Art journal play: Brushstrokes

Art journal prompt: Brushstrokes The Day 13 creative prompt was Brushstrokes. This is actually the second one I did for this theme. For the first one I used watercolor in a mixed media sketchbook, and I’m too spoiled by nice watercolor paper to like how that one turned out. But the concept was good — I had in mind the image of some fall leaves against a dark tree trunk — so I did another version with acrylic. I also switched from a small flat brush to a relatively stiff, medium sized filbert. The asymmetry of the strokes contributes to…

Art journal play: Color Background

Art journal prompt: Color Background The Day 4 creative prompt was Color Background. Wendy suggested choosing a color you don’t typically use and I thought that sounded like a cool challenge. I mixed up a mid-value red-violet, a color I have pretty much no love for. And the fun part came with choosing the colors to use on top of it. I’ve been itching to use an earthy yellow ochre, so went with a triadic color scheme and rounded it out with blue-green. Triadic color scheme and compositional sketch With the color palette and a basic composition as a starting point,…

Sketchbook portraits of cute dogs in gouache and acrylic

As a big believer in the power of daily sketchbook exploration, I’m doing a mini-challenge of painting dogs in a variety of media. Partially to get better at drawing and painting dogs, but also as a vehicle for playing with different materials. Four small dog portrait sketches in acrylic (upper left) and gouache (the other three) This little grouping was made in my Stillman & Birn Nova sketchbook, which has grey toned paper. I wanted to warm up the surface so instead of the grey I applied a medium value ochre-ish color made from white gesso and acrylic paint. The…

100 Starts – numbers 11-20

Continuing my 100 Starts, based on Kevin Macpherson’s prompt… Days 11-20 of the “100 Starts” exercise, painted in acrylics from 11-17 and oil 18-20 Numbers 1-10 Number 11 notes I added two new things to the way I do this exercise: used multiple brushes (one for lights, one for shadows, and one for the first easy color which is typically higher chroma) and a little test sheet to organize my colors in the light and shadow families. They’re very small changes that made a huge difference in the experience! I didn’t spend time cleaning out one brush over and over…

100 Starts – Kevin Macpherson prompt

The down side to being a book lover is that I tend read them one after another without pause. With novels this is no big deal. But with art instruction books it’s not very effective to blow past them like that. Especially when there’s so much valuable content and fantastic advice in them. When I read Fill Your Oil Paintings with Light & Color by Kevin Macpherson I knew following his prompt to paint 100 starts would be a good idea. The basic premise is that you give yourself 30 minutes to get the simple shapes of your subject blocked in…