Sunday, July 31, 2016

World Watercolor Month - Final Week


I can't believe it's the final day of July. There were days when I didn't know what yo draw, other days, when I thought everything I created was not good. But Si made it! The motto for the World Watercolor Month was 31 Watercolors in 31 days and I'm proud to say I did a few more than 31. But before I get to that, let's look at this past week's submission.

Day 25

This was done in my daily journal. My girls and I went shopping and stopped st Garbanzo's for lunch. It is a Mediterranean version of Chipotle's. It's not gourmet but pretty tasty. The drawing is in a weird perspective since I was holding the wrap as if to eat it and I snapped the picture. I had a difficult time drawing the hand because I kept trying to draw my hand like I think they should be rather than what I saw. I think this is a common obstacle among new aspiring artists like me because we have an ingrained image of what things should look like. Practice, practice, practice!

Day 26

This piece was probably the most "liked" piece in the FB group that I shared. Funny because this was done fairly late the night before because ai just couldn't decide what I wanted to paint. I really wanted to keep practicing the loose painting method but Ibthought my previous attempt was a major fail. So after watching several YouTube videos, I started to paint...no pre-drawing; only paint. And once I got going, I felt somehow connected to the piece. And one of the videos I watched the artist used dark green and purple together so I added purple. I actually felt good when I was done. Perhaps that feeling was transferred into my painting. I definitely love the loose style so much when I see other paintings posted. And I'm not sure if it's really my thing but I'm going to keep trying!

Day 27

The end of the month was approaching and I hadn't painted any of my favorite subjects! So for this day, I chose an elephant. Although not completely loose, Ibtried not to worry too much about all the textures. Instead, I focused on light and shadows. I used neutral tint, ultramarine blue for most of the body and added a bit if quinacridone rose. I was really happy with the way this turned out.

Day 28

If you've been following me, you know how much I love coffee! And I can't believe I hadn't done any coffee art. I've never done a top view before. And I really wanted to try painting the bubbles. After drawing the cup and painting the inside with watered down raw umber/burnt sienna mixture, I began darkening with burnt sienna/ultramarine mixture, leaving the reflected light and the inside edge clear. For the bubbles, I just jabbed lightly with my brush. And it worked! For the background, I used the four-color theorem to create the mosaic look.

Day 29

You've seen me draw lots of Okinawan things before. And this is my third attempt at drawing Hanagasa, the flower straw hat that Okinawan dancers wear.


I can see an improvement in my drawing skills but I really like the saturation in my second one. I used the Japanese brand of paint called Kuretake Gansai Tambi. I was too impatient to let it dry and layer more color do that's why my painting looks pale. Some day, Im going to try the kimono! Some day...

Day 30

This is another math-related piece that uses fractals. Fractals are simply shapes, designs, patterns that repeat infinitely. So technically, this is not a fractal in the strict sense, but it does have a repeating motif.  I've always loved swirls, so that was my main motif, done mainly with circles. I love how colorful this is. I painted the background and I added layers of color for the circle swirls.

Day 31

And for day 31 - July 31, I painted my odest two children as it is their birthday. And they only let me photograph them on special days, I used an old favorite from when my son was 4 and daughter was 2. And I can't believe my son is 17!! Time flies.

And so this concludes the World Watercolor Month. But the group is going to continue.. I won't be able to paint everyday but I will try to contribute..


This is all that I painted in July. I didn't share everything with the WWM group but I wanted to use this month to create as much as I could, not only larger pieces but also in my daily journal. And I enjoyed every minute! 

I start work tomorrow, only professional development for now and school starts August 10. Teaching for me takes much of my time so I may not get to paint much. I hope I can. 



Sunday, July 24, 2016

World Watercolor Month Week 4


It's hard to believe there is only one week left of the amazing World Watercolor Month! There are now almost 4000 artists in the group! And the quality of the pieces submitted are phenomenal! I'm glad I got to participate in this. And tomorrow, I ho back to work, for inservice. So hopefully, I will be able to participate until the end. So here are some of my watercolor pieces from this week.

