Watercolor Doodle (World Watercolor Month, 21/31)

I don’t think this one is finished yet, but I like how it looks so far. I keep wanting to see the word “fly” in here, and so I’m thinking I may add those letters in the light blue areas.    This is roughly 5 1/2″ by 6 1/2″ on Arches 140-lb. cold-press paper:


I used only two colors on this one:   M. Graham Phthalo Blue and Aureolin/Azo Yellow.    I have fallen deeply in love with Phthalo and Prussian Blue!    As wonderful as Ultramarine Blue is with the granulation and the wonderful darks that can be made with it, I’m loving even brighter and deeper blues right now.    And I just love watching Phthalo Blue move around in water on the page.    Does anyone else like watching these colors run around in water, or is it just me?      (Note:   As a Blick Art Materials affiliate, purchases from these links help support my site, and a fledgling art business.   Enjoy free shipping on orders of $35 or more through this Friday, and thank you!)

I hope everyone can smell the weekend round about now.   🙂    Peace.

Watercolor Pencils for Nature Lovers (and 100 Face Challenge #66)!

If you’re a little insecure about working with watercolor paint, but you enjoy natural subjects as I do, then watercolor pencils may be a medium to consider.

062816 1

These Graphitint pencils by Derwent, swatched out on the sheet above, were on my Christmas list last year.    This YouTube video by The Mind of Watercolor (great channel, by the way) sold me on these pencils.   The full set contains 24 pencils, but they also come in a starter set of 12, which are the colors in the top half of the photo.  Each pencil is water soluble, and contains a bit of graphite in addition to the watercolor pigments, lending an organic feeling to your work. Watercolor pencils were the first artist quality supplies I purchased nearly two years ago, because they gave me a feeling of security and control  as a watercolor beginner.    Sharing in case this may help someone else out there, too!

062816 2

I began with a quick sketch of my bird, using only three colors from the set: Warm Grey, Midnight Black and Chestnut.    Then I dampened a small watercolor brush, and liquified the color.   You’ll see the color becomes more vibrant after water is added, even though the painting in the photo below is fully dry.   As a beginner unused to mixing my own colors, watercolor pencils made it easier for me to gradually slip into the world of watercolor.   Thank you, Kathy at Backyard Bird Nerd, for another wonderful image of a tufted titmouse that helped me big time with my little sketch last night.   🙂

062816 3

Blick is offering free shipping on orders of $35 or more through Friday of this week, which saves you $4.95, their flat rate shipping charge.  The set of 12 Graphitint pencils is priced at about $16.50 at Blick, the full set, under $38.    A sweet deal, as these pencils will probably last me at least 10 years or so, probably more!   (Note:   As a Blick affiliate, purchases from these links help to support my site.)     Are you gearing up for World Watercolor Month yet?   Can you believe it starts on Friday?!   Followed by a loooong holiday weekend in the States!   So exciting!    I may review the Derwent Inktense line of water soluble pencils tomorrow.    The colors in that set are really bright and vibrant, and have some unique properties I think you’ll be glad to hear about, too!   I hope you have a wonderful Tuesday, and that you do something special for yourself today.   You deserve it!   Peace.

Let’s Celebrate our June Draw a Bird Day artists! (100 Face Challenge #64)

I want to thank Michael Emberson of A-Wing and A-Way, who informed the WordPress community about the April 8 Draw a Bird Day holiday just over a year ago. Many of us have been celebrating birds on the eighth of every month since!    A special thanks to Kathy at Backyard Bird Nerd for her tremendous photos, including this recent one I’ve rendered with a 4B pencil below.   Kathy, you’ve spoiled me.   And kept me very busy with your many amazingly detailed (and often sassy) images, thank you!    In case you missed anyone’s bird art, here are the links to our participants’ artwork this month:


The ladies at Method Two Madness contributed a verse and a mockingbird (Kerfe) and a parrot (Nina)

Judith at Artistcoveries contributed a watercolor scarlet tanager

I recently found Dawn at Brush of Dawn through Judith, and she’s done some lovely bird paintings – here is her owl and the raven I fell in love with (and not just cause I’m a Ravens fan)

Deborah at Circadian Reflections contributed a watercolor killdeer

Carol at Carol’s Creative Papers posted her watercolor pelican, inspired by a recent trip

Jodi at Life in Between painted a blue heron in watercolor

Susan at Susan Feniak’s art contributed a watercolor heron too!

