Watercolor Sketch: Pink Stargazer Lilies

2015-aug-stargazer-lilies-1I’ve had my A5 Monologue sketchbook for over 3 months now, but it’s only recently that I got to use it for some serious watercolor sketches. By ‘serious’, I refer to painting projects that give me the chance to learn new techniques and ways of rendering. I like to do my exercises on a sketchbook instead of on loose sheets of paper, because I want to easily see how I might have progressed during a certain stage of my art-making.

I did this watercolor sketch of stargazer lilies on the first weekend of August. I wanted to try mixing jaune brilliant and quinacridone rose wet-in-wet. I’m happy how the colors turned out beautifully. The sketchbook paper can take in plenty of water, so I was able to blend paints well. Never imagined I’d be able to draw and paint lilies this way! :o)

Supplies: watercolor (Sakura Koi Pocket Field Sketchbox 24 set); white gel pen (Uni-ball Signo, broad); paintbrush (Lotus Deco by Pebeo, #10); sketchbook (gross-grained A5 Monologue, 140 lb). Most of my watercolor supplies are listed HERE.

Functional Art: Mixed Media Bookmarks

Every time I think about sharing my art and craft projects, the word ‘functional’ always come to mind. Given the keyword, I compel myself to make an artsy item that will be useful to somebody else, making sure that this aesthetic object will serve its utilitarian purpose. “Why not just give away a painting?” – one may ask. Well, it sure is lovely to think about giving a canvas art or a watercolor painting to a friend or a relative. But, to be honest, I often not good enough to be displayed at someone’s house/office, let alone be appreciated or savored as it is. Many of my art renderings, after all, are personal and not geared toward marketing. It can get lonely, however, when creative expression is merely done to satisfy one’s self or to draw everything back toward the persona. So I do functional art when I deem it necessary to reach out and share common threads with other people. More than the validation (or payment) I may receive is the thought of being able to inspire others through my artwork’s visual or textual message. That in itself gives me a better sense of purpose as an artist.

mixed media i love you and dream

The functional art items that I like to make are usually for writing (altered notebooks, journals), for the pleasure of reading (like bookmarks, tags, labels), or for remembering someone on a special day (postcards, greeting cards, framed sentiments). I made these mixed media bookmarks for my little girls sometime in June, shortly before the new school year started. My eldest is a hopeless book nerd. She can finish a chapter book/novel in less than a day. I made the DREAM bookmark for her because she loves butterflies and all those daydreamy stuff that we associate with the fantasy genre. The I LOVE YOU bookmark went to Stella, who says “I love you” to Mom and Dad at least once a day. Sometimes she’ll just give you a hug and say “Looove.” Yes, she’s a sweet thing and she loves flowers, hence the design.

These bookmarks were made out of scraps of designer paper. I used a sheet from my Canson Mix Media XL series (9” by 12”) as base. Other materials used: rubber stamps/clear stamps, rub-on stickers, embellishments (cardstock, rhinestone), heavy matte gel medium (Golden), multicolored yarn, craft stencil (mini mariposas by The Crafter’s Workshop) and Tim Holtz Distress Ink minis (mustard seed, peacock feathers, picked raspberry).

Are you into functional art too? What sort of stuff do you like to make?

Stencil Craft : Techniques for Fashion, Art and Home

Ink and Watercolor Sketch of a Young Girl

photo 1

Faces and figures are a joy to sketch. Whether they come from life or from one’s imagination, they make wonderful drawing subjects for any medium or substrate. My imagined faces often look alike and [for some reason] I’m glad they do.  Even when I take after another artist’s drawing, I try to stick to my own version of that face or subject.

photo 3

This ink and watercolor sketch of a young girl was inspired by a sketch made by Cristina Parus. I thought I wanted to make my own version with pigtails and a Fauvist look. I used Derwent Inktense pencils to sketch and color the face. Then I added a background using light washes of purple and medium yellow (Sakura Koi). I outlined the sketch with a Faber-Castell PITT Artist fineliner (S point, indanthrene blue 247) and put those whites on the pupils using a white gel pen (Uni-ball Signo broad).

photo 2

This sketch was done on the fly. I was actually just testing some ink and stamps on scrap watercolor paper. Cristina’s beautiful sketch suddenly came to mind, and I knew I had to grab whatever’s on hand and get my artwork done. Thanks for the inspiration, Cristina!

Follow step-by-step lessons for creating beautiful faces in your mixed-media art from Jane Davenport! Drawing and Painting Beautiful Faces

Art Journal: Wild and Whimsy Orange Tulips

There are days when all I want to do at my art desk is go wild and free. I ignore those books and other fine art techniques and just draw and paint whatever I feel like at the moment. Spontaneity comes to me when I temporarily abandon the guards who watch every movement that I make. I do it all for fun and for self-discovery. And, more often than not, I do find something interesting or come up with new art ideas. I suppose this a common circumstance for other art enthusiasts too.

wild tulips

This mixed-media painting of orange tulips was done on the page of an old menu planner. (I bought the planner at Booksale for Php 45!) I cut out squares and rectangles out of an old Reader’s Digest book and turned them into a collage background. Then I coated the page lightly with white gesso using an old ID card. I drew the tulips using Derwent Inktense pencils and then painted the leaves and sky using acrylics.

whimsy tulips

I love how the text showed through and how the painting gave a vintage feel. It’s just how I wanted it to look like. I made this whimsical painting after working on a diptych painting of orange tulips. The exercise wore me off as it compelled me to employ watercolor techniques I’d never done before. So I thought to draw my own impression of orange tulips and just let go. Indeed, it proved to be a liberating experience for me.

Courageous Art Journaling with Dina Wakley