Friday, June 30, 2017

Not Big Enough for the Two of Us

Since that went well the other day, I grabbed another old photo that was lying around. This one though I already had plans to paint bigger - in my series of 16x20 aquabord panels. So this was basically just a warm-up to see how it would go. I'll probably bring the horizon line either up or down as it's pretty squarely in the middle right now. It's just so hard to decide which! I love having plenty of sky to work with, but the reflection is a huge part of what makes this interesting... Sky or reflection? Which should be the star?

Thursday, June 29, 2017

Dusting Off Old Inspiration

I have a large, holey plastic bag overflowing with old photos that I occasionally flip through for inspiration (I have an even larger number of unprinted photos on the computer that supposedly I'll someday get around to painting). So I pulled one out at random and went for it. The photo shows so little detail that I've never been sure if I could pull it off, which makes it perfect for a simple, small-scale sketch. The design made by the strong contrasts have always called to me. I left the birds out this time as that would have kept me from painting quickly. Kinda love it. Might have to get brave and try it big! What do you think though? Birds or no birds?

Wednesday, June 28, 2017

Second Chances

My new thing - I really enjoy cutting up unsuccessful old paintings to put back together in a new way. Having virtually no experience with it though, I can lose myself in it for hours. And my carpel tunnel doesn't really love me cutting for long. So I'm not sure how often I'll get to do them, but it's fun to try something totally different sometimes, with no pressure. 
This was an old, huge landscape with a cool sky that had gotten too muddy and dark in the middle. Can't really go back from that with watercolor! I ended up gluing these down on some black cardstock for a more stained glass look, but now wish I'd painted a dark background instead to keep the watercolor variation look. A good idea for next time!

Tuesday, June 27, 2017

They're back!

And yellow fields with a white fence! I know, I'm really shaking things up. Ha! But there is something to playing with the same idea and trying it again and again to see what comes out. Which is my way of saying, I'm not stopping yet! The yellow fields will be back.

Monday, June 26, 2017

"It looks like Monette, but it's Moneigh"

Ha! Cracked me up so much when my 6 year-old son explained that to my 5 year-old daughter (who's just starting to read) without any prompting. Makes me so proud 😜  You know their mom is an artist when...
But I've been wanting to play around painting people more, in fact, I am considering filling a whole sketchbook with artists I admire. This was my first attempt to see if it's feasible - the man in the yellow hat and a sunburnt face. Ha. I love the blue outline! And "the whole thing, it just works." Or at least was super fun! I think I'm going to need more gouache. 

Friday, June 23, 2017

Do You Wanna Go Straight to Hawaii?

My watercolor journal is made of this really awesome handmade paper that has dreamy, ruffly edges. However while the paper is devilishly handsome, it is...less than ideal to paint on. You can't go over anything more than a few times or layers of paper start to come off. And there's absolutely no scrubbing anything off or changing the paint's mind if it's decided to slowly bleed into somewhere else. So quick landscapes are challenging. I had done this very unsatisfying sketch when I was on the extremely satisfying beaches of Hawaii in December. But inspired by some artists I see combining watercolor and ink, I thought I'd give it a try and it saved the sketch! The black lines made it go from being all blurry and wishy-washy to sharp and flowy. Can I pleeeeeease go back to Hawaii now that I know how to sketch it better while lying on the warm sand, eating fresh tropical fruit, in between snorkeling swims? Sigh.  

Thursday, June 22, 2017

With a little Help from my Friends

Again I just dropped some paint on a page, let it dry and took it with me to doodle on later. After I'd made all the suns and was just getting started on the lines and dots of the background, one daughter became dreadfully bored while another one desperately needed me. So I broke my "mommy's sketchbook is only for mommy" rule and let the 10 year-old fill in the rest with her friend while I comforted the 3 year-old. So we'll call today's sketch a collaboration. A silly, playful little thing for no other purpose than to be creative.

Wednesday, June 21, 2017

Our Ability to Accessorize

(I am sorry about the bad photo! I took it quickly as we were running out the door so I could make sure and get this post done. My apologies.)
For this one I knew we were going to be out-and-about so I ran upstairs and dropped some paint drops on the page giving it time to dry while I got dressed and ate breakfast. Then later while I sat waiting for my kids, I ... embellished! Our accessorized! After all, "The only thing that separates us from the animals is our ability to accessorize." Says the girl who doesn't wear make-up, bracelets, or heels. Ha.

Tuesday, June 20, 2017

Kooky Little Bird

Hahaha. Sometime you just can't be serious you know? I was sitting there at a soccer game, cutting up a failed watercolor paper to make a beautiful collage, and instead, I made this guy. I kept trying to rearrange it but he kept winning in my head. So I gave in. He makes me smile. And that's gotta count for something.

Monday, June 19, 2017

Between the lines

I was really excited to give this one a go - inspired by a painting my daughter had done in a class I taught on Emily Carr. If you haven't heard of Emily Carr, please look her up! Here or here or here or here will do. Not being Canadian, I hadn't heard of her until recently. She makes me kinda wish I was Canadian. And born 100 years ago so we could've been painting friends. But I digress. I'm going to have to do more of these wavy line drawing for sure. Possibly a watercolor painting where I mask out the white lines. I actually intended to have the white lines go through everything but forgot when I got going on the trees. Oops! It's hard to keep track of things like that when you're having fun!

Friday, June 16, 2017

And it was all yellow

Yellow fields again! I just can't help it. My littles get just as excited when they see fields full of flowers. The youngest points out every single one she sees, and every cow, and every sheep, and every elephant. Otherwise known as horses. 🐴  = 🐘 = 😂

Thursday, June 15, 2017

The hills are alive...with paint.

I might've been procrastinating a commission here...which is really nothing new. It's sometimes really hard to muster up the inspiration to paint a commission! Especially when it's something I would've never chosen to paint on my own! So I did a quick sketch in my watercolor journal first of what I see driving through the countryside near my home daily. I love, love, love the valley we live in. The blue mountains, the green trees and the yellow fields make me want to pull over and paint right there every time I'm in the car. 

Wednesday, June 14, 2017

Waste not, Want not

It can be super frustrating when all I want to do is paint, but I've got other things that need my time and attention. So as to not resent those things (which are most often my lovely children) I've started filling sketchbooks again! I'm trying to always have one with me - at parks, libraries, violin lessons, etc. Then no time need be wasted! And instead of putting pressure on myself to create "masterpieces" that somebody will want to buy, I'm just playing. It's kinda liberating. 
So today while my kiddos played on a playground near our home, I took out my new-favorite watercolor markers and doodled a tree. Would've done more but one of my "things" forgot she wasn't wearing a diaper 😳 💩 😖
*In my studio I'm working on a a large commission. Check it out @alishabwhitmanart on Instagram!