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Monday, May 4, 2015

Let Love Grow

I was in my studio on Saturday instead of Sunday over the weekend. That was a nice change. It left my Sunday free to spend with my husband on a beautiful Spring day. I was thinking about flowers this week--hoping to plant some soon. So that is what inspired this week's art journal spread.

Let Love Grow

Lots of Mixed Media here. I used acrylics for the background; I first rolled on my two blue colors with a brayer, then scraped them on with a credit card, and finally used a baby wipe to blend the color in some areas. I used a stencil in the background too, and some acrylic paint pen. The flowers were created with a combination of acrylics and Neocolor II crayons, markers, and a touch of black ink. The lettering was stamped on with clear acrylic alpha stamps.

Let Love Grow, y'all!

Monday, April 27, 2015

Blue Fairy Art Journal Spread

It was a beautiful Spring day yesterday and I spent it painting in my studio with a cool breeze blowing in on me. It was wonderful! Spring truly is my favorite season of the year. And as I was in the studio, a fairy came to life in my art journal.

Blue Fairy

I used another technique from Jane Davenport's book, Beautiful Faces, this time using Gelatos to scribble in colors on the face and then blend it with gesso for a more painterly effect. I did the background with a stencil, and some sprays from Dyan Reavely. I also stamped on a few flowers too. 

Notice that I did blue hair this time, instead of pink! :) It was a wonderful, creative day!

Monday, April 20, 2015

Butterflies Art Journal Spread

This weekend's art journal spread was brought to you by the beauty of butterflies. They are such beautiful little creatures, aren't they?

Butterflies Art Journal

The background on these pages was created using Inktense blocks. The large butterfly is a die-cut that I've enhanced a bit with Inktense and ink. The flowers were created with mixed media: Inktense and clear gesso for the centers, my fave black pen by Scarlet Lime for the petals and details, and a white Uniball Signo pen for the accents. I also used a little bit of Gelato to create shadow for the large butterfly.

I love this color combo on the pages. It was a dreary, rainy day yesterday--so I just wanted to bring a little sunshine into my studio. :)

Saturday, April 18, 2015

Pink Roses Watercolor

I thought I'd share a watercolor painting that I did several years ago but never posted. I was looking at it today and decided it would be fun to share it. Who doesn't love roses, right?

Pink Roses Watercolor Painting

I used rubber cement on this as a resist, to create the white outlines. It's just a different technique that I had wanted to try--something different. This piece actually hangs in my bathroom and the colors and roses match the theme I have going on in there. I've never been able to grow roses well, so it's nice to at least have some to look at that won't die after awhile! :)

Monday, April 13, 2015

Beautiful Faces

I recently bought a wonderful book by Jane Davenport called Drawing and Painting Beautiful Faces. Now, I already know how to draw and paint a face, so I wasn't in need of a how-to book on the mechanics of it as such. However, I'd seen enough of Jane's videos and blog posts etc to know that she does awesome faces and I love her style. And I always love to learn new techniques and new media. So when I saw her book suggested on Amazon, I bought it right away. 

Beatiful Faces by Jane Davenport


Let me just say that I truly LOVE Jane's book. She does provide instruction on how to draw a face and its features. But even better, she shows you how to draw and paint faces using a variety of different media. This is exactly what I love! I may have an art degree and I may be an artist myself, but there is always, ALWAYS, media out there that I haven't used, and different techniques that I haven't yet tried. And Jane's book provides lots of ways for me to do just that. She shows--with lots of step-by-step photos--how to do faces with Pan Pastels, Copic (or Tombow) markers, colored pencils, acrylics, and more. She also lists all the media she uses with each technique. 

The technique I tried over the weekend was one I hadn't tried before, and it was her Glazing technique (on page 98, in case you're wondering). It was a little scary--it always is when I'm doing something new. And Jane even said of this technique that it would have an "ugly duckling" phase in process, and it sure did! But when my face was done I loved it! Here are a couple of photos; the first was my initial drawing and the second is my finished face.

