Thursday, March 31, 2011

I'm ready - Or Not!

I have my new journals ready for my trip and classes. I have one for Laure's upcoming class (The Imaginary Trip To The Garden where there is still openings available). It has the butterfly on it. I have the blank white journal for Mitzi the pink poodle to decorate and write in for Roz's International Fake Journal Month

and I have one with a bird on the front filled with 90# paper, both hot and cold-pressed to see if I like working on it. This should cover me for my whole trip and more.

The reason for the second picture showing the bottom edges of the journals is to show you what happens when you don't want to waste the cardboard so cut it where it will barely fit. The journal with the butterfly barely fits in the cover. It saved me a lot of wasted cardboard but I will not do this again. I'll probably have worn or dirty pages later because I tried to save a few cents. The journal on the right is much better and I will do it like this from now on. Sometimes it doesn't pay to skimp.

I also have a large bag full of my art supplies, some knitting and I even have my suitcase almost filled with clothes. Still have to pack up my computer but I am waiting till the last minute for that. So I am almost ready but I always hate leaving home and most of my pets even though I'll enjoy the trip. So I am almost ready but not quite!

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Fake Journal Month for 2011 and A New Class

It's time for Roz's International Fake Journal Month again.  You can find out all the info by clicking on the button (I can't seem to remember what the clickable pictures are on the sidebar) of the blue dog on pink background over at the top of my sidebar or you can just go here.  Just be sure to scroll down and maybe even go to previous posts to read the whole thing.  There is a description at the top of the blog but if you want to join in do read the whole thing.

I am going to be Mitzi, a pink, standard poodle who happens to be very unusual in that she can do art but hey, my family insists I live in lala land and if that's true then I get to decide what dogs can or cannot do in my world.  I decided that although I prefer toy poodles, I do not want to keep my nose to the ground for a month.  I want to be able to see what's on the table at least!  So stay tuned and we'll see how this goes.

I'm going to be in California for most of the month and I am also going to be taking Laure Ferlita's newest class "An Imaginary Trip To The Garden" so I believe Mitzi will be seeing lots of interesting stuff.  I think Laure still has some open slots too so why don't you join me in both the Fake Journal Month AND Laure's new class?

Friday, March 25, 2011

Odds and Ends

 I've finished this house picture I've worked on at times over the last two years.  I started it before I began using watercolor.  It's in my moleskine journal and I used watercolor pencils which work in that book unlike watercolor.  This is purely imaginary; a fun escape when I wasn't feeling so cheerful. 

The bluish faced creature is me!  This was done as an exercise suggested in the group The Sketchbook Challenge.    This is a blind contour drawing done in white crayon on white paper so you can't see it even if you peek.  I stood in front of a mirror and drew what I saw, then painted over it all with aqua.  The outline showed up but I went back and wiped out as much blue in the face as possible and added more realistic colors.  One person who saw it on flickr
said it looked like I was looking up from under some water
which I think fits.  My eye got a little off to the side and it's
not any great piece but it was fun and I plan to try it again.

The next piece is a bookmark I made after the bigger picture that looks similar.  I did these in Jane Lafazio's style with the bigger one made for a class of hers I am currently taking at Joggles.  This is ink without using pencil first and then adding watercolor.  I got the pink too dark on the large picture so really went lighter on the bookmark.  It looks better.  I'm having fun in this class and if you are wanting a beginner's course in watercolor journaling this might be the ticket for you.  It's fun even if you aren't a total beginner.

Hope you all have a great weekend!

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

The Sun is Out Again!

Nope, I didn't match the title to the picture again. Today is finally sunny after a week of clouds and finally rain. I loved the rain but hated the week of cloudiness. We got enough to water our trees so I am happy. That means water for the well too.

I didn't do anything spectacular to the rest of this page. I really just wanted to let my pear shine. You can see the blotches I mentioned in my earlier post behind the flowers I stamped on the page. Now that I look at it online I'm thinking the white is a bit bright. Maybe I'll go back in and try something else or maybe that will wait for another day. I'm pretty happy overall and ready to do a new page. Hope you are having a sunny day too!

