Sunday, May 31, 2009


Two more little art trading cards I did Friday evening. I put in the Inktense watersoluable ink pencil pencil color (they don't call them watercolor pencils for some reason). Then I wet the color and blended it with a small, damp brush.
My favorite is the skater, but my husband said, "Why'd you cut off her face?" Well, I was glancing down at the cover of my latest Jodi Picoult (one of my favorite authors) book and this was on it so...
my apologies to the photographer who took 2 photos for the cover of the book (the girl's face was curved around the curve of the book jacket so I just drew it like this). All of these - or most of them, anyway - will just be given away or traded.
And I found a piece of plexiglass still wrapped in blue paper that I am going to use with the Caran d'Ache crayons to make a little print - like Myrna Wacknov did on her blog recently.

Myrna was inspired by Belinda del Pesco (an artist who is always doing interesting prints with a variety of materials). I am going to Marilyn Bishop's house Friday and she is going to show me some neat things about printmaking she has learned, so I thought I'd play with that a while...I have a limited set, as you can see. Wonder what I can come up with?

Saturday, May 30, 2009


Just a few I did while sitting in front of the TV last night "watching" the biopic, "I Walk the Line." I had seen it twice before so was just enjoying the music more than anything. These were all sketched in graphite, then got the Inktense watercolor pencils out and then the permanent ink. They are all the ACEO size = 2 1/2" x 3 1/2"
The bee is The Spelling Bee and has trailing after him from his little stinger (which he would never use because he is a spelling bee, not a honeybee) the word that was spelled to win the 2009 Scripts-Howard Spelling Bee. The word was...
Laodicean. Do you know what it means? It means...
lukewarm or indifferent, especially in religion.
Now, when would you ever USE that word?? The little girl who won wants to be a neurosurgeon when she grows up - and I bet she is that and more.
These are just some little things to make me feel like I was creating something after this week from hades (I was going to say hell but hades has such a nice, literary ring to it, don't you think? ha ha)

Oh, and I slept well last night without medication = the first night this week.

Friday, May 29, 2009


David Lobenberg is doing a self-portrait challenge/project over at his blog and I said I'd try it. Well, I'm not being too critical yet. I know this is going to take some time to get right and get something that looks like me and is what I want to present. So I'll just share these here (hey, you've suffered through worse with me!).

First, a little sketch in my Exacompta sketchbook of a more realistically drawn heart. Yep, another heart - you are going to be sick of them.

Then a self-portrait from a photo in the early morning without my glasses on (the photo - I had my glasses on to draw the SP - not that it helped all that much). I think the photo is a bit skewed due to the angle at which I was trying to take my own photo and I drew it that way, too, so what the heck...

I admit, I made myself prettier in this one so tried again.

Next try for a SP using the Tombow - I learned 2 things:
1) If you do not get a wet brush and blend the ink right away, it dries and you cannot blend it and
2) If you are not using paper that takes wet media, it's not going to look good anyway even if you do blend it so check your paper.

I have an idea using the heart and another photo I took a while back...I'll work on that and share later...


When I returned from the procedure/ordeal yesterday, I went to the TV and watched the Michael J. Fox program on Optimism. I think this is supposed to be a regular program - but not sure. Anyway, I knew I could get into a major funk if I let myself so...I watched Michael talk to people about optimism and how they have used illnesses and problems to create wonderful things (Lance Armstrong's LiveStrong foundation and Michael's own foundation for Parkinson's research are just two of those wonderful things).

At the end it was determined that genetically we are born to be more optimistic or more pessimistic - but that's not bad as both can work for you. But isn't it more fun to be optimistic? Since it is - and makes other enjoy being around you more than when you are being pessimistic, I am going to fake it (because I know I was born pessimistic and sarcastic and touchy and...well there is a lot of nurture in that outcome, too, so I got it from both sides).

But...if you can fake it, you can make it. going to be a good day. Today...I am going to read a funny blog or two and maybe watch a comedy and read something upbeat. Today...I am going to post some sketches I've been fiddling with even if they aren't that great (ooops, of course they are great!!! They are wonderful!! They are creative and they are from my little hands and why wouldn't you just love them to pieces...too much optimism? I'll try to tone it down some! ha ha)

Have a day - good or bad, up or down, in or out, sweet or sour. As Murr says at, every day you're alive is a good "funeral alternative"!!! Check her out - she made me laugh so hard, I spit my coffee on my monitor (and you know, the pessimist in me would say, "That's a mess! Clean that up now before it ruins everything." But the optimist in me says, "Time for another cup!"

