Painted Circles (and MM scraps)

I was experimenting with a technique I found on YouTube called painted circles.  I wasn’t overly thrilled with it, but I do think it has promise for another time.   When I was finished, I glued it into my humble Canson sketchbook and called it a night.


This is the result.   It’s acrylic paint, Neocolor II crayons, a torn book page (I hate to tear books, but this one was reallllly bad, so it was actually gratifying)….and that’s about it.    There’s some scraps from the painting I just cut up in there too. I’ve been in a “play with color” place lately, but I’ll be picking up my faces challenge again soon!

Enjoy your Tuesday. I hope you find time to play today. It’s good for you. Peace.

Contented Dog (#35): 100 Face Challenge

When I saw this photo of my friend Jodi’s dog at Life in Between…do I have to finish this sentence? How could anyone resist this face?!

Charlie: MM journal, 2B graphite

There is nothing sweeter than the eyes of a dog. A challenging, foreshortened view that I’m still working on rendering just right, but every single time, such a joy to try and capture. Thank you, Jodi, for sharing your lovely photos. And thank you, Charlie, my partner in crime!   You both inspire me.

Saturdays are inspiring too! Beef stew will bubble in the crockpot, some kind of cool gluten-free chocolate chunk bars will be baking in the oven…..and then let the weekend dance continue with color galore! Happy almost February…..peace.

Playful Color

Now that our friend Jonas has packed up and moved on, and the sun shines once again, I just felt the need to have a play with some color!   Let the sunshine in!


This is Inktense blocks and Neocolor II crayons, with a little help from a white Gelly pen in my 9×12″ Strathmore mixed media journal.  I’d be very curious what Jill of Jill’s Art Journal and Lin at Breathing Space would do with something like this.    They are wonderful mixed media artists.    Maybe I need to just sit on it awhile?   I’m tempted to add large-ish circles.  In white.   I don’t know.   Would love to know what you all think.

I can’t believe it’s already Thursday.   The week is flying by!    Happy Friday eve, everyone…….I hope to roll out a raptor for tomorrow.   🙂

Smiling Man (#29): 100 Face Challenge

Watching TV the other night, inspiration hit me.  I decided it might be worth trying to capture this man using a still of his face, which I found quickly, thanks to the magic of Google images.


This was the result, with 2B graphite pencil in my Strathmore Mixed Media journal. I hope you enjoy!

To everyone affected by the snowstorm, I think after digging out, it’s time for paint, pencils, and splashes of happiness?   Everybody, let’s dance.    Peace and Happy Sunday to you.

100 Face Challenge: Studio Cat (#6 & #7)!

I was browsing the blog of artist Katie Turner recently and found this post, featuring a wonderful photo of her studio cat, Tiger.    This cat is so gorgeous, with lovely markings, and I was especially drawn to her eyes (I am eye obsessed).   So of course, I had to draw her.    Or try!   🙂

010516 graphite

My first attempt was in graphite pencil (2B) in my 65-lb., mostly smooth Canson sketchbook.   I was happy with the eye, but had misaligned some other markings a bit.   And I didn’t think the lightweight paper would fare well with too much erasing.

010516 pen

So I tried again in ink, this time in my Strathmore mixed media journal with a Copic 0.1 mm nib.   I’ve not finished this drawing, but will probably start over again on Bristol smooth paper.   The photo has so much eye detail (making me crave about 100 more just like it, of any animal you please!) and I find myself being drawn to it again and again.   I’ve found that the importance of a good photo reference can not be overestimated.   I’ve also found that in spite of a good reference, it’s easy to make mistakes.   hehe.

I’ve got some barnyard animals planned for the future:  cows, horses, rabbits, roosters, and even the odd squirrel and raccoon.    Also, more dogs!    I hope you make this a day to remember.  Meowing in public could go a long way toward brightening a January day.   (I’m just checking to see if anyone’s still reading.   But meowing in public really is fun!)    Peace.

100 Face Challenge: Mallard Duck (#4)

The best thing about blogging on WordPress is that we’re all constantly surrounded with tons of inspiration coming at us from every direction. This post at Bay Photos by Donna recently caught my eye, and I just had to attempt to draw this mallard head.   It was a magnificent close-up head shot!   It was calling….um, quacking my name!!


I like the ink drawing ok, but this is a face that begs for watercolor.   Don’t you agree?   How could any painter resist the beautiful colors in his head? I ran out of time to paint today, but aiming for a more colorful version of this beautiful bird next time out.   Thank you, Donna, once again, for your wonderful and inspirational photos!

