Monday, July 6, 2015

Another Elegant Writer Painting

I will say that this kind of art is improving my handwriting skills, something I have never been very proud of, my cursive writing when I was in school (back in the stone age) was terrible at best, and tended to change if I had to write a long page of text, slanting right, then left, if I didn't have lines to follow, the script wandered up and down and was just generally a mess.

I have been looking at hand writing fonts on my computer, but only to pick out a few letters I want to feature, I have ended up doing my own thing on most of these types of artworks.

I am still playing and experimenting with the Elegant Writer pen, I did another small picture for my niece who came out to visit over the holiday weekend with her mom (my sister) and her dad. I am pretty happy with the handwritten cursive text, I did do it lightly in pencil first, just to get the layout, then went over it with a Micron marker (03 I believe), I then erased the pencil then went back over the letters to give some weight to them.

Here is the picture, you can click on it to make it larger.

Sunday, July 5, 2015

Elegant Writer Watercolor Art

I absolutely love YouTube and the wonderful (generous) artists who create tutorials and upload them there. One I found a while back and rediscovered it recently features a calligraphy pen called the Elegant Writer by Speedball. Someone figured out that the black ink in that pen, when activated by water, bleeds out in shades of gray, blue, purple, pink and even some greens. These colors are spontaneous, you can't really control the colors, but if you blot the ink/water mix while it's still wet, you can bring out the more pinky colors.

I am experimenting with this pen now, since I love watercolor, this is a natural for me, you can leave the colors that happen as is, or you can add more color with watercolor, colored pencil or whatever you like, you can also add Micron pens to the mix, those do not bleed when wetted with water.

Here is a quick card I made just a few minutes ago, with the exception of the green in the stem, all the rest of the color happened as a result of using the Elegant Writer and water. I wrote the quote using the Elegant Writer but chose not to wet that, preferring the crisp letters.

Let me know what you think?

Wednesday, June 17, 2015

Bible Art Journaling

I have been turned on to another art practice, it's called Bible Art Journaling, it's a way to combine art with the Bible. There are many groups on FaceBook, Pinterest, YouTube and the such with wonderful artists displaying their journaling Bibles. I finally jumped in and purchased 2 notetakers Bibles, these have wide blank margins on the side of each page where you can write notes, or create art to illustrate (or illuminate) a particular scripture or chapter.

This is the first one I have done, I bought 2 Bibles because I wanted to give one to a good friend of mine, who is also an artist and LOVES to write in her Bibles, I have seen some of her Bibles that have more ink that she added than the original text, and that is a good thing, that means she is really involved in her walk with the Lord.

I did this lion, it illuminates the scripture Proverbs 28:1b ...but the righteous are bold as a lion.

This is what I put in the front of the Bible, I searched for an appropriate quote to express my feelings to my friend, I am happy with this. The flowers I learned how to do from a very talented artist Michelle Hotchkiss, you can see the video tutorial she did below.

Wood Post Painting Finished

Here it is, my wooden fence post is complete, I did finish it the day I said I would, but haven't had the chance to post anything about it lately, been working some crazy hours, not complaining, I love my job (merchandising), I do get to drive all over some beautiful country and this spring, the wildflowers were gorgeous, I stopped more than once to grab a photo of a flower, fence post or sunset.

Here is the finished painting, I added the rusty wire and tweaked it here and there. This picture is now some 500 miles east of here in my mother-in-law's house, she plans on framing it and hanging it on the wall, quite a compliment, she is a wonderful artist in her own right.

Sorry for the copyright stuff, but unfortunately there are those few unscrupulous folk who take advantage....

I'm sure I'll be doing this painting again, it's turning into an old friend :) I will most likely omit the branches that hang down in the upper right, they are in the original photo, but I just don't like how they look in the painting. I am happier with how the wood post turned out, and the pine tree on the left, it looks more like the tree in the original photo.


Sunday, May 10, 2015

Wooden Post Landscape part deux WIP

I really enjoyed painting the first Wooden Post Landscape picture, but knew I wanted to do it again, I started last week, worked on it today (yesterday now) for about 2 hours each time, I am so happy with how this one is turning out, there is much more detail and more accuracy in this one, I love painting and drawing wood, the post is much more like the real post out in my yard, especially the old nail holes. One thing I did differently than the original photo is I made the mountains more prominent, they almost vanish in the background, so I made them stand up a bit higher.

