Tuesday, October 29, 2019


I keep getting the same comment from an art blogger that she wishes my images were larger.  Are my images coming up too small for you all?  

For me, whether I'm on the desktop or the iPad, they come up a good size.  I don't want them huge and I don't want them large enough for others to print them out and copy them so I think I'll leave them as they are unless I get a lot of complaints that they are too small to see well.  


Sunday, October 27, 2019


The last video/lesson with the gouache was to paint an eye on all media paper.  I learned you can get carried away quickly with the eyelashes - the last thing you put on - and ruin it.  I was a bit heavy with the eyebrow, too, but the eye's not too bad for a first try.  

Now I'm on my own with it and I'll keep playing to learn more how it works - unlike watercolor but still a nice medium to take on trips, etc.  

Friday, October 25, 2019


Since I had the gouache, I tried to make the boxes around the flower yellow.  It wasn't a complete success since I was working a bit wetter than you should with gouache (it will lift off the under layers if you do this).  But it's yellower now :)

For some reason, I thought we were going to work on black all media paper so I purchased a pack.  Guess I'll just play with that next on my own.  I have any idea of a painting to try...

Wednesday, October 23, 2019


I started this graphite and carbon pencil drawing, following the Val Webb video - or so I thought.  Turns out I made 3 mistakes immediately, which would change the look of the thing.  So...put it aside and started over.  And then pulled this one back out of the pile and added watercolor to it just for fun. 

Even with this, I made a mistake because I first put down Lunar Black as the background and it was so textured it was too distracting.  So put down a nice layer of Indigo over that to sort it out.  Better.  

While looking at it now, I wish I'd put yellow in the boxes to make it look like the flower is in front of a bright window.  Maybe next time.

So...when is a mistake something else entirely?  When it's a learning experience!   

Monday, October 21, 2019


Finished the landscape in gouache. 

Next lesson, we paint a human eye.  I'll get out my new set of gouache paints for some variety in the colors and try it.   

Saturday, October 19, 2019


Third drawing in the Val Webb online course using carbon pencils and 9XXB graphite - a delicate tulip.  Her's was delicate.  Mine, not so much.  

I'm not unhappy with it - it just doesn't look as light and airy as her demo did.  And I didn't get the white boxes to get the 3D look, either.  But I'm okay with this as it is.  

Thursday, October 17, 2019


While taking a break from the carbon pencil lessons, I'm also following along with the free Strathmore online course on gouache.  I had to buy a set of gouache to use (really!) because I didn't have the colors she uses.  This was a really cheap set I got from Amazon - but the reviews were good so I'm hoping they are good quality (I didn't want to pay $8 a tube for a new set).  

I haven't opened them yet but will in the next lesson - which will be painting an eye!

Not finished with this painting yet, but getting there.

What both media are teaching me (the gouache and the carbon pencil/graphite) is to slow down and take my time - work a bit, take a break, go back to it to make changes, etc.  Of course, gouache is the opposite of watercolor in that you put down your darks and then lighten then by going over them (I've never worked in oils but like oils in that technique?).  So you can always add lights and highlights later.  

Tuesday, October 15, 2019


Still following along with the Val Webb online course on carbon pencils.  Still too heavy-handed, especially when seeing how lightly Val works with her graphite and carbon.  I would like to learn to be lighter in my application, so maybe that will come with time.  Or maybe this is just the difference in an artist's hand? 

So far, these have all been done on hot press watercolor paper.  We'll see if that changes as we go along or if this is the best foundation for carbon pencils.  That right black is pretty great when you layer a bit and keep the smudges off (I am getting better at that!).  

Sunday, October 13, 2019


Strathmore offers free online courses in a variety of mediums and techniques.  I recently signed up for, and started, the painting with gouache course.  These are just a mix of exercises and a beginning painting using gouache.  I didn't have the colors required but used what I had on hand.

I didn't have black paper so used the grey toned Strathmore paper I had to see how the gouache works over colored paper to cover - can't do this with watercolors.

If you're interested, you can probably still sign in and try the lessons (4 videos with lots of info).  Go to strathmoreartiststudio.com to see the offerings.  And if you can't get into this one, they offer workshops all the time - free - so get on their mailing list.  

Wednesday, October 9, 2019


The artist and teacher, Val Webb, offers online courses all the time and they are very reasonable in price.  She gives you TONS of information, including printouts to use and lots of good experience in something new.  So I thought I'd try her Carbon Pencil class - it's the garden pollinator class using carbon pencils and a graphite I'd never heard of = a 9XXB.  I had most of the materials she's using so I didn't have to invest too much in it other than the cost for the course.  Check out her website, if you're interested in drawing or painting (I've taken 2 classes from her and came away both times with lots of new stuff to try and use in my own work).  

Now, I have to say, one big draw-back to drawing like this is patience.  I don't have any, and I want to rush.  Also, I've found I have a heavy hand when drawing, so when Val says (on the videos) to "lightly draw" I just go in like always.  Doing this, I even was too heavy-handed with my tracing the initial drawing onto the watercolor paper because, when it came to laying down the 9XXB graphite and the carbon pencils, I had a white line that was difficult to cover.  I guess I'll get the hang of it.  Val's work in the carbon pencils is just stunning and I don't expect to get to that level without a LOT of practice.  

I did this little butterfly twice because I was not satisfied with the outcome on the Arches HP block - it wouldn't lift back to white with the eraser and was a bit smeary.  Thought I'd get a better look to the 2nd try and tried the Stonehenge Aqua Hotpress.  I like the top one best, maybe because I spent more time on it?

Oh, well, learning learning learning....

I am also going back to the free Strathmore class I signed up for and never got past the first class.  It's about gouache and that's another medium I've rarely used.  I am liking it but have only dipped my toe in so far with the exercises to get used to the medium.  Strathmore offers free classes online all the time.  I am on their mailing list so I get notified when new classes are going to start.  So far, they have been very good and full of information and good stuff - and they are free!  Check them out at
strathmoreartiststudio.com  and see what they have there (and they always have new things being added).  I'll share some of that work soon.  

Hope you are having a wonderful October so far.  Our heat is gone and it feels like fall.  Now, just add some trees changing colors and it will lift me out of this slump I've been in for a month or so.  

Saturday, October 5, 2019


Can you see the dancers in the top one?  I can.  Will have to use this for something interesting...

The blue background was a print I made and didn't know what to do with so...

stamped on it with a sunflower stamp and need to make it prettier with some additional acrylic paint to call it done.  

The right one?  Who knows?!?!  

Thursday, October 3, 2019


Top and left bottom are on cards I just printed over.  The bottom right is on rice paper so thin enough to glue onto something else.  We'll see.

Going to start on my Val Webb online course using carbon pencils and such...I hope I have something to share as I go along.  This is the 2nd online course I've taken from Val and she's great and gives you so much information - a very good, giving teacher!!

Tuesday, October 1, 2019


A few more prints using the Gelli Art plate and acrylics.

I can see a Christmas card or something in the upper right and perhaps the ocean waves in the bottom one.  The left top?  Maybe a Southwest theme?

Happy October - Happy Fall