Seeing! A Little reference please.

old trucks
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old trucks

old trucks

Seeing. It’s what we artist do.  It’s how we create. We’re especially good at observing and turning our observations into art.  Reference Photos is my next tutorial on really seeing rather than just looking.

As Referred To:  As I’m starting a new painting it’s important to me to have reference photos, especially when I can’t go out to see the real thing when I’m ready to work.  I keep reference files on my computer and print out the ones that I feel are pertinent to the design I’m creating.    Read more…

Watercolor Mooooo….

Cow Abstract watercolor

I’ve been playing around with a watercolor technique where I reduce a photo down to black and white, increase contrast to the max, and just have fun with washes.  I was pleased my with cow design from a photo that my husband had taken.  Here is the original photo so you can see some of my progression.

I plan to make a video of this design and offer it on Creative Workshops.

You can see this photo on Rick’s web site plus many more of his art photos.

Cow by Rick Watd

Cow by Rick Watd

Cow black and white by Rick Ward

Cow black and white by Rick Ward

Cow Abstract watercolor

Cow Abstract watercolor

 

A Halloween Treat!!

Spooky Owl Pin

Happy Halloweeeeeeeeeeeeeeen!

It’s a beautiful fall day with colorful trees and very pleasant weather here today.  It’s a perfect Halloween eve.

I have a Halloween treat for you. It’s directions for my spooky owl pen.

Spooky Owl Pin    A Liz Miller CDA design

You can use your favorite colors but here are some of the ones that I’ve used:

DecoArt Americana: Lamp Black, Raw Umber, Butterscotch, Warm White, Marigold, Irish Moss, Tangerine, and Burnt Sienna.

The blank is available at my studio or you can order from Viking Woodcrafts if you can’t drop by my studio.

Spooky Owl Pin

Spooky Owl Pin

Let’s Paint a Spooky Owl in a Tree:

I used a flat Bringle Blender to scuff in the tree using the chisel edge of the brush and RU.  Then use Butterscotch and a very little Butterscotch + WW to lighten the left side of the trunk and branches. I then added a little scuffed in Tangerine to accent the light side and middle of trunk.  Use a side loaded flat to darken the right side of trunk with Black. Of course the hole in the base of the tree is painted black.  The spider webs are also painted black.  Dry and then pattern your owl.

Using a #0 liner dab in the owl with RU to create fluffy feathers.  Begin to fluff in the lighter feathers by adding WW to your dirty brush. Notice the light feather on the face and details on the head and body. Don’t forget the tail feathers.  Lighten the face by adding more WW to your dirty brush.  Eyes are Marigold and shaded at the top with BS when dry. Outline them with RU.  Pupils are black with a WW glint.  Beak is RU with a WW glint.  I added a little dabbed in BS under the chin and at the base of the tail.  Add a few WW claws to hold onto the branch that you add with your tree colors.  Add any other owl like detail that you would like.

To finish up dry brush a little WW on the spider webs and touch in some Tangerine eyes inside the hollow of the tree with black pupils and WW glints.  I then flick up some grass at the base of the tree with Irish Moss, a nice spooky bright green color, using my flat blender.

Dry and spray with DecoArt Triple Thick spray several times allowing plenty of dry time between sprays. Remember not to touch the varnish to check dryness unless you would like to leave a nice finger print for later ID purposes.  When dry glue a pin back to your painted treasure and enjoy wearing.

pattern

pattern

Have a spooky time painting this project.  We still have some fall season to enjoy this little pen.

You are welcome to teach this design but be sure to give me credit for the design.

Watch for a winter version of this design coming up soon!

Liz

Today’s Inspiration

Ducks in a Row
Mixed Media with powdered dyes.

I just took some time to read and learn. Forget the “to do” list and enjoyed learning from some other artists. What inspiration! Now my mind is into “what if I tried this or I want to try that technique”. My day just became a lot more fun. Thanks Kathie George/Watermedia Workshops and Nancy Medina Art Studio my inspiration for today.


If you don’t follow Kathie you really should. Keep scrolling down on her blog to find her wonderful lessons and tips.
Nancy Medina is a wonderful inspiration also for forgetting that word “perfect” that really doesn’t exist in art anyway.

·        Kathie George seminar is coming up quickly. We still have some seats if you would like to join us. I have the prep and patterns at the studio if you have already registered. We have some exciting new techniques and lots of fun planned with Kathie. 

Register Now!

 

Ducks in a Row Mixed Media with powdered dyes.

Ducks in a Row
Mixed Media with powdered dyes.

Shell Weave Watercolor with cheese cloth accents.

Shell Weave
Watercolor with cheese cloth accents.

Cat in the Snow

Cat in the Snow

Practice Tips For Strokes and Line Work:

Stroke practice

Practice Tip For Strokes and Line Work:

Stroke practice

Stroke practice

It’s more fun to practice stroke work if you give yourself the project of creating different stroke borders. Each time come up with a different border using various brushes, strokes, and embellishments. Save these borders as future reference. Explore your creativity with borders and stroke embellishments.

You can use any paper for practicing your strokes and line work.  Some paper is very porous and has a lot of drag to it so just use plenty of paint.

One good idea for practicing is to use “write on” transparency film which you can find at any office supply store.  The film will stroke very smoothly and you can just wipe the paint off if you do this before it dries.  If you would like to save your practice for reference all it to dry.  These sheets will fit into sheet protectors to keep in a notebook.

Transparency film is good for trying out colors or placement for something like a ribbon or a stroke border.  Place the film over your surface, paint with a possible choice of color or technique, and see if you like it or want to try something different.

Enjoy practicing.

Liz