August Artwork (Draw a Bird Day Roundup)

Better late than never, right? Life and work get in the way sometimes, but I wanted everyone to get a chance to see the amazing bird artwork so many talented bloggers posted in August for the Draw a Bird Day celebration!   A special thanks to Kathy at Backyard Bird Nerd and all of our WordPress photographers for their beautiful work and reference images! In case you missed anyone’s post, here are the links to our participants’ bird celebrations from August:

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Michael of A Certain Line contributed whimsical mixed media artwork

Jill at Jill’s Art Journal contributed a brown-headed nuthatch in watercolor

Charlie at Doodlewash contributed a macaw in watercolor

Kerfe at Method Two Madness contributed a flicker in paint and collage

Jodi at Life in Between painted a pink flamingo in watercolor

Dawn at Brush of Dawn painted a crow in acrylics recently (I couldn’t find the artwork at your August link, Dawn, but love your crow too!)

Marcy Erb at Illustrated Poetry contributed some stork artwork

Cave Painter contributed a bald eagle in watercolor

Birgit Winter at Winter Art Blog painted a crow for us

Michelle Kogan painted a watercolor turkey

Carrie of Carrie Cordero Designs painted a tailorbird in watercolor

Jeanette Clawson at Lunanista contributed some mixed media swallows

Snehal Kank contributed a watercolor cardinal

Carolina at Yesterday After contributed a watercolor bluebird

0806 2Arsty Birdy of The Leaf Diary contributed a bird drawn in ink

Teri of Teri’s Sketch Journal painted in watercolor a very colorful painted bunting

Beverly of The Art Prescription contributed some crows in brush ink

Annie of Annie Draws Things contributed a sweet bee hummingbird in watercolor

Carol of Carol’s Creative Papers painted a pileated woodpecker in watercolor for us

Alison at East Witching contributed watercolor cardinal art and at this link, you can purchase a print if you like

 

I hope everyone enjoyed creating and viewing my talented friends’ creations this month! If you posted bird art in August, and do not see a link to your work here, then either I made a booboo, or I did not have a link to your work underneath my August 8 bird post in the comments section. Please add a link to your August Draw a Bird Day post in the comments here, though, and we’ll be sure to add you to the list!

I am taking a blogging break, although I hope to return soonish.    Are we all celebrating September and the advent of autumn’s flaming colors and cool breezes?    You know I am!   Peace and Happy Football Sunday to all!

Mixed Media Collage (Acrylic August)

I got a wild hair the other day and decided to tear down a full sheet (22 x 30″) of watercolor paper in quarters.   Which is working pretty large, for me, as I usually stay right around 5 x 7″ or so.   I had fun working out some “stuff” on the surface, with lots of color and using many different mediums.     I created that piece to use as collage fodder….and here is a collage on 11 x 14″ watercolor paper, made solely from that original work:

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Materials used to create the original piece, which was posted here:

I haven’t glued the pieces down yet, as I feel it may need a tweak or two.   I’m gonna let it cogitate for awhile.   The original piece was so saturated with color, while this collaged piece leaves lots of space for the eye to rest, something it really needed, I think.   It feels restful and peaceful to me, even with so much vibrant magenta humming through it.   I’d love to hear what type of feelings this might bring up for you.   Maybe it makes you feel like dancing, hehe.   🙂   We can only hope, right?    Have a wonderful week!

Working Larger (Acrylic August)

This is mixed media on 1/4 sheet of watercolor paper. Yes, 11 x 14″, the largest I’ve gone yet!    I had some angst in my spirit, and so I folded a large sheet of watercolor paper in half both ways so I could swing my arm and fling some paint.   I’m working around the color wheel.    And having lots of fun!

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I hope you enjoyed, as there will be more to come!    I originally created this to go into a collage or other mixed media application, but when I was finished……oh, who knows, maybe I’m not finished.   Not sure if I should call this a painting or cut it up for something else.   I’d love to get your thoughts.   Peace and happy Sunday to you!

