Friday, November 28, 2014

Friday Sketches

Welcome to Friday Sketches and Happy Thanksgiving to everyone who celebrates it.

There's no doubt that winter has settled in about a month too soon, so instead of fighting it, I'm just going with it.  After a huge feast with people I love, I'm now prepping for my daughters 9th birthday on Sunday and then thinking about the Christmas season ahead. It's a busy time of the year but my favorite. 

This week for Friday Sketches I thought I'd share a little scribble I did of some cinnamon tea in glasses with plums that I sketched from a photo.  In fact, more of my sketching now will be from photo reference.

You see I'm an Aussie, and that means that I do warm and sunny really well, but not so good with cold and snowy.  I don't fancy the idea of sitting outside in the blistering cold to sketch, so it's that time of year where I browse magazines and photos I've taken though the summer and enjoy the warmth of my studio. 

So just a reminder, my "Gifts & Giveaway" promotion is still running, so if you haven't put yourself in the draw to win a custom tote-bag with the design of your choice on it filled with art-supplies, then click HERE to enter.

I'll be drawing a winner next week.

So what have you been sketching this week.  Link up using the Linky tool below to share your weekly creativity.  And once again, please put a link back here in your post, many of you don't which makes the sharing one way!

You could also grab the "Friday Sketches" blog button and post it in your blogs side-bar. Simply copy the html code from the box below the image and paste it onto your blogs side column.

Dion Dior

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

(Linking to PPF & AJED)

Monday, November 24, 2014

Gifts and Giveaway

This week, some sample products, bags and other items bearing my art designs arrived.  They're all available through my Society6 shop and I am super excited at how beautiful they are.  I got a couple of mugs with my "Art of D2 Banner Image" on them, also a huge 18"x18" market tote, a wall clock, and a few throw pillows for my children.

If you're looking for gifts this season, you can choose your preferred items, most of them give you multiple size choices, for example there are 3 sized tote bags to choose from, 2 coffee mug sizes, and you can choose your casing colors for the clocks etc.  I currently have 30 different designs for you to choose from, most of them available in all product types.  

And to top it all off...Society6 are offering
from now through to November 30 at midnight PST

As you can see, the 18" x 18" tote bag is huge.  The straps and stitching are really high quality, and the canvas is super strong.  I know I am going to be using this bag for a long time to come so I plan to purchase a bunch of different sizes and designs. 

I've been receiving emails all week from people who have purchased from my shop and they are thrilled with the quality and the vibrancy of the products.  

So if you're looking for something beautiful and unique to give this holiday season, or you're looking for something special for yourself, the pop on over to my Society6 shop and browse though all the designs.  They prices are really affordable and the quality is wonderful, and as I said, you get FREE shipping WORLDWIDE until November 30th at Midnight PST.

And, to celebrate this glorious gift giving season, I'm giving away a 13" x 13" tote bag of your choice filled with some beautiful art supplies, including a Stillman & Birn Sketchbook, some gorgeous Twinking h2O's and Silks Acrylic Glaze, both from ColourArt.

To be in the draw, pop on over to my Society6 store (click here), browse through the designs, click the little heart icon under the designs you like best (you can choose as many as you want), then come back here and leave a comment letting me know which design you would like printed on your tote bag.  Make sure you I can contact you when you win.

It's important that you click the little heart button under each design you like so I know which ones are most popular. And for extra chances to win...share this giveaway on your blog, Facebook page, Twitter and Pinterest pages, then come back and leave another comment.

I'll be drawing a winner on December 1st, and I'll also be announcing my 2015 teaching schedule with lots of early bird specials then, so stay tuned.

 Enjoy your day, and thanks for checking in. xx

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