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Showing posts from December, 2015

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

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

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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!


Amazing Mini Fish Pond #AmazingCastingProducts #AmazingMoldRubber #3DResinPainting

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Today I've got a post up at the Amazing Casting Products blog, showing how I used Amazing Casting Products to turn two ramekins into mini fish ponds.



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

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

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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.


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

Merry Christmas to All

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

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

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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 …

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

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

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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.

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

Saved or Not Saved? #Watercolor #LineAndWash #MixedMedia

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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 Stardu…

The Flames of Autumn #Watercolor #Strathmore #AquariusII

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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…

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

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

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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.



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

The Last Gleam of Daylight #Strathmore #NegativePainting #Watercolor

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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 k…

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

Golden Sunrise with Bob Ross Birds #Watercolor #Arches

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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.



Use to Amuse #Zentangle #TanglePatterns #Watercolor

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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?

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

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

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

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

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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&#…

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

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

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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!


Ipanema Falls #Watercolor #Fabriano #Ipanema

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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.


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

Practicing Ocean Waves #Strathmore #Imperial #Watercolor

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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 …