Art Therapy: In the News (Acrylic August, 5/31)

Yesterday, I read this post from Lucy’s Coloring Book where she describes a therapeutic (and beautiful!) experience she had with her art journal.   Well, the news headlines have been getting to me lately, so I decided to take a page out of Lucy’s book (so to speak) and see if I could turn some of that trash to treasure.    This is M. Graham watercolor and Golden fluid acrylic paint on a 4 x 6″ Blick studio canvas:

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I started by digging into the recycle bin, grabbing the front page, and flipping through to one of those headlines.    Ripped it out of the paper and tore it in strips, and collaged it to my canvas with Golden soft gel medium.  It doesn’t take long to dry in the summertime with no retarder added, so I didn’t have to wait long before throwing paint at it, to cover it up.   “Make pretty, make pretty” I said to myself…..and it just wouldn’t be made pretty!    So I covered it with Golden Titanium White fluid paint.   Very opaque, totally covered in no time.

But I needed more texture.    So I grabbed a sheet of white rice paper, crumpled it up, spread it out, and grabbed the Derwent Inktense blocks and started rubbing blue, red, magenta lengthwise on the paper.   Hit it with a damp brush and took another look.   Gave it a few seconds to dry a bit, shredded that one too…..coated my surface with more Golden soft gel, and started laying the strips in.    Still wasn’t thrilled with it, so I dripped some Yellow Dr. Ph. Martin’s Bombay India ink in, and hit it with a spray bottle of water so it would travel.   Let that dry….and picked it up again.

And it started talking to me.    The yellow ink had created a sun, and there were so many nice wrinkles below it, so I went after that area with M. Graham Quinacridone Rose and Phthalo and Prussian Blue, Burnt Sienna watercolor paint, and just let those colors mingle.    Dampened the sun area and added some M. Graham Quinacridone Gold watercolor.  There was a bit too much distracting activity from the prior layer outside my focal point, so I faded that out with more Golden Fluid paint in Titanium White.    Voila!   (Blick Art Materials is offering Free Shipping on orders of $45 or more through 11:59 Pacific Time tonight.  Your purchases from these links help to support more mad scientist experiments.   Enjoy and many thanks!)

And boy, was this therapeutic.   I encourage you, if those headlines bug the heck outta you like they do me…….tear them up and turn them into something happy.   You might be surprised at how the day (and your mood) turns around afterward.    Happy Almost Weekend to all!   I hope you paint like you mean it this weekend!    Peace.

Homemade Spray Ink in Golden Molding Paste (Acrylic August, 3/31)

The mad scientist is having lots of fun breathing new life into painting fails recently!   This is acrylic texture product, paint and ink on a 6 x 6″ piece of Gessobord by Ampersand:

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This one started out as a painting fail from several months back that I almost wanted to remake as soon as it was posted.   I fished it out of the pile the other day and added some Golden Molding Paste to it to cover what was below, and then drew swirls into the paste with the back end of a paintbrush.   I really love the Dr. Ph. Martin’s Bombay India ink set I bought, but it is extremely strong.   I decided to make my own homemade spray ink by adding drops of it into mini mister bottles partially filled with water, and adjusting the mixture until I was happy with the strength of the spray coming out.

This turned out to be an extremely inexpensive way to make wonderfully vibrant spray ink!    And you can see how strong the colors are.   It also gives you the opportunity to mix up your own colors.    (I recently bought a box of 50 small spray bottles very inexpensively on Amazon (only 32 cents per bottle), and plan to make lots more little bottles of spray ink, as combining the colors and watching them mix on the painting was so much fun.)   This is not only inexpensive, but a fun and easy way to custom make a spray ink (in this case, multiple colors to play together) especially for your project.     I do feel this painting needs a stronger focal point, so I may add a blackbird or crow in the lower right corner.   Speaking of which, the August issue of Draw A Bird Day comes to your WordPress screens this Monday, August 8!    I hope you will help us make WordPress fly by posting your bird art then!    I will do a roundup mid-month with a link to everyone’s beautiful artwork.

Note to my fellow art supply addicts:   Blick Art Materials has extended Free Shipping on orders of $45 or more through this Friday, August 5!    Friends don’t let friends pay for shipping if they can avoid it.   😀   Purchases from these links help support my site.   Enjoy and thank you!

We made it to the halfway point of the work week!   Blessings to all for a wonderfully productive rest of the week!   Peace.

