Month: October 2017 (page 1 of 4)

Artober 31: Aaaaand DONE!

Woah! I finished my painting and a whole month of arting! For me, that’s quite an accomplishment. I also really like this one. It took me longer than any of the others, but I’ve been working on it in 20-minute spurts. Painting is hard when you’re surrounded by puppies! Here’s the whole thing:

Oh! And here’s a link to the tutorial by The Frugal Crafter, who is fantastic.

My original plan was to take some time off, but it looks like that’s not going to happen. I’ll be starting a Skillshare workshop on inking + watercolor tomorrow. That’ll just involve a sketchbook, and I don’t think I’ll be posting every day, if at all. Maybe if there’s one I especially like. Unlike this month, I’ll have to finish an entire sketch a day, so they’ll have to be quicker and I’ll have to be more willing to settle.

In other news, I have some very helpful pets. Shakespeare kept my palette warm for me this morning, and Penny supervised.

Artober 30: So close!

I’m so extra going to finish this painting tomorrow. And ALL of Artober. I’m looking forward to both. Forcing myself to work on something every day makes sit less fun, though I’ve learned lots of new skills over the month.

Here’s the whole thing. It’s still coming together nicely:

There’s not much to report in Puppy News, but here’s a photo of our local branch manager and assistant branch manager hard at work this morning:

Artober 29: A wee bit more adventure and some middle ground

It’s starting to come together! So far, I’m really liking this one. There is, of course, still time to ruin it. Here’s a link to the tutorial in case you want to follow along.

I came home today after a grand (restful) adventure in Hot Springs, Arkansas. I still haven’t thoroughly gone through the photos on my good camera, but I’ll do that soon and post them. I’m sure they’ll be lovely, as it’s sooooo beautiful up there. Fall colors are a wee bit past peak, which is interesting because they don’t seem to be anywhere near peak around here. Or maybe we don’t have a peak.

Anyway, I had a difficult time tearing myself away from the mountains, so I made one more stop on my way home at Lake Degray, which is about 20 miles from Hot Springs and on my way home to Shreveport. I hiked the 1-mile Island Trail, which had a few outlets to the lake itself, which is stunning, especially on a clear day like today.

And the required panorama:

Those good camera photos are going to be amazing. I’ll do my best to deal with them tomorrow. For now, here’s the full view of painting progress:

(It’s so nice to be home and using a real computer so WordPress actually works. Sigh.)

Artober 28: Adventures and progress

Oh so many adventures. I started my day with a tasty breakfast at IHOP, then headed into Hot Springs National Park for some much needed Nature Time. I stopped by the Visitors Center for a trail map, then headed up what I’d read was an easy trail called Dead Chief Trail. Except it turned out that it wasn’t really Dead Chief Trail but a shortcut STRAIGHT UP the mountain to the top. I got almost half a mile up (there was never a break!), and then had to sit down because I felt terrible. I sat there for a few minutes, feeling like I was gonna puke, and then I puked. There: I’ve puked in a national park. That should be on one of those Facebook get-to-know-me questionnaires. Anyway, after that I felt a little better and eventually headed straight back down to the safety of my car. I spent a couple hours recovering around Bathhouse row and then headed in my car back up the mountain to the Mountain Tower, where I took a bunch of what I’m sure are lovely photos but which are currently stowed on my good camera’s SD card. (The only time I wish having a laptop is when I travel, which isn’t often enough to justify getting one. I have my fancy desktop sitting at home, and an iPad will work as long as I don’t do something crazy like try to post to WordPress. Sigh.)

Anyway, I took said pictures up the mountain tower and then had a lovely hike around the Hot Springs Mountain Trail. It turned into a pretty good day.

After all that, I headed back to my hotel room for some surrious relaxation. And eventually a hamburger. And progress on this totally unrelated painting I’m working on:

Now, to sit here and stare at the internet (or to paint something else?) until it’s time for bed. I’ll be headed back to Shreveport tomorrow, but I think I’ll have a drive around Lake DeGray on my way home. I hear it’s lovely over there.


