Lazy Weekend

MATERIALS:  Prima watercolors, Daniel Smith watercolors and Micron pen (02)

MATERIALS: Prima watercolors, Daniel Smith watercolors and Micron pen (02)

This weekend was slow and I was totally ok with it, don’t ask the kiddo though… she would tell you it was insanely boring. I haven’t done any urban sketches in a bit but I was inspired this morning so I grabbed my Micron pen and got to sketching. Seeing my daughter hiding behind my MacBook screen while on her headphones, something about it caught my eye.

I’ve been playing a lot with different watercolor techniques for urban and quick sketches. Lately my favorite has been more of a sloppy, spot coloring technique. I really don’t like when my colors touch all the black line work, just a personal preference really. I think it’s also a favorite of mine since I’m such a perfectionist with my work that seeing my quick, sloppy sketches is really inviting!

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This morning I also really wanted to paint but had no idea what exactly to paint, so I mindfully painting little folk art leaves. I fell in love with this little piece! It was so much fun to paint and I will for sure be doing more little modern folk art things.

My sketch goals for the new week is to get at least 2-3 urban sketches done in a new location… that means I need to get out of my hermit cave and drive to somewhere to sketch, even if that means sketching from the car. I’m really in love with the challenge that urban sketching provides. I’m constantly pushing myself to sketch buildings and things that feel “too hard”. When I’m facing intimidation with a possible sketch study, I make sure that I do it because I’m intimidated. I won’t grow as an artist if I stay in my safe zone.

Art Mail + Projects

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Art supplies mail, is the best kind of mail I’m finding! After destashing several decks last week, I splurged on some new art supplies that were on my Amazon wishlist.

First off, I needed a better journal that supported my fountain pen ink and didn’t bleed through or shadow on the reversed side of the page. I was recommended to try a Rhodia journal and after doing a quick pen test, I’m in love! There is no shadow or bleed through on the other page at all. I’m currently journaling with my TWSBI Eco (fine) filled with Lamy Vibrant Pink ink. This ink had great shading and would bleed through easily on most paper.

I also ordered my third Prima Watercolors palette - I’m obsessed, what can I say! I already have the Tropical and Decadent Pies palette, I was waiting for the Pastel Dreams to pop up on Amazon Prime and it finally did so I ordered it with no hesitation. I do mix colors but sometimes I’m lazy and prefer to go right to the pigment I’m looking for instead, it just depends. I also wanted to play around with masking fluid so I grabbed a bottle of Dr. PH Martin, can’t wait to play around with this!

Lastly, I really wanted a good beginner guide on urban sketching for inspiration and techniques to try so after sampling some pages in The Urban Sketchers: Techniques for seeing and drawing on location book by Marc Taro Holmes. I really liked how it was laid out and plan to crack this book open tonight. I’m still waiting for one package to arrive, that wasn’t Amazon, it’s several new Daniel Smith half-pans I ordered on Etsy. This is my second set of half-pans and I will be putting them (with my other 5) into an empty tin I bought a while back. I plan to create a stand alone Daniel Smith palette.

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I started a few new Skillshare classes earlier this week, one of which is a watercolor texture class taught by Ana Victoria Calderón. Above are my texture samples I created, with some added cat paw prints, ahem… I’m only about 1/2 way into this class and am really enjoying it! I think for my final project I will do some kind of insect painting, still trying to decide.

The other class I’m taking right now is Peggy Dean’s new Modern Botanical Folk Art class! I’m so excited about this, I adore folk art and with some of my Scandinavian ancestry, it really has me excited to play with this style. I’m about 1/2 way into this class as well and currently in the middle of picking out my color palette to work with for my first piece. I’ve been pinning like a mad woman this week with color idea’s and inspiration!

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I’ve been taking my mini sketchbook everywhere with me and have been trying to use it for urban sketching when I have a little bit of time available. Whether it’s in my house or outside running errands. So far I’ve managed to fill up 4 pages since yesterday in this tiny sketchbook.

I have a brand new Moleskine watercolor landscape sketchbook to start using and I plan to start that one when I finish this current one. I’m always so nervous about starting a new sketchbook, it’s that perfectionist mindset that I need to shake off and just start sketching! I plan to use watercolors in that one though and only use it for urban sketching.

