My latest watercolor explorations

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Below are some of my latest watercolor explorations. These happened while I was on a much needed vacation.  I’m still on a florals kick and I don’t know if that will be stopping anytime soon!

The first is a floral wreath ‘thank you’ card that we sent to my husband’s uncle.20150622_141059The second is one of my favorite floral bouquets to date.20150621_214829The third is much like the second. I get much of my floral inspiration from Yao Cheng who is amazing with watercolor florals and has an awesome tutorial on Creativebug right now.20150621_214815-1This fourth one is a barn from the sub-division where my in-laws live and one of my favorites as far as landscapes / scenes are concerned. This was done in both ink and watercolor.20150621_202746-1And finally, this last floral was my practice of having more white space incorporated within my florals. My goal was to leave more white showing through in both the leaves and the flowers themselves.20150621_182148Stay tuned for my next knitting related post in which I will show you my latest sweater project on the needles: Cap Sleeve Lattice Sweater by Purl Soho.

‘Newt’ 3 ply handspun

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Stephanie from Loop Fiber Studios is a color and fiber genius!

Recently, I purchased one of her bullseye bumps in colorway ‘Newt’ and I am always blown away at her color combinations and gradient transitions.

I am so happy to have this off of my spinning wheel…seems like it took me forever.

I have yet to count the yardage, but my guess would be around 250 yds. The yarn varies from maybe sport up to a worsted in some areas.

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Watercolor flowers

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IMG_20150524_211426I recently painted these small watercolor flowers and added a leafy vine underneath as a nice final touch.

I loved how the white matted frame brings it all together.

My mother in law, who was the recipient, loved it which made me super happy!

Let’s face it…who nose?

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I decided to start practicing sketching faces and facial features- noses in particular.

Now, I’m not where I want to be with my sketching but thank God I’m not where I used to be…

I’m proud of the progress I’ve made and truly do believe that consistent practice is worth it and goes a long way – with both sketching/drawing & watercolor painting.

Here are a couple noses, a face, and also my attempt at loose, gestural watercolor flowers.

Have a wonderful day!

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Rainbow Sprinkles

Rainbow Sprinkles colorway

A few days ago, I hand-painted this yarn for a custom order. This is my made to order “Rainbow Sprinkles” colorway on my sock base Footsie which is 80% SW Merino and 20% Nylon, 410 yds.

It took everything I had not to keep this yarn and dye up another one for the order… lol.  Needless to say, it will ship out to its lovely owner tomorrow :).

This is probably my most favorite of my hand-dyeds right now.  So much potential in this colorway.  Perfect for socks, small shawls, and anything in between.

I’m envisioning this yarn in Susan B. Anderson’s How I Make My Socks  or maybe a Boneyard Shawl by Stephen West.

Hopefully in the near future, I will be making a skein (or 2) for myself.

The custom order listing for this yarn can be found here.

Rainbow Sprinkles colorway

What’s in your palette?

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Yesterday, I bought some gouache (rhymes with squash) at my local art store and went back and forth regarding whether I should buy the less expensive quality vs. the more expensive quality and because I had other items to buy, I chose the $7.99 gouache 12 pack from Reeves.  My mentality is “try before I buy”…

I must admit, I’m not really sure how to go about painting with it….from the tube? in my palette? Is it a mix between acrylic paint -for which I have no experience with- and watercolor? I like that I feel I can mix a wider variety of colors easier than I can with the watercolor and that you can mix a color with white and get some lovely shades, but other than that, I am lost.  For that reason, I will refer to YouTube.

In addition to those, I also picked up some Faber-Castell watercolor pencils, a couple water brushes, a Canson mixed media tablet, some blank watercolor greeting cards, blank watercolor postcards, 3 tubes of M. Graham Watercolors in Cad Yellow, Naples Yellow, and Sap Green, and 1 tube of Winsor & Newton Artist Watercolor in Indigo.  My choice for those colors in particular was due in part from reading the book “Urban Watercolor Sketching” by Felix Scheinberger in which he mentioned those colors as must-haves.  Excellent book by the way and I will soon post a review on it.