Of course right now this is a WIP, not finished yet, I hope to get it done after church tomorrow, I need to work on the closer dark branches on the right, and I need to add the old, curled, rusty fence wire. I must study how the wire moves away on the right side to make the perspective look right.

I created this using Fluid Watercolor block paper, hot press finish, 9x12, so far I have painted with Derwent Inktense Blocks, I'll use Derwent Inktense Pencils to do the wire fence.

Another thing I've started, well actually I'm waiting for 2 note takers Bibles to arrive, I am going to start Bible art journaling, I am very excited to do this, I hope the Bibles show up this next week, though I doubt I'll have time to start anything because it's going to be a very busy week at work, perhaps by the following weekend I can start... I'll post more about this as things start to happen. :)

Sunday, April 26, 2015

Wooden post landscape

My muse struck again, this time I decided to paint from one of my photos of the property.

This is the view looking toward the west, the wooden post came from a friend's house, the rusted wire came from a local ranch that was replacing their fencing, we got a few rolls of that wire. Lots of history in the post and wire.

I did this on Fluid Watercolor Blocks, 130 lb, 9x13, I used Derwent Inktense blocks and pencils to paint the picture, I started it about a week ago and put the finishing touches on it today. This is the first time I've used watercolor block paper, it's watercolor paper that is glued down on 2 (or more) sides so you can wet the paper without fear of buckling or warping, I really like it. This is the cold pressed paper, I just ordered the same brand and type but in a hot pressed form, I can't wait to try that.

I plan on painting from the reference photo again, maybe several times, I really like this view, and I need to polish up my trees, they look just fine here, but MY trees are more rounded (more cedar like-less fir like), I also want to improve the mountains in the background and the sky, basically everything, I'm very happy with the wooden post and the rusted wire.

I am giving this to a friend for her birthday, she saw it last week before it was fully completed, she liked it. I'm pretty happy with it too :) This is the first full page landscape painting I have done in quite a number of years, I'm thinking the last time I painted anything like this was over 30 years ago, I'm happy to get back into the swing of painting.

Thursday, April 16, 2015

Western Scrub Jay in Derwent Inktense

I am following a wonderful artist Rebekah R Jones, she does art journaling in Bibles, this intrigues me very much, I added more links to Rebekah at the bottom of the page.

This is my second attempt at art journaling in a book, I will eventually start working in a Bible, but want to get better (and more confident) before I start working in my Bible.

Here is my first attempt, I had to find a book I was willing to practice in, fortunately we have a plethora of books around here :) I also went to our local library and local used bookstore recently and found a Bible and another book that lays flat quite nicely. This picture was done in watercolor and ink.

Here is the painting I did today, it was done using Derwent Inktense blocks and pencils, the idea was to make it transparent enough to still be able to read the text below, the picture above I got a bit heavy with the brown on the roof, I am a lot more satisfied with the picture from today, I worked in thin transparent layers, building up each layer until I was happy with the amount of color. You can tell I am happy with this one because I signed it :)

I joined a free site called Paint My Photo, it's a place where very fine photographers upload their photos specifically for artists to use as reference, I have been uploading pictures of my local area, landscapes, animals, flowers and such. This is my first painting done from a photo there.

Rebekah R Jones blog, FaceBook, YouTube, Pinterest.

Saturday, March 28, 2015

CRE8365 Day who knows :)

I have gotten so far behind on my "daily" creations, I have no hope of catching up, I have done quite a few that I haven't posted here, so I'll go ahead and post the ones I have done, no more counting them though, I'll create and post, KISS (keep it simple stupid) is my motto now :)

digital art girl

digital art uppity groundhog

photo art view from my yard

digital art armadillo

digital art baby

naughty bears

line art sketch-windy day in the garden

windy day colored with colored pencils

quick pencil sketch of cacti

digital art psycho rabbit

a snapshot of a snowy icy drive

Saturday, January 31, 2015

CRE8365 Day 31 - One Daisy

Today was a conflicted day for me, it's been cloudy, overcast and rainy, we NEED this moisture, no doubt about that, but all these overcast days are not so good for my solar system (we are 100% solar powered), today it was foggy all day, which is normally a cool thing, it makes everything look mysterious. But because we aren't getting much sun, I have had to curtail my internet usage quite a bit, now THAT bums me out, I've just been doing the minimum I could on my computer and internet has been a challenge.

