365 Days of Art: Day 63 – More Hollow Hills

The challenge: Create some form of visual art, no matter how small, each day for a full year.

I’ve been working on “Hollow Hills,” a project from the book, Dreamscapes Fantasy Worlds, by Stephanie Pui-Mun Law. I really, really need to be done with this thing so I can move on to other projects. However, I keep getting caught with only one hour or less per night to work on Art at the moment, so I guess I need to be satisfied with the amount of time I am able to give. I’m hoping to finish adding detail to the outside, darkest part of the hills, and possibly move to the inside.

Being honest, I’m worried about perspective. I know I need to add grass, and I know the front of the picture needs to be larger since it is closer. I’m hoping I don’t ruin the perspective, but I guess that is what practice is for, right? Trying stuff out and seeing what looks and feels right.

Drink of choice: Twining’s Pure Peppermint herbal tea.

Here is my work for tonight:

Here we go. Not bad for 3 night’s work.

Tonight, I added some grass. Mine ended up looking different from hers. She uses a lot of negative space grass—meaning she paints the areas around the blades instead of painting the blades. (Hello, difference between watercolor and acrylics/oils.) I really don’t want to do that. I like my dark grass. It makes more sense in my head.

I tried to blend the transitions between the different shades of green a bit better on the left side. They looked a little stark. I still don’t like them so I might run one more layer again tomorrow night.

I also softened the hillside under the tree and where the light will eventually be shooting out of the hole. I’ve saved the Sap Green area and the flowers for tomorrow night.

For reference, here is what it looked like before I started the detail work on the hills:

Off to bed. Cant wait for Friday tomorrow. See you all later!

Daily Yoga: Today I did this Fightmaster Yoga video. I usually don’t like hatha yoga because it is too slow, but this one was hard with a lot of strength poses and extra chatarungas.

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365 Days of Art: Day 62 – Drawing a Gum Ball

The challenge: Create some form of visual art, no matter how small, each day for a full year.

Tonight is one of those nights where I have to get sleep or I’m going to get sick. I decided to do a quick drawing and get some needed shut eye. I found a quick exercise in the book, 642 Tiny Things to Draw. “A Sweet Gum Ball.” I jumped on this one because really, I just had to draw… a sphere. Drawing 101, here I come and then off to bed!

Here we go. This one is blue, in case you were wondering.

Have a great evening, folks!

Daily Yoga: Today I did this video with Yoga With Adrienne. It was more stretching than strength, but sometimes I guess that is a good thing. (I tend to prefer more hard core.)

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365 Days of Art: Day 61 – More Watercolor Hollow Hills

The challenge: Create some form of visual art, no matter how small, each day for a full year.

Tonight’s project: Continue working on Hollow Hills from Dreamscapes Fantasy Worlds by Stephanie Pui-Mun Law. I was going to work from left to right, but I need to make sure all the extra color I have left for the darker sections on both ends lasts, so I’m moving all the way to the right. I’m going to try to stick with the color bases to make sure I have enough paint.

Plan: Paint until 10:00 or 10:15. It’s not a lot of time, I know, but as a mother, wife, and part time accountant, this is all I can do.

Drink of choice: Twining’s Pure Peppermint herbal tea. (I had a lot of garlic for dinner.)

Let’s see how this goes.

And I forgot my pencil. (I have to draw it out first. I can’t just go painting without really knowing where I’m going.) Also, moving the tea to my left hand, mainly so I don’t dip my brush in it or get confused and drink the paint water…

Well, this is going to take a few more nights, obviously. Part of my problem is that I can’t “see” how the hills and grass are going to work on my project. I see what she did, but part of this project is learning to use the texture created by the salt to make your own grass and hills. I’m getting there, and it is a great exercise. I just need two more hours.

Here is what I did tonight. (It’s not much.)

Here is what it looked like before:

You can see that I softened some of that stark salt texture by running a 1/2” Neptune flat brush with clean water over it a few times. I did some lifting for the highlighted hills and added some shadows. Tomorrow, I want to get all the foreground and background grass in, at least for this dark color.

That’s all for tonight everyone. I hope you have a great evening!

Daily Yoga: Today I did this video with Yoga with Tim. My balance was totally off today. I guess it has been a while since I’ve done a few of the standing poses.

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365 Days of Art: Day 60 – More Work on Hollow Hills Watercolor

The challenge: Create some form of visual art, no matter how small, each day for a full year.

It’s 9:14pm. I’m just sitting down to work on the Hollow Hills project from Dreamscapes Fantasy Worlds by Stephanie Pui-Mun Law. It looks like I’m going to spend the next few nights working on Step 5: basically adding in all of the background grass and detail on my hill. I’m going to work from left to right, mainly because even though I am a beginner, I have enough experience with painting to know that since I’m right handed, painting right to left will result in my hand getting in the fresh paint. (Guess how I figured that one out…)

All the detail from my original drawing is hidden under all the dark colors. I just finished re-drawing the detail on the left side. I used the indentations left by the salt as guides for my rocks. I’m going to use the Neptunes tonight. The faux-squirrel bristles should be soft enough to keep from removing the underlying paint. My plan is to work until 10:00 and then head to the shower and bed.

