Cormorant, Take Two (#48): 100 Face Challenge

I want to once again thank Donna for the glorious image of a double-crested cormorant she captured and shared recently while in Florida on vacation. I tried this again in Polychromos colored pencil (here is the Neo image from yesterday)… and I may not be finished with this image yet!


I really was so taken with this bird on the brink of something beautiful, ready to lift off with its amazing wings and soar……it just grabbed the poet, the artist, the dreamer, everything in me and I had to give it another go.    I’m taking a lesson from Kerfe and some others here who use such expressive marks when they’re drawing.   Really trying to capture more expression in my work.

Happy Monday to you, wherever you are.   No snow in the forecast is a very happy thing!   Spring, you rascal!  I know you’re out there.  Peace.

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.

Blue Jay, Take One (#44)

Kathy at Backyard Bird Nerd never fails to inspire me with her amazingly sharp closeups. Lately, I’ve been working on getting my blue jay on, after seeing one of her recent posts…..


…and this was my first. I’ve sketched several since, but as sometimes happens, the first was my favorite so far. We’ll see what the week brings!   This was done with a Copic SP 0.1mm pen.   Love the dark markings on these guys.   Hope you enjoyed this!

Happy President’s Day! May you have a productive and satisfying week, and lots of time to bring out the paint and pencils. Peace.

Reaching for the Sun

Feeling like more warm colors on this blustery Valentine’s Day. This was brought to you by Inktense blocks, Neocolor II water-soluble crayons, and Liquitex soft body acrylic paint (just a touch).


I’m hoping to create a collage with this later. Also experimented with a Valentine’s gift from Hub, which is the Dr. Ph Martin’s Bombay inks. Woo, talk about saturated color! A little goes a loooooooong way. Will be cutting up both paintings and making a little who knows what! Having some mixed media fun this weekend.

I hope everyone in the northern hemisphere is staying warm and that everyone else is staying cool and….Happy Valentine’s Day to all! 😀

Light Up the Sky

When time is short at the end of the day, I grab the Neocolors and any paintbrush that’s hanging around and go.


If you love color, but don’t consider yourself an artist, you can’t go wrong with a set of these. It’s like being a kid with a set of crayons. Draw, swipe with a wet brush, and voila. Very fun and vibrant and you only need a few minutes to make something pretty.   You owe it to yourself to see what creating art can bring to your life!

I hope everyone is enjoying a lovely weekend, whatever the weather. Time to dance! Peace and love to you and those you love this weekend. ❤

Mara, What Lovely EYES You Have (#43): 100 Face Challenge

I recently discovered a fabulous place here at WP called Gold Hearts Blog. There are so many amazing artists and photographers here, and some people are lucky to be called both. Brianna is such a person, and when I saw this photo of her cat, Mara, I just couldn’t resist!


I hope you enjoy. Oh, so struck by her eyes! That 2B graphite pencil is starting to become a favorite! This one was done in my Strathmore mixed media journal.

Are we ready for the Friday/Valentine’s/President’s Day weekend dance?! Are the paints, papers, pigment poised and ready? hehe. *cue the music*

Percilla, Who Can Resist You? (#42): 100 Face Challenge

I found an absolutely irresistible photo of a young kitty named Percilla while browsing the blog of artist Jade Sutton the other day. If you have a minute, check out her blog! Her artwork will inspire you to dig through your supplies and fling pigment to paper, canvas, whatever is closest.   It’s lovely!


I love all animals, but I have to admit being partial to cats. My two passed away within about a year of each other recently, and though we’re not ready to take the plunge yet, I just can’t resist cute little kitty faces. This one was done with a 2B graphite pencil in my most humble Canson sketchbook.

Happy Tuesday!   Enjoy the sun, the snow, the rain…..whatever’s happening where you are.   They all have a purpose, and something to offer us.   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.

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!