Monday, September 30, 2013

Handmade watercolor paper

Over the years I have bought handmade paper.  I have a very large collection that is waiting to be used.  I keep saving this paper thinking I'd improve my painting skills; but the real reason is I'm afraid I'd waste it painting bad pictures.  Once in a while I take out a sheet and paint on it and remember why I bought the paper in the first place.  Handmade paper just loves watercolor paint. 
So today I finally opened my journal with handmade paper and painted this small watercolor painting.  The size of this painting is 5 x 7.  I used Daniel Smith watercolors and a touch of Schmincke gouache.

Sunday, September 29, 2013

Gray bunnie

My friend loves bunnies.  This is a birthday present for her.

Saturday, September 28, 2013

Friday, September 27, 2013

blue hyena

I think I like this hyena better in blue and I feel like I got his expression better in this drawing.

Thursday, September 26, 2013

Spotted Hyena

Today I worked on hyena's.  I sketched him in oil pastels, watercolor pencils, watercolors, and pencil.  This is what I finally came up with.  I think I'll have to revisit this hyena tomorrow.

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Artist trading cards Fennec Fox

Whenever I go on long plane rides I usually like to take blank artist trading cards 3.5 x 2.5 to do small drawings or paintings.  These cards are small enough to fit in my purse along with a dozen or so watercolor pencils.  On my recent trip to Paris I happen to come across this cool book of animals in the wild.  I was surprised to see this Fennec Fox looking just like the Fennec Fox that I had painted back in July.  So I pulled out my art supplies and kept myself busy for a while drawing him and other animals of the wild.

Monday, September 23, 2013

Book binding

Today I made this journal  modeled after a moleskin yearly calendar journal.  The size is 3.5 x 5.5 with 9 signatures giving me a total of 72 pages to work with.  I used Fabriano hot press watercolor paper.

Sunday, September 22, 2013

Yellow Peonies

I had bought a Stillman and Birn Beta Series journal that I took with me to Paris, but ended up not using.  So today I finally did.  I can now see why a lot of artist love this paper.  The paper is heavy, 180lbs and takes watercolor beautifully.  No buckling and I can paint on the back side with no problem.  I used my Isabey 3/0 mop brush to paint and I was amazed how durable the paper was.  I plan to buy other sizes, that's how much I like the journal!!!

Saturday, September 21, 2013

New dog at the dog park

From a distant this guy looked like a Cavalier King Charles Spaniel, but as he got closer he didn't have the markings of a CKCS.  My heart is always happy when I have sightings of Cavaliers.   DS watercolors, using my Isabey 3/0 mop brush.

Friday, September 20, 2013


It felt so good today to pull out my watercolor pencils and draw.  I sketched these gladiolus with a black sharpie and then used wc pencils to lay down the color.  I then use a water brush to blend the color in.  When the drawing was dry, I didn't like how faded my color looked, so I brought out my gouache and applied to pump up the color.

Thursday, September 19, 2013

Contour drawing of a man's face

I drew this guy from a photo.  Didn't labor over the details and just let the sharpie do it's thing.  One thing about using sharpies that they do bleed onto the bottom page.  To solve that bleeding problem, I put a sheet of paper under the page I intend to draw on.  The sharpie bleeds on the sheet of paper and doesn't mess up the next page from my journal.

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Contour drawing faces

Contour drawing using a fine tip retractable sharpie on mix media paper I found using the sharpie really helped me not to labor over what I draw.  So be prepared, lots of contour drawings will be appearing on my blog!

Tuesday, September 17, 2013


While on vacation I saw many amazing faces and wished I could draw them.   So I decided instead of wishing and I'm just going to  draw them.  I thought I'd attempt to draw faces I see on TV with just a brush pen and later add color.

Monday, September 16, 2013

Dogs...the many faces in Paris

Paris is a dog friendly city.  Dogs are everywhere.  The metro, parks, cafes, pet stores,  and statues of dogs.  These are a few of the dogs I saw during the week.
Kippy a 9 month old yorkie

German Shepherd at the park

On the metro

French bull dog statue

Yorkie at a estate sale

Papillion running down the street 

BHV pet store

Sunday, September 15, 2013

Artist in Paris

One of the things I love about Paris is the creative people you come across on a daily bases.  I was walking around the Eiffel Tower and spotted these two young artist drawing the Eiffel Tower from the ground up.  It didn't bother them that people were standing and just watching them draw.  One was quite good and the other boy was just learning.
 Then on the way to CafĂ© Flore, we came across this band playing jazz.  People were dancing on the sidewalk while listening to their music..


