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!

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.

Graphite Bunny (100 Face Challenge, #70)

We have a pet wild bunny who escaped a run-in with a fox or some other predator. We’ve been leaving carrots and lettuce out for him daily, and he’s slowly learning to trust us, and plumping up nicely.     The reference image for this pencil sketch came from Brianna at Gold Hearts Blog; thank you, Brianna!     This was done in Faber-Castell 2B graphite pencil in my 8 1/2″ x 5 1/2″ Canson Universal sketch pad (which, IMO is the best bargain in sketchbooks out there for pencil and pen work at under $5 for 200 pages/100 sheets, and it even takes a light watercolor wash) (affiliate links):

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Our cameras aren’t super high-tech, but I may be able to share a photo if one of us gets close enough to snap one.   Ours is a precious Eastern Cottontail rabbit.   So I’ve become a bit obsessed with rabbits lately, and hope to improve on them in the next couple of months.   Speaking of furry critters, I really need to give a shout out to Rebecca Evans at Rebecca Evans Create.com here on WP.   This link is to her Hares page, and she is a magnificent artist, rendering mostly animals and birds, but other subjects too, in all mediums:  oil, watercolor, pastel, charcoal, acrylics, mixed media, collage, 3-D art; you name it.    You owe it to yourself to check out her site.   Her horses are spectacular too, but honestly, everything she does is incredible.   If I were ever to render an animal, any animal, the way she can, I would consider myself “arrived”.

I’ve decided to take a break from news headlines, particularly those about small men embarrassing my country on an all-too-regular basis, take a step back, and set my mind on things that are above, and that will fill up my peace tank, like God, nature, birds, bunnies, sunsets, flowers, trees, and beauty, wherever it lies.   So, not a break from art, but a break from pretty much everything else.   I need to really clear some space for prayer, yoga and meditation, things that will relax me and bring me to a healthy and more balanced place.    You may see me here and you may not, but hopefully I’ll have a post for Draw A Bird Day on Monday, the 8th!   I’ll be doing a roundup post, as well, with links to everyone’s bird art about a week or so after the event.

I hope everyone has a peaceful and restful weekend.     Go make the world beautiful, people!   Please.   We need 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.

Golden Fine Pumice Gel and Fluid Acrylic Paint (Acrylic August, 2/31)

I experimented awhile back with Liquitex Glass Bead gel, which is one of the first acrylic mediums I bought months ago. I think I fussed too much with it, and wasn’t happy with the result. The painting needed a remake rescue.

Enter Golden Fine Pumice Gel, which is my favorite of all of the acrylic mediums I’ve tried so far. If you look closely, you can still see some of the tiny glass beads from the bead gel underpainting scattered around, giving texture to the finished piece.   I couldn’t resist adding Golden fluid acrylic paint in Iridescent Copper light fine.   I just love a bit of metallic paint here and there, love the depth and pop those paints create.    And I love all of the lines I see from using my palette knife in the wet Fine Pumice Gel.    This is such a wonderful medium, I am in total love with it.   I hope you will be too, because I bought a 32 oz. jar, and plan to make good use of it!

I still see fine tuning to be done, and perhaps too much of the underpainting shining through here and there, but considering where this painting started out, I am happy with the progress so far.    Plus, it gave me a chance to use my favorite Golden Quinacridone Crimson and Quinacridone Violet Fluid Acrylic paints!    Such depth, especially with a bit of that Iridescent Copper light mixed in.  Dreamy and creamy!

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!    I don’t know about you, but this makes me very happy.   I love to pay rock bottom prices for art supplies and pay no shipping.   With a no-questions-asked return policy, even on open items…..for one year.    You just can’t beat it!   Yes, I am a paid affiliate now, but I would say the same things, paid or unpaid, about Blick.   Their service, prices, and selection are top-notch!

Yes, I am having a love affair with acrylic paints and mediums.   Hub is aware of my two-timingness, as I did a sanity check with him before ordering a 32 ounce tub of the Fine Pumice gel!    I had completed yesterday’s painting, and then had a nice little makeover with this one, and decided to go a little hog wild!   Looking forward to more mad scientist experiments with Fine Pumice + loads of other textures, media and everything but the kitchen sink!    Peace, and have a great week.