Thursday, May 28, 2009


Okay, I admit it. I seem to be unable to get back to painting. Maybe tired. Maybe the extra meds the new cardiologist has me on - that makes me feel like it must surely be bedtime by...what?!?'s only 6:30???

I intend to do something but instead I pick up my pencil and sketchbook and...put it back down.

Visiting my new cardiologist is like being in an episode of House - that test showed up nothing, well, let's have her do this one and take some more blood just for good measure. Check her cholesterol. Not high? Hmmm...well, do a complete blood workup, there must be something I can find here. No? Everything normal? Well, her ankles swell. Let's check her kidneys. Give her an IV of iodine and run her through a CT scan, oh, and in the meantime, take some more blood. (As you read this, I will be in said CT scanner having this delightful procedure done.)

I swear, this is not going to last long because soon I am going to be without a cardiologist again.

The only creative thing I've done is play with my Tombow pen (it's not waterproof so you get some bleeding to a nice blue-grey that works but I need to learn more how to use it and not just cover everything and lose my whites - what is it with me and whites?).

Wednesday, May 27, 2009


I received this little jewel of a painting from Marilyn in Georgia. It is 5 1/2 x 7 1/2 inches, painted edge to edge, and it makes me want to have my feet in the sand, watching those waves roll in after a hard day of collecting shells :)

I so appreciate every painting I have received and so many times I get one that is just perfect for what I need and want at that time - this is one of those :)
So...breathe in....breathe out...take a walk with me on the beach and enjoy the sound of the rolling waves...feel the breeze blowing through your hair and across your skin...the sun is shining but it's not too hot, not too cold...just right.


I made a mistake on the addresses of TWO Swap members and one painting was delivered, in spite of this (because the lady lives in a small Florida town where her postal carriers know her). Unfortunately, one lady lives in Houston, Texas and that mail was missing for a while, according to the delivery receipt. Now it says it has been returned to sender. I'm going to have to be more careful with typing in numbers in the future!

For some reason, we still have 5 paintings that have not found their new homes and all of those were mailed in the US to a US address! They can't all have a wrong number on them...I hope...

You can view the previous SWAP paintings here:

We have a very talented bunch of people willing to share their paintings with others in this small (less than 40 participants each time) group.

Tuesday, May 26, 2009


I made a chart of all my yellows and some of my blues (yes, I have others - are you surprised?). Should have done this with a large flat brush but didn't so it's a bit blotchy in places but you get the idea:

First Set =
The blues run across the top (there are 6 of them).

Cerulean (PB 36).........Phthalo (Red Shade) (PB 15:6).........Cobalt (PB 28).........
French Ultramarine (PB 29).........Prussian (PB 27).........Indanthrone (PB 60)

The yellows run down the left edge (there are 3 of them in this first set).

Bismuth Vanadate Yellow (PY 184)
Hansa Yellow Light (PY 3)
Naples Yellow (PW 4 + PY 35 + PR 101)

All are Daniel Smith colors.

Second Set =

The blues are the same, of course.

The next set of yellows running down the left side are

New Gamboge (PY 153)
Hansa Yellow Deep (PY 65)
Monte Amiata Natural Sienna (PBr7 - Natural Sienna) - this was a freebie when I placed an order some time ago.

You can see the difference in the lighter, more lemony colors and the darker, more orangey colors of the yellows as they mix with the same blues.

Bismuth Vandate and Naples Yellow are both more opaque colors - I like the crisp greens mixed with BVanadate and all the blues but the Naples didn't seem to mix with the blues much and so that strip looks more blue than green, as if the Naples, put down first, just sat there and the blue covered it so well it wasn't affected much - so not very green.

Third Set =

Blues the same across the top.

Yellows are:

Yellow Ochre (PY 43)
Raw Sienna (PBr 7)
Quinacridone Gold (PO 49)

I see no difference between the Yellow Ochre and the Monte Amiata Natural Sienna. (Daniel Smith says his Yellow Ochre is not opaque but transparent - although I believe other manufacturer's and artists' books say this is an opaque color). So no need to keep the Monte Amiata Natural Sienna - plus, I don't like the fact that it's not a real yellow pigment, hence the PBr designation - a brown pigment. That PBr pigment is the same number (7) as the Raw Sienna and look at the difference in color mixing!!! The Raw Sienna and all the blues look muddy, dirty and very reddish - yuck!

