Saturday, May 31, 2014



This is the demo I did for the Fremont Art Association workshop.  Day two is all about shape.  Creating a 2 value image in our digital devices is a great way to break the image into large shapes that connect.  Working on YUPO makes it fun and easy to do interesting things in the dark shapes and lift out the light shapes.  Give it a try!  

This Fremont group is a joy to work with.  Everyone is into the process and  having fun keeping up with technology and exploring ways we can use it to enhance our art experience.

Wednesday, May 14, 2014



I decided to use the last image I posted and create another painting.  I wanted to use the art program I will be teaching my next workshop and see where it would lead.  

I like to start by covering over a failed painting.  Fortunately, I have lots of these!  Here is the first stage of the new painting.  Using PS Touch, I created a notan (2 value) then, viewing that image in my iPad, I painted over the old painting using just two color.  Some of the previous incarnation showed through but I don't worry about that knowing it would eventually disappear under the additional layers that were coming.  It was, however,  somewhat distracting.  I used a mid value orange instead of a very dark value color as an experiment to see how this would affect the final result.  Working with just two values forces the artist to see and evaluate shapes, angles, distances, relationships rather than seeing "things" i.e nose, lips, glasses etc.  

Notan stage one of CHAMPAGNE DREAMS
The next step was to add transparent or translucent collage over the piece.  Normally, I use hand painted papers.  I am partial to tissue collage for its transparent quality.  I had just saved a piece of printed tissue that was used in a gift basket.  I realized I had two other prints with a circular, dot pattern.  This could be fun!!  

Stage two: Collage Layer for CHAMPAGNE DREAMS

Having the mid value instead of dark value allowed me to more easily make adjustments for a more accurate portrait.  I wasn't looking for a great likeness (irrelevant for my purposes) but getting the mouth aligned better, getting the scale of the eyes and glasses in relation to the rest of the features, etc. are subtle corrections that make a difference in the final piece.

Final solution
Naming the painting can be the most fun of all.  Here are some of my other ideas:  Running Circles around myself.  Running around in Circles, The Circle of Life.  Life has come full circle, Life in a Bubble.  Want to join in the name game?  Feel free to share in the comments section.

Friday, May 9, 2014



While on Orcas Island off the coast of northwest Washington State,  I looked for another of the handmade watercolor sketch books that I have fallen in love with.  They are made by a resident of the San Juan Islands (Orcas is part of this chain of islands)  My kids insisted on buying it for me for Mother's Day.  I must have done something right to raise such great boys.  

I have decided to dedicate this book to just portraits.  This is the first painting in my new book.  A self portrait seemed most appropriate to start things out with.  I took a chance and drew directly with acrylic ink with a stick.   I like the square format.  I am using the gorgeous new QoR watercolors from Golden.  They sent me some samples to try out and I have been extremely impressed.  They are highly saturated and luxurious feeling.  They take a little longer to dry in the palette but rewet very easily.  

You can see the beautiful end paper to the left of the painting.  Here are two other views of this book.  I love the beautiful red leather exterior and the gold and patterned oriental paper inserts in the front and back of the book.  The spine has wonderful stitching and a hand made button for the closure.  It feels so decadent and luxurious.  The only fear is messing up one of the pages.  

If you would like to inquire about these beautiful books, they are made by Susie Shipman

Sunday, May 4, 2014


Here are two more digital paintings I did while sitting on the plane.  I was having a difficult time finding interesting faces to work with on the iPad mini.  I was going to purchase a magazine at the airport just for this purpose but decided not to waste the money.  I found these two guys, one in a discarded newspaper and the other in the inflight magazine.  I like this app, called ArtStudio.  I just have to figure out how to turn off the "blend" feature on the brushes.  So far, nothing I do has worked.  If someone knows the secret, please share!

I am looking forward to getting back into the studio and working with real paint, real brushes and real paper.  Digital is fun, but there is nothing like the physical, tactile sensation of slinging paint.

Thursday, May 1, 2014


This is my idea of Plane Air painting!  No wind, no rain, no bugs, comfortable seat (relatively speaking compared to sitting on the ground or a rock!) I have been doing a ridiculous amount of travel lately and this is a little sketch I did on the way to Orcas Island in Washington state.  I try to use a photo in the magazine provided by the airlines.  Not much to pick from this time but I do like her face and I was trying out a different digital app.  I have downloaded so many but keep going back to the same ones, so I decided to expand my knowledge and try something else.  This one is called Art Studio.  All these programs have similarities but differences, as well.  This one had some ways of working with the brushes that seemed different.  One sort of smudged what you had put down like it was pastel.  Anyway, I was having fun and passing the time. 

Repacking today and then off again for the weekend.  I am looking forward to being home on Monday and then having the entire month free to paint.  

If you want to enter the San Diego Watercolor Society International exhibition, May 10th is the deadline.  You can go to their website for information.  Skip Lawrence is the judge this year.  I took a chance with my very experimental "Evolution" painting.  I won't be surprised if it is not accepted but I like it and if any juror is going to appreciate it, I think Skip would be the one.   You have to test the waters and not getting into a show is not the end of the world.  

Related Posts with Thumbnails