Saturday, December 20, 2008

Thursday, December 18, 2008

A Very Special Gift

Gas Company Trencher

I'm beginning to understand I have an affinity for large contruction equipment.

Monday, December 8, 2008

Only Sweet When Sleeping

Since Cheezburger got four sketches yesterday, Smudge gets her 15 seconds of fame today.

Sunday, December 7, 2008

A Boy and His Cat

Was busy this weekend and didn't have time or energy to draw. Gasp!

I've been admiring the "real life" sketches of other artists and wanted to practice capturing a moving, wiggling subject. So this evening I followed Hubby around the house and recorded his activities (or lack thereof.) With Hubby I got Cheezburger also...fifteen pounds of warm, furry love.

(click to embiggen)

Cheezburger: "Let me put my butt on your arm."

There is a definite progression in the drawing style from #1 to #4. I tried to capture tooooo many details at first. By #4 I was just trying to get down the essence of the scene.

Need to work on hands - too long, too short, to square-fingered. Toes look pretty good.

Thursday, December 4, 2008

Speckus Mussupacus

Speckus Mussupacus, a new variety of spiderwort recently discovered in Lower Arkansas.


Woot! Proud of this. Almost worth sticking a watermark on.

I ran off the rails with the journal illustration for today, so I turned the page and started anew.

3" x 5"
Prismacolor Colored Pencils in journal

Wednesday, December 3, 2008


I rillyrilly hate cold weather.

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Monday, December 1, 2008

48 New Colored Pencils

Hubby is such a prince and treats me like a princess.

Sunday, November 30, 2008

Two Apples

This apple was one of a bunch in a basket along with some fall leaves that was on the front of a Thanksgiving card our insurance agent sent. I wonder would my insurance premiums go down if he sent fewer greeting cards??? Hummm....

Anyway, I wanted to try to draw it using colored pencils. I have seen some fabulous work with CPs that looked like photographs. Maybe I could come close.

The apple on the left was done using Crayola brand colored pencils. Don't wrinkle your nose, Crayola makes some great products. I happen to have own two sets of the 50-pack colored pencils. Love 'em.

Problem with Crayola is they don't lay down a bunch of color so I really had to scrub to get any color saturation on the paper. Plus they are kinda waxy so I wasn't able to layer the colors. With 50 colors to choose from I really didn't need to layer much.

Tried the apple again with a set of 12 Prismacolor pencils. Color saturation is very nice but they were just as waxy as the Crayolas. The color is SO intense that subtlety was not an option. I let the lights get away from me before I knew it.

I like the weird colors of the shadow on this one, but I think the shadow is too large overall. Sigh. Win some; lose some.

I don't know what I'm looking for out of colored pencils, but I think I should be able to lay down more than two layers of color. Maybe I'm using the wrong kind of paper. Maybe I just don't know how to properly handle colored pencils. Sigh. I hate it when I don't know what I'm doing and don't know where to find the answer.

I think I actually like the Crayola apple better. Yeah, wrinkle yer nose.


EDM Challenge #91 - Draw an apple

Friday, November 28, 2008

Sleeping Beauty

I had envisioned this spread with color just in the windowpanes with the suggestion of raindrops falling outside. However, the kitty on my shoulder came out so cute I didn't want him to be overlooked so I painted him too.

I suppose I could have stopped there because the blue and orange would have been nice complimentary colors. But, fool that I am, I keep going. It was one of those "it looked better 20 minutes ago" things.

I started the window by putting frisket all over in little blobs and outlining the whole thing. When I peeled the friskit off the surface of the paper peeled up too. Eeek! That caused me some panic.

Maybe the paper in my journal just isn't designed for that. Moisture may have oozed under the friskit just a little and hadn't dried yet. If I try friskit again I'll let it dry for an hour or so before I try to peel it.

The white blobs looked stupid, so I went back with blue-black to try to make two or more individual drops out of each blob. They ended up looking like white drug capsules with a blue middle band. Finally I just painted over the whole mess and let it be. It looks more like a snowstorm at night than a rainstorm during the day, but eh, it's OK.

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Thanksgiving Day at the Farm

After two days of cooking and two hours of driving, we finished Thanksgiving dinner in 15 minutes...that's including dessert. Half the womenfolk went to see a scary movie and the other half adjourned to the sun porch for naps.

The boys went outside to ride on their big-boy toys. All four have a riding toy this year. Hubby decided three idiots on wheels was plenty, so he opted to cut brush with the jetpack weedwhacker with the medieval blade. It's a nasty looking thing.

Two brothers were riding things with leaf sweepers. They would make a round and dump the leaves in front of the fire. The brother on the tractor would scoop up them up to make a ginormous pile. It would have been a ginormous fire too if the leaves hadn't been so wet. They smoked and smoldered all day.

Today I am thankful for this wonderfully quirky family and the privilege to be part of it for another year.

