Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Blue Jay

I'm always surprised at the type of birds I find in my neighborhood.   We have a couple of trees in my garden and when I paint outside I can either see them perching on the branch or chirping to each other.   6 x 8 watercolor paper; Daniel Smith watercolors.

Monday, April 29, 2013


I know, why am I thinking of snowdrops???  I happen to come a across a photo of snowdrops that grew in my house in Washington state.   6 x 8, Daniel Smith watercolors.

Sunday, April 28, 2013

A day at the beach

Today Jolie my Chinese Crested Powder Puff had a wonderful day at the beach.  She couldn't of asked for better weather.

Saturday, April 27, 2013


Today since the weather was a perfect 80 plus degrees, I sat outside in my garden and painted this guy.  I did a contour drawing, then did a light wash to establish color.  Next I went in with watercolor and gouache to define and add detail.  Finished size  6" x 8".

Friday, April 26, 2013

Western Tanager Finished

I just love working with Schmincke gouache.  I do not know why I took so long to buy them.   On this painting I started with a pencil contour drawing.  Then I used a light watercolor wash to block in the color.  Once dried, I used my gouache to add more color and detail.  I finished with FW white acrylic ink to add more detail.

Thursday, April 25, 2013

WIP Western Tanager bird

This is my latest bird portrait I'm working on, a western tanager.  I was attracted to it's colorful feathers.  I'm using Schmincke gouache.  I sketched his body first and then have slowly started to build up the color.  I'm using a #4 round brush and a #1 liner brush for the detail.  Finished piece will be on 6" x 8" mixed media paper.

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Purple Iris

Something about Spring that I love is the abundance of beautiful flowers growing in my garden. 

Monday, April 22, 2013

Chow Chow

Painting for a friend for her birthday of her Chow Chow named Lucy. 

Sunday, April 21, 2013

Roses from my garden

Today was another warm and sunny day.  I spent my afternoon just lounging outside in the garden reading and taking a nice nap.  I have so many rose bushes in bloom that I decided to cut some to bring into the house for me to enjoy and paint.

Saturday, April 20, 2013

Day at the beach

The weather seems to be heating up, that it was a great day to go to the beach.  So we packed the car up with the dogs and art supplies and we were off.  First we went to Santa Barbara to have lunch at our favorite Mexican restaurant.  After lunch I went to the local art store where I bought some mi tientes paper in black and pink.  I also got a couple bottles of FW acrylic ink and more water brushes.
We headed back to the coast and stopped a beach that I've always have seen on the other side of the freeway and finally figured out what exit to take so we could go to that beach.
Found a perfect spot and spent several hours just soaking in the sun and painting.  This is the view of the mountains and the small cove that we were sitting at.  Watching the waves go in and out was rather relaxing.  By 4pm we decided it was time to go home.  Not only did we create a memory, but I also got a few paintings out of this outing.


Friday, April 19, 2013

Barn Owl

I've always have thought Barn Owl are so sweet looking.  It's something about the eyes.

Thursday, April 18, 2013

Morning free painting

I really like it in the early morning when the house is all quite and I'm alone with my paints.  This is a flower from my garden.  Used acrylic ink in water brushes.

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Acrylic ink drawing

Some days I just like to try new things.  As of late I've been using my water brush to do line drawings and then filling in the painting  with watercolor.  Well I've taken it a step further.  I bought a couple of Zig Brush H20 and filled them with Daler Rowney FW acrylic artist ink.  This water brush is filled with indigo blue.  The tip of the water brush is probably a mini or small tip. 
On this painting I used the indigo to do the contour of the bull dog puppy and then took another water brush filled with burnt umber to give the puppy some detail and making him more three dimensional. 
I like the idea of not giving too much detail, but just a hint of shading.
 just a closer view of the detail.

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Colorful kitty

I don't paint kitties or cats as much as I would like.  Having four dogs makes it difficult to have a kitty around.  My dogs seem to be rather protective of their living space.  Theses days I'm trying to draw more and more with the paint brush and only adding a hint of pencil or marker to finish the paintings off.  On this painting I used DS watercolors and Schmincke gouache.

Monday, April 15, 2013

Scaled Composite "White Knight" space ship

Friday morning I got up at the crack of dawn so I could drive out to Mojave Airport to see Scaled Composite "White Knight" mother ship carrying the spaceship make one of their test flights.   My husband works for Scaled Composite as a spaceship engineer.  The Spaceship is the world's 1st commercial spaceship. The company is also in the process of designing and making the world's biggest airplane, much bigger than a 747.  Not only do I get to hear about the process and hard work that goes into building this aircraft, I can see history being made with each successful flight.                                                                      

As we were waiting for the flight to happen, my husband took this photo.  It's interesting to see the ground crew do last minute pre-flight check.  Once the spaceship was cleared for take off, I saw the ground crew pack up their gear and the emergency Fire trucks come out and follow the spaceship.   It's rather amazing to see the rather large spaceship take off and climb up into the sky.  When it gets to  a certain altitude (10 miles), the space ship, which is at the center of the mother ship is released. No rockets are fired for this test glide flight, and the space ship takes 10 minutes to descend 10 miles to the runway.  For later test flights this year, the space ship, after release, will light its rocket and blast into space.  To learn more visit their website:  www.scaledcomposite.com.
While waiting for the space ship to return I did this line drawing of the windmills in the distant and the mountain range in the distant.