Jeanette at Lunanista contributed a cardinal as part of an altered book

Teresa Robeson contributed a palila in watercolor marker

Teri at Teri2Creations contributed a bat in watercolor and pastel

Jill at Jill’s Art Journal contributed three mixed media whimsical birds

OutsideAuthority contributed a textile bird

Myriam at Myr’s Bites contributed an ink and marker Anna’s hummingbird

CavePainter contributed a robin in mixed media

Carolina at Yesterday After contributed a girl with a bird in watercolor

Charlie at Doodlewash doodlewashed a duck in watercolor for us

Ann at Ann Christina contributed a bluethroat in watercolor

and last but by no means least, Quinn Creative contributed an incredible minimalist word collage of a crow

I want to thank all of my talented friends for helping WordPress fly once again!   I hope you all enjoyed the artwork from my talented friends this month! If you posted bird art and do not see a link to your work here, then I did not have a link to you or your work underneath my June 8 bird post in the comments section. Please add a link in the comments here, though, and we’ll be sure to add you to the list!

Next month, July, is now World Watercolor Month, thanks to the magic and amazingness of our friend Charlie at Doodlewash! Let’s give Charlie a round of applause! So for the next couple of weeks, I’m going to post a few things I’ve learned about watercolor, experiment with some different colors, surfaces, brushes, etc. and share some of the wonderful YouTubers I’ve discovered that helped me out in my quest to learn the watercolor dance. I’m by no means an expert, but I really want to help Charlie promote World Watercolor Month (because isn’t it just amazing he got this done?!). He paints one watercolor each and every day and is nearly up to 365 days in a row of doing this, a feat all its own, but he’d like us to join him by posting a watercolor painting each day this July. I will try, but I’m not putting any pressure on myself, can’t risk strangling the muse, but I know he would love it if we could join him in the fun next month. *waving my pom poms on Charlie’s behalf*

Happy Almost Weekend to all, and enjoy the birdies today. Peace.

Draw a Bird Day May: Bird Art Roundup (and Face Challenge #59-61)!

DABD May JayI want to thank Michael at A-Wing and A-Way for telling us in April 2015 about the holiday for drawing birds, which falls each year on April 8!    Some of us like to celebrate our fair and feathered friends each month on the 8th by posting our bird art on our blogs and encouraging each other in our work.   It’s fun, and we hope you’ll join us next month!

Here is a round up of our May participants:

Moon in Capricorn at Artistcoveries contributed her lovely colored pencil work of a snowy white egret

Jodi at Life in Between posted a joyful watercolor of a goldfinch after taking her own photo, which she used for inspiration

Charlie at Doodlewash wins the prize for most creative post this month with this watercolor of chicken drumsticks (and they look scrumptious!)

Sharon at Monday Tuesday Wednesday painted a Say’s Phoebe that was a new sighting for her, and illustrated it also as part of a lovely watercolor painting

Deborah at Circadian Reflections painted a delicate Anna’s hummingbird in watercolor

Michelle at Michelle Kogan Illustration painted a lovely Cotorra volando

Judith at Curious to the Max posted her whimsical “Irritated Birds” in mixed media with a haiku

Kerfe posted an incredibly intricate stitched parakeet while her blogging partner, Nina, posted a sweet painting of a turkey

Jill at Jill’s Art Journal posted an amazing piece of collage art of a woodpecker

Cavepainter of Too Much White Paper contributed a wonderful killdeer painting in acrylic

Corinne at Corinnebekker contributed a lovely mixed media bird painting

Beverly at The Art Prescription also added a sweet mixed media bird, a blue-gray gnatcatcher to the mix

Stephen J. Quirke contributed his watercolor painting of a guinea-fowl feather as one of a collection of daily paintings he is creating this year

Susan of Susan Feniak’s Art added a wonderful mixed media painting of some chickadees at a feeder

Myriam at Myr’s Bites contributed a lovely bird illustration, also in mixed media

Snehal Kank posted a gorgeous watercolor cardinal surrounded by flowers, inspired by Kathy’s photo at Backyard Bird Nerd

A round of applause, please, for all of our participants this month!   I hope you all enjoyed them.   If you posted bird art and do not see a link to your work here, then I did not have a link to you or your work underneath my May 8 bird post in the comments section.   Please add a link in the comments here, though, and we’ll add you to the flock!

I’m going to take some artistic license and add a few other links as well:

Lance Weisser at Weisser Watercolours posted this junco a few days before the 8th this month – and please check out his site for more adorable bird miniatures in watercolor.

