My Creative Resolution – Watercolor, Illustration, Print Pattern Design


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Yellow InkTober – Days 21-24

Lemon slices by Eileen McKenna #inktober #lemons #yellow
After using white ink on blue paper, I decided to try black on yellow for the next couple of sketches. It was especially fitting for the Day 21 prompt of “juicy,” and my lemon slices.

Running trail. InkTober sketch by Eileen McKenna
Day 22 – Trail. I found an inspiration photo on Instagram by photographer Codi Mathison.


Day 23 – Furious. I searched Instagram for #angrytoddler and found the funniest story about a little girl who ate the cheese between the Ritz cracker sandwiches, lined them up on the couch, and then was demanding more! 🤣


Day 24. I drew a quick sketch of Rick from the Walking Dead, inspired by the season premiere.

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I’ve added three new watercolor ocean paintings to my shop! Prints are available at shop.eileenmckenna.com. Take a look!

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Stop, don’t ruin it! There is always the next painting.

Watercolor painting by Eileen McKenna
Last week I was finishing up a painting and kept noticing what I’ll call weaknesses – areas I wanted to better capture. In an effort to improve the painting I kept tweaking it. In the end I overworked it and should have left it the way it was.

I’m learning that as you paint, especially the same subject, you find new areas that you want to improve on. At first, when I started focusing on painting the ocean, my goal was to capture the water – the waves, the shadows, the movement. As I got better at that, I focused on making the foam look more realistic. Then it was adding more interest to the sky. Not just painting a blue sky, but clouds, and light from one direction. I even did two paintings that the clouds are almost the focal point. Now my goal is to capture the way the light hits the water.

This sliding scale means that with each painting I may achieve a previous goal, but a new one is likely to reveal itself. With the last painting I should have quit while I was ahead. With this painting, I stopped myself. I did accomplish more than the last, and there is always the next painting.

Want a dose of creative inspiration? Sign up for my newsletter “My Creative Collection” by clicking here. Learn more here.

I’ve added three new watercolor ocean paintings to my shop! Prints are available at shop.eileenmckenna.com. Take a look!


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Flowers – Inktober Day 19-20

Roses with white gel pen #inktober
Day 20 – Roses. I decided to change things up and pulled out my white gel pen for these sketches. I should use it more. I like the look of it on a darker paper.

Zinnia by Eileen McKenna
Day 19 – Zinnia. I started this with a watercolor background – working from a photo I found in the U.K. Country Living magazine. Then I added the ink details and a more color.
Watercolor

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I’ve added three new watercolor ocean paintings to my shop! Prints are available at shop.eileenmckenna.com. Take a look!

This post contains affiliate links to products/brands I use and recommend. I earn a small commission whenever you buy using these links, at no additional cost to you. Thank you for supporting my blog!


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Surfer Dad and Son

Surfer dad and son watercolor and ink sketch by Eileen McKenna | #inktober

I really got into my InkTober sketch today. First I drew in pencil the father and son – from a photo I took last month.

Then I went over the pencil in ink and erased the pencil.

I added watercolor in the background.

Then I added the foam in the water using white gouache. I added some ink details to the water.

I added the shadows to the figures and then added the lighter areas. I’m really happy with it. I probably would never have tackled this photo especially in ink without the motivation of InkTober. I wish I knew who they were so I could send them a copy.

Inktober Day 18

I’ve added three new watercolor ocean paintings to my shop! Prints are available at shop.eileenmckenna.com. Take a look!


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InkTober 13-17

Seascape watercolor and ink illustration by Eileen McKenna #inktober
Day 13 – I found a page of little watercolor beach scenes I did a while back and added ink to them.
Seascape watercolor and ink illustration by Eileen McKenna #inktoberSeascape watercolor and ink illustration by Eileen McKenna #inktoberSeascape watercolor and ink illustration by Eileen McKenna #inktober

Day 14 – This sketch is from the cover of National Geographic and has been on my coffee table for weeks. Faces are not my strong point, so doing a face in ink, where you can’t erase and adjust, was risky.
Inktober sketch

Day 15 – A simple leaf I found on my run.
InkTober leaf

Day 16 & Day 17 – Flipping through my sketchbook I found a few watercolor illustrations that I added ink to. That’s me in blue. 😁

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Prints of my watercolor beach paintings are now for sale at shop.eileenmckenna.com. Take a peek!
The Blue Collection by Eileen McKenna | watercolor beach ocean landscapes available as limited edition giclee art prints


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Three New Ocean Watercolor Paintings

September was especially beautiful at the beach this year. It stayed warm much longer than usual. The surf was often very rough because of the hurricanes brewing far from shore. Here are three watercolors I painted from photos taken last month. And I took a ton more photos to last me through the winter!

These three September paintings are now available for sale as prints on watercolor paper or gallery wrapped canvas. Click here to visit my online shop.

West by Eileen McKenna | Watercolor seascape #coastalinteriors

West

September by Eileen McKenna | Watercolor seascape #coastalinteriors

September

Yellow Sky by Eileen McKenna | Watercolor seascape #coastalinteriors

Yellow Sky

All of the prints in my shop are available on watercolor paper or gallery wrapped canvas!
Click here to visit my online shop.
Blue Wave #11 Canvas Print by Eileen McKenna | Watercolor seascapes #coastalinteriors


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InkTober days 9-12

InkToberAfter a few days spent in the car visiting colleges, this is what I came home and drew. The way there on Sunday was nice with lots of pretty fall foliage. The way home pouring rain. 😦

Easy Forest Watercolor Painting for Beginners
I’m cheating a bit, using this extra painting with ink from last week. Forgive me but using it helps me catch up with my InkTober drawings. For any watercolor beginners out there, I share my steps in creating this easy painting in this post. It covers a few watercolor techniques.

