July is definitely speeding by quickly! And I must say I've enjoyed every single day! Don't get me wrong, I love teaching. But having this month to decompress and create has been truly restorative. And the piece above speak to my happy heart. Continuing with using supplies I have, I used Holbein Watercolors to create this piece. I knew I wanted a nebula-like background with white writing, so I started out using the Fineline Masking Fluid Pen to write the quote before painting. Even after an hour of waiting, the masking fluid hadn't completely dried - it was somewhat still sticky to the touch. The impatient me just painted over it. Needless to say, the gummy masking fluid was really difficult to remove. I ended up writing over it with white pen. This is probably what I should have done to begin with.
I wanted to recreate this on watercolor paper so I can print it as a poster for my classroom. So I used Fluid 100 140lb/300gsm hot press paper. It has a very smooth surface, very velvety to the touch. I decided to skip the masking and patnted the whole hair and wrote the quote using Posca White Paint pen.
I'm not sure if I like this one as much as the one in my journal so I'll have to decide later if I will print this. But the decision to use the white paint pen was the right one!
Monday, July 10
The promt today was beach days. I decided to paint an old photo of me floating in the ocean in Okinawa. I had done this two years ago and it was interesting to see the comparison.
The drawing on the left is from two years ago. The photo has faded considerably over the last several decades so I painted the ocean with colors I remember. I've no idea who the woman is. I think that I'm able to sketch what I see better than I used to. I'm never going to be those artists that can reproduce photographic images with watercolor, and I don't want to. I think what I want is to be able to tell a story with my images. I'm definitely not good with words, but certainly not good with describing emotions and thoughts so hopefully my sketches will fill in the gap.
Tuesday, July 11 - Summer Views
What does a blueberry muffin have to do with summer views? Nothing, except that it was National Blueberry Muffin day and it was my view for the day. I never have time to actually make breakfast for the kids during the school year, so it's nice to be able to do this on the spot. I love blueberries and I usually snack on the them in the morning. I also got to show off some brush lettering that I've been practicing.
I love using Daniel Smith watercolors for baked goods, especially the Quinacridone Gold, Quinacridone Burnt Orange, and Burnt Sienna. I've never been happy with other paints when I try to paint baked goods. I started this sketch with Sennelier paints and I love them but had to switch to Daniel Smith to paint the muffin top. By the way, the muffins were delicious!
Wednesday, July 12 - did not use the prompt
This one required more time than I usually spend on a painting and several revisions. The first part was the girl. It's a weird perspective for me, one I had not attempted before. She is looking up and standing. Because she's holding flowers, you don't see the rest of her body.
As you can see, my original just doesn't look right, the arms are too rounded she lookslike she's stretching. So I decided to darken the bottom so that there is a fading effect.
Since I would be placing a quote, I thought this would work, and it did. Until....
I got to the last line of the quote and I wrote the worng word and my attempt to cover that up didn't work. But since I had the previous picture, I could place the quote digitally. I used an iphone App called Over to place the quote.
But I wanted to see if I could somehow salvage the original. So I gesso'd over the bottom but the letters still ghosted through. I ended up using a correction tape over the words, and then added more gesso.
I then painted over the that and added the rest of the quote.
I think I'm pretty happy with the result.
Thursday, July 13
You've seen me use the ends of bok choy before, but this crop of bok choy came with yellow flowers in the middle of each stalk! And not knowing anything about growing vegetables, I had to google to find out if it was safe to eat the bok choy. I read that it could be bitter but still edible and we didn't eat the flowers but I painted them! Here's the finished piece with a quote. So at my house, not only do we eat our vegables, we use them as stamps!
The prompt today was popsicle and I've never liked them much. But I do love ice cream! And lately, eating ice cream cones affects my waisteline significantly, so I've been having these Healthy Choice Fudge Bars. And at 100 calories per bar, I can have it every day!
As you can see, I bought three books to help me with my creative process. When school starts, it will be difficult to find time to journal everyday with illustrations. So I wanted to loosen up my sketches so that I don't have to feel like I have to create a masterpiece everyday. Art Before Breakfast by Danny Gregory and Urban Watercolor Sketching by Felix Scheinberger are perfect for this. And those of you who are convinced you can't draw, you should really try Art Before Breakfast (Deedles, I'm talking to you!) The third, Painting with Watercolor, Pen & Ink by Claudia Nice is to help me refine my skills. When I learn, I need to activate both sides of my brain, both the creative and the analytical.
Friday, July 14 - Games in the grass
My kids usesd to love to blow bubbles and chase them! Especially when we lived in Michigan, we spent hours outside in the summer blowing bubbles. I think they would still enjoy blowing bubbles, but definitely not outside in the hot Phoenix sun!
Over the next few months (maybe longer) I'm going to be working on two art projects. One is to create a comprehensive color chart and mixing chart using Tomoe River Paper, which is what my journals contain. I've started a color mixing chart with watercolor paper, but TRP is behaves differently than watercolor paper so my chart is not as useful as it can be. So I just ordered a separte TRP journal to serve as my color journal. I actually can't wait to get this one started. I'm definitely using Jane Blundell's blog as my guide.
The second project is create a spreadsheet/database of my illustrated quotes. I do have a bullet journal collection that lists the quotes and where the quotes are located in the various journals I have. But I'm wanting a searchable electronic collection so I find the quote or the image easier. I'm not sure yet how I'm going to do this, but will be exploring different options.
So, I have lots of creative projects to keep me busy. By the way, I'm not going to use the Seven Seas Crossfield anymore because the company has changed the layout of the journal. Instead, I'm going back to Taroko Shop Enigma on Etsy. It uses a heavier tomoe river paper and comes with 380 pages, not as much as the Crossfield, but it has dotted pages. I just ordered two journals, one for my color mixing journal and one for my bullet journal/art journal when my current Crossfield is finished.
I hope you have a wonderful week! I'm going on vacation next week so hopefully, I can sketch/journal everyday. My art supplies will be the first things I pack!