For Day 11 of Art Ever Day Month I am back to exploring trees and birds. I friend asked me to do a blonde with birds, so here is what I came up with. This lady is in a place I would have liked to be today – a peaceful forest on a crisp fall day. Today was, in fact, the very definition of a crisp fall day but I did not make it to a forest. I don’t think I even saw a bird, although admittedly I didn’t look for one. Hmmm, maybe I need to make a point of getting my eyes off the art paper or the keyboard and spending more time looking at the real world. Tomorrow I am going to go outside and look for some real birds! Then I may draw them.
I love knit hats, especially those with pom poms or tassles hanging down and those with colorful patterns. This girl is wearing a sort of earthy-toned tassle hat. There may be a better name for these hats; I’ll have to look it up. It was a busy day at my new job and I have not had much time to draw today, but I managed to get this character down on a Post-it and colored with Prismacolor markers. Then I further painted and refined in my Gimp software. So much fun!
It’s hard to tell where my picture ideas come from every day. Maybe this one came from wishful thinking on this unseasonable warm November day.
One of my earliest memories is of going to a local park called The Enchanted Forest. I think it was a wooded park with lots of fancy play equipment. I remember loving the place. Lately I walk a lot at our local Botanical Gardens, and my favorite path is one called The Enchanted Forest. It is, of course, a wooded path.
I have also just always loved forests in general, but not scary ones: enchanted ones with lots of sunny patches, well-worn paths, and preferably, explosions of color. In the spring and summer, the forest path at the Botanical Gardens is bordered with giant azalea bushes and various other shade flowers.
So with these thoughts in mind, today’s picture is called “Enchanted Forest.”
I was not sure what to draw today and didn’t have much time to do it. Sometimes when I am stuck for a subject I browse Google so I started looking at Google images for inspiration. I want to do period pictures for each decade in the 20th century so I Googled 1920s fashion and looked through the images. Then I ran across a picture of early 20th century dancer Irene Castle in a beautiful gown.
This lady is not Irene Castle and the dress is not exactly the same, but the black and white picture is what gave me that little buzz of inspiration that I needed.
I have not worked with watercolors nearly enough in my life. I find the medium a little scary, perhaps because it can be hard to control. The books on watercolor technique are also intimidating with their first chapters on all the supplies you have to accumulate – brushes, hot and cold press paper, and those expensive tubes of artist quality paint – plus extras like masking fluid and tilting boards. About three years ago I took a six-week watercolor class at a local art center, and enjoyed it very much. I accumulated some starter supplies for the class and dived in, but was underwhelmed by the results of my efforts. Then I did not do watercolor painting again until….TODAY!
I was feeling like I was getting into a bit of a rut with my Prismacolor markers and pencils. There are still lots of directions I can go with these wonderful tools, but sometimes we artists need to challenge ourselves and open up new doors to new avenues of creativity. Recently I ran across my stash of watercolor supplies and today I took a deep breath and did inventory. I have been taking lots of photos of the stunning skies and beautiful foliage in my area and I first tried to do a sky with scene with fluffy clouds. The results were less than impressive. I don’t have a lot of experience with landscapes anyway, so I decided to warm up to watercolor by doing a more familiar subject – a person.
I enjoyed painting “Girl in a polka dot dress.” She is inspired by a Facebook profile picture of a young woman I am very fond of. Watercolor is a fun and versatile medium and I think I will be exploring it more. I even pulled out one of my many art technique books this afternoon: Watercolor: All the techniques and inspiration you need to begin painiting (HarperCollins Publishers , 2005). My sister gave it to me for my birthday years ago. This book truly does live up to its title. It gave me some clues on better ways to go about that sky with fluffy clouds, and will give it another try.
For Day 12 of Art Every Day Month I drew this character picking apples using Prismacolor pencils and a Prismacolor fine outlining pen on Bristol board. Then I painted it further in Gimp and applied a “cartoon” filter. It seemed to lend itself to bold lines. Doing this picture has made me hungry for cinnamon apples. I think I will look for some good ones during my errands this afternoon.
For Day 10 of Art Every Day Month I offer this little picture done with marker on Post-it. This started out as an idle little doodle and I didn’t think much would come of it. But I kept working on it with markers and then scanned it and kept painting on it in Gimp, and I rather like how she came out. Some pictures I start with high hopes don’t turn out well and others I begin without much expectation turn out well. Art full of surprises!
Lately I’ve been wanting to practice my tree drawing techniques, draw more birds, and squeeze in a few more fall pictures before the holidays. So Viola: an autumnal tree full of bluebirds. I rarely get to see one of these beautiful Virginia bluebirds, but when I do see one flit by, it makes my day. It’s almost like a fairy sighting.
Once at the Norfolk Botanical Gardens I saw two of them frolicking in the wildflower field, but I’ve never seen four of them together. If I did, you can bet I’d stop and watch for a while, and I’d be disappointed if I didn’t have my camera with me. Just in case I see something like a group of bludbirds one tree, I do try never to leave home without my camera. The beauty of art is, even if you don’t get to see what you’d like to see, you can create it!
Maybe because Thanksgiving is approaching or maybe because I am busy this week starting a new job, I decided to do a rather simple picture today. I call it “Fresh-Baked Cherry Pie.” This is drawn on a Bristol board art trading card with Prismacolor and Faber-Castell Pitt art markers, and then further painted and refined in Gimp software. This is one I didn’t think much about; just starting drawing and this is what appeared on the card. By the way cherry is my all-time favorite pie, followed by lemon meringue and then chocolate mousse!
Speaking of feasting, consider indulging yourself in a feast of art at Leah Piken Kolidas’ http://www.creativeeveryday.com. It’s one feast you can enjoy without putting on a single pound! Leah organizes the Art Every Day Month Challenge and shares her own art and inspiration.
Yesterday I posted this picture in an earlier stage. It still needs refinement, but it is getting there. This was supposed to be one of my simple pictures that somehow got a little more complicated than I expected.
The dog is based on my dog, Cocoa, as are many of the dogs that appear in my pictures. As I was drawing the girl reading and thinking about what to put in the room, I saw my dog sitting at there next to my desk, as she always does. She is my companion whether I’m reading, drawing, writing, or doing my morning exercises. I saw a dog-shaped space in drawing and drew her in! The pose is very like the one Cocoa was in with her back right paw peeking out from under her belly.