Run InkTober
For day 11 I followed the InkTober prompt “run.” This was my third attempt and for this one I started with pencil. When drawing figures I have to “work it out” and adjust the lines, so pencil comes in handy.

InkTober shatter #inktober

The day 12 prompt was “shatter.” This is what came to mind. 😂 I’m all caught up!

Want a dose of creative inspiration? Sign up for my newsletter “My Creative Collection” by clicking here. Learn more about the newsletter here.

Prints of my watercolor beach paintings are now for sale at shop.eileenmckenna.com. Take a peek!
The Blue Collection by Eileen McKenna | watercolor beach ocean landscapes available as limited edition giclee art prints


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Easy Forest Watercolor Painting for Beginners

Easy Forest Watercolor Painting for Beginners | Learn watercolor techniques! #winter #forest #watercolor #beginners

This forest painting is very easy and you’ll learn several watercolor techniques along the way! For best results when painting with watercolor use watercolor paper. I used Arches 140 lb. cold pressed for this project.

Easy Forest Watercolor Painting for Beginners

Step 1 – Use painter’s tape to mask the trees. I cut the tape for the smaller branches. Notice some of my tape strips don’t go all the way to the bottom of the paper.

Step 2 – Using a very wet brush and the color of your choice paint parts of the area not covered by the tape – except the bottom of the paper. No need to be too careful, the tape will protect the tree areas.

Easy Forest Watercolor Painting for Beginners

Step 3 – Use a different color and paint around the first color, touching the first color so the colors bleed into each other. Leave the bottom area.

Step 4 – Use a brush that is less wet (less water) and more saturated paint and dip it in several areas. You can splash it too.

Step 5 – Paint the bottom area with grey – using a dry brush for a textured uneven look.

Easy Forest Watercolor Painting for Beginners

Step 5 – Using black or grey, add detail strokes to the trees. A flat brush works best. If the stroke is too defined go over with a wet brush (water no paint) to soften.

Step 6 – Sprinkle salt in parts of the wet areas. Wait for paint to dry.

Step 7 – When paint is dry, brush salt off the painting.

Step 8 – Peel up the tape slowly, being careful not to rip the paper.

Easy Forest Watercolor Painting for Beginners

Step 9 – Once the painting is completely dry use a thin black marker or pen – I use a Uniball signo gel pen – to outline the trees. I made my lines wobbly to look more natural.

Good job! I’d love to see. Tag me on Instagram @eileenmckenna.

Watercolor techniques used:

  • Masking areas with tape
  • Wet on wet painting
  • Dry on dry
  • Using salt
  • Softening lines with water

Want a dose of creative inspiration? Sign up for my newsletter “My Creative Collection” by clicking here. Learn more about the newsletter here.

Prints of my watercolor beach paintings are now for sale at shop.eileenmckenna.com. Take a peek!

This post contains affiliate links to products/brands I use and recommend. I earn a small commission whenever you buy using these links, at no additional cost to you. Thank you for supporting my blog!


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InkTober days 5-8

It’s interesting to see what everyone chooses to draw for InkTober, how they interpret the same prompts (if they use the prompts), and even how we all struggle to draw every day.

Long Beach, NY boardwalk #inktober
On day 5 the prompt was “long.” Having grown up in Long Beach I knew immediately what I wanted to draw. I did a quick sketch of the boardwalk and thought, “Is this too sloppy to post?” Of course the point is to post the good with the bad. Funny enough, my husband commented, “Can I have that?”

Farmers Market sketches
On day 6 I drew early morning with my coffee – some sketches for a “farmers market” print pattern. I swore I would draw later and this wasn’t my InkTober sketch, but in the end I never got back to it.

Shy #inktober
I loved the day 7 prompt of “shy.” I had a picture in my mind of a little girl holding her mom’s leg. Her favorite stuffed animal held tightly. I found an image similar to my vision online to use as reference.

Crooked teeth #inktober
Day 8 – crooked. Not a particularly attractive drawing. But this was what came to mind!

Want a dose of creative inspiration? Sign up for my newsletter “My Creative Collection” by clicking here. Learn more about the newsletter here.

Prints of my watercolor beach paintings are now for sale at shop.eileenmckenna.com. Take a peek!
The Blue Collection by Eileen McKenna | watercolor beach ocean landscapes available as limited edition giclee art prints


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InkTober days 1-4

InkTober day 1 leaves
I was all excited for InkTober, and then I procrastinated the first day. Most of the InkTober prompts are verbs which I find hard. I used a prompt from doodlewash.com – leaves. Of course it was dark as I searched for leaves in the yard!

InkTober day 2 apples
Day 2 I used a prompt from both InkTober – divided, and doodlewash – apples. But I wasn’t thrilled with my results. It’s kind of a “which comes first?” question. If I start in watercolor, I build up the layers and then add a little ink. If I start in ink, I use a lot of ink details and then add a little watercolor.

InkTober day 3 seagull
Day 3 I didn’t follow any prompts and drew a seagull.

InkTober Day 4 scarecrow
Day 4 the new scarecrow on the porch was calling to me.

I’m getting into the groove. If you want to see my InkTober posts day by day follow me on Instagram @eileenmckenna.🙂

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