Sunday, April 14, 2013

Midori Traveler's Star Edition Passport size

Ever since I discovered the Midori Traveler's Notebook on flickr, I've been debating about buying one.  For the past year I've been making my own journals, so I wasn't sure the Midori's size was big enough for me to work in.  So after looking at many photo's of the Midori, I thought I'd try my hand at making one since the design is very basic and easy to put together.  Finding leather material locally has been a problem, so I improvised  by using vinyl, which was easy to find at Joann's.  To make the vinyl a bit more sturdy, I found stiff felt pieces that I would glue to the inside cover.  After making the same size of the Midori regular size and the passport size, I experimented with making other sizes with the same simple concept.  So I now have at least 5 in the regular size and 5 in the passport size.  I've been taking them on test runs and it seems like a doable notebook for me to work with.
When I went to San Francisco last month, I made a point of going to a Japanese stationary shop called Maido so I could actually see how this Midori looked and felt like in person.  I bought some of the accessories and decided I would order one when I got back home.  Maido has an online store www.mymaido.com.  There is definitely a cost difference, so much cheaper to buy online.  So I bought the Traveler's Star Passport edition that comes in Carmel.  I ordered it on Tuesday morning and received 2 days later.
Just opening the envelope to take the Midori out was worth taking pictures.
 Wrapped like a present.
 This is what came in the wrapped paper.
The Midori comes with it's own cloth sack.
 Documents that come with the Midori, along with a ferry pass.
 Journal that was inside the Midori.
First page of the Journal.
 back of the Midori when closed.
Now to take my Midori on a little trip to break it in.  Yes it was well worth the wait.


Saturday, April 13, 2013

More pears

I liked the background of this painting, but one of my pears looks a little wonky.  I also think I'm getting bored with painting pears.  Time to go back to the subject matter I love painting ... DOGS!!!

Friday, April 12, 2013

A trio of pears

I thought I'd try painting three pears together.  I really like the technique of  using  Mr. Clean eraser to lift paint.  I used a checker board stencil and used the eraser to lift the color.

Thursday, April 11, 2013

Tan French bull dog

OK this guy looks a little wonky, but hey...I think he's cute.   I used a #1 round to sketch in contour and then switched to a #8 round to add color and details.

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

French bull dog puppy

This what my French bull dog puppy will be when I do bring one home.  Isn't he cute????  I just used a #1 round brush to sketch in the shape and than switched to a #8 round to add details.

Tuesday, April 09, 2013


More practicing drawing with black ink.  When using a pen to draw, I really have to think about how I will drawn the elephant so no lines are over lapping.

Monday, April 08, 2013


I've been experimenting with brown craft paper using black ink from my Lamy fountain pen.  It's becoming rather freeing not to have use a pencil to drawn.  I go straight for the permanent black ink!

Sunday, April 07, 2013

Red pear...

I forgot how time consuming glazing could be when you paint in watercolor.  On this pear I put on maybe 9 layers, used a stencil for the background, and a rubber stamp saying to add interest.  To speed up the process, I could use a hair dryer, way to noisy, I like to just let each layer dry naturally before I go onto the next glazing.

Friday, April 05, 2013

Pear of a different color...

Another page of pears...this time red.  Lots of layers, rubber stamp with words.  I used a fix-it so I could put down more layers if I want.  I'm not sure if I'll use a water based varnish to finish this painting off.

Thursday, April 04, 2013

French Bull dog in pink collar scarf

I couldn't resist painting this guy with a pink knitted scarf.  I used watercolors and Faber castell wax resist colored pencils.  I'm not sure that I like the pencils...to soon to tell.

Wednesday, April 03, 2013

Green Pear

Today I worked on the front cover of my Pear-o-logy workbook.  Lots of glazing of layers.  I think I must of put on at least 10 layers.  I'm happy with the way this green pear turned out.  Tomorrow maybe I'll work on a red pear or pears.

Tuesday, April 02, 2013

French Bull Dog

Ever since my visit to Florence, Italy last summer, I have wanted to get a French Bull dog puppy.  I'm not sure what it is about the breed that I fell in love with.  May be it was their cute face and big ears, or their playfulness of spirit, they captured my heart.  Just don't tell Sophie or Maddie I'm lusting after a new puppy, otherwise they will get very jealous. At this point in my life our dog population of 4 needs to dwindle down to 1 +;  So I don't see a new puppy for a while.  But in-the-meantime I can dream and just paint French Bull dog portraits.

I used my waterbrush to draw and paint this little guy.

Monday, April 01, 2013


OK, I'm not one to paint fruit, but it does happen on occasion.  I signed up for this online class "Pear-o-logy with Martha Lever".  Sometimes I sign up for classes not for the obvious reasons, like wanting to learn how to paint pears, but more for learning how she assembled her  Pear workbook.  Well I figured out how she assembles her Pear workbook, but also came away with some new tricks of watercolor in painting pears.  So this is my first painting.  Tomorrow I'll try painting red and green pears.  I think this is going to be a week of Pears.