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Monday, November 24, 2008

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Woes of a Trim Carpenter

Capstone Building Detail

4.5" x 5.5"
Watercolor on Strathmore 140 lb cold press paper


Let's pick this apart, shall we???

First lesson learned: Architectural detail is not an appropriate subject to render in watercolor. It's like using a hammer to drive in a screw. Wrong subject for the medium. Sigh.

Second lesson learned: Don't shake up the friskit. I shook it to get the color to blend with the latex so it would show on the white paper. The shaking caused bubbles and when applied caused little bubbles on the paper. When they popped, it threw out tiny little threads of friskit where I didn't want them to be. I didn't realize it at the time because they were so microscopic. The result was little white tumors on the white capstones. I opted to not fix them because I figured the fix would look worse than the tumors.

Third lesson learned: When washing in the background sky, get it all over the area. I missed a small sliver of sky on the right side and tried to go back and fix it. I got a bloom for my effort. I wanted to add some purple to the sky. I saw that done in a WC video and thought it was cool. I don't have purple paint, so I added a touch of red and smeared it in. It looked OK when wet, but when it dried the purple color migrated to the edges of the space and ended up looking funny.

Fourth lesson learned: The first wash on the building should have been much lighter. I realized that AFTER I had added a bunch of detail. The light is coming from the left, so that face of the building should be much lighter. I fought with the right, or front, of the building trying to make it darker without messing up the details.

Fifth lesson learned: The pencil sketch should have been darker. When I washed in the building color, much of the sketch washed away with it. I was flying blind on where some of the brickwork detail should go. After I finished the painting I realized I mistook the face of the brick for the side of the brick simply because I could only see a few of the sketching lines. I ended up with only two vertical bricks under the front arch and there should have been four. Sigh.

Sixth lesson learned: I need one of those micro-fine liner brushes. My smallest brush is too wide.

Seventh lesson learned: I started out painting all the shadows blue, then had a brain fart and switched to brown shadows. I have no explanation for this.

Things that went right:

1.) The sky looks cool because it is blue and purple. I lifted out the clouds with a tissue and was pleased with the result. They're rather horizontal overall, a little variation would have been better.

2.) The shading and shadows on the capstones look great. I couldn't be more pleased with them.

3.) The blue shadows on the front face came out great. They might could be a little darker, but I'm pleased with the effect.

4.) I lifted out a highlight. I had painted part of the protruding brickwork dark where it should have been light. I was able to lift the dark paint off and fix it. This was the first time this trick has worked for me. It might have something to do with the quality of the paper I used this time. I see another place I should have done this to also, but I'm not going to try to fix it.

5.) The little tiny brown tic marks on the edges/corners of the columns give the impression of individual bricks. Cool. Made a mark on one by accident and liked the way it looked, so I did it all down the length of the column.

Well, this was a good exercise. I learned a lot while working on it. Now if I can just remember all the lessons learned the next time I try something like this, life will be good.

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Capstone Building

Spent most of the day working on a painting of the corner architectural detail of this abandoned building in Lewisville, Arkansas. It has the most amazing brickwork and strange white plaster capstones atop each column. The capstones are what caught my eye.

I think the painting came out OK. I think I finally got the darks dark enough. I stopped before I overworked it (I think).

Will let it rest overnight and re-evaluate.

Friday, November 21, 2008

Marker Color Chart

Don't know why I got hung up on doing a marker color chart. It seemed critical at the moment. Sigh.

Thursday, November 20, 2008


The radishes video was a two-parter by Lori Andrews
Watercolor Painting Demonstration by Lori Andrews

Watercolor Painting Demo Part II Radishes By Lori Andrews

I've been trying to paint watercolors the same as acrylics or oils and it has caused me a lot of frustration. Watercolors are a very different animal.

After watching this video, I understood that watercolors flow on rather than get stroked on. I also finally saw that you have to paint a part and let it dry, then paint another part and let it dry. THEN you go back and put in detail.

I was trying to put in details while the paint was still wet and the detail disappeared. I would put on more and more and more paint, and they still disappeared. I was about to pull my hair out.

After this video I "got it". Watercolors have a sense of direction of their own. They flow here and yon, depositing pigment where they will. You don't get to choose. If you try to make them do what you want you will lose and make a big mess.

New philosophy: Glob on water, glob on paint, sit back, watch magic happen.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Art Supplies

The journals are "Reflexions" by Creative Mark artist products. For a cheap little journal they are great. The paper is creamy 70lb with a good tooth. It buckles if I slather paint from edge to edge, but otherwise it holds up pretty nicely under watercolor.

The only drawback is that they do not lay open flat for the first few pages (as you can see in this scan.) I whacked the spine on my old one and it flattened out pretty quickly but didn't fall apart.

They are just the thing for a tightwad newbie who is scared of soiling a Moleskine with beginner scribbles. And ya can't beat the price.

