Hello art friends!
This was my third week starting my work days with hand sketches. That means that next week will be the last week I will be doing studies of this subject as frequently as I currently am. I will do my best to close this hand month by creating some paintings that include hands. I also did a watercolor wine glass study and, for the first time, I pushed myself to paint a portrait of a specific person using oils. I needed to find a quality picture of somebody's face that not only I knew well, but others around me knew well, in order to get feedback. Because of this, I decided to go for a picture of a well-known celebrity that I found online.
Thank you for coming by and make sure to visit next week to read more about art tips I have learned as well as my personal progress! I am super excited to announce that October will be the month in which I start selling my work online! Yay!! :) Have a great week!
Hello! Here are some sketches and paintings I did this week . This was my second week starting my days with hand sketches and it's amazing to see how much I have improved already. I can tell I am getting faster and faster at drawing the initial hand shapes and proportions. Next week I want to focus on creating cleaner and more effective hatching and crosshatching when adding in shadows.
The first painting included here was created with gouache and it is literally the second painting I have done using this media. Gouache is something that I want to keep improving at. The second was created using watercolors and it was a remake of a painting I had done several months ago. This exercise was something I was interested in doing because I wanted to be able to compare two paintings of the same subject created months apart. After that are my morning hand sketches of the week which I post on Instagram and Twitter every morning from Monday through Friday.
Original photo by Jonathan Pielmayer found on Unsplash here.
And last but not least is something I don't usually do much of and didn't know if I should include or not. This is an acrylic canvas painting that I created as a present for my soon to be born nephew. My sister-in-law asked me to create some room decor for him that included a Winnie-the-Pooh inspired quote and I came up with this. Hand-lettering is something I really enjoy so I had fun coming up with nice design. I am also creating some watercolor paintings of Winnie the Pooh for his room but will not be posting those.
Thank you for coming by! Enjoy your Sunday!
Hello! This week was a tad busier for me in terms of non art-related appointments and obligations. I have been meeting with different accountants in order to choose who will be helping me set up the financial/tax side of starting my own business. I have finally decided who I'm going with and am super happy because this means I will be able to move forward with my online shops very soon.
Next week I'll be starting to teach my after-school acrylic painting and oil pastel extracurricular classes at the wonderful school I used to work at full-time, which means shifting my schedule around a bit. I am super happy to be seeing my old students again, and also meeting new ones! Teaching classes means having to do plan work and also buying/transporting supplies, so that's something else that I will be having to schedule in as I try to build my business.
As some of you may already know (especially if you follow me on Instagram), this week I started my days with hand sketches. I really want to improve my hand-drawing abilities and will be doing my morning sketches of this subject for probably the entire month of September. Near the end of the month I plan to start painting hands with gouache. I also started a new oil painting this week and will be posting about it soon.
This week I really felt like painting something different and challenging for me. I went for a bear and a dog, because I love animals and hadn't painted one in a long time. As you can see, I am still practicing drawing the female body in different poses. Next week I will be starting my days drawing hands in different positions because it is something I have to improve as well. I also included here an oil painting of pears that I finished this week. Still have a lot of exploration to do with oils, but I am enjoying them very much! Thanks for popping by and hope you enjoy these pieces!
Hello everyone! I hope you are having a great weekend!
This little collection includes pencil sketches as well as oil and watercolor paintings. I am pushing myself to continue with drawing one female pose per day. I share these on Instagram and Twitter every morning (Monday through Friday), so if you follow me on there you've probably seen a few of these before. If you aren't following me by now, please do! I'd love to connect!
Hello! Here is a collection of pencil sketches and watercolor paintings I have created in the past couple of weeks. Thanks for popping by!
I am enjoying this time of experimentation with different supplies very VERY much. I had the opportunity this week to play around with oil paint, which I am totally a beginner at. I have not finished the large canvas landscape painting that I am working on, mostly because I am making sure to allow each layer to dry completely before applying the next. I will share that as soon as I am done. Today, what I will be sharing is this grayscale oil paint portrait which I finished last night. It is the first portrait I have ever painted in oils.
