Monday, June 30, 2014

Sunday, June 29, 2014

Thursday, June 26, 2014

ICAD #22 and #23

Oh dear, I'm going to have to dedicate these two to Janice as well.  More supplies I haven't used in awhile!  (These are done with stencils and Sprayza kid's blow pens:  the most fun you can have for about $10.)

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Finding Inspiration for ICAD #19-21

I think it was Tammy at Yellow Daisy Art, the brains behind the ICAD project who did a summer to-do list on one of her index cards.  It was a great chance to play with alphabet stamps.

PS - Camping for me means sleeping in the basement when the weather is too hot to sleep upstairs!

Art Projects for Kids make great ICAD projects!
Watercolor Crayon

Oil Pastel and Twinkling H2O's

Dion Dior was the inspiration for this one, and it is dedicated to my friend, Janice, who is getting a great laugh at all of the various supplies I'm using.

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Recycled Art

My grand nephew in Toronto celebrates his 5th birthday this month.  His mother, my niece, does a great job of helping us "far-away-relatives" find gifts that he will enjoy.  This year, she suggested that Rylan would enjoy a subscription to National Geographic Kids.  (She's got it figured out that I love to send books.)

This ATC was sitting in my swap binder, unclaimed and unloved.  It wasn't one of my best - it had a strip of green paper running across it that wasn't very exciting.  So I added my version of the National Geographic logo to the strip of paper and mounted it on a white card to send to Rylan.  It will take several weeks before he actually receives the first magazine, so I hope that this will help him understand what he'll receive.

Happy Birthday, Rylan!

Monday, June 23, 2014

Book Review: The New Colored Pencil

I recently received a review copy of The New Colored Pencil:  Create Luminous Works with Innovative Materials and Techniques, by Kristy Ann Kutch:

This is an updated book, and one fabulous thing about it is the comprehensive material Kutch provides about all of the new colored pencils on the market.  I was thrilled to discover that the book isn't limited to traditional colored pencils, but also includes watercolor pencils and what she calls "wax pastels", which includes water soluble watercolor crayons as well as the permanent wax based crayons (as opposed to chalk-based pastels).  What a dizzying array of new materials there is on the market now, and this book is a great technical guide to understanding them.

The first half of the book is devoted to traditional colored pencils, and begins with comprehensive, technical information about the makeup and construction of many of the pencil brands currently available.  Kutch then presents the same information about paper/surfaces best suited for colored pencils, and after discussing these items, she provides tables which summarize the information about the supplies.  For the pencils, this includes the number of shades available, their key characteristics and their price level (budget-friendly, mid-range and high-end).  I found the tables very useful for quick reference after I had read the book the first time through. There is also an appendix of color charts for all the products discussed.

After the discussion of basic supplies, Kutch provides chapters on color theory, drawing techniques, and applying and "lifting" colored pencils.  (Yes, you can "lift" or erase them, and she discusses various supplies and techniques to do this.)  She also covers more advanced topics such as blending, creating texture, and the best way to deal with backgrounds in your works.  In addition to the tables, contemporary artist works are shown throughout the book in a wide variety of subjects - animals, portraits, landscapes, flowers, etc.

Unlike most of the older colored pencil books I have read, Kutch does not provide a lot of specific, basic, how-to directions about colored pencil application.  In fact, as she says, "stroke directions vary from artist to artist".  I have always wondered why each book that I read previously gave slightly different instructions, all of which made me feel that I was doing it the "wrong" way. It was nice to hear (finally) that there is no "wrong" way - I think that these differences are part of what makes each artist unique!

In Part Two, Kutch lays out all of the product information about water-soluble colored pencils, including brands, surfaces, and brushes, and then she provides techniques for applying, controlling and lifting them.  In Part Three she covers the same topics for wax pastels and also discusses how to combine the media to take advantage of the best properties of each.

Writing an interesting book on art materials and techniques in the days of YouTube is no small feat.  Kutch has achieved this with the volume of comprehensive, technical, and comparative information she provides coupled with some good basic color theory and drawing techniques.  If you're interested in exploring the world of colored pencils this book is definitely worth reading, and you will find it a good reference guide for a few years to come.

Friday, June 20, 2014

ICAD #15 - Figure Drawing

I bought a wooden manikin to practice my figure drawing.  An index card is the perfect place to practice!

Watercolor Crayons over Colorwash Sprayed Stencil

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Saturday, June 14, 2014

ICAD #7 Combines Zebra Talk and Experiments

The ICAD challenge continues to bring out more experiments.  Here I used words to create a drawing.

Monday, June 9, 2014

ICAD #5 and #6

Experiments are a recurring theme... see which pens will write over watercolor crayons

...with journalling techniques and prompts from Journal Fodder 365, by Eric Scott and David Modler

Sunday, June 8, 2014

Zebra Talk

Zebras have things to say too.  Especially on Artist Trading Cards.

Saturday, June 7, 2014

ICAD #3 and 4

These index cards show another couple of techniques that I have wanted to try but my art journal seemed too precious :

Eiffel Tower Stamp by I Brake for Stamps

Pan Pastels

I've discovered that the index cards are like journalling on loose pages.  This is also something that I wanted to try but there were so many options of paper size and type that I got overwhelmed.  Index Cards removed the options and I might be ready to give it a more serious go when the ICAD project is finished.  Thanks Tammy!

Friday, June 6, 2014


I'm making a few ATC's for the upcoming Vancouver ATC Group swap.

I got a great tip from I am Rushmore to use an old large print library book for captions.

Thursday, June 5, 2014

May Flowers

I'm continuing to "Draw Your Awesome Year" with Joanne Sharpe.  These are my pages for May.

Wednesday, June 4, 2014


ICAD #2 is a quick sketch of dogwood blossoms.

Watercolor and Inktense Pencils

Tuesday, June 3, 2014


Experiments with Masking Fluid, pointed pen nibs and watercolour

Now I know that works!

Sunday, June 1, 2014

Index-Card-a-Day Starts Today

Daisy Yellow's Index-Card-a-Day art series starts today.  I'm tempted to join this 61 day project of doing art on index cards because sometimes I just want to experiment or scribble and for some reason I find my art journals "too precious".  Especially those luscious ones with the 140 lb. watercolour paper in them.

Index cards are cheap and non threatening.  I think I have some around here.  If you're at all tempted click the link above and watch the inspiring 3 minute video.

Is anybody in?