Watercolor Sketching Your Life Workshop

Watercolor Sketching Your Life Workshop - student project

Day 21:  Cherished Dream

My dreams are:

-To someday create art that is acceptable to reproduce and sell: art on greeting cards, children's books, on coffee mugs, prints. I would also like to be a wall mural artist. Art is a passion and so I would like to make it my occupation to help generate income for our family. What could be better than actually do something you really love for hours everyday! 

-To further develop my art skills so I can teach others about arts and crafts. I have already been teaching my 5 year old nephew about arts and crafts. That brings me joy;)

-To have an art studio 

-To get better at playing my guitar and learn piano

-To visit European countries someday

Today I have painted about making art my livelihood which I have already been thinking and dreaming about lately. 

Watercolor Sketching Your Life Workshop - image 1 - student project


Day 20:  Abstract

I chose to go the imaginary route on this one. Used watercolor, ink, salt (and some india ink to produce some bolder colors).  This is my first use of india ink although I've had the supplies for quite awhile.  Used the side of india ink dropper to scrape color around to create a look of texture for some of the hair.  Also used dropper to apply spots of color on very wet paper.  It's so fun to watch the ink feather out on the paper. I'm thinking I may need to invest in some new watercolors. I'm not sure I am getting the concentration and boldness of color that I want with my pan set.  The color range in it is pretty good though and good for travel sketching. I have come to realize over the last few days that I really enjoy abstract projects.

 Watercolor Sketching Your Life Workshop - image 2 - student project

Day 19:  Themes Suggested by Artist (Vehicle & Impressionism)

A vehicle that I don't have but would like to purchase is a kayak. Several friends that I know have begun kayaking and have been encouraging me to give it a try.  I think it sounds like fun and would be an excellent way to enjoy nature! I tried to use choppy, broken brush strokes when painting the water to try out impressionism technique.

Watercolor Sketching Your Life Workshop - image 3 - student project

Day 18:  Inspired by Artist's Style

I am inspired by the BRAVE & INTUITIVE painting styles of Flora Bowley and Alena Hennessy.  I have been following these two artists for awhile now and have Alena Hennessy prints on a wall in my home and art books of both artists in my lap as I type this message. I look through their pages for instruction and inspiration.  I do believe that they work more with acrylics, inks, sharpies, etc., in their work more than watercolor but this is a watercolor self-designed version of what their style might look like. I just started painting and tried to be instinctive about what each next step might be while trying to keep color and object balance overall in the painting and just let what happened happen. Although my paintings are generally more stiff I am trying very hard to let go and be bold with my painting.  I tend to overwork my paintings at times as well. My painting goals are to try and change those habits;) Used Alena & Flora's water spray bottle technique of tilting paper in different directions to make paint run down page. You never know what you're going to get! Fun!

Watercolor Sketching Your Life Workshop - image 4 - student project   

Day 17:  Scene from a Watched Film

My favorite movie of all time is "Love Comes Softly" (based in the 19th century pioneer west).  In this scene Clark and Marty are sitting on his prayer bench facing beautiful praire mountains and valleys. Clark explains to Marty "the truth of God's love is not that he allows bad things to happen but that he will be there when they do".  Then Marty gets emotional as she has flashbacks of all the trials in her life and realizes for the first time that God was there with her every step of the way easing her pain in one way or another and eventually her joy was restored. This is such an inspirational Christian film speaking of the hope we have in Christ and God's love and faithfulness towards us! 


Watercolor Sketching Your Life Workshop - image 5 - student project


Day 16:  Least Favorite Thing

I have several dislikes: sardines (yuck), ironing clothes (I just don't do it anymore, probably #1 least favorite thing to do;), automatic flushing toilets (no thanks:), long grocery store lines (frustrating), spiders (scary), getting needle shots (scary & painful), and the list could go on. But ONE of my less than favorite thing to do (more often than not) is to deal with my hair after it has been washed (silly as that sounds)! The reason is that my hair has a coarse texture and is often frizzy and unmanageable after being washed and blow dried and usually looks similar to if I had stuck my finger into an electrical outlet at first (haha). I also have some natural wave but it's not exactly the kind of wave that looks pretty to me so I try to manage it the best I can thanks to deep conditioners, etc. I feel like it takes a lot of hair products, styling tools, time and effort to make it presentable most days. 

PS:  I do LOVE going to the hair salon though. My hairdresser is a miracle worker and friend! :0 We always have lots of laughs together while I sit in her chair.

Watercolor Sketching Your Life Workshop - image 6 - student project


Day 15:  Make Art Like a Child

This is my 'loosey goosey' pile of turnips:) My parents grew turnips in their garden this year and have just harvested them so I took advantage of that scenery in their garage for this prompt. Before and as I was painting I reflected back to when I was a child and what my thought process was or might have been while painting this picture back then... carefree, not worried about what others would think of my work, just a focus on the fun and inspiration of creating shapes and colors in front of my eyes.  I painted shapes by making fast lines without much care, I quickly filled in my turnip shapes with varying degrees of color. I filled in some spaces between the turnips with dabs of green. I loaded my brush with water and thoroughly wet my paper and loosely dabbed the water around on top of my paper and then dabbed color on top of the water with a rigger brush and let the paint run down. I spattered purple paint on top of it all. And I remembered the days as a child when I could do a new piece of art every 5 or 10 minutes without being discontent with the finished product! This got messy and that's what I would have loved as a kid and still do;) And viola', my childlike painting was born. Very freeing and enjoyable experience! 

