Monday, March 12, 2018

Art Journal Update: Painting an Anemone

Painting an Anemone
Greetings Creatives! One of my favorite places for inspiration is on Instagram. And, one of my favorite artists is @herlie_tutentut. Herlie's style is whimsical yet stylish. Recently, Herlie posted a detailed photo of an Anemone. You can see the photo here: Herlie_Tutentut on Instagram. When I saw this gorgeous red flower, I knew I wanted to give it a try.

Sketch and first layers
The first step was to sketch the flower and add a background color of pale yellow. I used a wash of Quinacridone Gold for the background. The reds are a combination of Grumbacher Red and Windsor & Newton Permanent Rose. I worked methodically, starting with one petal and then skipping over to another one to add a light wash. I continued to do this until I worked my way around the flower. Next was to work back and forth until the layers had the depth of color I desired. I actually penciled off the highlights so I would resist painting over them. For the shadows, I only built up the layers, adding Ultra Marine Violet at the darkest parts of the flower. 

Building layers, leaves, and adding contrast.
As the paper became saturated (I painted this flower in a Pentalic, wire-bound, 7x10 watercolor art journal), I moved on to other parts of the flower. Anemones have either a white ring or a faded ring near the center, so I kept dabbing and lifting near the center to achieve that effect. I also wanted to make sure the stamen around the center did not get lost in the red. The highlights I left on the petals to the right was too stark, so I used my rinse water to lightly wash over the area. This was a good time to pay attention to the stem and leaves. I used a flicking motion for the leaves, and after I started, I wish I had left some of the stem unpainted so that the leaves would wrap around the flower completely. Next time!!

Last came the stamen
With a fine #2 brush, I built up the center and painted the stamen. I used Ultramarine Violet and Payne's Gray to deepen the center...leaving just a little of the center as a highlight. Then I painted around the center drawing out the tallest stamen and then filling in until almost all of the red was covered. Naturally, there were some unintentional bleeds and mishaps, but overall this first go with this stunning species of a flower went well. Anemones come in so many colors and varieties, I cannot wait to try them all.

Thanks for stopping by, and if you have a moment, please let me know what your favorite flower is. I'd love to hear from you! Until next time, paint your heart out!

Thursday, March 8, 2018

Art Journal Update: Using Prompts to Develop Style

Loose florals, inspired by Jenna Rainey
Greetings Creatives! Today's theme is: Follow those prompts! If you explore my blog, you'll see that I love to follow challenges to make cards. I feel that helps jump-start my creative mojo. For watercolor, however, I feel that following someone else's painting doesn't really make it my own. It simply gives me practice in that style. The painting above was painted after I saw a quick video posted by Jenna Rainey on Instagram [@monvoir]. So yes, this is my own painting in her style, but it wasn't entirely my idea. Following prompts, on the other hand, push me out of my comfort zone to use what I've learned from others to develop my own style.

Florals Your Way prompt for March 1, 2018: Lilac
This painting was in response to an Instagram prompt by @floralsyourway: lilac. Since I don't have any lilacs in my yard, I had to search the internet to find a photo to help me. I used a similar reference photo like the one below for my painting. I like the close-up of this photo as I was able to see the details of the petals. Getting the variations of the purple hues was a challenge for me, but the exercise was well worth it. I consider my painting to be a study. In order to excel at painting lilacs, I'll need to try this one over and over again.

Image result for lilac images
Photo credit: DigiPan
For the painting below, I used my own knowledge of liriope since we have liriope or Monkey grass all over our property.

World Watercolor Group prompt for February 28, 2018
I love the prompts at Doodlewash. Each month, Charlie O'Shields will create a list of art journal prompts to inspire or stretch skills. I usually approach these as an opportunity to paint something I'm comfortable painting. I'm hoping soon to just dive in and try them all.

World Watercolor Group prompt for February 27, 2018
My final, and perhaps favorite, is the piece above. I purchased some cotton rag paper from Fabulous Fancy Pants. The stack of 30 deckled-edged papers measures roughly 4 x 6. I purchased this from the Esty shop. Periodically, they'll run a special on sheets that are considered seconds. I thought this was perfect for me to play around with. I usually paint on manufactured watercolor paper using pulp. I understand that serious watercolorists use cotton rag watercolor paper as their first choice. There is definitely a difference between the two.