Here are three suggestions for those beginners out there looking to start painting portraits. Most of these can apply for gouache or acrylics as well.
1. Always use a good reference photo and take a few minutes to really observe it. Try to find one that has a good image resolution and interesting lighting. Even if your goal is not to create a painting or a drawing that looks like a specific person, it is always going to be helpful to have an image to look at throughout the process. This will help you establish realistic values and proportions.
2. It is ESSENTIAL for you to have a good amount of practice drawing realistic faces before attempting to paint a portrait. The only reason why I did a semi-decent job in my first portrait oil painting is because I have studied facial proportions for years and have a relatively good amount of practice drawing them. Only through time spent observing and practicing will one start developing an eye for what looks good and what is off. I once read that, since we humans look at faces probably more than anything else on a daily basis, anyone would be able to tell if something is slightly off with a portrait when they see it, even if they can't exactly pinpoint what it is. You NEED an effective sketch to start a painting off with. Or be such a pro that you have realistic proportions/angles engrained in your head so well that you can go in with your paintbrush right away. I wish to get to this point someday!
3. Once you feel ready to try your luck at your first portrait painting, do it in grayscale. This takes away the need to create realistic skin tones if you are not yet at this point. It is better to take the learning process step-by-step! Keep in mind that, aside from facial proportions, the other important element behind creating realistic art is the effective use of color values. I recommend focusing on setting up a palette with a variety of gray values, from lightest or darkest, and then making sure to place the different tonal values in appropriate places. I used odorless mineral spirits and Gamsol to thin out my paints and do blending. I really recommend this grayscale exercise. Once you succeed at this, go ahead and go for the color!
I am going to travel to the U.S. to pick up a few Amazon art supply orders very soon. I've ordered a set of gouache paints which I am super excited to experiment with!
Have a wonderful weekend and I hope to see you around soon! :)
Hey! Nice to see you!
Here is a little mixed-media piece I just finished today and it is based on one of the pictures I took during my pastry photo shoot last week. Below I will be explaining a bit about the process I followed to get to this.
Here is the initial picture I took and on the right is what I actually used as I was painting. I used my handy-dandy Photoshop skills to clean it up so that my eyes didn't get distracted by the background. I also rotated the doughnut a tiny bit counterclockwise.
Once again, I used a gray water-soluble pencil to create this initial sketch. I like using water-soluble pencils because the lines completely disappear as I am doing the painting. However, a lot of artists like using straight up pencils. At this point, I try to get the proportions as close as possible to the reference picture, but I don't get super paranoid about it being identical to the picture. I also add in shapes that map out where the lightest and darkest values will be. For me, it is still a challenge to leave the lightest areas white since the beginning!
Here is what it looked like after about three layers of watercolor textures/values.
Here is the painting after about 5 layers of watercolor paints. After this I couldn't help myself and I took out my Soft-Core Prismacolor pencils and went in to add more textures/values until I was satisfied.
-Strathmore Cold Press Watercolor Paper Series 400
-Sakura Koi Pocket Field Watercolor Set
-Prismacolor Soft-Core Pencils
-Combination of Rodin and Artify paintbrushes
I just finished this watercolor piece today, which is meant to be the second part of my "Things I Eat Everyday" painting I did some months ago (here's the link to that post). This was fun and I worked on it on and off over the last 3 days. I am very big into health and usually eat pretty healthy.
It may be hard to believe, but I rarely eat things that I paint like fast food and sweets. In fact, this morning I went out to buy some sweet breads to photograph them for future reference images and, as difficult as it was, I saved them all for my husband to take to his friends later. Except a chocolate doughnut that I broke in half because I wanted to have a reference picture of a half-eaten doughnut (these make for challenging paintings!). That one I threw away.
