Take Me To The Farmers Market

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Winter & I are officially ‘on a break’. Every time I revisit this piece I’m transported directly to spring, sunshine and good vibes (even though I’m wearing 3 sweaters, trying not to rack up a huge heating bill-haha). This image is a scan that has had the brightness/contrast altered significantly to help me see all the details as I paint directly onto the original drawing, which was done in VERY light 4H pencil on white bristol board. I like the idea of leaving some visible sketch lines under the transparent layers of paint, yet having them be light enough that I can draw directly onto the art paper without having to worry about leaving unwanted marks behind if I need to erase some.

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Sunflowers in Winter

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I looked out my window this morning at the snow flying wildly all around (now 6 inches+ deep) and decided I would stay home and paint flowers all day. I’m revisiting some mixed media techniques I haven’t used in many years (watercolor+colored pencil+graphite pencil on bristol board) and I want to make sure I’m happy with the finished effect before I start in on my new farmers market illustration. My overall goal with my artwork, since I took up painting again last year, has been to ‘loosen up’ and be more spontaneous – drawing and painting directly onto the art paper (without using tracing paper) and not worrying so much about ‘mistakes’ or relying on my computer for ‘touch ups’ later. Don’t get me wrong, as a freelance graphic designer, I do LOVE my computer, but with my hands-on artwork, I’m aiming for a more whimsical look (which I have not yet been able to achieve – the control freak in me, always cringing at what I deem to be ‘imperfections’ – but I feel like I’m getting a little closer with each new painting). I have to say…working with these yellow hues really warmed me up today. 🙂

Dreaming of Spring

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Counting down the days til spring as I work out the larger details of this farmers market drawing, using my smaller sketch as a guide…if I close my eyes, I can almost feel the warmth of the sun on my bare toes as I walk among the stalls, choosing fresh produce, baked items & flowers to bring home…

Layers of Color

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And we have color!! Each of the 6 potted herbs in my painting will have a slightly different shade of green to add complexity & interest to the piece. On this sage plant, I’ve created a subtle textured look by loosely adding in extra layers of the same color (one at a time, as each layer dries) over the initial pastel wash. The fine details of the plant will be brought out with an extra fine black ink pen, once all of the painting is complete. Oh and those ‘brown spots’ on the pots will be rubbed off to reveal pure white paper, creating the look of a painted pattern on each terra cotta pot.

Actually, It’s the Opposite Of What It Looks Like

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Prep work for my new painting-masking all the areas that I want to remain white so I can paint directly over them, achieving smoother color. I didn’t have any masking fluid on hand when I did my last painting & having to painstakingly work my brush around all the tiny white details was exhausting. It’s well worth the investment of cash (the fluid is a bit pricey but you don’t need a lot of it) and time, since this ‘extra step’ will actually speed up the process later on. When I’ve finished painting, the dried masking fluid will simply rub off with my finger, revealing the white patterns I drew on all the terra cotta pots (there are 6 in all). I’m so excited to see the final results. Let painting commence!

Starting ‘Seeds’

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First lines of a new drawing. Can you tell I’m itching to start gardening? This time I’m working directly on the watercolor paper – will add color & ink details later. No tracing or transfer paper this time. Getting rid of my ‘crutches’. Very thankful for my 4H pencil which doesn’t leave a line if I need to erase. 🙂

What In The World Am I Going To Do With All These Oranges?

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I originally sketched these orange designs back in 2008 as ideas for felt appliques when I was envisioning an Etsy shop filled with handmade pillows…while my artistic endeavors have definitely shifted, I still really like these concepts (which ultimately proved to be much too complicated for applique patterns) & I’d love to breathe some new life into them. Maybe if I traced them over in ink & added some splashes of watercolor in the background they would work as a fabric pattern or even an art print? I’d love to know your thoughts…