From selfies to tea bags

Posted in Uncategorized on August 11, 2016 by rcscreations

Some exciting art happening around here…even in the middle of summer. I am taking two online classes that have gotten me so excited about painting. One is Gillian Lee Smith’s Unearth, Gather, Create…which I am loving. She is very detailed, and I love listening to her Scottish/English accent, as she is teaching us to use lots of different materials, and dig deeper into our art. She is even encouraging us to do self portraits. So here goes…  


This is a pencil drawing from a selfie of mine. It sure is difficult getting the proportions of a familiar face just right!  


But I was also determined to paint it…and in using just Ivory Black and Titanium White paint, I was able to concentrate on the values and shapes of the face, without worrying about color. Painting the eyes…ah, that was the tough part! But the funny thing is, as I was painting the eyes, I kept seeing family members, past and present, show up. I guess it’s all genetics, after all. This portrait, this simply painted portrait, is probably the truest and most honest portrait of myself I have ever painted. I see myself in those eyes. And I feel like this is a huge accomplishment in trying to get ME on the painted surface. It is the vulnerable me…with no pretense, no hiding. Just me.

I have lots of teachers of classes to thank for getting me this far, and definetely have Gillian to thank, for pushing me forward with the confidence and skill to do this (as I wipe the sweat off my brow).  


My next class, that started earlier this week, is with Jeanne-Marie Webb…an artist I have “known” since years back…we have been in many Misty Mawn’s online classes together. I have admired her art for a very long time! And in 2015, she embarked on an art quest…to paint 365 portraits on…TEA BAGS! At the end of last year, I was happy to be able to purchase one of her works of art on a tea bag…


  Isn’t she lovely???  

She is now teaching this class online, Tiny Bags of Love, and I jumped at the chance to learn from her. I am really enjoying the videos, that concentrate on drawing and painting, and not just using drawing skills, but also painting intuitively. By the way, this class is closed, but a second class starts August 15th, so click on the link above if you are interested.

Here’s what I have worked on so far…



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And I even worked on tea stained coffee filters




 I have to say, I jumped in feet first, painting furiously, then moving on to the assignment of drawing small portraits. 





I have wanted so much, to paint more loosely…and with these small and fast paintings, I feel like I am striving towards that goal. Who knew that looseness would come by working on tiny “canvases”?!?! I am using Celestial Seasonings tea bags, because they are larger and more of a square format, and they work very well with a little gesso painted on first.





When paint isn’t available, it sure is great to have a cheapie little PaperMate mechanical pencil to do some drawing.  The 1st set of drawings above, were intuitive drawings with no references. The second set, were taken from some of my 5 x 7 inch paintings, shrunk down to 2 x 2 inches. I hope to paint more tea bags next week!

I am also trying to be diligent with my daily scribble art drawings. Even if I can’t paint, I can always take a few minutes to draw. It’s calming to me, and also helping me with my painting skills. 














Some of these drawings are with Staedtler or Micron pens, and some are with added colored pencils and white gel pen. This last one, is just pencil…a cross between a Frida and a Modigliani.  

That’s all for now…

I hope you are keeping busy with art too!!!

Escape from the sun

Posted in Uncategorized on July 29, 2016 by rcscreations

Yes, it’s the middle of summer….

 while most people love the chance to be warm in the sun…I hide from it…I always have an escape plan, and that escape plan usually includes ART in the air conditioned studio art room.


One of my favorite purchases of the summer…my Raskog cart from IKEA…a perfect place to have drawing supplies on wheels!

We took a short vacation to the ocean last month, and I took a small arsenal of art supplies with me. 


At this table, I had a view of the ocean…pure bliss.




I am still enamored with Scribble Art, as you will see.





And while I took a short break to paint, I always come back to the mighty pen.









These are the last eight days of scribble portraits. I am trying to do one a day…again. I had a good routine going, then things got in the way. And now the goal is back…all I need is a comfy place to sit, a Staedtler or Micron pen, and a piece of paper.


This character is one of my very favorites!






