Windows on the World

A kind and appreciative client recently sent me a gift card to Blick, for which I was very grateful.    I put it to good use, purchasing an introductory set of Golden acrylic paints and mediums. I am so wowed by the intensity of these paints, and the various effects you can get simply by changing the medium. I haven’t even begun to really explore all of the sample bottles in the set yet, but I’ve seen enough of Chris Cozen’s demonstration DVDs on Artist Network TV to know what a wonderful box of happiness this is! 🙂


I was playing around the other night before bed with a grid composition and a 6 x 6″ piece of acrylic paper by Strathmore (246 lb., 400 series).  This paper is a bargain at twice the price. It has the feel and texture of canvas, but much less expensive.  In my experience, it holds up well and doesn’t buckle.  Apparently, people even use it for watercolor (although I’ve not tried this yet). Anyway, love the paper, love the paints, and Jill, bless your bones – I should have listened to you long ago. I can see why you love Golden products so much!

Anyway, I’m happy with the way this little painting turned out, and I’m looking forward to having a little more time to play with the grid composition and see what else I can come up with.

I hope everyone in the Northern Hemisphere is having a wonderful spring. Our daffodils are going crazy, and their smell is everywhere. So happy about that. Peace and warm sunshiny breezes to all!

Abstract Acrylic

My first purely acrylic painting, and so far, I like! Got a set of Liquitex Basics after hearing a rave review from Lisa at Lachri Fine Art. She does beautiful work, and her review and product comparison was one of the reasons I chose the Polychromos colored pencils (which I adore), so I thought it was worth taking a chance and seeing what those little bottles could do.

I started with very watered down acrylic craft paints I had from many moons ago. This initial layer gave me the feeling of a watercolor background, and was lots of fun to do.

Then the other night, I went back in with a palette knife only and three colors from the Basics set: Phthalo Blue, Cad Yellow Medium and Titanium White. I know abstract work isn’t everyone’s bag, but I’m really enjoying it.   It’s a wonderful way to be expressive, to learn a new medium, and to really have fun playing with color. SO many wonderful colors in that set! Based on my (limited) experience, two thumbs up so far.

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I hope you have a wonderful week. I think I can smell Friday. It’s rich and warm and chocolate. 🙂 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.

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! 😀

Rock You Like A Hurricane

Sometimes, you just have to have color, whether it makes sense or not! These are a variation on the painted circles from last week with, you guessed it, Neocolors by Caran d’Ache with help from a black Pitt pen (centers) and a black Posca paint pen (black lines on top).  (I don’t recommend writing over Neocolors or anything waxy/oily with a Pitt pen; it clogs the nib, and poof goes the pen.)


I can’t decide whether they are little hurricanes, fishes, eyes……but they are somewhere sunny and warm and they’re bright and colorful, and that’s all that counts! I hope they wake you up with a smile this morning! Just one more day before the Valentine’s weekend dance! 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!

Circling Back Around

Tried the painted circles technique again with Neocolor II crayons in a little journal I made a few months back from a sheet of Arches 140# cold-pressed watercolor paper. Added a bit of black acrylic paint, and then after it dried overnight, went back in with some Polychromos colored pencil here and there. Really enjoyed it!

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This makes me think of eyes, which I’ve become particularly attracted to since starting my 100 Faces Challenge this year. People who enjoy this technique have made pages and pages of them…..and I start to see why! I could’ve gone on and on. I’ve got some more ideas to try with this technique, too.   Stay tuned for more wacky wildness!   And thanks for stopping by and joining in the fun.  What a great way to multiply the arty goodness!

Happy Almost Friday, world! Peace and happy, beautiful colors to you!

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.

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.