Monday, March 21, 2011

Rainy Day!

This pear has nothing to do with the title. I just wanted to show it as I am happy with how it turned out. It's done in an old journal I made for a class so the page had white spatters on it and in another spot some really ugly bleedthroughs. First I drew a graphite pencil sketch and then used colored pencil to color it in. I made the pear in response to a green challenge and now have the challenge of finishing my journal page to work around the ugly spots or to incorporate them.

Mostly I just want to shout out "it's raining, it's raining"! Not a deluge by any means but over 1/4 inch to be sure and maybe 1/2 inch. That's a big deal for us here in the desert. Of course it also means all the little weeds are going to grow and then make stickers that attach to my dogs, gets transferred to the carpet and maybe my bed or bathrobe and that part is no fun at all but still, it's raining!

Monday, March 14, 2011


Wow, was this an exhilarating trip! We went all over Ireland visiting so many types of places from cities to the countryside to the seashore. Ireland is a land of many beautiful sights.

I've shown almost all the pages I painted for this class. These are the final versions after corrections or enhancements were made after the gentle critiquing from Laure was done. I still need to come up with a cover and I am not showing one for which we didn't have permission to share our work with anyone outside of the classroom. (I guess that means if you want to know what it was, you'll just have to take the class and remember that is with Imaginary Trips with Laure Ferlita as the tour guide).

If you are wanting to paint flowers, keep an eye on Imaginary Trips as I do believe there is going to be a class for that soon.

Monday, March 7, 2011

A Few of My Recent Pages

 These are some recent pages in my journals.  They each stretched me a little.  To start with, my cat was drawn in colored pencil on red paper.  That meant getting my whitish cat to show up and I did that.  I didn't get the blue comforter to look as much like a comforter as I should have but after working so hard on the cat I was getting tired of it not coming out as I would have liked.  What is wrong?  To start with, she looks like she is colored in with a white pencil.  She doesn't look like she has fur.  I did okay I think on her face and it does look like my cat so I am happy about all that.  Also, I did this live with my cat turning her head this way and that and finally shifting even her body position so I feel good that I got her down as well as I did.  When I look back in years to come I am hoping to see that I have improved on her over time!

The next page was done with a pre-done background of a red dry brushed corner added to the page.  It took me a long time to figure out what to fill the page with.  I ended up doing my canary as he sat on his perch.  This was another live drawing but I probably will try for a photo next time.  He doesn't like me to stay so close and I can't see him if I'm not!  Reading glasses only make it worse.  I am happy with him but not his beak.  I didn't really get his whole face right but I have plenty of time to try again.  He was done with watercolor and a waterbrush.  I added a bit of penwork to finish him off as he seemed to need a little something after I added the background.

Next up comes my plastic, thermal, iced tea glass.  I decided to try out my new Pentel Pocket Brush Pen which I have heard such good things about.  Many of the people whose sketching I enjoy use these pens.  It actually is a fountain pen with a brush instead of a nib.  It was harder to draw with this pen over a pencil or regular pen than I was expecting.  The ink wasn't running strongly yet and I thought that was the way it worked but later found it started flowing very well.  Then I learned that I was going to need some practice to learn to control the thick and thin lines this brush can make.  Lastly I learned that on my multi-media paper at least, the ink does not dry very quickly and smeared when I went back in with watercolor.  So...

...I took another page to do some practicing!  I tried to see how it would do with comma and S strokes like I'd use in Folk Art painting.  I doodles little pictures quickly and just some lines, a couple of letters in calligraphic style and just tried to get used to the way this brush works.  I'm thinking if I can learn to control it, I will like how it can make the various lines and marks. 

At any rate, this is some of what I have been working on.  I have been taking a few classes, some better than others.  My favorite again, is the Imaginary Trip to Ireland with tour guide Laure Ferlita.  I'll be posting a few of the pictures later on. 

So what have you been working on?