Cynthia at Sand Salt Moon painted her neighbor’s chicken in acrylic paint a few days prior as well

J. M. Landin of Red Newt Gallery created an amazing picture of a young gosling at a recent carbon dust workshop, and you’ll find that artwork here

DABD May grumpy bluebird babyKathy at Backyard Bird Nerd posted the sweetest collection of photos of a bluebird family from her yard and I couldn’t resist these photos.   I stayed up much too late sketching them, and wanted to include a couple quick sketches of my own (apologizing in advance that I do not erase while drawing, as practice for working in pen, so they’re far from perfect).   Please check out her blog if you love birds as we do; her skills are top-notch and her commentary is always amusing!    I also want to thank Kathy for the terrific photo of the “too cute” blue jay with personality plus that I couldn’t resist drawing that appears at the top of this post.

If you’re interested in waterbirds, Donna’s site at Bay Photos by Donna is always a wonderful place to visit.   You’ll find birds of all kinds, but if you’re interested in waterbirds, you’ll find tons of them in her prior posts, and more variety in the upcoming months, as she begins her new life as a roving wanderer!  😀

robins robins finchRobin at Robin’s Robins is always posting delightful photos of birds, and I tried a recent photo of a house finch from this link.   (I’ve been drawing birds like crazy recently!)


I want to thank my very talented artist and photographer friends for helping WordPress fly once again in May, and stay tuned for June 8, when we will open all the cages and let the birds fly free once more! Peace.

Revival: May Madness Day 15

This is Life #2 of a painting I posted back on Day 5 (Walk in the Woods).   Maybe I’ll call this Leaping through the Landscape?   I’m still not sure if this one has found its final incarnation, but since I’m having lots of fun playing with Golden acrylics, it’s all good!


I think my painting buddy Debi Riley would probably say it needs more Light.  And that’s probably right.   But I like the background underneath, and don’t want to obliterate it completely.   So I’ve been making acrylic glazes with glazing liquid and transparent pigments……which doesn’t seem to do a whole lot to lighten.   Titanium white and Titan buff would lighten but are much more opaque.   Maybe this piece needs a unifying layer, but I don’t want to lose the background totally.   Suggestions welcome!

I will post the May 8 Draw a Bird Day roundup later on today, celebrating everyone’s lovely bird art!   Have a wonderful, restful spring Sunday.   Peace.

Draw a Bird Day February (#41): 100 Face Challenge

Happy Draw a Bird Day! Jill of Jill’s Art Journal inspired me to make this when she remarked on my recent whimsical circles painting that it made her think of peacock feathers. Great idea, Jill!   Gave me an excuse to break out those Neocolor II pastels once again.   (Like I need an excuse!)


I decided to draw this in ink with a very fine Copic 0.1mm pen and then highlight the circular feathers and the eye only in color. Hope you enjoy.

Have a terrific week!  Please visit Kerfe and Nina over at Method Two Madness for more bird art, and a compilation with links to all of the artwork in a few days! Peace.

Portrait of a Young Man (#40): 100 Face Challenge

I’m really enjoying my 100 Faces Challenge!   This was just a quick one last weekend, because I couldn’t resist the photo from Google images. So I dove right in. I like it better a week later than I did at the time, hehe.    If you’d like to guess who he is, feel free!    The reference image was probably from about 40 years ago.  I’m holding all guesses in moderation, so everyone has the fun of guessing.


I can’t believe I’m up to 40 faces in the first week of February!   I can’t seem to resist faces of all kinds.   Also hoping to have some fun with color this weekend.   Kerfe and Nina at Method Two Madness are helping me out by hosting Draw a Bird Day once again this month (for which I’m very grateful), and Monday is the 8th!    So get on over to their place on Monday and post a link to your artwork where prompted, and then they’ll do a round-up post after the dust settles a bit.   Looking forward to seeing what happens when my Mixed Media Monday crosses with Draw a Bird Day.  Stay tuned!

I hope you have a wonderful weekend, doing whatever makes you smile biggest and laugh hardest. Peace.

European Eagle Owl in Profile (#34): 100 Face Challenge

I came across an image that grabbed me by the throat recently at Paint My Photo. The photographer is Paul Sherman, and his wildlife images will wow you.


This was a quick “I should really be sleeping” type of sketch, but wouldn’t it be amazing to sharpen a whole bunch of colored pencils and have a go at a detailed painting of this gorgeous photo? Here is a live link to the image. You will have to setup a free account at Paint My Photo to view it. If you’re an artist, it’s worthwhile. The photographers there graciously share their work with the art community, which is a beautiful thing indeed.

Who’s dancing? Time to splatter and splash in big splotches of paint this weekend! 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.   🙂