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Sunday Sketches

>> Sunday, March 27, 2011

Very rough sketch of Lucy.  Having a bit of a rough patch and just don't have the energy to do a full blown drawing.  For more Sunday Sketches visit the lovely Sophia's blog here.


Paint Party Friday - Sailor's Delight

>> Friday, March 25, 2011

"Sailor's Delight"
Here's my week two Paint Party Friday Submission.  I'm actually quite happy with this one.  The colors are a little off from the original painting, the purple is more of a lavender color in real life.  I realize that my boat is a little skewed and the line for the sail is bowed out instead of a straight angle but overall I like this one a whole lot more than my first one.

I got the idea from Paint Works Magazine August 2010 edition.  If you've never seen this magazine and you love painting, I highly recommend checking it out.  They have ideas for acrylic, oil and watercolors in every issue.  I own several issues but this is the first time I've actually taken the plunge and have tried one.  I have the newest edition that has a beautiful watercolor tulip design that I'm really wanting to try but want to wait until I have more practice first.

If you would like to see more PPF submissions hop over to the Paint Part Friday blog here.  Happy Friday!


Inspiration Avenue - Hello Spring

>> Thursday, March 24, 2011

"Hello Spring"

Watercolor on Strathmore Coldpress 140lb 300gsm watercolor paper

With a little help from Photoshop I actually like this one. lol.  I tried the salt for the background effect and as you may see on the right hand side, the salt spilled out so fast it covered the entire section so I had to go kind of heavy on the rest of it.  The original is lighter in color but I really like the Photoshopped version better.

Check out more Inspiration Avenue submissions for this week's challenge here



>> Wednesday, March 23, 2011

"Daffodil" Pencil and Sharpie Pen
I did another flower at work yesterday.  These are kind of fun and I'm thinking of doing a little series on different flowers to hang in my studio/bedroom.  They're quick and easy and quite pretty.  Still having tummy issues, although I looked for herbal remedies online and tried some chamomile tea and ginger root and had a reprieve for a few hours and was even able to eat a little.  Yay!  Gotta love the internet!

Thank you for the kind words and well wishes yesterday.  :)


Columbine Flower

>> Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Columbine Flower
I sketched this at work last night and while I don't hate it, I know it's not my best work.  I haven't been feeling well since Saturday afternoon.  Extremely nauseous and haven't been able to eat much because most of it comes right back up.  It was so bad at work last night I was sketching just to try to keep my mind off of it.  Not sure if I have a bug or if it's my GERD, change of seasons is typically bad for my tummy but I haven't been this sick because of it since I was first diagnosed.

Ok, enough whining.  I tried my new Prismacolor turquoise pencils and while the graphite is definitely softer, I did notice some scratching just like with my cheaper set.  It's much easier to get the dark colors with the new pencils though, which leads me to wonder why anyone would need a 9B and why they didn't include and H or an F?  I'm happy with the color I get from them  though.  I added the black lines with my new Sharpie pen, which again, I absolutely love.  

I was trying to keep this short and sweet and I've rambled on again.  Happy Tuesday!


New Season - New Look

>> Monday, March 21, 2011

You may have noticed the totally new look to my blog.  I was so tired of all the white.  I know it looked nice and clean but it reminded me of all the snow we've had and I was ready to look at something else.  My blog header came from the image below that I created on Saturday morning using my new soft pastels.  It is the first piece of artwork that I have been really proud of and absolutely love.  So much so, that I have actually framed it!  That's the first piece of my artwork that I have framed and will be hanging in my home.  Yay!  So exciting.  :)

 "Autumn Sunset"
Soft Pastel on Strathmore Pastel Paper 80lb 118g/m 9"x12"

And here it is framed.  It's just a cheap black frame with white mat that I got in a huge set.  For now it will be staying in that frame.  I have so many of them I plan to just use those to frame my artwork and will be hanging them in my bedroom/studio, once I find the nails that is.

I couldn't get the scanned image to show the bright, vivid colors correctly.  If I lighten it too much the colors get faded and if I darken it too much the colors look dull.  The original is very vivid and the sky looks like it's on fire. So pretty!  Of course it is cloudy today so I couldn't get good light for the actual photo either.  I was going to save this for PPF but I couldn't wait that long!  I also was so bored at work last night I decided to start changing my blog and figured I might as well post about it since it's my new blog header.  I know I should be doing Spring colors but for now, this will have to do.  I'm thinking I may change it with the seasons provided I come up with images I like enough to use as my header.

