Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Sunflowers please....

One of the things I like to do in my art studio is experiment with different art tools or mediums. Today I played with Paper Mate Flair markers.  Not to long go I had picked up a package of 8 colors for $5.00.  I started with a black marker and did a line drawing of a French Bull dog puppy.  Then I got my water brush and lightly pulled the black into the body of the puppy, giving a grey color.  Next I used the light pink that was in the pack to color in the inside of the puppies ears.  Again using the water brush to spread the pink in the inside of the ears.  I used Bienfang watercolor brush pen to paint the eyes brown, making sure to leave a hint of the white. 
After painting the puppy I thought my drawing need something more.  So I used a sunflower rubber stamp for the flowers.  Unfortunately, the black ink I had on the stamp just did not give a good impression, so I had to sketch in with pencil the individual sunflowers and leaves.  I used Flair markers for the yellow of the petals, touch of orange around the outside of  the center, and brown for the center of the flower.  The leaves I used a light green and a darker green.
I was so involved in creating this piece that I lost track of time.  For me, that means I was really enjoying the process and that's what is important.

Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Montana Acrylic Markers

I get excited when I find a product that actually works.  I like working with Kraft paper, and I like the way drawings look with white ink.  I'm never happy with the way white gel pens work.  Gel pens never seem to go on the paper smoothly.  So when I came across Montana Acrylic Markers, I thought I give them a try.  They came yesterday in the mail and I couldn't wait to get them out of the box.
I bought a six pack set of with extra fine tips.  Also the extra fine tips are refillable.  I was not disappointed.  The acrylic came out smoothly through the tip and just glided with ease as I drew my hibiscus.  I bought my set through amazon and you can also buy the acrylic refill through them too.

Monday, July 29, 2013


This is the look I get from Sophie, my Cavalier King Charles Spaniel.   This look reminds me of a wanted poster.  6 x 8, Daniel Smith Watercolors and Derwent watercolor pencils.

Sunday, July 28, 2013

Jolie's in Hollywood

Yesterday Jolie spent her day taking pictures in Hollywood.  First she went to the famous Hollywood sign in the Hollywood hills.

 Then onto Hollywood Blvd.  Had to take a picture at the star of Lassie.
 With all the street performers to choose from, she picked taking a photo with her favorite Star War characters.
 She couldn't pass up the opportunity to pose with Marilyn...those blonds have to stick together!

Finally a postcard to send home to her sisters and brother to share her exciting day with the stars.

Just another day in the life of a Powder Puff Chinese Crested Girl!!!!

Saturday, July 27, 2013

German Shepherd mix

Today spent the day in Hollywood so my dog Jolie could get some pictures taken for a scavenger hunt that my husband is entering.  While on Hollywood Blvd, we were approached by this guy who was giving away this German Shepherd mix.  Said he was moving and couldn't take the dog with him.  Also the dog was in heat.  He wanted to know if we wanted to take his dog.  The dog appeared to be rather sweet natured, but a little large for my household of small dogs.  We politely declined, but gave him suggestions on finding a good home for his dog.  I hope he does find a good home for her, but for some reason in the back of my mind the conversation was a bit odd.  It's not everyday that we get approached with a dog was a little un-nerving.

Friday, July 26, 2013

Crackle Wheat Bread

Today I made crackle wheat bread.  There is nothing like fresh baked bread out of the oven.  Smeared with butter and apricot jam.

Thursday, July 25, 2013

The Paint Box

Well I finally did it.  After drooling over this watercolor paint box by Craig Young for a few months, I finally took the plunge and placed my order.  Estimated delivery is about 12 months.  I guess this is my "Happy Birthday" and  "Merry Christmas" to me early.

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Elephant of many colors

I couldn't decide what to paint today.  It was a toss up between elephants or giraffes.  The elephants won.  So this is my impressionistic view of a multicolor elephant. 

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Moss Rose AKA Portulaca

Portulaca  AKA Moss Rose.  Colored pencil, watercolors, and gouache.  6 x 8.

Monday, July 22, 2013

Brockhole -- Lake district -- Cumbria, UK

The internet has really opened up a way to see the world. Google street view is a cool way to find interesting places I'd like to paint.  I've been doing a lot of sitting in front of the computer screen and painting things I find on Google street view.  When I travel I usually take a lot of photos and then when I get home I use them as reference to paint.  Now I don't have to wait too travel, I just search Google Street view.
I recently made a new journal that measures 6" x 8" that I use for these virtual paint outs.  This is a good size to work in, small enough to complete a painting in one sitting.
Today I visited Brockhole  in the Lake District in Cumbria of the UK.  This is my impression of what I saw during my visit.

