My Journey Into Art

Thursday, April 28, 2011

Stretching Myself

I would love to be able to take my sketchbook with me wherever I go and take a quick sketch that actually looks like the scene before me. I don't feel comfortable to sketch in public for fear someone will come up to me and want to see what I'm doing (and walk off laughing).

I was looking through a Crate and Barrel catalog that came in the mail yesterday. I decided to try to sketch one of the pages. I did the initial sketch in pen which I don't normally do. I like the safety of a pencil and eraser to get the shapes right. Last night, I wanted to stretch myself and went straight for the pen. So what if the shapes weren't exactly right?! This was an exercise in freeing my perfectionist ways. It was quite freeing.

Derwent Inktense Watersoluble Ink Pencils- Set of 12 ColorsI used Derwent Inktense Watercolor Pencils for the color. I found that I prefer to not lay the color directly onto the page because the strokes show. You can see what I mean from the largest vase. Taking color with my waterbrush directly to the pencil and then applying it to the page gave a much more subtle effect which I liked better. If you have the most recent Crate and Barrel catalog, you will be able to see what the original image looked like.

Three vases

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

This and That

Since I completed the dog portrait, I have been approached by a friend who wants to commission one for herself. And the owner of the black dog would like to commission one of the dog for herself as well as her kittens when they are full grown. YIKES!

I don't know what to charge. I've never been commissioned before nor have I ever sold any art before. This is all new territory for me. Anyone out there have any ideas of what the going rate is for a custom pet portrait?

In the meantime, I am working on an acrylic painting of one of my cats that I used to own. I think that I could make it look more alive with texture and highlights compared to the flatness of the watercolors. We'll see. I'm just in the beginning stages.

On another note, I signed up my 8 year old for a Pokemon drawing workshop at Jerry's Artarama for this coming Saturday. He is so psyched for this. I wish I could have captured his face with the camera when I told him about it. I plan to stay at Jerry's while he does the 2 1/2 hour workshop. I figure I could get to leisurely roam the aisles without anyone breathing down my neck to hurry up. The few times I've been there in the past, I've always had at least one if not more family members with me and they quickly run out of patience.

Here's the fun part, I just found today on Groupon's site that they have a deal from Jerry's. For $19, I get $40 worth of art supplies. Of course I bought the deal (actually 4)! How serendipitous!!! I'm looking forward to Saturday.

Sunday, April 24, 2011

She's Back!

My muse is back! YAY!

I challenged myself to paint a dog. I don't have a dog so I had to use a photo of a friend's dog as my reference. Stella has the most beautiful golden and soulful eyes. I haven't tried painting a furry animal before so I wasn't sure how it was going to turn out. I did it with watercolor by starting with the darkest tones and then going back in to fill in the shades of gray and kept building from there. This piece took about 6 hours to do. I was so slow because I wasn't sure of myself. I kept adding and adding. At some point, I had to just say enough and leave it alone before I ruined it.

The bandanna details were done with a white jelly roll pen and a regular black ballpoint pen.


Here is the original photo. I blurred out my friend's child for privacy purposes.


Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Where Did It Go?

I have been battling an awful cold in the last week or so. In the process, I've lost my creative mojo. I haven't touched any art materials at all during this time. I'm now feeling better for the most part and really want to create something.

Last night, I stepped into my art room, sat down at the table and looked around at my markers, paints, watercolor pencils and nothing came to me. I straightened out the table, I applied gesso to my Moleskine in preparation for the next time I'm inspired to do something in it but then after that, nothing. I sat and sat and sat. After about 20 minutes, I got up, turned the lights out and left.

Where did my muse go? I want her back!

Monday, April 11, 2011


Last weekend, my 8 year old wanted to go outside and sketch the magnolia tree out front. I went out with him and then my 5 year old followed. While they both sketched, I had my camera out to take some shots of the roses. But it was the buzzing from the bees that got my attention. From the photo two posts down, you can see the photo reference I used for the left side of the spread. The right side is a more whimsical bee.


Friday, April 8, 2011

Brown Pelican

My son is in the gifted and talented program at school. His end of year project is a big one in four parts. The first part was the research paper, the second was a visual display, the third part is a working product and the final part is presenting his project to his peers, teachers and parents. He's only in second grade.

His class is doing the Wetlands and endangered species. They worked on the Wetlands together but then each had to do their own project on a specific species. He chose the Brown Pelican.

His product solution to help the Brown Pelican from becoming endangered is an oil sensing electronic helmet to alert the Brown Pelican if there is an oil spill in the water. The helmet would start buzzing if it detected oil thereby alerting the pelican not to go into that area of water.

I painted this Brown Pelican on a 4 foot tri-fold in acrylic paints. I have never tackled such a large painting before. I was a bit scared to be honest, but I am very pleased with the final result.

My son and husband will be working this weekend to make and attach the helmet to the bird with it's buzzing electronic sensor.

I took a photo before this bird gets his helmet.

Brown Pelican

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

More Roses

These photos are from the same rose bush as my sketch from yesterday's post. I was outside with my camera while my boys were sketching the magnolia tree out front. My eight year old in particular has caught the sketching bug. I love that he loves to do the things I do. He has a very good eye and does a great job of replicating what he sees. His most favorite things to draw are Pokemon.

The little bee is going to become a sketch in the next few days. My muse tends to be nature inspired. I love being outdoors. Flowers, insects, trees and the ocean call to me most.






Monday, April 4, 2011

Evolution of a Rose

I have been watching this one particular rose for the last week and capturing it's evolution. I was very surprised to see in the end at how pale this rose turned out. At the beginning, the hints of bright red in the bud had me thinking that this rose was going to be red when it fully bloomed. On day five, I was shocked when I went outside to see that it was mostly pale yellow with a hint of pink.

I'm taking Alisa Burke's online workshop called Sketchbook Delight. It has a wealth of information in it and I'm thoroughly enjoying watching her work.

This spread is stylized from some of the techniques I've learned in the workshop.

Evolution of a Rose