Tuesday, December 29, 2015

Journal52 2015 Week 39: I Am #Journal52 #Zentangle #ArtJournal

This will be the last piece of artwork I post for 2015, so I thought this prompt of 'I Am' was a good one to round off the year.

I am a little abstract, a little fuzzy, a little funky and Baby, I let it all hang out!  Happy New Year Everyone! Have a fun and safe entry into 2016!

Sunday, December 27, 2015

Child's Play: Journal52 Prompt 45 #Journal52 #ArtJournal #Zentangle

Still catching up on a few of the Journal52 prompts for 2015.  I thought it would be a good way to end up the year!

The prompt was Child's Play, and I went for an Zentangle-Inspired abstract of game boards, pick-up sticks, and playing discs of some kind.

Pigma Micron over Watercolor in my handmade Clairefontaine Kalligraphie journal.

Tuesday, December 22, 2015

Squirkling the Nautilus:Journal52 Week 17: Treasure #Journal52 #ArtJournal #StillmanAndBirn

Earlier this year, I hit an artistic slump and found that trying to create a page to the Journal52 prompts seemed more like work than pleasure.  That seemed to defeat the whole purpose of art journaling, so I gave myself permission to just do the prompts that struck my fancy.

The slump has been over for a while, but art journaling hasn't been my focus.  I decided to go back over the prompts I'd missed and see if I felt more inclined to respond to them at this time.  I found the prompt 'Treasure' and flashed onto a photo I'd seen lately, of some Nautilus shells.  Not exactly what one would consider treasure.  But then I thought of how pleasing the shape and texture of a nautilus shell is.  How I'm always drawn to photos of them, and how much I'd enjoyed looking at them on those occasions when I came across them in real life.

I know I'd treasure such shells if I had them.  So... I went with it.

Done in a Stillman & Birn Delta sketchbook, Pigma Micron over Copic marker.

Sunday, December 20, 2015

Godzilla for President! Journal52 Prompt: Just Add a Dinosaur #Godzilla #Journal52 #StillmanAndBirn #Sakura

The Journal52 2015 prompt for Week 50 was Just Add Dinosaur, which was to make light of a stressful subject by adding something silly.  It didn't actually have to be a dinosaur, but the minute I saw the prompt, this idea popped into my head.

This isn't a slam against any particular candidate or party. But I find politics stressful. It's a potential landmine for conversation. It's hard to know the truth, and both sides love to use the same truth given a different slant.  If you don't laugh, you'll cry.

This was a creative destruction -- I painted Sennelier Phthalo Blue Acrylic over a brush pen drawing I didn't care for.  I used Sakura's Moonlight Gellyrolls for the rest, and as usual, had a difficult time getting a good photo.  The colors aren't quite exact, but they are close enough to get the idea across.

Friday, December 18, 2015

Saved or Not Saved? #Watercolor #LineAndWash #MixedMedia

I saved the worst for last.  I was trying to used the negative painting technique.  Usually, I can just start with a vague idea in mind, and ideas start pouring in as I paint.  Not this time, lol.

Line and wash and some Gellyroll pen seemed like the best way to save this.

Using a Pigma Micron, I picked out outlines of tree trunks and foliage.  NOTE: I did this on Cold Press Arches watercolor, which has a rough enough texture that it RUINS the fabric tip of a Micron pen.  I always save pens that are running out of ink for jobs like this, because they'll be worthless after the line work is done.

Then I went through the painting with the Micron and added texture and shading.  I think I could have stopped here, but I knew I could add some interest with Gellyroll gel ink pens.

I couldn't get a very good photograph or scan, though for once, I did capture some of special effects.  Too much so.  The Silver Shadow Green ink only stands out like this with certain lighting.

I used Stardust blues, purples and greens in the water, and in real life, the water now sparkles as water does in the light.  I used flourescent vermillion to add a sunlight glow, and metallic purple for shadows.  The Silver Shadow Green gives a phosphorescent look that changes as you move the painting in the light--almost like those 3D stickers.  

This would qualify as Mixed Media at this point.  It doesn't look too good in the photo, but I think it's much improved in the real thing.  Did I save it?  Hmmmm.  It's still not one of my favorites.

Thursday, December 17, 2015

The Flames of Autumn #Watercolor #Strathmore #AquariusII

This week I'm sharing paintings that I set aside because I didn't know if I was being overcritical, just needed to keep working on them, or they were just plain bad.

Once again, I was shooting for the idealized style.  Notice how often, the ones I dislike fall into that category?  I know the reason--the idealized style is very simplistic, and my own personal style is an extreme opposite.

Even though, I say I'm unhappy with these paintings, I'm not trying to be negative.  I'm trying to learn a style that is un-natural to my way of painting, and that's never easy.  I learn from every painting whether I succeed in my immediate goal.  I like to keep these paintings, whether I ever do anything further or not.  They help me decide where I'm going wrong, and where I'm going right.

That said.  I don't like this one, except for the brightest orange foliage where I got a bit of 3D feel.  I'm in the process of re-trying this as an actual 3D resin painting.

