Tuesday, December 10, 2013

New ATC's

In a previous post, I had done mixed media drawings on book pages I had printed and stamped on.  After doing several of those, I thought it would be fun to do some artist trading card (ATC, 2.5"x3.5") sized art, so I cut up a few of the remaining book pages and glued them to watercolor paper for extra support.  I did a couple flower ones (I really love drawing poppies, and since I have a colored pencil called "poppy red", that worked well!) and then a few random ones.

I really love the pink and blue ones (the one with the plumeria and the poppies), those were my favorite backgrounds. And I think the color of the flowers goes really nice with the backgrounds.  I wish I had more of those to go around.  

Colored pencil and extra fine sharpie marker on printed and stamped background.

Both of these are also colored pencil and black extra fine
sharpie marker on printed background.  I love having a pencil called "poppy red"! When I did these, I actually had to do the pencil outline of the flower and then gesso the inside so I was coloring a white surface.  The top one originally was just the pencil on top of the blue background, and the red and blue together made pretty muddy colors, so I gesso'd over them and colored them again.  Much better color!

I love drawing octopus (octopi?). This is also colored pencil on printed book page. Outlined with extra fine sharpie and white gel pen. The white gel pen starts out bright, clean white but as it dries it kind of takes on the colors under it for some reason.

I don't know if you've noticed yet, but I love to paint my cat. He's such a regal animal and at first I thought painting a black cat was difficult, because I could never see much detail in the photos I took of him. But I just kind of go with it and have a lot of fun. In this photo, he was sitting under the table and there was a lot of light coming from the window behind him lighting up his left side and the other was much more in shadow and I couldn't even really tell where he ended and shadows began, haha. 

Inspired by my trips to Italy, and Venice in particular.  I absolutely love all the masks on display everywhere. I took a ton of photos of them when I was there. I would actually love to do a whole series of masks.

Thursday, December 5, 2013

Flying Shark

Last year, I got an offer though one of the various art related emails I get to test some new paints.  I was told I would get some acrylic paint samples, and when I had tried them I had to fill out a survey and get a free paint brush as a thank you. Good deal!

Well, the paints showed up MONTHS later, after I had given up on it.  I had been getting emails asking to please complete that survey asap, even though I hadn't gotten the paints. When they finally showed up I tried them right away and tried to do the survey, but I was told it was expired. I emailed them and explained I had only gotten the paints the day before and to please let me fill out the survey (I really wanted that damn paint brush). But they never responded and I was out of luck.  The paints were also in tiny little containers, barely enough for a small painting. I got I think 4 colors, the three primaries and white.  So I grabbed a little 4"x6" canvas and painted a sky and sea. Very simple, but I thought pretty cool that with dark blue, red and white I got the variety of colors of blue ;-) 

So I had this little blue canvas for the last year, unsure what else to do with it. I thought I'd put a boat in there somewhere but then thought that was too boring, too expected. A boat on the sea? How original!!  

Then it hit me...Sharks! I don't see too many paintings of sharks, so that could be fun.  I've always loved Shark Week on the Discovery Channel, which is where I'd seen the "flying sharks".  Only in this one specific place (I can't remember where) the great whites leap out of the water after their prey.  Now that would make a cool painting. So yesterday, I did this:

And since it was kind of a funny little painting, I put a pirate ship in the background because, well, why not. 

Acrylic on canvas, 4"x6"

Wednesday, December 4, 2013

Book Page Drawings

A few weeks ago, my friend and I did gel plate printing on some old book pages.  She got the book from a thrift store and we had fun making the prints. We had some stamps, doilies and other stencils to play with.  I now had several sheets of pages with some cool backgrounds on them, but wasn't sure when or what I was going to do with them. 

Yesterday, I decided to draw some flowers on them.  I used my own photos of flowers from my travels.  For some reason, they were so simple to do and I did 4 drawings in only a few hours! I'm usually so slow. Maybe now I'm starting to get the hang of this mixed media stuff, too. 

These are all done in colored pencil with a black extra fine sharpie marker outline.  
I took the photos of poppies in Bosnia, the rose is from a garden right out front of our apartment in Scotland and the two plumeria are from photos I took in Hawaii. I see a lot of poppies throughout Europe and it made me realize that I don't think I've ever seen any poppies growing in the US. Weird. They're so pretty.

Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Cat doodles!

Yesterday, I was playing around more with the cat doodles from my previous post.  I've seen all these "sharpie mug" tutorials going around Pinterest and I thought the cats would make a really cute pattern.  Our apartment came with an assortment of mugs, including two plain white ones, perfect for this project.  I don't think the owner of the apartment will mind that one of them is now decorated, so long as he gets the same number of mugs at the end ;-)

I looked through several tutorials before I started, and it seems the best idea would have been to use an oil based Sharpie paint marker.  I don't have paint markers, and someone else had said the regular black ones work fine, so that's what I used.  I drew the cats on the mug and followed the baking instructions (put cold mug in cold oven, heat to 350 for 30 minutes, then let sit in the oven and cool off until oven is cool). 

It came out really cute and I was excited about it, but figured its permanence should be tested.  I scratched it with my fingernail, and nothing happened. Then I took the rough side of a sponge and warm, soapy water to it and the marker did come off with some scrubbing.  I don't normally scrub my mugs that way after using them, especially on the outside, but I wouldn't put it in the dishwasher after that. 

Notice the scrubbed off kitties :(  So for my experience, I would definitely try it with an oil based paint marker, it would hopefully be more permanent.  But this is ok, I probably won't drink out of it but just having such a cute little cat mug around will make me smile anyway. 

I wanted to play with the cats in watercolor as well, so I grabbed a little watercolor postcard and got to work.

Unfortunately, I'm having trouble trying to rotate this properly, but you get the idea.  I like the cats much better solidly filled in.  But this was the point of this weekend, to doodle and play with no high expectations of masterpieces.   

Until next time!