Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Sketchbook Journal - July

I found these farm animal stickers the other day in Michael's.  

I've always had this fantasy of living on a farm.
...Waking up early to the sound of a rooster.
Baking my own bread.
Feeding the pigs.
Sheering the sheep.
Milking a cow named Bessie.

It would be hard work, but I think I would enjoy it.

But those stickers got me to thinking --
any hard work of the right kind is rewarding in the end.

I need to remind myself of that when I feel tired & wearied.  
When I don't want to handle any more bills
and other items related to my Grandpa's estate,  
or being patient with my mom when she calls 4 times a day (I love you, Mom),
or being pleasant to unpleasant people.

"Let us not become weary in doing good, 
for at the proper time we will reap a harvest 
if we do not give up."
- Galatians 6:9 -

 . . .

What hard work has been rewarding for you?  

Saturday, July 27, 2013

Gratitude Journal - My Sister

My sister is one of my closest friends.
She gets me when I am completely frustrated and need a laugh.
Or when I'm down and need encouragement.

She's been by my side since our "diaper days". 

We work about a half of a mile away from one another too.
So during our lunches we head over to Starbucks together.

How lucky am I?  

I'm grateful for my sister.  

. . .

Who has been by your side through thick and thin?  

Wednesday, July 24, 2013


 7"x8", in watercolor & gouache

I painted an affectionate little kitty named Louie.
His portrait is on its way to his Momma, 
whose birthday is July 27th. 

Sunday, July 21, 2013

Art Inspiration - A Pep Talk

What a cutie pie.

This little guy was born with a condition called Osteogenesis
 Imperfecta, or Brittle Bone syndrome.
His name is Robby Novack.

"Keep going, keep going, and keep going."

Saturday, July 20, 2013

How to Make a Watercolor Chart

Have you ever felt lost with knowing how to mix certain watercolors together?  Or remembering which color mixtures you like and which ones you don't?  I definitely have.

A blogger friend asked me how I made my Watercolor Chart, and I thought it would be a great idea to share.  

It's a handy tool that takes the guess-work out of mixing your watercolors.

They're a bit time-consuming to create (it took me about 2 hours in total to make mine), but making them is therapeutic. 
Plus, they turn out pretty!
I'm sure that there are other ways to make these charts, but here is how I make mine.  

Before you begin
Tools you'll need:
  • Watercolors, tubes or pans
  • Watercolor paper
  • Paintbrush (round, size 2 or 3 is what I use)
  • Jars for Clean Water & Dirty Water
  • Ruler
  • Pencil  
  • Calculator (or a scratch pad if you like math)  
Step-By-Step Instructions on How to Make a Watercolor Chart

Step 1:   Gather your watercolors & count them. 

Set them aside in ROYGBIV order.  
How to Make a Watercolor Chart Instructions
Step 2:  Measure how wide you want your chart to be.    
How to Make a Watercolor Chart Instructions
Mine is 8 inches wide.  Leave enough space (or "margins") on the sides of your paper.  This will give you room to later label the names of your watercolors.   An inch or two is usually enough space, depending on your handwriting size.

Step 3:  Calculate how big your squares need to be.  
How to Make a Watercolor Chart Instructions
Take your measurement in Step 2 & divide that by your number of watercolors.  I divided 8 inches by my 25 watercolors.

Step 4:  Plot out your squares.   
Based on the little math exercise above, I knew my vertical & horizontal lines had to each be spaced .32 inches apart.
How to Make a Watercolor Chart Instructions
Step 5:  Label each row horizontally & vertically with the names of your watercolor colors.  
How to Make a Watercolor Chart Instructions
Tip:  Keep your watercolors in order.  Whatever order you go vertically, you will need to follow the same order horizontally.   (Like your X and Y axes in math class.  :-))

Step 6:  The fun part!  Paint in your colors.  
How to Make a Watercolor Chart Instructions

Begin with your first tube of watercolor.   Find where you have labeled that same watercolor on the horizontal and vertical lines of your chart.  Where they intersect is where you will plot your color...  like in the games, Bingo or Battleship (I loved Battleship!)

Dip your brush in clean water, load your brush with that one color and paint in the little square.   Clean your brush and repeat for each tube of watercolor.

Then, start mixing.  Mix each watercolor with one other watercolor.  Plot that mixture on your chart.  Rinse your brush.  Repeat with one other color.

ie.  Let's say I start with Thalo Blue.  I will mix Thalo Blue with Thalo Red.  I'll find where those colors intersect, then I'll paint in that mixture.  Then I will rinse my brush, go back to Thalo Blue and mix with a new color, Cadmium Red.  I'll plot that mixture out and repeat with the next color in line.  
Thalo Blue + Thalo Red  (rinse)
Thalo Blue + Cadmium Red (rinse)
Thalo Blue + Permanent Rose (rinse)
Thalo Blue + Cadmium Orange (rinse) 
Tip:  Keep your mixtures nice & clean by rinsing your brush and paintbox after each mixture. 
How to Make a Watercolor Chart Instructions
There you have it. :-)
Your very own customized watercolor chart!

. . .

For more of my art tips, head on over here.

Monday, July 15, 2013

July Journal Pages... and a Beach Excursion


I snuck away to the beach this past weekend.
It was wonderful.  

Journal pages prepped ahead in watercolor.

Friday, July 12, 2013

Watercolor Supplies

 Happy Friday, friends!

Watercolors make me so happy.

Hope you have a wonderful weekend.

Wednesday, July 10, 2013


I've been working on painting a few butterfly thank you cards.

I've been slowly but surely working on getting my Etsy shop up & running too. :-)

Saturday, July 6, 2013

A Squirrel in my Sketchbook

Hello from this little guy to you!

Monday, July 1, 2013


"Emma," all finished.
10"x14" in watercolor.

A big thank you to my friend Mikko for allowing me paint her.
You can find more of his stunning photos here.