Tuesday, January 31, 2012

The Fire is Finished

It's done!

Last Wednesday I introduced Word Bubble #1 (HERE),  and shared the speed drawing video of me drawing it. Well, it's now finished and photographed. I didn't add the varnish yet, and am excited to see it after that, since varnish always makes the colors pop.

Here she be, with my motivational word Fire! My word was based on this quote:

"In everyone's life, at some time, our inner fire goes out. We should all be thankful for those people who rekindle the inner spirit." --Albert Schweitzer

(can click to enlarge)

This was drawn on a small Aquabee Sketchpad... too small, as it turned out. Thanks to good ol' Dicky Blick I should be getting a nice new larger pad soon. :-)

Here's some WIP pics. 

Here's the original black and white:

I decided to go with my Caran d' Ache Neocolor II's (watersoluble artist crayons). Love those puppies! They are chunky, and force me to not fiddle around with minutiae. I started with the blue family:


Got all caught up in the ArtNebulae, and forgot to take more pics. So this is when almost done:

And here, before varnish, finished:

In addition to the Neocolor II's, I used black medium and fine Pitt Artist pens, acrylic medium, and gloss acylic medium/varnish. 

Oh, and on the outer edges - though it doesn't show in the photo - I rubbed on a little interference blue Pearl Ex. They are powdered pigments by Jacquard, which gave the edging a pearlescent sheen that slightly changes color as you move the page. You can use them for almost anything, sealed by the acrylic medium. See them Here.  Too bad they don't show up in a photo... they are gorgeous. :-)

The texture around the outer edges was done with spattering from an old toothbrush. Just made the colors a little soupier and went at it. 

One tip: since the Neocolor II's are watersoluble, if you want it to stay put and not smudge or blend any more, just use a bit of medium instead of/or in addition to water when wetting them with a brush. Towards the end, when I was working on final details, I would scribble with the crayon onto my palette, then dip my brush into water and/or  acrylic medium, and use it that way. It was like using thin acrylic paint, and won't smear when dry, or be disturbed by subsequent layers.

A new video camera is on my wish list, so as soon as I get that, I'm hoping to do more Word Bubbles. It was a blast!

Happy painting,


Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Speed Doodling & A Freebie

This shiny new year of 2012 I've been stepping outside my comfort zone to learn new things, to have new adventures!

Thus... for the first time ever I had a video camera pointed at me while I drew! It was a small doodle, but it was in INK... no pencil, no eraser, no plan. Just "leave a blank word bubble in the middle" and let 'er rip! 

I am offering the finished Word Bubble as a free download to anyone who would like. You can choose your own inspiring word for the middle, and finish it however you want... color, paint, glitter, collage, cut up and re-form it... go for it! 

If you have a blog or somewhere you post photos, I'd love to see what you ended up with. Just come back and leave a link in the comments. 

The main thing:

 Just have fun with it!

(Be sure to click to enlarge, and then download the large version, not the thumbnail)

On my birthday recently my sister Karen (her Writers blog is HERE) gave me a birthday card with this quote:
"In everyone's life, at some time, our inner fire goes out. We should all be thankful for those people who rekindle the inner spirit." --Albert Schweitzer

And that is why the word I have chosen for my Word Bubble is: Fire! 

Here is my Word Bubble after adding my word...

This coming week, I plan to play around and finish mine. I drew it with a black Pitt Artist Pen, size Medium, in a 5 x 8 Aquabee Sketchpad, and the paper is on the thin side. So I think I'll first seal the page (both sides) with a clear medium. Then I can play with my acrylics, or Neocolor II's (here)  which are watersoluble artist crayons (LOVE them) or whatever strikes my fancy. So by coating the paper I don't have to worry about it being messed up by the moisture. I might even rub in some Pearl-Ex powders if the mood strikes. :-) 

Here is my first art video in "speed drawing"  time-lapse mode. The original was 67 minutes long! This version is a mere 6 minutes and change. :-D

Speed Doodle Word Bubble #1 by Retta

(For a larger version that's easier to see, you 
can go to my YouTube page, Here)

By the way, next time I'll leave a larger blank in the middle... this one was on the dinky side. And I'm hoping to buy a better camera soon... no more fuzzies!

Edited to add: here is the link to the finished doodle, with my word Fire in it and colorized.

Happy doodling,


Monday, January 09, 2012

Playing With Headers

Last year I designed a blog header for a friend. She ended up having to close her blog for health reasons, and didn't get to use the design. Here it was:

I liked the design and font... it fit the feel of her blog very well. And I loved using the image from outer space for the background. So recently when a couple of bloggers wanted to give their sites a facelift, I thought it would be fun to use that idea again.

And what fun it was! I made two, one for a friend and one for my sister. They were done with the individual preferences, needs and personalities in mind. 

For both backgrounds, I used free images from the NASA space photo gallery, and then added text with Photoshop.

Here are smaller versions of each (can click to enlarge):

I enjoyed those projects so much I was inspired to spruce up my own blog... my other one, that is. I used an image that I had painted on 4 x 4 canvas, scanned it in to my computer, and in Photoshop added my blog name and tagline next to it. The image is extremely meaningful to me. It was from my Transformation Series, all butterflies. Here is how it turned out:

Happy painting,


Sunday, January 01, 2012

A Shiny New Year

It was fun transforming the design that I used for my Christmas card this year, into my "theme" badge for 2012. The original design was done with sharpies and colored pencil. Then in Photoshop I cropped out the card parts, increased the vertical size with more black, and added new text. I like this design a lot, so was tickled to find another use for it. :-D

Happy Painting,