I haven’t forgotten my love of painting. In fact, I was happy to delve into water lilies again! They have a way of calming me. All of these water lilies are in my Etsy shop.


I knew I wanted to paint a couple Rococo inspired pieces, so I found some vintage fashion illustrations, and made some drawings first in pencil.



Then came the paintings.


Maria Louisa


Anna Marguerite

Both on 8 x 10 inch gessobord and I’m happy to say, both are sold to repeat customers. (insert happy dance here)

I am taking a “Fractured Portraits” class from Kate Thompson, because I am trying to get more loose in my brush strokes…not so tight and detailed. Here are the stages and the final painting of Mia.







Mia – 12 x 12 inch acrylic on canvas panel (available on Etsy)


And another attempt at painting looser…from start to finish. From graphite pencil, to inktense pencil and water and brush…


to the addition of acrylic


and more layers



And the finished paintings. This is Alita – 5 x 7 inch acrylic on gessobord


Aimee – 5 x 7 inch acrylic on gessobord


Maryl – 5 x 7 inch acrylic on gessobord


And this is Mercy – also a 5 x 7 inch acrylic on gessobord  

All four paintings above are now in my Etsy shop.

And this week, my newest portraits…still trying to keep the “looseness” theme going, but I constantly want to go back and blend brush strokes…old habits are hard to break!


Theodora – 6 x 6 inch acrylic painting on gessobord (SOLD)


Lillian – 6 x 6 inch acrylic on gessobord


Kitty – 5 x 7 inch acrylic on gessobord


And look! A side view portrait! I think I can count on one hand the amount of side view portraits I have done! But Kate Thompson’s class is encouraging me to try again. This is Gwendolyn. These last three are available in my Etsy shop.

This week, after a couple sales, I decided to buy a self study course by Gillian Lee Smith, called Unearth, Gather, Create. I am excited by this course, because I completely loved her Drawn to Expression class I purchased in April. I am watching a few videos every day…there are six weeks of videos, from drawing, to charcoal, to pastels, to acrylic, and oil pastels, and more…she is an awesome teacher. My next post should show work from that class. 

I hope everyone is enjoying the summer, whether it is out in the sun, or in an air conditioned room…I hope you are creating some sort of art!


A little Dr Seuss (and art too)

Posted in Uncategorized on June 6, 2016 by rcscreations

 How did it get so late so soon? It’s night before its afternoon.

December is here before its June.  My goodness how the time has flewn.

How did it get so late so soon?

~Dr. Seuss


Looking for June quotes, I came across this one. I LOVE how Dr. Seuss made up his own words! What an imagination!

Yes, time has “flewn” so very quickly! And yes, it’s June….and a very HOT one it has been so far. Not my favorite season, this so-hot-but-not-even-summer-yet  kind of weather, that we seem to have just about every end of May, into June. Not a fan. In fact, it just makes me tired…and though I have loads of artwork I want to try…I am sluggish. On days it’s too tiring to paint, I read about painting. Or watch class videos on drawing or painting. Or sometimes I just veg on the couch and watch a good British mystery. I rarely recommend movies or shows, but I just finished one called Doctor Thorne on Amazon (free if you have Prime). If you like Anthony Trollope (The Way We Live Now) or Jane Austen (Emma and Pride and Prejudice) you will love this series.

My love for making art never wanes. When I’m too whooped to paint, drawing with my pens, pencils, colored pencils, etc…makes me happy. I can do this on the couch (and even in my pajamas, if need be). 


I’ve been drawing a lot on toned paper, and really loving the look of it. When you add a little colored pencil to it…it gets quite dreamy.


While I was on the phone, I started drawing on the cardboard on the table. I liked it so much, I decided to add colored pencil.


I am loving Prismacolor pencils lately…so much!



And I am playing around with more pens. I found a few inexpensive pens at the art store and decided to add a wash to them, with an aquabrush. I love how the shading happens…




And I am still loving the look of Scribble Art portraits.



I started a new journal a few weeks ago, and have been filling it with faces…


Most of these faces are from Master Drawings found in museums. This is from a portrait of Anthony van Dyck.












