Water-color Journal

First time I have used this for journaling.  Hope to use it a lot more.
Got a really nice water-color art journal with 180 lb. cold press paper.

I have been wanting to start a journal mainly to keep a record of how different water-colors mix with each other. I had several journals but none of them had a good grade water-color paper. I saw a post on-line, can’t remember who the artist was, but she recommended the Stillman & Birn beta series journal. So far I am impressed with how the paper takes the color. There is no point in using a journal for this purpose if the paper is not of a good quality. I had so much fun with this first page I can’t wait to play some more.

Practicing layering colors
Practicing layering colors

I think this is going to be a very productive thing for me to do. I have already learned a lot about choosing colors and now this will allow me to see the color combo before I put brush to paper.
chart to show transparency

My thought is to do a sketch on one side and map out the colors and mixtures on the other side then loosely paint the sketch. I think this process will give me confidence in my decisions before I start painting. Water-color is not a spontaneous medium. It has to be planed before executed and that is not my strong suit. For that reason, if for no other, I need to learn this medium. Will share when I have come up with the procedure that works best for me.
I am sure in time I will become more adapt at mixing water-colors but as of now I feel like a fish out of water, no pun intended. LOL.. I would encourage you to try working from a journal before you jump into painting. I am so impatient I have been skipping this process but now see how beneficial and fun it can be.

My Cotton Tail Bunny

“My Cotton Tail Bunny” was so fun to paint even though  it was quite a challenge.  Rabbits, for me at least, are really hard to get a accurate likeness.  I remember the first one I drew looked more like a rat! LOL.. Not the look I was going for!  I painted this picture in Oct. of 2014, started the story but had not posted it.  Hope you enjoy my rabbit tale!

Let’s begin by saying, I dearly love  all kinds of rabbits!   When we were kids one of my favorite memories was mom’s solution on how to make some extra money and supply us food as well, yes you guessed it, raise rabbits!  Mom was always trying to figure out how to improve  our lot in life, but most of her well laid plans didn’t pan out. This was one of her not so good ideas.  I guess she miss judged how cute they were and that daddy was just about as soft-hearted as us kids, so when it came to actually killing one of those cute rabbits he couldn’t do it and even if he had I am sure none of us kids could have eaten them.  We all helped feed them and watched them grow and have babies.  I think mom realized her plan for the rabbits was doomed shortly after we got them.  She had many more great ideas but I will save those for another day.

Back to why I chose to paint this little rabbit.   I have raised two babies rabbits, one was a jack rabbit and the other was a cotton tail. Both had lost their mothers in a mowing accident and would have died without intervention, so of course I had to try and save them. This one reminded me of my little cotton tail baby. Both grew up to maturity. We released the cotton tail, on our land in the hill country, where he was born.  He or she, had many generations of rabbits,  all were raised in the yard behind our house.   It warmed my heart every time I saw one of those little creatures eating grass, stopping long enough to look up and then to continue peacefully eating, as if to say thank you for protecting us.   The Jack we released out behind our house in Victoria. After his release I would go out in the back yard and call him. He would run out of

5x7 water color on 300 Lb. cotton rag paper.
5×7 water-color on 300 Lb. cotton rag paper.

the woods, with those big ears standing straight up, looking to see were my voice was coming from. When he was sure it was me he would jump sideways and run straight to me for his ear scratch and of course some treats. Then one day he didn’t come when I called, my heart fell, fearing the worse.  Then a few days later I saw him playing with some other rabbits.  I called to him and he looked up as if to say I am with my rabbit family where I belong, he never came back to me.   Several months later I saw some strange-looking rabbits at the edge of the swamp.  They had big ears,  looked like they were part swamp rabbit and part jack rabbit.  Even though I never saw him again, I prefer to think he found a mate and started his own species of swamp/jack rabbits.

Best Friends

My grand-daughter and her best friend
My grand-daughter and her best friend


Close up of horse in water-color
Close up of horse in water-color

Water-color painting “Best Friends” is complete. It’s not the best likeness of my grand-daughter but at least I did salvage it. The real challenge came when I tried to paint her lips and chin, they were so small I had to use my smallest brush and just put dots of paint in numerous layers. The horse was a breeze in comparison to the girl. As I was attempting to get her lips and chin painted correctly, the paper started rolling up, I think I must have used too much water. I thought I was going to have to chunk it for sure. But I hate to give up on anything so I decided I would try to figure out a way to fix it. I thought maybe I could try to seal her face with an acrylic medium and scrape the raised up paper off, and much to my surprise, it worked. I wanted to try to get the effect of water-color using acrylic’s but since I had used the acrylic medium it wouldn’t take the watered down paint. So by this time I was getting pretty frustrated with the whole thing and considered cutting the girl off to try to save the horse part of the painting. Again I had to make a choice to either keep trying to get her painted to some degree of acceptance, or give up and cut her off. So as you can see I chose to continue with my learning process. This experience taught me several things, never try to paint such a small face and never give up. Even though it didn’t come out as well as I wanted it to, it did teach me that there is always a way to fix a problem, if you just keep trying, and the bonus is you learn a lot in the process which will help you become a better artist. For me that is my real goal. My plan for this painting is have a copy made in a smaller size so it will fit into my fabric art journal. My message on this post is perseverance will pay off!!

Angel of the Morning

8x8 oil on mixed media paper for use in my fabric art journal
8×8 oil on mixed media paper for use in my fabric art journal

“Angel of the Morning” a study in oils. I love angels as I’m sure a lot of people do. If you have been keeping up with my post you will know I am painting like crazy trying to get enough small art for my Fabric Art Journal I am making. Just about have enough ready to go. Now comes the hardest part for me, putting each page together using vintage lace and linens. That is a whole different art form and requires a lot of thought, for me at least. I have decided to use the copic stitch to bind it but haven’t decided what I want to use for the cover art. May choose one of my pieces I have already done or not… At any rate won’t know till I start putting the pages together so I will let that decision wait for a later post. I did not think, when I started painting pieces for this journal, about how I would incorporate each page or of the medium I would use, and how each one would work on fabric. I love the pastels but they presented a problem due to the nature of chalk so I had to come up with a method to seal the chalk so it wouldn’t come off on the fabric page. I described that method on the bluebird post, so if you would like more info on that process check out the bluebird post.