Art lessons

Hello, I am still here working on artwork and busy with family; end of school year obligations. I bought new photography software which turned out to be much easier than I anticipated…..a good thing. Designing new headers and learning new concepts in the digital world. I keep saying I am going to clean my studio…….BUT……I know where everything is! In the new header you can see parts of my studio and myself holding a current watercolor, which I have been trying to find time to work on. I am taking advantage of the nice weather and walking a bit longer and more often.002

See…..I know where everything is! LOVE it.

self portrait

003This is how far I was able to paint. Two colors Ivory and Lamp black; warm and cool tones. I have a lot going on at the moment and haven’t had the time to sit down and work, but I will once I get things out of the way first. I am really enjoying the process of this painting and the strong light source with-in the composition.

The absolute best way to improve your artwork is to create a self-portrait! I know that can be scary and you may even think you can not because you don’t know where to begin. Start photographing yourself at various times. Set up a tripod with camera and when the spirit moves you just take a few pictures. Don’t worry about how you look and all of that, just shoot pictures and then regroup.

In the header of my website houses the first watercolor composition I ever painted and who knew? I see many mistakes now… The material is cool and painted well for the first time. I started a new watercolor from the original picture in a much larger size. I wanted to see how much I have grown as a painter in skill and technique since the first painting was created. I have about four hours so far, I hope to be able to make some time in the near future So far the foundation of watercolor is solid. 007

learning composition

This is a friends artwork, Karen’s artwork, color pencil  and oil pastel. Really nice job Karen!001

Elvis the goat!

Here is the progression of Elvis the goat in graphite pencils; 4H {warm tone}, 4B {cool tone} and a HB Neutral tone. Notice how I only have an outline sketched and not set in stone. When you have trouble sketching a form out start with one shape such as an eye. Work from one eye out, therefore allowing it to be easy to erase an outside form lines. If you try to draw the outside lines first and then go back and “TRY TO FIT” in the eyes in later in an open space it will not work unless you have Mastered drawing and realism drawing. Work from one form such as an eye and work from the eye and outward.

Use the warm and cool tones of the graphite to set form in space; remember warms tones will come forward and cool tones will go back in space to help create form and shape. Without the darks there is no realism.002

In the following picture this is how far I was able to get in two hours.

001I can not stress enough if you are an over-sketcher on cheap paper of 140lbs. or less you are wasting value sketches turned into a drawing on CHEAP paper. You are not doing yourself any favors by doing this. Get yourself a really good drawing paper pad of 140lb or better. Even buy Illustration hot press drawing board this way when your over-sketched  doodle is over-sketched it can become a serious composition because it is on good acid free paper or board. Use the cheaper drawing pads of 140lb. or less for Doodles or thumb-nail sketches. You have better results from the graphite on better paper too. Cheap papers are not made to hold serious artwork.001

Drawing skills

Here are a few pictures of Elvis the goat Joan is learning to draw. REMEMBER and I can NOT stress enough that when you are drawing always draw in the direction of the form. The lines you are drawing should go in the direction of the object [ hairs ] are going in. Look at the beginning of this sketch and the direction even in the start of shaping the form.003


Joan sketched this out a few months ago and wasn’t able to get to this until now and she was amazed to see how much she has learned and how her drawing skills have improved. If you need help with your drawing skills then you need lessons with me!

watercolor paper

Much added details added under painting tools in menu!

I wanted to add a thought for thinking…….watercolor is a medium I love to work in and I can use the medium and my skill to paint the level of realism I want to achieve. For awhile now I have been giving myself a hard time that I should change-up my style to use watercolor more expressively or a more watercolor style feel everyone expects watercolor to be. That’s wrong. I have a skill to paint watercolor extremely realistic which took many paintings later to achieve, plus I am happy and satisfied with my results in watercolor.  I have discovered or come to the conclusion I can paint or draw in an expressionistic style in other mediums to satisfy artistic needs. Maybe that’s why I enjoy working on a dollhouse which I have very realistic as well! lol…..startin to see a pattern. My dollhouse does take up one-quarter of my working space studio and I certainly could use the room for more art stuff, BUT……I enjoy working on it even if that time is sparingly these days. My miniature flowers I designs are beautiful to miniature artist. I just need to find a way to make the room work.

