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.
As is often the case with me, this is based on a photo I took while abroad – this one in 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.
This one was a loose interpretation of a photo taken in Bath.
As 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.
Disclaimer: 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.
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.
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,
Puddy responded well to her sketch, as you see below.
I guess my roommates liked them because they framed them up and hung them right over their bed.
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.
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.
One featured our friends across the street’s home.
I paid extra attention to my mother’s spot in the kitchen.
I included one sketch of our house’s outside to wrap things up.
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:
I like painting planets because they’re easy and pretty, like flowers, but more subtle and cool.
I used watercolors to paint these on a large sheet of what I believe is watercolor paper, but may be print paper, it was from a large folder of miscellaneous art paper hand-me-downed from my grandmother. I mixed all the greys because 1) I don’t have gray and 2) I wanted more dimension and variety to the color than just using mixed down blacks. Once done and cut out, I suspended them with thread and push pins (I know nails look cooler but I love the ease of a thumbtack), attached to the wall in two spots to keep them each still at an angle, unwavering.
Also, here’s to back to school!
This is a bit odd, even for me, but the watercolor above is actually me reimagining my cat as an owl. I, and those I know, have always thought she had more of an owl-like feel to her than the average cat. So here is my cat turned into a horned, patterned owl. In case you’re newer to my blogs and don’t know Kristy, I have supplied a photo of her below. She cute, I know.
My first owl attempt was a basic barn owl I experimented with.
This mood board is a bit late, it was the result of experimenting back in December with holiday catalogues, mostly from Anthropologie and White Stuff UK, along with watercolor “studies” as show farther below.
The board itself I created with the intention of an antique, distressed wall look. I used primarily old house paints, neutral colors including white and soft browns, mixed with a few craft acrylics in colors like yellow ochre and black with a touch of a glaze-style paint I found in select spots. I built up the texture with some layers of tissue paper mixed into the paints, hard brushes and chipping at the paint. I also blended the ombre and splashed effects with a large sponge.
I was experimenting with different shades of blue watercolors and came up with this little study sheet. The patterns were inspired by the same catalogues on the mood board.
The board is free standing so I can lean or tuck it in where ever I like. It is, however, quite large for elaborate inspiration boards if I wish and to be used as a photo backdrop.
For Christmas, my best friend requested some sort of European watercolor scene like the Paris one I did a while back. It took my until mid-January but I’m glad I took the time to plan it out right. It’s much more colorful and the edges blurring out farther than I intended but overall, I’m happy with my second official composition.
As usual, my painting is based on a photo I took during my semester abroad. The original photo is just below. The friend I was visiting when I took the photo believes the scene is from Beaune, not his hometown next door, Dijon. However, since neither of us are sure, I labeled the image Burgundy, since both towns fall within it haha. I shrunk the focus on my painting and swapped the building colors along with other modifications.
To save time and frustration, I did trace some perspective lines that I struggle with (roof angles) and was worried the look would be too artificial in the end. I think for the most part, the added sketching details and paint relaxed the look, but I definitely want to work with purely my own lines as much as I can in the future.
Techniques I was trying to incorporate in this work include line and wash, urban sketching, under painting, and layering colors. I also relied heavily on my brand new paints from my Grandmother for Christmas: Windsor and Newton watercolors. The colors were beautiful with more dimension (is that the word I am looking for?) to them than any I’ve worked with so far.