I have had to remind myself about the good things about living the way we do, this simple life, we have food, we have great friends and neighbors, we are healthy, we have shelter, my walk with my Lord is stronger than ever, so who am I to complain?

Today, I went through all of my photos and found a simple daisy, white petals with a yellow center, it reminded me that spring is coming, dreary winter will soon be over, and life is good.

I did this using Autodesk SketchBook Pro mobile, and finished it in Photoshop.

On a happier note, I have completed the month of January and received this button

CRE8365 day 30 - another Scrub Jay in Inktense

This wasn't what I had planned on doing today, certainly wasn't what I was going to do for my daily picture, but a couple of friends came for a visit today, one of them I hadn't seen since before Christmas and had meant to give him one of my bird Christmas cards. Unfortunately I had already given all of them away, I DID have enough, but once people saw them, they started asking for them, how could I say no to that? LOL

Anyhoo, I whipped out my watercolor paper and my  Derwent Inktense pencils and  Derwent Inktense blocks and did this image, I think it's about the 3rd time I've done this same bird, but that's OK, it's one I'm familiar with and I needed to get it done before he left.  

 I think he liked it, I considered doing an Acorn Woodpecker, but I was told he doesn't like them because they peck on his house :)

Friday, January 30, 2015

CRE8365 day 29 - Jack Rabbit

Day 2 of playing around with Autodesk SketchBook, I was planning on doing another big headed critter, I looked for reference pictures of jack rabbits, a critter we have a plethora of out here, well the big headed part didn't happen, maybe next time it will. Our jack rabbits are pretty big, but thin for their size, their legs are long, especially the rear legs, and they have very long ears that you can almost see through they are so paper thin, that's how they dissipate heat in the summer. They are skittish animals, I love seeing them, except when I am driving, they run zig zag in front of your car, and just when you think they have finally left the road, they race back in front of you to do it all over again.

I looked at several different reference photos to get the jack rabbit and prickly pear cactus just right, I am pretty happy with this one, one detail you might notice is the grass in front of the cactus is called Texas Grama . I did have to finish it in Photoshop to bump up the color saturation and contrast. Use your right-click to view full size.

Thursday, January 29, 2015

CRE8365 day 28 - Big Headed Acorn Woodpecker

In keeping with yesterday's theme of big headed birds, I decided to try my hand at rendering a big headed Acorn Woodpecker, this one was done on a different program, I decided to go ahead and get an app called Autodesk SketchBook, there is a free version, but I went ahead and purchased the Pro version, at just under $5.00 I felt like it was worth it to have all the extra features.

I played around with the different brushes for a bit, then got down to business with this image. Some of you might recognize this from the Christmas cards I did, I used the reference photo of the Acorn Woodpecker and made it's head (eyes and beak) really big in proportion to the rest of it. I also added in a bit of a background with Scrub Oak tree leaves.

I am blown away by the new tools I have at my fingertips, the layers, the blending, the ability to turn the image and zoom in so much on my tablet.

Here is the picture:

I had someone ask me on FaceBook if I was digitally editing existing pictures, meaning opening an existing picture and applying filters and such to get a painterly look, and to that question, my answer is no, all of my images here are completely created from scratch, whether on paper or digital, everything from the initial sketch to the finishing touches are all mine, I may use a reference photo, but that photo is on my laptop, and I am drawing on paper or on my tablet. I am flattered that someone thought my picture was good enough that I edited an existing photo, but no, it's all me :)

Wednesday, January 28, 2015

CRE8365 day 27 - Cardinal rule

I have had a lot of fun playing with bird images, drawing and painting them, I have worked hard to try to get them looking real, today I wanted to play, one of the way we as humans learn is to emulate what another does, notice I didn't say "copy", but emulate, just ask any toddler and they will tell you :)

I was scrolling through Pinterest and one of the images jumped out at me, this artist (an artist duo) created some paintings/illustrations that are realistic with a big dash of surrealism tossed in for fun. The image I saw was a zebra finch with an almost ludicrously large head, eyes, and beak.

