Saturday, August 31, 2013

Tulips...pages from my journal

I have a lot of journals that have a few pages left.  Instead of leaving them blank I decided do quick line drawings.  So on those blank pages I took my watercolor pencils and laid down a color for each page.  Then I used a baby wipe to buff the color in to give the page an even background.  By having the background already done, it leaves time to just do my quick line drawings and then add color.

Friday, August 30, 2013

Butterfly Inkblot

These inkblots are kind of fun to make and so easy.  Fold the watercolor paper in half, drop acrylic ink on one side, close and reopen to show blot.  I had to turn the inkblot around a couple of times to finally see something I could work with.  

Thursday, August 29, 2013

Fall Colors

I can feel fall in the air, or maybe I'm just hoping it will be fall soon.  Oil pastels and DS watercolors.

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

French bull dog

Meet Rusty.  He always has a rather serious look about him, but at times he can be a clown.  Faber-Castell watercolor pencils.

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Sailboats out on the ocean

Sailboats that I saw this past weekend while in Santa Barbara.

Monday, August 26, 2013

Pages from my midori Travelers

I've been working on contour drawings using Flair markers in my Midori Travelers Notebook.
I start with a line drawing, touch the line with a damp watercolor brush to bleed the color, and blend to give depth.

Sunday, August 25, 2013

Midori Travelers Notebook

I finally bought a Midori Traveler's Notebook in brown.  I already have the passport size.  They are both nice, but I think the larger size gives me more room to create.

I have 3 notebooks inside the Midori--Kraft paper, watercolor paper, and toned paper. 

Saturday, August 24, 2013

New journal, new paint brushes, new watercolor

Today I thought I'd use my landscape journal that I made.  It measures 8.5 by 5.5 and has 4 signatures, total pages 32.  I used smooth Bristol paper.
Next I got 3 new watercolor brushes.  Isabey mop 2/0 and 1. Daniel Smith 1/2" wash brush.

Using my Isabey #1 mop brush, I painted this landscape from Barcelona using only lemon yellow, Phthalo blue, FUB, and Ultramarine Violet.  I used my watercolor brush to drop and move color, trying to capture light and darks.

Friday, August 23, 2013

A meadow in Cumbria

Quick sketch using watercolor crayons.  A view of a meadow in Cumbria, UK.

Thursday, August 22, 2013

Koi Water color pocket field sketch box converted

I'm always looking for the just perfect watercolor palette.  I bought this Koi Water Color Pocket Field sketch box several years ago.  It came with 24 colors and a water brush.  The colors it came with, I never did like, so I never used the set.  So I decided to replace the watercolors with Yarka St. Petersburg watercolors from two different sets. 
When I removed the Koi watercolors, the bottom of the box had uneven plastic, so I put a heavy duty piece of card board on the bottom to make the surface flat.  By using the card board bottom, it allowed me to put 18 full pans and the water brush that came with set.
Now I have colors I would use in a very compact travel set.

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Staedtler Watercolor Crayons

I like mixing up how I create art everyday.  Sometimes I use watercolors, colored pencils, oil pastels, or  watercolor crayons.
I bought Staedtler Watercolor Crayons several months ago and just recently started to use them.   This set only has 12 watercolor crayons which is just perfect for quick sketches.
I really like using Kraft paper which works beautifully with watercolor crayons. I apply one color on top of another.  Next I use a water brush to moisten the crayon.  When dry, I apply dry crayon for detail and shading.

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Monday, August 19, 2013

Sunday, August 18, 2013


I've been wanting to paint this guy for a while.  Finally sketched him out last night.  I used watercolor pencils, Montana acrylic marker, and gouache.

Saturday, August 17, 2013

Pocket Palette

 I've been seeing this small pocket palette by Expeditionary Art on Flickr.

I finally ordered one and came in the mail yesterday. It's business card size and very compact.

I had to decided what colors I wanted to use and this is the color chart I came up with.  I also bought additional empty pans, so I can switch out colors.

I like the size and that is so light. I'm thinking about buying another pocket palette that I can load with my Schmincke gouache.  Now it's time to see how this palette works out in the field.

Friday, August 16, 2013

Ink Blots

When I first read about Margaret Peot's book "Inkblot"--I wanted to buy the book.  Unfortunately it was out of print and the copies available were selling for $700.00.  I kept on checking amazon and I was pleasantly surprised that it was back in print.  I ordered a copy immediately.

I started by folding in half a piece of watercolor paper and re-opening the paper so it was flat. Next I dropped acrylic ink on the right side of the crease.  I then folded the watercolor paper in half and gently pressed on the top of the watercolor paper so the ink would spread. I opened the paper and this is what I created.
 I let the paper dry before I proceeded to the next step.  Once the ink was dry, I started to look for image out of the ink blots.  What I discovered was a elephant.  I used a Sharpie to do a contour drawing of the elephant. Next I started dropping in watercolor until I was satisfied with the image.

Thursday, August 15, 2013

Water Lilies

In just 3 weeks I'll be in Paris!!!  While in France, I plan to visit Monet's Garden.  With each visit to Monet's garden I always notice something different.  I'm hoping that a lot of flowers will still be in bloom.

