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Meet Squid Lady


I am on week 6 of Jane Davenport’s on-line class, Supplies Me. This week is working with pastels and drawing the front torso and turned face. I have a handful of pastels in my stash: a set of 12 Stabilo CarbOthello pastel pencils, 3 Prisma Nupastels, 3 Neocolor 2,  and 2 Stiva paintsticks. I had to pick up some sealer. Fortunately, I had matte medium. I use a really cheap bristle brush, which leaves a nice texture.

I had such trouble with the turned faced. I drew a lot of them, mostly in my Canson mixed media book. My faces wanted to turn down, so I finally decided to go for it and see what happens. I started drawing a girl, intending to work on both the turned face and front torso. And then it hit me: I should try to draw Squid Lady.

My original sketch of her came to me while drawing faces after watching Jane’s Drawing the Whimsical Face. The idea was to merge a whimsical face and one of my favorite tangles, squid. I had not explored her character in a while, mostly because of the torso, so this seemed like a great chance to work on her.The face and figure turned out so well, that I decided to continue working on her into my mixed media assignment, which was to incorporate the week’s lessons and tell a story.

In addition to the pastes and crayon-y items mentioned earlier, I also used prismapencils, Pitt brush pens, white gel pen, and black Sakura micron pen. I love her cute little face and am very happy with these pages.

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What Bo Peep Really Wanted


I am on Week 6 of the Jane Davenport class, Supplies Me, Pastels. I am really getting into creating a whole page. This is new for me as my previous art journals have been magazine pages cut out, glued down then written and/or doodled over.

Today, I gave my Stabilo CarbOthello pastel pencils a try. My journal is a Teesha Moore style 16 page journal made from Canson Mixed Media heavy weight paper. 14 x 17 with 3″ cut off the long side, no flip out pages and journal size 6.5 x 11.

I laid down Golden Matte media with a cheap bristle brush – I like the texture the brush gives. I used my pastel pencils and Prisma pencils for the girl. I used Andirondak acrylic paint in Pearl and this stuff called Mr. Huey’s Color Mist in a color called Ocean, painted onto the background. While the background dried, I drew the sheep with Prisma pencils and wrote the text in black Higgens India ink in an auqabrush. Peep’s dress is pastels and prismas covered with Mr. Huey’s Ocean.

There is also some Distress Stain in Barn Door. When mixed with the Ocean, goes kinda brown. Not the nice purple I had Hoped for. So the Ocean is more green than blue and the Barn Door is more orange than red. Good to know.

Why Bo Peep? I found some old journals and albums recently that had pictures of me as a kid in Hallowee costumes: Little Red Riding Hood, a witch, and Little Bo Peep. More of those girls to come.

My journals lean toward the silly rather than the inspring, profound words of wisdom and encouragement. I am a goofball and will embrace my inner absurdity.

No doubt, you’ll see more of that as well.

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Action Is…

I’m working on Week 5 of Jane Davenport’s Supplies Me class, which is Pens & Markers with exercises on shading and arms/hands.  I haven’t really worked with markers before and it is very different from colored pencils. Today’s post is about using markers in the arms/hands exercise.


I may have mentioned I started this art journey with Jane Davenport’s Cloth Paper Scissors video, “Drawing Whimsical Faces.” One of the tips she gives in the video is to stop every so often and take a quick phone photo.  The point is to look at the page with a fresh perspective.  I don’t know how, but it works.

The format for the Supplies Me class is Jane makes an inspiration/instruction video then you get homework which relates to the video.  Her videos are not downloadable and students have one year to access them.  I use a Canson Mixed Media, spiral bound 10 x 14 journal to duplicate each exercise as Jane presents it. Afterwards, I work on the ideas presented and create my mixed media homework page using a theme or idea that comes to me.  

This particular journal is one of my magazine page collage journals that, truthfully, I had forgotten about after packing it away in a trunk.  Last night, I was looking for something else in that trunk, and found 3 unfinished journals.  

I don’t remember where I bought this journal or the brand.  The inside and outside covers have things glued on them. I tore out pages I liked from various magazines: recipes, fashion images, jewelry designs, business cards, movie ticket stubs, postage stamps, whatever caught my eye at the moment.  I pasted the images into spiral bound journal until I filled up all the pages, with no plan or them in mind.  Once all the pages were covered, I used the journal as a place to write quotes or phrases I liked, but also as a place for what Jane calls ‘verbal vomit.”