I think a chart of your greens is important if you are going to be doing any landscapes or foliage. I don't do that often but when I do, I think I'll pull this out and keep it on my bulletin board over my art table so I have a good choice of colors - otherwise, I tend to pick up the same colors all over and often mix 4-5 colors to get my greens and that can't be good (and you don't get clear, clean greens with that method).

How about you? Are you afraid of greens? Do you love them? If you check my sidebar blogroll you will find several artists who are masters at painting greens - check them out!

Monday, May 25, 2009


Before: a mustard yellow that was chalky and tired
and a brownish stain on the front and around the door/window

After: Coconut Scent (a pale yellowish cream color) over mustard and shutters
and Chocolate Cherry covering the brown front and around window/door.

If it needs another coat of the Chocolate Cherry, it probably is going to wait because we have 3 days of rain predicted (raining slightly now) and Jerry and I could use a week off.
It looks awfully bright and reddish but the color does match exactly some of the reddish bricks in the house so I'm not worried too much about that...yet.
We would have finished this yesterday but had a group birthday/Mother's Day party to attend. I made cards for all the birthday girls (4 of them).

A couple (showing just the fronts) that are mostly collage using bird stamps for the birders...

...and a couple of painted ones for the younger ladies.

They are simple but they seem to go over very well with anyone who gets one - which is nice!

And I got my first Mother's Day present - ever - from Jenny. She gave one to each mother at the party and I was included even though I'm not a mom, but a step-mom. Each mother got a decorated planter stake that had a different saying on it. Pretty, eh?

Okay, now time to veg out in front of the TV or read a book or take a nap or...anything but pick up a paint brush for a day or so...

Friday, May 22, 2009


We may have the house completely painted by Sunday...stay tuned for the new and improved look :)

Have a wonderful holiday weekend - hope you have sunshine and warmth and fun.

Thursday, May 21, 2009


Well, here it is Thursday. The house painting was begun Monday. My brother put in three 9-hour days and I thought it was a three-day job, including the powerwashing and caulking.

But here it is Thursday, and not only is it not finished, the dark paint has not even begun to be started. My brother went back to his regular construction job today so I painted and caulked (in the back of the house) and painted. Grrrr....
Needless to say, this is not what I envisioned when I hired my brother, who I thought would whip this job out in no time. And the paler color (Coconut Scent) is also not completely done - still need a second coat around the back of the house up high and over the deck - and the back door and front door still need painted...
OK, here's where I whine a little....I should have taken his cell phone and stomped on it about the 5th time it rang and the conversation took his time.
When I was 20 year's younger, I could do this. In fact, when I was 30 year's younger, I did this for pay, painting inside and outside for anyone who hired me. I don't remember how much I got paid but I remember coming home and falling asleep in the bathtub, I was so exhausted - and that was when I was much younger and stronger.
Well, we have a 3-day weekend and between me and Jerry painting the next few days, we should have it finished by Monday evening...I maybe you'll see a finished version of this project by then.

Tuesday, May 19, 2009


I worked on the background for the Frisson of Flamingos (this is just an overall wash of color to get some color around the birds). Did this while my brother was outside powerwashing, scraping and caulking (he didn't actually begin putting paint on the house until 5:30 pm).

He'll be painting all day today and we've already seen that it will take 2 coats of the Coconut Scent (the color name). We've also seen that Coconut Scent looked pale beige on the paint chip sample but on the house, over the yellow, it looks pale yellow. Oh, well. At least it looks clean and fresh! And it will look so much nicer when it's done - which looks like may take 3 days, total, not 2 (and isn't that always the way home projects go - you estimate for a time and it always takes longer).

Monday, May 18, 2009


Well, after living here 15 years we finally got around to having the house painted! The woman who lived here before us had just painted the house yellow and brown. She really liked yellow. Most of the house is brick and it has several colors in the brick I chose from to come up with the colors I want it now.