Sunday, July 21, 2013

Aqua-Mini Sennelier traveler set

OK, I'm a sucker for a new watercolor set.  I like visiting Ken Bromley Art Supply that is located in the UK.   They always seem to have the newest art supplies from Europe. So when I saw this Sennelier little mini, I knew I had to have it.  And since I'm going to Paris in September and going shopping at Sennelier Art store, why not try out a little set to see if I like painting with their palette. If I like using this mini, most likely I'll buy a large watercolor set.

Saturday, July 20, 2013

Cumbria, UK

This is the 2nd part of yesterdays post about the watercolor tin box and what colors I used.  I had 18 colors to choose from.  I used French Ultramarine Blue, Alizarin, Raw Sienna, Perm Brown, Burnt Umber, Cobalt Blue, Sap Green, and a touch of Cerulean Blue.  My go-to watercolors are FUB, Alizarin, Burnt Umber, and Sap Green.  I did find I liked adding Raw Sienna and Perm brown to my painting; would I add those to my go-to palette? probably not.
By using this small watercolor box, I found a way to finally use a water brush and not feel frustrated with it's performance.  I used baby wipes to clean my brush between changing colors.  It's that small trick that really made a difference.  Because the baby wipes are moist, I also used them to lift color too.  It's amazing that those small details made painting this impressionist painting so easy.

Friday, July 19, 2013

Small watercolor paint tin box that holds 18 watercolor paints

I bought this small watercolor paint tin box a couple of years ago.  It was empty when I received it and I filled it with colors that I thought I couldn't live without.  I used this set twice and thought it was just too small to work with.   Fast forward several years later, as of today, I pulled it down from my growing watercolor set collection. I decided to make a color chart and see if I could identify the colors.  It was only after I had identified all of them except 4 colors, that I found the original color chart I had made when I first filled the slots with paint.  Out of those 18 colors, I only use about 8. 
So this afternoon I plan to do a  small painting using this paint box to see if I missed those 10 other wc paints.

Thursday, July 18, 2013

Monoprix Paris France

Monoprix is a French retail chain that sells food, hardware, clothing, and household items.  Think I would compare it to maybe a Target store, but better.  This particular branch is in the 6th arr. just right around the corner from CafĂ© Flore and Louis Vuitton.  Can't get any better than that. 

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Grand Hotel Leveque, Paris

For the past 15 years that we gone to Paris France we always stay at the Grand Hotel Leveque on Rue Cler in the 7th arr.  We discovered this hotel through Rick Steves Back Road books.  The Grand Leveque is on a quaint street that is blocked off to through traffic.  Lots of little shops and near two metro lines.  Even though it is only a 2 star hotel, the rooms are comfortable and the staff is always helpful.   Through out the years we've stayed at various hotels in Paris from a 5 star to 1 star, but we've always come back to the Leveque.

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Azores Portugal

A coastal view from Azores, Portugal.  I've never been to Portugal, but that is one country on my list to see. 
There is a cool blog for artist to paint a scene from anywhere in the world via Virtual Paint.  Each month Virtual Paint picks a country where you must use a view found through Google Street View as a reference for a drawing or painting. Then you can post to the blog with others to see their take on that country. 
I'm more interested in exploring different countries and hopefully I find something that peeks my interest.  I'm hoping that by using this idea, that it will get me ready for my visit to Paris in September.  Plein air painting is something I would like to master.

Monday, July 15, 2013

Morning Coffee

Sometimes I find inspiration from the simplistic things in life....Morning Coffee.  A glimpse into my journal pages.
I happened to find this cool music site : .
One of the artist I discovered was Pianochocolate, with a CD titled Morning Coffee.  So as I listened to this CD I did a quick journal entry.

Sunday, July 14, 2013


Nothing like a bouquet of gladiolas.  6 x 8 mix media paper.  Daniel Smith watercolors; Derwent Inktense pencils.

Saturday, July 13, 2013

Parrot Tulips

Parrot Tulips painted on 6 x 8 mixed media paper.  Daniel Smith watercolors and Derwent Inkintense pencils.

Thursday, July 11, 2013

Red Poppies

I'm really loving this new watercolor paper that I bought last week.  It's Fabriano hot press 140lb paper.  The colors mix well on the paper and easy to make lift paint off where I don't want it to be.
On this painting I started out with a 8 x 10 piece of watercolor paper.  Then I used watercolor pencils to do a contour drawing of the poppies and the buds.  The I colors I used were Alizarin, Transparent Orange, New Gamboge, FUB, Green Gold, and Sap Green.  I basically started dropping the Alizarin and the transparent orange.  Once I had the over all shape, I added more of the line work to define the buds.  The brushes I used were a round #12, # 4, and  #0.  Daniel Smith watercolors and Schmincke transparent orange.
I just love it when a painting comes together!

