Wednesday, June 29, 2016

Watercolor Wednesday - Day(after) Lily

7 1/" x 6 1/2"
Watercolor sketchbook - Day(After)Lily

The daylily is "Little Business"
I will paint the day before version, it was gorgeous.  I was getting ready to this morning when I thought this looked interesting.

Here's the sketch -

This was fun, sketching and painting "en plein kitchen" en nice cool a/c!
#worldwatercolormonth kickoff

Wednesday, June 22, 2016


Tube Paste
Discontinued, so half off Texas Art Supply's already discounted prices
Odd size, but easy to work with in the pad format and then cut down afterwards 
Kicked myself all the way home to Texas my first visit to Australia when I didn't get this
- made a beeline back to Bondi Art Supply the day I arrived and grabbed it
Got the gum arabic, the paper and the pigment.  All set for play time!

June Moon

"Spaced Out"
Space was the theme of the June ScribeDelivery Box.   How perfect is that for this Houston girl?  Check out that Space Shuttle notebook!

(Note:  I do not get any special compensation from them, I just want to pass along an opportunity to support a US/Texas-based company of two people with a great idea.)  

We all know the curated monthly box subscriptions are all the rage now -- Paper Pumpkin from Stampin' Up, Art Box, Art Snacks, even dinner.  It reminds me of the National Handcraft Society Craft of the Month Club from the 70's - of which I still have some of the things I made from their small book-sized mailing box.  They were very creative. My Mom belonged, but I would open the box and make the projects.  They were just sitting there.  Remember twice a day mail delivery?!
Who doesn't like getting neat things in the mail and a surprise you know you will like, too!

I've been a Scribe subscriber (haha!) for the past four months and I have to say each one gets even better.  If you like paper products, pens, should give them a try.  Also if you like to draw or are an artist you will be very happy with them.   The items they include are perfect and often you can't find them in the stores.  Hello blacklight Gelly Roll pen!  The items encourage portable creativity, too.  I can just slip one of the pads and pens/pencils in my purse and be ready for any unexpected artistic sketching opportunity or to jot down thoughts for life in general or a book.  I've always found that if you have cool tools, you tend to want to use and find ways to use them more.

Check out their website and sign up for the next box opening.  They only get limited amounts of the goodies and often only have a few openings available.

Monday, June 20, 2016

Netflix Stars - Brooklyn -- The book must be/has to be better than the movie!

2 stars - Not a good sign when you stop the movie three times to take cell phone calls and text a friend.  Very slowly paced, I kept waiting for me to get hooked into it because of all the "You are going to love this movie" from my friends.  The best part of the movie was the ending.  No, not because it was over, but for the lines. Definitely a sign to read the book first.  On the positive, I did not know the Catholic Church sponsored the Irish to come to America, particularly Brooklyn.  And the costuming was well done.  I will try reading the book to see if it fleshes out Saoirse Ronan's character beyond a far off stare and deepening the rest of the glossed-over characters.

Evidently someone else thought the same and pinned this on Pinterest --

Sunday, June 19, 2016

Sunday Sketching - New toys!

What is a field trip without stopping to get souvenirs?  Several of us from WAS-H (Watercolor Art Society Houston) visited local Houston galleries to see current exhibitions, and then to meet for lunch afterwards.  We finished our list early, several were closed probably being a Friday in the summer -- good idea to call ahead and see if they are open -- and we were very close to Art Supply on Main.  It's all good and well to use coupons at Michaels and Hobby Lobby, but even better to support local independent businesses.  You can often find better deals and better depth of products and services - and people who are artists.  Even those shopping in the store aisles beside you.

Anyways, I was able to find several "souvenirs" to play and review in my sketchbook. . .

First up - Derwent ArtBar watercolor crayons
I bought Baby Blue (A29), Gooseberry (A13) and Cool Gray (A45)

A bit disappointed in the Gooseberry, I thought it would be more vibrant like the Baby Blue and Cool Gray, which I just loved.

It also was more fragile, breaking apart into three pieces.  Due to the color?  I didn't drop it and it didn't feel broken when I selected it.

Three times a crayon...?!

All colors blended beautifully when used with a wet brush.  I also liked the effect directly adding color into wet paper.  A brush would further dissolve the pigment, but I thought it looked neat.

The triangle shape with three flat sides and three points was also versatile in laying swaths of color and fine sketching detail.  I am a little unsure of its physical strength with the Gooseberry literally falling apart as I held and used it.

I thought these blended better than the Caran d'Ache watercolor crayons I've previously tried.  Art Supply on Main sells these individually, not as a set.  Pick up a few and try them out.

The blue and the gray will be popped into my mobile sketch bag kit.  Color me impressed with those colors.

Neocolor II Water-soluble Metallic Rose

Someone gave me very good advice when presented with a wide variety of colors - choose what your eye goes to first, or go with primary colors to mix.  This pretty purple pink caught my eye immediately.   And metallic, how fun would that be to play with?

Turns out a wise choice on two parts.   The crayon easily put down a generous amount of color and you can see a definite metallic sheen (hard to capture in the photograph)

It dissolved and blended well from dry paper to wet paper.

I'm thinking of  picking up a few more of these in different colors for accents and special effects, particularly on toned paper.  The metallic shimmer is subtle, not gaudy.

Art Supply sells these individually also - grab a handful of the ones which appeal to you.

Thank you Pinterest! (Enabler)

I saw this Daniel Smith color on Pinterest, Duochrome Green Pearl - painted over white and black paper - gorgeous!!  Art Supply had it.
How beautiful is this?!

Can't wait to try this on toned or black paper either!

Like Tailor's Chalk for artists only in graphite!
(And a yummy chocolate color!)