And some of these are drawings from my paintings. This one was inspired by a painting of a painting, by Marie Laurencin. This has been a fun way to practice faces. It’s a small book, about 4 x 5 inches, but a great way to do quick sketches. I hope by the end of summer, it is filled with fun little portrait sketches!


I didn’t know that Strathmore made a paper pad specifically for Colored Pencil, until I went into a small art store in a university town. I thought I would give it a try.


I like the texture of this paper very much! And color pencil work looks great on it!

Last month, I decided to try an assignment from Gillian Lee Smith’s class, Drawn to Expression. It called for spraying your watercolor paper with water, then adding ink and paint, and spraying it again, and then adding pencils, and more ink, and letting things flow. A lesson in looseness, and to play with the unexpected.


When they had dried, I went in with colored pencils, carbon paper, and graphite, to add more detail.





How’s this for looseness?!?!?!  I really LOVE how these turned out. I would have never thought to work this way. This is an awesome class assignment (an awesome class!) and I can’t wait to get back to some of the exercises.





  I also played around with paint last month…craft paints actually. These are Hand Made Modern Acrylic Paints, recommended by Mindy Lacefield. They did a great job on these Spring Mail Art cards that were sent out a few weeks ago. The colors are vibrant. I think I will use them in my journal, instead of my Liquitex, Amsterdam and Golden paints. For an average of $2 a bottle, I am ok with that!

There are also new portraits in the online shop!


Sweet Dreams






Hope and Dreams


Esperanza (it means Hope)

All five of these are on 5 x 7 inch Ampersand gessobord, and painted with acrylics. Esperanza was an experiment in composition, and I think it turned out well.

All five of these are now in my online shop, ArtcyLucy Studio on Etsy.

And finally, one last painting…for my husband’s niece who graduated from high school this weekend. I hope she likes it!

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Process of painting…
and the final painting -Samantha

 I’ll be back in the art room soon, back to organizing and tossing out or giving away things I don’t need, in order to give me a bit more elbow room when I paint. I also may treat myself to a new easel in the near future, so any recommendations would be great. I have an H frame easel at the moment that works fine. And I have been using it for the last four years. But things are starting to fall off of it, and I think it is telling me it wants to retire (poor overused and unappreciated easel)🙂 It’s led a noble life.

I hope you are surviving the heat (or cold, depending on where you are!).

 Here a bit more Seussian wisdom for you.

You have brains in your head. You have feet in your shoes. You can steer yourself any direction you choose. You’re on your own. And you know what you know. And YOU are the one who’ll decide where to go.


It’s not about what it is, it’s about what it can become.


You are you and that is true, there’s no one in the world who’s you-er than you.

(Dr. Seuss)

What happened to April?

Posted in Uncategorized on May 5, 2016 by rcscreations

I didn’t mean to skip a month in posting…honest. I actually had been very busy getting class assignments and commission work done, when  BAM!  I got sick. It just kinda happened. That’s what I get for boarding a plane.

Oh well, I am back home now, and still on the mend… but well enough to type a blog post, and let you know what I have been working on.

I am still into SCRIBBLE ART! Not a great surprise, I know.


What can I say…I just love the flow of the pen on paper. This drawing above, was one I started at my friend’s studio…where we played with gelli plate printing with other artist friends, and then I was asked to do a little demo on scribble art. I’ve done three renditions of this girl with roses in her hair. I love each of them.


A little scribbling, with a little Kees van Dongan and Modigliani influence.


This was part of my “sketching in public” day, waiting for the car to be serviced.

And so was she. I brought along my iPad with photo references. And a couple pens, and my little Piccadilly journal. 


And the next day, waiting on a different vehicle being serviced…I settled in at Mickey D’s…trying not to get distracted by everyone’s conversations around me, and just draw.

More scribbling….

  Yes, they have hats. I adore hats.

Before my trip, I started a self study online class with Gillian Lee Smith, called Drawn to Expression. I want to get more loose in my drawings, and in my paintings. There were four weeks worth of videos. These were my first assignments, just loose drawing with charcoal pencil.

