Friday, September 19, 2014

Friday Sketches

Welcome to "Friday Sketches".  

Thank you to everyone who linked up their art in last weeks "Friday Sketches".

This week saw my Watercolor Pencils online class finally went live, and WOW, what an amazing bunch of artists I have joining me.  It's only been about 24 hours and already the classroom is abuzz with sharing and creativity.

This week also saw the sun slip lower in the Southern sky and autumn begin to show her golden face.  I love autumn, it's one of my favorite sketching seasons, but rather than wish away one of the most glorious summers I can remember in years, I thought I would share lots of my summer sketches before I start on the Fall ones.

This one was done in watercolor and watercolor pencil in a Stilman & Birn "Epsilon" Series Sketchbook.

What have you been sketching this week?

Please share your work by clicking the link below, and remember to put a link back here in your post.

Thanks for checking in. xx

(Linking to PPF & AJED)

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

My Favorite Brands of Watercolor Pencils

In about 24 hours my "Watercolor Pencils" online class goes live. Many people have been signed up for months.  This is a huge class and preparation has kept me buried since before summer.  I'm so excited that it is finally upon us and can't wait to get started.

I get asked a lot about my favorite brands of water soluble colored pencil, and I have to be honest, I have two favorites...for different reasons.

Firstly, I love the Faber-Castell Albrech Durer Watercolor Pencils.  They are creamy and vibrant and are the only water color pencil on the market where the pencil line completely disappears when diluted.

These pencils are always reliable and work so well in a mixed media setting as well.  I love them because I also love to use regular colored pencil with them and they have an exact color match to the Faber-Castell Polychromos.  This means that the color tones are always reliable, no matter which pencil you are using.

My other favorite is the Derwent Inktense Water Soluble Ink Pencils.  And although they are not considered 'real' watercolor pencils by some purists, they behave in exactly the same way.  The main difference being that as soon as you touch water to the pencil stroke, it dilutes and becomes permanent.  This makes it hard to scrub or lift the color once it is dry. 

But the Derwent pencils are vibrant and translucent and the color is light fast.

I use both sets throughout my upcoming class.  If you'd like to join in the fun, there's still time.  

Enjoy your day and thanks for stopping by. xx

Monday, September 15, 2014

Watercolor Pencils & The "Epsilon" Sketchbook

An enormous amount of planning and experimentation goes into producing one of my online classes.  This is especially so when the subject matter is focused on a medium.  

"Watercolor Pencils" is the first class in my new "Water Soluble Series" and it goes live this Thursday.

For the participants, learning about a new medium means exploring a lot of theory and technique, and watercolor pencils have 'a LOT' of theory and technique options.  

My job as the guide in this journey is to try to package it in such a ways that everyone comes away with a whole new set of skills and a whole bunch of confidence.

Watercolor pencils are hugely popular, yet vastly misunderstood, and certainly underestimated.  They combine the techniques of watercolor paint and regular colored pencil, as well as having their own unique set of techniques. 

Yet all of these techniques can be explored in many different ways.

Deciding what to include and what to leave out of my new class on watercolor pencils has been a very big challenge.  

Trying to ensure that there is a range of different applications presented so participants get a taste of the many different ways to use them, as well as a thorough understanding of the basic technique has been a big focus of my preparation.

Every artist uses watercolor pencils in different ways, and every artist who specializes in watercolor pencils has a host of tricks and techniques for getting the best from them.  

I am no different. I have my own unique ways of using them, I have my favorite techniques and my own special style, all of which I offer in this class.  

It's a big class, well over 70 videos filled with technique, theory, exercises, and projects. It will keep participants busy for months to come.

Nonetheless, preparing an online class that covers a lot of ground without being overwhelming to the participants is a delicate balance.  

Cutting out exercises, limiting the focus to specific areas, and producing challenging, yet achievable projects takes a lot of thought and preparation, and I'm never sure if I get it right until the class is delivered.  

I spend a lot of contemplation and planning time locked away with my pencils and sketchbook.  Playing with different processes and trying out different approaches before I start filming.  Before I turn the camera on, many hours have gone into the layout of my lessons.  

It is all consuming and keeps me very focused, to the exclusion of so many other areas of my art.

So, sketchbook pages like this are abundant, and although most of them never see the light of day, the final projects they focus on do.  

Having the right sketchbook and materials is vitally important to this process, so I have built the entire technique and theory components of this class into a Stillman & Birn "Epsilon" Series Sketchbook.  


