Tuesday, February 17, 2015

How I spent Valentine's Day...

A day at the Santa Barbara Zoo.  I've been wanting to go to the Santa Barbara Zoo for a while now.  With the unbelievable sunny warm days,  Valentine's Day was the perfect time to go.

I took my art supplies and my husband took his camera.  While he took photo reference photos for me, I sat down to do some Plein Air painting.

Plein Air painting does not come naturally for me.  I'm always afraid that people will look over my shoulder and see my paintings and make some snide remark.  But this year I plan to change all that. 

Santa Barbara Zoo was a test run for me and the supplies I carried.  I took a hand made small journal that is 7"L x 4" wide.  When open I have a full page that measures 8" wide.  Because I wanted to keep the journal small and compact I only had 4 sheets of 140lb watercolor paper which gave me 16  half pages to complete.   My other supplies I took were: a water brush, paper towels, pencil, sharpie, 8 Faber-Castell watercolor pencils, eraser, and a set of 18 Daler-Rowney watercolour quarter pans.

My first painting was of elephants walking around and being fed.  I found a bench to sit at...that had a high wall in back of me.  This was perfect because I could paint without anybody looking over my shoulder.  Now the fun begins...juggling my supplies, my journal and water brush.  I initially started to drop paint in for the elephant, but was so frustrated with the watercolor set of paints I took (had to keep on referring back to my color chart).  Out of frustration I grabbed 3 watercolor pencils and did a quick sketch of the elephant and his surroundings.   Once I had a basic idea of how I wanted the painting to evolve I was able to mix and add watercolor to the painting.  I think I worked on this painting about 5 minutes.

Across the way was a Cockatoo.  After painting him, I went back to watch and paint the elephant being feed.
It was a good day at the Zoo.  Not only did I get to see all the lovely animals,  I got to spend the day with the love of my life.

Tomorrow I share more watercolors that I did at the zoo.

Friday, February 13, 2015

flower collages

 I recently discovered www.creativebug.com.   It's an online website where you can take classes for $9.99 a month.  Classes from watercolors, knitting, paper crafts, baking, sewing and much more.  They offer a free 14 day trial period where you can explore the classes.  So I signed up and took my first class with Lisa Congdon.  The class was Sketchbook explorations.  Exploring different tools and techniques to keep a sketchbook.  I really liked the way Lisa really simplified the use of tools and techniques. 

This is what I  worked on in my sketchbook.  Creating a collage border on the bottom of my sketchbook and then adding line drawings of flowers.  I added color to my flowers to complete the drawing.

I don't often do collages, but after seeing Lisa's videos I think I'll be adding more collages to my sketchbook in the future.

Sunday, February 08, 2015

Unfinished watercolor journals

I spent the weekend tackling those unfinished journal pages.  Like every artist, I have lots of journals that aren't complete.   I'm trying to be better about completing one journal before I start on a new one.  So that means I can happily shelve two complete journals.

Friday, February 06, 2015

French bull dog...Pretty as a picture

I love French Bull dogs and hope to own one some day.  Until then, I paint them.

Wednesday, February 04, 2015

Dreaming about the ocean

We've been having such nice weather that I've been dreaming about the ocean and wanting to go to the beach.  Instead I pulled out a photo of my last trip to Ventura, California.  I guess this is the nearest I'll get to the beach for awhile.

Monday, February 02, 2015

DIY Watercolor Palette

I recently made my first video of me making a small watercolor palette.

Sunday, February 01, 2015

Poodle amoung the flowers

I forgot to post this yesterday.  This is a painting that I plan to use on the front cover of a art journal that I'm binding. 

I love bulldogs...

I've been wanting to paint a bulldog in a picture frame for awhile.  I found a photo and this is my take on that photo.   I thought he was so cute licking his chops after a treat!  Holbein gouache and some acrylic paint.