Tuesday, December 15, 2015

I Love it, I Love it Not #Watercolor #Arches #CallaLilies

Another in the series of paintings that don't quite work for me.

I was aiming for an idealized painting.  I have trouble achieving that, because I always take that one step too far with the detail and then end having to match the rest of the painting. Even so, I resisted fussing as much as I usually do.  I still can't decide if I should go back and add to it, or just try it again.

Sunday, December 13, 2015

The Last Gleam of Daylight #Strathmore #NegativePainting #Watercolor

This week, I'm dredging up some paintings that I wasn't very happy with at the time I did them.  Sometimes, I've found if I just set the piece aside for a month or so, and look back, I'm  less critical of them.  But there are always some that just don't do it for me, even though I may like certain elements of the painting, making it worth keeping for reference.

I know everyone runs into this kind of problem, so I thought it might interest you to see the pieces I'm ambivalent about, and how I end up dealing with them.

This first is based off of a photograph I took during a plein air session at a Fransican Villa in Bridal Veil, Oregon.

We were studying the negative painting technique in class at the time, and I wanted to see if I could use it for these flowers. I like the background foliage, but I was hoping to catch that glow I get when using these warm color.

I think rather than working further on this one, I'll start fresh and do a whole new painting.

I know I painted this on Strathmore Aquarius II and I believe the colors are Phthalo Blue, Indian Yellow and Transparent Pyrrole Orange, but I'm not positive about that.  I may have been using Gamboge and a red rather than an orange.

Friday, December 11, 2015

Golden Sunrise with Bob Ross Birds #Watercolor #Arches

This seemed like a Sunday kind of painting.

I decided to try doing some splatter, didn't control it well and ended up with specks in the sky.  ALA, Bob Ross, I said 'Oops. Oh, let's make those birds.  Now they're birds."  One of life's best little lessons.

Thursday, December 10, 2015

Use to Amuse #Zentangle #TanglePatterns #Watercolor

The tangle patterns used in traditional Zentangle are non-objective (not resembling anything), but wa-aa-aa-y back in 2010, when I drew a cartoon sheep   some one challenged me to do a tangle step-out it.  I couldn't resist a challenge like that, could I?
So I called the step-out Use (Ewes, get it? I know--no form of humor lower than a pun. And this one was really ba-a-ad!)
At any rate, I wanted to try out some new brushes I got as an early Christmas present, and decided to do a line and wash, coloring book style.   So, using Use, I drew my sheeps in a tangled meadow.
Then I added watercolor. This painting will not bring me instant fame and fortune, but it was fun and isn't that the most important of the three 'f's?

Tuesday, December 8, 2015

Journal52 Prompt 48--Grid-inspired #MixedMedia #Zentangle #ArtJournal

My response to the Journal52 Prompt, Grid-inspired, is a mixed media that started life as a pencil-drawing of leaves; done as a teaching exercise.

I erased most of the pencil drawing, just leaving a light impression.  Then I added water-soluble Distress Markers, laying down Spiced Marmalade, Rusty Hinge, and Walnut
Stain more or less at random, but leaving the light center uncolored..  A water-brush was used to blend it all.  Once the paper was dry, I did the tangle patterns with Ohto Graphic Liners, size .03, .01, and .005.

Golden's Titanium white acrylic paint worked for the highlights.  Some of the highlights, I dabbed immediately so they just barely lightened.  Once dry, I touched the water brush to the Spiced Marmalade Distress Marker, picking up just enough color to tint the smudged highlights.

This mixed media was done in a Stillman & Birn Delta sketchbook.

Monday, December 7, 2015

Monday Links to Tangles, Tutorials and Giveaways #zentangle #Giveaways #ArtJournal

Links to Tangles, Tutorials and Giveaways is published on Mondays, Wednesdays & Saturdays

The Daily New Tangle Challenge
Weekly Zentangle Challenge 247
Tangle Patterns: TanglePatterns String 186
禪繞畫圖案設計Zentangle pattern - D'RUA
禪繞畫圖案設計Zentangle pattern - DAMYA
禪繞畫圖案設計Zentangle pattern -Y-CHAIN (Y鎖鏈)
禪繞畫圖案設計Zentangle pattern - XIN 心
Tangle Patterns: CZT Billie Lauder shares how to draw her continuous line Tangle Folk in six easy steps

Art Journaling Prompts & Inspiration
Prompt #1552 Visual Prompt of the Week – Out for a Walk

Rockin' Mixed Media
Learn to Paint Tiger Lilies in Acrylic
Over 100 Holiday Ornament Ideas
Looking at Work in Grayscale

ArtistsNetwork 6th Annual Holiday Sweepstakes-a new prize every day thru Dec. 20
Walls Need Love $150 Gift Card Giveaway
Goldspot Pens-Letters to Santa Giveaway
1001 Giveaway - a little set of Mica Powders and Finnabair paintbrushes
Cloth Paper Scissors giveaway- Win a set  of Derwent Graphik Line Painters

Pen & Ink
Serious Nibbage Part 39: Staedtler Initium Metallum 

Watercolor Webinar with Birgit O'Connor-Tue, Dec 8, 2015 10:00 AM - 11:00 AM PST

Sunday, December 6, 2015

Rockin' Mixed Media How-to #Watercolor #Strathmore #Sakura

Even though my Wednesday Watercolor class is over for this session, I wanted to go over the lessons one more time, so I decided to do another line and wash.  But I wanted to push the boundaries a bit, so I decided that I wouldn't just use a pigment pen to do the line, I'd use some gel ink pens - Sakura Gellyrolls to be specific.  I also used a red interference acrylic paint for my highlights, so that pushes this piece firmly into the mixed media arena.