This is the before photo:

And here are the delicious-sounding colors I chose to paint with this time:

Coconut Scent
Chocolate Cherry :)

My brother, who can do anything in the construction/home repair area, started today and I should have a nicer looking house by Wednesday.

Oh, and I mailed out my SWAP painting this morning. It is now going priority mail to its new destination - a bit west and a bit south and...well, you'll see. Here's the painting, in case you're interested...

Sunday, May 17, 2009


My painting SWAP group is in full swing with paintings travelling across the world and more to come. My painting will be sent to someone in my own country so I don't have to mail it until tomorrow. And I will finish the small touches today and have it ready to go to my partner.
All the paintings are small (from 5" x 7" up to 7" x 9") and are to remain a secret until the person opens it once it arrives at its destination :)

Wonder where my painting will go? won't go outside the US, I've already told you that. Another is going to state where I have never stayed but have driven through on my way to somewhere else. That's the only hint you get, folks. Wait and see!

Since I don't have anything to share yet, I'll show off some older SWAP paintings I have sent out to members.

Alpaca for Gina (in Washington). Large red pepper to BK in Georgia.

Red and yellow peppers to Joyce in Washington.

And since I'll finish my SWAP painting today, I will get back to the frisson of flamingos, too, and share that later today.

Saturday, May 16, 2009


Going to the Cincinnati Art Museum ( today to view the Surrealist exhibit before it ends tomorrow. I'm in the mood to see some surrealist paintings while we start another rainy day here in northern Kentucky....

Here's the info from the CAM site:

"Surrealism and Beyond In the Israel Museum, Jerusalem
February 15 through May 17, 2009
Surrealism and Beyond is an in-depth survey of the Dada and Surrealism movements, which emerged in response to the wars that devastated Europe in the first half of the twentieth century. Selected from the Vera and Arturo Schwarz Collection of Dada and Surrealist Art from the Israel Museum, Jerusalem, Surrealism and Beyond will bring the major highlights of this renowned collection to the Cincinnati Art Museum for its exclusive showing in the United States. Over 200 works in a variety of media are featured, including works by Salvador Dalí, Marcel Duchamp, Max Ernst, René Magritte, Joan Miró, Pablo Picasso, and Man Ray.

Organized by the Israel Museum, Jerusalem."

And I am painting - but it's on my SWAP painting for my partner so cannot show it until it's received later this week because it has to be a surprise!

Thursday, May 14, 2009

EVERY GREEN IN MAY: Yellows and Blues 1 + 2

You get two for one today since I've gotten behind...
Top Mix: Hansa Yellow Light (Aylide Yellow 10G, PY 3) and French Ultramarine (PB 29)

The Hansa Yellow Light is a Very Good Lightfast, Low Staining, Non-Granulating, Semi-Transparent single pigment.
It has a tangy, lemony, zesty color to it.

The French Ultramarine Blue is an Excellent Lightfast, Medium Staining, Granulating, Semi-Transparent single pigment.
I like the color of the FUB, a muted, darker blue than cobalt, and I like the granulation of it.

Bottom Mix:

New Gamboge (Nickel Dioxizine Yellow, PY 153) and Cobalt Blue (PB 28)

The New Gamboge is an Excellent Lightfast, Low Staining, Non-Granulating, Transparent single pigment color.

The Cobalt Blue is an Excellent Lightfast, Low Staining, Granulating, Semi-Transparent single pigment color.

You get a nice, warm green with this mix and some good granulation. Cobalt Blue is a color I wouldn't do without because it is great for glazing over colors to push them back a bit in any painting. I know Tom Lynch sprays Cobalt Blue on the edges of his paintings to push them back and make them less important.

The smaller swatches at the bottom are where I switched the mixes: I mixed the Hansa Yellow Light with the Cobalt Blue and mixed the New Gamboge with the FUB. I can think of some spring paintings that have the HYL and CB mix in them = bright and clean colors that make a good, clean, bright green.


Well, I told you it's boring to just call them a flock! Besides, from I discovered that frisson (pronounced free-sawn) has these meanings:
A sudden, passing sensation of excitement; a shudder of emotion; a thrill
Now, doesn't that describe perfectly your experience when seeing a fl....uh, a frisson of flamingos?

