Gifts

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Working on a little birthday gift for my husband’s aunt. She is turning 80 in May. Hard to think about what kind of subject matter would be best…settled on Lily of the Valley as this is the official flower of May. Difficult little buggers to get right! Fun to work on though.

Also messing around with oil bar paint on found beach wood. Thinking of moving on to shells, or back to the birds. Vacation week is coming to a close.

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Repurposed

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This new expressive line technique seems so perfect for reinterpreting some of my past sketches. It’s difficult for me to draw the same thing again…even though I feel like that is probably a good approach for refining work. But, I tend not to want to do it. I stumbled onto this idea while looking for a way to “try” out the line technique and have discovered a way to explore the previous sketch in a new way.

I liked the way this turned out, I might try a few more in different color combinations and on different paper stocks. This linen type paper seems to work very well, gives some nice “bleeding” effects.

Spirograph Break

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I have been doing spirographs in EVERYTHING! Time to maybe take a break. They don’t work everywhere. Now that I am getting the hang of them (the spirographs) I need to be more judicious with their use. I tried to do another Cala Lily, but it feel short of my expectations, so I moved on to Darwin’s Orchid. I love the shape of this orchid. Memories of Kauai and the botanical garden.

Cala Lily Blues No. 3

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I wonder if I have another one of these in me! I am going to try and do two more…a series of 5. Then, I will step back and analyze them and maybe do a couple over. I like using the casein in combination of controlled dots and spatter. I think I will explore how to integrate those better. More controlled “dots”. This piece started with an ink color wash…gives it a different look and thinner ground. I haven’t decided whether to try that again or not.

Cala Lily Blues No. 2

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I was thinking I would do a few orchids, but I have gotten side tracked with the Cala Lily. I think I like the shapes better. The reference photo that I used for this was not super great, but the shapes were all there. I did a pre-painting sketch…something I rarely do these days. I think it’s a good idea. Gets your hand moving and you can think about where you really want things. In the final piece I notice now that I didn’t listen to all my sketch comments! I do think I might add some yellow spatter to the lower right area…maybe even a little yellow spatter onto the petal. I wanted the light to travel around from the top left to lower right…I might have to do this one again.

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After the Challenge

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Well, I was able to do 13 or 14 paintings of the 30 paintings in 30 days challenge. I knew it would be near impossible to get one done everyday. But, I still feel good about it–the challenge kept me motivated and I did more work than I would have done if the challenge hadn’t been there for me.

I had a very nice time in Kauai and captured (by photo) a lot of flowers for future inspiration. I am going to stick with the spirographs for a little while. I like them peeking though the background into the foreground. And, I like the yellow! I think sticking with yellow as well as the spirograph give the work some consistency. The addition of the yellow ochre warms things up a bit, I like that. I am going to concentrate on the flowers for a little while.

Sketchbook Skool is back in session. I am having some difficulty keeping up. I still need to work on two homework assignments: A little illustrated accordion style book about myself and an infographic!┬áTraveling always makes a class difficult–but in addition to that the week we returned home my father in-law passed away. A very sad time for our family.

Day 28

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Plumeria are not only beautiful, they smell delicious. The simple shapes are deceivingly difficult to capture. I love the smallest little veins in the petals that go in all directions defining the petal. The variation in these flowers is so nice. A simple shape that says Aloha.

I was going to do the hibiscus, but somehow the plumeria called me away.

Day Twenty Six

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It’s easy to get distracted when you are in Hawaii. Not as much drawing and painting going on, but lots of sight seeing and enjoying the weather. I have decided not to be too hard on myself and just take it easy…so we will see how many more of these little paintings I get done.

Morning walks have been great, there is beauty everywhere you look. The Bird of Paradise flowers and in full bloom, nice to see. Still working on my hibiscus!

Like Butter!

quick study: R&F paint sticks on paper

quick study: R&F paint sticks on paper

So, the quick small study reveals that R&F oil paint sticks are super buttery! Which, in some cases will be exactly what I want. It makes them more difficult to work with on a small scale. The next experiment will be on a larger scale…maybe 9x12ish. I need a broader range of colors in these paints–and I probably should do a little color mixing with them to see what colors I can make. These paints will work very nice using a brush I think.

Next up to try will be the Windsor Newton Oil bars!

Oil Paint Sticks

Playing around with oil paint sticks

Playing around with oil paint sticks

Loving the oil paint sticks! I got a starter/student set of Shiva oil paint sticks to try while on vacation. The color selection is a little primary…but that is good to learn with. I also got a set of mini iridescent oil sticks–they are very nice colors and not too metallic.

Working on paper is actually very nice with this medium and it dries pretty much overnight. Dry enough to close my journal anyway. I love the fact that the sticks are kind of chubby, so it forces me to stay loose. I have gone into little spaces with a brush as well. The Shiva product is not as buttery as the R&F that I was using at home. I like the quality of the Shiva for paper…I think that the R&F will be better for canvas.

Study 4x6 for painting. The tail is too big!

Study 4×6 for painting. The tail is too big!

Playing around with some small studies–working on a larger painting from the small study. Interesting feeling going from paper to canvas.

Beginning of larger painting with oil paint sticks on canvas.

Beginning of larger painting with oil paint sticks on canvas.