Beautiful Face Journal Page

Beautiful Face Painted Journal Page

Glazing is the use of a medium mixed with paint and then building up the layers of paint to create a finished painting. I used matte medium to create the glazes and followed Jane's instruction for this technique. I even used the art journal recommended by Jane in her book: it's a Strathmore Series 500 Mixed Media Art Journal. It's hardbound and the paper is deliciously thick and perfect for mixed media. I can see why she recommended it and it will surely become my new favorite art journal! I love how my face turned out. I don't think I'm done with the page yet; I'll probably add a background of some sort next time I'm in the studio. But I think this is a great first entry in my new art journal!

So anyway, if you're wanting a great book to help you either begin to draw and paint faces, or just to learn some new techniques and media you may have not tried before, then I highly recommend Jane's book, Drawing and Painting Beautiful Faces. I would absolutely give it 5 out of 5 stars! And it's going to be a treasured (and well-used) book in my art book library.

Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Photography Moments

I was out and about for a drive over the weekend with the Hubs and I decided to snap a few photos. Then when I got home I decided to add some digital magic to them. So I thought I'd share them with you.

Power Dam Defiance Art Chick Studio

Auglaize River Defiance Art Chick Studio

Arch Reflection Defiance Art Chick Studio

I'm looking forward to the temps getting more spring-like so that random weekend drives will be more frequent. Let the flowers bloom, Mother Nature. I'm totally ready for Spring!

Monday, March 30, 2015

Red Poppy

With Spring (seemingly) on the way, I was inspired to paint something with flowers over the weekend. And since I'm drawn to poppies a lot, I decided to do another poppy painting, but do it a little differently than I'd normally do. I wanted to create some texture, so this time I used some modeling paste on the canvas to give my Red Poppy a bit more dimension. AND, I decided I was going to paint a bit more loosely and not be so obsessed with perfect lines and edges. So this was the result.

Red Poppy Painting

I've used acrylics here, plus paint pens and a wee bit of Pitt artist pen too, and of course the modeling paste just to give the poppy the texture and dimension I was looking for. 

At first I was not loving this. At. All. I get so muddled down in details and making sure everything looks perfect sometimes. So it was a real challenge to paint more loosely and not worry so much. I actually hated this at one point and wanted to start over! But just at the point that I was about to give up--I kept going and within a few minutes I could see it becoming what I wanted it to be. And guess what? Now I love it! So much so that I think this will get hung at the farm house when the Hubs and I move (hopefully later this year). 

Even though this painting challenged me and pretty much made me hate it at one point, it also taught me some valuable lessons in patience and perseverance. I'm glad I didn't give up! Just imagine if Vincent van Gogh had given up on A Starry Night! You have to keep going. :)

Monday, March 23, 2015

Blue Horse

I felt like doing something a little different in the studio yesterday. Something moved me to do a horse painting, so that's what I did. But I made my horse blue for a touch of fantasy.

Blue Horse Painting

First I'll say that this looks better in person than it does in the photo. Neither my scanner nor my camera seemed to want to capture a good image today for some reason. But I think you'll get the idea.

The horse is done in Inktense pencils. If you've never used Inktense, they come in both pencil and block forms. I have both, but I used the pencils on this. The pencils work much like watercolor pencils, in that you draw with them and then add water. Only with Inktense, the "leads" are made with compressed ink pigment instead of watercolor. The ink becomes super vibrant once it's wet, and adding any wet media (water, gesso, etc) is what makes the color permanent. So with the horse I drew him in regular pencil, then outlined with Inktense. Then I added water, then added more Inktense and more water, and I kept repeating that until I was happy with the horse. I did the background with Inktense and stencils. There's a tiny bit of Pitt pen that I used on the horse's eye, so with that this is technically a mixed media painting. But it is mostly Inktense, and it's done on watercolor paper.

I've never really painted a horse before. I did do a unicorn with my recent Unicorn Girl painting, but that was a little more whimsical than this. I love how it turned out, and I don't think it's too shabby at all for my first horse. Who knows, maybe I'll do another one of these days.

Art Journal Flowers

I did a couple of things in the studio over the weekend. The first thing was an art journal page. I hadn't art journaled for awhile and I felt like adding a page. And since I was in the mood for flowers...

Art Journal Page of Flowers

Looking forward to Spring flowers and no more snow, that's for sure! The flower colors here were made with bleeding tissue paper cut into flowery shapes. Then I stamped on flower designs, and then finished by drawing on stems and leaves. :)