July 18


I've had this quote in my journal for quite some time and when I saw in my mind how I wanted to illustrate it, it took me no time to get this done. Well, except that you have to wait for each layer to dry before deepening each color, because watercolors are transparent so in order to have rich colors, you have to layer. I used my Shinhan watercolors because they are bright in general and the set I have came with Opera Pink. It's not a color often used in fine art because it's one of the fugitive pigments, which means over time, the color can change. But I think I'm fine. I've used Mr. Poindexter's poems a few times and I just love his writing!

July 19


This was my day to play with wet-on-wet technique where you let watercolors do its thing. While one pigment is wet, you drop another color nearby (when the paper is wet) and colors will run towards each other. The piece on the tight was my feeble attempt at a impressionistic bouquet painting. And I absolutely love the quote because it's something I tell myself all the time.

July 20


I got a haircut on Tursday and in honor of it, I wanted to paint a selfie.. Here is the original.. 


I usually do a portrait when looking straight ahead so I wanted to try a different angle. I first glued a piece of sheet music by Bach that I've been trying to learn for years. And I also write the wave equation that describes the string vibrations. In my mind, they describe the two half of myself. I think art connects the two for me. The colors are somewhat muted because I used gesso over the sheet music and the equation to lighten them and I couldn't get the colors to deepen.

July 21


For this, I didn't have much in mind except, well, circles. I painted, dropped colors, and when dry, inked with a sharpie pen. Sometimes, going in circles is therapeutic.

July 22


I saw this image on a friend's Facebook page and I was immediately drawn to it. Nature has a way of warning other creatures to stay away from bright colors but some silly humans like me are drawn to it instead. I hope I never run into a real one. This is a red velvet ant, though it's not even an ant. This is a female version of a particular wasp and they are wingless and thus the ant-like body. I read that it's sting is quite severe. So stay away!!

July 23


I drew my friend, Charlie O'Shields in a superhero costume because I think he is quite impressive getting this whole World Watercolor Month started and organized. And he told me he would be a superhero if he could have a colbalt teal cape so that's what I gave him. He was quite happy with the "costume". Hehe

July 24


And finally, today's piece. You might be asking why are there four plates of challah French toast? Well, in one of the discussions in the WWM FB group, someone said in order to compare the different brands of paints, you should use them to see how they interact with other paints, whether the same pigments will actually produce the same color. And since I have several different brands of artist quality paints, I wanted to test them by painting the same subject. So I drew the first and made a copy of it and traced the rest. I used Daniel Smith paints for 1, Sennelier for 2, Holbein for 3, and Shinhan for 4. And for the first time, I used a 100% cotton hot pressed paper. It just means the paper is super smooth. I really liked how the paint glides over the surface! 

Though I didn't have all the same pigments from the four brands except for ultramarine blue, I tried to use similar colors to produce the image. I must say Amy favorite is #2, the Holbein. I love how the colors blended well and the intensity was easy to achieve. My second favorite is #1. I must say this might have been my first choice had I not overworked the piece. I think because this was the first one I painted, the need to be as exact as I could made me overwork some areas. It took me less than 5 minutes to paint #3 and 4. 

Overall, my favorite ultramarine blue is by Daniel Smith and I like the burnt umber too. I enjoy using all four sets of paint but the next time I'm working on a hit press paper, Im definitely going to grab my Holveins or Daniel Smiths. 

And I also used masking fluid for the white areas in #2-#4. But the blunt end of my paint brush was too thick as the masked area just looks like a blob of white instead of the fine dusting of powdered sugar. For the first, I used a white gel pen to create the dusting. Pure watercolorists would cringe at me using a white pen.. Oh well.

There are other pieces I created as cards and greetings but I won't share those. Next weekend when the month ends, I may do a video.. Stay tuned! Have a great week!

Sunday, July 17, 2016

World Watercolor Month - Week 3


I can't believe we are half way through the month already! This past week for me was getting back to my "roots" and doing more journal art rather than art pieces. And as much as I love seeing others' works, I found myself trying to create pieces that others would appreciate or acceptable rather than what I find inspirational. So I'm trying to learn from others but apply the learning to my style, if that makes sense. So here are the pieces from this past week!

Day 11

I had jury duty on Monday so I took my art supplies with me to pass the time. Good thing too, as I waited 6 hours and being excused. Luckily, I won't have to appear for at least 18 months. I found I don't like people staring at me while I painted. It's natural for people to be curious, but I kinda had performance anxiety.. Lol. 