Below are the prompts for both February and March 2018. As you can see one is more literal and the other is interpretive. The links will take you to the challenge page where you can explore all of the prompts Charlie has posted. And, if you're not a member of Doodlewash yet, consider joining! Over there you will find artists of all skill levels and a welcoming community that supports one another.

 World Watercolor Group March 2018

 World Watercolor Group Previous Challenges

As always, thanks for stopping by, and, if you could take a moment, please let me know where you find inspiration. I'd love hearing from you. Until next time, paint your heart out!

Sunday, February 25, 2018

Papertrey Ink February Blog Hop Challenge

Happy Easter: Papertrey Ink February Blog Hop Challenge
Greetings Creatives! Today I'm participating in Papertrey Ink's February Blog Hop Challenge. To be honest, I didn't think I would make an Easter Card, but the inspiration photo led me down that path, and I'm glad it did. I had fun creating this card, and the inspiration photo and card recipe are below. You still have a few hours to participate in all of the fun!!

Papertrey Ink February Blog Hop Challenge
Inspiration Photo
For my card, I loved the little delicate flowers in the blue tin cup vase. I decided to mimic that by using Papertrey's 2018 Anniversary Set: Mixed Bouquet. I chose the most delicate flower and stamped them repeatedly onto Lemon Tart cardstock. I then cut an oval frame to mimic the Easter eggs in the photo. To add texture, I sponged Saffron Spice onto white cardstock using Tim Holtz Burlap stencil. Because hindsight is perfect, I think I would have used Lemon Tart for the stenciling. But that's why I participate in experiment and try again, right? The flowers were stamped using Green Parakeet, Berry Sorbet, and Bright Buttercup. The oval frame was cut using A2 Noted die set. And finally, the sentiment is from So Sweet stamp set.

Thanks so much for stopping by! I can hardly wait to hop along and see what everyone has created!

Art Journal Update: Practicing New Skills by Revising

Revisiting pansies-2018
Greetings Creatives!! In looking over my art journals lately, I have found a lot of attempts at painting florals, leaves, and abstracts without success. In reviewing my work, I've been doing a lot of self-talk about not giving up on those pages, but rather go back and see what happens by painting over the original. The painting above isn't a revision, but rather another attempt at painting a pansy. It was about this time of year in 2016 that I wanted to learn how to watercolor, but I painted the pansy below, and....quit...for a full year!

My first attempt at a pansy-2016
I'm glad I found the courage to pick the brushes back up in 2017 because I have found with patience and practice, improvement does happen. So, with the success of revisiting pansies yesterday, I resolved to go back to those "ugh" pages I have in my journals and see what I can do with them now that I have a little more practice and knowledge to work with. Below are a series of before and after paintings.

Loose Florals--Before: August 2017
This was one of the first entries in my "Fall 2017" journal. The loose florals above were painted around August 2017 after about five months of painting. The revision below was done February 24, 2018...after almost a full year of painting.

Loose Florals--After: February 2018
There is a little bit of improvement by adding another shade of green leaves as well as strong lines for texture. I deepened the colors on the florals and added random dots of blues for contrast. While the painting really doesn't look a whole lot better, I felt unrestricted to try out new techniques without feeling like I'm going to 'ruin' anything I've started.

Leaves--Fall 2017
I can remember starting this series of leaves. We were approaching fall, and I was yearning for the leaves to turn the landscape from greens to vibrant shades of red and gold. Well, there is very little vibrancy going on in this attempt. 

Nandina--February 25, 2018
For the revision, I decided to draw inspiration from some plants that grow wild around our home. Nandinas have that fall-like appearance year-round, and the fiery shades of red coupled with golds and greens make these bushes quite a sight. Thinking about a nandina made perfect sense given that I had used a strong green for the stems. Nandina stems tend to be either green or brown throughout the plant, so I carried that thought through to the leaves. This gave the piece a little more harmony. Still not anything to write home about, but improvement is improvement!

Abstraction--Before: Fall 2017
For my last revision, I had started an abstract of blue, aqua, and purple blocks and lines. Then I quickly stopped because the placement wasn't making any sense to me at the time. Before I started revising, I forgot to snap a photo, so you see that I'm adding leaves...which was my idea for revising this piece. 