Oh I loved this ArtGraf Viarco water soluble graphite in Sepia in a square format!  So versatile.  I had seen the set of 6 earth tone colors on Amazon but heard the box it came in wasn't that great.  I thought I would try one, with its own individual case.   I love the color, I love how you can use it wet or dry, adding water afterwards or before, and using directly from the block with a wet paintbrush.  This is also going into my grab & go sketching bag.  I may also go and grab some additional colors. 

I had played with this version in class a few months ago and immediately bought on Amazon, but didn't have a chance to play at home until this weekend. . .

This was all one swipe from the tin!
I loved the intensity and the granulation from this graphite tin.   As you can tell, a little goes a long, long, long way.  You can even mix it with water using the inside of the cap.  

I do a lot of traveling, particularly flying as of late, and admit I am little cautious carrying semi-solids/liquid paints/pigments in a palette.  I like these solid forms of graphite for portability, creative innovation and great colors.

One of my watercolor instructors said she always likes to look for and use browns and turquoises in pens and paints.  They can add a richness and yet an understatedness to make your artwork sing.

I spy a spider lily

Our spider lily started blooming a few days ago. . .

Saturday, June 18, 2016

Netflix Stars - Big Eyes

3.5 stars, though I gave it 4 on my Netflix just so I might be able to be directed to other art based on true events DVDs.  An interesting behind-the-scenes disclosure of the iconic Big Eye art from the early 60's I remember seeing as the background of my childhood.  Honestly, I felt they were creepy then and now.  And so is Christophe Waltz, whom I'm afraid is getting typecast into these type of roles.  Absolutely no chemistry between him and Amy Adams.  Though I did think Amy Adams nailed her role.  It was an easy indoor entertainment to beat the heat outside.  If it is in your queue or in your stack of at home DVDs, pop it in and enjoy seeing the big picture.

Friday, June 17, 2016

Lady Liberty

Going through my portfolio, I found this Statue of Liberty watercolor sketch/first draft.  It's approximately 8 1/2" x 4"   I thought today might be a nice day to post it, the anniversary of when she first arrived in New York Harbor, June 17, 1885

Thursday, June 16, 2016

Thursday Tea Time - Lifetime Tea Time

Big Tea Bag!

"My goodness, that's a big bag of tea!" said hubby at Costco.  Definitely eye catching in color and price - $9.97  And size - Costco-sized one POUND bag!  (Item #1011004)

I had never heard of nor seen Tiesta Tea before.  But the cool name - Fireberry, flavor combination and the fact it was caffeine free and immunity building helped make the decision to toss it into the cart.

Bright Life Jacket Yellow
 -it's big enough  could also be used as a flotation device!

Ingredients:  Hibiscus, elderberries, currant, rooibos, sweet blackberry leaves, candied cranberries, rosehip, rose petals and natural flavors.

I brewed it for just a little under 5 minutes and added a teaspoon of honey.
Good honey, too!

Another, whoops! Take the picture before drinking it all!
It turned into a beautiful color and was actually quite good.   I will definitely try it iced.

Wednesday, June 15, 2016

Get the pink out

It has been so warm, my recent Pink Promise rose bloom has but a mere trace of pink along petal edges and took on more yellow cream tones.
The only promise we have of cooler weather will be the calendar in about four months. . .

The Ol' Collage Try

Fun to try experience,  I like how the hearts turned out and may use them in other ways or add to them.  Is it my thing?  Hmmm, probably not.  (There were others in the class who took the pieces and glue, and did amazing work.)  I did learn about Yes! paste - new toys and tools are always good to add to my collection.  And of course, the experience of having a great time in class with my fellow art peeps.

Let Eco My Heart
5 3/4" x 5 1/4"

Tent Green
5" x 4 1/2"

Grounded Upwards
8" x 5 1/2"

Friday, June 10, 2016

Pink rain lilies have returned!

My bright pink rain lilies have reappeared from all the rain Houston has had the past few weeks.  The front white and pink bi-color ones are in full bloom, but I haven't seen the solid pink ones in my side garden in over a year.

Hello, Gorgeous!
 Also impressive!


Wednesday, June 08, 2016

First Fig

Celeste fig plucked and rescued from the birdies
Finished ripening inside - delicious!!

Who turned on the light?

Last class until the fall, we were practicing turning on the light without having to resort to a surrounding dark value.   I'm getting over my fear of shadows and trying to be more loose.  I also like the brass and glass picture frame reflections.  A fun classwork project!

7 1/4" x 8"

Sunday, June 05, 2016

Sunday Sketching - Package

Just a quick sketch I did of a kangaroo on a package I was mailing of Australian goodies to a friend.  I like decorating and sometimes even telling a story or writing a letter on the outside of my boxes.   I used a black Schneider Xpress 0.8 mm pen

Thursday, June 02, 2016

Thursday Tea Time - Is it Breakfast time?

15 hours is a big time difference to adjust/readjust to, whether you are in Australia or back home in Texas.  T2's English Breakfast tea and the Fresh Ground Cafe helped me start my day in Australia (and all the different hot chocolates they made for my husband)

That little teapot kept the tea hot!

This was on our last morning - I think the barista is going to miss hubby!

...despite my waking up at 3:30 AM hungry, knowing they opened at 7 AM helped along with the peanut butter Fiber One Protein Bars I stashed in my suitcase...and upon my return needing caffeination to start and keep the day going.  I found and brought back these two boxes of Bushells tea.

Gorgeous color!

Love teabag tags with a conversation or saying or question

Love the directions!
(and I brewed it for 3 minutes)

A combination of these two yummy teas kept me fueled and awake during the days of jet lag.
Both of them had a nice, bright and clean taste and finish.  I give them both a 10, share the brand, share a cuppa!