Begun painting this in class Tuesday (I had the drawing on the wc paper - 1/2 sheet Kilimanjaro 140# coldpress - ready to go). I may make these more reddish than orangish and have a more turquoise water...that's a thought right now...we'll see where it goes.
(I liked Myrna's idea of A Flap of Flamingos but I had already renamed them this way and then got a good definition and thought - why not. Maybe they can be both!)

Wednesday, May 13, 2009


Well, with just a bit of tweaking, I think this bird will be done and ready to fly. Finished (almost) in class yesterday after the art card swap.
Again, this was painted with opaques and transparents. The water is a mix of an opaque yellow and then gouache (white) mixed with phthalo blue, then layered to tone down the prettiness with white gouache mixed with Apatite Blue (which is a dusky, grey-blue tube color by Daniel Smith).
Then I went in with my transparents - Hansa Yellow Medium, Pyrrol Orange, Perylene Maroon, and some Quin Magenta to get the final color.
It needs a bit of toning down of the green around him, maybe and some touches of the white around his legs so that's broken up more - that's pure white gouache. Then he can be ready to fly :)
I hope you've enjoyed this guy, even if he isn't a pale, pretty pink thing. I think he has much more "zaza" than a pretty pink one would have, don't you?
Oh, and here's a teaser so you return tomorrow:
I began painting the flock of flamingos in class yesterday.
I had wished for a name for a group of flamingos to be something other than a flock but flock it is. Maybe I'll change it: A jazz of flamingos. A burst of flamingos. A frisson of flamingos.
What can you think of other than boring "flock"?

My ACEOs Shared

Here are some of the ACEOs I swapped with my class members Tuesday. (I made one special for Sandy - the giraffe because she loves giraffes; and one special for Marian - the Irish cottage that's on rice paper) so they both got 2 cards from me.

Since you laid your cards out on your art table and each person came by and picked, I don't know who got which cards in most cases, but each person got one they wanted, I hope. I think Kathy W got the Snowdrop and Ritzie got the sheep and haybales in the field.

I'm not sure who got most of these - I know Karen got the heart-in-hand one and Linda got the collage of the rounded shapes. I made more than there were members in class so there were plenty to choose from so some of these may not have been chosen (I'll have to check what's in my leftovers).

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Tuesday's Class: ACEO Swap

Everyone in my Tuesday class with Sandy Maudlin has been busily making art cards - you know the ones: 2 1/2" x 3 1/2 and traded or sold on eBay. We made one for each member of the class so we each made 11 cards (some of us made more).

Today in class we exchanged the cards.
Here is a photo of the whole shebang: 11 cards x 12 artists (counting Sandy, our teacher). Sandy had us lay them all out together and then guess which artist painted which art cards. We've been painting together long enough to know by style who had painted what (most of the time).
And here are 2 photos of the ones I came home with in my hot little hands :) I tell you, there are some outstanding artists in this group. Since today was my last Tuesday class (I'll be moving to Thursday since I have a change in schedule this summer), it was a nice ending with this wonderful group.

White daisy = Kathy W
Landscape = Karen
Yellow sunflower = Cheryl
Pen and Ink flowers = Amanda
Tree on rock = Sandy
Gondola = Sandy (yes, she made one especially for me so I got two!!)
Windowbox = Leslie

Italian scene = Ritzie
Coconuts = Bonnie
Abstract collage = Linda
Church = Marian
Blue tang = Kathy S
And we did that and still had time to paint. The rest of the class (well, most of them) were working on watercolor batiks but I worked on my flamingo instead - will share that tomorrow. Right now I need to decompress and just veg out...

Monday, May 11, 2009

Flamingo Orange to Maroon....

I toned down some of the orange that threw everyone for a loop! I hope it isn't so neon bright but still "fierce" as Teresa says :)

And just so you know, I'm not making up these colors (although I wish I was that creative), here's a photo I'm using (photo by Jerry taken over the fence at the pond where the American flamingos were kept in the Jacksonville (FL) Zoo.

Now I'm going to take a trip up to the Evergreen Retirement Center where the Greater Cincinnati Watercolor Society is having their spring show. I missed getting anything in this one (we were travelling), but want to see the show. It's called "Seven Year Itch" and has a theme of 7's throughout. The show runs throughout May and you can visit and view the work any day.

Every Green in May: Undersea Green + Zoisite Green

1. Undersea Green (Daniel Smith)
A mix of Ultramarine Blue (PB 29) and Quinacridone Deep Gold (PO 49)

An Excellent Lightfast, Medium Staining, Granulating, Semi-Transparent pigment mix.

