Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Trying a Watercolor Portrait

A couple weeks ago, Nancy and I met with a friend to sketch him. He is a very good model. He sat very still. I did three attempts. In the first attempt I liked the the eyes and the beard, in the second, I liked the hair, and in the third I thought I came closest to capturing his likeness. I tried three times to upload the pencil sketches, but each time they just showed up as a blur.

Today I tried sketching a composite of the three in my foreign language repurposed sketch book and used watercolor to finish it.

I don't love it, but I think it is not all bad. I think I want to try more portraits with watercolor, but make by colors more varying in tone. I think when it dries I need to add a bit more beard and inside ear to clarify. Do you think I should work at it with a fine line black pen? or leave it alone?

I've been glued to the tv watching tennis and was thrilled both when Ana beat Serena and when Radwanska beat Azarenka. So looking forward to watching the Li Na/Eugenie Bouchard match and then the Cibulkova/Radwanska match. From here it looks like it is anybody's trophy to win.

What have you been up to? 


Friday, January 17, 2014

Loose watercolor

I tried really hard to keep these loose by holding the brush quite far down the handle. As you can see this worked for looseness, but not for control.

I actually quite like the pitcher and overall like the heron, except the beak area is way too wide. Maybe I can work on him with a fine black pen. Or then again, maybe this is a good practice piece and when I try this again, I will use a smaller brush for the beak.

I woke up feeling a bit under the weather this morning, so even though I was planning to go to the life drawing class, I decided to stay home with tea and an afghan. I am planning to go next Friday and will share with you then.

We are getting more snow and very cold temps again. I am dreaming of Florida and the roar of the surf with temps in the 50s and 60s.....


Monday, January 13, 2014

A Bit More Watercolor

I joined the YMCA late last week, but have only been there twice so far. The first time I got an orientation on the weight training equipment and the second time I worked out in an aqua aerobics class. The hubster is in town running errands this morning including getting new tires on the car, so I will not be going to the class I was thinking of today, but I am planning to go to the Y when he returns. If there is a class I'd like to try, I will do that. If not, I will do the weight training circuit. My right knee, the one I call my trick knee, has been bothering me since I began running/walking on the treadmill, so I am babying it with ice and a support. I am hoping it will calm down soon. Yesterday I woke up with the most awful pain in my left jaw. I have struggled with TMJ most of my adult life, but haven't had an incident since I retired from teaching. It is thought that stress plays a role in it. Today it is feeling pretty good, so I have returned to a chewing diet and am counting points with the Weight Watchers app.

I spent a bit of time the last couple days playing again in the foreign language book that has become my go to spot for an art fix. I first applied clear gesso and let it dry before using watercolor. The titmouse looked really awful until I gave it a bit of fine tuning with the black fine liner. Now I don't think he looks too bad.

The vase needs some work. I think I will put a bit of design on it with either a black fine liner or a white one. I think it also needs a shadow and/or a table to ground it. What do you think?

When I took my hiatus from blogging, I also quit following so many of you, but have misplaced some of your blog addresses. It would be nice if you would check in here so that if I've lost you (or never found you in the first place), I could start reading you again.


Wednesday, January 8, 2014


I have a serious fondness for birds of all kinds and am particularly fond of barnyard fowl. I tried my hand at a fowl in the last post, but never was happy with it even after playing with it for some time. Today I decided to play in one of the books that I like to do art in and chose to try an Australian rooster who is very blue. I'm not sure his head is the right size for his body, but overall, I rather like him.

I wanted to scan it, but my new Canon MX922 printer that I purchased so I could print from my iPad won't cooperate. So for now I have to take a photo to share. It is difficult to get the whites in the background to appear even.

I have, however, so far done some kind of art each day in 2014 and hope I can continue to do so.

On another note, I walked 3 miles on the treadmill and then followed it up with a weight training routine that I used to do with the personal trainer class that has been cancelled. Tomorrow I am planning to drive into town and join the Y. They have lots of classes and a very nice facility for weight training, swimming, and walking. I may even find some people who will teach me how to play pickleball. 

I hope you are finding time for your creative side these cold and snowy days......


Saturday, January 4, 2014

Art with the Oldest Granddaughter

I have my beautiful red-headed granddaughter spending the day with me and we are in the art room playing. I thought you might like to see our works in progress. Miss P is working on a vase of flowers.

I am working on a rooster. He needs more work - his eye especially. And as you can see, I dabbed with tissue one too many times to remove excess water. Once it is completely dry I will try to fix that and add more color and perhaps some ground and a shadow.

What are you up to today? We are under a winter storm warning and expecting 6 to 10 inches of snow by Monday morning. The worse thing is the high on Monday is expected to be below zero with really frigid wind chills.

Stay warm and keep making art.......


Friday, January 3, 2014

Happy New Year

And so it is 2014; another year has flown past.

My wrist is completely healed except for some nerve pain that can be quite distracting, but overall I am in very good health. I've made the usual "get in better shape" resolution and already have 5 one hour walks on the treadmill under my belt. My more important resolution is to do some kind of art everyday.

Here is my first attempt. I spent three days on it and am ready to move on to the next endeavor. After such a long absence from my blog, I feel like a beginner again. I hope that if you are still reading you will offer me some advice and/or honest feedback on my artistic attempts.

I haven't made a commitment to how many days to blog this year, but am hoping to find time to post at least once a week - perhaps more.

I did the bouquet first with watercolor and then added the vase. When I thought it was done, I went in with some Brushables to add some dimension.