. . . Maybe I didn't do it correctly. I masked the circle, painted the sky and the tree branch. I let it dry completely and then removed the mask, I used a wet brush to soften the edges. While that area was still damp, I dropped in just a haze of the brown/rust and then let it dry. I followed up with some strokes using the same pigment mix. It just looks "funny" to me, like it doesn't fit.
I AM enjoying using this triad and am getting somewhat accustomed to having no green - ha ha.

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Jazz Alley Triad - Winter
This is from a photo on WetCanvas. It was posted along with two other winter scenes that were a January challenge. I decided to try this one using the triad. Since there's no green or yellow, I made the evergreen trees rust - :) I have to admit, I'm getting obsessed with this triad. I find it VERY challenging!! We are supposed to get snow where I live tonight and tomorrow, so maybe I'll be able to get out and take my own "winter" photos.
It is painted on Arches CP block and is 7 x 10.

Jazz Alley Triad - Bee on Lavender

I'm still searching for subjects to paint using JUST the pigments in this triad. I've found a few flowers and insects to add to my sunrise/sunset photos. I am finding that I REALLY need my yellows - LOL! After I finished this, I realized that for this lavender sprig a light grey would've been more effective to portray the fuzzy coating of the lavender pods. I just might attempt this one again, it was fun to do the bee. I think this may be the first insect I've ever painted.

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Daniel Smith's Jazz Alley Triad - Desert Sunset

WetCanvas has an upcoming challenge for February to paint something using ONLY the DS triad called Jazz Alley. I've never participated in a WC challenge and thought maybe I'd try this time. The triad is challenging in itself! The pigments are Indigo, Quinacridone Sienna and Deep Scarlet. So, there's NO green and there's NO yellow to make a green! I can mix up some nice lavender and a nice range of terra cottas, but oh my! this challenge is going to be challenging in just finding subjects. Sunrises/sunsets will fit the bill, so that's what I've attempted here. I poured the sky (my first pouring experience) and then when I painted in the mountains, the sky was still damp and so I got runs and my mountains looked like volcanoes erupting - LOL! After the paper was completely dry, I tried to give some solid shape to those eruptions!! Rather than completely covering the runs, I decided to leave the tops just because they were unexpected. I hardly ever have the opportunity to use my rigger brush and really love it - it was fun to do the bare tree with such a fine tool!

Thursday, January 17, 2008

Watersoluble Graphite Sketch with Watercolor Pencil

I couldnt' resist. . . I had to see what would happen when I added COLOR! I used Derwent Inktense Pencils and found that the graphite did reactivate just a little bit when I added water to the watercolor pencil lines. After it was completely dry, I touched up some of the graphite lines and then dabbed a bit of water on them. This was a fun experiment and now I'm REALLY eager to see what the graphite does with watercolor tube paint.

Watersoluble Graphite Pencils

I bought a set of these pencils (Cretacolor) back in July and had not even given them a test run yet!! Yesterday my friend, Irene, and I went to DBs in Pasadena and I talked her into buying some and so figured I probably should try out my own set - LOL! Last night I drew this simple little still life using the 4B pencil. After the initial drawing, I wet it with a brush and water and let it dry completely. Then I used the 8B pencil to add some darks and brushed those areas with water. Once water is added, the graphite is "set." When water is added, the lines just instantly melt -- it's really neat! Now that I've given this new/old toy a test run, I'm eager to try something a bit more complex. Kate's watercolor pencil class starts in a couple of weeks, so I'm gearing up for that and now am wondering what would happen to do a mixed media with these pencils and watercolor pencils or tube watercolor -- the graphite could certainly be effective as an underwash for shadows!!

Here is where I bought my set

Monday, January 14, 2008

I just got a new "toy!" It is Derwent Tinted Charcoals and they are watersoluble. Currently, they are only available in the UK and I ordered them here

This is just a quick little scene I did to give this new toy a test run. The background mountains were drawn and colored in using a variety of the charcoal tints, then water was added with a brush to blend. The sky is DS watercolor and the lake is a combination of the tinted charcoals and DS watercolor, as is the foreground. It is done in my Raffine sketchbook.

The charcoals go on just like regular charcoals, and they blended very easily when I added the water. As you can see, they don't completely dissolve, which I rather like as it adds a neat texture. I like how the combination of the charcoals and paint worked to give a sense of depth in the lake. In the foreground, I drew the grasses with the charcoal and then washed over them with watercolor. I look forward to working with these pencils again!

Sunday, January 06, 2008

SF Golden Gate
My final gate in the series. This one, which should be simple, caused me so much frustration! This is the third attempt and it is still no where NEAR what I had in my head - LOL! It's a bit different than my other gates in it's subject, but I thought since I'm a Californian, I best do THE gate of all gates that we seem to be rather known for. It is done in my Lama Li book and I used all DS paints. I bought the DS set called Color Map Mixing Set - which is 10 tubes that give INCREDIBLE mixes. You can see the color chart on my flickr here
I think I'm going to enjoy working with these pigments.
This morning I got an idea for my next series and I'm really excited about it! It will be "clouds." I've done some research online for some ref photos and there is TONS of really terrific shots of all kinds of clouds. . . I am eager to start.
A side note. . . my friend, Lin Frye, of recommended a book and dvd to me a few weeks ago, "Watercolor, The Spirit of Spontaneity," by Karlyn Holman and it is fantastic. Karlyn has such innovative ideas and techniques, so I may be implementing some of her techniques in the next series. If you are interested in this book, you can find it here

Tuesday, January 01, 2008


Stuffed French Toast Casserole This is a photo I took of one of the Christmas Breakfast dishes I make. It is a family favorite that I absolutely MUST prepare each year, at least according to my DH, DS and SIL! We women like it too, but the men practically fight over getting their fair share. It is appropriate to post today because it represents one of my art goals for 2008. Speaking of goals, I've finally fine-tuned my list. This year, I am wiser and remembered to work on ALL my goal lists at the same time so I wouldn't get carried away in just one area of my life. I prefer goals over resolutions, resolutions always seemed to set me up for failure. Or rather, I set MYSELF up for failure. The pastor of my church has a saying (and I don't remember who the original author of this is) and it is "he who aims at nothing hits it every time." That really sums up goal setting for me!
Here's my 2008 Art Goal List:

1 - Set up a Food Blog that will be illustrated with sketches/paintings/photos. Publish the blog for Christmas gift giving. If I don't have it complete for Christmas 2008, then I'll shoot for Christmas 2009. For years now I've had family and friends urging me to write a cookbook. Ronell's is my inspiration to do this cookbook in a blog format. Thanks, Ronell!!

2 - Continue participating in the "painting a week" group that was started off of Kate Johnson's alumni group.

3 - Continue working through art books, dvds, and online classes.

4 - Get out and do more plein aire.

That's it!!

Happy New Year to each and every one of you! Here's wishing us all a very blessed 2008!!!