I ordered some supplies for the class, like this new little Strathmore toned paper journal, and a set of Conte crayons, that are like hard pastels.


I decided to go with my husband to his business trip in San Diego. While I was there, I enjoyed a trip the art museum, and Spanish Village Art Center. I also took along some of my supplies, and watched class videos on my iPad and then did some of the class assignments. It was so relaxing to work on art throughout the day.

I enjoyed some of these 30 second to one minutes face drawings, a five minute drawing, as well as a 20 minute drawing (that took only 18).  Mostly with charcoal and graphite.

I decided to add freckles to this little drawing I worked on, but instead it make her look like a rabbit, so I called her Bunny Girl.


I love her playful hair! Scribble art in the hotel room. Such fun!


Conte crayons, charcoal pencil, colored pencils, just trying to get loose in my portraits.  

Michelangelo would probably cringe at my scribble art of his masterpiece. But I love it. I remember standing in front of this statue at the Louvre, and taking photo after photo after photo.


Second day of hotel room art…. Getting looser! Trying charcoal pencils, Stabilo pencils, spraying them with water, and working into it some more.


Charcoal and Conte crayon (I adore this portrait!)


And one scribble portrait for the day. “It’s good to be Queen”, she says.


Last full day of art making. I went to the nearby Staples store to get carbon paper, and used it for a couple of these assignments…a type of blind contour drawing on the carbon paper onto the paper below it….my favorite of the carbon paper assignments, is the one on the lower right (of the photo above) of the three girls.


My favorite loose portrait of the day, a rough and loose pen sketch of Alberto Giacometti. His work is very interesting to look at, from the very loose sketches and paintings, to his very tall and skinny sculptures.


But I also REALLY love this portrait of Renoir. It was the assignment where we drew, and erased, draw some more, erase some, draw more, erase…to create depth. I love the depth and emotion in this portrait. And secretly, I wish I could paint like Renoir!

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I got home from the trip, with a bad cold, that went into my chest…so lots and lots of coughing, lots of staying home under a blanket with a cup of tea…AND digital art. iPad sketching and Apple pencil. I used a few different apps for this one, but mostly Art Set Pro app, it’s my favorite!

More digital art below

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I am also learning to appreciate adding colored pencil to my pen drawings.



I’ve been ordering some new supplies, like this Bee Paper Bogus Rough Sketch paper. Almost the texture of a paper bag, but better. It takes to pen and  pencil very nicely! They come in large sheets, and I would love to try some larger portraits and figure sketches.



I also tried R&F oil sticks, which have oil paint and wax in them. I used it to create the portrait above, with pastels and charcoal and pencils…and oil sticks. My first time using these materials together. It was VERY tough! And I am still waiting for the oil stick to dry! This girl is used to quick drying acrylics, so this was WAY out of my comfort zone. But it was one of the assignments for the Drawn to Expression class, and I was up to try it.

 More scribbling portraits…because I love it.


These two guys were part of a Jean-Francoise Raffaelli painting, and I loved their stance, and knew I wanted to sketch them. I am getting more and more comfortable sketching with pen!


This was drawn with carbon paper, using three separate reference photos, and then I went in later with more pen. I might have to paint something like this.


And back to my continuous line drawings…they make fine characters, don’t you think? I missed drawing like this, you really do look long and hard at the reference photo to capture shapes, instead of details.


I also worked on two commissioned paintings last month, and four new ones for my shop. All before I got sick.


Angelica- 8×10 inch acrylic painting on Ampersand gessobord


Katelyn – 5 x 7 inch acrylic painting on Ampersand gessobord  They are now both with their new owner, as of yesterday, and she LOVES them! I fell in love with the Angelica painting, and secretly wanted to keep her for myself!  

Four more paintings that I finished…three are still available in the shop.


 Joan (sold)    


Flowers in her Hair   – 8 x 10 inch acrylic painting


Sweet Jenny   – 5 x 7 inch acrylic painting 


The Dreaming Rose – 5 x 7 inch acrylic painting You can find these three, and many more in my online Etsy shop, ArtcyLucy Studio.

