Wednesday, April 25, 2012

I had this left over scrap booking paper of  cherry blossoms that I wanted to use on a collage sheet for my journal. 

So I took a 8.5" x 11" Kraft card stock sheet, folder over a 3" flap, leaving a 8" x 8" square to paint on.  Next I used double sided tape to attach the cherry blossom piece of paper. Then I painted black branches and added flower outlines to add color.  When the branches were dry, I went back in and dropped some pink/lavender to define the cherry blossoms.  I let the paint dry, and then I came back in with teal gouache. When every thing was completely dry, I slapped on some white gesso on top of the teal gouache.  To add more texture, I dropped in some teal gouache and mushed it around the paper.

Monday, April 23, 2012

I'm in love with Gouache Paint

Caran D'ache Gouache Studio 15 Pans
I'm in love with Caran D'ache  gouache paint I had bought when I was in England last October.  When I had gotten home from my trip, I had opened the box and looked at the paint but put off using them.  After reading a lot of  Roz Stendahls blog,,who use gouache in a lot of her work, I decided to test them out.  Boy was I pleasantly surprised.  The pigment was deep and rich without that chalky look that you can sometimes get with cheap gouache.  Not that this is a cheap box of gouache, because it's not.  I think when I bought them in the UK I spent about $50 dollars.  I'm happy to say I can buy refill tubes in the US at a decent price.

This morning I painted this collage of flowers using only the gouache paint.  I was very happy with the results and how well they performed on the watercolor paper.

I decided to make an accordion book which measures  6" x 19".  When folded, each accordion  measures 6" x 2.75".   I was amazed on how quickly painting 2.75" squares at a time could go so quickly.  

I'm happy that I finally used my gouache and will be experimenting with them a lot.  Also this accordion style book is something I'll be incorporating into my daily painting.

Saturday, April 21, 2012

Piano hinge handmade books

Last night I was busy making piano hinge books.  I found this cool video on you tube.

The large book was 6 x 6; the medium size book was 4 x 5; and the small book was 4 x 3.   The large book I made as per the video instructions.  On the smaller two I decided to use 6" flat sticks for the hinges.  Instead of  securing the bottom ends, I used double sided heavy duty tape along the length of the 6" sick and layed each hinge section on top of each other.  I only wish I could find longer flat sticks because using the double-sided tape was so much easier than having to wrap the ribbon around the bottom ends and then glue the ribbon.

I'm not sure what I'll put in these little books...maybe pictures of my dogs.

Thursday, April 19, 2012

A vase of poppies

This is another quick watercolor done on toned paper.  I just used my paint brush to outline the vase and dropped in color for the poppies.

Handmade watercolor journal

I seem to be my most creative at 9pm.  Last night I cut down some 140lb watercolor paper and made a watercolor journal using my rubicoil that measures 7" x 10".  I used illustration board for the covers that I covered with decorative paper from Dick Blick.
I think I really need to spend more time painting than making these watercolor journals.  My stack continues to grow.

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Wildlife barn owl

Did you know that there are over 130 different kinds of owls all over the world?  I didn't.  Learn something new everyday.  I found lots of information on

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

K & C Company Smash book

Today I was in Michael's and found a larger version of a smash book.  So with my 50% coupon from Joann's I bought my self one.  It's called "Pretty Pocket".  It measures 13.5 " high and 11" wide, and comes with 42 pages and 6 pockets.  I also bought these page hinges that allow you add more pages to the book.

Page hinges.

 And of course I had to have these stickers too.

If you can't find any of these items in your Michael's or Joann's, you can always find these items at :

Rocks and Stones

Last night I was looking for something quick to paint using my new watercolor set of Yarka St. Petersburg artist watercolours.  I had bought a 24 pan set which has a very good range of colors.  I was surprised how vibrant and rich the colors are.  So I got out an old photo of rocks and stones.  I was surprised how many pictures I take of rocks...too many to count.  Anyway, I applied the paint to some drawing paper scraps that had texture already impressed on the paper.  The paper absorbed the paint and dried quickly, rendering
rich deep colors.  My Daniel Smith watercolors are my favorite, but these could easily come in as a close second.  Never can have enough watercolor sets!!!

