Friday, December 19, 2008

A Watercolor Christmas Card







With this watercolor Christmas card I wish you a wonderful holiday and a happy new year!

Lesson #10 will be in January 2009.

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Lesson #9 How to Paint a Watercolor Color Wheel Continued

As we continue to paint a watercolor color wheel, if you missed lesson #8 go back to that post and take a look! It will show you the materials you need and examples of me mixing color with a brush.

We learned about the three basic colors that make up all the colors of the color wheel: primary colors. They are red, yellow, and blue. See where I put one color dot next to each primary color on the color wheel.

Then we mixed primary colors to get secondary colors. They are orange, green, and purple. See where I put two color cots next to each secondary color.

Now I will tell you about the third group of colors. They are called tertiary colors. ( I don’t know why they don’t just call them third colors! Tertiary and third both start with the letter T – that’s how I remember). I have also put three color dots next to each tertiary color on the color wheel.

Here I have mixed the primary color yellow with the secondary color green to get tertiary yellow-green.

Next I mixed secondary green with primary blue to get tertiary blue-green.

Then I mixed primary blue with secondary purple to get tertiary bluish-purple.

Here I mixed primary red with secondary purple to get tertiary reddish-purple.

Then I mixed primary red with secondary orange to get tertiary red-orange.

And lastly I mixed secondary orange with primary yellow to get tertiary yellow-orange.

Yellow-green, blue-green, and bluish-purple: all tertiary!
Reddish-purple, red-orange, and yellow-orange: all tertiary!



I can hardly wait until our next lesson when I will show you how to shade with color! This is really very easy. All it takes is lots of practice playing with water and paint.

Lesson # 10 will be in January. I will be taking a little time off for Christmas. So I’ll meet you back here in about 3 weeks!

Monday, December 15, 2008

Children's Book Illustration in Watercolor




It's such a cold, rainy day today and my husband started a cozy fire in our fireplace.
It reminded me of this children's book illustration I did for the title, Dusty's Beary Tales (see a previous post), which got cut in the final editing. This little guy is enjoying the warm fire, some heart shaped honey cakes, and a story from a good book.

Friday, December 12, 2008

Christmas Door Decorations in Watercolor

With door decorations we express welcome to our home and as we are in this Christmas season I pray that You are blessed by the meaning of Jesus' birthday.

5 1/2" x 8 1/2" original sold

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Lesson #8 Watercolor Wheel


This is a watercolor colorwheel. Aren't it's colors pretty? Like a rainbow! It is a chart to help us choose and understand colors. We can buy color wheels at an art store, but making our own is very helpful to our painting.

All these colors are made with only 3 basic colors called primary colors. They come first. Like the first school you start with is primary school, the first colors we start with are primary colors. Even brown and black can be made with the three primary colors!

Orange, green, and purple are called secondary colors. They come second (secondary). Notice that I have some color dots on my color wheel. Those colors with one dot near them are primary colors. Those colors with two dots near them are secondary colors.

The primary colors are red, yellow, and blue. It takes primary colors to make secondary colors.


If we mix yellow and red together we get orange. If we mix yellow and blue together we get green.

If we mix red and blue together we get purple.



You will need a couple (2) shiney paper plates, a container of water, a paint brush, some watercolor paints (red, yellow, and blue), some watercolor paper, some paper towels or cloth rags.

Squirt just a tiny bit of each color of paint onto one paper plate. Dip your brush to wet it with a little water and mix it with the edge of the yellow paint to make a watery mixture. Put the watery yellow mixture onto the other plate. Then swish your brush in the water to clean it.


Do the same with the red paint and transfer it onto the other plate across from the yellow mixture. Mix the two together until you have orange. You may need a little less red than yellow because red is so dark. Paint a little on your watercolor paper like I’ve started to do here. Always swish your paint brush in your water between colors to clean it.


Now do the same thing with yellow and blue. And have fun painting on your paper.


Then experiment with red and blue…have fun painting on your paper. Now just do anything you want and have fun seeing what happens. I wish I could see what you are doing!


Here are some Christmas Pictures to practice drawing with a grid like I showed you in previous lessons.

Monday, December 8, 2008

Pencil Portraits for the Holidays



December is the time of year I do pencil portraits. People want to give their loved ones something unique and creative so they commission me for a portrait. I did these from photographs with nothing more than #2 and #5 graphite pencils, and a kneaded eraser on acid-free paper.

8" x 10" original sold

Friday, December 5, 2008

Country Cottage Painted in Watercolor with Flowers and Snow

A cozy country cottage, surrounded by flowers and snow at the same time!
Sometimes those of us who live in warm climates don't know that there can be snow on the ground along with flowers. It's not that uncommon.
I grew up in the Midwest and a late Spring snow or an early Autumn snow can be a beautiful experience. Too late or too early isn't always a wonderful experience for a farmer, though!

