Sunday, May 21, 2017

#100 Days #5

Happy Sunday everyone! I hope your weekend has been restful. We were expecting some rain this morning, but it passed us by. Nevertheless, it is a cool and overcast day...a great day to paint and relax! The "Tiles" painting above was inspired by tiles at a local Mexican food restaurant. Mine are a little more colorful than the inspiration, but I had fun practicing wet-in-wet and glazing.

Purple Flowers
I enjoyed painting this piece. Still working on composition, balancing colors, and floral design.

A Hot Mess
I believe the title says it all!! Thanks for stopping by!

Wednesday, May 17, 2017

WCW #10: Wet-in-Wet Technique

Child's Play
Happy Watercolor Wednesday everyone! I hope this week is treating you well and you are enjoying the springtime weather. Honestly, I started a different topic earlier this week, but yesterday, I decided to work on my wet-in-wet technique. I wanted to give it a go again because I realized there were two things I was doing wrong prior to this attempt:

  1. Previously, my lighting was not at the right angle so I could not tell how wet the paper was before dropping in color.
  2. While I am still working on this, for this painting, I know I do not have quite enough pigment on my brush in order to get that nice swirl of color I see so many artists achieve in the videos I watch.
That being said, what I focused on in today's painting was not so much to drop color into a wet wash, but rather to wet a section at a time and then 'edge' the color in and let it swirl to the middle. I was working in an art journal, so I did not tilt the paper all that much. I didn't want the watery paint to slide outside of the 'borders.' I think I'll try it again and be a little more daring :-)! Below is the painting prior to adding the black line detail:

Child's Play--Step One
In this photo, I think it is easier to see how the edges began, but because I was in a hurry, sections did not dry completely before adding in adjacent color. That did not disappoint me, but I do know that I want to try this technique again and let each section dry well or almost dry before adding adjacent color to see how that changes the composition.

Why go through this practice? Eventually I hope to strengthen this technique so I can paint 'watery-almost-realistic-but-not-quite-so' florals. The best part of this exercise was taking a pencil and drawing squiggles and swirls just like I did when I was a school girl. This truly was a lot of fun, I learned a few things, and I cannot wait to try it again.

Thanks for stopping by...and until next week: Paint your heart out!!

Saturday, May 13, 2017

#100 Days #4

Triangular Comparison
This journey so far has been the best challenge I've ever designed for myself. I've started many projects only to feel frustrated at one point or another and give up. 

Yellow Flowers in Wreath
I really do not know what the difference is this time. It could be due to the fact that at least 10 or more people seem to like my work on IG. Or, it could be that I am seeing progress, and my study and research is yielding some results. 

Whatever the reason, I am now 33% through the 100 day challenge and I'm looking forward to 50% and beyond. I hope you all are inspired to do the same for matter what challenge or goal you set. 

I'd love to hear from you and please leave a link to your favorite social media platform so I can follow your journey, too!

Wednesday, May 10, 2017

WCW #9: Brush & Paper Matter!

Painting with Jay Lee: Yellow Flowers
Happy Watercolor Wednesday everyone!! This week's post is all about brushes and paper. Trust me...I don't think spending a lot of money is necessary for art supplies. I definitely know that if you gave me a $300 brush today, I wouldn't paint any better or worse than I am right now. On the other hand, artists recommend purchasing the best quality brushes, paper, and paints that you can afford. I am beginning to believe them.

I started this journey painting in student-grade watercolor journals. The spiral binding is convenient because I don't have to worry about the pages flopping around while I'm working. I use a binder clip for the hard-bound journals, but I prefer the flat surface of the spiral-bound journals. 

While I like the cheaper watercolor journals because they are spiral-bound [$8 to $11 range], my pricey watercolor journals [about $25] feel like I am painting on artist-grade paper. The painting above is a student-grade journal I purchased from Amazon. It's a Strathmore journal with 140# paper. Sometimes when I paint in it, the paint will glide easily over the paper. At other times there will be skips or slick spots when pigment is applied. While this is noticeable during painting, it does not seem to affect the final outcome.

