Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Painting Pears


Today I'm painting pears in watercolor pencil.  Filming continues for the upcoming "Watercolor Pencils" online class.  This one is no doubt my best yet...so full of technique and projects.  

I'm so excited for class to start in September. If you want to sign up, be sure to do so before the end of this month.  The "August Special" discount registration ends on Augut 31st.

If you'd like more info on this new class...click here.

Enjoy your week and thanks for checking in. xx

Monday, August 25, 2014

Thank You!


I was overwhelmed by all the birthday wishes I received yesterday, and I wanted to thank everyone who left me messages.  I had a fantastic day and was made to feel very special by my beautiful family and friends.

Twinkling Summer Garden

Twinkling Summer Garden

August seems to be a busy month for birthdays, so I am sharing these twinkling watercolor flowers, and wishing happy birthday to all my August birthday friends.

Twinkling Summer Garden

Thank you for your ongoing support of me and my creative work.  I am very grateful and have decided to extend the "Watercolor Pencils" special discount for one more day. (Click here)

If you missed the video I shared from the "Watercolor Pencils" lesson on color, you can see it here.

Have a wonderful week everyone, and thanks for checking in. xx

Saturday, August 23, 2014

"Watercolor Pencils" Video & Special This Weekend



To celebrate my birthday this weekend, I'm offering my "Watercolor Pencils" online class registration for only $80!  

Hurry as this offer is only available for this weekend (August 23-24)!


I'm sharing a video from the class for you to enjoy. 

This is an inspiration exercise from the lesson on color.




For more information, click here. 

Thanks for checking in. xx

Monday, August 18, 2014

Water Soluble Wax Pastel

Simple Tulip

Sharing this simple sketchbook page of a tulip I did using Neocolor II Watersoluble Wax Pastels.  It was done in a Stillman & Birn "Beta" Series Sketchbook.

Simple Tulip

"Pastel & Crayon" is the next class in the "Water Soluble Series" and is slated for 2015.  I took a break from filming Part 1, "Watercolor Pencil" and just played with my water soluble pastels, to change my pace a little.

Simple Tulip

I've been so consumed with birthdays, back to school, and filming two classes that I've had little time to blog lately. My apologies to my regular readers, but my capacity only stretches so far.

Simple Tulip

And don't forget, I'm taking $10 off ALL online class registrations for this month only. (Not including 21 Secrets).  Click here to browse my class offerings

I hope you have a wonderful week.  Thanks for stopping by.

Dion. xx

Monday, August 11, 2014

Tea Time Sketching


Tea time is one of my favorite subjects to sketch, so when I found out that this month's theme over on The Sketchbook Challenge was Coffee & Tea, I was thrilled. 



Quite often, my tea cups make the perfect sketchbook or art journal prompt for moments in my day.  I remember a lot of special times, or simple experiences by the tea cup in my hand. 



Tea cups are remarkably easy to sketch and make fantastically colorful subjects to paint.  You can do so much with a tea time sketch.



August is also a big birthday month for our family, so don't forget I'm taking $10 off ALL my online classes (excluding 21 Secrets) for the entire month.


Thanks for checking in. xx

Friday, August 8, 2014

Friday Sketches - Week 23




"Rainbow Butterfly"
Faber-Castell Albrecht Durer Watercolor Pencil in a Stillman & Birn "Epsilon" Series Sketchbook


 Welcome to Friday Sketches.  This week has been quite the week, it's the last full week of summer vacation before the children go back to school, plus it's the lead up to Thomas' 5th birthday this weekend. (You can read a little of his story here). 



To celebrate his birthday, I'm taking $10 off all my online classes for the entire month of August (not including Splash & Scribble which is part of 21 Secrets).

To browse my class offerings, please click here.

http://www.diondior.com/p/watercolor-pencil-workshop.html

I've also been burning the midnight oil in preparation for my my "Watercolor Pencils" class that goes live next month, so unfortunately blogging continues to take a back seat.

I thought I'd share this sketch I did as part of this class.  It is one of the exercises that focuses on the Watercolor Pencil Color Wheel.


I have been enjoying the wonderful sketches that have been posted by participants of last week's "Friday Sketches".  Be sure to check them out and leave them a comment to let them know you appreciate their work.

If you'd like to share what you've been creating this week in your sketchbook or art journal, click the link below, and be sure to leave a link back here in your blog post.

Have a wonderful weekend, and thanks for stopping by. xx

(Linking to PPF & AJED)

Sunday, August 3, 2014

The Story Of "Thomas The Brave"


This is a very special month for me.

Five years ago this month, my son Thomas was born 16 weeks premature.
He weighed only 1lb 3oz at birth.


Thomas - 12 Days Old
He was so tiny that his eyes were fused shut and instead of skin, he had a translucent membrane over his body.  

He could fit head-to-toe in the palm of my hand. 

Holding Thomas for the very first time.
During that time I witnessed some remarkable medicine, some incredible neo-natal practitioners, and a whole lot of love.

It was almost 3 months before I could hold him, 31/2 months before he was able to cry out loud, and 5 months before we could bring him home.

Thomas' NICU home for 5 months.

We took a room in the "Family" residence wing at the University of Iowa Children's Hospital and moved in.