Below are a couple of pictures I took during the process. I wanted to challenge myself and use only watercolors in this one. I helped myself with acrylic paint for final highlights in the first version.
This has been the first week of relative peace after finally settling into our new home and my painting studio/office is in a workable state for me, which is wonderful. I am in the process of establishing new work routines for myself, which I was in desperate need for after all that craziness, though I feel like my brain is in a state of denial because I'm finally enjoying my new home and all its new spaces. I really needed this. I am, however, making sure to make advances towards my goal of improvement and finding my style every-single-day.
Two days ago I started what is probably the biggest oil painting I have worked on so far. I decided to re-purpose an old painting that was going to be thrown out (not mine) by gesso-ing it and painting over it. I'm approaching it as an experimentation and will share the process with you later. :)
Thanks for reading!
I've been so busy setting up at our new place and doing errands that it took me three days to finish this face drawing. I had drawn portraits before, but lately I had been practicing the different facial elements separately in my sketchbook so that my drawings could turn out a bit more realistic overall. I think these studies have helped. Later on I am planning on making a post giving some tips about drawing realistic faces.
I haven't been able to get my paints out in a couple of days, but here are a couple of watercolor pieces I did several months ago that I hadn't posted. The first was based on a picture that I selected because I thought it would be a great opportunity to practice hand postures and I hadn't painted a hand in watercolors before. The second painting was a quick warm-up experiment I did before starting a bigger painting.
Thanks for the visit and I hope to see you around soon!
Hey there! Here is a mixed-media painting I finished yesterday, with a couple of pictures I took throughout the process. The bread was probably the most challenging in this one, although the leafy greens came up pretty close.
As I am advancing in my art journey, I am noticing things that I need more practice in and just tweeks in general I have to make in my art. One of the things that I've noticed is that I have to be more careful in order to keep my work cleaner. I regretted adding gray shadow to the background once I finished the sandwich and I decided to clean that up in Photoshop, leaving it completely white. From now on I am going to keep the backgrounds of this type of illustration work with minimal or no background shadow.
That said, I am not a minimalist in any way, shape or form. My other drawings and oil paintings are going to have backgrounds and are going to keep the sketchy/unfinished quality to them because I really like how this looks in art.
Have a great Sunday!
For a creature of habit like myself, adjusting to new living situations can be very draining. I've had trouble getting myself to create art again because I haven't really felt like myself, but I was finally able to do something today despite the constant interruptions and my lack of energy.
The pencil drawing of the fist (below) was the last sketch I created at my last apartment before getting extremely busy with the moving situation. My husband and I have now been at our new place for 5 nights. Yesterday I decided to start with some pencil eye studies in my sketchbook after having tried to create a watercolor painting the night before which simply didn't work out. Today I finally went for a watercolor painting again. At the beginning I didn't like it at all and almost gave up, but I decided to work through it. It's not the best I've done, but I'm happy I decided to finish it. I am trying not to be very hard on myself at the moment and went for a subject that I have been successful at before.
My working area hasn't been set up yet and whenever I think about it I start to get anxious, but at least I can see things moving forward here in the house. I am hopeful that in another week or two, my husband and I will be able to make this new home our own and our routines can go back to normal. In the mean time, I will keep doing whatever I can. Even if it's just studies in my sketchbook or fun sketches, I will continue through these times of transition. I really hate feeling like I lost my creative flow or get set back, especially now that I am determined to start my own art business.
I think it is important to keep in mind that transitional phases are a part of life and that we have to do our best to remain positive throughout them. As artists, we can use times like these to rethink our purpose for creating and think about how these new experiences and environments can add to our artwork.
Thanks for reading and cheers for new beginnings!
Last few days have been rough for me. Yesterday was my last day at the school I worked at for the last 5 years and turning in my room keys and ID card was just surreal, even more after a week of not sleeping nearly enough. Being so tired and trying to keep all these emotions under control is very hard.
