Wednesday, September 29, 2010

October Banner

It was my turn to do the banner for the month. I was lucky enough to get October. I LOVE October. This was a lot of fun to do. So, if you mosey on over to Watercolor Wednesday during the coming month you will see this as the banner.

Thank you, thank you very much.

Sunday, September 26, 2010

Day and Night

"They walked all day, and they walked all night."

I did this piece for Watercolor Wednesday. The prompt was Day and Night. I envision this in an elephant story I'm working on.

Saturday, July 31, 2010

Lady Bug Party

This is my submission for Watercolor Wednesday. I've missed contributing due to schooling, but I'm out of school for now and ready to create.

Friday, May 7, 2010

IF: Fearless

Curiosity oftentimes overcomes fear. Ollie just has to get a closer look at that camera lens.

This is my digital illustration created for Illustration Friday.

Monday, January 18, 2010

Tutorial: Gouache and India Ink

I like painting with Gouache. It's opaque, but behaves alot like watercolor. There are some interesting things you can do with it, too.

One of my favorite ways to make art involves Gouache and India Ink. Some kinds of ink work better than others. I love using Higgins Waterproof Black India.

The first thing you do is paint your design leaving the paper white where you want the ink to stick. You really need to paint the Gouache on quite thick. If your paint isn't thick enough then the ink will go through and you'll end up with a black canvas.

For this one I painted 3 fir trees on a winter night. Notice I basically just blocked in color on large areas. It's hard to see, but I used white Gouache where I wanted snow. I also painted the sky violet and dark blue, which I didn't get a photo of.

Let the Gouache air dry completely. Then, with a very soft brush you will quickly paint a layer of ink over the top of your piece. I usually pour on some ink and then quickly pull the ink lightly over the entire painting. Some of the Gouache will bleed through. Resist the urge to keep playing in it. Just quickly cover the painting and then set it down and wait for it to dry. Don't use heaters or blowers, just watch it until the ink loses it's shine and is dry.

Turn on your tap and adjust the water until it is about room temperature. You should have a small steady stream, about the diameter of a thin pencil. Hold your painting under the water and let the water wash off the ink. You can lightly use your finger to remove more ink in certain areas, if you wish. Move your painting around until you've washed off as much ink as you want. This leaves some very interesting marks on your paper. Let it dry.

Now you can go back and repaint. Strengthen the areas that were washed away, or covered over. Have some fun with it.

When you repaint over Gouache your new strokes somehow mingle with the paint underneath. They blend together and mellow out a bit. You may have to keep adding more and more layers if you are trying for a strong highlight or pure color. My kitty is just so interested in everything I do. My daughter had to snap a photo of him supervising my work.

And there you go. An interesting piece that was pretty easy to do.

Monday, January 4, 2010

A Design Exercise

If a large sheet of white paper seems to stopper up your creative juices, try this.
Design a mandala!

Mandalas are simply disk or circle shaped symbolic designs.

When you see a circular shape it's usually easier to start making creative marks.

Simply draw a circle and start creating! I did some smaller "thumbnail" designs in my sketchbook.

Then I chose one and blew it up to about 6 inches across.

The fun part was painting. For this one I used acrylics on watercolor paper using an analogous color scheme.

Try this the next time you're feeling stuck.

Friday, January 1, 2010

How to Draw Every Day

One of the best ways to improve your drawing is to do it every day. The trick is to actually do it. Busy lives get in the way and if you sit down to a large sheet of paper you can talk yourself out of it pretty easy. You may think you just don't have the time to make art.

A trick I learned a few years ago has really helped me to be more consistent in drawing daily. It involves making a calendar. An art calendar.

In my sketchbook I draw out a calendar leaving the boxes open and blank.

Then every day take my extra fine black pen and draw something in that day's box that represents my day. I then color it with my colored pencils.

An example:

If I forget to do it for the day, or if I just can't think of anything that I want to draw then I usually just put the date. I always try to design each square and experiment with the color palette.

Some months I put a lot of effort into the heading and artwork around the dates and some months I don't. I always use pen and just go for it. Erasing is not an option. I like that. Some designs turn out great and some not quite, but I learn from every one.

It's a great little exercise and keeps me creating, even on the busiest of days.

Acrylic Swirls

Acrylic Swirls
Who says you can't have depth with acrylics?