Day 22

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Hawaiian Dove. These are the sweetest birds, and they make the sweetest sounds. No matter which island you are on in Hawaii these sounds greet you in the morning (and if you are in Kauai as I am, they compete somewhat with the Roosters).

Not really happy with the results, but I am trying not to be too hard on myself as I am still on east coast mainland time. It’s 6:40 pm in Kauai, but at home it would be 11:40pm!

Hibiscus for tomorrow!

Day Eleven

Casein and graphite. 6" x 6"

Casein and graphite. 6″ x 6″

I hear that the manatee’s are making a comeback! They might go from endangered to threatened. After reading about them, I wanted to make a little painting. They are super fun to draw, all lumpy and super cute. I am trying to incorporate the spirograph designs as well. I haven’t figured out what to call what they add…but they add something that I like.

Hoping to be able to make a painting for day 12.

Spirograph Fun!

Pineapple Conure. 5" x 5"

Pineapple Conure. 5″ x 5″

Well, it’s day 3 of the painting challenge. So far I am doing good. Still time in the day for maybe one more painting (this way I can post that tomorrow, because tomorrow it’s back to the day job!). I bought a spirograph set just after Christmas and I have been eager to try it. They are mesmerizing and truly as the advertising states…endless hours of fun. They do however take some time to perfect.

I decided to pair up my painting and the fun with the spirograph. I think I might do some more of these. This is casein, ballpoint pen and graphite. The casein ground went down first, then the spirograph designs in green ballpoint pen and then a casein wash followed by casein to block in the bird. Graphite over top. I had forgotten how nice graphite works over the casein…it has just the right amount of “give”. #30paintingsin30days!

 

Cloudscape

Oil Paint Sticks on Paper

Oil Paint Sticks on Paper

Maybe I am on to a subject/theme with the oil paint sticks. I have never really been drawn to using clouds as a subject matter for painting…I think because I see a lot of them by other painters. However, it might be a good learning subject for me. They are difficult! But, they are also fun, open to interpretation and I have lots of photo resources in my personal library!

Not only will I learn a lot with the medium, I will have a bunch of pieces that look like they work together! I still don’t know how important that is, but the subject matter will make it happen anyway. I wonder how many of these I will actually do before I get distracted.

Great tip from my friend Susan Renee Lammers for adding color into the clouds…I am not sure I didn’t overdue it, but I feel good about the direction it took me!

A Sporadic Inktober

Watercolor and Ink

Watercolor and Ink

I am doing a miserable job of keeping up with #inktober. But, I am inspired to do as many ink drawings as I can. This year I am not feeling so bound by rules…so while ink is the main ingredient, I feel fine adding color with other mediums.

While I was in Frisco, NC I stopped in to the Indian Town Gallery and they were gearing up for their Tiny Art Fundraiser. I decided it would be fun to donate a piece of art for this. Everyone that participates gets a 5×5 canvas to paint on, at the show all works are $20 donated to a good cause. I am only sorry that I can’t be there for the show! Tiny Art Show

Sardine Surprise: Tiny Art Donation

Sardine Surprise: Tiny Art Donation

Feeling a little unsettled about subject matter right now. Not so much for sketching and experimenting, that comes pretty easy. But, I still feel a little overwhelmed by my goal of completing a body of work. I am not very disciplined…or maybe I am just easily distracted. Maybe I should make a list of what I want to paint, settle on a size for all, and just dig in to that. If I could get 2 oil bar paintings and two watercolor/ink pieces done I would be happy with that. That is two less than I hoped for.

Puffy Fish: ArtSnack materials

Puffy Fish: ArtSnack materials

Mermaids

Mostly Ink

Mostly Ink

Just being at the beach I am on a mermaid kick it seems. I will just let that ride its course I think. The good thing about working on something like mermaids is it helps me develop my imagination skills! In order to get the drawing or painting done I need to pull from different resources. And, they are fun!

I had plans to do ink drawings everyday for #inktober…that has not worked out. Just too much going on this month. So, to make up for it (kindof) I am just going to try and get a few ink drawings in.

Still working with the oil sticks. Mermaid in progress using the Windsor & Newton Oil Bars. This product seems to be the one, not to hard, not too soft, pretty perfect!

in progress: oil bar on canvas

in progress: oil bar on canvas

Painting and Sketching

Oil Paint Sticks: 6 x 9 on paper

Oil Paint Sticks: 6 x 9 on paper

More practice with oil paint sticks on paper. I am going to try and stay within 6″ x 9″ and 8″ x 10″ sizes on paper for now. This is a good size to work on to get a piece done within a reasonable time. I think this is a good way to get my technique refined before moving over to larger work. I did get some Shiva oil paint sticks that are not student grade, the color seems to be richer. They are “hard” but that seems to be working to my advantage right now.

Practicing Faces: inspired by Modigliani

Practicing Faces: inspired by Modigliani

My other goal right now is to improve my drawing skills for faces.  I have some pieces that I want do that involve things like mermaids and they need to have nice faces! So, I am sketching faces, mostly from expressionist and impressionist painters…I don’t want to get to tied tight with them.

Can’t stop experimenting!

Oil Pigment stick and encaustic on wood panel.

Oil Pigment stick and encaustic on wood panel.

I don’t remember where I saw these oil paint sticks…oh, yep I do, one showed up in my Pigment and Palette box awhile back. Just white, and I picked it up to use it on the urchin painting….and it worked great! Then I did a little research and they looked like a lot of fun. One thing led to another and before you know it I have a starter set of colors.

Well, they are fun, but boy are they messy! My first attempt was more mess than anything. After a little more research I became a little more disciplined and set up my space so that I could keep the mess to a minimum. I decided to try them with the encaustic this time. I really like how they work. I added the first layer with my fingers (protecting my skin with gloves) and then fused the layers and used a brush to apply the pigment after that (a tiny brush, as I was working small). This set came from R&F–they are very nice. R&F Pigment Sticks Website

I think I will try a larger painting next. The great thing about this medium is, no solvents needed, no concerns of fat over lean (like oil paint) and quicker drying time. Mixes well with oil paint as well.

Cone Flowers

Working the cone flower: watercolor pencil and blue fountain pen

Working the cone flower: watercolor pencil and blue fountain pen

I need more cone flowers in the garden! They are so wonderful, they draw in the bees, the butterflies, the moth’s all the pollinators seem to love them. After some research it seems that they come in some really nice colors too! My mother tells me that I have cone flowers that are native to Maine…the droopy kind. Next year I think I will add some new varieties. In the meantime, it’s nice to have these around for a little while.

Quick sketch: flower journal

Quick sketch: flower journal

Really enjoying sketching a little plein air! This is the most perfect time in Maine, and great for sitting outside with your art supplies. Nice temperatures, mostly not too hot, not too cold. It will be gone soon, so good to take advantage. I took a lot of photos of the butterfly and the cone flowers to use as reference for the winter months.