Bleeding Hearts: My Design
The Bleeding Hearts and Salvia florals were painted in a hard-bound Strathmore Watercolor Journal, #467-5 and it costs around $25. I can definitely tell a difference when painting in this journal. The paper is consistent and grabs the pigment nicely. The binding is premium quality and the papers are stitched. I really love this journal, but I reserve it for those times when I have a good idea of what I want to paint. Otherwise, I use my cheaper, student grade version. 

Salvia-Purple Velvet: My Design
As far as brushes are concerned, for now, I really love the Master's Touch line from Hobby Lobby. I have three brushes from that line. They all hold water and pigment very nicely and I have great control. Recently, I noticed a big difference with the round brushes. The #16 round comes to a precision point, and after use, it dries to its original shape without feathering. The cheaper version has not 'bounced' back after cleaning, and while painting, I cannot seem to get the fine line as I can with the more pricey version.

The brush on the left does not dry to a clean point.
The Masters Touch brush dries to a point every time.
Unfortunately, when I tried to look for the Masters Touch brand online, I couldn't find a source...not even Hobby Lobby online. I'm thinking my favorite brushes are a line of Windsor and Newton, because they have a similar 1" wash like I have. As I save my coins and purchase more brushes and paper, I'll be sure to update this post with versions of papers and brushes that out-perform the cost.

Please comment below about your favorite 'reasonably-priced' brushes and paper. I'd love to hear from you. Until next week: Paint your heart out!

Sunday, May 7, 2017

#100 Days #3

A few of my favorites from this past week. Enjoy!
Total Abstraction: Color First!

Rose Painting with Jay Lee

Inspiration drawn from Texas artist, Jan Heaton

Yellow Flowers with Jay Lee

My favorite flowers...Salvia

Thursday, May 4, 2017

Mother's Day!

Mother's Day Card!
Hello everyone! Today I'm playing along with Papertrey's Make It Monday #283: Watercolor Wash Backgrounds. I was so grateful for Laurie Schmidlin's tutorial on watercolor background techniques for cards. Her backgrounds are beautiful, but I liked the free-flowing wash you see in my card above and hers below.

I used Fresh Bouquet for my focal point, and stamped the flowers in Pale Peony, Bright Buttercup, Green Parakeet, and Spring Rain. The outline was stamped using Stormy Sea. I cut out the panel using the Noted Scalloped A2 rectangle die. I topped it off with a simple tag and the xoxo from Fresh Bouquet.  There is still plenty of time to play along and see all of the wonderful interpretations for this challenge.

For me, I'm going to make about four more cards: one for Mother, one for my sister, one for my two nieces, and one for my daughter-in-law's mother. Thanks for stopping by!

Birthday Wishes (detail) by Laurie Schmidlin
Laurie Schmidlin's card for MIM #283

Wednesday, May 3, 2017

WCW #8: Depth

Cactus: Jay Lee Watercolor
Happy Watercolor Wednesday to you! This week's focus is on depth. I began my practice from last week by following along with Jay Lee Watercolor's: Easy Simple Cactus Painting for Beginners.  I must have watched the video five times before giving it a try. I like how he models painting the basic shape, and then working between wet-in-wet and wet-in-almost dry to create depth to the shape.  You can see hard edges in my version, but I am proud of the fact that you do see some highlights [although I'm not sure the light is coming from the same direction... :-}]. That said, I did make this cactus my own by selecting my own color, adding a ground and sky, and topping it off with a cactus flower. We have spineless cacti all over our yard, and someday I hope to paint our own cacti. This painting is giving me confidence that I will be able to do that soon!

My own: Berries & Leaves
It's important to know that I actually started this journey to be able to paint leaves, berries, and flowers in a wreath. I see these all over Instagram and I'm amazed at all of the quick-time videos of artists creating beautiful wreaths in seconds flat! :-) While my painting above does not have layers of color, it does have depth due to the leaves and berries having different values. The stems were painted in a greenish Payne's gray ever so lightly to add structure. Then when the leaves and berries were painted, I went back in with a 0.005 Micron marker to add veins to the leaves to add texture and definition to the berries and stems. This is one of my very favorite so far because I feel I'm getting somewhat closer to my goal.