Semi-Abstract Watercolor on Aquabord (World Watercolor Month, 28/31)

This is another painting I put to the side when I had a run of decent painting days, in case of a drought like the one I’ve run into lately.   🙂    I always enjoy painting on Aquabord by Ampersand, because it is such a forgiving surface.   You’re painting on what amounts to a textured hardboard surface, so you never have to worry about buckling or curling paper when you hit it with the water, which is great when you like to work wet into wet, as I do.    This is M. Graham watercolors on a 6″ square of Aquabord:

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I painted this on a good watercolor day, which is to say I knew when to put the brush down and stop fiddling.    I could correct some things about this one that still bug me if I had more time.   Which is something else I love about this surface:  no matter how long ago it was painted, you can always go in with a damp Q-tip or a damp paper towel and gently “erase” areas you don’t like (usually) back to the white surface and have another go.   This can sometimes be very useful when working in watercolor, a transparent medium, particularly for a beginner such as myself. I’ve even been known to run the board under a running faucet and gently rub the paint off with my thumb. Although Ampersand doesn’t recommend this. 🙂

My fellow art supply addicts will be happy to know that orders of $45 or more will ship for free at Blick if ordered through 11:59PM Central time tonight!   (Purchases from these links will help support my site.   Enjoy and thank you!)   I can already hear the weekend whistling a happy tune.   I hope you are too, and that the breezes are refreshing in your part of the world today.   Peace.

 

 

 

Yo, Gesso! (World Watercolor Month, 27/31)

It was one of those days with Lady Watercolor; the lady doth stomp on the toesies at times.   Some days, she leaves bruises.     Ah well….

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Thank God for gesso and its ability to “white out” the situation and bring it under control. I have enjoyed this month of watercolor, but my lovely acrylic paints are calling me…….and I will most likely be riding off into the sunset with my other beau come the end of the month.   Oh, and pencils, pens, and all manner of other pointy things besides!

I hope everyone is enjoying their summer, and I wonder how many “little me”s are out there praying for the cool, refreshing breezes of autumn. Only one big bad hot month to go, y’all! Peace.

Modified Geometric Abstract (World Watercolor Month, 25/31)

Boy, working in watercolor every day this month has been quite a journey! I’m definitely enjoying it more than I thought I would, so it’s been a pleasant surprise. This is 5 3/4″ x 8 1/8″ on Arches 300 lb. cold-press watercolor paper:

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This one began by painting clear water in random criss-crossing lines on the paper, and then dropping in M. Graham watercolors in Phthalo and Prussian Blue, Quin Gold, and Quin Rose, and allowing the colors to mingle and dance.    (The Quin Gold makes the most gorgeous greens when allowed to mingle with those blues.)   The (now) multi-colored lines looked cool, but they needed a focal point, which is where the red areas came in.   M. Graham Permanent Alizarin Crimson and Quin Violet came in to play here in addition to the other colors, and I finally added a touch of Winsor Orange (a nice, mid value transparent orange) per Hub’s advice (good call, I thought) to those areas at the end.  (Note to my fellow art supply fans:  Enjoy free shipping at Blick Art Materials with orders of $45 or more through midnight Central time on Tuesday 7/26.   Your purchases help support my site and a fledgling art business.   Thank you!)

I dry-brushed Liquitex gesso in here and there, then went back in with the original blues and a bit of M. Graham Viridian green to round out the background.   It still feels geometric to me, but more like the impressionistic version(?) compared to some of the other hard-line geometrics I’ve painted recently.     This is definitely more my style, although I’m looking forward to experimenting more with geometric and grid compositions.

I would love to know what, if anything, you see in this painting.    Sometimes, that is the best part:   hearing what you, the viewer, bring to the piece.    I thank you for stopping by and taking a look, and I hope you all have a peaceful and productive week!

 

Lighthouse in Watercolor (World Watercolor Month, 24/31)

I found an artist on YouTube whose work I really love; his name is Peter Sheeler.   I couldn’t resist trying one of his lighthouse tutorials (This is 8 1/4″ x 5 1/2″ on Arches 300 lb. cold-press watercolor paper:

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He works in pen and wash, which I also enjoy, but haven’t done for awhile, so I thought I’d stick with pencil and see what took place.    I did this one early in July and wasn’t thrilled with it, but since what I turned out yesterday wasn’t thrilling either, thought I’d post this one for something to share.   I hope you enjoy it!   And if you have any interest in line and wash or quick watercolor sketches, Peter’s channel is a great one to follow.

For my fellow art supply addicts, Blick Art Materials extended its Free Shipping on orders of $35 or more through this Monday at midnight Central time.    Remember, they do match all art supply house prices if you put a link to the competitor’s offer in the Delivery Instructions window at checkout.    I need to place an order myself!    World Watercolor Month has really helped me to use up my paints and papers.   🙂   (Note:   Purchases from this link helps to support my site and a fledgling art business.   Thanks so much!)   I hope you enjoy a relaxing, rejuvenating Sunday, and that you find buckets of peace and even a cool sea breeze.   Peace.