#Inktober2016 Day 2

The thing with painting in Sumi ink on rice paper (or Chinese painting) is that there is no preliminary drawing and what you lay down is what you get. There is no correcting of anything. If you don’t plan well beforehand, your composition will be not be great. I need to plan better. It also means you have to understand precisely how to handle your brushes, the water, and the ink, and this knowledge, like with other media, comes only with lots of practice.

The prompts today are acorn (Doodle Day) and noisy (Inktober). What could be more perfect than squirrels for that? Besides, some of you always expect squirrels from me. 😉 You can see water haloes since I’d just finished and it was still wet when I took the picture:


A close-up:


#Inktober2016 Day 1

For today, I’m getting a feel for the Chinese paint brushes again. I’ve not done this in even longer than watercolor landscapes. I was a teen when Dad taught me how to do Chinese painting, so it’s been almost 40 years.

I still remember how to pick up ink so that the bamboo segments have a gradation, giving them a more 3D look but I’m seriously rusty.

The Doodle Day prompt is fall and the Inktober prompt is fast, so I tried to paint a mouse with falling leaves.


Here is my arsenal:


The landscape experiment

I’ve not painted a landscape in over 2 decades but decided to give it a try when my friend Robin and I got together to play with watercolors (which I also hadn’t really worked with in a couple of decades…not as fine art anyway). It was a fun way to break in the Arches watercolors pad my sister gave me.


July is #WorldWatercolorMonth

July is World Watercolor Month thanks to the efforts of the incomparable Charlie O’Shields. I won’t be participating daily due to other commitments and my sore shoulder, but I encourage artists to join the fun and non-artists to give it a try.


There are no rules to this challenge save for using some sort of water-media to make your art. I know people who want to use this challenge to practice certain subjects, but I’m not that organized, so I’ll just paint whatever strikes my fancy.


This is an attempt at capturing the wild and dry landscape of Big Bend National Park. You can tell someone (me…) is a little rusty at landscapes. Rough outline of rock structures drawn with 2B graphite. Painted with Sennelier travel watercolors on 140lb Strathmore Visual Journal.

Guess what? It’s #BirdDay #NatureDoodlewash !

Today, the 8th, is the monthly Bird Day on WordPress. And because it works well for #naturedoodlewash, all the better! This was actually the first painting I did (a couple of weeks ago) with the Winsor & Newton watercolour markers my sister gave me for my birthday but I saved it for today so I could use it for Bird Day.

You know what they say: “Waste not, kill two birds, but not literally.” I made that up in case you couldn’t tell.

FullSizeRender(6)If you want to join in the fun, go let the lovely Laura (at Create Art Everyday) know!

Just when you think I can’t cram more challenges in…

I’m combining three different challenges into this post: Alison’s Doodle Day, Charlie’s #NatureDoodlewash, and David Harrison’s Word of the Month poetry exercise.

So, here’s a degu (pretty much a glorified gerbil as far as I can tell) filling a little thimble/bucket with water, which is the word David chose for June, and my two water poems below.

IMG_22218″x5″ – Winsor & Newton watercolors + General’s Sketch and Wash charcoal pencil

What’s Glistening?

Dinosaur pee,
your Earl Gray tea,

dew on a fly,
tears in your eye,

rain from a cloud,
sweat of a crowd.

Call it damp, moist, or wet,
its properties are set
by one part oxygen
and two parts hydrogen.
Fuse them and you get:


An Acrostic


National Arbor Day #doodlewashaday #botany

There are some people who contend planting a tree is good no matter what tree it is; others who’ve studied ecology counter that, in fact, you could do more harm than good by planting invasive non-native trees.

My son, the future ecologist, is in the second camp. For Arbor Day (a day late since I was in town and busy all day yesterday), I’d like to feature one of his favorite plants, which is more of bush than a tree, but close enough: the Eastern Wahoo.


Here’s what Horticulture magazine had to say about it (bold is my emphasis):

Wahoo  (Euonymus atropurpureus) is an excellent North American native. An alternative to the invasive burning bush (Euonymus alatus), this tough plant can be managed as a small specimen tree (30 by 30 feet) or as a thicket/hedge (9 to 12 feet) for privacy with renewal pruning. It can grow in full sun to partial shade and in wet to dry soils. This makes it an excellent candidate for rain gardens that are occasionally flooded. The late spring flowers are a deep maroon; they are small but stunning on close examination. The fall color is a delicate pink. Once the foliage drops, the red fruits inside light pink capsules will stop traffic. Seeds are a preferred bird food during winter months. USDA Zones 4–9.

Native range: Eastern half of North America


Draw a #Bird Day #art #doodlewashaday

It’s Draw A Bird Day again! How a month doth fly…like a bird. Heh. I doodlewashed an American Kestrel this time. Nina and Kerfe over at MethodTwoMadness will compile the list of participants.


I chose this bird to paint because someone recommended these graphite “paints” somewhere and I bought a set so I wanted to try them out. The tints are blue, black and sepia…perfect for this bird.


The so-called “red” wasn’t red at all! What? Anyway,  either I’m using them wrong or this set is defective because the permanent paints are really gritty. The instructions say to stir well before using but the grittiness never goes away.

Draw a #Bird Day!

I don’t know if Laura or Kerfe and Nina are collating this month, but here’s my entry for this monthly challenge. It’s an Araripe Manakin from Brazil rendered in Inktense blocks and Neocolor crayons.