I  don’t know about you, but sometimes, icky things happen and some of these icky things refuse to exit my mind.  Whenever this happens, I take one of my journals and write it all out.  Once it’s out, I can let it go and get on with my life.

Today’s page was in the middle of one of those vomits.  I really like the images on the page and the quote, so I decided to see just how much the Pitt Pens obliterate the underlying text.  I re-created the gal from my scratch journal and pointed her face to look at the jumping figure.  The original magazine image was sepia-toned, but I like the way the light blue Pitt pen makes a nice blue sky.  I used the darker blue pen as contrast and to really obliterate the text.

This paper is pretty thin.  As I flipped through, I want to keep working the pages but will need to gesso some pages.  Other pages need a layer of matte medium.  I used primarily glue sticks to adhere the pages, but eventually, the glue dries and the pages fall out.

For this drawing, I used my Pitt Brush pens and Sakura 0.8 Micron pen in black.  The pink Pitt pens bled a little.  Overall, I like how this page is progressing.  It could use a little matte medium and a bit more finishing.  I cut the top of the page out because some of the text was not covered with markers. I didn’t expect to like the page so I didn’t finish it to the edges.  

I even got a compliment from my hubby on the page, which made me feel all giddy. He’s always supportive of my wacky endeavors but my abstract creations are not a style he enjoys. 

What I like most about this page is that it confirmed I can go back to these old visual journals and punch them up with my own drawings.  I also love this gal and her happy pensiveness.


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Blending with Colored Pencils


I am on week 3 of Jane Davenport’s class, Supplies Me. The image on the left was playing around with my watercolor pencils and glittery watercolor pallette. Thelma, that this gal’s name, looked like she had an unfortunate incident with a tanning bed. I set her aside for a couple of days. When it came time to work on colored pencil blending, I decided to go back through my class journal pages and work on some of my previous faces, which had been drawn with colored pencils. I worked on three faves, but Thelma turned out better than I could have hoped.

This page was not gessoed. I have Prismacolor pencils. I tried using complementary colors on her face and neck to try to get a better skin tone and to negate some of that orangey-ness. I used both the white and creme pencils to blend Thelma’s face. I was so focused on her face, I neglected her hair, which I need to go back to add a few lines and color to make it look like she has hair at the back of her head.

Before this exercise, I didn’t know pencils could be blended and how well it works. I am learning a lot in this class. I am very happy to be drawing so much and to feel compelled to do so. Jane has a terrific system for teaching drawing figures. She teaches in easy to learn chunks and builds on those chunks. I know that when I get through this class, I will be able to draw human figures. Yay!

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Tangled Miso Soup


I merged two photos: one of my tangle tiles and one of the selfies I took during the Beloved Beginnings class. I probably took the tangle pic with my phone camera. The selfies was taken with my phone. I added a filter to the miso photo on pixlromatic, merged the miso and tangle in Picsart, added the frame and text in aviary.

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Supplies Me Watercolor Week


Today is the start of Watercolor Week in the Jane Davenport Supplies Me class. I have Staedtler watercolor pencils, Stabilo CarbOthello pastels which can be used wet or dry, a palette of Yasutomo glittery watercolors, and Tim Holtz Distress Inks in Black Soot and Barn Door. I am using Kuretake water brushes, which I love. i also have 2 filled of the brushes with India ink in black and brown.

Aside from my limited mixed media experience and painting a couple walls in our condo, it has been since scene shop in college when I did any painting, which is more about painting to someone else’s specifications. It is safe to say that I have forgotten a lot of the rules of painting. You know, like color mixing in painting is subtractive. I spent a lot of my theater time on lighting design, which is additive color mixing.

I love my Prisma pencils but watercolor pencils have to be used differently, particularly when you plan to use them wet. All of which you can see in my evening’s experiments. Water being my other nemesis. Waiting for pages to dry is new for my journal and I am still finding my bearings there.

The top page is plain paper, which is Arches cold press watercolor paper. The bottom 2 images are from another handmade Arches paper journal that I had previously covered with Golden white gesso, plus embellishments inspired by Teesha Moore’s collage journal tutorials on youtube. I like the eyes, which was the last thing I did tonight, trying to incorporate what I learned from my Orange Girl page. The drawings are mine, except in the center image, which is one of the Jane Davenport stencils, stippled on my page using Andirondak dye ink in Raisin. I want to go back and give Orange Girl and the others more details, after my page dries. 

