Final Fall Leaf

I simply was not going to give up on this leaf until I got one that I liked. This is the one. :)  I think I’m starting to develop a “style” if you can call it that. I know what I like looking at, I know the types of paintings that made me want to learn to watercolor, I know the paintings that make me smile and wonder if I will ever get a painting to look that good. After the last two leaves, I was feeling like why am I bothering. Not that they were utterly repulsive, but they weren’t what I wanted them to be.

This time I got out my watercolors, a bucket of water and a real paintbrush and started trying to get what was in my head onto the paper. I succeeded in several ways, but I still have trouble with certain things which frustrates me. The leaf is done with my Grumbacher Watercolors, the background is done with my Derwent Graphitint Watercolor pencils. It’s lined with a pigma micron and a little white gel pen for the highlights.

I really like the penciled backgrounds better than when I do a watercolor background. I feel like I have more control and I like the surprise of what I get. I also think its time to fill my rapidograph pens. I like them better than the microns. They are far more expensive than the microns, but I already have two sets, Koh-i-nor and Rotring. Don’t even price out the Rotrings unless you have lots of money to spend on pens. LOL. I got a full set at a flea market. They had never been cleaned. I spent 3 days and special solution getting those puppies clean as a whistle inside and out. So I got a large set of Rotrings for a few bucks and little elbow grease. Don’t you just love things like that?  The Koh-i-noors you can pick up more reasonably. If you find them on sale you can get a set for about $80. They got a good cleaning while I was doing the other ones. :) Anyway, the microns are getting on my nerves so its time to break out the good pens.

I think the white pen might be a little stark. Maybe its time to try something like an ecru or cream gouache and a liner brush? What do you guys think?

I like this leaf. Not sure the veins were a good add or not, but I don’t think they are “bad”, either. So here’s to Fall!

fall leaf final

Better late than never….fall leaves

I’ve been wanting to try doing more with my Portfolio Series water soluble oil pastels. I have NO clue what you really do with pastels, oil or otherwise, so this has a big learning curve. :) Since they are so bright, I thought fall leaves would be a great picture to use. I like the colors, but the blending is a little rough. I used my water pens to blend and I think they may be too soft to really push around the heavier oil base. I also think they might have worked better on smoother paper. From what I’ve read hot pressed paper is smoother than the cold pressed, which is what I have. Next trip to Michael’s will include a small pad of hot pressed paper. :)

I’d also like to look for something that works better than the white gel pen. It’s really annoying when you try to put it on top of something. Maybe a liner brush and a little gouache? A pen would work better though. I’ll check Blicks.

This actually started out with the elegant writer outline and I still love that look, but it gets lost under the pastels. I think another set of leaves pictures coming on! lol.  It’s probably not as interesting for you, my dear readers, but I learned a lot doing that and comparing them all. These leaves are more abstract rather than botanical and that was intentional.

fall leaves pastels


Blue Jays and Window Panes

HAH! Thought you were done having to look at blue jays, didn’t you?  ;)  A couple people said they would like to see one with a background so here it is. This is the Derwent watercolor pencil version and the background was all one with the same pencils. I like how they look with it.



You get riding on a little artistic high and you decide to try something more challenging. The crash shortly follows. lol. This was a bit of a crash.  While there are some things I think aren’t too bad, some of it is a mess. The biggest mess being the bush in the front. Now I’ll tell you all a little secret. The bush is a cover-up. lol

What is under the bush is the most god-awful, disastrous mutant of a deer that you have even seen. I mean seriously…if Marvel had ever seen that deer it could have been featured in the next mutant movie. I tried doing some inking on it and that made it worse. I decided to try a big bush… a big dark bush. lol. So there it is… a big dark bush.

The picture is a combination of Derwent Watercolor pencils and Portfolio water soluble oil pastels. I really have to try using these more. Its only the second time I’ve tried using them. Its a small box, but the colors are so vibrant.