Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Back Shading

I am trying to get my students to understand what back shading is (well, at least that's what I call it. Is there another official word for it?)

So while this is not EXACTLY what they were to do for their assignment, it's close. 

This a drawing of flowers in pencil with red ball point pen back shading.

Their project was to draw flowers shaded (and back shaded) on a painted watercolor surface. It was my first attempt at this assignment, but I'd say it was successful!

Friday, September 21, 2012

Stamp Making

I'm currently teaching my advanced class how to make stamps.

We are making square designs that can be rotated to create larger designs, but I had a long strip of the speedy cut left over and thought I'd make a pseudo-chevron stamp out of it since the chevron (aka zig-zag) pattern is super popular right now.

It doesn't line up perfectly when repeated in a row like this, but I don't mind. It's not supposed to be a finished piece. Just to be used as pattern and texture in non-focal point areas.

I'm happy with it and it only took about 40 minutes to complete from initial design to what you see here.

Thursday, August 30, 2012


The topic for the week on Illustration Friday was "tall".

I don't have a lot of experience with this word as I am only 4'11".

However some of my best friends are 6' and my husband is 6'1".

So this is a tribute to you Kac and Steph, and KS! Love y'all!

Saturday, July 28, 2012

A new painting cont (& IF: Lost)

Here are the remaining steps:

Step 5. I seem to have either deleted the photos or didn't take any between step four and five because I made quite a few adjustments. We have a reddish brown leather couch so I added maroon stripes on the yellow circles and added black outlines around the circles. Originally I had used black around the edges, but at some point I realized there is no black in our living room so I changed it to brown.

Step 6. Our wooden coffee table has yellow and orange undertones so I added some orange in the background to mute the purple a bit.

Step 7. I knew I wanted to put a quote on top (even though I wasn't sure which one yet) and thought all the colors wre a bit too vibrant and there was too much going on for the quote, so I used zinc white to try and soften the colors without losing them completely.

Step 8. I used ivory white to add the quote (which was the theme of the sermon on Sunday that started this whole adventure). I am NOT LOST when I have my shepherd guiding and protecting me. That brings me such peace.

Step 9. I added a little brown cast shadow to make the letters pop just a bit more. You can't really tell from the couch that the shadows are there which I like. Just makes it stand out a bit.

I'm very pleased with it. And it's refreshing to have a new painting hanging!

Thursday, July 26, 2012

A new painting

I got inspired at church to create a painting for our mantle.

There were lots of steps so I'll be breaking it down into a few posts. They are all in acrylic paint.

Step 1. I started with gessoing an old canvas that I had already made two paintings on, so there was a lot of texture before I started.

Step 2. I painted purple circles with a stencil.

Step 3. I used a paper towel to swipe on an off white color to pick up the texture.

Step 4. I added yellow ochre circles.

Stay tuned for more...

Friday, July 13, 2012

Kitty cat

Here is a collage I made using magazines with Citra Solv. It looks like my kitty!

Monday, July 2, 2012

IF- Refresh

Since I have recently been creating a lot of layered mixed media lately, I thought it would be Refreshing to have something minimalistic yet still intriguing.

Monday, June 18, 2012

Cloud Banner

This is a little something I did while out of town with limited resources. The background is Neocolor crayons with water dripped/washed on top and a sharpie design of cloud banners inspired by Julie.

9x5" mixed media

Thursday, June 7, 2012


I finally got motivated to play in my sketchbook. 

I sat down at my messy desk with visions of repetition and stencils bouncing around my head. 

Once the taste of Nerds had dissolved from my tongue, I noticed a horrible stench coming from the litter box. 

Seeing as how I'm now pregnant, little things like cleaning litter boxes have been taken off my to do list. And alas, my wonderful husband was outside mowing the yard and could not empty it out right then, so I had to relocate.

So I grabbed my sketchbook, 2 sharpies and my circle stencil and headed to the living room. 

I found this old page with acrylic paint I was using up and decided to draw on top of it.

It's not much, but at least it's something. Quite appropriate too for Illustration Friday's theme of Hurry, since it took me less than 10 minutes to complete!

8x5" acrylic and sharpie

Monday, May 21, 2012

Pink Honeycomb

I can't seem to find a large chunk of time until school gets out, so here's a little goodie

I made in less than 30 minutes. 

Gotta love me some mixed media with repetition and texture!

My layers include: marker with water dripped, stamps, stencils, Neocolor I, and sharpie on masking tape on a page in an old book. 

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

A New (to me) Artist

While perusing Pinterest I came across this artist. 

I love his work!
It's so emotional, captivating and creative.

I don't have permission to post his work, but you should definitely check it out for yourself. 

It'll be worth your time!!

Monday, May 7, 2012


A quick sketch for Illustration Friday's theme of Hitched. 

5x7" Red China Marker

Thursday, April 26, 2012


I seem to be on a balloon kick lately. 

Several things I have made while just playing around have included balloons. 
This one is no exception.
Actually, it may have been the first. 

7x12" Watercolor, Marker, Ink

Friday, April 20, 2012

Prayer Flag

The Prayer Flag Project has become quite something in the art world.

It is featured on the cover of the latest issue of the Cloth Paper Scissors Magazine and I have seen various artists reference it on their blogs. 

I finally made one of my own for a very dear family battling cancer.

8.5x5" Mixed Media
  I thought this worked well with Illustration Friday's theme of heights--prayers to God high above.

Saturday, April 14, 2012

You Scream I Scream

We all scream for ice cream!!!

I mean, really. Who doesn't like ice cream?! 

Here's a tasty little mixed media piece I started a few weeks ago and finally finished up. 