I kept a small but diverse collection of dad’s art books, and I think there is a book on watercolor technique. I think it is time to get that book and refresh myself on painting techniques.

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Supplies Me: Week 2


I am loving my current Jane Davenport class, Supplies Me. Week 2 was exploring colored pencils, some face drawing, which I am feeling much more comfortable with. We also dipped our toes into more of the figure  drawing with backs and bottoms. Our final homework assignment is to create a mixed media art journal page showing what we’ve learned from the week.

Sunday morning, I had an idea for a painting, called Planetside. The idea was serendipitous, because later that afternoon, I got to the last homework assignment. I liked Jane’s inspiration video, but wanted to create my own page, so I decided to give my idea a try. I have worked on each layer, stopped to photo and assess. Tonight, I added just a few touches and took my photo and was a little surprised. I like the page where it is.

So far, the piece uses colored pencils, Lumiere paints, Mr. Huey spray in Ocean, some Andirondak Pearl dabber, a silver Sharpie, and some green mulberry paper with gold threads.

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The Tower Guardian


The original photo was taken with my Canon Rebel at the Santa Barbara Go Conrgress 2011, I think it was, at the UC Santa Barbara campus. The trails were accidental and I kept the photo, knowing I would do something with it…someday.

That day,or night, came yesterday. I wanted to play around more with the space filters in pixlomatic. At some point, I transfered this photo into a drop box – it’s a Picasa folder that I never made public that has since become very useful for all these digital photo projects.

I used primarily pixelomatic on this photo -three fiters and two frames. The image was cropped and text added  in aviary.

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Supplies Me Lesson 1

My enjoyment of e-classes continues with Jane Davenport’s self-directed workshop, Supplies Me. I really wanted to take the Mermaid Circus workshop with Jane and Teesha Moore, but I have to confess that I gave in to my Inner Critic, feeling my drawing skills were not up to snuff.

Baby steps, my friends.

Today’s post is from Lesson 1: Gesso! I had no idea how awesome gesso was until I bought a small jar Golden brand and tried it out for Draw Happy Frolicaholic. I have nearly used that little jar and had to go to Blick’s for a bigger bottle of Liquitex. Jane loves it and it does not hurt to try different brands to find the one I like. I also bought black gesso and clear medium to play with.

But I am getting a little ahead of myself. Today’s photo is of Page 1, where I used my Golden white gesso to paste down some random torn bits of my paper stash.  A trick I learned from Jane’s Whimsical Faces video it to stop every so often while working and take a photo of the page. The photos were taken with my phone camera and assembled into a collage using Picsart. This is the page uploaded to the homework page of the class, so I can get feedback from Jane.

After the gesso and torn paper layer, I used a piece of bubble wrap cut in a rough heart shape and stamped on the page using Andirondack Pesto dye ink. I also used Raisin and Caramel in the same line with some of my favorite stamps -the sunflowers are Hero Arts, I believe, plus the feather collage stamp of a forgotten maker. I recently got my Jane Girl stencils and used the profile, stippled on with Raisin. There are spritzes of Mr. Huey’s in Ocean, which never seems to dry on gesso. I also used Distressed Stain in Black Soot and Barn Door, along the edge of the pages and trios of dots, respectively.  I used my small collection of copic markers, various gel pens, and india ink in and aquash brush (another Jane tip that I love) for my text.

I felt the center of the page needed something, so I used one of my prismapencils to trace the forward facing Jane girl, then colored her in with pencils and markers.

I noted the blobbiest part of the word “heal” is still a bit damp and it has been a week since I wrote that. Good to know. Also, my gel pens re-actiavted and blended with the copic marker, even though I made sure I left a couple days for the gel pen to dry. So either the gel pen takes longer to dry on gessoed paper or the copic marker always activates the ink in the gel pen. I’ll have to experiment more to find out.

Overall, I am pretty happy wit this page. I learned stuff and tried stuff. I am glad that I need to take time to let each layer on the page to dry. This took me 4 evenings of work. This type of art journal is still new to me but I do seem to have a complex, fill the space kind of style.