Happy Sunday! Do more of what makes you happy. The world will be a better place if you do! Peace.


Materials Used:

Superfine Pitt Artist pen in black

Strathmore Visual Journal – Mixed Media format

100 Face Challenge: Snowy cat! (#2 & #3)

Nexi at Time Nexus is an amazing photographer here on WP, and she posted a link for me yesterday featuring lots of great cat photos. One cat in particular really drew me – I’m guessing its name is Snowy, but Nexi will let me know if I need to change it.

0102 prelim

I started with a preliminary sketch in graphite (a B pencil) in a drawing journal. This is a Canson sketchbook called Universal Sketch. The paper barely has any tooth and is lightweight (65 lb.). (Don’t let that number fool you though, because it’ll even take a light watercolor wash!) Kirk at Dumb Sketch Daily recommended it to me, and it really is great. There are 100 pages and it’s like $3.50 at Blick. You can’t beat it. It’s given me the incentive I needed to really draw, draw, draw. I bought some expensive sketchbooks when I was just starting out – there are a couple I still haven’t used at all yet! They can be a little intimidating when you’re afraid of wrecking them! I find this Canson book to be perfect, because I won’t hesitate to just pick it up and draw something – even if I think I’m taking on something way too challenging and headed for a drawing fail. But I digress!

I was pretty happy with the initial quick sketch, so I switched to pen and moved over to the journal I use for my daily sketching. The mixed media journal has a fairly rough/toothy surface. So if I were going for a very finished look and wanted to do a really detailed pen study, I probably would have chosen a different paper entirely, something like a smooth Bristol. But in this case, I wasn’t sure at all how it would turn out in pen, so I just went for it. I used to be really afraid of drawing in pen, but I find two things really helpful: 1) a very light touch saves the day (and for me, that’s with most any medium) and 2) a very fine nib goes a long way to help you hide mistakes that inevitably crop up.

0102 sketch

I put this Copic drawing pen on my Christmas list, and one of the artists at Blick was kind enough to send me a free sample of the refillable one as well. (Have I mentioned I just love Blick?!)  Anyway, these pens are golden. The tip on this one is very fine, measuring just 0.05 mm.   The smallest I had discovered prior was the Micron 005, which measures at 0.20 mm, so this gives you a much finer line, perfect for animal fur.   (These pens also come in a 0.03 mm size, even smaller!)   Needless to say, I’ve ordered a set of the refillable Copic pens, because I’m finding neither the Micron nor the Pitt pens last as long as it seems they should.   They are more expensive initially, but I expect to save lots of money in the long run, as the nib and ink can both be replaced/refilled.

After the ink sketch was done, I went back in with several shades of Polychromos colored pencils to add some color in the eye and nose areas.    What a beautiful white cat!    He/she really was a joy to draw, and I want to thank Nexi once again for posting those terrific cat photos.    Tune in tomorrow, you never know what I’ll be cooking up next.    Peace and Happy Weekend to all!


Abstract Landscape, Take Two(hundred and fifty)

Conjuring up some peace in my art journal the other night. *waves wand*


And really wishing I had a whole bunch more of those Neocolor water soluble crayons. With watercolor paint, they make a dreamy pair. Not barely into September, and I’m starting my Christmas list! hehe.

Happy, peaceful, water lily on a still pond Wednesday to all of you today.

Draw A Bird Day (September encore)!

I want to once again acknowledge M. R. Emberson of A-Wing and A-Way for alerting the WordPress community to the holiday for drawing birds on April 8. A group of other artists and I have been carrying on the tradition monthly ever since, and it’s been lots of fun.


Unfortunately this weekend got a bit busy, and so I’ll be posting this month’s contribution in stages. I got the idea for this one from this earlier post, dubbed “The Yellow Bird of Happiness” by my husband. That bird was so full of joy that he makes me smile every time I flip back to that journal page.   I thought it might be fun to make him the central motif in an art quilt.   Working with fabric is certainly rewarding, but it was soooo much faster to do that quick watercolor sketch. hehe.

I think I’ll call this one “A New Song” (which reminds me of the Father Tim book series by Jan Karon, which started with “At Home in Mitford”.   Does anyone else love this series?   “A New Song” was the fifth installment).     I hope that the finished project will come somewhat close to the vision I have for it in my head.   🙂

I hope you’ll join me next week for the Draw A Bird Day recap, when I post a link to the artwork of all of the bloggers who joined us this month!  Peace, and I hope you all have a great week ahead.