Monday, July 15, 2019

I Eat My Peas With Honey

Lettering - Daniel Smith Luminescent Watercolors, Duochrome Arctic Fire and Pencil Crayon

I did this for the July Westcoast Calligraphy Society Love of Letters challenge.  The July  prompt is "food".

Saturday, July 13, 2019

Men in Hats

I know I've gone through a "drawing men in hats" phase before, but indulge me please.

Friday, July 12, 2019

Playing with Metallic Pencil Crayons

I was browsing Roz Stendahl's blog and came across this post on drawing with metallic pencil crayons. She's the bomb of portrait drawing, IMHO.

I couldn't resist giving Jack Lemon a go.

Tuesday, July 9, 2019

More Fruit Crate Labels

The fruit crate labels, from a book published by Dover, are a great way to practice my hand-eye coordination. 

Tuesday, July 2, 2019

The Title Page

I'm getting a little tired of sketching my watercolor palette on the first page of every new journal I start.  Sketching my palette was an idea that I got from Liz Steel, but I don't change colors in my palette very often, so I thought I might use the first page as a place to do a lettering exemplar.  Then, I can use it for reference throughout the journal.  (Whether this new idea will continue remains to be seen.)

I copied this from two pieces done by Ben Shahn using gouache with a paint brush.

Monday, July 1, 2019

Pushing the Values on Toned Paper

I have been playing with pencil crayons on toned paper for a couple of days.  It took me awhile to get the hang of it.

I started with Magic Pencils in the garden:

Something wasn't quite right though, and I wasn't happy.  A drawing needs a good variety of values (light and dark), and the magic pencils didn't have the ranges I needed - not much white, no black.  Back in my office/studio this morning, I got out the Prismacolors and enhanced what I did yesterday.  I had to really think about it though, and do a little research.

Here are my notes for next time, using a 5 value scale from lightest to darkest:
  1. Decide which value the paper is going to represent.  On black paper, for example, the paper would be the darkest value.  On this dark rust, it was about Value 4 out of 5.
  2. Pick your pencil crayon colors based on value - white will be Value 1/5, black will be 5/5.  (If you're working on black paper, you won't need black.)
  3. Do an initial drawing thinking mostly about placing the objects on the paper. 
  4. Now concentrate on values.  Unless you're working on black paper, it might be easiest to darken the darkest shadow areas at this point.  Then I find it easiest to think about the lightest values, and so on, working back towards the middle.

Here is another one I did, after adding the Prismacolors:

And here's my initial drawing:

Sunday, June 30, 2019

Whims in Watercolor 2: Loose and Fearless

Joanne Sharpe's new class "Whims in Watercolor 2:  Loose and Fearless" is off to a great start.  We're walking on sunshine...and don't it feel good!  (You do remember Katrina and the Waves, don't you?)

Friday, June 28, 2019

Thoughts on #30x30DirectWatercolor2019

Someone in the #30x30DirectWatercolor2019 Facebook group asked, "As we head into the final week of this exercise, what, if anything, has everybody learned about their painting, their process, their work?"

I might have learned that 30 day challenges are not for me. At least, not this kind of focused challenge.  I like to bounce around between media too much, I guess. I keep wanting to draw in pencil crayon when I'm "supposed" to be painting. This was supposed to be fun, right?

Someone else agreed with my thoughts, adding that sometimes these challenges can hinder creativity rather than help it.

I knew going into this challenge that I might not stick with it for 30 days.  I've probably done 30 direct watercolor paintings, because one day I did about 15 (small) chairs before realizing that chairs are not the greatest subject for wet on wet.  (OK, I'm a slow learner.)  I guess it depends how you count to 30.

One night recently, I looked out the window and saw a beautiful sunset.  I was moved to paint the journal page you see above.  I considered it a fail, but later realized that this is exactly the kind of "whim" that Joanne Sharpe would add a quotation to and post on Instagram.  So, maybe I didn't "fail" at #30x30DirectWatercolor2019, I just made it my own.

Note to self:  Lighten up!

Wednesday, June 26, 2019

The Good Samaritan

ATC, Markers

I've started a new Artist Trading Card series - The Good Samaritan.  Once again, these are drawn with markers, this time on plain white card.

I'm surprised at how much I like playing with markers; I have a lot of makers but I haven't really used them much.  It may be because of the card I'm using.  The hostess for our swap works in a printing shop and she makes blank ATC's from the off-cuts.  They are very smooth and thick, which turns out to be perfect for markers.

Friday, June 21, 2019

Direct to Watercolor at the ATC Swap

We meet before our Artist Trading Card swap to work on portable projects.  It was another opportunity to continue my Direct to Watercolor practice.

Joanne Sharpe's WHIMS IN WATERCOLOR 2: "Loose and Fearless" starts today, so I'll have lots of inspiration from now until the end of the month!

Tuesday, June 18, 2019

The Chairs of Belvedere

This could be a series - The Chairs of Belvedere.  If my mom is sleeping when I visit her I often draw a chair.   This is direct to watercolour; I'm still doing the 30x30 challenge.

Monday, June 17, 2019

Sunday, June 16, 2019


The June Westcoast Calligraphy Society Love of Letters practice prompt is "ocean".  They advise, thankfully, "Don’t worry about being perfect - it’s more about being creative and practicing."

Saturday, June 15, 2019

Wet On Wet

I'm continuing to do a "direct to watercolour" most days, but at the moment I'm not very happy with them.  For a few days I played with "wet on wet", dropping the pigment onto wet paper.  

Thursday, June 13, 2019

A Card for a Canadian History Buff

Stamp design by M. Windsor for Garfinkel Publications

My great nephew turns 10 this month.  He has become interested in history, so I've sent him a subscription to a Canadian History magazine for his birthday.

Wednesday, June 12, 2019

What Are You Reading?

These are the final two (for now?) artist trading cards for the swap this weekend.

Sharpie and other markers on gel print

Tuesday, June 11, 2019

Whim 22


I'm still finding Whims from Joanne Sharpe's class that I haven't posted.

Monday, June 10, 2019

Dairyland Truck

Facebook isn't all bad; I recently joined a group that posts vintage pictures of my home town.  I remember these old Dairyland milk delivery trucks from my youth, and we all know I love vintage cars!

This handcarved stamp is Artist Trading Card size.

Saturday, June 8, 2019

Tom Cat

You might recognize this cat.  I made the stamp artist trading card size.

I have been wanting to try Speedy Carve for a long time, but our local art supply stores don't carry it.  (I have been using Safety Kut).   I never thought to try Michaels, but I found some there a few weeks ago.  I like it a lot; it is a little softer and easier to cut than Safety Kut.

Friday, June 7, 2019

What Are You Reading?

Here are a few more Artist Trading Cards done in Sharpie and other markers.

Thursday, June 6, 2019


Although I didn't plan to, I appear to be participating in Marc Taro Holmes challenge to do a "direct to watercolor" painting each day in June.

I'm interpreting "direct" as no pen or pencil sketch done first.

I added the pen on this third one after, mostly because I wasn't happy with the brush drawing.

Wednesday, June 5, 2019

Whim 25

I'm still finishing up Joanne Sharpe's Whims in Watercolor, Pen and Ink class. 

Joanne has announced Whims 2 which will begin June 21 - I can't wait!

Sunday, June 2, 2019

Gelli Printing with the Small Plate

I used a 3 x 5 gelli plate for these prints.  I love this small plate because I can use it as a stamp.

The flower is a mask and the other designs were made with embossed cardstock.  I like using embossed cardstock because there is no clean up required!