My apartment is also a mess because, as many of you already know, my husband and I are working on moving to the house we will be living in for a short while in order to save some money (our monthly apartment rent is more expensive than the house payments will be). We have been selling furniture that we don't need anymore to family and friends so that the whole moving situation is easier. By the beginning of next month we will already be living in our new home.
So with all this going on, I have not been able to draw or paint much at all. Really all I could do was finish up the pencil drawing of the girl screaming that I am posting here and have already posted on Instagram. The watercolor lemon painting and the feet drawing were actually created last week. I decided to not really force myself to produce artwork this week because it has been one of the hardest I've had in a long while. For my mental sanity, I decided to focus on giving closure to this phase of my life in order to start with the next as productive as possible.
Thanks for reading! You can expect much more frequent and useful posts starting next week, as my personal artistic journey finally begins at full blast!
Hey there! My mom is moving away and yesterday I went over to her house to continue looking through my old stuff in order to get rid of trash. I found several high school journals (I used to write A LOT to cope with teenage angst) and some old doodles. Man was I a sour/angsty teenager! I really don't miss those years at all. I am much better now in my adult life!
Here are a few!
It's been hectic guys! Yesterday I arrived from work completely exhausted and fatigued. I am so, incredibly happy that after next week I will not have to wake up at 5 a.m. anymore. I am really looking forward to creating my own work schedule. One more week of work which will include student graduations, cleaning out my classroom and leaving everything prepared for the teacher that is taking over my position. Hello time for personal projects and working on my art full-time! So excited!
Here are some of the studies and pieces I was able to work on throughout the week. I will upload a couple of more studies and paintings tomorrow as well. This weekend I am going to be working on a very special mixed-media piece that reminds me of my childhood. More on that later.
As you can see, I am still making time for more technical studies in my sketchbook. I find these very important and I think that they have helped me improve my paint work indirectly as I find them a great way to practice my observational skills. I will continue to work on faces, body poses, hands, feet, etc.
Thanks for coming by and I wish you a wonderful weekend!
Hello! Thank you for taking the time to visit my website.
Last weekend was kind of busy for me. It was one of those weekends that didn't really feel like a weekend because you didn't really have time for proper rest. I fear that the next will be super busy as well, as I am moving all my stuff from my current apartment to what will be my new home for probably another year. It's kind of hectic, but I am committed to improving my art and will make sure to make time for it.
Here are some pencil studies I worked on throughout the week. I also made a couple of smaller watercolors, but will post them later! Cheers, friends! Have a great week!
Hey there! Thanks for popping by!
Today I had a chance to paint and I went for a stack of pancakes. I also had a little extra time and wanted to experiment with painting a simple little landscape, which I hadn't done in a while. I've been watching a lot of Liron Yanconsky's YouTube channel lately and I've really been inspired to paint houses and landscapes containing buildings and such. I think I'll try one soon! If you haven't checked out his channel, please do. I love the way he takes his artwork very seriously and constantly seeks way to improve.
Hello! This was my first piece back after almost 2 weeks of no proper painting. I sketched a bit, but I was too busy for anything else. Whenever I tried to paint, I was just frustrated with the outcome and didn't finish. However, the busiest time of the school year is over now and slowly, but surely, I am getting back into my art.
So last Sunday, after finally having a complete day of rest post-student art show, I sat down to start over. I decided I was not going to be to hard on myself because I hadn't painted in a while and went for a food item in the mixed-media technique that I started with all those months ago. Below I will explain a bit more about the process. For this painting, I used Strathmore Watercolor Cold Press paper (300 Series).
I am usually terrible at doing real preparation before painting. For this, I actually took the time to clean my Koi watercolor box in order to use it as a palette and made the color mixtures for my painting. This picture shows the first phase of my usual mixed-media approach, which is the watercolor phase (by this point the painting already has a couple of layers of watercolor).
Here is the watercolor phase completed (except for the background shadows). You can see how I went on and on with layering until I felt ok with the values. Then, I left my painting to completely dry for a several hours.