Weekend Watercolor

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This weekend was pretty slow, we had house painters here most of Saturday so we we’re stuck in the house. What did I do? Paint! I sketched and painted a few new doors, tried some new techniques and just played with my watercolors.

On Friday I decided to jump into a big project and ask around online for some feedback: creating a door oracle deck. I was amazed at the positive feedback I was receiving, from private messages to comments. I think this means that the Oracle of Doors is a go!

My goal right now are to just paint doors, I’m aiming for around 30 completed paintings by the Summer. I would like to get around 40-45 cards in general, but I think a small goal right now works best. I don’t plan on painting doors 24/7, I will work on them as I feel inspired to and work on other things in between. I think if anything, this project will help me get to know my paints and learn new techniques along the way. I absolutely love painting anything I can get my hands on right now and I’m finding doors both a fun and interesting subject. Who knew that a door could have this much personality!

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As I paint a door, keywords jump out to me and tell its story. I am not looking for specific doors to paint or specific keywords to search for, but simply allowing each one to come to life on its own. The keywords for the door above (#3) are coven and family. Where my witches at? I originally planned to do a moon phase themed door but this door came forward instead.

The yellow door below (#51) was inspired from a hotel door in Mexico that I stumbled upon online. The light about the door looked like a little UFO and the painted yellow triangle on the wall reminded me of the beam coming from the “UFO”… so that inspired these keywords: conspiracy, secrets, and the unknown.

The teal door below (#6) reminds me to “think outside of the box” based on the giant round window that is part of the door but also functioning as a window on its own. The keywords for this door is: thinking outside of the box, pushing the boundaries, and creating your own rules.

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You may have noticed that each door features a number or address, I will be using these for the guidebook! So to find the info about each card, you will just look the “address” up in numerological order… some cards will be single digits and some will be triple or more. Some of the numbers have special meaning that I will mention in the guidebook and some may be for you to discover. I really want this oracle deck to speak to you and give you a personal interpretation.

I will be talking more about this oracle deck little by little as I finish new cards and such, as well as post peeks on my Instagram page!

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Door Class Projects

Yesterday I did the Urban Sketching: Let’s Draw Some Doors! class on Skillshare and finished two doors for my project! They aren’t perfect, but I really love how they turned out! I used this gorgeous picture for reference on the first door, I really wanted to play with a mint color and this door screamed to be sketched.

The original had a horseshoe hanging over the door frame and I turned it into a crescent moon. I had a lot of fun with this door and the aged look. The only thing I would have changed is maybe use a different green for the cactus or maybe darkening the shadows behind the cactus more to separate the green and blue.

Knowing when to stop is my biggest struggle, I often will keep adding and tweaking a picture until I ruin it (I’ve done this a million time to sketches). So I told myself to just stop and wait before coming back to it. When I did, I liked what I saw and left it!

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I sketched the second door this morning after getting up at 5am, all I could think about was sketching a new door to paint. Creating art first thing in the morning has been such huge medicine for my own mental health. I’ve been waking up happier, excited about the day and just loving life a lot more. I’m seeing things through new eyes and I like it a lot! I can tell that art was missing from my life and I’m glad to be doing it again after a 10+ year hiatus. Back to this door, I used this door photograph on Pinterest for inspiration. This door jumped right out to me, it was stunning with the ivy swallowing it up and the bright pinks showing through.

I really wanted the ivy to glow more than it did in the original picture, so I started with Daniel Smith’s Pthalo Yellow Green as my base for the green, then worked my way darker. The pink was a 1:1 ratio of Daniel Smith’s Wisteria and Opera Pink… I love the neon hue of the Opera Pink but I needed to mute it down a bit so the Wisteria was perfect.

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I thought it would be fun to capture the progress of this door, so I took some quick pictures while I sketched and painted. The pictures aren’t the best due to indoor lighting on a dark morning (it was 5am when I started this one) but it’s nice to see the progress!

I started with a light pencil sketch, then inked it with my Micron 03 (which also kicked the bucket after this sketch, haha), then added my first base layer of watercolor to kind of map out the colors and sections, and finally did a second layer of watercolors followed up by some highlights using my white Gelly Roll pen when it was dry.

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Pink Houses + Lavender Doors

Early this morning, before I took the kiddo to school, I got in some quick sketch practice of some images I found on Instagram and Pinterest. I have been pinning tons of doors and houses that I find interesting on Pinterest, great for when I’m at home and don’t want to go out to do some urban sketching. My goal lately has been to paint and sketch at least once a day and I really love that goal!