I’ll leave you with one last drawing today. Back to just graphite for this one…practicing side views, ears, and hands! 


I am coughing less, and slowly getting my energy back, so I hope to get back to the more energetic art of painting soon. In the meantime, I will just be sketching and relaxing.

I hope you are healthy and happy and surrounded by lots and lots of art!




on a day like today…

Posted in Uncategorized on March 31, 2016 by rcscreations

Vincent van Gogh was born.

A day like this, in 1853. What would the world have been like if he had never been born? Never took up drawing, or painting? He has been such an influence on me, and my art work.


The painting above, was done by John Peter Russell, and I recently read that this was one of the portraits that Vincent loved. I sure do love that over the shoulder glance, don’t you?


Julie Johnson read out of a book of van Gogh’s letters during her class, and recommended the book to us, it is called,

Van Gogh’s Letters: The Mind of the Artist in Paintings, Drawings, and Words, 1875-1890

I recommend it too. I started reading it, taking notes, and sketching what’s inside.

“What would life be if we had no courage to attempt anything?” Vincent said.

And so, with that kind of courage, I try to go on, and learn from him.


During February and March, I have really tried to concentrate on drawing…and getting assignments done, for both Julie Johnson’s Making Art Sing Class (see previous post) and Misty Mawn’s  Make/Do Art Class.

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One of Misty’s assignments was to do a “Day in the Life” kind of documentation of our day. So, I made a photo collage. February 24th, 2016. It was a good day. Even the soap bubbles (bottom right) seemed to love the day.


Another assignment, was to take a painting we loved…draw with graphite, and then make another in watercolor. I used van Gogh’s Agostina portrait as my inspiration (far left).


I am often inspired by his peasant drawings too.


Charcoal, graphite and Inktense pencils with aquabrush on watercolor paper



Micron and Staedtler are my permanent pens of choice these days for line drawings. These were drawn on tea stained paper. I added white pen at the end for highlights.


I love that Misty’s class this time, focused part of the assignments on working with watercolor, which is a medium I have never felt completely comfortable with. She wanted us to make quick drawings and watercolor studies, just to play.

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This was our “Sad/Happy” assignment, a little art journaling and drawing and watercolor.


I had to sneak a little scribbling in with this pen portrait…I love the subtle addition of Golden Qor Watercolors.


Henri Toulouse-Lautrec was my inspiration for my next drawing, then watercolor assignment. I used a lot of pen work on this one.


Back to simple line…I want to pursue this kind of art making. I like that it is almost like a fashion magazine illustration.


More pen and watercolor play.


This was just a simple pen drawing, but the Derwent Graphix pen is not a permanent ink, and when you add water to it, it spreads a bit like watercolor. I love the addition of the grays from the ink alone.


Another assignment was to draw hands. My poor hubby has had TWO casts in the last three months. He was kind enough to pose for me, I took a photo of his casted hand, and then sat with my graphite pencils and paper stump to blend and make shadow areas. This was a very good assignment for me, as I tend to avoid drawing or painting hands. I need to do much more of this. Hopefully the next one I draw of hubby’s hands, it will be cast free (poor guy!).


Another assignment was to draw a portrait, and then add it to a collage. My drawing of the girl’s face was too large to add in my journal, so I scanned it, reduced the size, printed it out, and then added it to a journal…I added papers, photographs, paper letters, ephemera, and then even drew on the face with colored pencils. I haven’t done collage in so long…I LOVED combining my love of drawing faces, with my love for collage!



Second collage assignment, same method as the last.


I bought a few new pencils and pens this month, and this is what I do when I get them…scribble

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I even tried some left hand contour drawings…these were fun! 


I even tried pen drawing on clear Dura-Lar (acetate/transparency) sheets. It is fun to layer them over things, like music sheets. However it takes a LONG time for the ink to dry, because it just sits on the plastic surface, instead of sinking into paper.


