Spring Colors

I recently discovered a new blog called Broken Castles here on WordPress, and the images and poetry there are quite poignant. Aries graciously gave me permission to use this black and white photo as a reference for my artwork, and so here is my loose interpretation, in the colors I love best.


I started with an underdrawing in 2B woodless graphite, and then added (you guessed it!) Neocolors. If I would have been going for a realistic result, I’d have chosen a different medium entirely (and paid more attention to form lol), but the Neos once again allowed me to quickly capture my feelings about the subject and get them down on paper.   This is why I love them so.   Thanks, Aries, for allowing me to use your lovely image!

I hope you enjoy, and that you’re anticipating the weekend with twitching tailfeathers! Peace.


I couldn’t resist this photo of a magnolia bud shared by Bert and Rusha at Oh, the Places We See.   Some amazing photography at their site; please check it out!     Thank you, Bert and Rusha, for sharing your magnificent work with us.  This is my interpretation, in colored pencil and graphite:


I hope you enjoy. The crocuses are blooming and Lady Spring is indeed on her way. I will likely be blogging less often between now and April 15, which is my busy season in the office.

I hope you’re enjoying the blossoms wherever you are. Peace.

Got Color?

Then roll it out! Let us seeeee your beautiful colorssss (in my Gollum voice) 😀

022916You guessed it!   More fun with Neocolors.   You can always count on it:

1.   Pick up a crayon.

2.   Scribble to your heart’s content.

3.   Light it up with water.

4.   Repeat, until your heart sings and the flowers BLOOM!

My work here is done.   With art supplies at the ready, we can go anywhere.   We can create a beautiful reality in front of us, no matter how crazy life becomes.  Bloom, people!   Thank you.   March is almost here   *applause applause*!

Whimsical Flowers

I’ve been intrigued by the work of Claudia McGill and Kerfe at Method Two Madness for many moons, and been thinking about incorporating words and mixed media collage more into my abstract work.  I picked up a random book page I’d started cutting words from last summer, and these words jumped out at me, so I thought it would be fun to let them inspire my artwork.

022016I created this mainly with Neocolor II crayons, adding words cutout from a (really bad) book, adding black acrylic paint as a finishing touch.   I can see why artists get hooked on circles!    Other similar posts using this circular technique from Cat Hand on YouTube are here, here and here.   Seriously, if you ever just wanna have fun with color and play like a little kid, those Neocolor crayons and that circle technique are sure to please.

Enjoy the weekend and make time to play today.   You owe it to yourself.

Flowers in February (inspired by Cathe)

I saw Cathe’s Valentine’s Day post over at Amaryllis Log recently and just had to try to capture the essence of her beautiful flowers in my art journal.

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Lately, I’ve been fascinated with Neocolor II water-soluble crayons.   I realized I’ve not done much realistic work with them, and thought I’d try to remedy that.   This ^^ is just the initial sketch on the page, before brushing with any water.   The nice thing about sketching with a water-soluble medium is that the drawing will be melting into the painting.

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Amazing what the water does to the initial sketch!   After liquefying the initial color, I did go back and add just a bit more to darken my dark values.     I was pleased with the end result.  I just can’t resist this medium!    The ease, control, buttery softness, and vibrancy of color all make them a real pleasure to work with.    I think what I love most is that they help me to quickly capture my feelings as I look at my subject.   I can easily lift out color after liquefying if I’ve gone a bit too heavy with the initial sketch, and in no time at all, I’m finished!   And at the end of a long day…..that’s often exactly what I’m looking for.   Thanks again, Cathe, for sharing your lovely photo!

Happy Tuesday, and I hope you have time to exercise your art muscles today!   Peace.

Inspired by Debi

So many artists (including artists with lenses and letters and others) inspire me here. Debi Riley is a gracious, informative, generous and gifted artist of many talents; one of them is photography.

I was recently moved by a black and white photograph of a flower she posted on her blog.   I tried it in pencil first…….then moved to Polychromos colored pencil….

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Once I started sketching it…..I didn’t want to stop!    Of course, cobalt teal (or something close) was a must, as I wanted Debi to smile when she saw my painting.  🙂  As Debi’s post explains, this is a wonderful exercise in looking and really seeing the flower.   Although I wasn’t aiming for precision, I do find it interesting how much my ability to really see increases with the number of drawings (of any type) that I do, and in particular, with the number of times I work with a particular subject.    I could sketch this flower ten more times, and each time, I would see something I didn’t see before.

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This final one was sketched in Polychromos colored pencil, then surrounded by three shades of luscious Neocolor II water-soluble pastels.   IMO, this is a must-have art supply.   If you buy a set from Blick, you can return it for up to a year – no questions asked.   Who offers this?!   Right.  That’s why I love Blick!    It’s well worth at least trying them out.    They are so vibrant, creamy and buttery.   I could have blended them more and you’d have never known they were anything but paint, but I kind of like this image as it is.   It was just me playing and having fun.

Please do check out Debi’s blog, as I promise you will learn something new every time you visit.   Plus, she will inspire you out of your socks!   Always!   I hope everyone is getting ready for Draw A Bird Day tomorrow, this time over at Kerfe & Nina’s place (Method Two Madness).   I better get flapping on that myself!   Peace (and pigskins) to all!

Quick Roses

Just another quick one from my art journal. We had a couple of new little buds, one each on the red and pink bushes. So I decided to sketch them both in ink and go back in with my Cotman watercolor travel palette.


The other rose was my warm-up in Inktense pencil with a bit of watercolor paint added later. That ink definition adds so much!

Happy Thursday to all…..Anyone else looking forward to some fall-like temps?   Can’t wait. Peace.

Roses are red….

…or in my case, pink! And I’ve tried them out, yet again, drawing outdoors in my art journal, and painting with my travel palette inside.


I hope to roll out another abstract painting for you tomorrow. I am reading a book that is helping me out with composition, and I hope to share a little review of that one tomorrow as well.

Happy Creative Weekend to all. We are art energy! Shake thy tailfeather, and splatter that paintbrush too, while you’re at it.