Color Finding

Part of my homework for Level 3 Art and Design is to work on color finding. Mainly, I am supposed to do this with colored pencil but I’m using other media as well. I take something from nature and then try to replicate the exact color with layers of colored pencil. I find this exercise quite a challenge.

Here are four that I did in class. It’s really hard to get the correct color let alone the right value. And there are so many different greens to choose from.


So on my daily walks, I pick up something small to sketch and to find the colors. This one is a tamarack pine. It’s a pine tree that loses its needles in the fall, they turn a golden, almost yellow orange color in the fall and then drop off. While I was visiting New York City, I visited a small shop called CW Pencils. It was a delightful shop and I purchased some water soluble graphite pencils, a stub holder and a pencil sharpener. The sketch of the tamarack is done with water soluble graphite pencil. I did add a bit of water to the stem but left the needles alone.

The next try was lichen on a small branch. It’s hard to see the colors on this one but they were pretty close. It’s just there is so much darkness in between the little lichen bits it’s hard to see. I did the sketch with sepia pen and white colored pencil. This was about filling in the negative space with the dark background and leaving the lighter spaces with just a little bit of color.

And this is the one I did this morning. It is done with permanent ink pen and water color. I am really enjoying getting back into a better habit of sketching and finding color in nature. I’m also working on circles and octagons but I’ll show those next time. Have a great weekend!

Circle Design

I started on my homework from my Level 3 Art and Design class. We are developing repeating patterns in circles.

This is my first attempt. I tried to emphasize the feather like part of the design and less of the flower shape. Still really see the flower shape mainly. I’ve got lots more of these to try. Have a great weekend.

Second Session of Level 3 Art and Design

I attended the second session of Level 3 Art and Design at Gail Harker Creative Studies Center.  It was a great 5 days and I have lots of homework and further investigations into design to work on. On the first day, we have tutorials where Gail goes over our past homework with us. While she’s doing that, we all worked on a variety of paper weavings.

This is the first one I created. For all of you who always ask what I’m going to do with screen printed paper, all the paper used in this piece were screen printed.

This second piece has hand painted papers, marbled paper and “leather” paper that I made in a class years ago. I’m calling it “Think Like a Tree”.

And here’s the last one I finished in class. I am going to try a few more of these with other techniques that we learned plus I will be showing you lots of new homework over the next few months. So stay tuned!

Playing with Stripes

I thought I had already showed you one of these paintings but apparently not. I did post a photo of the first painting on Instagram. I have been playing with stripes for my Level 3 Art & Design class. I liked how the watercolor stripes on wet paper gave an organic look like trees. So I wondered if I could recreate the effect with acrylic paint on canvas.

This is my first attempt. I didn’t really mix any of these colors, they were straight out of the bottle. I used a lot of water to get the paint to spread and many layers of paint.

Here’s a closer view. Click on the photo to see the textures. This was an old painting that I covered with gesso. It had a lot of texture on it before and now that I look at the close up photo, I really like those extra textures. For my second attempt, I used a new canvas. And it didn’t have that extra texture and although I like the second attempt, it would have been better with a textured background.

For my next attempt, I wanted to add some green and I wanted to see what would happen if I mixed my neutrals from red and green. I knew with the added water that the colors would separate out but I thought that might make it more interesting.

Perhaps you can see in this close up that the dark background stripes in the second painting are dark green. They are black in the first painting. I have some other ideas about how to take this idea further and I would really like to try stripes with deconstructed screen printing on felt. But I don’t have time to do that now. I am back to my class next week. So I’ll have to keep those ideas on the back burner for a bit. Thanks for stopping by and have a good weekend!

Wild Clematis

I am seeing lots of wild clematis on my morning walks. I took a bunch of photos and decided to do a watercolor sketch in my sketchbook.

The leaves don’t really look like this in the wild, mainly you just see the flowers and vines. But it needed some leaves so I just added them in from a different photo.

Another item of note, we finished our ski chair this afternoon. I will be posting about it soon over on the Felting and Fiber Studio so you can see the finished chair and hopefully see it in its location for the summer before the auction. Have a great weekend!