Hope you all had a good weekend.  I go back to full time at work this week which has it's good and bad points.  The good is the income, the bad is actually having to work (lol) as well as switching from mornings to afternoons every two weeks.  Totally throws off my sleeping.  At least I'm still on afternoons for one more week!


Sunday Sketches

>> Sunday, March 20, 2011

Good morning!  Happy Sunday to you all!  Here's my submission for Sunday Sketches this week.  I drew this at work the other day so I still haven't gotten to use my new pencils. Hopefully I'll get to try them out tonight.  I'm very curious to see if there is a big difference between those and the ones I have used for the past two years.  To see more wonderful Sunday Sketches hop on over to Sophia's blog here.


Inspiration Avenue - St. Patty's Day

>> Saturday, March 19, 2011

I thought it was fitting that since I grew up in Chicago that I draw the Chicago River dyed green for St. Patty's Day.  I sketched it up in pencil first then went over it with my new Sharpie pen (which I love by the way!) and for the thicker black lines my Staedtler Lumocolor pen.  I colored in the green river with several different shades of green with my Prismacolor colored pencils.

I stopped at Hobby Lobby again today to get the Prismacolor Turquoise pencils (I've heard they're pretty good for sketching) but I haven't used them yet.  I was only going for those, but you know how it is. lol.  I ended up with some new watercolor brushes (on sale for 50% off!) and another pastel paper pad in a larger size.  So I have tons of new supplies to play with and a whole day off of work! 

Check out all of the great submissions for this week's challenge here.

Happy Saturday!


Paint Party Friday - No A Five Year Old Did Not Paint This

>> Friday, March 18, 2011

Ugh, not loving this first watercolor attempt. Was almost too embarrassed to post it. Well, technically it's my second one but I have been getting books from the library to try to learn some techniques.  I just jumped right in the with very first one so I don't really count that one.  =p  My pink practice palm trees came out so much better than the ones in this painting.  I was also having problems with the reflection and the sky itself.  My buildings are all leaning to the right.  But I know everything takes practice.  If you could see the first few drawings I did a few years ago you would never believe it was the same person that drew them.  Practice makes perfect and with the help of PPF and more books coming from the library, I should be a pro in no time!

Visit all of the Paint Party Friday bloggers here.  Hope you all have a great weekend and I promise some interesting sketches coming up for Inspiration Avenue and Sunday Sketches!


Happy St. Patty's Day!

>> Thursday, March 17, 2011

I'm not really doing anything special for St Patty's Day, in fact our electricity is supposed to be shut off between 10a - 3p so they can inspect our meters.  I guess it's a good thing that we're going to work early today.  The image above was some watercolor practice from a book I found at the library.  The bottom images was teaching shadows with the wet on dry technique.  I don't think I love the hard edges but I did actually do some practice before jumping into a whole large piece. lol.

The image below was another practice piece.  It was some brickwork which I don't think turned out too badly.  I realize that I need to space the bricks closer together and on the edges where it was pretty much obliterated the instructions were to use your soft brush and fade it.  Well, either my paint was still to wet, my brush was too wet or I used to much pressure because I pretty much erased it.  Another lesson learned.

Not sure I'll have a masterpiece for Paint Party Friday but I will have something!


A New Medium

>> Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Well my trip to Hobby Lobby paid off.  I got so many neat things yesterday.  One of them being a set of pastels, which produced the above image.  Few things about pastels, I love them!  They are a little messy and it's a little awkward at first but I had a lot of fun playing with them.  I have a book from the library and decided to go for one of the larger images, you know, the whole learning to walk before I can crawl.  I realize now that I should have done the little exercises first but I still enjoyed working on this.  I also realized that I need larger paper for an image like this. It was hard getting the detail in a small space.  But that brings me to one of my other finds, pastel papers in an assortment of colors.  I also got a set of Watercolors in the tubes, a super neat spiral bound watercolor field journal, a book on watercolors, some watercolor card papers and envelopes and a tiny little sketch book.  Everything was either on sale or on clearance and the one item that wasn't, the pastels, I used their 40% off coupon for.

Now, if I could just get up the guts to actually use the watercolors we'd be all good!


