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!