This is what the piece looked like after I had already worked in most of the Prismacolor values and textures. I made a point this time to really select only the colors I would be using. Usually I am all over the place. After I finished with my Prismacolor Soft Cores, I went back in with watercolors to add my gray shadow under and around the panini. I allowed this to dry for about an hour.
To finish up, I used some white acrylic paint for final highlights.
Hand drawing practice I started with on Sunday before my mixed-media piece. I want to continue with my basic sketching of things I find difficult, which I started on Spring Break.
Hello all! Thank you for visiting.
This past week was intense and I really don't feel like it is the weekend because I have a lot of social commitments to attend and am even going to school to advance Art Show work tomorrow (Sunday).
I had very little time to work on personal drawings and paintings this week. One of them actually frustrated me and I gave up on it. I gave myself a break because I was very tired and, at least, I am doing my best to keep going throughout these very busy times. Small progress is better than no progress!
Have a great weekend!
Hello! The countdown has started for my students' Art Exhibit and these are days at which I usually start disappearing due to so much work. General logistics, project preparation and mounting for my 250 students is done entirely by myself, from project selection, to getting organized with the Systems and Maintenance departments in the school, to designing the invitation and getting it to parents, and SO many other things. I also include QR codes on the project titles which take the viewers to student videos explaining each project. Of course, I get asked for EACH of my 250 students to appear in one of the videos, so this is a TON of organization for me to do when recording, as well as a TON of video editing. This is all done while students are still working on projects. There will be 19 projects displayed in total, 3-4 different projects per grade I have this semester. I will be including pictures of project titles in my next post, as well as some other things which may interest other Art Teachers out there.
Even with all this going on, I am committed to improving my artwork and doing whatever I can, whenever I can in order to move forward with my personal projects. Here are some sketchbook entries I did last week.
Here is a piece that I worked on during the week, after arriving home from work. I decided to do a painting that included a variety of things in it, as opposed to focusing on only one. Even though this may sound more complicated and usually the painting takes longer to complete, I have found it helpful that you can bounce around from one thing to the other in order to let the previous watercolor layer dry. This was something I struggled with in the beginning. I wanted to just keep going! After having understood this, I would rather work on several pieces simultaneously so that I can continue one while the other is drying.
I knew before starting this piece that I wanted to use only watercolors for this (I sometimes add Prismacolor to deepen values and create textures), but I did end up using some white acrylic paint at the end for highlights. Also, people usually ask me if I eat everything I paint (which usually is fast food and sweets) and I wanted to make a painting of foods I actually eat everyday. I want to make a part 2 to this that will include things like avocado, cherry tomatoes, other types of nuts, and perhaps popcorn? I like to eat very healthy, for the most part! I simply find desserts very pretty to look at because I love their combinations of colors and textures!
Thanks for popping by! Here are a couple of pictures I had posted on Instagram of the process. Have a wonderful weekend!
Here is a little something I worked on yesterday. I felt like painting something fun and thought of a garden gnome (they've always brought a smile to my face). For this painting, I started by making the drawing with gray watercolor pencil in order for the sketch to disappear completely once the painting process begins. Then I did an initial tracing with watercolors in the color of the area I would be painting inside. I don't always start my paintings by tracing my sketch but I thought that I would like some visible outlines at the end because this was going to be more of a ¨cartoony¨ style, so I just went for it. After that was just adding different layers of values. I made sure to jump around throughout the painting process in order to allow the layers to dry. This turned out pretty kitschy! I kind of like it!
Have a nice day!
Hello friend! So happy you popped by!
It is 8:00 p.m. here and I just got home from work about an hour ago. I would like to squeeze in some sketchbook work tonight, as it is my rest day from my evening workouts.
Here is the final '59 Corvette watercolor painting that I finished yesterday. After I finished this, I thought of maybe painting the Cadillac from True Romance (one of my favorite movies) at some point. Any True Romance fans out there?
