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Glamour girl

Hi ho friends.

Today’s post features one of my oldest art journal pages from Draw Happy, one of the first online art classes I took with Jane Davenport.  Actually, it may have been my first online class. Honestly, I don’t recall – I’ve taken so many classes. This glass is one of my first mixed media portraits as well. I used Prismacolor pencils and alcohol markers.  The funny thing is, I really like my early drawings.  They have a kind of primitive style that appeals to me.  I keep trying to deliberately get this type of look in my work.

I have noticed a few changes to my faces since then: I have lowered the eyes to the middle of the head; the eyes are a bit smaller; and I moved the nose up toward the eyes – closer to where the nose actually falls on the head. I don’t shadow as deeply.

Some of the aspects I’ve kept include: a deep side part in the hair, which is inspired by women’s hairstyle from the 30s and 40s; I’ve kept the nose minimal; the shadows on the face are shallow; one eye is a bit cockeyed; and I don’t use a single light source. In fact, I’m not really interested in the light source.

Which is a bit ironic because I was a theatrical lighting designer, a long time ago.  Lack of a focal light source is part of the look of my work. Combined with the direct gaze of the portrait enhances the disturbing aspect of my work.  Many of portraits gaze directly at the viewer. A sort of artistic standoff.  Who will look away first?

It ain’t gonna be the painting, my friend.

What little things comprise your style?  If you haven’t thought about it, take pictures of your work and look over several pieces.  The things that unify your work will begin to stand out.  When that happens and you see it, you will make your work truly your own.  Leave a comment and link to your latest project. I’ve love to see what you’re up to.

Happy arting!

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White text obsession

Hi ho art friends.

A while ago, I picked up Danielle Donaldson’s “Creative Girl” book, which started my enchantment with drawing tiny, wonky houses and using a white acrylic pen on dark backgrounds.

It occurred to me that I should try using a white pen on my dark backgrounds.  I queued up several arty youtube videos and my large Dylusions journal, white Posca pens, Intense pencil, and Jane Davenport’s Mermaid pens and created this page.


The page started with doodling along with Molly Hollyberry’s youtube video on Crazy Huggins, a tangle variation of Huggins.

Next. I watched one of Jane Davenport’s youtube videos and I love to art along with Jane and wondered what the Mermaid pens would look like over the white acrylic pen work.

I like the look and contrast achieved with this technique. I’ve been exploring it in my art journal, so you can expect to see more of this.  I also want to incorporate this more in my future works.

Stay tuned and happy arting!

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Girl and friends

Hi ho friends.  It seems like it’s been a while since I shared some art journal pages, so I’m starting a new regular series, called, you guessed, it Art Journal Pages.

Brilliant, right?

Anywho, I don’t know about you, but I get obsessed and work in a particular style, color palette, or imagery.

This partial page was from my girls decorated by tiny birds phase.

Girl and Friends-tenukihandcrafts

You may have noticed that birds appear in my art regularly. I love birds because they fly and sing.  I’m fortunate to live in a neighborhood with lots of trees, so every spring a new crop of feathered friends appear and sing their tiny brains out.

I tend to draw spirals on the top of bird heads because I think quail are among the most adorable of birds.  I love the feather cluster on their heads. From a distance they look, to me, like a spiral. None of my birds are meant to represent quail specifically, I just adore that topknot and add it to whatever bird I’m drawing. What can I say? It’s how the birds in my world look.

I hope you enjoy this new series.  I’d love to hear what your current art journal obsession. Leave me a link to your latest creation and I’ll check it out!

Happy creating!

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Women’s March 2017

Hi Ho friends.  I admire people who protest, but it’s not for me.  I have a severe aversion to crowds.  Today’s protest in Seattle had over 120,000 women.  I may be too freaked out by crowds to march, but I still want to show my support and voice my opinion, so I created this gal, who I will call Luci the Virtual Protester.

I used 9″x12″ Canson Marker paper and sketched her in pencil. I colored her with Tombow and Auqa Markers.  I tried blending with one of my water brushes. I don’t recommend it on marker paper – it pills the paper rather badly.  I switched to my Aqua Marker blender, which worked better, but the paper still pulled in toward the center.


I scanned this gal on my Epson flatbed scanner @ 300 dpi and as a .tiff file.  Edited in the GIMP.  As I learned from Tam in her digital dreams class, I create new layers for each adjustment and leave the original layer intact.  The background was done as digital layers using the air brush tool and different default brushes in blues, greens and purples. I adjusted the size way up to 300.  I added a handwriting layer and used the ink brush as the smallest setting.  The writing was black –  I selected the Overlay layer mode. Overall, this is quite a lighter color palette than I normally use, but I really enjoyed making Luci.

Cropped it down to 4:5 ration so it would print as an 8×10.

The my-body-my-choice-tenukihandcrafts is a pdf file.

In case you’re wondering, that’s what the L stands for.

While Luci is not the first piece of political art I’ve created, she is the first released to the world.

You don’t have to hit the streets to make your voice heard. Be yourself.

Much love to you, my friends.

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Hi ho lovelies.

Today’s post is a look back at my first art show. It was 2 years ago this month. My friend Marva invited me to join her in a Krampus-themed show at the Cafe Bedlam. Marva creates terrific hand-drawn and hand-carved Krampus art.  She also created a Krampus costume.

