Draw a Bird Day, August issue! (100 Face Challenge, #71)

I want to once again thank our friend Michael Emberson at A-Wing and A-Way for letting us know about the annual Draw A Bird Day celebration, which happens April 8 each year. We’ve been celebrating with bird art on the eighth of every month since!     I also want to thank Kathy at Backyard Bird Nerd for this tremendous bluebird reference image.    Kathy regularly shares amazing shots of birds, blooms, butterflies, you name it, even poetry on her blog here on WP.   Please check her site out, if you haven’t already.

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I grabbed a few quick minutes with a pen from the office (the Signo 207 by Uniball used to be water soluble, so have a try if you have one of the old ones, it’s great fun) and my Strathmore Visual Watercolor journal.   This journal is a great one to choose if you’ve always thought you’d like to try watercolor.   It is very inexpensive at $5.29, and you can pick up a really nice starter travel palette, which includes a brush, 12 colors, and 3 mixing wells for under $15.    This is pretty much all you need to begin watercolor sketching, and this time of year is a perfect time to get started! (affiliate links)

FYI, Blick Art Materials is offering Free Shipping for all orders of $35 or more through 11:59 Pacific Time this Friday, August 12!

I’ll be posting a roundup with links to all of the artwork of everyone participating in August’s Draw a Bird Day celebration in about a week.    If you’d like your artwork to be included, please post a link to your work in the comments below.    Thanks so much, and have a wonderful week everyone.    Peace.

Phone Call Doodle in Watercolor: May Madness Day 17

Sometimes life happens, the day (and then the night) gets away from you, you wind up on the phone…..and yet…..still haven’t got that painting ready. This was one of those days.


This is another of those 4×4″ Aquabord squares. I’m going to use this one as an experiment to see if I can rinse it off and begin again a whole day later. Will I still be able to rinse back to the white surface? Or will quinacridone magenta and cobalt & ultramarine blue have left their calling cards forever engraved in the board? Tune in tomorrow and see!

Wasn’t that fun?! Aren’t you glad you stopped by today? Well, I am glad you stopped by. I hope you have a wonderful spring Tuesday. Enjoy your paint, pencils, paper, whatever the art fairy left in your supply box! Peace.

Autumn View: May Madness Day 11

What I’m loving about acrylic painting is that you can completely wreck something in every way: colors don’t jive, composition is all over the place and the texture products you tried so that a certain effect would happen sort of … didn’t. And yet! The surface has a new life, thanks to the power of covering it up and starting again!   This was painted on a 6×6″ piece of acrylic canvas paper.


Do my trees in every medium I’ve tried need lots of work? Sure. But in this case, its past life, and all of that texture and depth underneath this painting actually helped it seem like more of a completed work.   Perfect background?   Far from it.    But hey, it was resurrected from the trash!   So I am saying yay today, even though my trees still wanna leaf.

And so art, once again, is a metaphor for life:    We may have layers that aren’t perfect, or even pretty, but the lessons learned add layers of depth, understanding, warmth and compassion, making us more beautiful, even as the years go by.   I hope your Wednesday is wonderful and that you and your trees are dancing like they mean it! Peace.

Cormorant for Denis! #52: 100 Face Challenge

Denis at Haiku Hound saw my recent artwork of a cormorant getting ready to take flight and kindly directed me to some wonderful images on his blog of a cormorant with wings up!


I am so drawn to these images, and have been having lots of fun drawing them, mostly in 2B graphite. Thought I’d share the only Neocolor II version I’ve come up with so far.   Thanks so much, Denis, and to all of you who inspire me daily with your poetry, photography, and artwork of all kinds.   I just soak it all up like a sponge!   Really enjoying it.

Happy Sunday! May it be a day of restoration and peace for us all!

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.

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.