This is the second car I have ever painted (the first was the Challenger I posted about before). It took me a long time, especially since I used masking fluid and took my time with it after the pencil sketch was completed. Once I was satisfied with the watercolor, I added some white acrylic paint details. Here are some pictures I took throughout the process.
This is what the painting looked like after I let the masking fluid dry (you can notice the rubbery/transparent areas) and painted the first few layers of watercolor paint. By this point, I was already adding darker red values on areas with shadow in them, and I even started using a blue for darkest areas.
I used my Pocket Field Koi Watercolor Set and used Cadmium Red and Ultramarine Deep. I also used pure black for the tires and other sunken areas in the car.
After I was satisfied with the initial layers of watercolor, I let the painting dry over night and removed the masking fluid the following day. I didn't like how the white lines appeared so thick and obvious, so I took a wet brush and carefully went over these areas to soften them out, using the same paint that was already dry on the paper. Then I messed around with the values a bit more using the same paint colors I mentioned before and also started adding more black details. Can you tell something is missing? I decided to get rid of the car seats and then I ended up regretting it...
Here is the finalized painting with the acrylic paint details. I opened up this picture in Photoshop, cropped it and contrasted it a tiny bit. :)
Lately I've been making sure to dedicate some time every day to do sketchbook studies of things I consider challenging to draw. I started by making a list of four things I wanted to focus my faster studies on, making sure to narrow down on subjects or things that I usually try to avoid so that I can force myself to improve in these areas. For me, my list included: faces in different angles, the human figure in more dynamic poses, hands and feet. After I made this list, I decided on the time of the day I would be dedicating to my sketches. Since I am currently on Spring Break, it made sense for me to start my days with my sketchbook studies and later on in the day continue improving my painting.
Next week my sketchbook/study situation will change because I will be going back to my full time teaching job. However, I have committed to continue with these studies as frequently as I am able to. I am thinking of maybe scheduling in at least three blocks of 30 mins to an hour every week starting Monday until the end of the school year (this will be aside from painting). This will be challenging because coming back from Spring Break I will have super long days as I will be preparing my students' end-of-year art exhibit. But I will do the best that I can.
Even though it is very important to choose a subject or topic to specialize in as an artist, I am convinced that we have to make time to step out of our comfort zones and improve in other areas. We may find that we keep producing things that come easy to us. I think this is fine in situations in which we, perhaps, work full time in jobs that don't allow us time to continue with our art practice. I understand that, at times, we may have very little time left at the end of the day and simply want something fun to do. This is SO much better than not doing anything at all. However, if you REALLY want to improve, it is very important to MAKE time and put the work in. And, even if an artist is already amazing at what he/she does (not that I personally am anywhere near that point), it is important to dedicate time to stepping out of our personal comfort zones so we don't get stagnant and keep things fresh.
In my opinion, once an artist decides on the specific subject(s) or technique(s) he/she will be focusing on, about 70%-80% percent of actual producing time should be dedicated to improving on that particular field and the other 30%-20% should be spent experimenting and studying other interesting and challenging things. This way, we can make sure we are always working towards improvement.
In previous posts, I have included pictures of my studies of heads in angles and dynamic figure poses that I have drawn lately. Here are some drawings of the third point in my list, which are hands.
Thanks for reading and have a great day! :)
Tomorrow I will be posting a list of my favorite free image sites and how I use reference images in my artwork.
Here is a little something I started last Sunday which I finished last night. I used the mixed-media technique I posted about before, combining watercolors and colored pencils to add final values and textures. I also used a bit of white paint pen at the end.
These are my last days of Spring Break and I have a lot of things I have to get done before getting back to work on Monday. I will be a bit more busy with doctor appointments, Canada application documents that have to be sent, apartment cleaning, starting with student art exhibit prep and other important things. I am going to do my best to keep my art journey going throughout the craziness. Have a great one!