I had an image of a cardinal bird that I had been wanting to paint, so I took this artists' style and applied it to the cardinal and this is what came out. No one would mistake my rendering for something these artists may have done, but it certainly stretched my horizons.

My image was created using Sketch Guru and finished in Photoshop.

You can see the image that inspired me to take this journey and see more from this pair of artists here:

Tuesday, January 27, 2015

CRE8365 day 26 - Digital Koi

My submission for the day is a Koi fish done in Sketch Guru, then I popped it into Photoshop to adjust the color saturation and contrast. I have noticed that the work I do on my tablet looks richly colored, but once I move it to my laptop, it seems to lose color and contrast, I'm not sure which one is giving me a true representation...

A few years back I drew a koi in a pond with lily pads, this was inspired by another artist's painting. I wanted to do something somewhat serious in a less than serious medium, Crayola Crayons, what is less serious than crayons?

Monday, January 26, 2015

CRE8365 day 25 - Closeup detail of Wandering Jew blossom

I am pretty happy with this one, it's a drawing/painting of a blossom from the Wandering Jew plant in our window. I created this using Sketch Guru and finished it in Photoshop.

This took me 3-4 hours though it didn't seem like it was that long. I feel like I'm getting a handle on Sketch Guru, it's a fairly simple app, but it has lots of potential. I pretty much only use 2 of the brushes available in the app, the line and spray. The only thing I wish that program had was a way to blend or blur, but so far I've been able to work around that limitation.

Saturday, January 24, 2015

CRE8365 day 24 - Rojo the parrot

I drew this image using an app called "Draw and Paint Pad", it's for Android based systems. This is the first thing I've done with this program, I am not as comfortable with it as I am Sketch Guru, but I suspect that will change as I work with it more.

After several starts and stops, I decided to draw a parrot that has been in my family since I was an early teen, she is a Red Headed Amazon parrot, aka Mexican Red Headed parrot. I did this from memory, and in reality she doesn't have that huge blue spot on her cheek, but there is a small bit of blue, you have to be really close to see it. And under the red feathers on her head, it's bright yellow, but you'd never see it unless she allowed you to scratch her head. Mostly though, you see the green body and the red head. I do have the beak a little larger than it really is, I suspect that is a subconscious reaction to being bitten by that beak a few times :)

Friday, January 23, 2015

CRE8365 day 23 - Silly Penguin video tutorial

After uploading the Silly Penguin image to CRE8365, I was asked by Pixelista if there were any tutorials for Sketch Guru, I looked and couldn't find any that suited me, so I dug out my gear and made my own video tutorial. I had hoped to make it short, but it ended up being a half hour long, so I uploaded that one to YouTube, then created another version as a speedpaint tutorial, that one is much shorter, so people can watch either or both.

Here is the real time version

Here is the speedpaint version at 2.5X

CRE8365 Day 22 - Snowy Photographs

Our weather has been so crazy, going from days and weeks of gray, ice fog to shirtsleeve near 70 degrees F, today (technically yesterday now) it snowed several inches of fluffy white snow.

I grabbed my camera and snapped a few pictures, these are my favorite 2 of the whole bunch, no Photoshop editing, it is what you see.

The first one is one of our wood piles, I thought the grain of the wood looked quite pretty, especially against the snow, one log looks like a heart.

The second one is the Sky Castle, it always looks like a fairytale in its blanket of snow.

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

CRE8365 day 21 - Photographs

I decided to play with some photography today, I have 2 photos, the first is a chair done in the fairy furniture style, it's about 4 inches tall, I made this chair a few years ago, it now sits on a shelf over my bed.

The second image, I snapped a couple of days ago, we had been having days and weeks of gray, gloomy, icy days, the sun finally came out and it warmed up, I went outside to snap a few pictures, when I got back inside, I realized I had snapped some 270 pictures! Oh well, I was inspired everywhere I walked.

I particularly liked this one, the warm colored post in the background and the cool colored, gray, weathered stump in the foreground. I popped in into Photoshop and tweaked the image ever so slightly just to enhance the colors.