I tried out some of my new Daniel Smith watercolors using the Oper Pink, Moonglow, Wisteria and Lunar Black. I for sure need to place another order, loving these paints!

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Yesterday I was able to order some new art supplies including another Prima palette (Decadent Pies), landscape Moleskine watercolor sketchbook and a box of Micron (size 02) pens. I’m anxious for them to all arrive! I forgot I have a new fountain pen coming as well, got it in a swap with a friend - TWSBI Eco.

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I started a new online class over at Skillshare after lunch today, it’s called Urban Sketching: Let’s Draw Some Doors! and it’s really fun! This class is another reason I’ve been on a pinning spree of doors, haha! I actually learned a few things from this class, I thought it was going to be pretty basic but I was pleasantly surprised!

I’m not finished with the class yet, I need to narrow down my door pick for my main project in this class - so many doors to pick from! We are heading out this weekend to find some hot spots to sketch this weekend and I will plan to take some pictures of buildings and doors to sketch later when at home. I so can’t wait to get my new sketchbook, will be so much easier carrying with me when outside of the house.

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Paint Obsessed

I’ve always been obsessed with color, you would have never guessed just by looking at me… I wear black tee’s, a gray cardigan and jeans year round - it’s pretty much my uniform at this point (I wish I were kidding). I used to spin and dye yarn several years back and I always loved working with color.

When I got into watercolor recently, like many, I was drawn to all the colors. I never knew there were so many damn colors! I’m so used to seeing basic cheap sets in stores filled with primary colors, never did I know there were actually handmade pigments, amazing palette’s and everything in between. I know it’s advised to not go overboard with color when you’re starting out… but I can’t help it!

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The other day I received my first artist palette by Prima Marketing (watercolor confections in Tropical) and I fell in love. I finally received my Daniel Smith half-pans yesterday in the mail after being stuck in limbo in another city (the mail facility sent my package to the wrong city). I’m loving the colors I ordered and even more, I love the richness of this pigment.


Happy Little Tree's

Since starting watercolor, I’ve fell in love with painting little trees. I signed up for Skillshare yesterday and instantly started the tree class by Inksnthings on Instagram! I love it! I can’t stop looking at tree’s now and am already mentally planning to do a pocket tree sketchbook to paint in while outside of the house - a little “tree log”, if you will.

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I did a few urban sketches yesterday at my daughters school and really wasn’t too thrilled with them but they both taught me something - I don’t like using a bold pen. For me, using a bolder pen invited me to use bold and heavy color. I personally prefer a more delicate style with more splashes of color rather than full bleed, it just didn’t feel right. I usually use a 02 Micron but my “bold” pen was a 08 size. So, since my 02 is dyeing a slow death (I’ve had it a long time) I’m going to order a box of just 02 Microns today so that I have plenty on hand!

With my pen order, I also plan to order another palette of Prima Marketing watercolor paints - I just got my first palette yesterday and love them! I like their pigment so much! It’s rich and saturated compared to my little Winsor & Newton set. I have some Daniel Smith half-pans arriving today finally, the main post office sent my package to the wrong city on Monday so they’ve been in limbo since. Can’t wait to test them out, I have some fun colors in that package!

Pen Case:  Radical She //  Tools:  Gelly Roll (white), Micron 02 and Pentel Aqua Brush //  Paints:  Prima Marketing (Tropical)

Pen Case: Radical She // Tools: Gelly Roll (white), Micron 02 and Pentel Aqua Brush // Paints: Prima Marketing (Tropical)

I have several Skillshare online classes to do lined up, I’m obsessed with that website! So many great teachers and creators. One I’m especially interested in is the urban sketching classes, there is even a door sketching class I want to do. We have a lot of historic downtown area’s with really neat buildings and most of them have unique doors. I was going to sketch our front door but it’s boring as hell, haha!

Tree Study and Practice

Tree Study and Practice


Hello, Monday!

Since it was too chilly outside (ahem, I don’t do cold - I live in the desert lol) I decided to sketch areas in and around the house. I started this morning with a quick 10-15 min sketch of the fridge area, I really love how the light creeps in first thing in the morning. Something about it just made me want to sketch it. I also wanted to test out holding all my art supplies while I sketched to see if it was comfortable for future “out in public” sketching. My fountain pen case worked like a charm and hung on the corner of my sketchbook the whole time (you can find these in my shop here when they are back in stock).