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Tuesday, July 09, 2013

Carolina Wren

Today my life went to the birds.  I wonder what he's saying?

Monday, July 08, 2013

French bull dog Penny

Her name is Penny and she's a French bull dog.  She likes posing for the camera and playing with toys.  I used gouache on Fabriano  140 hot press paper.  One of  my recent purchases from Flax art store in SF.

Sunday, July 07, 2013

Day in the city

I'm home from the Bay Area.  It was a nice short trip.  Had a chance to visit with my sister and her husband, go shopping, and go to San Francisco for the afternoon.   Fourth of July was unbelievable hot.  We spent the day just visiting and had a family barbecue.  My husband spent the afternoon with his sister who happens to live in Danville, about 40 minutes from my sisters house.  On Friday me, my husband and Jolie drove to San Francisco, which is only about 50 minutes away.  There was a Bart strike going on, so we weren't sure how that would affect the traffic driving into the City.  Surprisingly there was no problem going or coming home. 
We started out at Flax Art and Design store where I bought some art supplies.  I like this store because it tends to have the new products that I usually read about in art magazines. 
From the art store we drove to the Embarcadero, so Jolie could have some photo's taken, and I could attempt to do some sketching and painting.  I was rather self conscious about people looking over my shoulder, that after a short period of time I quit.  Instead I took photo references that I could use to paint at home.  As you can see from the photo's of Jolie, the day was beautiful.  A little windy, but hey it was San Francisco.  We walked around the Embarcadero, watched the sailboats, and took lots pictures.
Saturday morning my sister and I went shopping at this cute store that sells hand made items.  Had lunch at my favorite PF Chang.  When we got back to my sister's house we visited some more only to end up watching the news coverage of the Asiana Airlines that crashed on it's approach to SFO.  It was surreal to watch because I've flown out of that airport hundreds of times, never giving it a thought that we wouldn't land safely.  Those passengers were rather lucky they could walk away. 
We decided to head back home Saturday night to avoid the Sunday travel. It was a nice short get-a-way, but it was sure good to be home.

A view of San Francisco

Just a quick sketch of the San Francisco as I saw it.  I'm finding sketching out in public is nerve racking.  I did this sketch in about 5 minutes.  I wonder if I'll ever get over my fear of painting in public?

Friday, July 05, 2013

San Francisco

 It was a breeze 68 degrees in San Francisco.
Started the day at Flax Art and Design store.  I surprised myself that I didn't buy as much as I thought I would.  Bought some watercolor pads, a pilot parallel pen, and Art Graf  water soluble graphite.
I have some photos and a few quick paintings that I will upload soon.

Thursday, July 04, 2013

Watercolor journal for road trip to San Francisco

"Happy Fourth Of July"
I've been known to over pack art supplies  whenever I go on a trip.  I just don't want to leave anything behind, just in case I might need them, which has happened on occasion.   So for this trip, I thought I'd take only a few things...a small watercolor journal, a watercolor travel set, and a few water brushes, and one round # 4 watercolor brush.
The journal I made was something real simple.  I used 2 sheets of 9 in x 12 in watercolor paper.  I cut the pieces in half, leaving me with 4 pieces of  9 in by 6 in watercolor paper.  Then I folded those pieces in half, creating a small journal  that measures 4.5 in wide by 6 in long.  I used my bone folder to flatten the middle seam.  Next I used my Paper Pro long reach stapler to staple the center seam, about an inch down from the top and an inch up from the bottom.
Now all that is left to do is add some embellishments and I ready to go.

Wednesday, July 03, 2013

Road trip to San Francisco

We're going on a road trip to San Francisco.  Packing the SUV and 4 dogs and off we go.  We plan to spend 4th of July with my sister and her husband.  Go to SF and walk the Golden Gate Bridge so Jolie can have her picture taken.  Also plan to visit my favorite art store Flax Art and Design.  It's going to be a quick trip, but there is nothing like going home.

Tuesday, July 02, 2013

Fennec Fox

Doesn't he look like a Chihuahua?  But he's not!  When I first saw a picture of this guy, I thought so too.  After some research I discovered that he was a Fennec Fox that is native in the Sahara of North Africa.  His large ears dissipate heat.  Who'd ever think that ears could keep you cool!

Monday, July 01, 2013

Anemone flower bouquet

Anemone flower bouquets painted on toned paper, using Schmincke gouache.