Tag Archives: learning

A Beetle Doodle

I have been sorting through closets and cupboards in my home this past weekend.

It feels good to get things better organized. I have discovered that I have too many hobbies however… and I need to get rid of a few as they are cluttering my mind.

Any suggestions? How do YOU get rid of art supplies you are no longer using?

In the evenings, I have been working on a beetle doodle:

I am using gold pen in addition to black ink. I noticed that REAL beetles tend to have an iridescent shine.

I cannot remember ever working on a symmetrical pattern. It is a bit more challenging. 😉

What did YOU do this past weekend? I hope you share it with me.

Cheers! 🙂

P.S. I will show you my finished beetle doodle when it is complete!

Animal Sketches

I challenged myself recently to learn to draw different animals.

I started with collage paper scraps as hats in different shapes to keep it fun:

It helped me to start with animals that I was familiar from my imagination like the pig, cat and dog.

When I started with the gorilla, I used a real image online as inspiration.

I used pencil so I could erase if needed and I erased A LOT!

When I got frustrated, I drew a face of a girl! 😉 It took me several nights to complete.

It helped me to remember to use basic shapes like the circles in my rabbit’s face below:

I think my animal sketches have character! Do you have a favorite?

Happy sketching!

Cheers! 🙂

July Square-A-Day Project

Perhaps you remember my post regarding my inspiration for my first ten days of my July Square-A-Day Project? If not you can find it here: 10 Watercolor Squares

I created in watercolor for July but also some gouache for each day on a 1.75 x 1.75 inch square:

Nature was my inspiration for most of my squares. Yet, I did include a couple of abstracts and a little whimsy!

Painting outside at the lake was something I truly enjoyed! I encourage you to paint outdoors.

Cheers! 🙂

Ancient Teachings

I finished another collage using paper back books over the weekend, like the one I posted previously:  By The Book

Except this time, I included these “other materials”:  a postage stamp, text, images from an old book on Botany, image of a man from a hardback book cover on yoga for women, hand stitching, gauze-like material from the binding of a hardback book and some of my own Gelli-plate prints!

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I found this mosaic format a fun challenge.  I tried to balance color, texture, line and shape without making it too busy.  I also tried to create a story with a little mystery.

This style is a bit of a stretch for me… but I’m enjoying the process!

I’d love to hear what you think!

Cheers! 🙂

Knowing When To Stop

How do YOU know when a piece is finished when creating art?

I was experimenting in gouache the other day…

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I was enjoying the process of adding to my piece.

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And then I went too far… It became too busy when I added markers.

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Sometimes it is difficult knowing when to stop.  I was hesitant to show you but I believe this is part of the learning process when creating.  I cannot expect to make beautiful art every time!

I made copies and will use them in my collage art.  What do you do with your art mistakes?

Cheers to creating and learning! 🙂

Thick Or Thin?

Paper that is!! 🙂

I promised Laura Kate who is a fiber artist, that I would post about sewing on paper today.  I hope you check out Laura Kate’s AWESOME blog!

I like experimenting with many different art materials as many of you may know!

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In January of this year, I shared about sewing on Canson mixed media paper in my art journal.  If you want to revisit that post, you can find it here: In Stitches…

Last year, February 20th, I shared about sewing on Swedish Tracing Paper, you can find more about that here:   Swedish Tracing Paper

I recently created some new experiments using Swedish Tracing paper.  It is difficult to SEE that the sewn image below is a eye… I love looking at the back of a piece too!

Sew, (pardon my pun) what papers are best for sewing?  Thick or thin?

Well, I have discovered that depends if you are hand sewing or using a machine?

If hand sewing, such as this eye-opener on 140 lb hot press watercolor paper, it helped to use an awl to pre-punch my holes.  (A needle would also work if you don’t have an awl).

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If machine sewing, be sure to use a sharp needle (paper will dull it rather quickly) and sew at a slow pace.  I used rice paper here:

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If the paper is slippery like deli paper, it is better to double it so the stitches won’t rip out.

