Wednesday, March 26

Getting A Little Dusty Again

 It's been a long while since I've created a true, 100%, soft pastel painting. I've had the urge to dig them out all winter, but just had no idea what to create - a complete blank slate. Also add to that, the challenge of creating with them again. I was just a newbie still when I set them aside for awhile, so picking them up again would not be a picnic at all. I decided to go with a composition of succulents. I really like them - I think they're super cute - and I've been wanting to create a colourful piece with them for some time. This would also allow me to highlight an aspect of the soft pastel medium that some people do not realize: they are rediculusly colourful!

I began by sketching the image on to ColourFix Suede pastel board - a good pastel painting begins with a good sketch. Then I continued with an underpainting using my Pan Pastels. They are just so easy to use to create a fast and effective underpainting. This is what I've called its "grizzly" phase - the ugly phase. I tried to use completmently colours here, so the final painting will look more opposite than what is displayed here. I sprayed it all with a light alcohol mist (the rubbing alcohol sort, not the vodka alcohol sort) to set the pastels, so that they wouldn't blend with the layers I will be applying on top, and therefore will not make it 'muddy'. This was the easy part. From here, it was all total concentration and complete loss of time...

I started at the top left - to work my way across and down, in an effort to not smudge the entire piece. These first two succulent "leaves" are where I sort of determined the style of this painting. I remind you, I haven't used pastels in so long - so I knew what I wanted to do, but didn't know how exactly I would achieve it, and what sort of style it would end up looking like. I know it sound silly - I'm sure there's some artists who understand this :)

 This is where it stood when I finished last night. It's not much, but it's almost four hours of work - yes, this piece is going to take ages to complete. But I'm hoping when it's all done, it will be amazing and work every second :) 

Above are the pastels I have used to date. It's just under 40 different colours and shades, and I'm sure before I'm finished, more will be added.

Tuesday, March 11

Art Journal: Spring Flowers

I'm sharing a lovely, spring-themed flower art journal - and I video tapped it for those who wanted to follow along and recreate it themselves :) I really like how this page turned out - the delicate looking flowers against the colourful background. 


I used a lot of wonderful supplies: Aquamarkers, vintage postcards, coffee filters, paint markers, inks and Unity Stamps.

I'm also submitting this to the Unity Stamp Co. challenge, following the colour and flower theme that they presented this month, below:

Most of what I have to say about this art journal spread is said in the movie, so kick back and enjoy :)

Monday, March 10

Like Icing

I've been dabbling in my oil paints, and reworking an old painting. By reworking, I really mean: taking the original 'reference photo' and redoing it in a whole new way. I tend to do this a lot. And although some might think, "don't you feel like you wasted so much time before, because you're just covering it all up?". Well, my answer is simply, no. I wouldn't have gotten to this point that I'm much happier with, if I hadn't started the way I did. Art isn't always a straight and simple route. Sometimes, you have to deviate off a little - or a lot - to get to where you feel you should be :)

My application of paint for this "rework" is nice and thick and creamy - like icing. The colours are so very vibrant, it's just so wonderful playing with the oil paints again. 

Friday, March 7

Wet Paint

I really just love how watercolour paint looked when it's wet and pooling. It's just so translucently beautiful!

Thursday, March 6

Sassy Cupcake Birthday Card

It's been a while since I've pulled out my stamps to create a greeting card - so it was almost refreshing to work on and complete this fun Birthday greeting. Let it be know, making a card isn't always as easy as 'slapping' some things together. There are a lot of layers that come into play - and with these layers, come a lot of different materials. This usually leaves one's work area a disaster for only one little card. 

I used a bunch of different Unity Stamp Co. stamps from a variety of kits. Hopefully, I don't forget any: Cuppy Cakes, Sassy Pants Sentiments, SMAK Kit (4/13), and SMAK Kit (6/13). I used Letraset Aquamarkers to colour in the cupcake and candle, and embossing powder on all my stamping. 

I always think a card is going to be a disaster, and then I piece it all together, and it really comes together. My favourite part would have to be the black, glittered embossing powder I used. It just adds so much fun to this card!

Tuesday, March 4

Gentle Snow Winter Watercolour Painting

"Gentle Snow" - Watercolour Painting
A new painting here to share with everyone :) "Gentle Snow" came to me one morning, while I was watching the snow fall outside. It was those gorgeous, huge flakes that fall slowly - just so pretty. The contrast of those large white flakes, against the rich evergreens in our backyard was definitely something to record in watercolour.

I apologize for the 'ugly' trademark on my upper image. I usually don't trademark the images, and just post them as a lower resolution - but I've recently has issues with people using my images without permission to create and sell products - so the trademark will be one step I'm taking to try and protect my artwork.

The original painting is available for sale, here. For those who have never shopped on Etsy before, you can get $5.00 off your order for signing up, here.

Monday, March 3



I have wanted one of these Raskog Kitchen Carts, by Ikea, for so long. They seem to be all the rage in the art world - a lot of artists have them floating around their studios - looking so very useful. It was from their studio pictures that I even discovered this cute little retro-vintage looking cart existed. I just keep telling myself that whenever I finally made it to an Ikea, I would get one...years later, I have finally acquired one!

I don't know what I loved most about the idea of it: the functionality or it's ridiculous cuteness? I'll admit, a bit more of the later than the first ;) The teal colour is just so happy - just like my walls! For the functionality - I'll be able to 'roll' my supplies where I need them - to my desk or art easel; and it keeps a bunch of the supplies off my desk, making more room to create. It's a good solid metal too - no cheap plastic here!

I immediately put it together when I got home - while the cat played in the box. This morning, I started to load it up with goodies. Top is brushes, pencils and watercolours. Middle is all my acrylics, and the two mediums I use the most: Gesso and Glazing medium. I put all my 'craft paints' to one side, and all my professional paints to the other - with the mediums separating them. I'm not sure about the bottom yet. I might just leave it empty as a 'catch all'. I was also thinking of putting my pastels there. I really want to start using them again, but finding the time this winter has been hard. So I thought, if I put them where I see them - I might pick them up more. Maybe?

Now that I have the cart in the room, I've been entertaining the idea of maybe moving things around? Rearranging? I don't need to have my desk super close to my art easel any more. I have a couple commissions to finish up and orders to pack first though, before I tear my studio apart. I need to move things to put up curtains soon any ways- another Ikea purchase, just so darn cheap there! So, we shall see.

Saturday, March 1

Happy Saturday

I hope everyone is enjoying their start to the weekend. I've been sort of missing in action this past week - that's part: working a lot of night shifts, part: working on commissions coming up due and part: getting snowed in away from home. I still have lots of work to do, but I'm just popping in to share one of the commissions that I had completed, and is now live :)

This is the first in a series of commissions I'm completing for the website, Mi Petit Madrid. I'm doing a complete series of zodiac symbols. It's a lot of fun trying to incorporate my unique watercolour into a different concept. I am really enjoying the challenge of it. I believe that it's always good to try new things, and learn from them. That is how you grow as an artist and develop.

Anyways, the website, Mi Petit Madrid, is super cute, and I was thrilled to be asked to be a part of it. It is not originally in English, but if you use a web browser with a built in translator (I use FireFox), then that's not an issue at all. There are a lot of other artist's represented on this website as well, so it's definitely worth a look!