I was challenged to do a darker piece than I usually do…this is an ink drawing (with water, brush, pencil, Inktense, charcoal, Stabilo Marks All pencil) on Dura-Lar matte paper. Not as transparent as the clear, but it is easier to draw on. Not my usual cup of tea, but I kinda like the drippy tears, made with a spritzing of a water bottle.


One of my favorite assignments in Misty’s class, making a “zine” of a favorite subject, out of one sheet of paper.  I folded an 11 x 17 inch piece of cream colored drawing paper, so I would have eight pages in this zine, and I chose a subject close to my heart….


FANCY HATS, of course!!!  I chose eight drawings or paintings that I used as inspiration. I had about an hour to do these drawings, all eight of them. So I scribbled VERY fast! It was such good practice for me. And I love that I had a little 4 x 5 inch book to show for it.

Speaking of books…


I decided to take Shutterfly up on their offer of a free 8 x 8 inch book.


I filled all twenty pages with Scribble Art Portraits. It is SO COOL to see my drawings in this professional looking format! Now, I want to make more photo books of my art. 

I am still enjoying my iPad and Apple Pencil. The images below are all digital. The first three of the sunset, were inspired by my trip to the ocean in January.









I love the option of making art on a tablet, while I lounge on the couch in my jammies (how’s that for artistic laziness?)  Art Set Pro is one of my favorite iPad apps, for creating art that looks real…not digital.


I haven’t painted most of the month. First, I took a fall, and was too sore to paint at the easel. Thankfully, my love for drawing has kept me busy.  I am feeling better, but decided to do some cleaning out of the art room, before getting back to serious painting. I have been asked to do a commission painting, and these are the drawings I am working on, for the upcoming portrait. The first two sketched in pencil, and the bottom two in pen. This time last year, before Julie’s Scribble Art class, there was NO way, I had the confidence to draw portraits like this in PEN. I have seen such an improvement, since August 2015, in my pen drawings. As much as I am in love with drawing, I am looking forward to getting back in the studio, with brush in hand.

One last assignment to show you…


Misty asked us to make our own word stencils. I decided to use part of a quote from Vincent van Gogh’s letters.

“Love many things, for therein lies the true strength, and whosoever loves much performs much, and can accomplish much, and what is done in love is done well.”




Time Goes March(ing) On

Posted in Uncategorized on March 15, 2016 by rcscreations


It’s been over a month since I was here…and I finally figured out why I couldn’t add any more photos to my last blog post.  

I had run out of space!  

I have had this free WordPress blog for over 9 years, and in that time, I have filled it with…LOTS and LOTS…of images. Well, 3 Gigabytes later, I had reached my limit. The good news is…there was a way to get more space. I have upgraded to PREMIUM…and I have three times more space to add images and videos too! And another exciting tidbit or two…no more ads showing up on this site (yay!) AND my own domain name!!!!   RCSCREATIONS.COM  can now officially be used to get to my blog. I am pretty happy about this.

I have so much to show you from the last six weeks or more, that I will break it up into two blog posts.


Last month, I splurged and bought a 5 x 7 inch Gelli Arts Printing Plate…and I have only had one day to play with it, but I liked it…


I liked it a lot!


I went back in and added details with white and black pen when they dried. And on two of them, I added simple pen portraits.


I am STILL loving my scribble art portraits. I am trying at least one drawing a day. Simple pen, and paper. Usually a Micron or Staedtler pen.



Some are a little fancier than others. You KNOW how much I love fashionable ladies in hats!


This is my Alice In Scribbleland portrait…she’s a little wonky, but fun. It is “aged” digitally, with the Pixlromatic app.


Staedtler makes a wonderful 0.05 point pen…to make these itsy bitsy tiny scribbles.



Best hairstyle ever!


One of my favorite scribble portraits so far of the year, Winter Girl.


I made printed copies of her on Staples double sided matte paper, added words about winter with a Micron pen, adhered them to cardstock, and mailed them out for my Winter Mail Art swap.