Note that I saved all the mixed colors that I used last time I worked on this project. Now, I can re-wet them and use them again, and they match perfectly instead of having to remix everything and hope I get it right. “Why Michelle, that’s brilliant,” you might be saying. I wish it was, but no, I’m just lazy. I hate cleaning up and I hate remixing paint. You can see how my vices sometimes can be beneficial.

10:17pm Okay, so I went a little long. This is the part of watercolors that I love. I love taking something flat and giving it shape. I love this detail work and shading. I can get lost in it, and isn’t that really the goal? Yoga is medicine. Art is therapy. Getting lost in something, letting the baggage and stress of the day leave your mind for even just a few moments is what this is all about. (That and the whole “I want to be really good at this” thing.) Anyway, I’ve posted two pictures. The first is the after part. The second is the before part.

Tonight’s work.
This is what it looked like before I sat down tonight.

Okay all. I’m off to bed, feeling much better about everything. Have a great night!

Daily Yoga: Today, I did this yoga video with Yoga with Kassandra after my elliptical workout.

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365 Days of Art: Day 59 – Drawing a Jelly Bean

The challenge: Create some form of visual art, no matter how small, each day for a full year.

Went out to eat with friends tonight, and didn’t have much time to do anything. We didn’t get back until 9:30, when I normally aim to start blogging about whatever art I’ve created. So tonight, I took an idea from 642 Tiny Things to Draw and drew a picture of a jelly bean.

Off to bed. My goal is to get showered and be in bed before 11:00pm tonight. Hope you all have a good night!

Daily Yoga: Today is restorative day, so I did this morning stretch video with Yoga with Tim.

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365 Days of Art: Day 58 – A Watercolor Lemon & More Hollow Hills

The challenge: Create some form of visual art, no matter how small, each day for a full year.

Ugh, today hurt the ego, folks. I started by working on the Hollow Hills painting from the book, Dreamscapes Fantasy Worlds by Stephanie Pui-Mun Law. Totally did almost everything wrong.

To massage the ego, I decided to do a quick project from Watercolor Success in Four Steps by Marina Bakasova. I chose a lemon, the first of her medium level projects. (I’ve finished the easy level ones.) I don’t really like her style of the finished lemon, but I’m going to work on seeing how it goes. The good news: it uses Lemon Yellow and Sap Green, and those are two colors I used in Hollow Hills, so they are already wet and ready to go.

(Btw, don’t wipe your finger across paint to see if it is dry because if it isn’t, you’re going to be really mad.)

Here is my lemon. I ended up adding some Cad Yellow to the second layer of yellow to give it a little more vibrance. Fortunately, the paint I accidentally wiped on the leaf didn’t leave the leaf, so it all worked out.

Mine is on the left. Sorry about the shadows. I really struggled with glare on the book trying to get the photo, and this was the only way.

Here is my Hollow Hills progress. The salt is still there. I’m going to even out the colors tomorrow, so no judging until it’s done, lol. (I said that to my inner critic, who is particularly noisy tonight.)

Mine is the one on the left, compared to the top right in the book.
  • I’m working with a tiny version of her project. I’m sure she is using some kind of 11”x14” illustrator board, and I’ve got a portion of an 8”x12”. I should have enlarged my drawing to the full 8”x10”. I had to lay glazes “working quickly” around tiny little people and flowers and then throw salt at the thing before it all dried. Oh the pain! Everything was drying up while I was trying to lay down the correct formula of green between the tiny people and the tiny door.
  • I didn’t really pay attention to how I was supposed to do the tree, and I colored the area between the branches the leaf color instead of the sky color, and that isn’t lifting off.
  • My outlines around the people and flowers are horrible. It’s like I need to relearn how to paint. I just need to be more careful. Or paint a bigger picture.
  • I need to go back and blend a lot, but I will do that tomorrow after I brush off the salt.

Gotta head to bed. Good night everyone!

Daily Yoga: I did yoga later in the afternoon today because I needed to get to Costco by 9:30 to pick up my new prescription glasses and sunglasses. You laugh, but I got there at 9:36 and was able to get immediate help. By the time I left, 10 people were in line. I had to settle for this 25 minute Yoga with Tim video instead of my usual 40 minute one because of that, but now I have my glasses.

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365 Days of Art: Day 57 – Drawing a Pupil & Beginning a Sketch of St. Louis Cathedral

The challenge: Create some form of visual art, no matter how small, each day for a full year.