I can see keeping this one in my box of tricks when I want to paint some muted, granulating greens of a forest or field.

2. Zoisite Genuine (Daniel Smith)
A pure pigment made from a natural zoisite mineral

An Excellent Lightfast, Low Staining, Granulating, Semi-Transparent single pigment.

Even though this is a single pigment, I've found that the pigments made from minerals are so grainy and granulating I'm not sure what you would do with them - how you would use them. I don't like the dark, almost black color of this one, either. So it's going in the discard pile.

These 2 are the last of my tube greens. Next, I'll make up some mixes and see what I come up with. I think tube greens may be a thing of the past for me and I should mix my own. We'll see!

Saturday, May 9, 2009

More on the Flamingo...Finally

I finally got some time to start with the transparent colors on the flamingo. I'm using mostly warm yellows and oranges or warm, dark reds for this. It certainly isn't a pink flamingo, but I'm liking the way it looks so far because these colors play off the blue/orange complements.

Friday, May 8, 2009

Every Green in May: Olive Green + Perylene Green

1. Olive Green (Daniel Smith brand)
A mix of Aureolin (PY 40), Ultramarine Blue (PB 29), and Raw Umber (PBr 7).

A Very Good Lightfast, Low Staining, Granulating, Semi-Transparent pigment mix.

Well, sorry, folks, but as soon as I read that it has Aureolin in the mix, I knew I'd toss this one on the discard pile. Aureolin turns brown over time so what do you think this green will do over time? No, thanks, won't take the chance. Off it goes! (I wasn't that crazy about the color anyway.)

2. Perylene Green (Daniel Smith)

A single pigment, no mix, according to DS. However, the single pigment is PBk 31 which means it is a black pigment. Interesting...

Daniel Smith describes this as an Excellent Lightfast, Medium Staining, Non-granulating, Semi-Transparent single pigment.

Because this is a black mix that has gone to a deep, dark green, it makes gorgeous northwest forests, and it fades out to a misty, foggy, gray-green that is very nice. I think I'll keep this one in my To Use More Often pile. I could see doing some misty seascapes with this color.

So far I've covered 8 different tube greens made by Daniel Smith. For someone who is afraid of greens, rarely uses them, and doesn't really know how to use them, I sure have a lot of tube greens! Ah, the exuberance of youth when I first started painting and had to have every single color. Wait until you see some of the more exotic greens yet to come...

Thursday, May 7, 2009

And I...I Want to Thank You...

I want to share something with you. I saw Myrna Wacknov's blog the other day (well, I see it every day but this post was something special). The painting she had there touched me.

The emotions the painting created in me welled up and leaked out of my eyes. Why? Because it so reminded me of my father. He was killed in an auto accident when he was 35. Too young. It so reminded me of my father - lean, lanky, strong cheekbones and deep-set eyes; and the guitar which he played all the time. I went back several times to view it again. Then I posted a comment to Myrna telling her how much this painting touched me - and isn't that what great art is all about - the reaction of the viewer that could be something totally unforeseen by the artist.

And now.
I am the proud owner of that painting.

And Myrna Wacknov, who already had her angel's wings because she is so open and sharing and giving to everyone she meets online and in person, has those wings in the shop with me now so I can make sure they are shiny, bright, and edged in gold. I'll make sure they are not too heavy and not too bright but just right :)

Thank you, Myrna. I have no other words. Look for those gilded wings to be delivered (FedEx, of course - and if you get the reference to a certain movie that featured Fed Ex and angel wings and Tom Hanks, you get an A).

But wait, that's not all! Laura Trevey of Watercolors by Laura had a giveaway to EVERYONE who read her blog during the month of April and posted 3 comments during the month. Now how easy was that? Checking a wonderful, colorful, beautiful blog every day or so during April and taking a moment to comment on some of her postings that month? And did I say EVERYONE who did this and sent her their snail mail address got a print of one of her original watercolors? Yes!! How wonderful - and you could choose the one you wanted and I knew immediately which one I wanted because, well, because it's so wonderful and blue and beachy and...well, I just love it.

And it arrived in the mail today!

Thank you, Laura, for your generosity and sharing attitude!