Abstraction--After: February 25, 2018
The idea to add leaves came from a documentary about nature taking over abandoned shopping malls and buildings in urban areas. Left alone, nature will reclaim what is hers. One thing I learned from this painting is that not all watercolors hold fast after drying. I believe the original was painted with QOR watercolors. I noticed that when I painted over the original, the purples reactivated and began bleeding just a little. Not a problem, really...just good to know, right? 

Thank you for stopping by, and I hope you are inspired to 'revise' some of your journal pages! Until next time, paint your heart out!!

Wednesday, February 21, 2018

Framing Sentiments & Images

Framing Sentiments and Images
Greetings Creatives! Today's card was inspired by the technique shared by Laurie Schmidlin for Papertrey Ink's Make It Monday #312. I am also playing along with Inspired By All the Little Things #80.  In her tutorial, Laurie walked us through many different ways to create frames from various dies in our stash. I was drawn to this simple card of soft stone and white, accented with stamped flowers.
Laurie Schmidlin's Card
For my card, I wanted a little more texture in the background, so I used Soft Stone Bitty Big paper to add a little more white. My florals are from Beautiful Berries--Spring, and my frame is from A2 Noted. I used Papertrey Ink's Stormy Sea, Aqua Mist, Lovely Lady, and Berry Sorbet. The sentiment is from Graceful Gardens.

Aqua and pink are gorgeous together!
I drew my color inspiration from this photo on the Inspired By All the Little Things blog. Isn't this a gorgeous arrangement? Since I saw the frame in this photo, I knew this challenge would pair well with Make It Monday #312. The aqua and pink florals also caught my eye.

I was drawn to the "hello," beautiful pinks and aquas, and the frame

There is still plenty of time to play along with both challenges, so have fun creating!

Monday, February 19, 2018

Art Journal Update: Plants & Fungi

#World Watercolor Group Prompt: Mushroom
Greetings Creatives! Today's update centers on plants and fungi. I had a hard time choosing which piece to lead with, but I decided to highlight the mushroom because this was something I created on my own, 100%. Most of my practice is generated from watching tutorials on Instagram or YouTube, following along with Everyday Watercolor, as seen below with the cactus, or mimicking what I see in the art world. I've often wondered, will I ever develop my own style? The answer to that is I will, in time. First, I know I have to imitate in order to learn. That's why the mushroom, while not perfect, represents everything I've learned so far in my journey.

Everyday Watercolor - Day 12
Another February prompt for World Watercolor Group was cactus. I'm technically on Day 11 with Everyday Watercolor by Jenna Rainey [click here to see my book review], but Day 12 helped me with the prompt on February 9th, so I went for it. Overall, I'm pleased with the look of my plant, I just wish I could get my lighting going the way it should. I tend to sprinkle shadows on a whim!

My favorite herbs
My last post for the week is a collage of herbs. All of these herbs have grown in our garden at one time or another. I love how fragrant they are and how they are always a fresh addition to my dishes. Thanks for stopping by, and until next time...create something wonderful! 

Sunday, February 18, 2018

Papertrey's 11th Anniversary-2018: Day 10

Thank you gift for teachers
Greetings Creatives! This is my final post for Papertrey's 11th Anniversary Challenge, and I just made the deadline by the skin of my teeth! Day 10's challenge is to use stripes, and that was so perfect for some gifts I have planned for some of my teachers. Teachers work so hard, and they are so willing to do anything asked of them. The gifts I've prepared are for three teachers who will help me with an upcoming professional development, and I truly couldn't be more grateful for them.

Papertrey's 11th Anniversary
It's hard to believe PTI is celebrating 11 years, but here we are, and I am loving the Bitty Big line of paper they have produced over the past few months. For my tag, I used Pure Poppy Bitty Big for the stripes because our school district is known as Big Red! I've been learning a lot from Heather Nichols and her unique style, so I decided to use Kraft cardstock for the upper layer as well as the floral for the tag.

Thank You tag using 2016 Anniversary Stamps: Painted Petals
For the florals, I used the 2016 Limited Edition Stamp set, Painted Petals. I stamped the flower using Pure Poppy, Bright Buttercup, Summer Sunrise, Simply Chartreuse, and True Black. For the sentiment, I used Simon Says Stamp "You Matter" and embossed that onto Kraft cardstock as well. I finally joined the two tags, PTI's Made With Love, with black Hemp cord by Hemptique. 

Thank you so much for stopping by! I hope to finally get a moment to browse all of the awesome projects for future inspiration! Until next time...keep creating!