A few months earlier, Marva asked me to take some photos of her in her awesome costume.  We went to a nearby park and I took a bazillion photos.  She kindly gave me permission to use the photos any way I wished. It was a beautiful day and the photos under the trees have a nice green, shadowy cast to them.  Mysterious!

Most of my art for the Krampus show were the photos of Marva in her costume.  I had a lot of fun playing with the photos in Gimp. In fact, I’d say it’s time to revisit the Krampus photo shoot and edit a couple more photos.  I’ve learned quite a lot about the Gimp’s many wonderful features – filters, effects, and ways to enhance my photos. But that’s a post for another day.

When the Krampus show was drawing near, I was deep in my mixed media art heaven and I wanted to include one of my paintings.  I happened to be in Effy Wild’s Radiant Faces class.  I was working on Tam Laporte’s Inner Child lesson.  As part of the class, Effy encouraged us to work the lesson as presented, make notes and then go back to the lesson and give it your own twist.

Tam’s color scheme leans toward pastels. I prefer a darker color palette.  The idea hit me to create a Krampus-themed portrait, and Krampus Handmaiden was born.


Both girls were painted on hot press watercolor paper, 140 lb, 11″x17″.  The biggest I had worked at that point – scary! I enjoyed having more space to fill. Both paintings were done primarily will water-based supplies, plus some permanent pens and stamped images with Stayzon ink.



I also enjoy the big-headed girls. They remind me of the Blythe doll, although the proportions used in these paintings are not quite as extreme as Blythe.  I took both gals to the Swedish Craft Fair and was pleasantly surprised that Krampus Handmaiden was purchased.

Tonight, I did a little editing on Krampus Handmaiden with the Gimp. I added a Color Enhance layer and a Tending layer, where I added some dodge and burn to increase the highlights and shadows on my gal.  I also re-sized the image to print as 8″x10′, which happens to be a ratio of 4:5.  Once I figured out that I could crop my paintings to the 8×10 ratio, it make printing a lot easier.  Unfortunately, I had to crop out a bit of the top of Krampus handmaiden’s cute devil hat.  Next time, I’ll be more mindful of placement of hats.

As I was writing this post, it occurred to me that I could cut/trim the watercolor paper to the 4:5 ratio so I don’t have to decide which part of the painting gets cropped out for the print version.

Krampus Handmaiden and some of the photos of Marva frolicking in her Krampus costume are available as prints.  If you interested in buying some Krampus-themed art, please stop by my Etsy shop:

I love working with themes – having something to focus on gets my creative juices flowing.  What theme are you working on right now?  Leave a comment or link below. I’d love to see what you’re creating!

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Super Power #23

I’ve been in a watercolor mood lately and taking time to explore it.

I recently acquired some new art goodies : Jane Davenport’s book, called “Drawing and Painting Beautiful Faces,” a set of Gelatos, and a set of Derwent Inktense pencils. The Gelatos and Inktense pencils are water soluble and fit right into my watery mood.

I recently ran across a Mori Girl illustration, a photo of a Mori Girl in this particular pose, which, along with Jane’s book are the inspirations for this page, which  was done on Canson 9×12 mixed media paper. In addition to using Gelatos and Inktense pencils, I used a purple Prisma pencil, Pitt pens, Stabilo All pencil, Copic marker in cool grey, and Sakura gel and Micron pens.

Overall, I like the way this page turned out. The paper can get overworked and get pilly if you use too much water. Sometimes the Gelatos don’t move as much as I’d like.  More experimentation is needed to fine tune using these products.  I’m curious how they’ll work over a matte medium or acrylic base.

I doodled past the perforations which I discovered when I went to scan the page for this post. I had to scan it in 2 parts and will have to merge them together. For this post,  I altered the photo taken with my phone camera using my go-to photo editors: Aviary and Pixlromatic.

I like my girls to gave unusual names and Esmeralda worked for me. When I finished the page, I thought Es looked a bit put out by the whole thing because as a Mori Girl, she would not want her superpower to cause birdies harm.

I think we all have superpowers of some kind. Not like flying or deflecting bullets with bracelets, which would be awesome. But some extra special skill that helps us out. Mine is the ability to take minutes at meetings where I don’t understand the discussion. This comes in very handy in my job as a health care admin.

What’s your superpower?


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Radiant Faces Lesson 3


Lesson 3 of Radiant Faces is with Christy Tomlinson who has what I call a whimsical impressionist style.

I tried working the entire piece with her supplies, but it was trickier than I thought.

My Girly Girl was done with Stabilo pencil, acrylics, Pitt pens, Collage Pauge, alcohol ink, various papers, Stayzon ink, stamps, stencils, and Prisma pencils on 9 x 12 canvas.

I am enjoying the class and it is stretching my skills. I’m not totally in love with her but I like her. I want to try Christy’s techniques again because I like the idea of shading with Pitt pens.

Edited with #aviary >

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Whimsical Shaded Gal

For the Lesson 26 of Life Book, I picked up three pencils (2B, 4B, and 6B) plus some charcoal.  When I finish my various class lessons, I fiddle with my various art journals. I thought it was a good time to go back to pencils and make a portrait in my style.  For comparison to the more realistic style, I included my final version of Week 26 gal.

Here is Whimsical Pencil shaded gal.

I enjoy working with pencils, but don’t like so much the smudging.  I sealed the page with Windsor and Newton sealant, but it was a bit smudgy.  I added a layer of clear gesso, my new best friend.  A bit of smudginess with applying the gesso, but ok for an art journal page.