For those interested, I've written a step-by-step with photos, below.

I started out with a base of watercolor paint, using the wet-into-wet technique.  I got the paper very wet and dropped one color at random, cleaned my brush, dropped another color at random and repeated this with different colors until the page was almost completely colored.

I didn't worry about which colors to use, where to drop them in, or what size or shape the drops were making.  (Note: when I say dropped, I'm referring to the technique that's called 'charging' in watercolor.  Depending on how watery your paint is, you may actually 'drop' paint onto the paper, or more likely, you may touch the tip of the brush to the paper and then quickly lift it, leaving just a touch of color).

After the paper dried thoroughly (you can ruin your Micron pen if you draw on wet paper), I began looking for rock shapes and drew them with the Micron..  In most cases, I looked for areas that were mostly one color, but didn't worry if a rock had more than one color.  Many 'edges' were fuzzy.  I just ignored those--for example, look above at the turquoise rock in the lower middle.  The edges ran profusely.  Now look below and you'll see I outlined that rock, leaving the 'fuzzies' on the outside of it.  As I added detail, the 'fuzzies' just disappear into the creases and crevices.

Continuing with the Micron pen, I began to add some shadowing, darkening rocks that I felt should be partially under other rocks, and adding some depth to each rock.  I tried to make it so some rocks seemed smooth, some rough, some rounded and others jagged.

Next I used two Gellyroll pens - a Classic Purple, and a Metallic Blue to add shadow. Many rocks are shiny and take on slightly different colors as you shift them in the light.  I felt the Gellyroll colors would emulate that.  In the photo below, you can see how the left half seems more defined than the right.  That's the effect of the light reflecting on the Gellyroll colors.

To add a little more definition overall, I went back with the Micron pen and darkened some areas, deepening the crevices.

The last step was to add highlights.  My white Gellyroll pen is out of ink, so I decided to use an acrylic interference paint that would change color and character with different light.  As with the shadow, I didn't worry too much about where I placed the highlights.  I felt that with a pile of stones like this, the rocks would be reflecting off each other and there wasn't much need to worry about the light source.

And that brings us back to the finished picture.

Friday, December 4, 2015

Journal52 Prompt 47--Architecture #Sakura #Journal52 #ArtJournal

My response to Journal52 Prompt 47--Architecture.

Not really much architecture here, except for the words and vague door and window shapes, but what the heck.  I had a page to fix and I love drawing with Gellyroll pens.  Something about the slow application of the ink is soooo relaxing!

Thursday, December 3, 2015

Ipanema Falls #Watercolor #Fabriano #Ipanema

This Wednesday was the last day of this session of watercolor classes.  I decided to paint something that would use all the techniques we recently learned.  There was a rainbow in the photo, and I think I'm going to try this again with the rainbow included.

I used a reference photo that I found at the Morguefile archive.

Tuesday, December 1, 2015

Practicing Ocean Waves #Strathmore #Imperial #Watercolor

Last Tuesday's watercolor class was centered on learning how to paint ocean waves.  I've done those in the past using oil colors, but watercolor is handled so much differently.  A few techniques I could transfer, but most of the them I couldn't.

In this practice painting I lost much of my whites and the proper direction of the waves because I was concentrating too much on the technique.  Great practice though.  I figured out how to get a similar effect of light coming through a cresting wave that I used to get with oils.

The two main tricks I learned could be used for any body of water with active waves.  One is just kind of using strokes in an open-ended figure eight.

The second trick is to twist several lengths of paper towel.  Then you wet the paper and lay down a wash of the base color you want--in this case, Cobalt Blue.  Then before the paint dries, you place the paper twists where you want to have cresting white waves.  The twist lifts some of the color, leaving a nice foamy wave.  After the paint dries a little, but not totally, you paint darker color underneath the white to get the shadows.

At this point, I dropped in a little Phthalocyanine Green and Blue and pulled a twist down the wave to blend all three colors.  Once the paint dried totally, I lifted a little color in the same areas and then added some Aureolin Yellow to get the effect of light.  A bit of a clumsy technique at the moment, but with practice, I think I can do some cool effects with it.

Ginger Horse #ZentangleInspiredArt #FountainPen #PenAndInk

You know how sometimes a work just fights you while you're trying to draw it?  I had an idea tickling my brain, a desire to combine styl...