Monday, April 16, 2012

I have a secret....

I like playing $250 million cash spectacular scratchers.  For $10.  I have the chance of winning up to $250 million.  But I don't kid myself.  I just like the thrill of scratching off those boxes to see what I can win.  Usually I win another ticket.  But most of the time I've won anywhere from $20 to $50.  Well today I bought a ticket and I won $100.00.   I uncovered a "win" symbol and won all the 20 prizes automatically on the card.  I had to take a quick photo of it....  One can only dream of winning $250 million!!LOL

Boxer mix painting complete

I just finished this guy.  Daniel Smith watercolors, 300lb watercolor paper .

Sunday, April 15, 2012

Daily Sketchbook

I took a online class called "Daily Sketchbook" by Gina Rossi Armfield over at  It's an online class that gives ideas and techniques of how to keep a daily sketchbook, using anything as an inspiration.

The first exercise was drawing and painting a eagles head. This is my interpretation.

She also had a rather colorful hawk on her website and I wanted to see if I could get the same rich and vibrate colors that she got on her hawk.  I probably will paint another interpretation of this hawk using different colors.

Up until I painted these two hawks, I really never paid attention to their beauty.  I plan to find more photo references and see if I can capture them using my new Daniel Smith Primatek mineral pigments.

Saturday, April 14, 2012

Boxer mix WIP

This is a wip of a cute boxer mix puppy.  I just loved the expression she had on her face and the way she tilted her head for the camera.

Friday, April 13, 2012

Arc Custom notebook system

 I have a new tool for my art room.  I make watercolor journals with my rubicoil, which I love; but sometimes I want the ability to remove a page to work on.  At Staples, they have this customized notebook system called the Arc.  The notebooks with a leather cover cost about $19.95 and is filled with some paper.  It's not a bad price and I might go back and buy one.  Looking at this Arc, I realized I could punch my own paper and create a notebook using scraps of  card stock,scrapbook paper,transparent sheets, and watercolor paper.  So I bought the Arc punch,the notebook rings, and some of their pages.  I then went to Michaels and found some heavy plastic clear scrapbook paper with a simple design.  I bought two of those.  When I got home I cut the heavy plastic down to 7 x 10.  then I cut down my watercolor paper; transparent sheets,and went through my scrapbook scraps.  I assembled the pieces and created my own notebook with all the paper I like using.  I even got inspired to do a quick watercolor on a transparent sheet.  Now I can't wait to use this and fill the pages with my art.

Small Watercolor palette

With only 66 days until my trip to Italy, I thought it was about time that I put together a small watercolor palette with my favorite colors.  I wanted something compact that I could use while waiting in the airport and while on the plane.  I bought this empty watercolor box maybe 2 years ago from Ken Bromley Art Supply in the UK.

The colors I used in the palette are Daniel Smith: Yellow Cobalt, New Gamboge, Transparent Orange by Schimke, Alizarin Crimson,Ultramarine Violet,French Ultramarine Blue, Cerulean Blue, Cobalt Teal blue, Quin Gold, Phthalo Yellow Green; Sap Green,Green Gold, Burnt Umber, and Ivory Black.

In my desktop watercolor palette I had 4 more colors,but I thought I could go with the selection  I choose.  Some of these colors I can easily mix to create,but didn't want to bother.

Wednesday, April 04, 2012

Portrait of Johanna Staude

This portrait was inspired by Gustav Klimt's "Portrait of Johanna Staude".  Painting my interpretation of Johanna came rather easily, which surprised me since I rarely do portraits...never can get the face right.  Away, I rather happy with the way this turned out.