Sold by Hobby Lobby, or online at Jerry's Artarama or ASW - Art Supply Warehouse.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Monday, November 17, 2008

Farmhouse Kitchen

My mother-in-law is the sweetest, most patient woman on Earth. We make a total disaster of her house and she smiles, hugs and cooks. I adore her.

Really whonky proportions on this sketch, but I had been mudding all day and my wrist was about to die. That's my story and I'm stickin' to it.

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Ninja Watercolorist

Had to poop a few images out of my brain...notably the daisy and the mushrooms. Added the rest to fill the page. Just doing a little guerrilla painting, slapping color without mixing and testing first.

Some things came out well, some things didn't. I really like how the mushroom to the right turned out. Woot!

The tree on the left is an utter failure. Can't quite figure out how to add dark to the undersides of trees. Must work on that.

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Friday, November 14, 2008

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Just Another Day at the Farm

Deer season is open in Lower Arkansas. Yard dogs are having a grand time with the leavings.

Don't mean to gross anybody out, but this was my day...dead deer to cookies.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Change of Seasons

Instead of rewriting all my thoughts in pretty lettering, I made two little privacy edits and let 'er fly. Hope my writing is legible.

My summer uniform: t-shirt, shorts, plastic crocs.

My winter uniform: hoodie, turtleneck, jeans, leather crocs.

I have a thing for pink hoodies. Been a tomboy all my life but have suddenly developed a love for All Things Pink.

The Monk hoodie is huge and comes almost to my knees. I look like Friar Tuck wearing it.

Monday, November 10, 2008

Pumpkin Hole

Nothing of note happened today, so I just let my inner child play with a fat marker and some paints. She had a ball.

Sunday, November 9, 2008

Dark Meat Bread

Hubby makes up words as he goes along. Funny thing is I understand completely what he's trying to say.

Saturday, November 8, 2008

RIP Pigma Micron 005

I am all meshuganah. Sob!

I *hate* living in a small town three hours away from the nearest art supply store. Sigh. The $8.00 in shipping charges from DickBlick is far cheaper than the gas it would take to drive to the art store.

Friday, November 7, 2008

Burge's - Lewisville, Arkansas

A little piece of Americana in the tiny town of Lewisville, Arkansas. Too many of these are disappearing.

Burge's has embraced the Internet age to expand nationwide (I didn't know that when I drew the building) but still holds tight to small town America...a good business model for the coming era.

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Good Morning Mr. President

Schadenfreude - I haz it.

Ya know, Obama has really big teeth and strange little pointy ears. You don't really notice those things unless you study his candid photos in order to draw him.

The way this sketch scanned it looks like he has an exaggerated smile like the Joker from Batman. The original really doesn't look like that.

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Zonkey Farm

The zonkey kept disappearing over the crest of the hill the one day we finally remembered to bring a camera and stop to take pictures. Pfft. Couldn't get a good shot of him.

The llamas were nowhere to be found and the buffalo would only show me their backsides. Pfft again.

Monday, November 3, 2008

Farmhouse Maple

There's a blue sky background around the tree. I've got to start making the backgrounds darker. They never do show up.

The spellchecker on my Pigma Micron is broken. :(

Sunday, November 2, 2008

Spilled Milk

I never stopped to consider the artwork on a paper towel before. There is art everywhere if we just pause a moment to see it. Kudos to Jennifer Brinley, wherever you are!

I wonder if this journal post would be considered a copyright violation???

Saturday, November 1, 2008

Crazy Ar-teest Hat

EDM #58 - Draw a Hat.

It says:
"Hubby said if I was going to be a crazy ar-teest, I needed to have a crazy ar-teest with a big sunflower on it. So I stole his favorite boonie hat and made one."

"The sunflower is made of cardstock with magic markers and Sharpie."

"People in this town already think I'm nuts, so if I go about wearing this hat it will only confirm their suspicions."

All I need now is a flowing, crazy ar-teest caftan in a wild print to wear with it. I'll look like I escaped from an Arizona ar-teest colony.

There's a hole in the cardstock where the snap goes through to hold on the flower.

It looks rather scary-goofy. Or rather I look pretty scary-goofy when I'm wearing it.

And I made me some crazy ar-teest glasses to go with my crazy ar-teest hat.


I ain't right.

Friday, October 31, 2008

Spooky Bee Girl

This is one of my 7-month-old triplet great-nieces in her Halloween costume. She was ecstatic about being a bee! Her two sisters, not so much.

First attempt at a portrait
4" x 6" watercolor on wc paper

I know this is a bit repetitious, but here is the journal page for today. I printed out a copy of the the original painting using a color printer and regular copy paper and glued it in my journal. It may not last, but eh. There it is.

Had to go in and digitally edit out the baby's real name. Her bloggity name is "Butterbean."

EDM #2 - Draw a Lamp

Monday, October 27, 2008