Friday, November 21, 2014

Friday Sketches

Welcome to Friday Sketches. Did you see the entries for last week's Friday Sketches?  If not, click here and check them out, there is some amazing art being shared.

So, winter has unceremoniously, and very rudely pushed its way into autumn.  For most of the week we have seen blistering cold temperatures and waves of snow that has settled itself over Cedar Falls.  I know I will be looking out on waves of white for the next few months, it's something I will never get used to.

So, in the mid-west, staying warm is an art form.  These people know how to dress, how to move around town, and how to enjoy life in a freezer.  And there is nothing more comforting and warming that sitting down to an amazing meal.  

Some dear friends of mine have recently opened a restaurant in town called "La Calle".  It's a Latin-American Grill, and the burgers are to-die-for.  They try to source as much of their produce from local farmers and there is always an explosion of taste and delight because of it.

So this week, I thought I would share with you a simple 'Burger' sketch I did in honor of "La Calle".  If you're in the Cedar Falls, Iowa area, be sure to drop by and feast on one of their delicious Latin-inspired burgers and a boutique beer. It's well worth braving the cold.

What have you been sketching this week?  Please link up your art and creativity using the linky tool below.  And remember to put a link in your blog post back here, it's always appreciated.

Enjoy your weekend and thank for stopping by. xx

(I'm linking to PPF & AJED)

Grab your "Friday Sketches" button by coping the html code from the box below and pasting it on your blog.

Dion Dior

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Painting Bell-Shaped Flowers

This week in my "Painting Watercolor Flowers" class, we've been sketching and painting bell-shaped flowers.  We've been exploring the concepts of controlling paint-flow in order to achieve translucence in these beautiful blooms. It's a simple technique with amazing results.

Much like watercolor pencil work, gentle, considered layering is an important part of building up the subtle color tones in both the blooms and the foliage when painting flowers.  Learning to slow down, tackle the subject one piece at a time, and focus on the amount of water versus the quantity of paint on your brush are important factors.

Painting in this detail, almost realistic way is fast becoming one of my favorite techniques.  Probably because of the meditative, almost zen effect this process has on me.  My breathing slows down as does my heart rate, I focus in on the simple color of the curl in a petal which eliminates from view all the clutter around me.

Yesterday in class every one of the students started out terrified of tackling this technique, convinced that they wouldn't be able to do it, but by the time the class finished, each one of them had painted a beautiful Campanula in such a way that they we amazed.  This is what I love about teaching, the feedback I get when students have that "A-ha" moment after trying something they are convinced they can't do.  It's joyful.

Next week, well be painting daffodils and extending on the techniques of controlling the paint flow and tackling under-painting for shadow.  I can't wait.  

Also, next week I'll be announcing my 2015 teaching schedule which will include 2 new online classes and a host of live classes and 1-2 day workshops.  If you'd like to help host a live 1 or 2 day workshop for your group or art friends in your area, please email me so we can talk through logistics and I can get it on my schedule.

Don't forget to join me on Friday for "Friday Sketches", I always love to see what everyone has been creating.

Enjoy your day, and thanks for checking in. xx

Monday, November 17, 2014

21 Secrets Conversations

 I've been so fortunate to have been able to present a workshop as part of 21 Secrets for the past few years.  The beautiful Connie from Dirty Footprints Studio has not only become a mentor, but a beautiful and inspiring friend.  

For the past few weeks, and for the next few, Connie is presenting a series of artist interviews where she spent some time over the summer chatting with lots of different artists.  Today, I'm thrilled to be the subject of her interview.  

Please click through the link below then click HOME to enjoy a fun and somewhat crazy chat I had with Connie.  And while you at it, scroll down and take a look at the line up for 21 Secrets Spring 2015 ....WOW!!

Thanks for stopping by xx

Friday, November 14, 2014

Friday Sketches

Welcome to Friday Sketches.  I'm sorry I didn't post a Friday Sketches last week, but life got kind of crazy, as it tends to do, and the entire week got away from me.  Never happens!