Saturday, September 14, 2013

Leaving Paris

I'm on my way home from Paris.  I'm not sure if the cold weather or not warm enough clothes got me down,but Paris was not the same this year.  Also I found it rather expensive this time around.  I guess the bad economy of the US finally caught up with Europe.  The dollar just did not go very far.  I found that we spent  more on meals than anything else.   I also  did not buy my usually expensive designer handbag.  In my closet at home I have a rather large collection of designer bags that I only use once in awhile, so I didn't feel the need or want to buy a new one.  What I did buy were art supplies.  I usually try to buy art supplies that aren't carried in the US.  

This trip I did a lot of walking and talking lots of pictures.  We explored a different part of Paris and learned how to use the bus system.  It's rather easy to use and a great way to see the streets of Paris.  We did use the metro, but the stairs were killers on my knees.  We also went to a concert to see Mylene Farmer which was amazing to see and watch.  

I can't wait to get home to see my pooches and sleep in my own bed.  It's those little things that I look forward to after a long trip.

Friday, September 13, 2013

Last day in Paris

Today is my last day in Paris before we head home tomorrow.  It's been a very long week and I'm glad to be heading home to warmer temperatures and sunshine.  Took lots of photos and walked a lot.  Visited new places and revisited some old places too.   Spent the day just walking around and discovered two more sources for art supplies.  I'll share more about art stores when I get home.  In the  meantime some glimpse.

Thursday, September 12, 2013

Spent the day collecting images for painting

Spent the day running around taking photos of store fronts and the wares they display in the windows.
I can see lots of paintings coming out of those images.  This is just a sampling of what I saw today.

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Looking for art stores in Paris

 Today I spent my day looking for art stores.  When in Paris I usually go to Sennelier art store right across from the Seine river on the left bank.  But before I left for my trip, I did a google search and found a few sources.  I went to Sennelier first.  I went looking for their limited addition extra fine artist watercolours wooden chest.  
         Unfortunately they didn't have one,but I did get Isabey mop 3/0 and a leather watercolor portfolio.
Next I went in search of Maison Gattegno art store on Grande Chaumiere in the 6th Arrondissement. I went looking for a Daler Roweny  small watercolor set--but they didn't have any.

Just a couple of stores down was another Sennelier.
That was a bust too. The only thing good was the eye candy window displays.  I'll have to order when I get home.

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Day in Paris out and about

Had problems getting on to the Internet day.  Better late than never.  Today I learned something about myself while out sketching. As long as my back is against a wall, where nobody is peaking over my shoulder, I feel at ease doing plein air.  It's when people are watching me sketch,I feel uncomfortable because I'm having this inner dialog going on, saying my drawing looks like crap.   It's that inner critic that does not allow me to enjoy the process.  Instead of worrying about having a perfect drawing/ page I just need to stay in the moment,because the bottom line is that these drawings are creating memories of my trip for me.

Monday, September 09, 2013

My adventure to Monet's house

I've been to Giverny many times and I can't remember it not raining when I have visited.  While today it was pouring in buckets when I got off the train in Vernon.  I should of turned around and gotten on the train and headed back to Paris, but I didn't.  By the time I got to  Giverny I was was soaked.  If it weren't for my dear husband I wouldn't of gotten any pictures for future paintings.  So while he was out braving the rain, I stayed inside to dry off and paint poppies. 

Sunday, September 08, 2013

We are in Paris

After a long flight we arrived in Paris.  It was cooler than I expected and was afraid I had packed the wrong clothes.  Since our room wasn't ready for check-in,we went to one of our favorite cafes La Terrasse,which is right around the corner from our hotel.  I decided it was time to take out sketching supplies and just do it.  Just the mere fact that I took the step without being hesitant, I started to draw views from where I was sitting and the hot chocolate I was drinking.  My paintings are simple view of what I saw...and reminders of the day when I look back at my journals when I get home.

Saturday, September 07, 2013

Calm Ocean

I find the ocean is rather calming.  Whenever I need a break I head out to the coast to see blue water and blue sky.  DS watercolors.

Friday, September 06, 2013


Unexpected surprise of poppies in the meadow in the high sierra.

Thursday, September 05, 2013

Meadow in the high Sierras

I always like going to the high Sierra.  It's so peaceful and the air smells so crisp.  DS watercolors.
Tonight I start my journey to Paris.  I hope to blog while I'm there.
Au Revoir!!!

Wednesday, September 04, 2013


I'll be the first to tell you that I find doing portraits hard.  I never can get the portions right, but I still keep on trying.  One of these days I'm going to sign up for a portrait painting class.  Girl with the black head cover was drawn with watercolor crayons.

Tuesday, September 03, 2013