Layering Traditional and Modern

wood slice painting

I’ve been wanting to paint a wood slice ala hip and trendy style for a while now. In my grandfather’s old stuff, my mom found this slab for me. It had a print on it already and even though I always feel bad covering a form of art, I gessoed a handful of layers and got myself a nice wood canvas. I sanded down the gesso to a smoother texture, though the wood grain still added a nice texture to the base.

I chose to do my painting in this almost graphical-pop art-new wave style to counteract the traditional landscape subject on the natural canvas. It took tons of layers and I spilled some retarder which caused me to fear it may never dry. Luckily, it did and was thoroughly sealed and finished. It’s a handy painting compared to the framed paper paintings on my wall. For example, it makes a good…

1. Piece for wall art

mountains on wood

2. Table tray for cocktails and candles

mountains on wood tray

3. A miniature stage for toddlers to dance on

mountains on wood with kid

Hopefully I’ll scrounge up another slab of wood soon…

Birds of a Feather: Paired Paintings

As I mentioned in my previous post, I’m digging painting paired pieces right now. This holiday, I wanted to make my grandparents a different painting each but make the paintings complement each other.

My grandmother is a skilled watercolorist. Since she has been painting less these days, she handed me down a shoebox’s worth of her paints. I used many of those in these paintings from mayan blue to quinacridone gold.

watercolor bird (2)

I went for a bird theme to go with their house. A floral branch is more my grandmother’s taste and the rock is a nod to my grandfather’s participation in geology.

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One of Each: Paired Paintings of European Buildings

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Why choose between watercolor and acrylics? I got back into acrylics for the first time in a very long time with this British street scene. I went for almost an oils-approach with tons of texture and smudging. I’m crazy about acrylic mediums like gels and pastes. They make unimaginable depth.

england street on canvas (2)

As is often the case with me, this is based on a photo I took while abroad – this one in Nottingham.

Nottingham

The acrylic canvas was a spur of the moment idea but after I was so happy with it, I decided I needed it to be part of some sort of set. Because, of course. So I used the same general palette for a minimalistic, subtle, watercolor complement.

bath building in watercolor (2)

This one was a loose interpretation of a photo taken in Bath.

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Apartment Cocktails in Watercolor

watercolor cocktailsAs we begin the holiday season, you are likely planning out your season calendar of errands, family events, and work projects. On a related note, I decided to paint up the favorite cocktails in my home.

cocktail watercolor paintingDisclaimer: I have never wanted to try a bloody mary, but one of my roommates is a big fan so it is included despite my personal opinions on the drink.

 

 

Fall Bouquet in Watercolor

Watercolor Floral Wedding Bouquet

I love fall and I am so excited its finally starting here in California. To celebrate, I decided my on-a-whim painting should have a more fall-based palette. I saw this photo floating around Pinterest and was inspired by the entire wedding. So here’s my loose interpretation of her fall flower bouquet.

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Colors used go across the top and the mixes from those for the palette are under the text.fall color palette watercolor

Watercolor Kitty Cats

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If anyone should have custom paintings of their cats, it’s my roommates. The two affectionately refer to their cats as their kids and miss them during two day trips. The above is of our girl Cassie, more commonly known as Puddy. I did a quick sketch of her one afternoon as she was posing by me. This sketch snowballed into two watercolor pet portraits.

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This little guy was harder to sketch, too fidgety. Though I did most of the pieces looking at the cats live, I took photos as well. Here are the references of Puddy and Ollie,

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Puddy responded well to her sketch, as you see below.

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I guess my roommates liked them because they framed them up and hung them right over their bed.

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Two watercolor experiments in one: new brush and new style

tools easteasel

My brother’s girlfriend, who lives in South Korea, gave me a variety of handmade papers and a bamboo brush last Christmas. I finally had the time and opportunity to test out this quality brush. Since I had also been wanting to try out some Chinese painting looks from a book my grandmother loaned me, I decided to pair up the two experiments. The brush held so much water and distributed colors in a loose, beautiful way. I love the vibrant result given by layering the colors on the brush itself before making strokes as recommended by the book. I based the style of the flowers and leaves on some background flowers in the book’s various walkthroughs. Each stroke was so satisfying, I can’t wait to make more paintings like this.

watercolor flowers easteasel

Painting more European photos: Stone wall with a blue door

 

watercolor door layers

For my first official painting project in quite some time, I chose my usual subject: an architectural photo from my Europe trip. I went for an almost diorama look by layering an old photo mat, my painting of the stone wall, and the painting of the door. This dimensional idea came to me after I messed up the original door and, in my irritated state, cut it out of the wall.  The yellow wall came after layer upon layer, mostly wet washes, to create a mottled effect. The original photo is below and I believe was taken in Dijon, France.

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Views from Our Windows: Watercolor Sketches

 

As you may know, the past months included my family staging, selling, and moving out of our old home that we had spent the last 23 years in (well, 22 in my case.) During that time, I wanted to capture the memories in a way the beautiful photos taken of our home for the sale could not. As the inside of our home was filled with objects that were not our own, I looked outwards for inspiration and chose to paint the views seen from various windows in our home. This travel-style sketchbook was given to my mother.

The sketched were done with Faber pens, a limited color palette, and a waterbrush. Here are some highlights:

I started with my own views.

20160523_191146000_iOS lemon window view

One featured our friends across the street’s home.

brothers view

I paid extra attention to my mother’s spot in the kitchen.

kitchen view

I included one sketch of our house’s outside to wrap things up.

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Hello again and Lily’s First Birthday

I’m back!

I officially graduated with a bachelor’s in Business Administration, concentration in marketing, and a minor in English Literature. Now, I once again have the time to create and share those creations with all of you!

My best friend’s baby turned one back in April!

Here’s what I whipped up as part of my present to Lily and a quick shot with the birthday girl herself:

lily teacup

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