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Midori Travelers Notebook DYI

I discovered Midori Travelers Notebooks last January on
 Flickr.  After seeing the different ways people were using them--for sketching, small watercolors, and note taking--I decided that I wanted one. Local stores did not stock them.  I had a choice--drive down to Los Angeles to Japan town or buy it over the Internet.
Internet shops had different prices.  Through my research I discover
Not only did they sell Midori Travelers Notebooks, they also sold accessories.  The Midori Traveler was $55.00 and for the Midori Traveler Passport Limited addition size $54.00.  Before I actually bought one, I really wanted to see how the Midori looked and felt.   As it so happens, My Maido has a store front in San Jose and I was going to be in San Jose in March.  So I figured I could wait two months.
Meanwhile I found "It's My Life" blog showing a DYI to make a Midori Travelers copy:
So using Gail's guide, I used a leather empty notebook cover to make my own.
The Front cover

 Front Cover with a belli band

Inside notebook showing the 3 bands used to hold the individual notebooks in place.

Inside notebook showing one individual signature looped through the first band to hold the signature in place.

Showing the individual signatures..

Outside top of notebook showing the 6 holes (3 on top and 3 on the bottom) to thread the elastic cord through to form 3 long length which will hold individual signatures.

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Fountain growing collection

It started with a Sailor Sapporo extra fine tip fountain pen, which came with a Visconti traveling ink pen.  But before that it was my Mont Blanc pen and pencil set.  Unfortunately, I can't find the pen.  Then it was onto Safari fountain pens in yellow and red.  Also A Safari Vista fountain pen.  Last unknown name fountain.
The jury is still out if I like using fountain pen or if I just like to collect them.

Monday, August 12, 2013


Working in my Midori travelers notebook on Kraft paper.  Used Schmincke gouache.

Sunday, August 11, 2013

Today I canned apples!!!

 Yesterday while I was out shopping I bought my self an apple core peeler.  You've probably have seen them advertised on TV...while they really work well.

So today I canned Gala Apples from my own Gala Apple tree.  This is the first time I've ever canned anything.  It's rather easy, but there are a lot steps to follow.  I think the next time I can, I'll feel a little bit more confident.  Originally when my husband had brought inside about 4 large round bowls of apples, I thought I'd need a lot of canning jars.  So I bought some in various sizes.  I decide to go for the large jars first...thinking I'd have enough to fill the other jars.  Well you guessed it...I didn't need that many jars.  I was able to fill 7 large jars, with no waste.  Each jar took about 6 cups of sliced apples.

So here are the little beauties.  Now they just need to cool and then they get stored in my pantry waiting for winter to come to make apple pies.
I highly recommend going on Martha Stewarts website and look up canning.  That's where I found a video showing the steps to getting your jars ready for canning.

Saturday, August 10, 2013

A day in Valencia

It's always a good day when I go to Valencia for shopping and lunch, with ducks kicked in too.
Jolie went with us to Valencia so she could have her picture taken with the ducks.  I was rather surprised that she didn't chase them because she has a tendency to chase the birds in our back yard.   As I tossed bread into the little man made lake, the ducks just came charging for those crumbs.

Ducks waiting for lunch.

 Ducks trying to figure where I'm going to toss those pieces of bread.

 Ducks just swimming around.

 Ducks lost interest when they discovered that the bread was all gone.

 All that feeding of the ducks made me hungry.  It just happens there was a California Pizza Kitchen by the lake, so that is where we stopped for lunch.  It was nice enough that we got to enjoy outside dining.

Friday, August 09, 2013

Thursday, August 08, 2013

Hearts full of love

Simple and too the point.  This is what I think real hearts look like inside that are filled with an abundance of love.

Wednesday, August 07, 2013


One of the things I love about traveling is all the photos I can take and use later for the well never runs dry.  Last year my sister and I went to San Diego for a girls weekend.  While in San Diego we visited the San Diego Zoo.  I took over 150 pictures.  I was captivated by this gorilla.  He was just on the other side of the double pane glass, and I felt like he was looking at me, but he was so close I could feel his intense look into my eyes.  It was rather unnerving.  I felt like I was looking at a person and not a gorilla. 

Tuesday, August 06, 2013

Zuzu in the Garden

Going through old pictures I found one of my dog Zuzu in the garden.  Zuzu was a fairly large Yorkie, about 15 lbs.  Zuzu was a world traveler.  She had been to Paris, Greece, Italy, Ohio, Washington, Oregon, and just about any place dogs were allowed.  Zuzu lived until she was about 17 years old, which is pretty long for a dog.  But she did have many medical problems.  What I spent on medical bills, I could of easily have bought a new car.  But she was worth every penny.  Every time I see a Yorkie, I think about getting another, but then I think about all those medical bills.  So now I just paint Yorkies.

Monday, August 05, 2013

Midori travelers passport size...a day in Pasadena

I've had my passport Midori traveler since April and it's just recently that I started to use it.  I had on back order the custom bands that linked the other notebooks together.  I just received those bands last week.  I created my own notebooks, one with Kraft paper and the other with watercolor paper.  Each notebook has 4 sheets that give me about 16 pages to work on.
I decorated the pages with my own watercolor stamps and photos of my dogs.  On Friday we went to Pasadena and had lunch at Mi Piece.   I attempted to sketch the food as it came out.

On this page I took a picture of Jolie waiting to ride on the merry-go-round at Griffith Park in Los Angeles.  Afterwards we went to Swains stationery store where I picked up 7 Stabilo woody 3 in 1 pencils.  Maddie was patiently waiting for me when I walked in the house.