Sketching Consistently

In addition to painting in a semi-abstract way, I also enjoy drawing. I think my drawing skills have grown a lot in the last couple years, but I still have so much room for improvement. So, to that end, I plan on trying to do 4 sketches a week in my sketchbook.

Last Sunday, while recuperating from a biopsy of my spine (yes – it was a painful as it sounds), I spent hours reading Alison Fennell aka The Pottering Artist’s blog:

I remember one of the posts talked about having a regular sketching habit and Alison described printing out 7 photos at a time and attaching them to the left side of her sketchbook so she could look at them while sketching on the right side. I thought that sounded like an awesome idea, so that’s what I’m planning on doing.

I dug through my photos from 2014 and picked four that I thought were interesting. I think I will sketch with charcoal pencils, though may change my mind and use graphite. I’m not certain about that yet.

Do you have a regular sketching habit? If so, how did you start? How do you keep yourself on task even when “life” gets in the way?

DaVinci watercolor paints

Have any of you tried DaVinci watercolor paints? I have purchased some watercolors in the past (Denise’s 24 earth friendly set and a couple individual tubes.) I have enjoyed them all. So, when I saw DaVinci was offering up to 60% off around Thanksgiving, I decided to splurge and purchase more.

I picked up the Mother green 11 color palette and a tube of thioindigo. What beautiful colors! I am loving thioindigo – it’s absolutely gorgeous. I made a very messy swatch, so I think I’ll refine it and update with a pic.

I also purchased a slew of fluid acrylic paints but I’ll share those another day.

So, do you have a favorite color by DaVinci? Let me know, so I can add to my wish list for the next sale 🙂

Custom Christmas ornaments

I was so pleased when a friend of mine, who has purchased several pieces of my art, asked me to create her custom Christmas ornaments to give to her family. I jumped at the chance… And then I sat and didn’t do anything.

I had originally wanted to gelli print them, because I love the look you get from transferring the shape of the actual item (in this case, holly.) But, I couldn’t find holly of a size that would fit the size of the wooden discs.

After a bunch of “hemming and hawing,” I decided to just paint the holly and add some berries. In a short couple of hours the ornaments were all done, complete with a custom message to her family on the back.

I’m pleased with how they turned out and she is too, which is what matters most.

Reviving ye olde blog… :)

How has it been since June that I last blogged?! Well, I’m starting this resolution before the new year so, hopefully, it will be easier to maintain.

I have grown so much since we last chatted. I have been learning so much from Amanda Evanston’s Insider’s Studio group in the last several months. Though I don’t do all of the classes, despite them being totally awesome, I have learned so much and my confidence as an artist has burgeoned. If you want to paint with fun color and reckless abandon, consider checking out joining her subscription group when admission opens again in February.

I also have been supporting two other artists via Patreon: Karen Margulis and Alison Fennell. In case you are not familiar with Patreon, let me tell you a little bit about the platform. It is a way for people to provide financial support to artists… to be a patron of theirs. In exchange for paying a small amount each month (the amount depends on the different tiers that the artists come up with) you have access to content that is developed by the artists for their patrons.

The first artist I am a patron of is Karen Margulis. I have been expanding my soft pastel (and general art) knowledge by watching and reading her content. I don’t know how she is so prolific with her blog posts and patreon posts, but I have come to rely on having an interesting read and/or video almost daily. Not everything is new content, but she curates her extensive blog for blog posts relevant to the current topic we are studying.

The second artist I support on Patreon is Alison Fennell, The Pottering Artist. Alison is a watercolor artist from Wales and is relatively new to Patreon. She creates detailed printable documents to make it easy for beginners to be able to paint along with her very thoughtful tutorials. Initially we focused on a different country each month, but recently we have moved on to different festivals.

I truly get a lot of value, for a small monthly outlay, by participating in these monthly subscriptions. I very seldom actually do the tutorials that I watch, but I have gleaned a lot of skills and techniques that I am using to create my own art and develop my own style.

Oh, I forgot that I am a subscriber of the Critique Club with Lindsay Weirich from The Frugal Crafter. As a subscriber, I have access to two really long, real-time tutorials each month and I can submit my own creations for a critique by her. I have had my art critiqued once or twice a month and I value having a seasoned artist take a critical eye to the painting and provide constructive criticism.

I have painted a ton since I last posted, but have taken a little pause currently. If you know me personally, you know that I have a rare, aggressive form of breast cancer. I have been stable for 3 years, but it looks like the cancer may have come back in my spine. I have had a slew of tests and, most recently, a biopsy of my spine to confirm what is going on. It was very painful, and I am still in pain, but I am determined to rest now so I can heal and get back to creating my beautiful, unique art.

I’ll leave you with this image of one of my recent paintings. I have been called to created angels for months now, and they keep evolving, but this one is one of my favorites. Her name is Hadassah.