Tuesday, March 29, 2016

Thursday, March 24, 2016

Let All Creation Sing!

This etegami was inspired by the early rhododendrons I saw at VanDusen Gardens.  I tried out watercolor paper with this one - still no bleed, but I like it just the same. 

Wednesday, March 23, 2016

VanDusen Botanical Gardens

My marvelous hubby gifted me a membership to VanDusen Botanical Gardens.  I dodged the showers this week for a visit.  The cherry blossoms and Lenten Roses are in bloom.
Look at the size of these magnolia blossoms!
Even some early rhododendrons:
I'm looking forward to sketching expeditions when the weather warms.


Monday, March 21, 2016

Etegami Paper Tales

So far I have been unsuccessful at sourcing the postcards that are used to do Etegami on.  I can find the cards on-line, but the postage to Canada is two or three times the value of the cards.
The special cards have various levels of "bleed" which help to make the ink and watercolor uncontrollable.  (Ha! Maybe I'm out of control enough without additional help!)
I've been trying various kinds of cardstock to try and find ones that bleed.  So far without success.   In addition, with large areas of watercolor, the cardstock buckles.  They really are too flimsy to mail, but they flatten out if pressed or ironed.  Here's another; this one is a bit more creamy in colour:

Thursday, March 17, 2016

Not All Doodles Go in the Sketchbook

A card for my grand niece - she will be 3 soon!  My niece says that she's a "threenager".

Gel Pen

Tuesday, March 15, 2016

Getting Serious With Etegami

So exactly how does one get "serious" about Etegami?  Before you do Etegami you're supposed to warm up for 15 minutes.  Keeping your elbow high enough to hold the brush vertically, by its end, for 15 minutes, is not an easy feat.  I can't do it as slowly as prescribed either - 4 inches per minute is glacial.  On this rice paper, the bleed is lovely though, so I think I need to buy some proper washi Etegami postcards.
The other thing I've done is carve myself a new "Hanko", or signature stamp.  The vibrant red paste will add a nice balancing element. 
Half of the fun is learning all about this, of course.  OK, probably more than half.
Of course if I really want to get serious, I have to mail them. LOL

Saturday, March 12, 2016

Etegami - A New Discovery

I've just discovered something that suits my clumsy drawing style - Etegami.  In fact, with Etegami, clumsy is good!
Etegami is an old Japanese Folk Art, whereby postcards are made to send to friends.  (So, as this is in my sketchbook, it isn't real Etegami. It is in the Etegami style, though.)  Holding the end of a brush by the very end, one draws an everyday item.  Color is added, and then words carefully chosen.  The "chop" containing your signature is added at the end.  (I had my chop carved on a visit to China.) 
You can read more about Etegami here.  The author of the article, Debbie, runs a Facebook group for us to share our Etegami.  What fun!

Friday, March 11, 2016


Our tulips aren't blooming yet, but they're above ground.  They're my favorite flower, so they usually find their way into my sketchbook or journal. 

I tried the same composition with two watercolor variations.  The first one uses an Elegant Writer for the drawing and the second one is just a pencil drawing.

Thursday, March 10, 2016

Inside My Sketchbook - Part 2

I'm reading Craft-a-Doodle: 75 Creative Exercises from 18 Artists.  Some of the exercises get tried out in my sketchbook.  The first two are self-explanatory:


This next one really made me stretch.  First you use a small inkpad to make blocks of colour all over the page.  Then you add onto them with a pen.  After the first twelve, when you can't think of any more, you're encouraged to do twelve more, because that's when the best ideas come!


Wednesday, March 9, 2016

Inside My Sketchbook - Part 1

It's been awhile since you peaked inside my sketchbook.  What's been going on in there? 
In this first picture, I was trying out pencil crayons on different paper.  What a difference the smoother paper makes!

And in this next one, I was trying different rulers to use with my Ames Lettering Guide.  The Guide is used by draftsmen to draw lines for their lettering.
The last one for today is a watercolor sketch from a vintage book:

Tuesday, March 8, 2016

The Bookmark Project

I've been working on bookmarks to give away.  My plan is to return books to my library with a bookmark inside.
Although sometimes friends or family see a photograph and want one.  That's OK too!
These ones are all gelli prints.

Monday, March 7, 2016


Strathmore Watercolor 6" x 9"
One of the artists that I follow on Instagram is Anika Starmer.  She provides weekly pattern prompts under the hashtag #patternswithanika.  I don't often need prompts for inspiration, but I did last week, and I've been thinking about trying some patterns for awhile.  It is a pretty dismal start, but it got me creating something, and that's the objective.
She's going to focus on the color green during March, and the prompt last week was avocado. She does say that you can take as much creative license as you want, and I was more inspired to paint avocados than to paint with the appliance green of the 1970's.

Wednesday, March 2, 2016


I don't do much digital art, but occasionally I get tempted by calligraphy artists.  They do interesting things to overlay calligraphy on photographs.  Not wanting to delve into the cost and complexity of Photoshop, I played around with Picmonkey for 10 minutes.
Groovy, man.

Tuesday, March 1, 2016

Let the Gardener Dig

Watercolor on Inktense Block Background
Strathmore Watercolor 6" x 9"