Let Your Inner Child Out

>> Tuesday, March 15, 2011

I wasn't in the mood for serious drawing yesterday yet I wanted to sketch.  So I just went with the first thing that popped into my head and sketched this young girl tending to her flower as she looks off at the swing she is longing to play on.  My puppy looks like a cross between dog and squirrel, but that's all right.  I had so much fun coloring her in with my Prismacolor markers.  I felt like a kid again, just coloring away.  :)

Off to Hobby Lobby to see what kind of deals I can get.  I have some birthday money I haven't used yet so I think I'll treat myself to some new art supplies.  Hoping to find a good watercolor instruction book so I can actually participate in Paint Party Friday!  Have a good one!


A Painted Lady

>> Monday, March 14, 2011

Ok, so she's not really painted with the typical mediums you would think of such as oil, pastel, acrylic, watercolor or colored pencil.  She was brought into Adobe Illustrator and given a bit of color.  I didn't go too crazy with detail as I wasn't looking for a photorealism look and I didn't want to spend hours and hours on it as it was more for fun than anything.  I thought the background was fitting for the era she belongs in also.

Hope you like her. :)

Thank you for all of your kind words yesterday.  Artwork definitely helps with the healing.


Sunday Sketches

>> Sunday, March 13, 2011

I don't have much of a sketch this week as I have not been feeling too good the last two days.  I'm also still trying to cope with losing my boyfriend as today is exactly one month since he passed.  I did try to color her with my watercolor pencils but it was not a good thing.  The paper I used was too thin and buckled so I started over and decided to just leave her alone for now.  I'm thinking of bringing her into Illustrator and playing with adding some color but that will have to wait for another day. 

Hope you all are having a good weekend.  Be sure to check out all of the lovely Sunday Sketches hosted by Sophia of Blue Chair Diary.



>> Friday, March 11, 2011

So happy it's Friday!  I don't have a normal weekend like most people but I do get Saturdays off so I'm super excited that it's finally Friday!  I drew this little guy last night.  I took my time with this one and I'm really happy with the results.  I normally get so worked up with a new design that I work straight through from start to finish and I think by the end sometimes I'm not focused enough to try to get all of the details right.  This time I did my graphing before I left for work.  I sketched in the main areas at work and waited until I got home to do the actual shading and everything.  I'm planning to frame and hang some of my favorite pieces in my bedroom/studio soon.  Still planning to take some photos once I'm finished.

Hope you all have a great weekend!


Inspiration Avenue - Black, White and Pink

>> Thursday, March 10, 2011

This week's Inspiration Avenue weekly challenge was Black, White and Pink.  I immediately thought of a ballerina so I sketched one while I was at work and broke out my water colors when I got home.  I really like her; however, if I were to do it again, I would not put any facial features.  That's the one part I really don't like.  I had a ton of fun with this one and really let myself go and not worry about trying to be perfect.  

I've also realized lately that I'm loving the color pink.  Purple has been my favorite since I was little but lately everything I like happens to be pink!


Learning to Walk Before You Can Crawl

>> Wednesday, March 09, 2011

Meet Kevin.  I did not think Kevin up on my own.  He was a fun little exercise I found on drawspace. And while he may look cute, he doesn't look much like the example but that's ok.  He's my little piggy and I don't think he needs to be an exact replica.

One of the things I have recently come to realize is that I learned to draw before I knew how to sketch.  Kind of like learning to walk before you know how to crawl.  I love my Lee Hammond books and have learned some really great techniques from her; however, I discovered that I don't really know how to sketch.  Sketching is much looser and freeing than actual drawing.  Sketching can look very realistic like drawing but typically takes less time and is more of a rough image.  I love that I can draw but don't always have the time to dedicate to one piece.  So I am trying to learn how to sketch.  Big difference for me is that whenever I start a drawing I always graph, I am really bad with proportion so it is a must for me.  Trying to sketch something just by eyeballing it seems so much harder to me for some reason.  Or maybe it's not harder but that I'm not letting go enough to just do it without thinking so much.  Either way I am going to keep trying as I know practice makes perfect.

Speaking of not having time, I have been picking up extra hours at work and when I'm not at work I've been busy working on setting up my new studio space in my bedroom.  I've gotten the closet cleaned out, the furniture rearranged, my desk and computer set up as well as my bookcase with my books and supplies.  Now I just need to go through the hundreds of other craft items in the spare room to make room for my son. lol.  I'm so exhausted that I haven't had time to draw/sketch or do much of anything else.  The good news is that I'll be way organized once I'm done going through it all.  I hope to have some pics of my space once I'm finally finished.