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I often use my sewn paper experiments on my Gelli plate.  I like how the stitches create their own subtle patterns.

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I think the best way to learn is EXPERIMENT!!  And record your findings in a journal.

How do you remember YOUR art experiments?  I hope you share them with me.

Cheers! 🙂

Painting Tulips

I am in LOVE with the flower photos and gardens of my sweet, blogging friend, Ali at The Mindful Garden!

She grows the most gorgeous flowers in her yard!!  And takes stunning photos of them too!

With her permission, I tried to paint some of her tulips yesterday in watercolor.

Here are my process photos:

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Watercolor is a difficult art medium for me.  Perhaps I struggle too hard to make my flowers look “real.”  And yet, I always feel like I learn to “see” my subjects a little clearer when I try to draw or paint them.

I do hope you check out Ali’s blog!  Her gardens are always a delight to my senses!

Cheers! 🙂

Drawing Cactus and Succulents

I decided to take another little blogging break as I need to have a second surgery.  Not my hip this time, thank goodness.  🙂

I had a Mammogram and the doctor found a small lump that has to be removed.  I am thankful it is not cancer!  Praise God!  It is a good reminder the importance of getting an annual Mammogram.

I recently painted a couple of pages in my art journal:

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I just love the texture I got, don’t you?  I started with black gesso, added several colors of acrylic paint with a brayer and used a stencil on some parts.  I started drawing a vine with a black micron pen and flower shapes with a paintbrush and black Sumi ink.

I used leftover paint on my brayer for this page.  It was easier to draw the flowers without so much acrylic paint on the page.

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I liked this first book of Botanical Line Drawing so much:

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I decided to treat myself and purchase the author’s second book on Drawing Cactus and Succulents.  This book actually has the names of each plant so I can learn as I go.

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I like the simple steps of illustration in both books.

Perhaps I will have some interesting journal pages to show you when I return.  I plan on joining my cat with some Cat Napping  while I heal.

Happy Creating!

Cheers! 🙂

The American Robin

I haven’t drawn a REAL bird in awhile so I decided to try the American Robin.  

I have been observing them outside my kitchen window snacking on dried red berries from my crabapple tree.

I started with a light pencil sketch on 140 lb cold press watercolor paper before I added a wash of color:

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The robins have been fluffing up their feathers to keep themselves warm since we still have winter with more snow on the way! ;-(  Apparently, the robin’s body temperatures are 104 degrees Fahrenheit so by fluffing up their feathers they keep their bodies warm.

I finished my painting by adding details with watercolor pencils:

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I will be adding this American Robin to my mixed media sketchbook.  I will show you my completed page next Monday.

When I see a Robin in winter, I will picture them a little differently now.  A sauna comes to mind… perhaps there is a future weird bird here! 🙂

Happy Friday!

Cheers! 🙂

P.S.  If you’d like to see a previous post I did on a Robin, you can find it here:  An American Robin   It is wonderful to look back and see how I am making progress in my drawing and watercolor skills!

Inspired by Place

I started a mixed media class last week with Lendon Noe, hosted by Carla Sonheim.  The online class is called, “Inspired by Place.”

I find it an intriguing subject.

Is place a home, perhaps a memory such as a childhood home?  Is place a feeling, a sense of calm from being with nature?  Or is place from your imagination?  There are many other possibilities!

I was inspired to create this collaged landscape of a place I hold dear to my heart in my art journal:

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It is a view of Chimney Rock at Priest Lake, Idaho.

I love this place!  It holds a special memory where I have been spending my summers since childhood.  It brings me a feeling of peace when I see it in person and from photographs such as this one:

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And it is a place that I sometimes go in my imagination when I need to relax.

What place inspires you?  I hope you share it with me!

Cheers! 🙂

When you leave a beautiful place, you carry it with you wherever you go.” – Alexandra Stoddard