Sunday, April 07, 2013

Peek-A-Boo! Here I Am!

I know, I know, it's been EONS since I've updated this poor blog.

To be honest, ever since I moved out west, I seem to have lost my knitting mojo. I'll knit a little bit - a few rows, part of something - and put it down because I just don't feel like knitting. I know some day I'll get it back. It still calls to me from time to time, and I do have yarn and needles...and items on the go.

I've started something new, though.

About eleven years ago, I took a painting class for about a year. I had to quit because I had enrolled in university and since I wouldn't be working while going to classes, I had to give up the painting class. I always promised myself that when I started working and bringing in some money, I would take another one because I enjoyed painting and found it relaxing.

I've been looking around here for classes, but haven't found anything - other than enrolling in one at the local college. I'm basically a beginner and I think (though I'd have to check it out) this class is more for people who have some artistic ability - which I lack at the moment.

A week or so ago, I was surfing Pinterest and somehow happened upon a website which offers online tutorial type classes. I signed up for a couple (you have access 24/7) and ordered a few supplies. I'm waiting for the brushes and markers needed for these classes to come in before I really sit down and practice.

One of the classes is on lettering - a form of calligraphy that uses brush markers instead of pen and ink. I watched the first couple of lessons (which are done by video) to get an idea of what she does. It looks so cool and neat, and I can't wait to get my brush markers so I can start practicing!

The other class is on drop flowers (I think that's what it's's escaping my mind at the moment). It's watercolour - which I really like the looks of - and you make the flowers and then "drop" paint into the wet center, which results in a darker colour. After you finish painting, you outline it in black. They look so cool!

I guess when scrolling through Pinterest, what led me to this website was looking at various art journal and Scripture journal pages people have made. I've always thought those (or most of them) looked amazing and I always wished that I could do that. So, I decided that if I ever want to learn something I would need to try it and practice it. Otherwise I'll spend the rest of my life wishing I could do that sort of thing, and regretting not having tried it.

Here are a couple of my first samples. This first one I was more or less just practicing trying to get a background and using more of the paint on the dry paper around the edges, then wetting the middle and adding some yellow and blending the paint in. I don't think it quite worked out the way I had envisioned it, but I kind of like it anyway...even though the orange ended up overpowering the yellow.  I also normally don't gravitate towards these two colours (I'm more of a cool colour sort of girl), so I wanted to try using something I normally wouldn't.

For the drawing and writing, I just started with pencil and then traced over with a black gel pen. As I've said, I can't really draw. I have to look at something and then try to "copy" it...which is what I did here. I think it turned out OK. I definitely need more practice with my drawing as well.  For the verse, I saw it on a photo over on Pinterest (it isn't credited to any particular author, so I have no idea where the quote comes from, or who said it) and liked it so I used it. This is not a quote from me. I would give proper credit if someone knows who said this.

First attempt at drop flowers

The next photo is my first attempt at the drop flowers. I don't have the brushes that are recommended for this course yet (they're on the way and I should get them this week), so I was just working with what I have on hand.

The painting is somewhat on the small side, but I zoomed in so it looks much bigger than it really is.  I painted the flowers, dropped the colour in, did the stems and leaves, and added the middles (I used watercolour paint, but it didn't really work out right, and I don't have a white paint marker yet to add white dots to the middle to help it pop out, but I will add them when my order comes in). After I let it dry, I used my black gel pen to outline it. 

I actually did another couple of samples like this one, but I thought this first one turned out to look the best out of the three. So that's the one that got photographed.  I think it turned out pretty good.

So, as I continue practicing my drawing and painting (I also want to learn to do other watercolour painting - not just these pretty drop flowers), I will hopefully remember to share them here and document my progress.

And hopefully, the knitting mojo will kick in again and I will be able to add photos of those items as well!

Would love to hear what you think of my first attempts at the painting (don't be mean and cruel, though). Leave a note in the comments!

What have you been working on lately?