Golden Fine Pumice Gel and Inktense Pencils! (Acrylic August, 1/31)

I’m so glad we’ve turned the page to August! A new theme for this month: I’m going to be playing with acrylic paints and acrylic texture mediums.   I’ll be throwing in watercolor, Inktense blocks and pencils, Dr. Ph Martin’s Bombay Ink, gesso, collage, fabric, Paperclay, and everything else under the sun as we celebrate the last month of summer and prepare for wonderful Autumn.  I’m also working on improving my animal and bird drawings in graphite and ink to complete my 100 Face Challenge for 2016, and so those will be sprinkled in as well.    Looking forward to it!

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This painting has had a couple of incantations already, and I’ve never been happy with it, so I decided it was time to give it another life.   I have fallen head over heels for Golden’s fine pumice gel, so much so, in fact, that over the weekend, I ordered a 32 oz. container of it from Dick Blick.   I’ve never ordered a 32 oz. container of anything art related, but I just love this stuff (and it’s 65% cheaper per ounce than the 8 oz. jar; quite a difference, I find most Golden products run that way.)   It is like extremely fine sandpaper in gel form.   It is an off-white color and dries translucent.   It can be colored with acrylic paint or ink before applying, but I like to leave it as is, as I usually paint my surfaces anyway.

I spread it on my 5 x 7″ canvas panel, and with my palette knife, made numerous lines into the surface.   It takes several hours to dry, so I left it overnight before painting.   I think what I love most about it is the way it gives texture.   It’s not too thin or too thick, it is just right.  Once dry, it accepts watercolor, as well as ink, acrylic, you name it; I imagine it would be a good surface for pastels as well.    It is also a drawable surface for pencil, pen, charcoal, anything pointy at all, including my Inktense pencils, which is where I went with this piece next.

I drew against the textured lines with various pencils, then used a damp brush to spread the color around and blend.   Inktense pencils are actually ink in pencil form.   (Click here for a color chart and more info.)   They are very vibrant and usually permanent once liquified and allowed to dry.   One thing I noticed when working on the fine pumice gel with them though is that they can still be lifted from this acrylic surface and adjusted once dry, something I have never been able to do with Inktense before.    It was quite helpful for me in this case, as I looked at the painting again in the morning and decided it was much too dark or bright in some areas, and I was able to lift the color back with a damp paintbrush.

(Note:  Blick Art Materials has extended free shipping for orders of $45 or more through 1159pm Central time today, August 1!   Purchases from Blick links will support my site.    Enjoy, and thank you!)    I’d also like to recommend a book I finished reading this weekend:    “The Creative Edge – Exercises to Celebrate Your Creative Self” by Mary Todd Beam.  If you’re interested in mediums of all kinds, including Golden acrylic products, this will give you lots of ideas to run with.   Lots of great inspiration from many artists in there as well.

I enjoyed reviving this painting so much that I’ve decided to do a series of these, so there will be lots more “mad scientist” experiments to come!    I hope you have a wonderful week, and thanks so much for your visits and comments!   Peace.

Gessobord and Light Molding Paste by Golden (World Watercolor Month, 31/31)!

Have we reached the finish line of World Watercolor Month?   Wow!   Was it indeed a challenge to paint in watercolor every day? Yes, it was. If I hadn’t had gesso and/or acrylic paint, some days, I wouldn’t have had anything to post lol. But it was fun, and I learned a lot. I want to thank my friend and WP bro Charlie O’Shields at Doodlewash for making July World Watercolor Month an official “thing”, and for inviting us all to join him in painting in watercolor daily. Charlie, you rock at it, and it is so much fun to see what you create every day. You inspire us all, my friend!

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I really had fun with this piece.    It began with a 6″ square Gessobord by Ampersand.   This is a hardboard panel with a textured toothy clay surface.    It is easy to correct, requires no taping down or stretching, and can be scratched into and otherwise abused.   (Gessobord and Aquabord are my favorite of the Ampersand surfaces, and I’ve not even tried Pastelbord, Scratchbord, and many of their others yet – but I plan to)!   First, I painted the white surface with M. Graham acrylic heavy body paint in Viridian green.   Acrylic paint dries pretty quickly in the summer time when you don’t add retarders or gel mediums to slow down the process.