I celebrated our thirtieth anniversary with the hubby last month. We had each bought each other gifts earlier in the year. But on our special day,  we surprised each other…with the same KIND of gift. He bought me a beautiful new fountain pen, called a TWSBI. We had to learn to fill it with INK…it doesn’t come with a cartridge! Eeeekkkkk!!!!  I was nervous about it, but we did it! We filled it with Higgins India Ink. Then I found out weeks later, that India ink is NOT good for fountain pens! Oops! So, I ordered different ink! If you are in the market for a good fountain pen, I would suggest you check out Liz Steel’s series of blog posts on Fountain Pens. I found it pretty fascinating. She also recommends buying fountain pens from Goulet Pen Co. This is where hubby ordered my new pen from. I LOVE the new pen!

I bought him a Lamy pen, from Amazon. This one came with five cartridges of black ink refills. But the original pen came with blue (more purple hued) ink. It is water soluble, and I have been using it with an aqua brush.


It spreads like watercolor. I love the look of his pen. It’s a Lamy Al-Star.


Before I handed over HIS pen to him (maybe I should have gotten one for me too!) I used it for a quick Degas inspired sketch. I am thoroughly enjoying Julie Johnson’s Making Art Sing class, where she is teaching us about using water soluble materials. A few of the assignments had to do with ballerinas…which I love to draw!


This is the same pose, but with Inktense pencils, and watercolor pencils, with aqua brush, and then white pen once it was dried. We use a lot of Inktense pencils in this class! Which is good, because I had a handful of them, but hardly ever used them!


More ballerina scribbling. This time, I used black ink pen and colored pencils.


This was also an assignment for Julie’s class. Using Inktense pencils with water and brush, on watercolor paper that has been prepped with matte medium first. It leaves a wonderful texture, and once the Inktense pencil drawing is hit with a damp brush, you can move it around like paint. It is disconcerting at first. I am used to acrylics…you put them down, and they stay put! This is more like watercolors!


Here is another go at Inktense on prepped watercolor paper,  moved around with a wet brush. We are supposed to look at values, the lights and darks of the piece, to make sure we are making shadow areas and highlight areas. I finally used a Stabilo pencil for my darkest darks. It is a VERY interesting process. Not easy. I like seeing how I started, and how it ended up though. 


Here was another assignment…using water soluble pencils and charcoal on Dura-Lar. It is basically like acetate, or plastic. This one has a matte finish, but it is translucent and you can see through it. So, I put a piece of paper behind it, so I could see how the colors looked.


Here is a better view of the process, and the finished piece. If I thought the matte medium coated paper was smooth, it is NOTHING compared to the slickness of this material! I have NEVER worked on anything quite this smooth…and smeary. I started off loosely, with a few Inktense pencil strokes, then went in with a large damp brush. You lose a lot of line work that way, so you have to in, again and again, to get more detail. It is time consuming, and a little frustrating to be honest…but it yields an interesting result. And it DID feel good to learn something new.


Another assignment was to use charcoal and a damp brush on Dura-Lar. This was also a bit tedious, because each time I would try to blend the charcoal, it would dilute and I would lose the black color I wanted to keep. I resorted to Stabilo Marks All pencil, for the final blackest black. This is based on a Manet painting.


This is my looser intuitive drawing assignment, using ink on Dura-Lar. I ended up using the Stabilo on this too, at the end. I am still struggling with this surface.

More Dura-Lar practice, this time, with just a few Inktense pencils, graphite pencils, and watercolor pencils, and a small damp brush. I put the finished Dura-Lar drawing, over the top of cream colored paper.

 I’ll be back soon (I promise!) to share more photos of assignments from Misty Mawn’s class, more daily scribble art, and some digital art too. In the meantime, I will leave you with a wonderful art quote…

Do not fail, as you go on, to draw something every day, for no matter how little it is, it will be well worth while, and it will do you a world of good. – Cennino Cennini




Settling into a new year

Posted in Uncategorized on February 13, 2016 by rcscreations

I am settling into 2016. Slowly.

I wish I could say I spent the whole month of January here… but the one week we spent at this beautiful place, went by way too quickly. However, those seven days of staring into the water, watching waves, and admiring the changing colors of the sunset, was just what we needed, at just the right time. 