Kitchen Fridge  - at home

Kitchen Fridge - at home

I love how looking at this sketch, I can clearly see where I missed some shadows and such but I can tell right away where my main focus was - the plants and overall look of the fridge. This is exactly what I wanted to cover in this sketch. I wanted to grab this moment and I caught it.

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Later in the day, I knew I was going to have some time to kill while I wait at my daughters school to pick her up in the afternoon, so I brought my supplies! When I got to the gate (they don’t open it for about 20-30 min) I realized that there was nothing of interest to me… but then this fencing caught my eye, it had a tree growing over it and a little blue rag wedged between the fence and brick wall. Found my spot to sketch, so I got to work as quickly as I could - I really wasn’t sure if the janitor would be on time to open the gate or early, so I budgeted 10-15 min for this sketch. I ended up finishing just as he started to walk to the gate, whew!

Naturally, when I parked in the school I ended up parking in front of these buildings with neat shadows, a bright green and yellow tree with a red painted curb… go figure. I know what I will be painting tomorrow!

School Fencing  - Mesa, Az

School Fencing - Mesa, Az

Doing this “in the car” sketch made me realize that my pens and paints travel really well! This pen case worked out and I brought a bottle of water in case I needed to refill my Pentel aqua brush. I’m going to try out a new pen tomorrow, a Zebra F-301. I checked to see if it was waterproof and it is indeed - no bleed at all and I really tried to move that ink hard! It’s one of my favorite pens so I’m excited to see how it looks against watercolor.


Ink & Watercolor

Since the 2019 started, I’ve been dipping my toes back into creating art. I have to say that I’m so glad to be doing this again and I wish I did this sooner. I’ve been spending so much time with my paints and pens that I decided to create a little art blog attached to my website. Lately my Instagram page, which is normally filled with mostly tarot, has been getting a bit taken over by ink and paint but I’ve been wanting to write more info about what I’m creating.

I’m sure I’m not alone in this, but I’ve really been wanting to find myself again since having my daughter 10 years ago. I stopped painting in 2009 since most of my free time was now dedicated to a tiny being. Since then, I’ve really felt that I lost a part of my identity and to be honest, I wasn’t sure what exactly I had lost. Hard to explain, but being “Mom” for 10 years can really push that identity out of the way and make you forget just who you really are… aside from being a mom.

Early morning messy kitchen - January 6, 2018

Early morning messy kitchen - January 6, 2018

Long story short, I’m really glad to be getting back to painting and sketching. I’m still gathering up new art supplies, I have to totally start fresh in that department. Most of my original paintings from years ago were damaged in our storage when our water heater burst - that still makes me cringe.

I decided to try out watercolors about a week ago, they’re something I’ve wanted to play more with. I’ve only worked mainly with acrylic and oil, it’s where I’m most comfortable. I picked up a small Winsor & Newton Watercolor Pocket set (12 half-pan) and a cheap 140 lb watercolor sketchbook. Since then, I’ve added quite a bit more to my supply drawer and have been consistently trying new techniques daily. Oddly enough, I’ve come to love my Pentel water brush a lot more than all the brushes I’ve been stocking up on, go figure.

On a whim, the other day I decided to give my hand at urban sketching and instantly fell in love with the messy and quickness of it. I’m a massive perfectionist and while I love drawing, I tend to get too caught up in all the lines being perfect and things being just right. So, I sat at my dining table and started sketching out a quick drawing of our messy kitchen going by the “rules” of just getting what I saw on paper. Then layered some watercolor and I was instantly obsessed! It’s always good to try different techniques and styles, see what feels right, this indeed feels really good. Doing this style of sketch and paint really relaxed me and helped me set aside my perfectionism so that I could just focus on getting what I saw on paper. I was also pleasantly surprised at how my sketches turned out after adding some color.

Anyways, I just wanted to make a first “quick” post on this new mini blog to get the ball rolling! I’m not sure how often I plan to update it or if I will even keep it here on my website - I’ve thought about moving it to a Wordpress or Blogger platform for free but since I’m already paying for Squarespace… why not just use this!