This week has been another busy one for me, for so many reasons.  But mainly because I've been ferrying children around to their various activities.  It's a busy time of year, that's for sure, but I love it.  It's so rewarding watching my children grow and develop as they pursue the things they love.  Piano, Choir, Cello, STEM...lots of end of year recitals and various presentations.  It's makes for a very enriching life.

I've also been busy teaching a new class at the Waterloo Center for the Arts here in Iowa.  It's my last live class series for the year and to make the coming of winter a little easier to handle, we've been "Painting Watercolor Flowers".
So for Friday Sketches this week, I thought I'd share a study page I did in my sketchbook yesterday.  It explores flower shapes and colors and I've been getting back into the groove of flower sketching technique.  

As I grow as an artist, I find that when I sketch and paint my floral subjects, I develop my own personal creative sketching to speak.  That's great for me, but when I'm teaching others, I think it's important to teach the fundamentals of observation, blocking, and gesture sketching.  So I have to refresh my own skills in these areas.

Anyway, it's been a beautifully floral couple of weeks, and with a month of this class left to deliver, I will be in my studio, playing in the artistic garden as the snow continues to fall outside my window.

What have you been sketching this past few weeks?  Feel free to link up your sketches from last week and this week if you like, and remember to put a link back here in your blog so your followers know where to find you. And please take the time to visit other participants, some of their work is truly extraordinary.

Enjoy your weekend, and thanks for checking in. xx

(I'm linking to PPF & AJED)

Monday, November 10, 2014

Tropical Dreams

Welcome to a new week.  I wanted to share a little splash & scribble from my sketchbook today.  It's my tropical dream in honor of my mother & elder sister who are relocating to the Brisbane in the tropical north of Australia.  

 They have been living in Portarlington on the Bellerine Peninsula,Victoria, which is down south, for many many years.  

They're heading to my favorite place in the world and home to many many of my friends.  I'm so excited for them, but a little envious at the same time.

They have glorious tropical sunshine and ocean to look forward to from now on.  So I thought I would share a beautiful rainbow parrot in their honor. 

Good luck with your move Mum & AMF.  I look forward to visiting sometime in the future.

This page was done in watercolor pencil and ink in a Stillman & Birn "Epsilon" Series Sketchbook
Enjoy your week everyone, and thanks for checking in. xx

Wednesday, November 5, 2014

Christmas Gift Giving

I'm not usually one to get organized for the holidays early, I'm the kind of person who plays catch up at the very last minute.  But this year is going to be different.  

My online home decor shop at Society6 is having a huge holiday special, FREE shipping WORLD WIDE when you purchase anything from my store.  So I thought I'd share it with you too. 


Coffee mugs, throw pillows, wall clocks, to name a few.  All these items, with my art designs on them, are available for you to purchase.   

You get FREE Worldwide Shipping when you order from my Society6 Store. Please note that this promotion is NOT automatically available at Society6, the promotion is only available if you click through this link.

So, no matter where you are in the world, you get FREE SHIPPING...why not take a browse through my store, and pick out some designs you love.  Then choose what items you'd like to put them on and give them as gifts to your friends, family, and yourself. 

This Promotion expires November 9, 2014 at Midnight Pacific Time. *Offer excludes Framed Art Prints, Stretched Canvases and Rugs.

Happy shopping & thanks for checking in. xx

Monday, November 3, 2014

Simple Beauty

Welcome to a new week.  Once again I have been inspired by the gorgeous art you are all creating and sharing on "Friday Sketches".  It is overwhelming to see such courage and beauty amongst it and I love spending my mornings browsing through the links. The Friday Sketches link ups remains open for a full week, so if you'd like to share your creative abundance, please click here.

I have two classes currently running,the first is my "Watercolor Pencils" class where participants have been painting the exquisitely beautiful, and oftentimes unpredictable Fuchsia. Once again I am in awe of the courage and creativity of these amazing artists, and in the coming weeks I plan to share some more of their work with you.  If you'd like to see some of the amazing Hot Air Balloons that these participants painted in Watercolor Pencil, please click here. Or if you'd like to join the "Watercolor Pencils" fun, please click here.