It is important to grow as an artist and be exposed to different techniques, styles of course, but you need to be happy with your artwork results which will result in trying new ways to approach different mediums. It is also important to give yourself a break and enjoy creating.  What do you think?

Painting forms.

When painting break down the shapes and paint them in shapes to start. Look at the tail, paint the shape of the feathers in the common color. Don’t paint all one color and then paint in the feathers. By painting the shapes first you are creating depth and adding texture to forms.

You are important too!

As a super Mom there comes a time when you must take time for yourself and what makes you happy. If your happy and content with yourself it will make it easier to deal with all the stresses and responsibilities in your life. It isn’t easy to take a step back from everyone’s needs and wants to count yourself important. When your children are smaller it is understandable the children need you more. Don’t be afraid to pass on responsibilities to growing children; chores are good and teach responsibility.  I learned and am still learning or going through the process of readjusting the way I live my life and counting myself important.  You can not give away something you don’t have; for example love. If you don’t love yourself you can not give love or offer healthy love to somebody else. You can’t give respect if you don’t respect yourself. I also know God won’t give you the next step, more responsiblity or promotion in your life if you can’t even put the grocery cart back; not leaving the cart in the parking lot to hit another car.

It is important to take time for yourself and enjoy your life.  It doesn’t make you a bad parent, just a healthy happy one.  If drawing or art is important to you, then start with an hour or two a week for yourself to draw. I know time is hard to come by in certain stages of raising kids so use the time wisely to prepare for the future; take pictures of things you would like to draw or paint in the future and keep a file. Remember you were somebody before the kids came and you still will be somebody when they grow up and leave to live their own lives. As hard as that fact is it is true. So, count yourself deserving and valuable now!

God gives each and every one of us a gift for life, now it is our job to bless Him with that gift and bless others with that gift as well.  Don’t think you are “Just” a anything…….be a light and shine in your environment. A friendly hello to someone, a caring smile or action towards someone can mean the world to someone else. You may not even realize how much you really mean to somebody and a difference you are making.

Your artwork is your best friend.

Your artwork can be your best indication reader of your emotions. Have you ever looked at your work and relate it too your life at one particular emotion? Your artwork will reflect what your life is about or what you need to deal with in your life. I find when I am going through something life changing my artwork is a carbon copy of my emotional state. It has been very interesting to me what my work in photography has spoken to me these past two months or so. It is all inter-woven, our life and what our artwork says about us.

In another post I wrote about how important it is to work on a self-portrait. It doesn’t mean you need to share with anyone else, it can be just for your eyes only. The work will speak volume to you on so many levels. Sometimes when artwork seems to be steal or you are not sure where to go in an artwork direction ……working on a self-portrait will give you a direction and even clarify useful information to build upon.  One important factor is you need to take at least 48 pictures or two rolls of film of yourself. The first ten shots will be normal everyday poses; but I want you to push beyond the normal pose. Keep photographing yourself in a similar environment.  Go beyond the norm and think outside the box. Look for natural lighting in the room or a light source outside to use to help or portray what you want to say about the portrait. Set a tripod up with camera inside and just put it in place where you’d like to take the photographs or background you think you’d like. You don’t need to take all the pictures at one time. Nor do you need makeup on and look all perfect. You want to learn to see soul through exposure and pureness of truth. Let  the camera take pictures of you that are “real” and simple in character.

I like complex reflections or shadows in my work. I love black and white film photography and that is what I usually work in. I enjoy full value range, but then sometimes a pose will require more contrast. Let the pictures speak to you, look at your expressions and compare how you are feeling when they were taken. Learn to read how you perceive yourself and how certain poses echo emotion. This is not an easy process, but you will learn to see yourself and how your emotions reflect and represent  in your artwork.  I will add a few of the photos I have been working on in the next day or so.

Added light.

Check this picture out; I went outside for a moment to notice that a neighbor’s house about 300 yards away had a fern by her mailbox lite by the setting sun. Really beautiful.

Please don’t steal my artwork. You may refer to my page and give credit.

Thank you for the kind words and awesome comments!