I never thought I'd meet so many angels when joining this world of blogging artists.

And I would be remiss if I didn't mention here (although I've posted on this before) that I also won the anniversary giveaway Chris Beck had on her blog recently, winning a colorful, funny, lovely, bright painting of one her little ducky salt-and-pepper shakers.

I never thought I'd meet so many wonderful people when joining this world of blogging artists. I am amazed and so thankful for each one of you - and you all know who you are - who are so caring and giving of artwork, of time, of talent, of knowledge. WOW!

Now I've got to get to the framers to pick out some mats and frames for these beautiful works of art so they can grace my home for years to come. And for you, Myrna, Laura and Chris, a little youtube Dido saying, I....want to thank you....

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Every Green in May: Green Gold + Ultramarine Turquoise

1. Green Gold (Daniel Smith brand)
A mix of Nickel Azo Yellow (PY 150), Arylide Yeloow (PY 3), and Phthalo Green (PG 36).

A Very Good Lightfast, Medium Staining, Non-Granulating, Transparent pigment mix.

This color makes me think of summer - bright, acidy green that can be thinned to just a hint of yellow-green. Full strength, it's not a pretty color - also makes me think of algae on a pond...

I am beginning to think all tube greens are mixes - so why buy tube greens? Why not just mix some lovely greens from your blues and yellows and oranges get the idea.

2. Ultramarine Turquoise (Daniel Smith)
A mix of Ultramarine Blue (PB 29) and Phthalo Green (PG 7)
An Excellent Lightfast, Low Staining, Granulating, Semi-Transparent pigment mix.
First, this is Sandy Maudlin's favorite color (or used to be her favorite before she went to Italy and started painting in warmer hues). And it is a pretty handy green to have around that mixes up with reds and quin burnt orange to get a good, rich dark. And it's pretty as is, too, as long as you don't go overboard with it.
The last row is a mixing of the two in the middle - looks like Ireland :)
I think I'll keep both of these tube paints to use alone and with others. They aren't too overpowering and seem to "like" each other. So far, I've discovered Sap Green, Green Gold and Ultramarine Turquoise as tube greens I'll keep - the others will just have to go in the discard pile.
What about you? Have you found any you like? Want to try? Realize you could have mixed on your own with what you have?

Pink One - Next Stage

Toned down the blue and blended the white gouache a bit more. Then removed the miskit on the bird. Will tackle that with only transparent watercolor - after I decide what color pink a pink flamingo really is :)
But today is the Greater Cincinnati Watercolor Society meeting with a business meeting beforehand so I'll be busy until later in the afternoon. But the guest artist who will be giving a demo is going to be sharing how she works with opaque watercolors! How cool is that?

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Cinco de Mayo Flamingo

Well, no, it's not a Cinco de Mayo flamingo at all - but it is Cinco de Mayo (and here's hoping that run of swine flu/H1N1/whatever we are naming it has done it's worst in Mexico and they can enjoy their day - their week - and the rest of the summer).

And I took a different route on the flamingo, taking a single flamingo photo Jerry took and working with it on 1/4 sheet with the intent of using both opaque and transparent colors (for my color group). I've never used opaques much at all and found when I searched my colors that, according to Daniel Smith, I only have 3 tubes of opaque color and one was a color Sandy M. gave me (love it - a lemony, acidy yellow called Vanadate Bismuth Yellow). So I just mixed a staining Phthalo Blue (GS) with a blob of white gouache and put that down over most of the water - but first I put down the Vanadate Bismuth Yellow in the upper left edge with the intent to go over it with the Phthalo Blue (GS) and get a nice green.

When painting with the opaque Phthalo Blue, I did drop in some pure white gouache (it's Winsor Newton Titanium White) here and there to show the clouds. Then I realized I will need to play a bit more and darken that too blue/too pretty color. So I covered the whole bird with Pebeo Drawing Gum (my favorite miskit).

That's where it stands right now and I may get to play a bit today - in between sweeping, mopping, stripping the kitchen floor and rewaxing, etc. Gotta get it done in between headaches!

Monday, May 4, 2009

Every Green in May: Permanent Green Light + Terre Verte

1. Permanent Green Light (made by Daniel Smith)
A mix of Arylide Yellow (PY 3) and Phthalo Green (PG7), this is a Very Good Lightfast, Low Staining, Non Granulating, Semi-Transparent pigment mix.