Artober 27: RETREAT!

(Side note: ZOMFG the WordPress iPad app is BROKEN! UGH!)

Aaaand by retreat I mean a little weekend trip to Hot Springs BY MYSELF, specifically sans puppy. Palmer, the Most Fantastic Person in the Whole World, is at home babysitting so I can relax and go hiking for two days. Y(es, I know he’s the Best Husband Ever.

Anyway, I drove up here after work and spent a few minutes sketching and painting this sky for a watercolor that is wholly unrelated to my present circumstances. It’s from another tutorial by The frugal Crafter. We’ll see if I finish it tomorrow or put it off and paint something more like the BEAUTIFUL FALL COLORS presently surrounding me. Here’s the whole shebang so far:

There is, of course, Plenty of Time to ruin it.

In Other News, I’m safely installed in a hotel room in Hot Springs, Arkansas.

It’s lovely, except for the two-plus yippy dogs across the hall and the baby directly above me. Really, though, It’s quiet enough. Tomorrow, I’ll be hiking in the (COLD) national park.

A cold front went through today, causing temperatures to dip to freezing tonight, and it made for a spectacular sunset (which, of course, features the neighboring hotel):

Hopefully I’ll be able to catch the whole thing tomorrow night. My plan tonight was to go to a lakeside restaurant that’s supposed to feature an amazing sunset, but I was just too lazy. And there happens to be a pretty decent local restaurant right in front of my hotel called Bleu Monkey. I’ll have a hard time not just walking over there tomorrow night.

All told, my little retreat is off to a most excellent start. I’ll be hiking for most of the day tomorrow, and I’m contemplating a drive around Lake DeGray before I head home on Sunday. I hear it’s pretty nice to look at, and it was a pretty spectacular scene to drive by on my way here.

Okay, off to some serious Relaxation Time.

Artober 26: Makin’ it count

Because that’s all I’m doing today. I decided on Monday that I NEED a break, so just as Palmer comes home from Dallas, I’m going up to Hot Springs to spend the weekend sans dogs. Yes, I love my dogs, and yes, I know what I signed up for, but DAMN I’m tired. Palmer is tired of traveling and doesn’t want to hike around the national park with me, so he’d rather stay home, which I understand. I’m looking forward to leisurely foods and a long leisurely hike in the COLD on Saturday. I’m taking my good camera and my watercolors. It’ll be lovely.

Anyway, that photo is the palette I’m taking with me. Paints on the list are cadmium red, alizirin crimson, quinacridone red, permanent rose, Indian yellow, cadmium yellow, gamboge, lemon yellow, sap green, viridian, phthalo green, phthalo blue (my favorite!), cerulean (I want a better one for obvious reasons), French ultramarine, prussian blue, winsor violet, yellow ochre, burnt sienna (I want a better one of that, too), burnt umber, raw umber, sepia, and Payne’s gray. 24 colors allows me not to have to make too many choices. This palette should definitely be sufficient for a weekend.

In Puppy News, Lucy had her first treat from Lucy’s Barkery today. She was pretty excited. Puppies have to have treats on Halloween!

In other news, I discovered a second cult meeting on my basil plant today. It appears the juvenile cult members (orange, on the left) have now grown up and are conducting their own meetings.

And, finally, here’s a pretty flower that’s currently blooming on our front hedges. I might or might not paint it eventually.

Artober 25: Progress!

Here it is so far. I added a first green wash and some bark and initial darkening on the tree. The purple on that tiny mushroom is just the first wash. It’s a weird color: Daniel Smith’s cobalt violet. That’s about as dark as you can get it, which is strange. It’s also exactly the way it was depicted on the Jerry’s Artarama sales page. I was sure it would have to be darker, though. Nope. There’ll be more paint on that one. Also the rest of the whole painting. The yellow bits, if you can see them at the bottom, are masking fluid that will eventually be leaves and sticks after I put down a wash in all that white space. The leaves and sticks are a lot lighter than the soil, so I wanted to preserve the paper for grays and lighter browns. Here’s the whole painting so far:

There is, of course, still plenty of time to ruin it.