Watercolor Sketching Your Life Workshop - image 7 - student project

Day 14:  Passage of Time

The fall leaves outside remind me of the passage of time. You can still see signs of life in this leaf and know that it once was fresh and green but you can also see signs that over time it has started to deteriorate and will ultimately decompose.  I was once again reminded that time is fleeting due to the passing of a dear friend as a result of an airplane crash this week. I was also reminded that his life was not wasted. During his time on earth and through various seasons of life he continuously served others in many capacities over time as a husband, war veteran, a servant of God, a family man, a pastor, a missionary, a chaplain, and a lawyer. His life seemed shorter than most as he died at age 40.  However, he achieved more meaningful things in that short time of 40 years than many might achieve in an 80 year lifetime. And lastly, when I think of time I think of these passages of scripture from the the Bible concerning time: To every thing there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven:  A time to be born, and a time to die; a time to plant, and a time to pluck up that which is planted; A time to kill, and a time to heal; a time to break down, and a time to build up; A time time to weep, and a time to laugh; a time to mourn and a time to dance. (Ecclesiastes 3:1-4 (KJV) 

Watercolor Sketching Your Life Workshop - image 8 - student project

Day 13:  Sounds

I have a bird feeder just outside of my bedroom window. It attracts a variety of birds: doves, finches, blue jays, woodpeckers, cardinals, etc. I love bird watching and listening to the sounds that they make, their chirping, singing and sometimes even the loud calls. This little guy makes some noise outside the window for sure. He is very aggressive around the feeder and very vocal! I remember one particular bird back in the spring that would see his reflection in the glass sometimes and repeatedly peck at the window.  I don't know if he thought it was another bird or if he just wanted inside;)

Watercolor Sketching Your Life Workshop - image 9 - student project

Day 12:  Patterns

I like the pattern on my sandals.  It makes them pretty and more interesting than if they were just a solid color.

Update:  I just couldn't be satisfied with finishing patterns and moving on to the next prompt just yet so I painted this pattern from my mother's shirt of various shapes and sizes of perfume bottles. So inspired by the design and pattern--free form perfume bottles! No pencil sketching-- just my brush, paints and paper and some wet on dry, wet on wet, and dry brush techniques.  Now, if I can just learn to work this loosely when painting some other objects. Practice, practice, practice;)

Watercolor Sketching Your Life Workshop - image 10 - student project

 Watercolor Sketching Your Life Workshop - image 11 - student project

Day 11:  Favorite Piece of Clothing

This is my vintage style peach shirt with some thick cotton textured lace strips and embroidery on it.  The material is very thin, somewhat sheer and very soft. I found this prompt difficult--I painted this without first doing a pencil sketch and messed up on placement of lace/embroidery on one side of shirt.  Also struggled with shirt creases. Good learning experience though and I look forward to practicing on other articles of clothing.

Watercolor Sketching Your Life Workshop - image 12 - student project


Day 10: Pet/Favorite Animal 

Someone was sleepy! My favorite pet is my yorkie, Josi.  She is resting on our bed and surrounded by a sherpa throw and a big white fluffy comforter. I love to watch her eat. She scrapes two or three kibbles at a time out of her food dish and eats each kibble one at a time. She's so silly but adorable:)

Watercolor Sketching Your Life Workshop - image 13 - student project


Day 9:  Buildings

This past summer I visited the Big Apple for the first time and for a country girl that was a big deal! I have wanted for years to go to NY and I fell in love with that city and all of the beautiful architecture and culture there. While my family and I were doing some sightseeing on 5th Avenue my eyes were drawn across the street to this very chic department store with large patterned stone blocks and 5 breathtaking window displays. It wasn't until after returning home and doing some research that I found out that the store was Bergdorf Goodman (this is my depiction of it). Only 2 of these stores exist and they are both in NY. I also found out that they are popularly known for their extraordinary window displays. The brightly colored tulle designs of women's faces that I saw in each of those windows were works of art by Benjamin Shine, a British artist who has gained recognition in the fashion industry for his creations made from lengths of tulle - a practice which he describes as "painting with fabric".

P.S. Each of those tulle faces took him 50+ hrs to create! Now that's what I call passion and dedication!  