My own: Pink Flower
Continuing on in my quest for depth in watercolor, on Sunday I watched The Mind of Watercolor: Strathmore Artist Workshop: Botanical Rose Part 1. I've said it before...what I like about Steve's instruction is that he breaks down all of the steps. After watching this video, I was able to sketch [okay, not perfectly...working on it] a flower, use watercolor blending techniques to add depth, and left areas highlighted to create a realistic curved shape to the petals. I rushed the 'details' part, but I'm hoping to concentrate on that in the future when I have other skills in place. What I'm most proud of is I actually managed to practice my goals and not have any hard edges! Hard edges are fine if you know what you're doing...but believe me, I do not. So for now, I'm happy with the progress I made this week.

What challenges are you facing? I'd love to hear from please leave a comment below.

Until next time...paint your heart out!

Monday, May 1, 2017

CASe this Sketch #219: Celebrate!

CASe this Sketch #219: Celebrate!
Happy 1st day of May everyone! Hope your weather is sunshiny and pleasant! Tonight I'm posting a very special graduation card for the son of my husband's foreman. Caleb lives in Oklahoma with his mother, but for the past several summers, he has lived in Texas with his dad and has worked for my husband. Caleb is a fine young man, and it is apparent from the invitation that he plans to pursue another degree.

The card above sports the CASe design below which is perfect for the embellishment and sentiment I have chosen. Both are PTI's 2016 Customer Appreciation stamp & die set: Celebrate! The colors are orange and black in honor of Caleb's school colors. It always warms my heart to see another youngster cross this threshold!! Mr. Pat and I wish him well!

Updated 5.6.17

I'm so excited!! This card was a CASe Favorite!!  Thanks so much!

Saturday, April 29, 2017

Watercolor with Stencils

Gran's Garden
Happy Saturday everyone! I'm participating in two challenges today: PTI's Make It Monday #282 and Color Throwdown #440. The color combination is a lovely one--purple, yellow, and green. And Betsy Veldman has a great demo for creating a lovely, soft background by watercoloring over a stencil. Her card is beautiful! For my card I used Gran's Garden and Tim Holtz' Burlap stencil. As you can see, I thought about going around the edges with more purple...I kinda wish I'd thought better of that!! But overall, I think the card turned out okay. I will definitely use this color combo and the stenciling technique in future projects! Thanks for stopping by!

#100 Days #2

Learning to add depth, shadows, and highlights
Good Saturday morning to you! I hope your weekend is off to a great start. I'm coming to the end of week 4 of #100daysofwatercolorexercises on my Instagram [caboney1]. I have to say that this week was filled with more successes than failures, and overall, I am beginning to see some progress. The sphere above represents one of the biggest challenges I gave create a shape with depth, shadow, and highlight. I have worked with acrylics mainly, and I find it is a lot easier to to create a sphere with those three qualities because that medium is more opaque and allows you to easily paint over where you have been. With watercolor, I'm realizing that if I don't won't happen. I had the hardest time leaving that little dot of white in the middle of the sphere. But I kept dobbing it back to white with my wet towel and wound up with a bluish highlight, instead! :-)

Below are a few of my favorites from this week. Until next time...paint your heart out!!

Day 24: Cactus with Jay Lee Watercolor on YouTube

Day 25: Flowers w/Jay Lee Watercolor on YouTube

Wednesday, April 26, 2017

WCW #7: Sketching Helps!

Lemons--inspired by Ohn Mar Win @ohn_mar_win on Instagram
Happy Watercolor Wednesday everyone! Over the past week, I have spent some time sketching before painting, and I find it is helping me quite a bit. For the lemons above, I watched Ohn Mar Win demonstrate painting a lime in a similar whimsy fashion on Skillshare [Sketchbook Practice: Grow in Your Art Everyday]. For my practice, I took photos of a cut lemon from various angles and then sketched them onto my art journal. Only the wedges were painted without a reference. 