7" x 5" orighinal sold

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Lesson #7 Grid Drawing of Keira Knightley continued


Keira Knightley makes a good model for grid drawing. You may review Lesson #6 to see how we made a grid for this drawing.

Now we erase all grid lines until we see a clean sketch – no lines.

Keeping the original magazine picture of Keira Knightley close by, begin carefully drawing in hair with the tip of a pencil. You don’t need to do this exactly like the picture because hair always moves around anyway!


Lightly begin to darken the lips, shadow under neck, and variations of skin tones with the tip of your pencil.


Shape a point on a kneaded eraser. A kneaded eraser feels kind of like clay because it is soft and you can mush it into different shapes, pull it, roll it into a ball. It never leaves crumbs on your artwork. Use it to “pick up” or remove pencil marks off your drawing to make highlights, little areas where bright light shines like on the tip of a nose or a twinkle in an eye.

Darken the eyebrows. Always keep looking at the magazine picture so you get it right!


Lightly shade under the eyes and continue on the neck. With the kneaded eraser lighten the line at the top of the lip.


Darken the lips more and add a dark line under the bottom lip. Darken the eyes. Use a shading stump to begin blending and smoothing the pencil strokes on the neck. A blending stump is a pointed tool made of soft paper.


Or use a Q-tip to blend. I like to use my finger. Pick up some pencil strokes right next to the shadow on the neck.


Pick up some pencil to make highlights on her bottom lip. Look at the picture very carefully. Start making top and bottom eyelashes. You may add more shading on her lids just like putting on makeup eyeshadow.

Keep adjusting, erasing, redrawing, until you get it the way you like it. I didn’t make her hair dark here but you can add more pencil and blending to make the hair on your drawing darker.

And don’t forget to sign your name!



Monday, December 1, 2008

Cross Hatching Technique for drawing Santa Clause in Pen and Ink

This is an example of the cross-hatching technique using pen and ink. Better watch out...Santa Clause is coming to town! Thanksgiving is over, and I hope you will continue to be thankful to God for many good things in your heart.

I went to the mall this weekend (but not on black Friday) and it was full of holiday shoppers. And I think Santa is at the North Pole preparing for the season ahead!

I drew this quick sketch of Santa back in 1982…let’s see…that’s 26 years ago! I think he still looks the same.

Friday, November 28, 2008

Stippling With Pen and Ink

In one of my previous “Teaching Tuesday” art lessons I showed you the stippling technique of drawing and shading. It’s a collection of dots placed in just the right places and in just the right sizes. Since I am so busy with this holiday season I have to say I did not draw this cat but I am happy to show you the work of Adam Todd. He drew this with a rapidograph for the Koh-i-noor company. A rapidograph is an inking tool used by artists and draftmen. It comes in different sized points and draws a very smooth line or dots without clogging up or blotting.

This drawing is made of dots…just dots…no lines! Isn’t it amazing?

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Lesson #6 Grid Method For Drawing the Face of Keira Knightley

Are you ready to draw a face using the grid method? I thought we'd start with this picture of Keira Knightley featured on the cover of Glamour Magazine. Women are usually easier to draw than men, especially when they are pretty. You can choose any picture you want from a magazine or photograph (wouldn’t a portrait of a family member or friend make a nice present?).


Tape the picture at each corner to a table or desk so it doesn’t move. Using a ruler, measure and make little marks ¼” apart across the bottom of the picture. You may use your pencil right on the magazine or make a copy on your printer and use that to draw on.


Now make little marks ¼” apart across the left side.


Do the same on the top and on the right side. Make sure they line up evenly with each other. A good way to do this is to start with a line across the bottom of your picture and a line down on the left side of your picture.


Now connect the marks by drawing lines across and down, covering the whole picture as I’ve shown here.


Now number the spaces across the top and left side like this.



Next take a big sheet of paper (at least twice the size of the magazine picture) and tape each corner right next to it on your table. With a ruler Make the same number of little marks, only this time make them ½” apart across the sides, top, and bottom of your paper.


Connect the marks with lines across and down to make a grid on the big paper as shown here.


Now Number the squares starting from the top and left just like you did on your magazine picture.


Now start with your finger and find the first little square that has something in it to draw. Look at the numbers across the top and side so you don’t loose your place. Proceed square by square and draw what you see (If you need to review lesson #5, go ahead).