The second class I am guiding right now is "Splash & Scribble". It is part of the 21 Secrets FALL program, which by the way is full of some of the most amazing artists and workshops I have seen gathered for a long time. I have received many many emails from participants of this program sharing their love for the fun and inspiration "Illustrative Art Journaling Workshop".

21 Secrets Fall, which contains "Splash & Scribble", is delivered in a hundred page eBook format with links to all the videos throughout.  If you have not yet signed up, then Connie over at Dirty Footprints Studio is running a super special on both the Spring & Fall sessions right now. Click here for more info.

She is also running a free program on her blog right now called "21 Secrets Conversations".  Each day for 7 weeks there will be a video interview with one of the teachers from the program.  My interview is scheduled for a couple of weeks form now.  I'll keep you posted.

This journal page was done using watercolor pencils and ink in a Stillman & Birn "Epsilon" Series Sketchbook.  

Enjoy your week, and thanks for checking in. xx

Friday, October 31, 2014

Friday Sketches

Welcome to Friday Sketches. Another busy week, but one filled with harmony.  I finished teaching the Fall session of "Introduction to Watercolor" at the beautiful Waterloo Center for the Arts.  What a truly wonderful group of participants.  One of the most joyful gatherings I have had the pleasure of guiding, and to top it off, I made new friends.

Next week I start the Fall session of "Painting Watercolor Flowers", which is perfect for this time of year.  As the weather grows colder and the threat of winter draws ever nearer, I will spend the next six weeks with another wonderful group of artists immersed in the joys of water, paint, and flowers.

So, with all that in mind, I sketched this fun, scribbly, splashy, poppy over summer, but now seemed like the perfect time to share it.

This week I also updated my Society 6 shop with lots of gorgeous new art.  I'm especially excited about the "Autumn" collection of Throw Pillows and Coffee Mugs.  I was so thrilled with how they turned out that I actually ordered a stack of them myself to give for Christmas presents.

If you get time, pop on over to my Society 6 shop and check out the collection of these, and other Home Decor items with my art on it.  Or, if you want to consider giving the gift of a beautiful fine art print, then check out my gallery on Fine Art America.

And while you're at it, if you'd like to beautify your blog with a "Friday Sketches" button, you can pick up the code below. Just copy the HTML code below the image and past it into your blog side bar or html widget.

Dion Dior

So, how has your week been?  Did you make art or sketch this week?  I'd love to see what you've been doing.  Please link your Friday Sketches using the Linky tool below and remember to put a link back here in your blog post so our followers know where to find you.

Enjoy your weekend, and thanks for checking in. xx

(I'm Linking to PPF & AJED)

Monday, October 27, 2014

Twinkling Tulips

Now that my "Watercolor Pencils" class is fully live and bubbling away, I've been able to turn my mind to what's next! So this weekend I unpacked my porcelain palette filled with Twinkling h2o's and had a wonderful play in my sketchbook. I had so much fun just playing in the glittering color and splashing around. I also had some brand new "Twinks" pots filled with brand new twinkling colors and I can't wait to try them out.

Coming up in a couple of weeks I'll be teaching a live studio class at the Waterloo Center for the Arts called "Painting Watercolor Flowers" and it's just wonderful.  I'm very excited as I LOVE LOVE LOVE teaching live.  And of course, I'll be introducing my students to the wonderful world of luminescent watercolors and the joy of ColourArte's Twinkling h2O's.

These fun and colorful tulips were done with Twinkling h2O Luminescent Watercolors in a Stillman & Birn "Epsilon" Series Sketchbook.  

Coming up over the next few weeks I'll also be playing with my pots of Silks Acrylic Glaze in preparation for my re-release of "A Taste of Silks".  This wonderful online class will be back by popular demand in 2015 and will teach you all about fluid acrylic glaze technique using these glittering, silky jewels of acrylic from ColourArte.  Registration will open soon, so stay tuned.

Thanks for stopping by. xx