Kid Art Inspired
Every year our district hosts an art exhibition of student-created art. For two weeks, I walk up and down the halls of the administration building admiring their work and efforts. The piece above is my interpretation of some of their work and some other pieces I've seen on Instagram. For this, a nickel and a ruler helped with the design. Then it was all up to the painting and line work to give this design a feel of motion and movement. I was careful to shade only one edge of each 'ray' and then add a slight curve to the horizontal lines separating each segment on the ray. I drew the piece on a Friday and painted it on Saturday morning. Such a fun way to start the weekend!!

Tulips--How to Draw Modern Florals  by Alli Koch
This painting was inspired by the book How to Draw Modern Florals by Alli Koch. Throughout her book, she gives step-by-step instructions and models to draw a variety of flowers. To finish the tulips out, I added stems, leaves and a pot...again lightly sketching each part to help me get it close to correct! To be honest, my favorite part is the pot...go figure!! :-)

Tulips inspired by Jay Lee Art
While this post is mainly about sketching prior to painting, my point really is this: sketching, for me, trains my eye and hand to see the parts of the shape--part to whole, if you will. I'm no artist...believe me. And, I cannot draw a decent stick figure...but through tutorials and practice, I feel I'm getting a little better each day. The next important thing I'm learning is that through sketching, I can then transfer that knowledge into the free-flowing art that I hope to create on my own one day. The tulips above were painted after watching Jay Lee model his process. By drawing and painting the tulips previously, I felt more confident approaching the free-style tulips.

I hope this post has inspired you to give sketching a try. Honestly, I'm most impatient when it comes to art...which requires patience, and I don't like sketching first...but when I'm finish, I'm glad I did! Please leave a comment below if this post is helpful in any way or if you have any tips on sketching.

Until next week....paint your heart out!

Tuesday, April 25, 2017

Papertrey April Blog Hop

Papertrey April Blog Hop
Hello everyone! It's the best time of the month: Papertrey's April Blog Hop!! I look forward to this day each month, both for the challenge and to have an opportunity to see everyone's take on the inspiration. I think this month's inspiration...while gorgeous...was challenging because of the colors. One of these days, I am going to manage an 'all over' pattern on a card, but for now...clusters of flowers will have to do. I did manage to get all of the colors incorporated.  See below for the card recipe, and thanks for stopping by!

April Inspiration
Papertrey's Inspiration Photo--patterns by Megan Carter
Card Recipe:

Papers: White cardstock, Summer Sunrise, Pale Peony, and Orange Zest
Inks: Summer Sunrise, Pale Peony, Orange Zest, Stormy Sea
Dies & Stamps: Turning a New Leaf, Gran's Garden, Mix & Mat Scallops

Monday, April 24, 2017

Color Throwdown #439

Color Throwdown #439
A gracious good Monday morning to you, everyone! I apologize for the chipper beginning to this's early, I know! :-) Today's card is for Color Throwdown's weekly challenge #439. The lusciousness of yellow, orange, purple and red screamed watercolor!! So that's what I did for the background and then, using white cardstock, I cut out PTI's Quatrefoil cover plate and added the sentiment from Graceful super quick and easy!  Have a great start to your Monday and thanks for stopping by!!


Saturday, April 22, 2017

One-third and Counting!

Make It Monday #281: Patterns Behind Window
Happy Earth Day and 1/3 of the year gone. That's right folks, one-third of the year is almost behind us. Time to shop for Christmas!! Lolol! Seriously, next week is Administrative Assistant's Day, and I am already behind schedule with this, Mother's Day, and birthday card making. To try to make a dent in the card-making frenzy, I created this card for my husband's assistant after watching Dawn McVey's tutorial for Papertrey Ink's Make It Monday #281. I plan to add this card to a nice gift to show our appreciation for all that Jeannie does. The world truly would not turn without our trusted assistants running the show!

Thanks for stopping by!

