Wednesday, January 31, 2007

Illustration Friday - Red

The word of inspiration at the Illustration Friday site this week is red. This gave me the perfect opportunity to paint my favorite red poppies. Water color and wc pencils in the Aquabee sketchbook. This was fun! Since the weather here has turned blustery and cold, this reminds me of spring and sunshine.

Sunday, January 28, 2007

EDM Challenge 103 - Exercise Equipment

It was hard to choose my favorite exercise equipment as I enjoy doing a lot of things, including both walking and deep water workout. Lately we have been going skating at the park on Sunday afternoons. As I was bumping around the ice this afternoon, I decided that this was my favorite activity. This is the one I do for the sheer joy of it - not for weight loss, or bone strengthening, or muscle tone. Just for the utter pleasure of being outside on a crisp, clear winter day, feeling the fresh air, smelling the wood smoke from the fires and families roasting weiners, hearing the sharp clear sound of blades on ice. It makes me glad to be alive, and so grateful for everything I have. It's not really exercise "equipment" but you can't skate without them. This is my secondhand figure skate - the leather is yellowing and someone (not me) filed off the picks on the front. Believe me, figure picks and rough ice are a dangerous combination. I only did one skate because I was pleased with how it turned, and why look for trouble? This is water color pencil outlined with my new Pigma Micron pen. First time I've used this pen, and first time I've outlined something in black. I like this pen very much.

Wednesday, January 24, 2007

Illustration Friday - Super hero

I did this very quickly in my journal during a break at work , using water color pencils but no water. The journal doesn't like water at all.

"This is Super Cat - stronger than a pitbull, faster than a chetah, able to leap tall furniture at a single bound, and descend staircases without touching ground. When her super powers are not needed, she takes on the persona of Holly, a mild-mannered Bengal tabby cat who enjoys chasing a ball, basking in front of the fireplace, and a good scratch between the ears."

Sunday, January 21, 2007

EDM 100 Landscape

This is the prairie landscape that I grew up with - the infinite sky, the golden fields, and the grain elevators. They are becoming scarce now, taken over by new technology and bigger centers. I wanted to pay tribute to them. For so long, they were an integral part of the life of central Alberta, the symbol of the prairies. All the small farming towns had one, the name of the town stenciled on the side so you always knew where you were.
This is done in watercolor on heavy paper. I like the way this turned out, especially because landscapes have always intimindated me a bit. There is so much in a landscape, so many decisions need to be made about what to leave out, what to focus on. Even drawing them I find difficult because if I look away and down to my paper, I have lost my place. This is a simple landscape, there's no where to get lost.

Saturday, January 13, 2007

EDM Challenge 101 - Soap

This is not my first EDM challenge, but it is the one I've decided to go public with. It is Pears Soap, my very favorite because of its gorgeous color and clean fresh scent. It has oils of cedar and thyme so I added those as well. This is water color in my Aquabee sketchbook. I hope to continue participating in the EDM challenges and posting them here. That is my number one resolution for this year.

Twelve Days of Christmas - Day Seven

On the seventh day of Christmas, my true love gave to me seven swans a-swimming. Now these were a challenge. On my first attempt, they look dismayingly similar to the geese on the previous painting but with bigger wings. Up to now, I have been doing a practice sketch in my journal. But I was taking way too long to get this done, so I decided with this one just to plan it out in my head and execute it on the page. That was a mistake, because I knew they looked wrong but by the time I figured out that their necks were too short it was too late. So I ended up doing it twice anyways. Lesson learned - don't rush! But in the end, I think it turned out all right.

Twelve Days Of Christmas - Day Six

On the sixth day of Christmas, my true love gave to me six geese a-laying. These geese were a lot of fun. They all look very interested in each other's business. This is water color in the Aquabee sketchbook.

Tuesday, January 09, 2007

Twelve Days of Christmas - Day Five

On the fifth day of Christmas, my true love gave to me five gold rings. This one was probably the least challenging although I really did enjoy doing the poinsettias. They turned out quite well. The cadmium red didn't scan very well, though, it looks washed out. And the background of cerulean blue barely shows up at all.

Saturday, January 06, 2007

Twelve Days of Christmas - Day Four

On the fourth day of Christmas, my true love gave to me four calling birds. This is my favorite one so far. I patterned these after the sparrows from my back yard who are always calling exuberantly to each other. My reasearch tells me that originally these were "collie" birds named after the coal miners and the word simply means black. Over the years that word has become obsolete and so now we say "calling" birds instead.

Twelve Days of Christmas - Day Three

On the third day of Christmas, my true love gave to me three french hens. Ok, so technically these are roosters not hens, but they were a lot of fun to draw. There really is not a breed of chichen called French Hens, but there are an astonishing number of breed of chickens. So how to make them French was the real question. Not speaking French, I did manage to misspell the word, but other than that I'm pleased with how they turned out. This is watercolor on the the Aquabee sketch pad.

Thursday, January 04, 2007

Twelve Days of Christmas - Day Two

On the second day of Christmas, my true love gave to me two turtle doves. We don't have turtledoves here in North America. The song originated in Europe and most of the images are from European Medieval times. However, turtledoves do make the distinctive purring sounds that all doves across the world make.

The Twelve Days of Chrsitmas - Day One

I have always wanted to illustrate this song using a folk art technique just because that's the images that are always in my head when I hear this song. So this year my goal is to do all of them. I'm not fast enough to do them for the exact day so the illustrations won't match with the days. But this has been a fun project. I designed each sketch using watercolor pencils, and then did it again in the sketch book using watercolor paints. I also realized that I didn't know what a turtle dove looked like, or what a "french hen" or a "calling bird" was. The research was also interesting.