The "Epsilon" is the perfect substrate for the elegance of watercolor pencils.  It's bright white color shows the pencils in such vibrancy and purity, and the 100lb smooth surface gives them a beautiful path on which to glide.  Plus, the "Epsilon" takes a lot of water and washing so there's no bleed-through or buckling.

I learn so much from this initial testing phase that I become confidant that the quality of my approach to this watercolor pencils will be well reflected in this class.

"Watercolor Pencils" goes live this Thursday and registration is still open.  If you'd like to register, or would like more information on this 6-lesson online class, please click here.

I hope you'll join me in this wonderful online class.

Enjoy your week, and thanks for checking in. xx

Friday, September 12, 2014

Friday Sketches - Preserving Summer

Welcome to Friday Sketches, and thank you to everyone who shared their work last week.  Oh my, it is truly beautiful and inspiring to see what you've been doing.  

This week I've had very little time for my own artistic indulgence, but I did manage to steel away for a few short minutes to capture some quick watercolor fruit sketches. This was a very quick study of some fruit I was preparing for my daughter.  I looked so beautiful and colorful on the cutting board that I couldn't resist a quick sketch. 

What have you been sketching this week? Please share your Friday Sketches by clicking the link below.

Have a great weekend, and thanks for checking in. xx

(Linking to PPF & AJED)

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Watercolor Pencil Poppy - Little Video

I thought I would share this little inspiration video I made yesterday.  It is a reject from my online class that begins in a weeks time.  When I say reject, I mean that the initial layout stage was too hard to see as the pencil strokes were so light.  So I thought just for fun I would share it with you here.

You'll have a hard time seeing my pencil strokes in the first minute, but as the video progresses you'll see the poppy emerge from the page. It's all about lots of light and gentle layers to build up color and tone.

"Watercolor Pencils" goes live in less than 10 days and I am bursting with excitement.  If you'd like more info on this jam-packed online class, please click here.

Thanks for checking in. xx

Monday, September 8, 2014

Watercolor Pencil Sketches

Welcome to a new week.  We are a little over a week away from the start of "Watercolor Pencils", my new online class.  I am really excited at how it's shaping up. It's a HUGE class and will keep participants busy for months to come.

This class ran as an eBook offering about 2 years ago.  I have been asked over and over to run this class again, so this year I decided to dedicate myself to building an entirely new class filled with hours of video that takes you through technique, methods, processes, exercises, inspiration, and projects.

The new class still covers a lot of the same watercolor pencil basis, only I have extended it this year to include a host of different ways to use your pencils, all new projects and exercises and over 50 videos.  We cover everything from sharpening the pencil, pressure and direction, sketching and drawing lessons, to blending, melting, and broad sweeps and washes, plus everything in between.

All this week I will be showing you some of my work from the earlier class, all of it done in watercolor pencil.

This class begins on September 18 and will not be offered again until 2015.  Registration will only be open for a sort time after the class begins, so if you've been contemplating this class, then now is a good time to sign-up.

If you'd like more information about the upcoming "Watercolor Pencils" online class, please click here.

Thanks for stopping by. xx

Friday, September 5, 2014

Friday Sketches

Happy Friday everyone.  Firstly let me apologize for disappearing these past few weeks.  August has been a crazy busy month for me and sometimes, life has to take priority over art.

My children started back at school a few weeks ago, my little 4yo turned 5, and then the entire house came down with a cold. We also had a series of appointment for little T at the Children's Hospital.  Many of his conditions have improved and no longer require intervention, but his eyes are still an issue and sadly we found out yesterday that his only option now is more surgery.  But it won't be for some months.

In the meantime, I'm a little over a week away from the start of my new "Watercolor Pencils" online lass and it's a 'doozy'.  I've been so consumed with filming lessons and projects for it, and I'm beyond exited to get it started. It's probably the best class I've every produced and I have had so much joy working through the techniques and projects.  I know you're going to love it.

So, now I'm hoping to be back to regular blogging and back on track with my weekly Friday Sketches.  I just love seeing what everyone else is doing in their art life, so please, if you feel so inclined, link your blog using the link below and share what you've been doing.

Enjoy your Friday, and have a wonderful weekend.  Thanks for checking in. xx

Monday, September 1, 2014

Watercolor Poppies

Three Poppies

I'm just sharing a quick watercolor sketch I did early in summer.

Three Poppies

Three Poppies

Things have been extremely busy for me, and I appreciate your continuing to stop by my blog.

I'll be posting Friday Sketches again this week, and hopefully getting back to full blogging in the coming month. So thanks once again for your patience.

Enjoy your week and thanks for checking in. xx

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 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 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