Card Recipe [All PTI except for 'dictionary entry' as pattern]:
Stamps: Bold Blossoms & Mix & Mat Scallop Die
Inks: Pale Peony, Simply Chartreuse, Spring Moss, Classic Kraft, Burnt Umber, Raspberry Fizz
Paper: Vintage Cream and Heidi Swapp Vintage Chic Textbook

Friday, April 21, 2017

100 Days of Watercolor #1

Day 16--third attempt
TGIF everyone!! Hang on! It's just a few short hours away from the weekend. :-)

I wanted to take a moment to update my Watercolor Wednesday #6 post. In that post, I discussed failure as a necessary ingredient for growing and learning. Immediately after that post, I continued on my #100daysofwatercolorexercises journey for Instagram. Folks, nothing I painted with water, paper, and pigment worked. All of them...complete disasters...the entire day. I made four earnest attempts to produce a decent post, but after the last attempt, all I could do was put it out there for all to see!

Day 16--Cactus, take one
In a way it was freeing. It is one thing to state a's quite another to live it and own it. Well, I own it. The posted photos are my "best" worst failures for Day 16. Moving forward to Days 17 and 18, I was able to rebound from that experience. And when I say rebound...I mean in my "Mary Had a Little Lamb" level of watercolor painting rebound!

Day 16--Cactus, take two
This is what I learned:

  • Sometimes I need to let the paint dry
  • Sometimes I need to walk away and just stop
  • Sometimes I need to have a plan and maybe sketch first
  • All the time, I need to accept small steps forward. 
The 'take two' cactus actually shows texture and shading. I wasn't really going for that when I started. The pad in the foreground has depth and a curve to it. I've not been able to create 'roundness' before in my painting. And finally, the pad in the foreground has texture. So although it looks like a cactus from a Walking Dead episode, it's not that bad!

Thanks for stopping by, and until Wednesday, have a great weekend and paint your heart out!!

Wednesday, April 19, 2017

WCW #6--Just Do It!

My favorite from the past week: Feather-Day 13
Hello and happy Watercolor Wednesday to you! This week's post is all about jumping in and taking risks. The nice thing about keeping a watercolor journal is the opportunity to explore. Self-criticism is my number one talent, and over the years I have had to tame the nasty voice again and again. I haven't mastered it yet, but I have told myself that if I will commit to trying new things, I can always go back later and try again to make it better. That seems to have quenched the growling for now.

Day 15: Brush Techniques
So, I've been practicing brush and water control for the past few weeks, and it occurred to me that I really don't have to wait until I feel like all of that is under control. I can have fun with the process and just dive in! We really don't learn anything without failing. The following is my list of crucial ingredients for learning:
  • technique
  • practice
  • application
  • failure
  • repeat the process all over again until you have achieved success!
The photos in this post show paintings where I combined technique and practice with application. The feather above was created after watching a video on Skillshare. If you don't know about Skillshare, it's a community of learners and teachers who share what they've learned with you. The lessons are in YouTube format, and yes, you can probably find everything you need for free on YouTube. However, for a small amount monthly, you can explore all sorts of classes that go into more depth and break down the steps to ensure success. You have an opportunity to upload your work and have the instructors give feedback. The feather above and a few other pieces were created after watching Peggy Dean's 10 Easy Watercolor Projects. Click on the link to get a free class, if you'd like to see what it's all about:  Skillshare 10 Easy Watercolor Projects. You will have to sign up to get the free class. Now on to this week's projects:

Although Skillshare is a great platform, you really don't have to pay big bucks to learn how to watercolor. There are plenty of demos to be found on Instagram, bloggers, company websites, and YouTube. The piece below was inspired by a @hello_worldpics on Instagram. I love following them as they have the most vibrant, colorful pictures from all around the globe. The window does seem to be a little unbalanced, but that really is how it looked to me. Life is a little off, right folks?!! 

Day 11/100 Window in Columbia
The cute lady bugs were also painted after watching an Instagram quick clip by @weilis.whimsies. The technique is wet-in-wet blending and line drawing on top of the circles. This was so much fun to create, and it turned out swell, too!

Day 12: Ladybug Fantasy
And finally, after I finished the Ladybugs, I used the paints on my pallet to create the mosaic below. I didn't have a plan, I just started with the colors, painted shapes, and continued on until I ran out of room, basically.
Day 12, too: Mosaic
I hope you have enjoyed this week's post. Please leave a comment below...I'd love to view and comment on your work as well. Be sure to leave information...Instagram tag or blog I can find you.

Until next week...paint your heart out!!