No water color today. Too much going on and it’s really late. I’ve also had a massive headache for most of the day. Tonight, I did a quick sketch from 642 Tiny Things to Draw. I drew a pupil in the tiny 2” by 4” space they gave me. This is not my best work. I have a much better drawing of an eye, but this isn’t too bad for a few minutes. I wasn’t originally going to draw eyelashes, but I decided to add them at the last minute. Hence, the surprised wide-eyed look.

Earlier today, my daughter was watching “The Princess and the Frog” and I saw a lively scene of the New Orleans rooftops in all grey, and I thought, “Wouldn’t that look cool painted in watercolors in all muted grey with Mardi Gras beads having from a fence in the foreground painted in vibrant colors? So I’m going to try that.

I’m working on a sketch for it right now, but it’s complex and I needed to finish it tomorrow. Here is the beginning sketch for St. Louis Cathedral. I haven’t decided how I am going to put the fence in yet.

Happy Friday everyone! Have a great weekend!

Daily Yoga: I did this video with Yoga with Adrienne today.

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365 Days of Art: Day 56 – Watercolor Wash on “Hollow Hills”

The challenge: Create some form of visual art, no matter how small, each day for a full year.

Tonight I’m working on the “Hollow Hills” demonstration from Dreamscapes Fantasy Worlds by Stephanie Pui-Mun Law. I drew it on illustrator board the other day, and tonight, I’m aiming to complete 2 washes in layers. This will be my first time working with alcohol. As a medium. Come on people, it’s rubbing alcohol, not tequila or vodka this time. I’m supposed to splatter the paint with alcohol using a number 4 brush. I’ve picked a long round to sacrifice for this, just in case the alcohol hurts the brush. We will see how it turns out.

Mine is on the left.

Yeah, totally not how I wanted it. She started us doing wet on dry, which doesn’t lay down smoothly, so i has all these brush marks I kept trying to smooth out. It wasn’t until the end when I realized that the brush marks were probably there purposefully, and the idea was to make them in line with the beams of light coming out of the ground . Long story short, it was a tragedy of errors and trying to fix them. That being said, I now know what not to do and why. So learning achieved. I’m hoping I can rescue this thing by the time it’s done.

On a good note, tonight I didn’t try to rinse my brush in the chamomile tea!

Daily yoga: Today, I did this yoga video from Fightmaster Yoga.

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365 Days of Art: Day 55 – Drawing a Plastic Thumbtack

The challenge: Create some form of visual art, no matter how small, each day for a full year.

Tonight, I stayed with Little Bit until she fell asleep. Her cold is teetering on going into her chest, and she’s coughing a lot. I wanted to hear her to see how she was doing and how much she was coughing, and I needed her to go to sleep without singing the entire Sound of Music soundtrack or something else insane. I got out of her room at 10:00pm, so no watercolors tonight. Instead, I present to you, a drawing of a plastic thumbtack, inspired by 642 Tiny Things to Draw, the book most responsible for keeping my art streak alive:

Have a great night folks!

Daily Yoga: Today I did this video with Yoga with Adrienne.

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365 Days of Art: Day 54 – Drawing Prep for “Hollow Hills” Watercolor Project

The challenge: Create some form of visual art, no matter how small, each day for a full year.

Tonight, I decided to start the drawing prep work for a project called “Hollow Hills” from Dreamscapes Fantasy Worlds by Stephanie Pui-Mun Law. I’m trying to work through the book, but I’ve decided to skip a couple of the projects. I almost skipped this one, but I really want to learn more about light and how it works, and I love the difference between the light shooting out of the portal and the darkness surrounding it.

I used to trace her projects onto my watercolor paper using graphite paper, but I have decided that I should use each project as a chance to practice drawing. (If you want to be a watercolor painter, you have to be able to draw, at least a little bit.) This is the second project of hers I have freehand drawn, and I love doing it. Before, I sometimes wasn’t quite sure what the details were supposed to be. Now, I know where each leaf is, etc.

Stuff I learned from drawing tonight:

  • I used the grid method to do this one. Too many intricate parts to do without some help. I like the grid method, but I struggled because I kept wanting to make the picture bigger than it was. My proportions are off.
  • This was my first time freehand drawing humans! Again, I really struggled, especially with the faces. In the end, I didn’t like how she drew the boy. His hair didn’t make sense to me, so I turned him into a girl and gave him a dress.
  • I’m wondering if I should have taped off the actual part that will be the picture before I started drawing. My brain may have been trying to fit the picture into the 8×10 outlined in blue instead of the 6×8 picture. The top and left parts I haven’t outlined in blue tape yet.

Here it is:

Mine is on the left (obviously, because the right is a book.)

I’m going to start painting this thing tomorrow. TTFN! It’s late over here on the east coast, and I’m exhausted.

Daily Yoga: I did this Yoga with Tim video this morning.

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