Watercolor Sketching Your Life Workshop - image 14 - student project

Day 8:  Emotions

For this prompt I chose to paint something sentimental. I have painted my childhood toy box! I hadn't thought about this toy box for years but I remember how I loved this toy box because of its bright colors, its dimension and because of the fact that I could take all of my toys out of it, crawl inside, close the lid and hide. In early fall of this year I went to visit my aunt out of state whom I seldom see because of distance. This particular aunt has kept lots of old things over the years and walking into her home in some respects is like walking back in time. When I stepped onto her back porch lo and behold what did I see?! A toy box identical to the one I had as a child! A once pristine white box was now very dirty from having been stored outside.  It had belonged to my cousin who probably received it as a gift at the same time I received mine many years ago from our grandparents but I was just too young to realize it way back when. I got very emotional and my eyes welled up with tears as I gazed at that toy box remembering simpler times:)

Watercolor Sketching Your Life Workshop - image 15 - student project


Day 7:  Elements of Your Work Day

Due to a health related issue I do not currently work outside of the home.  That being said, my work day might consist of household chores, cooking or caring for my little yorkie, Josi. I consider my crafts such as crochet projects or painting work as well (labors of love) although I must say they are a lot more enjoyable than the aforementioned tasks:) Also, occasionally I might give of my time to help someone create a sign or poster on the computer just because I have the experience/skills to do that just to help out and I enjoy those projects.  Anyway, I decided on this prompt of me bathing the dog in the sink since that would was the thing I felt most inspired about painting today. She provides me companionship, comfort and kindness anytime of the day or night. Josi is my little snuggle buddy and a faithful friend;) 

Watercolor Sketching Your Life Workshop - image 16 - student project


Day 6:  Typography

As a dog lover, when I stumbled across this quote on the internet I knew I had to use it for this prompt (the quote is by an unknown person, the web lists it as an "Old Proverb"). The internet was a helpful resource for font and element ideas that I could put together in a different way to make my artwork original.  Initially, my intention was to fit all of the text inside of the dog silhouette but I ran out of space for lettering so I ran the second half of the quote along the contour of the dog. I'm not 100 percent happy with this piece but I think it's ok for my first typography piece.  I think I would have liked this piece a lot better had I chosen a different color scheme for it and did a pattern or color for a background to add more interest. However, this prompt has definitely got me excited about other ideas I have under my hat to try using typography.  

Watercolor Sketching Your Life Workshop - image 17 - student project

Day 5:  People We See

My husband was gracious enough to pose for me for this prompt:) He was lounging on the couch and looking down at his phone:) I appreciate his support during the workshop! It was a pleasure painting him since he has a beautiful ruddy complexion! His cheeks and nose are usually a rosy red I notice especially after he has exerted himself and his skin a golden brown especially in the summer months since he likes outdoor activities. The top of his head is freckly from the sun.  If I'm critiquing myself on this, I wish I had gotten a cleaner edge on the end of his right arm like on the left arm and on the top of his head. I may go back and try to fix those things later;)

Watercolor Sketching Your Life Workshop - image 18 - student project

Day 4:  Object Found

Today I present to you a sepia watercolor portrait of 2 ladies who I don't know.  This portrait was painted from a very old photo that I found in a chest left behind in an old garage that my husband and I purchased beside of our home. What I do know about this photo is that it was taken in 1929 and so the quality of the photo is not very good compared to today's photos but it is a black and white/sepia photo and it appears to have been taken on a boat in Chicago according to the inscriptions on its front and back. There is also a name written on the photo but I couldn't read it. This photo has been such a treasure to me because of the history that it holds.  When I look at it, it takes me back to another place and time and that history is intriguing to me.   

Watercolor Sketching Your Life Workshop - image 19 - student project

Day 3:  Consumption

I love breakfast! Here is my breakfast or brunch meal some days:  an over-medium fried egg overflowing it's borders with deliciousness.  Then I'll usually add a piece of Smart Balance buttered toast to dip into my oozingly yummy yolk.  Sometimes I'll throw a few strips of turkey bacon in the microwave and add this to the mix if I'm feeling extra hungry.  I'm not sure that this meal looks as good as it normally tastes (lol)--not totally satisfied with this project, there are definitely things I would do differently if I redid this, but I'm happy with the experience that I take away from having completed it :) Will continue to practice watercoloring eggs since it is fun and challenging subject to paint. I'm confident my work will improve with practice.Watercolor Sketching Your Life Workshop - image 20 - student project

Watercolor Sketching Your Life Workshop - image 21 - student project

Day 2:  Unusual Plant

This is probably not considered an unusual plant but it is one of my household plants.  I used water resist sticks for the first time to create some of the white speckled nodules on the plant.


Day 1:  Self Portrait

My favorite part of painting this portrait was doing the hair:) Not used to painting people so I was a bit nervous about painting the skin so I google searched "Watercolor Portraits" on the web to see what colors are basically used to paint realistic shadows and studied a few paintings there.  Then I studied myself for a bit and then started to paint.  I messed up on the nose a bit but I was happy to take on the challenge of watercoloring flesh tones for the experience. I'm glad you chose this theme, Elisa! It forced to get out of my comfort zone and try and paint something new! Looking forward to future assignments.Watercolor Sketching Your Life Workshop - image 22 - student project