It is as strong and bright as the green cellophane strips in the bottom of a child's Easter basket so be careful with this one, if you use it at all. With a good mix of pigment to water you can have a bright, light, very pretty green - but I would guess there are not many instances where you want to use this one straight from the tube. (Another reason why I had this one in my discard pile and never use it).

2. Terre Verte (DS)

A mix of Viridian (PG 18) and Raw Umber (PBr 7). DS lists this one as an Excellent Lightfast, Non-Staining, Granulating, Transparent pigment mix.

I found it so grainy that it was unpleasant to put brush to paper with pigment on it! It definitely granulates and makes a nice, dark, woodsy look - but you have to get past the "feel" of it. You may be better of just mixing your own Viridian and Raw Umber instead. This is another green I never use and was in my discard pile.

In the third row, I've mixed the two together in the middle. And in the last photo, I've played with all 4 greens we've introduced so far (Sap Green, Phthalo Turquoise, Permanent Green Light and Terre Verte).

Sunday, May 3, 2009

Every Green in May - Sap Green + Phthalo Turquoise

Anita is doing a sketch/drawing for Every Day in May (and you should check them out - she has such skill and talent and has a theme for the whole month).

I won't have time or energy for it this month - it is going to start out very busy for me next week so...what about working with greens? Doesn't May make you think of greens. And if you're like me, you may be afraid of greens - you don't know what to do with them, how to mix them well, etc.

So I'm calling this
Every Green in May
and I'm going to put down a nice layer of a green, put down the information about it from the manufacturer and then mix it with something else and see what I get. By the end of the month, I may be past my fear enough to actually paint something in greens - a landscape? Perhaps...we'll see :)

First off:
1. Sap Green
(made by Daniel Smith - all my pigments except a rare few are by Daniel Smith)

DS says this pigment is a mix of
Quinacridone Deep Gold (PO 49) and Phthalo Gree (PG 7)
It has Excellent Lightfast quality, Transparent pigment.
It is Medium Staining and it Granulates in a wash.

In a light, water-filled wash it is clean and pure looking. When you bring it to the paper much darker and fuller strength, you can see the granulation - you could let it do it's think and create trees or shrubs from that process alone. I think it's time to put it back in my palette. I wonder what it will mix well with - is it too pretty alone?

2. Phthalo Turquoise (by Daniel Smith)

DS says this is a mix of Phthalo Blue (PB 15) and Phthalo Green (PG 36)
It is an Excellent Lightfast, Transparent pigment mix.

It's very Staining (be careful for blue-green fingers and clothes), and not Granulating at all.

It definitely is too pretty and much to strong to go at it with a lot of pigment in the brush, but what a gorgeous sweep of blue-green it makes when well wetted down! Could you imagine the northern lights or a cascade forest in this color? Since it's staining and not granulating, you could use this as an underlayer before putting on other colors and it won't lift off the paper when glazing and it would be nice and smooth.

The bottom slice of the photo inserted is a mix of the two - one coming from one end of the sheet and the other coming from the opposite end of the sheet and meeting in the middle just to see what they'd look like. Not bad - seems to take away the candy-like intensity of the phthalo turquoise and settles the golden green of the sap, too.

So I've begun Every Green in May with 2 nice colors. What do you think? Might you use them? I can hear foghorns when viewing the Phthalo Turquoise...maybe a Washington state or Oregon...or British Columbia scene in the making with this one?

Two more greens next time...

Saturday, May 2, 2009

Began the Flamingos

Started the flamingos...first, chose 2 photos to work from...then traced over things, arranging as I go. Then had to enlarge the sketch on the copier and cut and paste and redraw over things (again, arranging a bit more) with black marker. Then traced over that on my tracing paper and turned that over and colored the back with watercolor pencils (if you trace onto your watercolor paper with watercolor pencil lines, the lines will melt away and not leave hard or strong graphite lines).

I have finally gotten the drawing - in watercolor pencil colors - on the Fabriano Artistico paper (1/2 sheet). So I should be ready to go...

I know you can't see this very well - but you'll get the idea, I think.
Now that blogger stopped acting so finicky and allowed me to upload these, it's time to go watch some of the prelims for the Kentucky Derby. There is a horse running called chocolate something - I am definitely betting on that one! ha ha