Day 12

So if you have been following my art process, you know I usually start with a quote. I thought about things that scare me artistically.. There lots of things of course but I chose painting glass. It's difficult because of caustics (how glass reflects and refracts light) and dealing with different shadows and highlights. So I tried painting my olive oil carafe. I think for the most part I was successful. Green is so hard to render. Most greens that come in a kit or you buy are bright Christmas green and that's not what most greens in nature are. So you have to mix. What I found helpful is a YouTube video by Teoh Yi Chie about color mixing. So I used his method of using the color temperature to mix my greens.

Day 13

Today's focus was people. In my journal, I painted Dustin Pedroia, the second baseman of the Boston Redsox who happens to be my son's favorite player. The night before was the All-Star game and though Dustin was not chosen, I wanted to try to paint him. The second piece was done in my journal last year but I wanted to do it on a larger sheet so I can have it printed. I've been playing with creating skin tones so this was a great exercise. I'm liking Perylene Maroon as my red for skin tones.

Day 14

I practiced brush lettering with watercolors. Brush lettering with brush markers is hard enough but trying to use watercolors and blending the colors is really hard. So I practiced and created this.


Day 15

I had drawn a pair of eggplants in my journal the day before because I made baba ganoush which is a creamy dip made from roasted eggplants. And for day 15, I thought I'd created an illustrated recipe spread. Though both sets of eggplants look good, Ibreally liked the first better - I thought the color and the reflection were better in the first. 

Day 16

I have these inkpads that are dew drop shape. They are India ink pads which means once dry, they are permanent. So I used the inkpads to stamp a few dew drops on watercolor strips and immediately sprayed with water. Some of the ink ran but the shape remained. And while the paper was wet, I added watercolors. Once the whole thing dried, I used metallic gelly roll pens to draw embellishments. These will be bookmarks, though my kids said who uses bookmarks anymore.. Lol

Day 16.2

Here is a spread with lots of zentangle patterns and shaded with Neutral Tint (watercolor paint that is grayish). It's so much easier to shade with paint than with a pencil and a blending stump!

And finally Day 17

I used two colors, Quinacridone Gold and Ultramarine Violet and a straw to create this piece. I used water to create the flower shape and dropped quin gold and used the straw to blow. While wet, I dropped ultramarine violet. Together, they make mud, or a cool brown. Once dry, I dropped more violet so you can see a bit of the violet. I've been holding on to this quote for awhile and thought perfect with this painting. But I almost ran out of space!

This month so far has been so fun. I actually have to start planning for the upcoming school year next week and I actually have to go back to work the last week in July! I'm so happy that I got to spend time creating again. Hope you all have a great week!









Sunday, July 10, 2016

World Watercolor Month Week 2


Here are the pieces from Monday, July 4 - Sunday, July 10.

What you see above is Day 10. I used my compass to create the "seed of life" drawing which I've done before. This time, however, I used watercolors to to color the negative space. This ended up being more of a color study than a completed piece. I used three colors from Daniel Smith - Quinacridone Gold, Perylene Maroon and Neutral Tint. Using two colors at a time, I created several colors. Plus I added salt while the paint was wet to create the texture. I may use this again for othe tri-color combos.

Day 9

Sometimes when I'm stuck for an idea, I just draw myself drawing in my journal. It's a good practice to draw the hand. I'm disappointed in how light the hand is.. I always forget watercolors dry so much lighter. 

Day 8

Many things in nature follow a spiral pattern, petals in a flower, how leaves arrange themselves, pineapple rind, etc. There is a special sequence called Fibonacci numbers that appear quite a bit in nature. The sequence is simple, you start with 1 and and you add the previous.. So the sequence goes 1, 1, 2, 3, 5, 8, 13, 21, 34, etc. These numbers appear in nature. For example, the number of petals in a flower is one of the Fibonacci numbers. If you divide the two consecutive Fibonacci numbers, the quotient approaches 1.618 as you go higher in the sequence. That number is called the golden ratio. There is a relationship between the golden ratio and how petals are arranged. Ok, enough math. So I used my math knowledge to create the flower above. Pretty needy but so cool.. 