Megan started Preschool in the hospital's Pediatric Cancer Wing and we watched three seasons come and go from the window of his NICU room.

Ready To Come Home - Dec 2009
On Christmas eve 2009, we took our son home, along with a plethora of wires, tubes, monitors, and tanks.  It was a cold snowing Christmas, but beyond joyful for us.  We were finally able to be a family.

Thomas was back into the PICU 4 times before we celebrated his first birthday, but in August 2010, he reached a milestone that we thought we'd never see.

Thomas turned 1 year old.

Thomas - 1 year old
Life has been a series of ups and downs for Thomas, but never a moment passes when we are not profoundly grateful for having him in our lives.

Thomas - 2 years old
 Over the years he has grown into a glorious little boy. Funny, energetic, and perfectly unique.

Thomas - 3 years old
I could ramble for hours about the joys and sorrow we have had to deal with, but space is limited.  

Thomas - 4 years old
Thomas' health has been fragile over the years.  It took him 2 years to get off oxygen, and he has fought set-back after set-back with incredible courage.

He battled hearing loss, vision loss, eating difficulties, kidney problems, and lung issues...to name a few, and in late 2012, he was diagnosed with Autism.

Thomas The Brave


Today he is a healthy, happy, beautiful little autistic boy, and on Sunday the 10th, he turns 5 years old.

It's such a wonderful time for us as he has bought so much happiness into our little family and made us all better people.

And that is why he is known as "Thomas The Brave".


To celebrate his birthday, I am taking $10 off ALL my online classes (not including 21 Secrets) for the entire month of August. 




Hug your children and be grateful for all that you have.

Have a great week and thanks for stopping by. xx 

Friday, August 1, 2014

Friday Sketches - Week 22

Prairie Flowers

This summer has been the most "Floral" summer in the mid-west I can remember for many years.  Everywhere I turn is an amazing picture postcard worthy view of flowers. 

The area in which I live has some beautiful forests and state parks and the wildflowers have put on the show of shows this year.

Prairie Flowers

It's been an artists dream with so many opportunities to sketch.  I love the prairie flowers which are scattered everywhere.  Fields filled with glittering color.


Prairie Flowers

This sketch of "Prairie Flowers" was done in a Stillman & Birn "Epsilon" Series sketchbook, using watercolor pencil.  

What does the natural world look like where you are?


To see some of the beautiful sketches from Week 21, please click here.

If you'd like to share your sketchbook or art journal, please click the link below, and remember to put a link back here in your post.



Have a great weekend and thanks for checking in. xx

(Linking to PPF & AJED)

Monday, July 28, 2014

Watercolor Pencil "Fuchsia" - Step by Step

Fuschia1

I've been in full swing filming projects for my upcoming "Watercolor Pencil" online class.  This class is the first part of the new "Water Soluble Series" that I will be offering over the coming year.  I'm extremely excited about how this is shaping up.  It is a six-lesson class that is jam packed with technique, exercises, drawing lessons, projects, and inspiration. 

Fuschia2

In this class, I take participants through a journey into watercolor pencils, teaching a range of techniques that will give their artwork a magical depth and vibrancy.  Watercolor pencils are fantastically versatile.  Almost everyone has them in their art box, but not many people know how to truly use them. 


Fuschia3

This painting of a "Fuchsia" is one of the projects for this class.  It is done entirely in watercolor pencil using a number of different techniques to achieve the color glow and detail.  Building up layers is an important way to achieve dimension, and knowing how to build a wet layer over a dry is extremely helpful.


Fuschia4

Another important element of watercolor pencil technique is knowing how to effectively mix colors from a limited palette to achieve a host of color effects and tones.  Before I start a painting like this I create a "Color Test" page in my sketchbook where I will experiement with a number of different colors and several different mixing techniques to try to get a color match that is as close as possible to my subject.

Fuschia5

This color test page is vital to the process of understanding how the pencils interact with each other, and how the different application techniques can affect the outcome of texture and dimension. In this class I take you step by step through creating a color test page and different mixing techniques.


Fuschia6

"Watercolor Pencils" goes live on September 18th. It is a jam-packed 6-lesson class that will help bring your art to a new dimension.  Access is ongoing and indefinite.  

If you would like more information, including a suggested supplies list, please click here.

Enjoy your week and thanks for checking in. xx


Friday, July 25, 2014

Friday Sketches - Week 21


Welcome to Friday Sketches.  This week it's all about 'Sketching Foliage' and I'm sharing some foliage sketches from some of my sketchbooks.


It's been a glorious summer in the mid-west, very tropical-esque, and that means that the foliage around our area is abundant.  My usual flower subjects are still my favorite, but I can't pass up some of the beautiful leaves that I've seen.


Sketching leaves is vastly underestimated.  They can make beautiful subjects for your sketchbook. 


Here are some of the stunning entries from last weeks "Friday Sketches".  Be sure to stop by their blogs and let them know you appreciate their work.

Michelle S. Mathey

Prachee :)

Through My Window

A.L.Romero Art & Design

Passion For Paper

Hawkeseye's heART


If you'd like to share your sketchbook or art journals on "Friday Sketches", please click the link below, and be sure to put a link back here in your blog post.





Enjoy your weekend and thanks for checking in. xx

(Linking to PPF & AJED)