Hi friends! I hope you had a lovely holiday season and a happy start to 2023! Have you taken down your decorations yet? We put up two Christmas trees and finally packed up the second one today, but already I miss the warm, cozy glow of the lights and twinkle of the ornaments. The nativity set is still up and might stay around for a little while. It is adorned with white lights and greenery, and it makes me happy to see it.
Being gifted some new-to-me types of professional watercolor paper for Christmas, it was exciting to have had a little time to play with them and learn their different characteristics. What a difference the paper makes!
The first was handmade Shizen cold-pressed, 140-lb. watercolor paper. To me, this very absorbent paper seemed more like a rough-pressed paper rather than cold pressed, but WOW, the paint settled into all the nooks and crannies and made such impressive effects. Because of the bumpy textures, indentations, tooth, and the way the light refracts on this paper, the final colors were more muted and definitely could handle a few more layers; however, this paper certainly accentuates granulating paints. That said, this paper would be perfect for landscapes, furry animals, and paintings with looser effects.
The second was a smooth handmade, 140-lb. hot pressed paper by Paul Rubens, and it contains a subtle glitter effect; if you know me, you’ll understand how happy glitter makes me! The glitter is embedded in the paper and does not rub off at all. I don’t use hot-pressed paper too often as I find it less forgiving and more suited for highly detailed paintings, but again the effects of this ultra-smooth paper were stunning and the colors more vibrant while using fewer layers of paint. This would be a great paper for ink, pen, illustrations, abstracts, and colored pencil.
I think the flamingo looks better on the hot-pressed paper but am looking forward to working with both papers in the upcoming months. Did you discover any fun artsy supplies recently? Thanks for stopping by!
I’ve actually had a lot of opportunities to paint recently, which brings much happiness! This quick turkey illustration was fun and inspired by my friend, Viv Cooper @artwithviv. She taught me some illustration work and that every painting doesn’t have to be so detailed; illustration is a breath of fresh air! She does amazing work with illustrations as well as realistic watercolor and colored pencil, and I’ve learned a lot from her. You should check out her blog and artwork, and she was sweet enough to make me her student of the month! Viv also takes commissions and offers some free classes. I’m honored to be spotlighted on her blog, so thank you very much, Viv!
Naturally, a turkey is perfect for November’s Draw A Bird, and I can’t believe Thanksgiving is just a few weeks away here in the U.S. I’m planning some fun family celebrations and am excited to see everyone because many of us haven’t seen each other since Father’s Day, or even longer! I hope to have some free time soon to blog what I’ve been working on in the past few months, but if I don’t get to it before the end of November, I wish you all a very Happy Thanksgiving! ❤
We just returned from an adventurous trip to Alaska and are blessed to have visited there twice. This trip was planned for August 2020, but “you-know-what” happened and the trip was cancelled. Things seemed pretty much back to normal, but some restaurants had closed and some places were short-staffed, but that seems to be the current situation all over the U.S.
Previously I made scrapbooks of our travel adventures but stopped doing so a few years ago. When we moved last year, I realized just how many trip scrapbooks I’ve made, how much work I put into them, and how little we look at them. However, after each trip that I did not scrap, there was a feeling of disappointment and let-down because nothing was documented and because we had just a smattering of photos on our cell phones. However, I think I’ve found a happy medium.
Because it is Draw A Bird day (unofficially), here are two of the many species of birds we saw. I have always wanted to see a Puffin in its own environment, and boy were there puffins (horned and tufted)! The ravens are bold and huge and likely could feed a family of four, but that’s probably not recommended 😉
It’s joyful to remember where these quick-ish sketches (definitely not masterpieces) were created, and the plan is to feature some favorites over the next couple of weeks. Do you document your trips? What methods do you use? Take care ❤
This fancy frog is a red-eyed tree frog, native to the tropics. As with most things in nature, this frog’s festive colors serve certain purposes. Its bright colors are defense mechanisms, and being green helps this amphibian blend in with leaves. If a predator spots a sleeping frog, it swoops in for a tasty meal, at which point the frog’s eyes pop open, revealing their vivid red color.
As the frog scrambles to get away, it untucks its brightly colored legs. The predator is so surprised by these sudden flashes of color that it is momentarily confused and hesitates, which gives the frog a split second to make its escape! How fascinating!
Today’s Doodlewash prompt is ocean, which immediately brings to mind our favorite family vacation spot in North Carolina along the Atlantic Ocean coastline. One of our favorite ocean activities is beach-combing and searching for fossilized sharks’ teeth, and here is where it all begins.
Although we find quite a few sharks’ teeth during our vacation, it’s been a few years since we’ve found a sizable one; you’d think it would be easy because sharks shed approximately 35,000 teeth in a lifetime! Either way, it is fun to spend time in the surf – one of my favorite places to be. 🦈 🏝