Artist Problems, Oil Painting

My First Go at Oil Paint


Ever since I started the “Ghost” series, I’ve been contemplating giving oil paint a go. I felt like some of the things I wanted to paint would do much better with a heavier medium, and I’m not a huge fan of acrylic. And ever since I’ve been a part of the local gallery, I’ve seen tons of gorgeous oil paintings, and I suppose I just got the itch in general.

So what was my holdup? Well, for starters, I’d heard it was toxic to use around kids and animals. Since I have a 5-year-old and three beloved pets, I have always just kept oil out of mind. Second of all, I always figured oil was too expensive for my budget. And finally…well it was just daunting. Only the “pros” use oil, right? The people who know what they’re doing? Not someone who just wants to dabble. Continue reading “My First Go at Oil Paint”

Spooky Things

The Ghost Series

“Ghost” Watercolor & Gouache on Hot Press

I recently had a conversation with a fellow artist on Twitter about adding gouache to watercolor paintings. Honestly, I’d tried to avoid the own subject in my mind because the whole idea of adding another medium to an already established medium seemed complicated. What colors would I use? Why? What could gouache give me that watercolor couldn’t? This particular artist said he would use white gouache to add highlights, and that made so much sense! I suddenly had a flood of ideas, but one in particular kept pestering me:

What if I added white gouache to Payne’s Grey watercolor, and let the white drip down to make a ghost? I imagined the gouache flowing, trickling down the deep blue-gray shade, giving my ghost eerie tendrils, and I couldn’t wait to give it a try!

The results were way cooler than I could have imagined. Continue reading “The Ghost Series”

Artist Problems

When You’re Too Scared to Draw

The past 1-2 weeks were difficult for me. Every time I sketched something out, I put the unfinished piece on my easel, and then it  would just sit there. Because I was scared to go further, to pull out the Micron pen and draw the “final” draft. I was scared to mess up, to make a problem mark somewhere, to overdo it.

I was scared to fail. Continue reading “When You’re Too Scared to Draw”

The Basics

Hatching & Cross-Hatching

Every now and then I’ll practice something that may or may not make it into my future illustrations. Because I learn. Even if I never use it again, I learn.

I’ve practiced hatching & cross-hatching in the past, and it didn’t make it far into my artwork. However recently I picked up a few illustration books at the library and one of them discussed hatching and cross-hatching–as well as other shading methods–and I decided to play around with it again. This time I think it has stuck. My artwork is evolving again; I can see it! While I do like the “clean” look of my most recent work, I also like the weathered quality provided by the hatching. In fact, it seems to bring forward the part of me that loves all things eerie: foggy mornings, ghost stories, fall wind, dusty photographs.

And I think that, maybe, hatching will help grow yet another branch of style for me.

At the time, I seem to like the “quick sketch” look, as I usually do, but I want to work on cleaner lines with my hatching.

Maybe it’s because I’m an info junkie, but practicing the basics is super fun for me. And because I returned to these “basics,” I’ve already sketched out four new pieces!

Is hatching here to stay? Only time will tell.

Project 365

365 Days of Watercolor: May

June came fast this year! We didn’t get much of a spring, as winter held on all through April. So we basically went from winter to summer in a matter of weeks. Now the days are hot, humid, and storms pop up unannounced. We’ve already roasted marshmallows, have had numerous BBQs, have gone swimming, and are enjoying summer already, despite the fact that it won’t be officially summer until next week. I’m actually very excited about its arrival! So far this is the best summer of my life!

Because May was a blink, it would seem my 365 work was as well. A lot of days my only chance to paint was for the 365 project, and a lot of the time it was while nodding off in bed. Because of this, my 365 sketchbook has become more of a place to put down my ideas for bigger projects, or to experiment with colors.

But that doesn’t mean I didn’t “evolve” as an artist, even if it was only a small amount. Continue reading “365 Days of Watercolor: May”

Project 365

365 Days of Watercolor: March & April

Whew! It’s been quite a busy couple of months! May is going down as one of the busiest this year, and June is just around the corner. But that hasn’t stopped me from doing my daily drawing, though many of my crazy days wind up with only a doodle. Still, a doodle is better than nothing at all!

I’m now up to day 143 of my 365 Days of Watercolor project, and I have taken a look back at my first drawings to see how far I’ve come, and how much I’ve learned (and how much better my materials are now compared to January). Continue reading “365 Days of Watercolor: March & April”


A Nice Refreshing Freelens

It feels like it’s been forever since I’ve freelensed. For those of you who don’t know, freelensing is when you detach the lens from your camera–at your own risk–and move it around to focus on tiny details. It creates a dreamy blur that I have never been able to recreate in an editing program. Continue reading “A Nice Refreshing Freelens”