Once that layer dried, I used a palette knife and Light Molding Paste by Golden (which is kind of like Marshmallow Fluff, light and fluffy and wonderful) and spread a layer of this texture medium on my Gessobord.    This layer is like a playground; it can be as smooth or as textured as you’d like to make it.   I could have colorized it first with acrylic paint, ink, probably even watercolor paint, as this surface absorbs watercolor!   I have been saving lids, corks, buttons, bottle caps, all kinds of round stuff that would otherwise be tossed or recycled for months, and had fun impressing them into the molding paste.   I shortened an old comb and ran that along the side.  (Note:   As a Blick Art Materials affiliate, purchases from these links help support my site.   Enjoy and many thanks!)

Once that layer was dry (about 2 or so hours in a warm location), I had a surface that could absorb watercolor paint!   If you dampen the surface with water, the paint will stay within the damp area, just as though you had used watercolor paper.   You can also easily keep color to one section by painting the inside of one of the circles, for example.   (I encouraged the color to go outside the lines, cause I’m an outside the line kinda girl, but if you want to use lots of different colors and not make mud, using the impressed areas and rinsing the brush in between is an easy and fun way to do this.)   Of all of the products I’ve tried, I think Light Molding Paste is my favorite.   Very easy to lift color, too, if you decide it is too strong or the wrong shade.   I just love it.   I hope you enjoyed it too!

Sunday is a great day to relax, recharge, and get ready for the week ahead.   I hope you find time to do something that really makes you happy today.   We have to take care of ourselves if we’re to take care of anyone else.   Peace and Happy Sunday to all!

 

Fun Watercolor Doodle with Dr. Ph. Martin’s Bombay Ink (World Watercolor Month, 30/31)

This could be a cool background for a mixed media piece, or it could stand on its own as a fun watercolor doodle.   I started with my 8 x 5 1/2″ Strathmore Visual watercolor journal (a bargain at under $5.50), an eye dropper, and clear water.   I drew lots of squiggly lines on my paper with the water.   Before the paper dried, I dropped some color into the wet areas with my Dr. Ph. Martin’s Bombay Ink (I have set 1, which includes (12) 1-oz. bottles) and squiggled some more, so I had areas of dark, medium and light tones.

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Once I was finished with the ink, and because this is World Watercolor Month after all, I dropped in some M. Graham watercolor in Phthalo Blue and Hooker’s Green.  Is this art?   I don’t know, but I like it.   Maybe you do too!   If so, you’re one of my kind lol!  😀    Sometimes, we have to stop taking it all so seriously and just have fun.   When we have fun, hopefully our viewers are having fun too!    That is why art is such a healer, and such a great way to express feelings and release stress.    Yoga and meditation are great, but we all need a little color in our lives, right?   (Note:   As a Blick Art Materials affiliate, purchases from these links help support my site.   Blick extended its Free Shipping offer for orders of $45 or more through 11:59 pm Central time today, July 30.  Enjoy, and many thanks!)

Can anyone believe July is almost behind us? Shall we dance and sing a “Come on, Autumn” song?   Soon I’ll be painting lovely fall leaves again.   Can’t wait.   Peace.

Geometric Abstract Call to Autumn in Watercolor and Acrylic (World Watercolor Month, 29/31)

I follow a few quilter’s blogs, and one of my very favorites is Tierney’s at Tierney Creates.    She showed us some quilt blocks and projects she is working on in a recent post, and suddenly I had my inspiration for today’s painting:   I would paint my own quilt block!   And I would call refreshing autumn breezes and gorgeous leaves to mind as I paint.   This is roughly 5 x 8″ on Arches 140-lb. cold-press paper:

I do enjoy working in watercolor, but I’ve been missing my lovely Golden acrylic paints a whole lot here lately.    Color that glows from within, easy to apply, dries quickly or slowly depending upon what you mix it with, and whose vibrant opacity covers a multitude of issues…what’s not to love?    I even got some metallic copper in there, oh, it is so much fun!    Once I got the initial watercolor wash in, I wasn’t really happy with all of the color choices I’d made, so I turned to my friendly Golden acrylics in hansa yellow medium, quinacridone magenta, quinacridone burnt orange and Golden acrylic glazing liquid to turn these paints into a glaze that I could use over large areas to help unify my painting.   (As a Blick Art Materials affiliate, purchases from these links help support my site.   Enjoy Free Shipping until 11:59 pm Central time on Friday 7/29, and thank you!)

Well, the weekend is almost here and I hope you make the time to do a few things you really enjoy this weekend.   Savor the moments!    Peace.