Saturday, February 27, 2016

A Daffy Design

It all started with a vase of daffodils. 

I was sketching with the ladies at the Yocum Institute for the Arts during the Thursday afternoon open studio. I decided to practice lettering in my marker journal. I used an old poem "Daffodowndilly has come to town, in a yellow petticoat and a green gown." 

Well that didn't take very long. so I got out a sheet of watercolor paper and my new Neocolor II Water Soluble Wax Pastels. (See description below.)

I had fun with the Neocolor IIs, added some text, and glued it into my journal. Not the end of the story!

Two days later, as I was talking on the phone, I started to doodle some more daffodils. Later, I got out a sketchbook and continued the daffy fun.

Daffodils are quite complicated. I wanted to break them down into very simple lines. Here are two pages of pencil sketches. Next, I completed a page of Daffodil Doodles in my mixed media journal using a black Zig writer.

From which I made a transfer using tracing paper. I traced the daffy design onto a sheet of watercolor paper. I went over the lines with a black Zig writer. On this practice page, I tried out colors and a background using the Neocolor IIs. The ink lines looked a little dull after the colors were added so I tried to darker them with the Zig writer. I learned that the Zig writer would not write over the Neocolor IIs even after I let them dry thoroughly! I used the Pentel Pocket Brush Pen to darken the lines.

I studied the practice sheet and thought about what I liked best and what I would change. Then it was on to the next sheet of watercolor paper! 

This is the final page for today but probably not the last of the daffodil designs! I'm also thinking pansies, crocus, tulips .... I'm in a spring flower mood!

Monday, February 22, 2016

Doffing their Caps"

A short walk to the pussy willows to get a branch to sketch. Used the Pentel Pocket Brush (See description below.) on a pre-painted page in the journal. (A page on which I used up the last bit of acrylic paint left over from another project. I believe the purple is a blotch where I wiped off a stencil.)

I finished the sketch with a Posca White Pen and a grey Pitt pen. Around the edge it says: February 22, 2016 SBS "tiny adventure" Dusk, fading sunlight, Robins hunting in the grass, pussy willows are "doffing their caps" (losing their bud scales) "doff" do off "don" do on (opposites).

Monday, February 15, 2016

News from the mushroom - stencil

News from the Mushroom - hand-made stencil

Materials: I did not have a roll of acetate on hand but I did save the acetate sheets that some stickers came on, so I used those to make the stencils. I used a Styrofoam meat tray as a cutting board. And I did not have an X-acto knife, so I used the flat blade on my Speedball lino cutter.

First, I sketched out some mushroom shapes in my journal. Then it was time to trace the patterns on the acetate. It was hard finding something that marked on the plastic. After several experiments, I found this silver Sharpie worked well.

For this big mushroom with the little one attached, I made two separate stencils.

I carefully cut out the shapes with the Speedball lino cutter using the old Styrofoam tray as the cutting mat.

I used tape to hold the stencil in place. I inked the mushroom using a StazOn ink pad. This is a lovely orange one.

On the smaller mushroom, I used yellow ink first and then a bit of the orange to get a lighter stem and cap.

I repeated the process with the other two mushrooms using a light and a dark green ink pad.

For the background, I added just a touch of watercolor. 

Sunday, February 14, 2016

News from the Mushroom - stamp


"News from the Mushroom"

Hand-made stamp - Here's my process!

I used a Speedball lino cutter and a sheet of Speedball Speedy-Carve.

I sketched a group of mushrooms right on the Speedy-carve with a pencil.

I inked the sheet before cutting, it makes the process easier. I just opened the stamp pad and rubbed it right on the sheet and then wiped off the excess. I started with the wide blade and cut away the background. Afterwards, I used the smaller blades for finer details.

When I was happy with the stamp, I cut away the excess with scissors.

I used two colors of Memento Ink for my first stamping. 
One for the stems and one for the 'shroom tops.

I actually inked the stamp and put it right side up on the bird page to the right. Then I closed the page on the left over it. I rubbed the page really well with my fingers and the heel of my hand.

Voila! I think I will leave the extra marks. I like the texture.

I added the words with a store-bought letter stamp set. 

Saturday, February 13, 2016


I found these canvas stickers in my stash. They are from a clearance bin at ACMoore. Cheap-cheap.

I used a brown Zig pen to sketch in the flower details.

A close up of one of the flowers.

The flowers have been colored in with Premiere Design Markers by Nicole. They are ready to go into the journal.

I used the Zig pen to trace around the flowers to ground them to the page. I used a marker to color in the background and then made the loose border.

Pennsylvania Fishes

These Pennsylvania Fishes are ready to paint. The top fish (Quillback) was drawn with a Stablio All Black pencil that reacts to water and the bottom fish was drawn with a 4B pencil.

Here are the fish painted with some very old Terry Madden watercolors that my husband bought used on eBay. These are NOT their true colors!

This is my favorite part of the painting - the head of the Bullhead. I can see different layers so I think that it looks like the technique that I have been practicing - glazing.

One Fish, Two Fish

Drawing fun fish inspired by Felix Scheinberger. These are ready for some watercolors!

I am using some very old Terry Madden watercolors that my husband bought used on eBay.

These fish are an exercise in the process of watercolor glazing! Maybe I need more practice!

This is another fun fish. This one was a practice in doing a watercolor wash.

Thursday, February 4, 2016

Zentangle Wren

Another zentangle bird: The Wren. Tangling while watching t.v. Decided to try a "scribble background" for adding the information. Lots of fun to just scribble, scribble! The scribbles describe the legend of the wren who was thought to have betrayed the first Christian martyr,St. Stephen, so that he was caught and stoned to death for blasphemy against the Jewish temple. The wren is a clever bird in folklore who beat the eagle in the contest to be king of all the birds by hiding under the eagle's wing, and then, as the eagle tired, flew out and up to prove he could fly higher.  The Poet Waterford said of the wren "We were all day hunting the wren, We were all day hunting the wren, The wren so cute and cunning he stayed in the bush, While we were running."

Groundhog Day

"Is this current warm weather more than a trend? Perchance this winter has come to an end? There is no shadow to be cast, and early spring is my forecast!" Punxsutawney Phil, February 2, 2016