Hope you are all having a good week so far.  ;)


Dreary Monday

>> Monday, March 07, 2011

I look outside and all I see is gray.  A very dreary Monday indeed.  It feels like Spring will never come.  So I decided to draw some Spring!  The image on the left is the unaltered image done with Prismacolor colored pencils.  The one on the right was brought into Photoshop and had a watercolor filter added to it.  I was having some trouble getting this to scan.  It was coming out so light that you can not see the highlights as I had hoped.  I broke out the camera to try to take photos only to find the battery is dead.  So I did what I could in Photoshop to try to get it as close as possible to the original.  I kinda like the filter effect.  Seems to give it more life.  This piece was one of the exercises in my Lee Hammond book.  I'm so new to the colored pencil media that I was having a hard time with highlights.  I love my Prismacolors (they came with a kit for my graphic design classes and I've noticed they're quite expensive to purchase in hobby stores so I really want to use them properly) but I think I may pick up some Col-Erase pencils as they may be easier to work with.

I loved looking at all of the Sunday Sketches and would like to thank Aquariann as her wonderful dragon piece gave me the inspiration to break out the colored pencils.  I'm still hoping to do a watercolor this week but I am in the process of rearranging two bedrooms which includes all of my craft supplies.  After my boyfriend passed away, my youngest son moved back home with me.  I used the spare room as a studio/computer room and am now trying to squeeze everything into my bedroom so he can officially move all of his things into his room.  It's been slow going as I have a hard time going through all of my boyfriend's things but I know life must go on and he would want me to continue with my artwork.  The only way to do that is to clear out some things and create a new studio space.  Luckily, I have a rather large bedroom and I should be able to cram all of my crafty things into the space I have available.

I hope you all have a good week and can't wait to see more Spring inspired artwork.  I'm so done with winter!


Sunday Sketches

>> Sunday, March 06, 2011

It's so nice to be sketching again and I'm so excited to be contributing to Sunday Sketches again!  I love sketching birds.  They're pretty easy to do and they're just so darned cute.  I sketched this little one from an image I found on the web.  I'm trying to work outside of the sketch books I have as it's easy to draw something that has step by step photos of how to add the shading and everything.  I think it turned out pretty good.  Much better than the last few things I tried sketching.  I guess it's partly because I really love the subject and I'm not just doing it because it's one of the exercises in my books.

I found a really good watercolor book at the library so hopefully next Sunday I'll have something in color for you all!


A Few Disastrous Pieces

>> Saturday, March 05, 2011

Well, I can tell I'm definitely rusty with my sketching.  I have done three sketches, one animal, one portrait and one still life and really don't like any of them.  This one was the only one worth posting.  I haven't even finished the portrait as I really didn't like how it was turning out.  I think part of it was due to the paper.  It was slightly rougher than what I had been drawing on and it's much harder for me to blend on rough paper. 

This image was taken from one of my Lee Hammond books.  I really love the life like quality of her work but they are very time consuming and sometimes I would just like to sketch quickly.  I have a book on sketching but I can't seem to  grasp it for some reason.  I think I need a more beginner style book than the one that I have.  I'm going to check out the library tomorrow to see if I can find something with basic quick sketching techniques.  I would really love to take some art classes at our local college. I think it would be great to have some input on what I might be doing wrong.

Well, that's about it for now.  Not a great comeback post like I had hoped it would be but it's something.  I know that with practice I'll get back on track in no time.  Hope you all have a good weekend.


It Has Been a While

>> Thursday, March 03, 2011

It's hard for me to believe that so much time has gone by since I last updated this blog.  A lot has happened in the past several months, with the most devastating being the passing of my boyfriend.  He suffered from a chronic illness for many years and succumbed to complications caused by the illness on February 13.  I miss him everyday and it's hard for me to try to work on my creativity as he was such an inspiration to me.  He always encouraged me, no matter what medium I chose to work in and helped give me the confidence to believe in myself as an artist.  I miss him dearly but I know he is finally pain free and no longer suffering.

Now it's time for me to heal.  I think I just need to take some me time and get back into my drawing as it always helps bring me a sense of peace.  If you know of any challenges or classes hosted by other blog owners, please feel free to leave comments for me as I would love to have something that will help keep my mind off of things and the creativity flowing.

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All artwork contained in this blog are original works by Deanna Millard unless otherwise stated.

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