So now, I sit at my kitchen table surrounded by all of my art supplies and implements wondering what my next sketch / watercolor / gouache will be.

In the meantime, here are the list of paints currently in my palette.

Winsor & Newton:

– Winsor Red, Opera Rose, Quinacradone Magenta, Winsor Orange, Yellow Ochre (Cotman), Burnt Sienna (Cotman), Winsor Yellow, Hooker’s Green, Turquoise (Cotman), Phthalo Green (Cotman), Cobalt Turquoise Light, Cerulean Blue (Red shade), Cerulean Blue (Cotman), Phthalo Blue (Cotman), French Ultramarine, Indigo, Ultramarine Violet, Ivory Black, and Chinese White.

After reading up on watercolor paints, I now realize I could have saved some money forgoing the white and black.

M. Graham:

– Naples Yellow, Cadmium Yellow, Sap Green

If you have any experience painting with gouache, please leave me some comments on any tips!

I’d also love to know what your go-to paint colors are in your palettes…doesn’t have to be watercolor :)

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Stone Cottage with Aqua Door

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Here is my latest pencil/watercolor/ink sketch of a stone cottage with an aqua door.

I really enjoyed this one.

This sketch came from one of my watercolor books that I recently purchased.

My method of sketching involves me  looking at a photo and applying what I see to the paper in front of me.  This is what the sketch started out as:

 

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Once I was satisfied with the sketch, I added the watercolor based off of how it was in the picture (my best interpretation):

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And finally, once that dried, I followed it up with some ink outlining:

 

 

IMG_20150503_124941 In my next post, I will show you my materials & implements that I use to sketch and watercolor.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Move over Craftsy- there’s a new (er) kid in town…

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When Craftsy was born, I thought (and still do think) that they have changed the crafting world for the better.  Prior to Craftsy, I relied on YouTube and Internet searches to find technique related tutorials. Don’t get me wrong- while I still rely on YouTube and internet searches and am very thankful for all the lovely crafters who put their time into that content, Craftsy came on the scene and jazzed it up a bit.

Now let me introduce you to Creativebug – if you have never met. I can’t tell you how or when I first stumbled upon Creativebug (early 2014??), but I’m so glad I did. While it is the same concept as Craftsy (online crafty learning at your fingertips), what makes Creativebug different is mainly their pricing structure and content. Now there are other things that make them different from one another, but I’m only going to touch on the obvious. For example, with Craftsy the pricing ranges anywhere from free (but no real time instructor interaction) to $49.99 and up.  You purchase a class or classes and it is not subscription based.  You can almost always rely on never paying full price for a class because they always run sales (if you are patient and can wait instead of immediately clicking “buy” when you fall in love with a class description at full price) and they have a wider variety of class topics from cooking to wood working and everything in between. Bottom line: wait for the Craftsy class to go on sale…because it undoubtedly will.

I’ll talk a little bit about Creativebug now.  When Creativebug first came onto the scene, they offered free videos and a premium subscription for $9.99 per month which granted you unlimited access to premium video content.  They may have also offered another subscription level in the very beginning, but I can’t recall that now. Creativebug classes also reign in the top makers/designers like Craftsy but you don’t get the instructor interaction as you would with Craftsy Should you have questions.  What’s made Creativebug take the lead on this platform in my opinion is they now have dropped the monthly premium subscription price to only $4.99 and for each month you subscribe, you receive 1 credit to download a class and have it for life. And their classes are pretty awesome! Needless to say, I’m now signed up for the monthly subscription.

The most recent classes that I have signed up for were a watercolor flower painting class through Craftsy, a 3 part series on designing fabric through Creativebug, a sketching class through Creativebug, and an awesome 2 part Watercolor Intro class taught by Yao Cheng.

The possibilities are really endless with the value and learning you can receive from these two platforms.  And although I maintain a monthly subscription with Creativebug, that definitely won’t stop me from continuing to purchase classes from Craftsy.

Have any of you tried both and/or prefer one over the other?