This can take quite a long time. But it teaches your eye how to see. With practice you will eventually be able to draw without a grid. This method is really helpful when drawing pictures with a lot of stuff in them! And it’s good for quick-sketching things in the right position.


Next week we will continue and I will add shading. The shading is what will make it look like Keira Knightley!

Monday, November 24, 2008

Balboa Park Watercolor Painting


In this watercolor painting of Balboa Park, I show San Diego...even in the winter!

1,400 acres of lush grounds and botanical gardens are located in the center of San Diego, California. With an international flare, Balboa Park showcases beautiful old Spanish-Moorish buildings constructed for the 1915-1916 Panama-California International Exposition, to celebrate the opening of the Panama Canal. The park is alive with museums of art, science, and technology; food; and cultural entertainment.


21” x 17” original
Gicle’e prints 24” x 18” image size (28’ x 22” paper size) $260 150 S/N

Friday, November 21, 2008

Door Decorating with leaves for the Thanksgiving Season in Watercolor


5" x 7" orignial sold

Dear God, I am thankful for your grace, your divine influence upon our hearts and lives.

Eternal “Amazing Grace”


John Newton was at sea by the age of eleven. By age 18 he was forced to enlist on a British man-of-war. Recaptured after desertion, the disgraced sailor was exchanged to the crew of a slave ship bound for Africa.

Tribal chiefs would deliver to the Europeans stockades full of men and women, captured in raids and wars against other tribes. Buyers would select the finest specimens, which would be bartered for weapons, ammunition, metal, liquor, trinkets, and cloth. Then the captives would be loaded aboard, packed for sailing. They were chained below decks to prevent suicides, laid side by side to save space, row after row, one after another, until the vessel was laden with as many as 600 units of human cargo.

John Newton transported more than a few shiploads of the 6 million African slaves brought to the Americas in the 18th century.

It was a book he found on board--Thomas à Kempis' Imitation of Christ--which sowed the seeds for him to know God. When a ship nearly foundered in a storm, he gave his life to Christ, turned from his ways…

…and wrote Amazing Grace

Amazing Grace, how sweet the sound,
That saved a wretch like me.
I once was lost but now am found,
Was blind, but now I see.

T'was Grace that taught my heart to fear.
And Grace, my fears relieved.
How precious did that Grace appear
The hour I first believed.

Through many dangers, toils and snares
I have already come;
'Tis Grace that brought me safe thus far
and Grace will lead me home.

The Lord has promised good to me.
His word my hope secures.
He will my shield and portion be,
As long as life endures.

Yea, when this flesh and heart shall fail,
And mortal life shall cease,
I shall possess within the veil,
A life of joy and peace.

When we've been here ten thousand years
Bright shining as the sun.
We've no less days to sing God's praise
Than when we've first begun.

Amazing Grace, how sweet the sound,
That saved a wretch like me.
I once was lost but now am found,
Was blind, but now I see.


I pray that you will have a thankful heart, not just for the good things, but for a creator who loves us and wants to have a relationship with us personally, to help us through this confusing life and bring justice and peace to us into eternity.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Lesson #5 Blending, Crosshatching, & the Grid


In our last lesson I introduced you to drawing using a grid, and shading by stippling and pencil-stroke shading. This week we will learn two more types of shading and continue with the grid.

Here we have an example of finger-blending and crosshatching.

For finger-blending use the side of your pencil and pencil-stroke some shading. Now rub and smudge it with your finger.

For crosshatching use the point of your pencil or a pen and draw little lines that cross over each other in different directions. Vary the stroke by making some of them close together and others farther apart so you get the darkness or lightness you prefer.

Now let’s take a small picture of an elephant (pretend you see it in a magazine) and with a pencil draw 5 evenly spaced vertical lines (up and down) right onto the picture. Next draw 4 evenly spaced horizontal lines (crosswise) on the picture.


Next go get a big sheet of paper and draw 5 big evenly spaced vertical lines on the paper and 4 big evenly spaced horizontal lines on your paper. Just like on the small picture, only bigger! And draw an outside border around the area on your big piece of paper.

Review my previous lesson (#4) and draw your elephant (just like you learned last week when we drew the ice cream cone and gorilla) onto your piece of paper. The only difference is that you are drawing bigger.


Now try it all again with a picture of a football!



Now erase the pencil lines on your big drawing and shade the elephant with finger-blending and shade the football with crosshatching. And add a shadow on the ground like one of the examples above (review lesson #4).

Here’s an extra picture of a cowboy boot you can practice on. Maybe shade it with stippling or pencil strokes like you learned last week.



*Remember you can click and drag these pictures onto your destktop and print them.

Next week we will begin to learn how to draw a human face. See you next Tuesday!