Violet Butterfly Watercolor

Phew, I hammered this artwork out in a single day.  It has been a long time since that has happened to work out well for me.  Last Saturday, since we didn’t make it to Minneapolis, I was at my in-laws’ house while Greta napped.  Loud hammering and nailing sounds were ringing through my house as the windows continued to be installed.  27 windows is no small feat!

I started with my taped off paper and a pencil sketch.

Next, I laid in the India ink on all the black parts.  India ink is perfect for areas that cannot bleed with the watercolor paint.

I closed my eyes for a few minutes while the ink dried and then began with the color.  I had a little more fun with this painting than the first.  So, it actually worked out well that Greta claimed the first butterfly painting.

Layers of watercolor interspersed with a few water, snack, and Olympic watching breaks and I was nearly finished by the time Greta awoke from her two hour nap.  During her post nap snack, I added the last few finishing touches.  My last task is to get this in the mail before next week, as my cousin’s little girl is due in March.

As always, prints and artwork are always for sale, please inquire by e-mail or through my Etsy shop, which is currently empty.  If you are interested in purchasing something you have seen on this blog, I will create a custom listing for you.  I also do custom commission pieces as well. 


Cat Constellation Watercolor + Winter, Windows, & Weekend

Cat Constellations, India ink, watercolor, and pen on paper, 9 x 12″, 2014.

Today we were supposed to be in Minneapolis for my cousin and sister’s baby shower, but the weather had other plans for us.

Due to a lovely storm that started as rain, turned to hail, and then became a very slushy blizzard, we stayed home.  The road reports north of Des Moines looked and sounded horrible and we decided to just not risk it.  Sadly, that means I can’t give Caroline her artwork today, but it also means I have more time for my cousin’s second artwork, the first having been hijacked by my daughter

I started with a simple watercolor wash for the background.  When it was dry, I added the pencil outline of the cats, railing, horizon line, and trees.

After filling in the pencil outlines with India ink, I added pencil outlines of April sky constellations.  These were detailed with gold ink and black pen for the constellation lines.

We will spend the rest of our weekend enjoying the view from our new windows – they were being installed on the hail day and through today and next week.

As always, prints and artwork are always for sale, please inquire by e-mail or through my Etsy shop, which is currently empty.  If you are interested in purchasing something you have seen on this blog, I will create a custom listing for you.  I also do custom commission pieces as well. 

Greta’s Butterfly Watercolor

Butterfly, watercolor on paper, 9×12″, 2014. 

This watercolor painting started off as a painting for another person having a baby.  Then, Greta discovered it and took it to her room so she could  hang it up.  She fell in love with it and said, “For my big girl room,” so many times that I caved and started another painting for the gift.  She is getting a big girl room soon, as we are moving her into the empty bedroom and turning her room into the nursery for her baby brother.  She is so excited for this change and this artwork just makes it all that more special for her.

 I started with taped off watercolor paper and a pencil sketch of a butterfly and flowers.

I used black India ink for all the black sections of the butterfly.  This way, I could use watercolor paint and watercolor pencils without fear of the black bleeding and smearing into the colors.

Lastly, I added color to the butterfly and flowers.  I used watercolor paints for the flowers and watercolor pencils for the wings of the butterfly.  My last step was to use gradations of a light blue-green for the background.

As always, prints and artwork are always for sale, please inquire by e-mail or through my Etsy shop, which is currently empty.  If you are interested in purchasing something you have seen on this blog, I will create a custom listing for you.  I also do custom commission pieces as well.  

Baby Elephant – Collage/Painting

Baby Elephant, newspaper collage, acrylic paint, and watercolor on paper, 9×12″, 2014. 
This is the most recent nursery artwork that I completed only this week.  It is for a colleague who is expecting a boy in March.  I have been returning to my painting and collage roots as of lately.  Hopefully I can get some more work done this weekend to share with you.  
As always, prints and artwork are always for sale, please inquire by e-mail or through my Etsy shop, which is currently empty.  If you are interested in purchasing something you have seen on this blog, I will create a custom listing for you.  I also do custom commission pieces as well.  


DIY Stamped Towels

One recent sunny Saturday morning before Christmas, Greta helped me make these stamped towels.  With minimal prep and basic supply list, they are an easy morning or afternoon project for all ages.

Supply List:
– white cotton dish towels (pre-washed and dried)
– fabric paint or acrylic paint thinned with water
– plastic tray or plate for palette
– small brushes
– water for washing brushes
– paper towels or newspaper for blotting stamps
– rubber stamps, found objects, cut celery, cut apples, cut potatoes for stamping  

I started with a set of white dish towels I ordered off of Amazon and washed and dried them.  If they are wrinkly, it is a good idea to iron them as well.

Next, I mixed up some regular acrylic paint with a bit of water.  I wanted to ensure that the paint would soak into the fabric, but not be so watery that it would not produce a clear stamp.  Always test the stamp before using.  If the stamp has too much paint on it, your image will be blobby – so blot on newspaper or a paper towel.

Takeout containers from our favorite Thai restaurant are the best palettes.  I use them in my classroom to save paint palettes and keep supplies organized.  A paper or plastic plate works well for a palette too.

Next, I prepared my stamps.  We use every day items as stamps as well as rubber stamps.  This is the bottom of a stalk of celery – it makes a lovely floral design.  It is also the perfect size for small hands to hold and stamp.  

We use several every day item stamps to create the polka dots – a cork with a handle, the base of a highlighter, and an eraser.

Of course we also broke out the rubber stamps too – there are just too many cute ideas with rubber stamps.  This project was a success – Greta was patient and enjoyed the entire process.  Her absolute favorite part was creating the hand prints on the towels – I had to watch her though, she wanted to wipe her hands clean on the towels we were stamping!  
I let the towels dry overnight and then washed them on cold and dried them – there is no need to heat set this paint.  I ironed them one last time and then wrapped them up as DIY gifts for the grandmothers. As the gifts were opened, Greta enjoyed telling both grandmothers, “My do that!”