A balcony overlooking this view…well, we couldn’t have asked for a better place to relax…or make art!





Between walks along the beach, and enjoying the new pier during a rain storm…I found time to work on one of my latest online classes, Jeanne Oliver’s Reflections, a journaling class. This was part of an exercise using just dry mediums, and quickly doing a portrait.

This next assignment, was mixing wet and dry mediums. I sure could get used to making art with the sound of waves.

I would love to upload an image for you, but WordPress is not letting me add any more images, aside from what I uploaded earlier this week…. SO, I will show you what I have been doing before and since vacation, ok??? 

Technology…love it, and…not so much love it!

Big news…and no surprise…is, that I am still SMITTEN with scribble art portraits!


I had been doing one drawing a day, but I think I skipped a few. But I am back to it now….


Scribbling portraits makes me VERY happy. I usually work on them at night, when the house is quiet. It is a calming and meditative type of art. And I love the results of all that tiny scribble work!

I also have been trying out my new fountain pen.


And adding some subtle shading with a wet brush.


I also tried a little technique one of my fellow classmates shared…drawing in pencil, over paper that has been treated with a coat of matte medium. Lo and behold… the pencil comes out about 4 times darker than usual! Light bulb moment!  I drew this quickly with a very cheap mechanical pencil. It shows up almost as dark as charcoal! 


I am also very much smitten with my Apple Pencil, and iPad Pro, and using the app, Art Set Pro. The image above was done purely on the iPad, with the charcoal tools on the app. This does NOT look like digital art to me! I am super impressed with this app….$6.99. WELL worth it!


I like to save images of the works in progress, which is easy to do when you are working on an iPad.


I also love the mobility of working digitally…I am still being creative, still practicing my mark making, painting skills and color mixing…but without all the fuss of carrying around mediums, paper, easel, etc…


A friend of mine asked if I liked it better than real life painting or drawing. The answer…NO. There is nothing like drawing from scratch, feeling those tools in your hands, getting paint everywhere….hearing the sound of brush to art panel. NOTHING. LIKE. IT.   But, there is something wonderful about being able to create art, even when you are in your jammies, and without getting paint everywhere.

Processed with MOLDIV
Processed with MOLDIV

Here is the evolution of an “oil painting” on Art Set Pro. Pure fun! The collage I created above, with those four images, was made with the Moldiv App.


That’s not to say that I have ditched my art materials. No, I am still getting into the art room when I can, and scribbling, and painting. This is mixed media (I mean, A LOT of different mediums here, from pastels, to pencils, to gesso, to paint, to graphite and more) on paper. About 11 x 14 inches.


Painting portraits in an old vintage music book. I have had this book for AGES, and finally I am doing something with it!


And a few more “formal” portraits that I listed on Etsy. This is “Lola” and she has sold, and is now in her home across the states. I received SUCH a wonderful email from the owner, letting me know how much she is loved and now gracing her front room, on the piano (she sent me a photo and everything!) Getting messages like that, really impresses on me how wonderful it is to create something beautiful that people want in their homes. I am humbled and I am honored. It keeps me painting, learning and growing as an artist. 


Dreama – 5 x 7 inches on stretched canvas (still available here)


Skye – 5 x 7 inch acrylic painting on Ampersand Gessobord (still available here)  

If I can get WordPress to work, and let me upload photos again, I have a few more things to show you…like mono printing on a glass plate, and Gelli Art printmaking.  In the meantime, I have a lot to keep me busy. TWO online classes start on Monday. Misty Mawn’s  “Make/Do/Art” online class…I am so excited, I can’t wait!. And Julie Johnson’s, “Make Art Sing” class…the follow up to Scribble Art. I absolutely KNOW it will be an awesome class!  I wish they weren’t starting on the SAME DAY! So I know it will be a busy few weeks! AND, I am overhauling my art room! Probably bad timing on that…but it so needs to be done!

I hope all is well with you, in your corner of the world. I hope that by chance, you are working on an art project that makes you happy!


“Art washes away from the soul the dust of everyday life.”
― Pablo Picasso





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