Day 7

My new favorite color is Neutral Tint by Daniel Smith. It's a wonderful grey/black on its own and it's great with mixes with other colors. So I used neutral tint in my journal and dropped tiny alcohol drops. Alcohol repels water and moves the color out to produce this light puff. 

Day 6

Here is another math related art. This is a tessellation art. Tessellation is just repeated patterns. You can slide, rotate or do a combination of both. I created a pattern out of a triangle and created a rotational tessellation art. The cool thing is trying to "see" what the pattern shows. I saw a bird, a butterfly, and a fish and decided to go with birds and butterflies. I should have gone with the fish. But I'm happy with the results. I decided to go with analogous colors (next to each other on the color wheel) for each. And I used a quote by MC Escher, who is know for his amazing mind-bending tessellation and optical illusions.

Day 5

Ok, the only watercolors you see are on the small piece of art.. I made that for a Facebook friend who is not doing well physically. But I also created that cool zentangle piece. I love transforming one pattern into something else. 

Day 4:


I actually worked on two pieces because I got up at 3:30 am and couldn't go back to sleep. So I fished one piece and started another. I love both quotes. The bamboo fountain piece was done in a realistic method so it took awhile it to complete. I used to love to watch these bamboo fountains as they fill and and empty. The second one was done without a pencil or pen for pre-drawing. All was done with watercolors. I was happy with the result..

So this concludes the second week. There are over 3000 artists that are part of this group on Facebook and it's amazing the talent! Check out the hashtag #worldwatercolormonth on various social media for pieces submitted!


Check out the website to order merchandise that benefit the Dreaming Zebra Foundation to provide art supplies for underprivileged children.










Sunday, July 3, 2016

World Watercolor Month




Charlie O'Shields over at Doodlewash has launched a world-wide celebration that brings artists from all over the world in different skill levels together! The whole month of July is dedicated to creating watercolor paintings!


The challenge is to create 31 pieces in 31 days. So I'm going to participate! The piece you see above is Day 3. I tell my math students all the time that it's important to know how to solve equations but it is equally important to see if your answer is reasonable.. I think I'm going to have this printed as a poster for my classroom.


Day 2
I played around with masking fluid today. I used an old brush and some liquid Frisket to write the quote. And then painted over that. Once dry, I removed the Frisket and voilà! The quote does apply to me.. 

Day 1

My husband and two of my children (on the ends of the painting) are in Boston visiting family. My other daughter had mandatory cheer practice the whole month of June so she and I stayed home. My sister-in-law sent me a photo of some of the cousins so I tried to paint it. I left the details of the face until the end and I should have stuck with just using watercolors. The pen I used just made their faces too harsh. Faces are difficult..

And yo get ready for the World Watercolor Month, I did color charts of my watercolor supplies in my fauxbonichi.




Yes, I have probably too many.. And then of course this happened...


I bought a set of Sennelier paints because they are heavily discounted. And two new brushes. Who knew brushes would make such a huge difference. 

So I hope to post my pictures on Sunday's of this month. It's great to create again.







Sunday, June 5, 2016

My combination bullet journal/fauxbonichi


If you've followed my blog, you know that I have a bullet journal to keep track of appointments, tasks, notes, and whatever else I need to write. I also have a fauxbonichi that illustrates my day or I illustrate a quote that's meaning for me on a particular day. When I started teaching in January, I stopped drawing but kept my bullet journal for all the new to-do's. 

As I mentioned in my previous post, I have a new dotted Tomoe River journal which I wanted to use for a bullet journal. And because I love TR paper so much, I started to draw again.. So I thought, "why couldn't I combine my bujo and fauxbo?" And if I do a one-page daily, I can manage a quick doodle even when I'm busy.. 

So here are sample pages from my bujo/fauxbo combo..


This is my filled weekly/daily spread.




And for the weekend, I'm going to do half a page per day, just so I can start my weekly spread on the next page without wasting paper.


I even had time on Saturday to create a two-page illustrated quote to honor Mohammed Ali, which you see at the beginning.

My weekly spread for next week looks like this.. I decided to stencil the background a bit.



And I'm going to post on the weekend to show you my daily pages and other pieces I may create.. I hope you have a great week! I start teaching summer Algebra 2 tomorrow! Should be fun!