Inktober

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I’m participating in InkTober this year. Jake Parker created InkTober in 2009 “as a challenge to improve his inking skills and develop positive drawing habits. It has since grown into a worldwide endeavor with thousands of artists taking on the challenge every year.” Learn more and see the official InkTober prompts here. It starts Saturday, October 1st!

There is something about fall and Halloween that really inspires me – as you can see from last year’s sketchbook above. For me, InkTober is just some extra motivation. I’m back in a creating groove, which makes me really happy. Anyone else participating? 🙂

A new painting on an old watercolor wash

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This morning I came across a couple of one color washes I painted a couple of years ago. The watercolor washes were backgrounds for a product photo shoot for a client’s Etsy page. I decided I would reuse the washes.
washes

I thought it would be interesting to use one as the background of a painting. I selected the yellow one and pulled up a photo on my phone that I had taken several weeks ago. At the time, I was out for a run and I was passing an old house surrounded by hedges. I thought it would be a good reference photo if I decided to do any haunted house paintings this year.
yellow inkonyellow

I started by drawing in pen and ink on the yellow. Then I painted the hedges and the trees, and then some of the other areas. Lastly the details on the house. I decided not to turn the house into a haunted house because as it turns out, the house had a secret of it’s own. Not even a week after I took the photo, my husband said to me, “Did you hear about the house in town with the pigeons? They found 350 pigeons living inside the house. The house didn’t even have running water.” I knew right away it was the house I had taken the photo of.

I decided to paint the house the way I saw it. No extra spooky details. Just an old house hidden by overgrown hedges.

The change of seasons and inspiration

imageIt’s a funny time of year. School has started so summer feels over. When I look around the house for something to draw, I see the shells we’ve collected. Every year I say I’ll continue creating in the beach theme after summer ends, but it loses its appeal. I get inspired by the changing leaves, and then the winter sky against bare trees, followed by the beautiful flowers of spring. I guess I’m a seasonal girl. 😀

A Crab Pattern

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crabset
Another pattern design for you. I forgot all about pattern design last month until the 29th. But, once I remembered, I went straight to my crab sketch. One of you commented that you knew I’d turn it into something. Well with your encouragement I have. 🙂
crabsketches

I painted the backgrounds separately in watercolor. And put everything together in Photoshop. With the spring weather here, summer can’t be far behind!

crabback-1 crabback sand

Learn more about how I create patterns here.

 

It’s cold out there


It’s hard to get out there and run in the Winter – too cold, too windy, too icy. I think of a million excuses. Even when I decide, “I’m going,” I procrastinate. I sketch my sneakers, I catch up on other blogs. Finally I get going. When I’m done, no matter how good or bad it felt, I’m always glad I did it.

Shell doodles

Today I was doodling some shells I found at the beach and one starfish that I bought :)! I was using my son’s gel pen which I love because it’s so smooth. (Unfortunately it’s not waterproof, which I previously found out the hard way.)
I really enjoyed studying the shells and drawing them. I promised a pattern every month, and I think it would be fitting to make a seashell pattern for July. Can’t wait to scan these in and play with color and layout. Stay tuned!

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Watercolor Montauk Daisies – Lifting Color

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I took the reference photo for this painting in our yard. I really worked this painting! I kept going back in and adding color. Good thing I’m using watercolor paper these days!

Finally I remembered to tape my paper to a board (a palette did the trick) to keep the paper smooth and prevent the paint from pooling. I made sure to add paint to the “white” petals, because they aren’t truly white. Then, I added the base color of the background.
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When that was mostly dry I painted in some details. BTW in the end, I preferred this painting upside down from the way I painted it. So the painting is flipped from here out.
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I added some outlines and details in ink. But felt the empty area needed to be darker. I had to add color several times to get it dark enough. Then, I thought it looked weird. Like the Montauk daisies were floating. Even my nine year old son said, “Maybe you need to add some leaves in there.” I drew some leaves in ink and then lifted the dark color where the leaves were. I added a little bit of green to those new leaves. I like the result and how those leaves are subtle. [See final painting in the first photo.]

If you have never “lifted” watercolor paint before, it is easy. Using a wet brush, you touch the area you want to lift the paint from. Wipe the brush on a paper towel (you’ll see the color come off onto it) and rewet the brush and repeat until you’ve achieved your desired effect. 🙂
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 md1