In Puppy News, Lucy apparently shares Penny’s love of gardening:

She does not, however, share Penny’s love of baths. She had her first non-emergency (read: non-poop-related) bath today, and she whined and tried to scramble out of the tub the whole time. Sigh. She’s clean, though! For now.

Artober 24: A little sketch and even less paint

There’s a lot to come with this one. That’s a basic sketch and some raw umber. Hopefully I’ll be able to get in the tree’s streakiness. Here’s the photo it’s based on:

This is one of my few attempts sans tutorial, so we’ll see how it turns out. As luck would have it, I happened to receive the perfect color for that little purple mushroom near the bottom today (it’s Daniel Smith’s cobalt blue), so maybe that will help.

Along with the new paint, I got a butcher tray, which seems to be one of the more sought-after watercolor tools. It’s an 11″ by 15″ porcelain tray that I got on Super Sale from Jerry’s Artarama. I soooo didn’t realize how big it is before I bought it. It kind of dwarfs my workspace.

That’s really big for the small portable table I’m using.

In Puppy News, Penny harvested a sweet potato from a neglected supermarket purchase Palmer and I planted last year. She was pretty proud of herself. I saw another one down there, so I’ll pull it and any others up and make jerky out of all of the smallest, which I’ll replant. Fun times with gardening!

Artober 23: Birds are hard, too!

I finished the painting I started yesterday, not that it involved much. I wasn’t happy with the Payne’s gray hill, so I painted it over with black ink, which I like better. I also used ink for the birds, which I don’t like much at all, though I guess they’ll do. I need to practice. Last night I went back over it with more indigo, which I don’t think helped much. I also spattered a wee bit of white gouache around the top with zero runs.

In dog-ish news, sometimes a little plastic bag of poop sits on the corner of our little landing until another one justifies a trip to the trashcan in the front yard. Me. Lizard, here, has discovered its use in acquiring a particularly tasty buggy lunch.

And, finally, I made my semi-annual trip to the endo today, which always results in a pile of Rotolo’s pizza with friends. Things could be worse. 

Artober 22: There Will Be Birds and new workspace!

So here you go. I’ve spent most of the day feeling EXHAUSTED and generally terrible, so I just did this. Cooking and eating a super tasty dinner made me feel better about things and is probably why I rallied enough to produce something today. There will be a lovely flock of birds once the background dries, which means tomorrow. I see now that the little hill would have been a good excuse to pull out the ink. I don’t have a black on my palette, so it’s mainly Payne’s gray with a little sap green and cad yellow in it. Plain ol’ black ink would have been just as good if not better. So it goes. There’s also white gouache up in there, which is kind of exciting. I’m following a tutorial by Maria Raczynska, the same artist who designed my last painting. I really love her stuff, but most of it is too complicated. This one is advertised as for beginners, so I figured I could handle it, but hers is AMAZING. If you’re into art and videos, you should probably subscribe to her channel. Here’s the whole painting as it stands:

Because I was so tired of all my paintings looking yellow in photos, I arranged myself a new work area, *ahem* borrowing one of Palmer’s photo lights and sticking it into an IKEA floor lamp to shine on my work. So far, it seems to make a huge difference in painting and in the pictures I take of said painting.

In other news, there was a big storm early this morning that involved lots of wind (which I somehow slept through) and a huge tree limb fell down into our yard and the neighbor’s. Luckily, it didn’t do any damage (this time), so I retrieved the limb so Palmer can cut it up for firewood next weekend. I’m not sure that’ll be necessary, though, because the Stick Patrol was workin’ hard today.

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