There were lots of steps involved, but of course I forgot to capture each one. 

9x14" mixed media

First, I drew out the ice cream on cardboard and glued yarn to it (two layers actually so it's quite raised off the cardboard). 

Once it dried, I glued tissue paper over the entire thing (well, most of it since the paper wasn't quite big enough) and made sure to push the paper down around the yarn. Then I panted it with a wash of acrylic brown paint. 

Not really sure where to go from here, I added some text from an old book just to give it more texture I guess. But really it has enough, right?!

Once the glue was dry I used some acrylic paint (no brown this time) and painted over the paper and enhanced the ice cream cone. I wish I had taken more pics as I painted, but this last step took less than 10 minutes, so I honestly didn't think about it. I enhanced the raised yarn with some darker black/brown/red paint and gave the ice cream and cherry a bit of color. 

I'm really pretty happy with it and hoping that I can make it into a project for my students.

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Nevr-Dull Collage

I am currently working with some of my students on composition and they are finding it more challenging than I expected especially since we've been talking about composition all year. 

It's amazing what they do and don't retain. 

We are creating compositions using magazine pages and Nevr-Dull to matte and dull information that is not important and add texture. (It's actually a metal polisher, but dulls magazines!). 

Here's an example I made for them. I love the marks and texture it creates on the plane white paper!

Magazine Collage and Nevr-Dull, 10x6"

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Ants Marching On

Here's a little drawing I did when I had some extra time. 

6x8" Pen on Paper

Saturday, March 24, 2012

Surreal Collage

Can you identify what's original and what isn't? 

9x12" Magazine Collage

Monday, March 19, 2012

Watercolor Fruit

For the past couple of weeks I've been teaching watercolor to my advanced art I students. 

It's quite a challenge, but they are getting the hang of it.

This was my example that I worked on throughout the project. 

Watercolor is definitely not my strongest medium, but I like the final product. 

Hopefully you do too!

9x11" watercolor on paper

Friday, March 9, 2012

Glass Bowl

Here's another glass bowl for your enjoyment.

I only wish it was filled with an ice cream sundae!

8x6" colored pencil on brown paper

Sunday, March 4, 2012


I recently went on a women's retreat through my church and the theme was 


They did such a good job planning it. When we arrived they had notebooks set out on the tables for us to take notes in during the weekend. And they also had scrapbook paper, tape, glue, and a few markers set out so we could each personalize the covers. 

I unfortunately arrived a few minutes late and didn't have the time to decorate mine with pretty paper. 

Luckily I never travel without a Sharpie!

I decorated mine as words spoke to me during the entire weekend.

Sunday, February 19, 2012

Color Chart

Wow this took waaayyyyyy longer than I expected! 

I had never made one of these before but I'm not sure why.

I learned so much!!
(Like, why did I think I needed that many different reds?! --but the reds do look a little more diverse in person)

Even though this isn't the best picture, I thought I'd share it anyway. 

If you have paints laying around (I just happened to use watercolor),  I highly recommend it! 

Sunday, February 12, 2012

Reminds Me of Olives

I really like color combo of the painting I made for a friend, so I created a much smaller scale piece with one of the original sketches I made for her.

I've actually put a glossy finish on it since I took the picture. I like it better that way.
So imagine it if you can....

Acrylic 11x14"

Friday, February 3, 2012

Random Collage

I've really enjoyed playing with techniques and resources at my disposal with no clear direction.
I let the art tell me what's next.

This one started with a wash of watercolor, acrylic stenciled on top, white paint pen circles, some colored pencil circles and then magazine images added last.

 Not sure if I love this one, but I like the movement I created with the collaged images.
What do you think?

3x3" Mixed Media

Wednesday, February 1, 2012


I'm not the kind of person who just loves buttons. 

I have enough of them, but I don't collect them. 

But when looking through a magazine for a focal point to put in the
middle of the yellow rays the buttons were calling out to me...

"Pick us! Pick us!"

How could I deny them the opportunity to live contently in my little drawing?!

2.5x3.5" Mixed Media

Friday, January 27, 2012

Another Abstract Painting

There's just something that calls me to non-objective and abstract pieces. 
When I sit down to paint for fun, it just flows out of me. 
I can't help it. 
So I surrender....

3x3" Watercolor

Sunday, January 22, 2012

There has been a huge fascination with birds lately.
For me it's because they are easy to draw. 
Just a couple curvy lines and you're done! 

They also make a quick and easy focal point/subject matter when you aren't sure where to go next.
I had created this watercolor background that was sitting on my desk for a few (ok, several) months and I just wasn't sure which direction to take it. 
So I just started to draw and not care (or worry really) about where it would take me. 

I filled in the white areas with yellow-green and blue-green and then stamped the fence on and added some sharpie detail. Easy enough and only took 10 minutes!

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Yellow Rain

I created this without having any idea of what to do with it, 
so it became a place to try new techniques.

Some techniques didn't work (watercoloring stencils) 
while others turned out pretty well (Neocolors on top of everything).

I think I'm a fan of it as a finished piece though. 

What do you think?

Monday, January 2, 2012

I'm A Card Making Machine

Time to refill my box of blank greeting cards. 
With 24 people on my husband's family alone, we give out a lot of cards. 

Birthday cards, graduation cards, Christmas cards, congratulations cards, etc. 

Blank is the best way to go, which means making them is a lot easier!
For a couple of hours last night, I stamped and painted designs for the front of blank cards. 
Some could be fancier with some scrapbook paper added as boarders or something, but it was late and I was tired so I took the easy route.

I still like them though!