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!

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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.   🙂

100 Face Challenge: Less is More Experiment (#8)!

Recently, I decided to focus more on drawing animals, particularly in ink. In that process, I ran across the YouTube channel of an amazing artist named Alphonso Dunn.   He has a huge catalog of videos there, which he’s graciously produced and made available for free.   One that particularly caught my eye is titled “The Less is More Principle”.  Which led to this drawing.

010616Pen can be tricky, and as Alphonso teaches, it can be very useful to learn to be brief with your strokes, and capture the immediacy of the subject in that moment.   I wanted to capture the essence of this dog quickly, and I was happy with this effort.

Incidentally, Alphonso came out with his first book a few weeks ago.   He wanted to produce the kind of book he wanted when he was trying to teach himself how to draw in pen.    “Pen and Ink Drawing:   A Simple Guide” doesn’t disappoint.   He is passionate about teaching and about drawing, and he is one of the few artists I’ve come across who is really good at both.  He can boil difficult principles down to a paragraph or two.    (He has some wonderful videos on perspective, for example, that brought me closer to understanding this than anything I’ve come across.)

He is wonderful, and has such a gentle and gracious way about him, too.   By the way, he also works in pen and watercolor, graphite; he doesn’t limit himself to just ink.   I encourage you to check out his YouTube channel, and consider taking a look at his book (free preview on Amazon, here) to see if you might find it useful.   It’s already the #1 bestseller on Amazon in its category.   Congratulations, Alphonso, and well-deserved!

Happy Wednesday; we’re almost home free now!     I want to thank all of you for taking this journey with me.   Peace and creative wonderment to all.

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.

Abstract landscape

A quick mixed-media abstract landscape from last weekend out of my art journal. Brought to you by Inktense blocks, colored pencils (I think), watercolor paint and acrylic craft paint.

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I’m reading a book that I’m hoping will help me to create more depth in my abstract work, working toward abstract realism.   “Abstract Art Painting:  Expressions in Mixed Media” by Debora Stewart was published earlier this year, and you can check out a preview of it at this link.   Debora is primarily a pastel painter, but I’m finding that her tips about how to pursue abstractions would apply to an artist working in any medium.

Happy Friday, and as always, thanks for your visits and comments.   Peace.

Free, flowing, flowery fun

A favorite YouTube video that I discovered last fall at the beginning of my creative journey is from Joanne Boon Thomas. In the video, Joanne shares her impressionistic, loose style as she paints poppies. I’ve tried a couple of times to paint poppies the way Joanne does, and I enjoyed it. This time though, I decided to take what I’ve learned from watching Joanne, and paint the flowers in a way that feels right to me.

“Poppies Standing Tall” 5×7″

I wanted to convey a feeling of light, of freedom, of the wind through the field flowing through my hand and my spirit as I painted. If I’ve succeeded in bringing light into your day today, then I’ll consider that I’ve accomplished something as an artist this time out. And I’ll hope for further expressions of this same kind of joy and freedom in future explorations of this delightful medium that I’ve grown to love so much.

Happy Saturday, and may you find time today for something that gives you the same feeling. Peace and light.